(Socio-Cultural Program for Ontario Konkani Seniors)
Since July 2016, the OKA Senior’s Forum has been functioning under the umbrella of Ontario Konkani Association. The goal of the Forum is to develop and implement sociocultural programs which will help the seniors and soon to be seniors in the community to prepare for and adapt to the changes.
Coordinators: Sadanand and Suvarna Mankikar
1. Interactive forum for seniors and support: We have launched OKA Aadhar Chat to share information, events, and ask questions within the community. Lead: Shraddha Pai
2. Resource page on OKA website: A webpage with links to services and documents of relevance to the people in our community, with a focus on seniors. It contains OKA-driven programs like Emergency Preparedness Program, Carpool and Buddy system and links to public services available. Lead: Jayesh Nayak
3. Information sessions/workshops/seminars/webinars: This program improves community knowledge on health, legal, financial planning and important services available for seniors from governments and communities. Lead: Sadanand Mankikar
4. Social Activities: This program will organize regular outings, networking opportunities, and regular get-togethers for the seniors.: Mahesh Nileshwar
5. Technical Support: Seniors can now learn how to navigate new and emerging technology from those more tech-savvy in the community i.e. computers, programs, smartphones, etc. Lead: Minakshi Pai and Kishore Kulkarni
6. Carpool: Community members needing rides to/from OKA events can now co-ordinate this through a single person. Lead: Ajay Rao
7. Buddy system: Seniors who would benefit from routine phone or in-person contact can now have a “buddy” or contact point in the community. We have a bank of volunteers ready to provide support. Lead: Shraddha Pai
8. Emergency awareness: During a crisis, having a complete medical and non-medical emergency kit and information for contacts (within or outside the community) can improve how the situation is handled. This program will have a central depository with information on relevant resources (e.g. priest contact numbers, funeral homes, legal matters, government services etc.) Leads: Sadanand and Suvarna Mankikar
- In case of Eventuality/Survivor’s Kit: Lead - Ashok and Amita Bhat supported by Raghunath Kamath (RK)
- Emergency Preparedness Support:
Lead –East End:Shivdas & Sheetal Pai. supported by Ashok Goundalkar, Dinesh Shenoy, Gurunath Pai, Bina and Nagesh Kamath and Divakar Shenoy
Lead - West End:Sudhir Nayak supported by Niranjan Kamath, Surekha Shenoy
Shashikant Nayak, Kashinath Nayak and Jayesh Nayak
- Medical and Non-medical Information Access: Lead - Jayesh Nayak and Murali Nayak
- Youth/Young Adult Communication/Coordination: Nisha and Dr. Nikhil Pai
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PROGRAM, PLEASE ACCESS EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PROGRAM TAB.
With the help of active volunteers between the ages of 10 to 80 from our Konkani community, the Forum has conducted the following:
- Five brain storming sessions, focus group and planning meetings
- Four Health Awareness Seminars on Diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, Mental Health, Heart & Stroke, Parkinson’s Disease
- Eight webinars focusing and COVID 19.
- Six Technical Support Workshops
- Five Social get togethers including two Senior’s Day and three Information Sessions
- Continue to explore the needs of the seniors in our communities and develop and implement relevant programs
- Develop teams of volunteers to provide support and assistance to the seniors
- Continue to organize regular Health Awareness Seminars, Information Sessions, Technical Support Workshops and Social Get togethers,
- Actively participate in developing ethnic friendly Retirement/Senior’s Homes in GTA and/or surrounding area.
Compiled by Sadanand Mankikar