Since the workshop at the 2016 North American Konkani Sammelan held in Atlanta in July 2016, we have been steadily developing projects that are of interest and benefit to our seniors. The goal of this program is to improve access of OKA seniors to social and cultural activities, provide community-based avenues for non-medical support, and increase knowledge about the practical aspects of retired living.


OKA Senior’s Activities/Events conducted thus far


July 2016                           Workshop at the North American Konkani Sammelan

October 2016                    Brain Storming session sponsored by the Nileshwar Family

March 2017                       Seniors’ Day with SVBF

April 2017                          Focus Group Meeting sponsored by the Deshpande Family

June 2017                         Seniors’ Lunch and Get Together

Aug 2017                           Konkani Pioneers’ Get Together by the Tallur Family

December 2017                OKA Seniors’ Information Session

May 2018                          Launch of the Technical Support System – 1st workshop


Projects Implemented


Interactive forum OKA Aadhaar Chat was launched in 2017. This Forum is ideal for sharing information, discussing issues and concerns. Currently only 58 have joined this Forum. A number of highly informative items have been already posted on this chat. Upcoming events are announced on this Chat. Shraddha Pai is leading this initiative.


Transportation/Carpool: Ajay Rao has been coordinating this activity. With the help of a number of volunteers, we have been able to arrange rides to OKA events for a number of seniors.


Information sessions/workshops/seminars: Under the leadership of Mahesh Nileshwar and his Team, we hope to hold at least 3-4 sessions every year to improve community knowledge on health, legal, financial planning and important services available for seniors from governments and communities. 


Tech Support Program is developed by Minakshi Pai with the input from various members of our community was launched on May 12, 2018. Seniors can learn how to navigate new and emerging technology i.e. computers, programs, smartphones, etc., from those more tech-savvy in the community. The project includes developing a Manual covering how to use and troubleshoot various devices.


Projects in the pipeline


Emergency Preparedness: Plan is to develop a medical and non-medical emergency kit with information on contacts within and outside the community. Plan is also to establish Emergency Coordinators and a central location with information on relevant resources. Suvarna Mankikar is leading this initiative.


In case of Eventuality: When funds become available, we hope to produce multicompartmental folders for individual use to store important information/documents that could be made easily available to self or legal heirs. Ashok Bhatt is leading this initiative.


Social Activities:  If there is sufficient interest we hope to organize regular outings, networking opportunities, and regular club-style get-togethers for the seniors and soon to be seniors. The Committee is made up of Mahesh Nileshwar, Kash Nayak, Hemant Tallur, Ajay and Chitra Rao.


Buddy system: Some seniors may benefit from routine phone or in-person contact. A number of members have already started keeping in touch with seniors and provide help whenever needed.  We hope to develop a “buddy” or contact point in the community. Shraddha Pai is keenly working on this project.


Intercommunity Activities


SVBF/Marathi Mandal: From time to time we have lent hand and/or participated in the activities conducted by SVBF as well as Marathi Bhashik Mandal.


RetCom/Nirvana: A group of a few like-minded friends is continuing to explore the possibility of a suitable community living for South East Asian seniors. The Group has communicated with managements of a few well-established Seniors’ Residences including one in the U.S.A. They are also in touch with a reputed consulting firm which is experienced in developing business plans for community-based housing projects.


Indus Community Services has set up an Advisory Committee to develop a plan for Seniors’ Residences for South East Asians. In addition to volunteers from various South East Asian Communities, Mahesh Nileshwar and Sadanand Mankikar are on this Committee.


Scattering Ashes/Asthi Visarjan Project: As part of Ontario Government’s commitment to further support and facilitate the immersing of cremated remains, Forks of the Credit Provincial Park, Earl Rowe Provincial Park, Darlington Provincial Park, Bronte Creek Provincial Park, and Rideau River Provincial Park are designated for the installation of appropriate structures.  Initially, Ontario Parks will establish a ceremonial shelter and other facilities at the Forks of the Credit site. An Advisory Committee consisting of members of the South East Asian Community including Pandit Roop Naraian Sharma of Shri Ram Mandir and Sadanand Mankikar of OKA has been set up.


Other Activities