Senior citizens of Shanti Niwas Charitable Trust on Wednesday, November 14, gathered in colourful ethnic dresses at Bhartiya Mandir to celebrate the festival of Diwali.

The celebration included the rituals of Diwali puja and some cultural performances planned and performed by the seniors. Present at the event were MPs Kanwaljit Bakshi, Parmjit Parmar and Priyanca Radhakrishnan, members of NZ Police, and leaders of other community organisations to support the seniors.

Speaking at the event, General Manager of Shanti Niwas, Nilima Venkat applauded the efforts of the seniors for their performances at the event. She also acknowledged the work of the volunteers in bringing the event together and hosting the celebrations for the seniors.

The event commenced with welcoming the guests and seniors followed by a brief about Diwali, its significance in the lives of individuals, rituals to follow and how to celebrate the victory of good over evil together as a family.

The seniors shared their memories of celebrating Diwali with their families and friends back in India and performed with equal vigour and excitement at the temple.

Shanti Niwas Charitable Trust hosts several events for the seniors on a daily basis at their centre in Onehunga and three different centres at different intervals of the month. The seniors participate in English learning classes, yoga and dance classes, other learning activities at the centres. Earlier in October, Shanti Niwas also conducted its second season of Senior Idol competition getting the seniors to compete in the singing competition.

Some seniors of Shanti Niwas participated at the saree exhibition with Onehunga Library showcasing draping and wearing different kinds of Sarees from different parts of India.

Shanti Niwas conducts several activities at the Bhartiya Mandir community hall, holds sessions in branches in North Shore and Manurewa.

“It feels good to see our multi-talented seniors so energetic and ready to learn new things and perform without any hesitation,” Ms Venkat told The Indian Weekender.