Senior members of Shanti Niwas Charitable Trust hosted a joyous celebration on the occasion of India’s 71st Independence on Tuesday, August 15 at Shanti Niwas building in Onehunga, Auckland.

More than 200 senior men and women gathered at the celebrations reminiscing memories of Independence Day back in India and more than half of those present at the venue participated in different cultural performances.

The event commenced with hoisting the tricolour flag by the staff of the kitchen from Shanti Niwas followed by the National Anthem.

“We would like to honour our members from our kitchen who serve us three times a day to hoist the national flag for us,” Nilima Venkat from Shanti Niwas told The Indian Weekender.

A poetry recitation followed this by Sarla, who is one of the oldest members of Shanti Niwas. Ms Sarla, through her poetry, expressed her joy being an Indian and later sobbed as she recollected the memories of her home country in her recitation.

The seniors gave dance performances, sang patriotic songs, performed a short skit, and played interactive games at the celebration concluding the event with lunch for the members.

“We wanted our seniors to organise the Independence Day event; it was an event by them and for them. Our members have been practising for the last two months for this event and have given a stellar performance today.

“This reminds us that our seniors have more to offer to the community,” Mrs Venkat added.

Shanti Niwas Charitable Trust based in Auckland looks after the interest of the community’s elders who are often neglected or abused by family members. The organisation helps these seniors rehabilitate and provide them with support and other services.

Other services of Shanti Niwas include KHUSHI– Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention Services, SNEH – Shanti Niwas Emergency Home for the seniors and DOSTI – Volunteer visiting services.