The Senior Citizen Center run by the WZO Trust Funds India is one of its most important activities. Below is a preface of a detailed brochure describing in text and photographs, the various activities of the center.
"Aagar firdoze baroo-e-Zamin aast,
hamin ast wa hamin ast wa hamin ast"
(If there is paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here).
Amongst the multifarious public welfare activities that the WZO Trust Funds undertakes, one of the most important is that of running our Centres for Senior Citizens at Navsari. Fifteen years have gone by since our first Centre for Senior Citizens was established, prompting us to reflect, with pride and happiness.
Our institutions have built up a reputation as being havens of hospitality and happiness, a home away from home where our senior citizens reside in a serene and secure environment, free from stress and difficulties, where lives are put into their days, not days into their lives.
A consistently full house of residents is indicative of the popularity that our institutions enjoy.
The idea to set up a Centre for Senior Citizens first took root into our minds in the latter half of the 1990’s, when we realised the sad but stark reality faced by many of our senior citizens – living alone or living in congestion with three generations in small flats, some very lonely, some unwanted, some uncared for.
We have all along held the view that after a lifetime of working, raising families and contributing to their success in countless ways, senior citizens deserve to spend all their remaining days with dignity, in an environment of love and understanding.
Many think that poverty only means being hungry and homeless. What they do not realise is that the poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for, is poverty of a far greater kind, a poverty that no one should be made to endure.
Thus was born our dream to do something tangible and positive for our senior citizens. It was our good fortune that the Trustees of Bai Maneckbai P. B. Jeejeebhoy Deed of Settlement Fund too shared this dream with us.
Vision without action remains a meaningless dream, action without vision is simply a waste of time, but when vision is coupled with action the positive outcome that emerges has the energy that turns things around and even changes the world for many people.
The culmination of the common vision shared by WZO Trust Funds and the Trustees of Bai Maneckbai P. B. Jeejeebhoy Deed of Settlement Fund was backed by tangible action resulting in the creation of our Bai Maneckbai P. B. Jeejeebhoy Centre for Senior Citizens opening its doors in the service of the community on 6th January 1998.
With growing popularity and patronage it was not long before we realised the need to expand the existing facilities. The biblical saying "cometh the hour, cometh the man" proved to be very accurate. Rena & Behram Baxter of USA arrived on the scene. After just one visit to the institution they gave a commitment to fund the construction of another similar institution.
Divinity has always smiled on us and showered us with bounties. We were very fortunate to procure property on the same street as our existing Centre and link it up from the rear with our existing institution. Our Dolat & Hormusji Vandrewala Senior Citizens Centre too became a reality on 15th December 2005.
For our residents, their golden years are probably the most precious and pleasant stage of their lives – residing in comfortable surroundings, reflecting on memories of days gone by, mingling in the company of contemporaries, enjoying games, picnics and going on annual outings to Udvada and Sanjan, doing their own things, worries and stress a thing of the past – the perfect way to spend the long evenings of one’s existence, enjoying life to the full, wanting it to go on and on and on.
The health of our residents being one of our prime concerns, we remain alert to their well being. Arrangements have been made for quality medical care and hospitalisation, when required. A sick bay has also been created to look after those afflicted by minor ailments.
A doctor visits our Centres for periodical checkups of our residents. Physiotherapy sessions are available to iron out kinks. Yoga classes are conducted. Thanks to Mrs. Farida Irani of Sydney, Australia, who provided gratis training to our yoga teacher Simin, we have recently introduced ‘Bowen Therapy1 (moves that catalyze the body at macro and micro levels) applications for our residents.
Our charges are not only moderate but also flexible, depending on the economic conditions of our residents – the maximum that we charge (from January 2013 onwards) is Rs.4,500/= per month for a single room covering full board and lodge. Charges for other rooms depend on the economic conditions of our residents. Many of our economically challenged residents reside gratis. The facilities enjoyed by all our residents, irrespective of their subscriptions are at par, with no distinction being made. For this we are most grateful to the Trustees and Administration of Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust for their largesse over the years, initially in funding the day to day running of our institution/s and thereafter providing a generous corpus. It is only on account of their support and that of other donors, big and small, that we have been able to provide quality services to our residents.
Our staff have been trained to realise that in elders, the hunger for love is far greater than the hunger for bread, that love is a fruit that is in season at all times and within reach of every hand. We take great pride in following and abiding by the words uttered by Saint Mother Teresa – "It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in doing. It is not how much we give but how much love we put in the giving".
Our residents are all happy and secure being an integral part of the extended family of WZO Trust Funds. The emotions that our residents feel and the affection they shower upon us is humbling and at the same time satisfying. Their praise is sweet, but there is no greater joy for us than to know their hearts appreciate what we are doingforthem.
Many senior citizens have taken advantage of the facilities that we offer and have transformed their golden years into the most happy and exciting days of their lives. For this we have to express sincere thanks to the benevolent Trustees of Bai Maneckbai P. B. Jeejeebhoy Deed of Settlement Fund and Rena & Behram Baxter of USA, for fully funding and furnishing the two respective institutions. We also express our sincere gratitude to Trustees and Administration of Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust for their very generous corpus donation, the interest of which is utilized towards the running of our institutions.
Our happy band of residents symbolise the truth echoed by Robert Browning in his immortal words:
Come grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, The last of life, For which the first was made.
WELCOME HOME TO PARADISE.
Preview the Paradise that awaits you on the following pages.