March 20, 2016

UMANG a unique talent platform for Senior Citizens created by Silver Inning Foundation

Has anyone ever wondered what goes on in the minds of seniors as they sit in a garden or on a swing in the garden as the watch the world go by? Surprisingly, much more enthusiasm to live their silver years fruitfully and happily. However, as life moved on, so did things become fast paced and suddenly "time" became the most expensive commodity to acquire from children. There began to mushroom organisations that reached out to seniors to help them channelize their time and experience. When I retired I too began to look for opportunities to do things that I had never had the time to during my work life. That's when Sailesh Mishra and Ramaa Subramaniam found me. Ramma, my old friend who having found purpose in her life to work for senior citizens reached out to me to participate and I did.

When I was invited to host UMANG, a platform to encourage 55+ seniors to showcase their talent organized by Sailesh's Silver Inning Foundation last year, I honestly did not know what to expect. How important it is to meet seniors of your age and what's more to get inspired is something I never imagined. The capability to dance and sing at 55+ and what's more express themselves taught me the true meaning of "abhi toh main jawaan hun". Of course, I  myself am an over-enthu senior citizen myself who loves doing a host of crazy things to keep me happily engaged but I must admit I was in complete awe hosting the event that day. The feeling of achievement and the pat on the back that I got elevated me to euphoria that day and every comment / appreciation I got on social media made me feel ten feet tall. It is then that it struck me as to how important such moments and events are for seniors like me.

Seniors need a platform to express themselves and if it is on a stage, then that's even better as it brings an added feeling of contentment and achievement. UMANG, of course is not a competitive event but what's an event without a bit of 'I can do it better' or probably 'as well as you' spirit.  I found, at UMANG seniors felt a great sense of motivation and pride in trying to outshine each other with their perseverance to perform.

Since year 2010 UMANG is sponsored and supported by Rotary Club of Nariman Point Mumbai and Rotaract Club of Rizvi Law College.

What can I say about Sailesh Mishra, the Founder of Silver Innings Group who conceptualized UMANG which today has become a much awaited event by senior citizens. Since  its inception in 2008, every year it sees more and more seniors wanting to participate and the event boasts of around 125 seniors performing to an audience of over 900 people. All I can say is that when such opportunities are made available, it just transforms the lives of so many seniors whose families then begin to sit up and take notice. I totally agree with Sailesh's mantra of  “Hum toh woh recycled teenagers hai, joh rewired hai not retired”. His dream of encouraging and providing seniors an opportunity to participate in such a journey is something to be thankful for. Seniors today are also not just sitting back because they grew up in times when technology was not a means of fun and time pass. They just need for someone to acknowledge their talent, life experiences and expertise.

That amazed look on their children's faces, a pat on back and a handshake to say you were awesome, is all that seniors want today........ and "UMANG" is that one of its kind platform, just around the corner every year, waving out to seniors to put on their dancing shoes and show the world what they've got.

Iam so excited, this year again I will be hosting UMANG on 16th April 2016, See you'll ......

About Writer: 
Hira Mehta
Write short stories, articles and blog; Freelancer - Hosting, VO and acting; Hon.Secretary of ARUNIMA, a women's forum; Looking for work behind the scenes in the entertainment industry and a Retired from ICICI Bank.

Credit: Reports and photographs are property of owners of intellectual rights. Seniors World Chronicle, a not-for-profit, serves to chronicle and widen their reach.