Excitement Between Generations Runs Both Ways in Races and in Colors

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IACF Directors (from left) Sreeni Nakirekanti, Ponnada Narayana, Kamala Raghavan and Prem Cholia
with ISCA’s Ravi Arora at the event.

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: For one morning, the halls and the lobby where meetings are usually held and a buffet line is served became a hub-bub for peals of laughter, commotion, lemon-in-spoon races, face painting, drawing and coloring contests. Senior citizens and their young grandkids had taken over the building in one of the community’s few kid-friendly activities!

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IACF Director Dr. Mahendra Jain with the medical consult booth.

For the second year in a row, the Indo American Charity Foundation teamed up with the Indian Senior Citizens Association to hold a Desi Grandparents Day this past Sunday, July 12 at the India House on West Bellfort. “The seniors even showed up 30 minutes before the scheduled time,” smiled IACF President Kamala Raghavan as she and several other volunteers raced to get the preparations made for the event that ended after lunch (catered by Udippi Café) around 2pm. IACF coordinator Ramesh Cherivirala could not attend, but ISCA coordinator Ravi Arora had his hands full!

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Dr. Purvi Parikh gave free dental exams and consultation

It was an event for both demographics, with a couple of medical screening booths set up for the aged to check their vital signs and get a free dental checkup and consult Dr. Purvi Parikh of A to Z Dental. Doctors and nurses from the Houston Methodist Primary Care Group (coordinated by IACF Board Director Dr. Mahendra Jain) checked blood pressure, gave free consult and gave away free samples to a line of 200 elderly who waited patiently in line. The regular ISCA monthly meeting was delayed and abbreviated until after a light snack and the kid’s games.

But in fact, the kid’s games were the main focus of the event which brought in over 250 people on a bright, hot Sunday morning. It started with a couple of rounds of musical chairs where young kids and tykes walked around hand-in-hand with their grandparents, jumping onto a spare chair as the music stopped abruptly. It moved on to a lemon-spoon race as the gramps and kiddies raced the length of the long lobby.

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Little tykes showed off their face painting results
Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

And the waiting room of the Sareen Clinic was turned into a drawing and coloring zone, with a clown painting faces and making balloon toys for a long line of eager kids who excitedly later posed to show off on stage. Ratna Kumar, the celebrated dance artist and director of the Anjali School of Performing Arts (and also an IACF Director) guided little kids, including her young grand-daughter through dance steps on stage to the delight of the doting grandparents!

“I have had the pleasure of recently becoming a grandparent,” beamed Vipin Kumar, the General Manager of India House as he welcomed the guests to the function, proudly pointing to his sleeping two-month-old grand-daughter Myra. He introduced the goals and functions of India House with a short video.

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The musical chairs brought in a lot of excitement

Raghavan emphasized IACF’s mission to give back to the 23 organizations (ISCA is one of them) that it supports every year. “We live here, we give here,” she declared, referring to IACF’s tag line, “and we’ll continue to enhance our services every year.” IACF will hold its next event on August 9 (End Child Abuse) and it’s Gala on September 12. But, for the young minds that wondered the halls that Sunday, and their doting Desi grandparents, relating with others and sharing in the delight was what it was all about!