Anandam is a unique club for the elderly located in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. For the past 10 years, the club has provided its senior members (over 60 years old) a comfortable and peaceful environment to socialize, stay active, make new friends and involve themselves in useful activities. Today (16 January, 2023), Anandam is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
“Anandam was established to answer the most important question that elderly people have on their minds when they retire ‘What Now?’ as one night suddenly they realise that they have nothing to do after years of being busy,” explained Narendra Singh, President and co-founder of Anandam.
“It becomes practically impossible to pass time. Anandam replaces the ‘What Now?’ question with ‘What’s Next?’ What activities they should involve in which will not only help them pass time fruitfully but add value to society,” continued Singh.
The Indo Thai News team was in Indore to cover the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2023. We had the opportunity to visit Anandam and find out what sets it apart.
Here, we found a group of extraordinary elderly people working together with a holistic approach to help the senior citizens live more fulfilling lives.
On a sunny winter morning last week, we were greeted by Singh, S. B. Khandelwal, Secretary and co-founder and other Anandam members at the club. We sat down for a chat at the front lawn of Anandam under a clear blue sky.
Anandam is different from your typical club house. It is focused on various activities to keep the senior citizens mentally and physically active and healthy.
There is a library consisting of over 1,000 books in Hindi and English – all donated by members and well wishers. The unique thing about the library is any member may take any book(s) without having to enter the details.
Members who borrow a book from the library generally donate a few of their own books when they return the book. That’s how the library has grown over the past 10 years.
There is also chess, carrom and table tennis for those who prefer more physical activities.
One of the most popular programmes at Anandam that fascinated us is the “Voice of Seniors”. It is a competition among senior citizens, wherein seniors sing a song, recite a poem, or tell a story. The winner receives a cash prize of Rs. 51,000 and the runners-up gets Rs 21,000.
Anandam also places strong emphasis on socialisation and community engagement. With their aim of giving something back to society, the members of this organisation started the “Vidya” initiative — the flagship social welfare programme of Anandam.
The “Vidya” initiative started on 15th June 2016, with the mission of fulfilling the educational needs of deserving girls from low-income families. Under it different amounts are distributed as Annual Scholarships among meritorious female students.
Through its “Vidya” initiative, Anandam has contributed so far around Rs 25 Lacs to meritorious girl students.
Anandam also has a unique library, which includes various books from different genres donated by the members who have joined Anandam over the years.
What Makes Anandam Special?
For the Welfare of its Members
- Tying up with premier hospitals for discounted medical treatment of members
- Organising regular lectures by specialist doctors and eminent personalities
- Arranging free medical camps
- Monthly birthday celebration, music and bhajan programmes
- Indoor games – chess, carrom and table tennis
- Library and internet facilities
Welfare Activities by the Members
- Vidya initiative
- Regular medical check-ups and grants for medicines for multi-disability children of Anubhuti Vision Sewa Sansthan
- Provision of ration for the needy older people
- Employment-oriented training for poor women
- Monthly grant to Sanskar Pathshala for primary education of children from slum areas
- Voice of Seniors (VOS) — Annual singing competition for senior citizens
Filled with creative activities, facilities and assistance, Anandam stands out as a distinguished club house for the elderly. It is a haven for senior citizens to spend their golden years adding value to society, helping them live fulfilling lives and enjoy happiness (anandam).