Hira Mehta writes about ‘UMANG, the unique stage talent show of Senior Citizens’ !

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UMANG, a platform to encourage seniors to showcase their talent and give them an opportunity to express themselves, an event organized by Silver Innings Foundation, on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at Birla Matoshree Sabhagrih. The event was sponsored by Rotary Club of Mumbai Nariman Point and co-sponsored by Rotary Club of Bombay Pier. Supported by Rotaract Club of Rizvi Law College.

When my friend, Ramaa of the Silver Innings Helpline invited me to host the show I honestly did not know what I was getting myself into. Of course I love meeting people, hosting events and who wouldn’t. 9 o’clock sharp all the participants were in the greenroom dressed and ready to perform. The smiles ontheir faces was so heartwarming and 27 awesome performances by all the seniors in the age group of 60+ was a treat to watch. Diya dance by a 67 year lady with diyas on her head and in both hands, group dances, classical dances, Bollywood medley, a skit, Russian dance and songs filled the auditorium with an energy that could out do any rock performance in the city. The enthused seniors performed with such gusto that I just had to dance with them too. I was just in complete awe and hosting the event with my co-host Arpita was such an honour for me.

Associate partners of the event were Dignity Foundation, FESCOM Mumbai; HelpAge India; Harmony for Silvers Foundation, 1298 Senior Citizens Helpline, A1 Snehanjali, The Metrognome and Palliative Care Dept., Bhaktivedanta Hospital. To add to the magic there were a number of performances by members of the most of these associations. All the participants and groups were given certificate and trophy and hey, I got one too!

Silver Innings helpline partners – Aaji Care (Elder Care, IIT, Mumbai) and Ashiana Senior Living (Lavasa) team were also present at the occasion.

What can I say about Sailesh Mishra, the Founder President of Silver Inning who conceptualized UMANG which has been a much awaited event by senior citizens since its inception in 2008. All I can say is that “small acts when multiplied can transform the lives of so many” and that is exactly what he continues to do. I completely endorse what he says “Hum toh woh recycled teenagers hai, joh rewired hai not retired” and believe me that every senior performing on stage proved him right. I am truly honoured to know him and be associated with him and my dear friend Ramaa who have not only given me an opportunity to participate in their journey but given me so much to be thankful for. At the end of the show it was absolutely wonderful being told that they enjoyed my hosting and the number of hands that I shook today has made me richer with each hug and handshake. All I can hope is that I am invited every year to host the event to be a part of this fantastic and heartwarming event.

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