National Indo-American Association for Senior Citizens (NIAASC) held its 33rd Conference on 26th Aug 2022 in Naperville, Chicago in collaboration with Metropolitan Asian Family Services (MAFS) on Mental, Physical and Spiritual Health.
The conference was very ably emceed by Ms. Roshita Pandey, MAFS Grant Manager. She introduced and thanked NIAASC President Ms. Gunjan Rastogi; Founder Chairman NIAASC Mr. Rajeshwar Prasad; Geriatric Psychiatrist, Founder and Executive Director of India Home and NIAASC Board member Dr. Vasundhara Kalasapudi for collaborating with MAFS. Dr. Santosh Kumar, Founder, and Executive Director of MAFS and a NIAASC Board member, welcomed all for coming to attend a very timely conference on mental health. Dr. Santosh Kumar stated that mental health is a subject that is hidden under the sheet. Even though the pandemic has made mental health worse, it helped us to bring this topic to discuss at this conference and we have very specialized speakers on mental health. She also believed that mental health is not taboo, but it is a sensitive topic.
The conference started by lighting the auspicious lamp by all the dignitaries followed by the beautiful Ganesh Vandana kathak performance by the graceful Madhura Sane. All esteemed guests and panel of speakers Ms. Gunjan Rastogi; Mr. Rajeshwar Prasad; Dr. Vasundhara Kalasapudi; State Rep Janet Yang Rohr; Ms. Sadia Covert, DuPage County Board member; Dr. Radhika L. Chimata; Dr. Santosh Kumar; Mr. Harish Doshi, MD International University of Vedic Wellness; Shree Guruswamy, case worker and social activist and Mr. Gopi Nair, the renowned motivational speaker addressed a very important issue that not just the senior community but all of us as a society are facing – the issue of Mental or behavioral health in the conference.
Ms. Gunjan Rastogi, apprised us that NIAASC works with Indo-American organizations in providing technical and logistic support in organizing activities for seniors. When it comes to mental health, she believes depression is something that can occur to anyone irrespective of age, gender, and status. Mr. Rajeshwar Prasad stated that NIAASC is not just a theory; it’s a practice. He also mentioned that NIAASC has nine different language-speaking people to serve the community.
Mr. Rajeshwar Prasad honored Dr. Santosh Kumar by giving her a certificate of appreciation. Vasundhara Kalasapudi, M.D. geriatric psychiatrist shared their journey of serving seniors in the New York area. India Home is a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing the needs of and empowering the South Asian and Indo-Caribbean senior immigrant community in New York City through culturally competent services. Anybody can join the India Home even if the senior is on a tourist visa and enjoy their services.
Dr. Radhika L. Chimata, Psychiatrist & Neurologist gave a deep knowledge of the Importance of Mental Health. In her speech, she stated Mental health is a state of mind. When you’re mentally healthy, your feelings, actions, and relationships are in a good place. You’re able to live, learn, work, and enjoy your life. She shares her personal experience as a Psychiatrist & Neurologist which was related to the South Asian community.
Mr. Harish Doshi gave a presentation on Ayurveda & Mind-Body Connection. He highlighted the PPD (Psycho Physiological Disorders) or Psychosomatic Disorders & Its management with Ayurveda. The conference ended with a positive approach given by Mr. Gopi Nair in his speech on the Importance of Gratitude. ‘Gratitude is the only attitude a person should have; this is the mantra he gave to all of us to lead a happy life. Such a positive vibe he created at the end of the conference.
All speakers handled the questionnaire patiently. As they were speaking in Hindi the seniors felt more comfortable asking questions. All the speakers were honored by giving them a shawl and the book ‘India Calling 2022’ by Dr. Santosh Kumar. Ms. Radhika Subramanian, Public Benefits Coordinator sums up the conference and gave a vote of thanks to all speakers, guests, and attendees.
NIAASC is a non-profit 501c3 organization. It is the leading national information, referral, and advocacy organization committed to the well-being and quality of life of Indo-Americans in their senior years. NIAASC will be holding its Annual Meeting in New York on Dec 6th for information or membership queries, kindly email [email protected]