New York City’s first facility to serve senior citizens from South Asia three days a week at a single location opened in Jamaica this week.
The “Desi Senior Center,” located at the Jamaica Muslim Center, was born out of a $100,000 grant from Councilman Rory Lancman. The center will provide culturally relevant programming and daily meals adhering to religious dietary restrictions three days a week. It will also be the first program of its kind to offer activities like exercise classes, lectures, arts and crafts and special celebrations for the South Asian seniors.
“I am proud to announce the opening of the Desi Senior Center, a program that will positively impact the lives of so many area seniors,” Lancman said during a ceremony marking the opening on Dec. 1. “Providing accessible, culturally significant activities for all of our residents is of the utmost importance to me, and I hope this program only grows from here.”
Over 23,000 residents of South Asian descent live within Lancman’s congressional district. It is also the home of the largest Bangladeshi community in New York City.
The senior center is operating in collaboration with “India Home,” which is “a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the needs of the Indian and larger South Asian senior citizen immigrant community.”
“I am truly happy to see this happening in our community,” said Imam Shamsi Ali, director of the Jamaica Muslim Center. “This entire process has enabled the Jamaican Muslim Center to positively collaborate with our communities, particularly the South Asian community, which has been eye-opening and productive.”