The rocking senagers

The rocking senagers

The rocking senagers
Ageing is not lost youth, but a new stage of opportunity and strength,’ believes ‘The Silver Surfers Club’ (TSSC), founded a year and a half ago by Dipti Varma Narain. Inspired by her grandmother, she looked up to the elderly with awe and respect. With many senior citizens (who she addresses as ‘silver surfers’) in her family, she had great respect for this age group (55 plus) and grew fond of them.

But what came as a turning point was when she encouraged her mother-in-law to turn her passion into a business.

Dipti explains, “My mother-in-law is a good cook and her cooking was nothing less than what you find in top-notch restaurants. As a homemaker, she loved feeding people. It so happened that one day I showed her some of the homemade jams put up for sale online. This was a turning point as she believed that she can do something with her passion too and here began a business strategy.” The raw materials were bought and there were  helping hands from within her family. Dipti woke up the social media with her mother-in-law’s project and there poured in requests for her delicious homemade pickles. While her mother-in-law was happy to have rekindled her passion, Dipti was struck by a bigger plan.

She wanted to give this age-group a platform for their passion and within 24 hours of her mother-in-law’s success story, she launched a Facebook page ‘The Silver Surfers Club’. “It was inspiring to see how my mother-in-law had a boost of confidence. Like her, there are so many others who continue to follow their passion at their silver age and I wanted to use the social media as a platform to nudge their motivation a bit more further,” she explains. Touching the underlying issue of the forgotten senior citizens, she has now changed the perception about this age-group with the club aiming to empower the retired.

It organises frequent fleamarkets called the ‘Silver Bazaar’, which gets all the passionate silver surfers together to sell their products. Homemade pickles, South Indian ‘masalas’, a wide range of apparel, tarot reading; the ‘Silver Bazaar’ is rocking with  these citizens, and youngsters pour in large number to support these surfers. But the club does not end with just the bazaars. The ‘silver surfers’, who are an energetic bunch, are let to sing and dance through activities like ‘silver karaoke’ and are turned to explorers by organising ‘silver holidays’.

So, what is the procedure to become a member of this fun-loving club? She replies, “One needs to pay an annual fee of Rs 1000 and we give them a platform to have a fun retirement. We are looking at opening for all their products to expose them to a wider audience,”  she explains.

Crossing 4,000 likes on Facebook and having over 100 enthusiastic members, this club has become a silver line in their retired life. Suman Puri, a member of the group with an inexorable voice, pours in her anguish on how the world is capitalising on senior citizens with all the old-age schemes.

“We have had a good struggle in life and now we have the time to do what we love. We have fire in our belly to have a great time together. We have the highest fun quotient as we have no worries and the club is mature in recognising this potential. We  call ourselves senagers.”

Jaya, who recently went on a ‘silver holiday’ to Hampi, says, “It was a great trip. The club is a fun place  and I have found great company here. It is inspiring to see all the surfers doing what they love.”

While the club has a majority of lady surfers the men are catching up with their passions too as Gopi says, “This club is highly inspirational. The bazaars are a wonderful way for retired citizens to make a living from their passion.”                                                                                                                                                                         
It has rekindled the love for art in many as Shilpa says, “I read about the club in a newspaper and since I had my huge collection of stain glass paintings and as I did not know what to do with them, I joined the club. It is a wonderful group and I have met some lovely and enterprising people here.”

Usha, Dipti’s mother, who is proud of her daughter’s initiative, is also part of the club and she says, “We as members have experienced a lot of fun activities together. The club has shaped the silver surfers’ hobbies to business ventures and it is inspiring.” The club has attracted members from outside the City too and is seeing the dream of spreading its wings to other cities with franchise.

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