Orlando retirement complex caters to aging Hindu immigrants

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hindu retirement

Priest, Mahesh Shatri, in his condo, which is decorated like a temple. ShantiNiketan, located in Tavares, Fl., is a gated retirement community catering to Indian immigrants. Residents dine on vegetarian meals, partake in daily yoga as well as Bhajans (prayer) everyday at noon. Some women dress in traditional sarees and their is a strong sense of community. RNS photo by Julie Fletcher.

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(RNS) Fifty years after they began arriving from India, the first generation of Indian-Americans is retiring and finding itself in a quandary: they built successful lives and careers, but never planned for retirement. A Hindu retirement center in Orlando aims to help solve the problem.

  • purushottam rathi

    Thanks. We are looking forward to visiting SHANTI_NIKETAN in very near future.
    I just have to do a bit more convincing to friend(s) and family who are so much
    unsure of moving from current locations they are so much used to.

    In my own mind, its a great feeling to imagine myself living in Shanti-Niketan!

  • Mr K.Singh

    Thanks for sharing the happenings at Shanti Niketan.It does represent the ideal venue for the lonely and socially isolated seniors.Children owe it to their sacrificing parents to provide them this haven in their declining years.Using and abusing them as baby sitters and verbally chastising them is cruel and heinous.Earn their love and blessings by providing them this sanctuary(Shanti Niketan) and redeem yourselves.Heartfelt thanks to all those associated with the running of this Center and for providing such a wholesome environment for senior citizens. With love

  • Kumar

    Mr. K. Singh’s comment appear heart-felt but a bit bitter. True, we seniors are, I would say utilized rather than “used” but it is not by command, it is more by our own willingness and pleasure to do so. Our first generation progeny is mostly very prosperous and they can very well afford babysitters but they let us do it so that we can be with our grand children and upkeep integration into them. Imagine if you were replaced by paid sitters; you would miss out on cuddly talks, touches, hugs and their school stories, often silly. True, our children can be more caring for us but they are not and that is because of their pressures on daily living in the USA. Think positive, what you and I have is the very best and second to none.

  • Sahab Dayal

    Thank you, Iggy, for forwarding the article and the photos depicting life at Shantiniketan. There is no question that what you have provided to Indian seniors in the United States is distinctive and potentially life changing. When we first arrived from India 30-40 years back, we had determination for hard work and for seeking the ‘pursuit of happiness’. Most of us realised our dreams and enjoyed rewarding careers. Now in retirement, we crave for rediscovering the lifestyle we left behind in India and a sanctuary which offers post-career tranquility, contentment, and happiness; this inevitably centers on meals of your choice, spiritual and religious upliftment, and social and cultural interaction. Shantiniketan seems to embody all of this and more.

    Obviously, our children are going through life’s struggles of their own and, in spite of best of intentions, can’t fully provide the life their parents need in old age. We should not judge them harshly and appreciate the efforts they are making to provide their families the happiness we sought when we first arrived here decades ago. Hats off to Shantiniketan.

  • Kshitish Divatia

    What is the cost of buying or renting a condo ?
    Is it available for this summer ?

  • Gupta

    I visited Shanti Niketan sometime in 2009 and was very much impressed with the work done by Iggy. He has devoted most of his life in planning & executing in the development of the project for the good of the Indian community, and he needs to be applauded for the same. The location is great, being in proximity to Orlando, and the weather is moderate.
    The needs of all communities of all parts of the country are addressed. Thanks Iggy, for your vision and contribution to the Indian community.

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  • valli singh

    please could you furnish your phone number . couple of are looking for retirement apt. we are Hindu. we like to talk to some one before making a move. thanks.

  • valli singh

    please give us your phone number. thanks

  • Margaret Fernandes

    To Mr. Iggy Ignatious,
    Please email a phone number where one can get in touch with you or the person in charge of ShantiNiketan. I have some relatives visiting Disney World in a week or so and they can get in touch with you and see if they can visit the place.
    Does one have to be a Hindu to live in the community and do all who live there eat their meals in the cafeteria/dining hall or do they cook for themselves?
    If someone would like to visit the place to look around is there a place they can rent for a few days in order to see how they like it and also the surroundings?
    Thank you for answering my questions.

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  • kripanidhi

    need more details

  • sharmikla

    Are you still interested in renting

  • Sanjay Rajpara MD

    Would like information on how to start a
    Shanti niketsn in San Diego ca