One of the longest surviving non-profit organisations in the city, Thippasandra Friends' Association has been at the forefront of socio-cultural activities in their locality for the past 48 years. Their main objective is to promote social awareness, well-being and inculcate a sense of patriotism through various cultural activities and programmes.
In the early 1960s, a group of young individuals from Kerala decided to meet every week to socialise. What started out as a social gathering turned into a full-fledged organisation. Among the group of passionate individuals who formed this association, Govindan is credited as its founder. Initially, it had only 100 members which increased to 315 of various age groups but mostly senior citizens.
The Association’s main objective is to spread awareness about social issues. “We want to motivate people to develop concerns about our nation,” said R V Pillai, the Association's president. The members eagerly wish to see young men and women stand up for India and act as a balancing power to the negative influences of the west on Indian culture. Over the years, the organisation has developed into a very focused entity. “Unity in Diversity” has been adopted as their motto. Secretary A K Rajan said, “We want to unite people irrespective of their caste, creed or religion. National integrity is our theme.”
Every month, rallies, seminars and debates are conducted on various issues of current concerns.
Moreover, the members also undertake free classes to teach people English, Kannada and Malayalam during the summer vacations. With the generous help of two homeopathy doctors, Shamy Paul and Sethumadhavan, the association is also providing free medical consultation. Every Saturday, around 25-30 people consult the doctors.
The Association has a library of 3,000 books in Malayalam, Kannada and English. It is open between 5-6pm. Regarding the future endeavours of the Association, Pillai said: “Our plan is to sustain our activities with more funds. But, we need young people for that.” Even though the Association struggles, they actively knock on doors to collect funds for their programmes and activities.
"It's great to see these senior citizens getting involved in social work," Uday, a resident of 2nd Cross, told City Express.