Seniors Strive to Change their Neighbourhood

This Beasant Nagar-based group runs a book bank apart from aiding the needy

Published: 15th December 2015 04:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th December 2015 04:13 AM   |  A+A-

Seniors Strive

A  ship was washed onto Besant Nagar beach, and a sandstorm, like the city had never seen before, hit the area. It was 2012, the year of cyclone Neelam. It was also the year a resident movement took root in this locality, after rescuing sailors who leapt into the sea.

While the crowd of onlookers applauded the five fishermen who jumped into the tepid water and hauled the sailors to safety, V Chandrasekhar, an onlooker, and his wife Vijayalakshmi, felt that no amount of praise would be enough to reward the  men. Thus a society was born in the quiet colonies of Besant Nagar. It was started to take up issues they felt were neglected.

“We started with the five fishermen,” says the founding member of the Senior Citizens Group of Besant Nagar (SCGBN), professor V Chandrasekhar. Be it underprivileged college students or panhandlers with mere scraps for clothes, the group has helped many people and worked towards tackling area-centric issues like chain snatching.

They also distribute blankets to the poor, sensitise the public about health, and conduct other such programmes. The society is one of the busiest residents’ associations in the city. It runs a book bank that donates to needy students with the support of entities like Orange Opticals in Besant Nagar and Atos Leo Health Farm in Thiruvanmiyur pitching in as support systems and drop off points for those who wish to donate.

The group has almost 50 ‘members’ today, with an average age of 75. The youthful enthusiasm with which they take up issues has handed them a few successes, like securing ground floor counters for senior citizens at the Adyar Post Office, Besant Nagar TNEB office, and roping in experts for free coaching and soft skills training for students. They even give away a unique ‘Service Excellence’ award to organisations that are elder-friendly.

Stay up to date on all the latest Chennai news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp