Subjects: Identity Theft, Medicare Prescription Discount (Part –D), White House Conference on Aging, Collaborations and Participation with National Federation of Indian Associations, North American Bengali Conference, India Association of Long Island, Senior Programs in New York and New Jersey for Indian Americans, and Editorial listing a comprehensive programs seniors can undertake in their organizations and communities


Web site:     E-mail:    Toll Free Telephone: 1-866-6-niaasc (1-866-664-2272)

Office: 1824 Fairfax Street, Elmont, NY 11003                    Mailing: 7 Roberta Ave., Farmingville, NY 11738

Summer 2005 Issue                                                            Editors: MK Ramasubramanian & Rajeshwar Prasad




BRIEF HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE ABOUT NIAASC: The National Indo-American Association for Senior Citizens (NIAASC), incorporated in early 1999, is a nonprofit 501C3 organization. Its mission is to serve seniors through information, referral and advocacy services. NIAASC has organized nine full-day conferences/workshops (see information about conferences on NIAASC web site). NIAASC through formal surveys, informal discussions and observations, has identified problems faced by Indian seniors, their needs and aspirations in USA and has periodically reported  them in  its newsletters. Its representatives have appeared on television/radio, and written articles of interest to seniors and their families. Its pamphlet  'How to Set Up Senior Citizen Program' is available on request. Its Board of Directors is composed of individuals with dedication and professionalism in different fields. It provides a continuity of efforts by virtue of the fact that only one-third of its Board members retire every year, though eligible to be reelected. Its membership is open to all but decision-making rests with members 50 years of age and over. NIAASC remains to be an information, referral and advocacy entity without reinventing wheels, and bringing to the attention of seniors and their families services available in their local communities and encouraging them to utilize them. Its collaborative efforts extend to a number of local, national and international entities. In February 2005 NIAASC highlighted  its mission, objectives and activities at a conference in Artesia, California. In May it presented a paper at the National Federation of Indian Organizations; and in July it presented two papers at the North American Bengali Conference 2005. Both organizations celebrated their 25th anniversaries. It also presented a paper for the White House Conference on Aging to be held in October 2005 in Washington. This conference is held once in ten years.


NIAASC's  historical  perspective outlined above  is  designed to  encourage every  individual  reader  of  this Newsletter  as  well  as Organizations catering to Indian seniors throughout the US  to  ACTIVELY  work  with NIAASC.  WE  BELIEVE SUCH  ACTIVE COLLABORATION  AND  COOPERATION  (as  borne  out  by   the  visibility  we have  got  so  far  at the State/Local  level) would give  much-needed  visibility-- at  the  National  Level  as  well -- to  the concerns  of the  Indian  Seniors.


NIAASC Board of Director 2005:  (Year in parenthesis denotes year of retirement from the Board)
OFFICERS: Ashwin Pandya MD (2006) -- President, MK. Ramasubramanian (2007) and Samir Kumar Dutta MD (2005) -- Vice Presidents, Satya Malhotra RN (2007) -- Secretary, Satpal Malhotra (2007) – Treasurer.
BOARD MEMBERS: Sushila Gidwani-Buschi Ph.D. (2005), Tara Kotecha (2006), Chandubhai  Patel (2006), Rajeshwar Prasad (2006), Asha Samant DDS (2005), Ashok Satkalmi Ph.D. (2006), V.N. Sehgal MD (2005), Suprabhat Sengupta (2007), Chandrakant Shah (2005), Vipin Shah (2005), E.M. Stephen (2006), Romesh  Tewari (2006), and Satish Varma MD (2005)                                





NIAASC covered this subject earlier also, but Identity Theft seems to be one of the fastest growing crimes. So here are some steps you can take to protect yourself: Be aware that under the recently enacted law - U.S. Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act – you are entitled to a free credit report once a year. New Yorkers may begin requesting such reports effective September 1, 2005.  


A. Protect your Social Security Number:

Do not carry your Social Security Card with you.

Shred all payroll and bank information.

Also shred credit card offers before you throw them out.

B. Protect your Credit Card Information:

Never give your credit card number over telephone unless you have initiated the call and trust the business. Contact the credit reporting bureaus* for an update on your credit, as well as to ask them to take off your information from their marketing lists.

Be extra careful when using your credit card for ordering products on line.

C. Immediate Action if Identity Theft Happens:

Contact the credit bureaus*. Contact the fraud departments of these bureaus asking them to flag your file with fraud alert.

Protect your accounts by contacting the fraud departments of your creditors or any accounts that may have been affected. Also ask them to seek your permission in writing before approving any new activity on your accounts.

File a report with the police. Keep a copy of the report in case your creditors need a proof of the crime.



Equifax: P.O. Box 740123 – 0123, Atlanta, GA 30374-0123. Tel 800-685-1111,

Web site: TransUnion: P.O. Box 97328 Jackson, MS 39288-7328. Tel 800-888-4213,

Web site:  Experian: 701 Experian Parkway, Allen, TX 75013. Tel. 888-397-3742), web site:

You can also contact the Federal Trade Commission Fraud Hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (382-4357)



NIAASC has received four articles from the Asian American Federation of New York on the above subject. They are:


  1. An overview of the Part D Medicare Drug Benefit Program: How it works; What is changing; Who will be covered etc..

  2. Enrollment Considerations: Things to think about before signing up for the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit.

  3. Paying for Part D.

  4. Medicare Part D Timetable



It has come to the attention of NIAASC that a new scam targets seniors by offering to help them fill out the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit. They offer help you need, but ask you to give some information like your bank account and balances, the prescriptions you use, and where you keep your safe deposit key. An advice from Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, one of many public officials, is urging seniors not to give out personal or financial information on the phone, and when the Part D “helpers” come on the line, she says, hang up.   Adapted from an article by Matilda Charles in Suffolk Life of August 10, 2005


NIAASC will be happy to forward these articles if someone is interested. Please send an E-mail to for these articles.




Media Coverage About NIAASC:

(South Asian World Television, RBC Radio and NIAASC Chapters)

NIAASC representative have appeared before South Asian World Television and RBC Radio during June/July 2005. On June 15 Mr. Ramasubramanian, NIAASC VP, appeared for a 10-minute interview at the South Asian World Television speaking about NIAASC and senior issues. Mr. Prasad appeared live on the RBC radio three Sundays in July for 5-10 minute interviews on the program conducted by Mr. Arish Sahani. A number of Indian weekly newspapers also carried the news of creating NIAASC chapters. NIAASC has underscored that creation of chapters is to develop a unified voice and work as partners for the benefit of seniors. In the spring issue of  NIAASC newsletter details were provided for developing chapters. You may also click “chapter” on the NIAASC web site and review eligibility requirements and an application form

Living Will, Health Proxy and Durable Power of Attorney:

At the monthly meeting of India Association of Long Island, Ms. Alpa Pandya Esq., and Dr. Ashwin Pandya, NIAASC President, explained the importance of the above instruments as a part of “end of Life” issues. From a practical perspective they asked the participants to fill out the above forms, duly signed and witnessed, for proper record. All in attendance complied with. It is expected that other “End of Life” issues will be addressed in subsequent meetings. Pandyas have volunteered their efforts at other gatherings also for the same purpose.

Congratulations to Mrs. And Mr. Chandubhai Patel:

On June 5, 2005, the couple celebrated their 50th marriage anniversary at the Vaishnav Temple with their family and friends. NIAASC members extend their congratulations and wish to see more and more anniversaries. Mr. Patel is the NIAASC Board member and a very active leader with the Senior Citizen Center of New York.


Let us know if you have such auspicious and happy occasions, landmark birthdays, landmark births such as great grandchild, Let us also know of any sad situation in life. Please send E-mail to NIAASC@AOL.COM


A Glimpse of Two Studies undertaken by Dr. Jyotsna Kalavar: In the spring issue NIAASC covered Dr. Kalavar’s one-year sabbatical work with old-age homes in India.

We are proud to bring to your attention two studies conducted by Dr. Jyotsna Kalavar recently covered in the Journal ‘Activities, Adaptation & Aging’ published by The Haworth Press.

Study 1 investigates the motives and Study 2 covers the barriers to participation in physical activity by older Asian Indian immigrants to the United States. In the first Study 100 older Asian Indians living in US completed the Participation Motivation Questionnaire for Older Adults. The most highly reported motives for participation were based around medical reasons and keeping healthy and active. Analyses of variance showed significant differences in reasons for participation in physical activity based on gender and age. In the second Study 10 sedentary older Asian Indians living in the USA participated in focus group discussions. They viewed physical activity as being an integral part of everyday activity. Barriers identified included existing health problems, risk of injury, and issues associated with their new lifestyles in the United States.

The National Indo-American Association for Senior Citizens offered assistance with publicity of the studies and participant recruitment. The studies were partly funded by the National Institute on Aging


(Dr. Kalavar is Associate Professor at Penn State University, and is also a life member of NIAASC)


Single Seniors Association:

In a recent advertisement in an Indian weekly newspaper, the announcement said “Need patrons to form an association for single seniors from India, which would serve as a platform for social/cultural get together, picnics, travel locally/nationally, support group and matters catering to the needs of single seniors for a happier and fuller life. Financially comfortable persons having own transportation, call 732-727-9456” or send E-mail to Romesh Tewari NIAASC welcomes this move of developing a single senior association.


(editorial note: Romesh Tewari is a NIAASC Board member and former treasurer. Since October 2004 NIAASC has been exploring the issue of single seniors in order to develop an appropriate strategy to address their unique problems and concerns. Dr. Bhanumathi Ivatury from Texas, along with Dr. Annie Koshi from New York, (both NIAASC life members) has taken a lead in that direction and they attended NIAASC Board meeting in April 2005 in New York. The spring 2005 issue of NIAASC newsletter covered this subject at length. Please review it at the NIAASC web site.)






The Nassau County Department of Senior Citizen Affairs (an Area Agency on Aging) requested Solution-Based issue paper for the above event. NIAASC submitted a paper on “Adaptation by Recent Seniors of Indian Origin in U.S.A.” Of the large number of papers submitted the department selected seven papers for presentation at the Hofstra University on June 15, 2005. The

paper submitted by NIAASC was one of the selected seven.

Mr. Rajeshwar Prasad, NIAASC Executive Director, presented

the paper. The event was attended by some 300 seniors and their

families, among them were NIAASC President, Dr. Ashwin

Pandya, Vice President, Mr. M.K.Ramasubramanian,  Secretary,

Satya Malhotra, Treasurer, Satpal Malhotra, and Tara Kotecha,

and Prem Prasad a Board member and life member respectively.

The conference was moderated by Dr. Sharon Mullen, Commissioner

of the Nassau County Department of Senior Citizen Affairs. The

 selected papers will be submitted to the White House Conference

on Aging (WHCOA) on October 23-26, 2005. The WHCOA takes

place once in ten years.

L to R: Prem Prasad, Satya Malhotra, Satpal Malhotra, Commissioner Mullon, R. Prasad, Pandya

Other six papers selected were: Teen-Elder Social Security Project by Adelphi University; Impact on Driving and Motor Vehicle Operation by National Center for Disabilities Services; Executive Function, Spiritual Perspective and Late Life Independence by LI University Center on Aging, C.W. Post Campus; Intervention Recommended for Improvement of Medicare Part D by Chairperson, subcommittee on Medicare Prescription Drug Act, Legislative Technical Advisory Committee; A Proposal to Protect Exempt Income from Interruption Futile Debt Collection Efforts by Nassau Suffolk Law Services Committee; and Caregiver Education, Skill-Building and Support Program by Adelphi University School of Social Work.


NIAASC's participation and presentation of a paper in response to the invitation by NASSAU County  bears  testimony  to the recognition  of  NIAASC's pivotal collaborative role  in  the  issues faced  by Indian seniors. Also the breadth of issues covered by other  institutions and associations mentioned  above  in  the proceedings of the conference,  gives  a rare  insight  into  HOW  such issues are perceived, documented  and addressed  by these  groups from  which we  hope every  reader of  this  Newsletter--be  it an  individual  or  organization serving  Indian  Seniors--could  draw  valuable insights from.
We urge you, readers, to  comment, elaborate  and let us  know  wherever pertinent  how these  issues  were faced and  addressed  by you.


THE NORTH AMERICAN BENGALI CONFERENCE – 2005 (NABC): The NABC Conference, reportedly attended by some 10,000 participants, had many different sessions during its July 1 –3, 2005 Silver Jubilee Celebrations. Among other organizational responsibilities Dr. Samir K. Dutta organized and moderated two sessions on Social Issues. Dr. Dutta, Vice President of NIAASC, presented a paper on ‘Issues, Aspirations and Options in Senior Years for Indo-Americans’ on July 2. Mr. Prasad was invited to speak on ‘Development, Mission, Objectives and Activities of NIAASC’ on the same day. The NIAASC President, Dr. Ashwin Pandya, attended the sessions on July 2, and 3. Other NIAASC Board members who attended the session(s) included Tara Kotecha, Sushila Gidwani-Buschi.and Prem Prasad. The above two presentations were complemented by a documentary ‘Neither Milk Nor Yogurt’ directed and produced by Arti Jain in California. The film portrayed the problems seniors of Indian origin face when they retire after living for a long time in USA. The film was true story of a widow who had lived in USA for forty years. The conference had major activities, including inauguration, at the Madison Square Garden in Manhattan and the above mentioned sessions were held at the New Yorker hotel just across the street from there.




THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDIAN ASSOCIATION (NFIA): In celebrating the 25th Anniversary on May 27-29, 2005, the NFIA, with a membership of over 200 organizations, had a session on ‘Delivery of Services to the Community – An Evaluation and What we need to do for the Future.’ Mr. Rajeshwar Prasad, NIAASC Executive Director, was invited to speak on the ‘Issues and Aspirations of Seniors of Indian Origin.’ Other speakers at the session included Ms. Theresa Thanjan, Director of Youth Solutions, Citizens for New York City; Dr. Sambhu Banik, Professor of Psychology, Bowie State University, Maryland; Ms. Ashwani Chowdhary, Board Member, SAKHI, New York City. The session was moderated by Ms. Sudha Acharya, Executive Director of South Asian Council for Social Services. The event took place at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Queens.

Section of the audience at the NFIA  workshop 

L to R: Chowdhary, Acharya, Prasad, Banik




The India Association of Long Island (IALI) held its seventh Senior

 Luncheon on Saturday, May 21, 2005, in collaboration with the

National Indo-American Association for Senior Citizens (NIAASC)

at the Sitar restaurant in Huntington. Barbara Nayyar, MS,. Specialist                                 

in Gerontology with extensive direct and supervisory experience in the

field delivered the keynote address on the subject ‘Psychological Changes

 in Seniors and How to Handle Them.’ The presentation was followed             L to R: Sampurna Jain, Barbara Nayyar

by a panel discussion moderated by Mr. Rajeshwar Prasad. Panelists      Kul Anand, Ashwin Pandya, Susan Harty

included Susan Harty, Director of Senior Program at the Town of Huntington, Dr. Ashwin Pandya, NIAASC President, Barbara Nayyar, Dr. Kul Annad, and Sampurna Jain, IALI President.




Sushila Gidwani-Buschi, NIAASC Board member and former vice president, attended the above conference. The meeting was organized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) New York Regional office at The New York Helmsley Hotel in Manhattan. It was a well-attended meeting and the presentations focused upon the forthcoming changes in the current Medicare and Medicaid services and how these changes will affect the Asian American community. The speakers included

Mr. James T. Kerr, Regional administrator, CMS Region II New York, welcome the group.

Ms, Judy Ah-Yuen, Director of Community Services, Chinese-American Planning Council,

Mr. Kwang S. Kim, Executive Director, Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York. described the existing composition of Asian American senior citizens and the diverse needs of this group depending upon whether the senior citizens came to the USA as retired individuals or they became senior citizens after working and living in the USA for many years. They found that net-working, media and collaboration are important to reach the community. He stressed the need of inter- organizational networking on the local, regional and national levels.

 The CMS group discussed elements of new Medicare and Medicaid program.

Dayle Berke, Health Insurance Specialist presented the details of the Medicare Part D,

Ms.Everett Lo from the Social Security Administration explained the subsidies available to low-income seniors under the program and the out-of-pocket expenses thresholds.

Ms.Laura Mulvahill from EPIC explained the availability of drug coverage benefits to low- income senior citizens under the program known as EPIC.

Reggie Staten, Director of Health Plan branch, CMS Region New York, discussed Medicare prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage Plans.

Frank M Winter, Health Insurance Specialist. CMS Region discussed the topic of the retirement options for retiree drug coverage under the new drug program.




A New York:

Senior Citizen Center of New York (Vaishnav Temple):

The Center meets every Saturday at the Vaishnav Temple. The temple has moved to a new location in Queens. For further information please contact Chandubhai Patel at 718-776-3619. Mr. Patel is also a NIAASC Board member.

India Association of Long Island  (423 Park Avenue, Huntington, NY)

The India Association of Long Island holds a monthly assembly for the benefit of seniors and their families at the Huntington Senior Citizen Center run by the Town Government of Huntington. The program is conducted on the fourth Saturday from 2:00 to 5:00 P.M. For more information you may contact Sunil Uppal at 631-499-3059 or Satya Malhotra at 516-333-8498 co chairs of Senior Citizen Committee of IALI.

The Hindu Temple Society of North America:  (Bowne Street, Flushing, Queens, NY)

The program for seniors is conducted every Wednesday from 10:00 to 3:00. It is held  at  the new  premises  dedicated  to Senior  Citizens  across  the  Street  opposite  to the Main  Temple  Complex. Flushing. For more information you may contact Mrs.. Nirmala Ramasubramanian at 718- 969-1827, who is also a life member of NIAASC

Senior Citizens Program by LI  Gujarati Cultural Society: ( 39 Montauk Highway, Blue Point, NY)

The program is held fifth Sunday of every month from 2:00 to 4:30 P.M. in Blue Point, Suffolk County. It is coordinated by Mr. Praful Shah, who is a also a life member of NIAASC.

Indian American Kerala Cultural & Civic Center Senior Program: ( 1824 Fairfax Street, Elmont)

The Kerala Center conducts the program on the last Monday of the month in the evening from 7:00 to 9:30. NIAASC works very closely with the Kerala Center. For more information you may call the Center at 516-358-2000.

Other Senior Programs

United Hindu Cultural Council Senior Center: (118-09 Sutter Avenue, South Ozone Park, NY)

Meets everyday Monday thru Friday 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. (funded by the Office of Aging, New York City), for further information, call 718-323-8900

Guru Gobind Singh Senior Center at Plainview Gurudwara (Old Country Road, Plainview, NY)

Meets every Thursday 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Program is coordinated by Mr. Ardaman Singh Madan.


B. New Jersey:

(Please let us know if you have or know of similar programs in your area and would like them to be identified by NIAASC in its newsletter. Please send us information about the schedule, contact person, and telephone number by sending E-mail to NIAASC@AOL.COM)

Annual Meeting of NIAASC


The Annual meeting of the National Indo-American Association for Senior Citizens will  be held on Saturday, October 29, 2005 from 10:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. at the Kerala Center, 1824 Fairfax Street, Elmont, Nassau County, New York. (Center’s telephone number 516-358-2000) The event will include presentations by various senior programs in the tri-state (NY,NJ,CT)  area about their activities for mutual benefit. There will be discussion on a pertinent issue related to seniors. There will also be an Awards ceremony to recognize eminent community leaders who have extensively contributed and committed to the cause of seniors. There will be breakfast, lunch, coffee/tea with snacks for all participants. Information about registration/sponsorship/collaborations will be posted on the Web site of NIAASC sometime in mid-September. NIAASC members are being informed with formal notification about the meeting and are also provided with the FY financial statement for April 1, 2005 – March 31, 2005, in this newsletter. Looking forward to seeing you at the Annual Meeting on October 29, 2005



EDITORIAL: Role of NIAASC as a Clearing House

NIAASC is pleased to present an inventory of activities for seniors that can be undertaken by different organizations. The list is in no way complete but it may be helpful for existing as well as emerging groups in planning AND CONDUCTING their activities for seniors in their communities.


Yoga exercises suitable for seniors                                   Intergenerational Communications & Conversation

Celebrations of Birthdays/Anniversaries                    Celebrations of National Holidays (viz. July 4th, August 15)

Exchanging Interested Life Experiences                           Celebration of Important Festivals (viz Diwali, Onam)

Picnics (preferably with other groups)                        Group Trips: Religious institutions/places of pleasure

Games: cards, bingo, chess, carom etc.                              Discussions on Intercultural related issues

Literary Discussions (Book Clubs & Poetry)                   English as a second Language

Music, Art and Painting                                                 Screening of special films/documentaries

Computer Learning (Beginners/Advanced)                      Participation in Health Fairs

Crossword Puzzles/Finding Words in Puzzles                Professional Consultation (Prescriptions – may be one to one)


In addition to above activities, talks and presentations by professionals on issues affecting seniors will be of immense help. Discussions be geared more as interactive so that seniors have full opportunity to participate. Subjects of interest are listed as: Services Available for Seniors and How to Procure them; Nutrition (may be with special focus on Indian food); Safety Tips (Heat & Cold); Identity Theft Precautions; Alternate Modes of Treatment (viz. Ayurvedic); Family Conflicts and Compromises; Domestic Abuse & Elder Abuse; Entitlement Programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SSI, also Discount Prescription Drug Benefit –Medicare Part D); Transportation Facilities (grocery, doctors etc.); End of Life Issues (Wills, Living Wills, Durable Power of Attorney, Health Proxy, Revocable/Irrevocable Trust, Asset Protection); Long Term Health Care; Financial Planning/Estate Planning; Senior Housing (Independent Retirement Communities, Assisted Living); Nursing Homes; Medical and Social Services; Insurance Counseling Services.


NIAASC has arranged conferences and workshops on many of the above subjects and proceedings of almost all of them are available on its web site: NIAASC will also urge different organizations to inform us of other activities or subjects which may be of interest to seniors. NIAASC has access to professional resources on the above issues to help organizations that provide services to seniors.


We at NIAASC are striving  very  hard  through  a variety  of  media  mentioned  in this  Newsletter (Conferences, newsletters, TV)  to elevate  and highlight  the concerns of an ever-increasing  segment  of  the Indian  Diaspora -- namely  the Seniors.  If these efforts are to be truly effective and fruitful at the NATIONAL level we need each one of you (either as an individual or as  an organization  that  you are  part  of)  to ACTIVELY COMMUNICATE  with  us  through any  medium  that  you  are comfortable  with and share  with  us  your activities,  achievements  and  concerns  so that  NIAASC  could  use  its  National  "reach"  and recognition  to disseminate  the  information  to other organizations like  yours, for  the  mutual  benefit  of  both .Lastly, NIAASC is not and is not intended to be a STAND-ALONE body independent of other organizations serving Indian  Seniors. OUR success and utility depends upon how effective a  "Catalyst" we can be in your organizations' life and activities. To this extent, this is a plea for your active cooperation and collaboration.

The cause of the Indian Seniors deserves nothing less!!!


This issue of newsletter has been primarily supported by Dr. Ashwin Pandya and Mr. MK Ramasubramanian. NIAASC Gratefully acknowledge their financial support. We look forward sponsors for the upcoming issues. Please let us know.