Exactly one month after Indra Roopnarine’s daughter, Nadya, died from a car crash, her niece, Shivani, succumbed to another vehicular accident. This double death in Indra’s family was enough tragedy to inhibit and demoralize others but not Indra who chose to transform those vicious hands dealt to her to initiate a culture of service to the less fortunate kids in our society.
No stranger to reaching out to the vulnerable in our society, Indra is a volunteer with the Radha Govind Society that is a branch of Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat of India. Only last year Indra spent a month at the Kripalu Maharaj’s Ashram in India where she did advanced training in Aryurvedic healing techniques and meditation. “Meditation has become part of my daily routine and it helps me to pursue my goal of service to the needy among us,” said Indra.
A graduate with vast experience in the medical field, Indra is a qualified dialysis technician, therapist and chiropractor. She has worked for twenty (20) years with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in Central America and for the last ten (10) years in Trinidad and Tobago.
Several orphanages – Ferdean’s Place in Point Fortin, Hope Center in Pointe-a-Pierre Road, San Fernando, Haven of Hope in Woodland, Happy Home for Children in La Brea and the JC McDonald Home, Independence Avenue, San Fernando- have received treat bags, groceries, toys, shoes, clothing, mattresses, and schoolbooks from Indra’s generosity.
“What is the source of funds for your outreach projects?” I asked. Indra indicated that “it comes from my family members, relatives and friends.” Her family is no stranger to making generous contributions to the public. Her father, Ramdeo Roopnarine, has provided lands, buildings and finance for the promotion of dharma. “My father was well-known for his contribution to several religious and cultural organizations. I am proud to follow in his footsteps,” said Indra.
Cyber Bullying Workshops
Indra sees the comfort of kids as critical to the future of the nation. Recognizing cyber bullying as a major challenge for young pupils in the secondary school system, Indra worked with Michael Dowlat, a former principal of Naparima Boys College and five specialists in cyberbullying from Miami, USA to conduct workshops at the San Fernando West Secondary School. “More than 2000 pupils drawn from six schools participated in those workshops,” Indra informed and added that “the workshops provided the participants with the tools to deal with cyber bullying.”
Indra observed that too many parents are too busy with work and providing the material resources for the kids that they fail to be aware of what are happening in the lives of their children. “Parents need to become integral to these workshops to help them better understand their boys and girls,” Indra opined. Indra remains hopeful that workshops and other social tools can equip our children to handle those unforeseen challenges.
Touching a Life Foundation for Kidz.
Touching a Life Foundation for Kidz started in 2010 as a service organization in memory of her daughter Nadya and her niece Shivani. “It was a tragic loss that I don’t wish on anyone,” said Indra. Both Nadya and Shivani were 19 years of age.
“I need to keep the memory of my daughter alive by serving those kids who are in need, hence my outreach to the orphanages,” said Indra. Service to humanity was also integral to the culture of her late husband, a medical practitioner. “My late husband was a dedicated worker who served his patients with care. Money was never foremost in his mind though he was outstanding in his profession.”
Under the banner of the Touch a Life Foundation for Kidz, Indra has planned a Charity Dinner & Cultural Evening on March 25 at the Divali Nagar, Chaguanas starting 5:30 p.m. Tickets are available at $300 each. For further info, contact Indra Roopnarine at 785-7773 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.