Seniors Forum & Emergency Preparedness Program
OKA EMERGENCY AWARENESS PROGRAM RUN BY VOLUNTEERS FROM ONTARIO KONKANI COMMUNITY
The Emergency Preparedness Program (EPP) is one of the eight programs identified during the Focus Group Meeting held on April 23, 2017. The aim of this program is to create an emergency awareness and be ready for an eventuality. Emergency may vary from an unexpected event that requires help and/or support to, a death in the family. The program is run by volunteers and participation is voluntary.
This program is not just for the seniors, it is for all. As a matter of fact, youth who have parents, grandparents, spouses or siblings will find this program very helpful.
The program will be launched on Sunday August 18, 2019 at 10:00 AM at the SVBF Community Centre, 80 Brydon Drive, Etobicoke. The details to follow.
THIS EVENT IS FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL OKA MEMBERS AND WE ENCOURAGE ALL TO ATTEND.
To register and/or to give suggestions/comments, please send an email to
We can also be contacted @
Phone (437) 886-5475
EPP HAS THE FOLLOWING ELEMENTS.
Coordinators: Ashok and Amita Bhatt supported by Raghunath Kamath.
Aim is to help community members to build their own emergency kits that will include important/critical information and documents that will become handy during emergency, especially, after a death in the family. The focus of this team is also to develop a personal emergency information checklist and provide a suitable kit and/or process to store relevant information.
Coordinators: Jayesh and Gayatri Nayak supported by Murali and Neeta Nayak.
The focus is to develop a central repository of relevant information/links including government/ nongovernment services, legal matters, priests, funeral homes, etc.
GTA East: Shivdas and Sheetal Pai supported by Bina Kamath, Dinesh Shenoy and Divakar Shenoy.
GTA West: Sudhir and Sumana Nayak supported by Niranjan Kamath, Jayesh Nayak, Kash Nayak and Shashi Nayak.
Teams will be ready to provide information and/or support in case of an emergency including a death in the family.
Coordinators: Dr. Nikhil and Nisha Pai
who will assist in developing, implementing and monitoring the program as well as maintaining communication line with the young adults in our community.
Coordinators: Sadanand and Suvarna Mankikar
Are responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring the program with the help of the above mentioned teams.
Long Term Caregivers
Funeral Pre-Planning Option
- Pre-arranging – Providing type and details of the funeral in advance. 90% decisions to be made done in advance. Does not involve any form of payment in advance , so none of the financial benefits apply
- Paying in full – Paying in full at todays cost. Funds held by 3rd party financial instituion to generate fixed rate of interest. Family is guaranteed not to pay more for the funeral chosen. Excess fund returned to family/estate
- Time Payments– Do not have to pay in full. Payment over 1 to 20 years. Insured against premature death in case the person passes away before the plan is fully paid.
- If a death should occur while out of town or out of Canada , brining a loved one back home can be a complicated and expensive process
- Travel protection can take care of the arrangements and incidentals
- One toll free call is all it takes to begin the process of brining the person home
- Travel companion feature allows the traveling companion to return home with the mortal remains
What to do when someone dies
Priests/Pundits in the GTA
OKA members are free to consult with any priest. Following are some of the priests we are familiar with.
- Ved. Pandit Soukur Dinkar Bhat (Konkani bhat normally in Canada from April to Sep): Tel No. 416-826-5948
- Vidwan Ramkrishn Bhat, SVBF Temple: Tel No. 647-707-5727Ved. Suryanarayan Bhat, Udupi Vrindavan Tel: 416-548-4138
- Ved. Suryanarayan Bhat, Udupi Vrindavan Tel: 416-548-4138
- Sanjay Acharya: Tel No. 416-909-2427
Transport the Human Remains
Check with any other national/international airlines for their specific requirements
GTA East End
Seniors Forum is a socio-cultural Program for Ontario Konkani Seniors.
Since July 2016, the OKA Seniors Forum has been functioning under the umbrella of Ontario Konkani Association. The goal of the Forum is to develop and implement sociocultural programs which will help the seniors and soon to be seniors in the community to prepare for and adapt to the changes.
Primary Coordinators: Sadanand and Suvarna Mankikar
1. Interactive forum for seniors and support: We have launched OKA Aadhar Chat to share information, events, and ask questions within the community. Lead: Shraddha Pai
2. Information sessions/workshops/seminars/webinars: This program improves community knowledge on health, legal, financial planning and important services available for seniors from governments and communities. Lead: Sadanand Mankikar
3. Social Activities: This program organizes regular outings, networking opportunities, and get-togethers for the seniors. Lead: Mahesh Nileshwar
4. Technical Support: Seniors can learn how to navigate new and emerging technology i.e. computers, smartphones, etc from those more tech-savvy in the community. Lead: Minakshi Pai and Kartik Kulkarni
5. Carpool: Community members needing rides to/from OKA events can now co-ordinate this through a single person. Lead: Ajay Rao
6. Buddy system: Seniors who would benefit from routine phone or in-person contact can now have a “buddy” or contact point in the community. We have a bank of volunteers ready to provide support. Lead: Shraddha Pai
7. Emergency awareness: During a crisis, having a complete medical and non-medical emergency kit and information for contacts (within or outside the community) can improve how the situation is handled. This program has a central repository of information on relevant resources (e.g. priest contact numbers, funeral homes, legal matters, government services etc.) Leads: Sadanand and Suvarna Mankikar
- Eventuality/Survivor’s Kit: Lead – Ashok and Amita Bhat supported by Raghunath Kamath (RK)
- Emergency Preparedness Support:
Lead –East End:Shivdas & Sheetal Pai. supported by Ashok Goundalkar, Dinesh Shenoy, Gurunath Pai, Bina and Nagesh Kamath and Divakar Shenoy
Lead – West End:Sudhir Nayak supported by Niranjan Kamath, Surekha Shenoy, Shashikant Nayak, Kashinath Nayak and Jayesh Nayak
- Medical and Non-medical Information Access: Lead: Jayesh Nayak and Murali Nayak
- Youth/Young Adult Communication/Coordination: Lead: Nisha Pai and Dr. Nikhil Pai
With the help of active volunteers between the ages of 10 to 80 from our Konkani community, the Forum has hosted a wide range of workshops & webinars, including health awareness, estate planning and end of life planning. Please visit our YouTube channel to see a sample of these events
Compiled by Sadanand Mankikar
Who is an emergency coordinator?
An emergency coordinator (EmCo) is a person who, at the request of an individual or a family in an emergency caused by
b) Any unforeseen or unexpected eventuality
will assist that individual / family to attend to and handle the situation.
Who are the EmCos?
Visit the EP Coordinators tab for the detailed list of contacts.
Are the EmCos supported by a team?
Yes, visit EP Coordinators tab. Volunteers with relevant experience and knowledge who would like to help, contact the EP Coordinator at oka-epp@ontario-konkanis
What is the key role of an EmCo?
The key role of an EmCo is to provide all the necessary information and assistance which an individual/family may need during the emergency. This information/assistance may be related to the Funeral homes or Pundit/priest for the rituals or contacting people or giving company etc.
When a request is received from an individual/family, the EmCo will either handle the call personally or will liaise with another EmCo or the substitute. For example, if a person living in the West calls an EmCo in the East, the EmCo in the East will approach the EmCo or his teammates in the West and vice versa or will handle it personally.
Is the role of an EmCo just to provide information?
The primary role of an EmCo is to provide information/guidance to the individual/family during an emergency. However, on a need basis or on request from the family members, the EmCo may assist the family members with some of the formalities or mobilize people to support the individual/family. On request, the EmCo will assist the family during the funeral service.
Is it necessary for the families contacting the EmCos to go only with the options provided by the EmCo?
No. The EmCos have information, based on the experience of other OKA members. The information they provide is just indicative or should be used as guidance. The family members are free to use Funeral homes or Pundits or any other services of their choice.
Will the EmCo swing into action voluntarily without being asked for help?
No. OKA members will be made aware of the EmCos and their roles through OKA web and other communication channels. The EmCos will act or provide information once help is sought by the individual/family members. In exceptional cases where the family members are in a state of shock or do not know what to do next, the EmCo may offer help.
What are the legal liabilities of OKA-EPP and people associated with this program?
The EmCo and the team members are volunteers without any monitory benefit. Their role is to only provide information and/or support to the best of their ability and knowledge. OKA-EPP Team and volunteers are not legally responsible for any damages or inconveniences caused by the assistance and/or services provided.
Can an individual/ family in need of assistance, reach out to the EmCos during any time of the day?
The EmCos can be reached 24/7, 365 days. If the primary contact cannot be reached, alternative/backup contact mentioned in question # 3 can be reached.
Can people outside OKA contact the emergency coordinators?
The OKA-EPP is a value-added program exclusively for the benefit of OKA members. However, OKA member including OKA-EPP Team members may extend kindness or help on their own to anyone.
Are the OKA-EPP services available to people living outside the GTA and surrounding area?
Efforts will be made to provide information/support to anyone who approaches the Team.
When you’re getting your estate in order, there are many accounts, policies, documents, and other information to organize-and the list of to-dos can quickly become overwhelming. But our ultimate planning checklist will help you get organized painlessly. Putting all your most important information into an Eventuality/Survivor’s Kit will relieve a big burden on your family if anything should happen to you-and you can relax knowing that they’re taken care of.
We have attempted to come up with the easiest method for creating a centralized document or set of files that you could share with your family and friends and keep updated regularly. We’ve created the Kit just for this purpose.
You can also use this as a guide to start securely storing and sharing all the information listed
- Estate Planning & Inventory – revise periodically as and when needed
- Executor’s checklist
- Estate Planning – 10 step checklist
- Estate Planning – Your Record Keeper – Your Record Keeper
- Incapacity – Planning Ahead – Planning Ahead Help
- Estate Death Taxes – Death and Taxes
As a part of the Emergency Preparedness Program (EPP), OKA Seniors Forum has developed survivor’s kits/pouches (see attached). These kits will include information on Estate Planning, End of Life Planning, and important numbers such as for OKA EPP Support System, priests, lawyers, etc. Other personal documents/information such as access to safety deposit boxes, passwords, bank account numbers and other references can be also stored safely in these kits so they will become handy during emergencies including death. These kits including shipping from India were financially supported by Raghunath Kamath (RK).
We plan on delivering one kit per family on request. Additional kits of different sizes may be purchased at a nominal cost. Those who wish to receive a kit, are requested to contact Sadanand Mankikar at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.