Roda Krishnan has been living in Nungambakkam High Road for years but she hardly knew her neighbours until the Canal Park on Haddows Road came about in 2005. The park, which was built over a sewage canal, has ever since been a meeting point for many. The locals who came here often formed the Haddows Park Club, which now has 170 members.
“We call ourselves Haddows Park family. The park has brought us together. The members conduct a host of activities. We celebrate every festival. On Independence and Republic Day we invite a chief guest to hoist the national flag. On Christmas, we decorate a christmas tree at the park,” says Roda, a long-time member of the club, who considers the park a green haven away from the chaos of the city. The club has also undertaken various initiatives. “We spoke to Corporation official and now we have two badminton courts, one for experienced players and another for amateurs. We also conduct Sahaja Yoga, which requires a lot of meditation,” says Roda. Being social conscious the members also contribute to various causes. “Before the end of the academic year, we collect money from the members and buy school bags for the students of Nungambakkam Corporation School. We also organised a blood donation camp recently,” says C.V. Vaidyalingam.
The club is a great place for senior citizen to meet and discuss. The members regularly organise pot luck lunches where they discuss the agenda for the month. “It’s a great support system. When someone falls sick, others run to ask after them. If there is wedding in someone’s house, others are there to help out. That’s what a family is all about.”
This article has been corrected for an editing error.