First Indian American retirement community ShantiNiketan comes up in Florida

Brainchild of Indian American entrepreneur Iggy Ignatius.

An aerial view of the phase 1 and 2 of the project. Photo credit: http://www.shantiniketan-us.com/
An aerial view of the phase 1 and 2 of the project. Photo credit: http://www.shantiniketan-us.com/

By Raif Karerat

WASHINGTON, DC: When Indian American businessman Iggy Ignatius began to consider retirement, he first assumed he would be returning to India, the land of his birth. However, “after spending most of his adult years studying, living, and working in America, plus the fact that his children and grandchildren were all in the U.S., he found that retiring to India was not practical,” according to NBC News.

In order to mitigate the issue, Ignatius created ShantiNiketan Retirement Resorts, the first Indian American retirement community in the United States.

Located in Tavaren, Florida, about an hour from Orlando, ShantiNiketan is a gated community with 174 condominiums for Indian Americans over the age of 55. It features vegetarian Indian meals  — including Jain meals and low salt meals — served every day for lunch and dinner, multi-faith prayer rooms and daily bhajans, 20 Indian television channels, high speed internet, and communal space for activities that include yoga, meditation, Bollywood films, lectures, games, and celebrations of Indian festivals like Diwali and Holi, reported NBC.

According to its website, ShantiNiketan “is based on the philosophy that as one ages they would like to have their own food and be around people who speak their own native language.”

“We have the best of both worlds,” resident Ashutosh Bhatt said, “Indian culture, activity, and American technology and amenities.”

Expansion is on the agenda and investors are being sought for New Jersey, the California Bay Area, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, and Washington D.C., as well as a subsidized ashram to take care of low-income Indian American retirees.

 

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