The Maheshwari Mahasabha of North America, founded in 1983 by a small number of Maheshwari families mainly in the Northeast, held its 8th biennial convention at Stamford Hilton, in Stamford, Conn., from July 1-4.
Riva Ganguly Das, consul general of India in New York, the event’s special guest of honor, delivered a message of goodwill towards the community and said she looked forward to working with the community leaders.
A lifetime achievement award was given to Hanuman Das Lahoti of Detroit, Michigan, for dedicated lifetime service and for helping in the advancement of the Maheshwari community, the report said.
“We were pleasantly surprised with the number of youth who not only attended the convention this year, but also actively engaged in our Rajasthanis Abroad Youth Samaj events! After months of hard work and planning, this weekend definitely exceeded our expectations,” Priya Malani Manchanda, president of RAYS, was quoted as saying.
Diya TV, a South Asian broadcast TV network reported that other guests included Vinod K. Agrawal, special chief secretary, Telangana government and Govind Chandak, a prominent businessman who addressed the crowd.
MMNA President Parag Bajaj was given a special excellence in leadership award for his many initiatives, including launching a matrimonial website and for his inclusive leadership style.
The report said that Mridula Sinha, governor of Goa who was slated to be the chief guest, could not make it but set a video message complimenting the work of MMNA in bringing the community together to keep Rajasthani culture present in America’s younger generation.
In response to the youth turnout, one of the founding members of MMNA, Vimal Sodhani of Sodhani Foundation, declared a major initiative to assist MMNA in providing seed money to develop young entrepreneurs, the Diya TV reported.
The foundation plans to donate $100,000 each year to MMNA. “I felt that there is great potential of developing a few of our youths as entrepreneurs by helping them financially,” Sodhani was quoted as saying. MMNA has an existing educational fund that has helped needy students. Over $40,000 was raised during the convention to augment this fund, according to news reports.