Maheshwari Mahasabha of North America (MMNA) held its 9th Biennial Convention, the International Maheshwari Rajasthani Convention (IMRC), at the Marriott in Santa Clara, California, from June 30 to Maheshwari Mahasabha of North America (MMNA) held its ninth biennial convention, International Maheshwari Rajasthani Convention (IMRC), at Santa Clara Marriott from June 30th through July 3rd 2018. The convention is a forum to celebrate and preserve Rajasthani culture as well as to foster relationships within the relatively small Maheshwari community living in North America.
Over 750 attendees from North America and around the globe congregated in the heart of Silicon Valley. This grand event was engineered by our innovative team of 100+ volunteers who worked relentlessly over 15 months planning all the details. The host committee was led by Vijayshri Choudhary – Convener, Anand Daga and Vrushali Tapadiya – Co-conveners, Devu Heda – Chapter President, Swapnil Laddha – Chapter Vice President, and Vandana Daga – Sakhi Chair with support from Sureshji Deopura, Chapter Mentor and MMNA Board of Trustee.
Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok (Consul General of India – San Francisco) and Mayor Lisa Gillmor (Santa Clara), graced the opening ceremony by lighting diyas (lamps). Distinguished guests speakers included Padma Bhushan Shri Ved Nanda, Shri Ramesh Partani from Akhil Bharatvarshiya Maheshwari Mahasabha, along with eminent business leaders from MMNA community including Shri. Suresh Deopura, Shri Pratik Gattani, and Shri Vasant Rathi as well as Smt Snehal Mantri from India. Shri Vimal Sodhani was felicitated with the Lifetime Achievement award for his contributions to MMNA.
“Each and every one of us have been blessed with a uniqueness (a gift), representing a different aspect of the Brahman. Our purpose in life is to utilize that uniqueness in the service of others. This is the shortest path to the Divine.” said Vimal Sodhani.
During the three day event, attendees were able to engage in a variety of social and cultural activities, enjoy delicious ethnic cuisine, and participate in intellectually stimulating workshops and networking events. Participants gained from breakout sessions focused on health, wellness, technology, investment, life planning, and social causes catering to different ages and interests.
The youth group, RAYS, orchestrated cultural discussions as well as personal and professional networking sessions. They mentored and facilitated discussions for junior RAYS (13-20 years of age) to make them better appreciate the Rajasthani culture and help them navigate through high school and college life.
Other MMNA’s key initiatives such as Sakhi, Business & Entrepreneurship Track (BET), Philanthropy, Matrimonial, Education and Rajasthani Abroad Senior Samaj, also played a role in formulating educational workshops. MMNA members showed their generosity by donating $65K for educational assistance and youth development programs during a brief fundraiser.
Prince Bhojwani, RAYS Co-President said, “The mission for RAYS is to form connections among Marwari youth living in North America through shared culture and heritage. We connect almost 400 Maheshwari youth across the country by hosting annual events. By raising funds, RAYS will be able to do double down on this mission by creating a world class mentorship program, assist communities connected to our members, and sponsor the wide array of non-profit projects started by our youth.”
“Six dynamic industry leaders of Maheshwari background spoke on wide ranging topics, from the challenges and joy of the start-up journey, to highlighting business opportunities made possible by emerging cutting-edge technologies.” – Raj G. Asava, BET Chair.
IMRC 2018 cultural team’s vision instilled an added sense of pride with Rajasthan and India. The host chapter team’s tribute to India and its diversity on the opening night triggered patriotic sentiments with the audience. The cultural highlight for the next day included scintillating Rajasthani folk dance, Kalbeliya, performed by Aakansha Maheshwari’s group. For the finale gala night, Ravi Jakhotia, otherwise known around the world as DJ RAVIDRUMS, along with stellar music band Dhwani, turned the ballroom into a concert hall.
Vikas Bhutada, President of MMNA summed up the event as, “I believe that I can speak for almost everyone here when I say that IMRC2018 was one of the most memorable experiences of my lifetime. A big Thank you to the West Coast North Chapter – the conveners, volunteers, participants, guest speakers, and the list goes on. Thank you for making this weekend unforgettable for our community and for the generations to come.”
MMNA is a 34-year old non-profit organization with 4000+ members across 10 chapters in USA and Canada. MMNA’s mission is to create a spirit of cohesiveness and camaraderie among all sharing the bond of a common ancestry. MMNA promotes togetherness and social welfare through its ten chapters across North America.