STAMFORD, Conn. (Diya TV) — Earlier this month, the Maheshwari Mahasabha of North America held its eighth annual biennial convention, where a lifetime achievement award was conferred on Hanuman Das Lahoti for his relentless efforts and service to the advancement of the Maheshwari community.
MMNA was founded in 1983 by a small number of Maheshwari families mainly in the North-East. MMNA now has on record over 1,000 families and now has ten regional chapters at various locations throughout North America.
Mridula Sinha, governor of Goa, was slated to be the chief guest, however, she was unable to attend. Instead, she sent a video message complimenting the work of MMNA in bringing the community together to keep Rajasthani sanskar present in America’s younger generation. Consul General of India in New York Riva Ganguly Das served as the event’s special guest of honor, he delivered a message of goodwill towards the community and looked forward to working with the community leaders.
Other guests included Vinod K. Agrawal, Special Chief Secretary, Govt. of Telangana, Govind Chandak, prominent businessman and Dr. Kamal Taori, retired IAS officer, who all delivered speeches to the assembled crowd.
MMNA President Parag Bajaj was given a special excellence in leadership award for his many initiatives including matrimonial website and for his inclusive leadership style.
The gathering attracted a rather large youthful presence — 120 of the 650 attendees were youth ages 21 to 35.
“We were pleasantly surprised with the number of youth who not only attended the convention this year, but also actively engaged in our RAYS (Rajasthanis Abroad Youth Samaj) events! After months of hard work and planning, this weekend definitely exceeded our expectations,” said Priya Malani Manchanda, President of RAYS.
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 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,” said Sodhani.