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 July 3.
Hosted by the MMNA’s West Coast – North chapter, with the theme of Rangilo Rajasthan, Suneharo San Francisco and Anokho IMRC 2018, the convention was a forum to celebrate and preserve Rajasthani culture as well as to foster relationships within the relatively small Maheshwari community living in North America.
More than 750 attendees were at the convention which was engineered by an innovative team of more than 100 volunteers.
The convention was also attended by the Consul General of India in San Francisco, Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok, and Mayor of Santa Clara Lisa Gillmor along with
Padma Bhushan Ved Nanda, Ramesh Partani from Akhil Bharatvarshiya Maheshwari Mahasabha, Suresh Deopura, Pratik Gattani, Vasant Rathi and Snehal Mantri.
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,” Sodhani said.
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.
The youth group, RAYS, orchestrated cultural discussions as well as personal and professional networking sessions while they mentored and facilitated discussions for junior RAYS between the ages of 13 and 20, to make them appreciate the Rajasthani culture even more 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.
“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,” said Prince Bhojwani, the Co-President of RAYS.
“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,” said Raj G. Asava, the BET Chair.
“It was an amazing experience to participate in the IMRC at Santa Clara. The Maheshwari community in the US has kept itself rooted to its culture and traditions through the MMNA activities so well. The energy was high, participation was marvelous, an unforgettable experience,” said Ramesh Partani, who came from India for the convention.
“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,” said Vikas Bhutada, the President of MMNA, summing up the event.