Vishnu Mandir holds light for seniors

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Dr Budhendra Doobay of Vishnu Mandir (at podium) addressing the audience at the Mandir's Diwali Gala on October 18 at the Pearson Convention Centre. Others in picture, from left, are Mr Peter Kent MP, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs, Mr Steve Gupta who received this year's Dharam Veer Award and Mr Harinder Tahkar MPP, Mississauga/Erindale. (Photo by Rishma Lucknauth)

In the spirit of Diwali, the Vishnu Mandir has brought light into the homes and lives of many seniors beginning with a Diwali Gala and Fundraiser intended to generate funding for its new Senior’s Retirement Home to be erected in the spring of next year.

The occasion was presented in the true meaning of Diwali, equipped with a lamp lighting ceremony conducted by Dr. Budhendra Doobay, president of the Voice of Vedas Cultural Sabha, Inc. and dignitaries including Dave Marrow, Mayor of Richmond Hill and Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs. The gala’s main purpose, which was held the day after Diwali on October 18th at the Pearson Convention Centre, was to raise funds for the Seniors Home which the VOV Cultural Sabha has made rapid advancements in establishing. According to the organization, “Once completed we would see the happy seniors at the doorstep of Vishnu Mandir enjoying the lag of their lifespan when they need the utmost care and lovingness.”

During his presentation to the crowd Mr. Krishna Misir, executive vice president of the VOV Cultural Sabha, stated that the establishment is “on budget and on schedule.” The Seniors Home, to be called “Anand Bhavan”, will provide a home for 40 seniors, a crisis centre and a trained psychologist in addition to all living necessities. Special awards were given to Mr. Steve Gupta who received this years Dharam Veer Award and to Mr. Vasu Chanchlani, recipient of the Dharam Rakshak award. Both honorees were recognized for their generous donations and social contributions to numerous charitable organizations.

Entertainment for the evening consisted of an outstanding acrobatic troupe, Bollywood dances by the Vishnu Mandir Youth Group and Bollywood Fusion dance troupe and a classical dance performance by Reshmi Chetram. Also on the agenda was a bhangra dance rendition and a live performance by tabla player Ganesh Tanwade whose drumming talents highlighted the rich culture and traditions of Hinduism as he played for the duration of the evening’s feast. He was joined by his student Neil Budnarain.

Along with the Seniors Home, plans have already been implemented for the installation of a 20-seat cosmic theater in the Cultural Sabha’s Canadian Museum of Hindu Civilization. As described by the organization, it will illuminate the story of creation and “will link the compatibility of the Vedic teachings, Hindu philosophy and mythology with the theories and discoveries of modern science in physics and astronomy”. Once installed, it will be the central element of the museum and Canada’s only cosmic theatre.

The Voice of the Vedas Cultural Sabha currently houses a Montessori school, library, museum, banquet hall, music academy, a youth group and yoga classes. By mid next year, it will add the Seniors Home and the cosmic theatre to its list of components along with “Meeting with the Gods”, a special exhibit contributed by the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.

With continued growth through it’s unity and the support of it’s devotees and contributors, the Vishnu Mandir has grown exponentially since it’s inception in 1979 and will continue to grow as a genuine expression of Hinduism in Canada.

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Indo-Caribbean World, October, 28, 2009

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