01-01-2018 Hari Om Mandir celebrates New Year with Akhand Ramayan Path
Chicago IL: January 1st 2018 started off with a Bang in the premises of Hari Om Mandir, Medinah, IL. Huge crowds gathered in the Temple to seek Blessings from God Almighty on this auspicious day, and prayed for a healthy, wealthy and prosperous Year ahead. Unlike the tradition from past years, (Akhand Ramayan Path), HOM, this year, had organized “Sunderkand Path” on the 1st of January. Singers from India, along with Chicago Land Tabla Maestro, Puran Dada Vyas, recited the Path and mesmerized the Congregation with their soulful singing.
Despite the frigid cold weather, severe wind chills, negative temperatures, almost 500 Devotees attended the program! The Hall was full to capacity and people waited patiently in long lines, to offer flowers in the lotus feet of Hanuman Ji and seek His Blessings on this very first Day of the New Year.
The Mandir was beautifully decorated with Buntings, dazzling Streamers, Banners, Flowers, Bellsetc to enhance the ambience for the celebrations. As the Devotees walked in, Pandit Raghuvir Ji welcomed everyone with the auspicious Tilak on the forehead, Hanuman Ji Sash around the neck, and handed over the Holy Path Book to sing along.
In Hari Om Mandir, the 1st of January, is also a day of administrative activity. The 2 Boards – Executive Board (EB) and Board of Trustees (BOT) that run the show all year round, are introduced to the general Congregation. It is time to honor and acknowledge the services of the outgoing Members who have completed their term, and welcome aboard New Members, who will be taking charge and serving the community in 2018.
Once again, for the 3rd consecutive year, Mr. Vipan Wadhera was re-elected as the President of the Executive Board. He thanked ALL his team Members for their continued support throughout the year. A Plaque was awarded – to the outgoing Member – Anita Rawal, for her outstanding services as a Secretary on the Board. Amidst great applause and a warm welcome, the other board members were introduced: Ramesh Bhardwaj- Vice President, Indu Wadhwa- Secretary, A.G.Mohansunder-Treasurer, Ashok Sharma-Publication, Gopal Tiwari-Inside Property Management, Madhu Gupta- Outside Property Management, Dinesh Patel- Special Events and Shubh Sharma- Food and Prasad. Mr. Vipan Wadhera also gave a glimpse of the upcoming New Programs in 2018, and also appealed for more Young Volunteers to come forward and help in serving the Community.
Mr. Satpal Salwan, Chairman Board of Trustees, also congratulated the EB Team for a successful 2017, when several programs had been organized and the Temple was on the right path of Growth and Service to the Community. Plaques were also awarded to the outgoing Members who had completed their Term serving on the Board of Trustees. Citations in honor of their dedicated services were read out for Mr. MahenderaThakkar, Naveen Paul, Ram Verma and Subhash Sharma. He introduced Brij Sharma as Vice Chairman and Mohan Karamchandani as Secretary along with Chandru Bhojwani, Dr. Anand Lal, Satish Chander, Krishan Tejpal and Upma Hardy as other board members.
As Guardian of the Temple, Mr. Ayodhia Salwan also wished everyone a Happy New Year and prayed to God Almighty for the wellbeing of ALL the members of our Hari Om Parivar and the Society in general.
A grand Lunch, sponsored by the Salwan Family/Star foods was served after the Program. “Bhature Channa” – a very sumptuous and appropriate Hot North Indian Meal on a cold day, along with hot Masala Tea, was very welcome and relished by everybody. People exchanged greetings, good wishes, embraced each other, wishing for peace and wellbeing of all mankind.