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Seniors Pray for Global Peace on Diwali Day!

Text By: Mahadev Desai
Pics.by: Tracy Marshall Productions


Diwali festival is one of the largest and most significant religious observances around the world with different meanings for different religious communities of Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, South Indians, North Indians, Nepalese, etc., respectively.

With Rama as the hero of the story of Diwali, it signifies the triumph of good over evil, of righteousness over treachery, of truth over falsehood, and of light over darkness. Diwali is also associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, and marks the beginning of the fiscal year in the western parts of India. In Sanskrit, Diwali literally means a row of Lights. For children, Diwali is lighting candles, having fun with fireworks and sparklers!

Volunteers at the Seniors Diwali Program



So what was Diwali this year for the elders of Georgia? As per the recent spirited celebration of Diwali by the Senior Citizens Program (SCP), all of the above!

SCP, in its 24th continuous years of existence, celebrated their annual Diwali with great joy and enthusiasm at the Ashiana Banquet Hall, Norcross, Georgia on Sunday, November 3, 2019. The stage was elegantly decorated with flowers, diyas, and a picture of Goddess Laxmi.

The program began with diya lighting and an uplifting aarti of Goddess Laxmi. Executive Director Raj Razdan welcomed all, especially thanking generous sponsorship of Vikas and Dolly Verma for their unflinching financial support every year since the inception of SCP in 1996.
In his brief remarks, Vikas Verma thanked Raj for commendably running the SCP since inception and for its phenomenal growth and wished all a very happy Diwali. He assured Raj of his ongoing support to the program.
Raj felicitated the Vermas with flower bouquets.

Raj Razdan with Volunteers at the Seniors Diwali Celebrations



As a member of the SCP, the writer can easily testify to the success story and growth of SCP. From a meager membership of 30 seniors to a mailing list of 600 with average attendance to its monthly events of over 150! Kudos!

The program began with a brief presentation through Harry Mehra and Karen of North Point Wealth Management/ForeCare about retirement and insurance planning. Raj thanked them and presented them with flower bouquets.

It was show time for entertainment. While the attendees were enjoying appetizers, Ramanbhai Patel, Shobhnaben Shukla, Kalpanaben Dave, Ramesh Shah, Darshan Kaur, took turns to entertain them with nostalgic Bollywood hits, uplifting bhajans, poems, and jokes.

Pallaviben Patel, a well-known and talented dancer teamed with her proficient student Hina Ferrell in a scintillating dance to the song “Taal se taal mila”. Hina Ferrrell recited a poem in praise of her dance-guru and close friend Pallaviben.

Dance by Pallavi Patel and Hina Ferrell



Yoga practitioner Rajveer Singh, a farmer from India, demonstrated and explained benefits of a few Pranayama asanas like Anulom/Vilom, Kapalabhati, and Ujjayi pranayamas and its importance for good health, especially during golden years!
Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation's representative Ranchhodbhai Lakha provided a brief overview of EVF and its upcoming fundraiser “Ekal se Taal Mila ke Jhoom” at Mountain view High School, Lawrenceville, on Dec.15, 2019.

Birthday Celebration of Seniors. ( pic. by Mahadev Desai)


The cheerful cake cutting ceremony marked the birthdays and anniversaries of all the SCP members born in November. The gathering cheerfully sang “Tum jeeyo hazaron saal” as a cake was cut to mark the birthdays of Sharad Shah, Ranchhodbhai Lakha, K.C.Shah, Mansukhbhai Patel, Aswinbhai Patel, Swarn Arora, Bhulabhai Patel, Sumanben Parikh, Divyaben Panchal, Shantaben Patel and Bhartiben Amin. Sharad Bhai’s wife Anjana read a poem, and wished happy Diwali to all.

Ravindra Dave, Dr. Subhash Joshi, Hemantbhai Shah and Harshad Shah (who also managed the sound system) regaled the audience with more popular and evergreen songs.

Raj and Dolly Verma felicitated Atlanta journalist and SCP’s long time member Mahadev Desai and Atlanta’s proficient photo/videographer, mental health advocate and social worker Tracy Marshall for their outstanding service to the community with flower bouquets.

 

Vikas Verma delivers remarks.

The program ended with a sumptuous Diwali lunch. In the tradition started by Vikas and Dolly Verma, seniors were presented with mouthwatering ladoos for Diwali festival.

Raj thanked dedicated long time volunteers Shashi Sidhaye Isha Goyal, Chinti Bali, Minesh Modi, Dolly Verma, Nivedha Dave, Nikki Dedani, Madhu Gupta, Darshan Kaur, Mahendra Shah, Nalini Gandhi and many others for their commitment and devotion in service of the elders of the Georgia community.

Song by Darshan Kaur at Seniors Diwali Program

 

Felicitation of Tracy Marshall by Dolly Verma ands Raj Razdan

 

Yoga demonstration by Rajveer Singh



SCP provides seniors a free forum for camaraderie and exchange of knowledge. Monthly events include picnics, movies, celebrations of Valentine Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, India’s Independence Day, religious events like Mata ki Chowki, etc. SCP’s devotion and service to the community is highly commendable and indeed appreciated!

Despite its rich religious connotations, the global journey of Diwali continues with high spirits and undiminished resolve with the hope of spreading the light of goodness, generosity and above all, the triumph of righteousness.

 

 

' Nov-15-2019