Shikshayatan Cultural Center, a Flushing-based prestigious educational and cultural center celebrated its 27th anniversary with great patriotic fervor and Diwali festival spirit. The program was held in the Community hall of The Hindu Temple Society of North America in Flushing and the program was well appreciated by one and all. Many men and women with lamp (deep) in their right hand inaugurated this event.

The lighting of the lamp (deep prajvalan ceremony) was done by Pandit Sanjeev Mishra of Hanuman Temple, Hillside Avenue, Queens. Shikshayatan students were blessed by Pandit ji and he started the program with Vedic Mantra chanting.

The first half of the cultural show was all about displaying the talents of the hardworking and dedicated Shikshayatan students, ranging from the ages 8 to 65 years old. The performances were very well received due to their varieties.

The program started with the Devanjali -Prayers to lord Ganesh, Mother Saraswati and Guru by Kavita and Shivani. They recited Sanskrit shlokas. Kavita sang Raag, Jayjayawanti and Meera bhajan “Baso mere nainan mei nandlal” and  the famous patriotic song, Vande Mataram.

The most entertaining item was bhajan sung and played on keyboard by Shivani. 8 years old Shivani also sang Raag Marwaa with confidence  All the performances were worthy of praise.

Our senior student Manohar played raag Bhairavi on violin with ease. Shikshayatan’s title song for peace was sung by Kavita and Purnima ji

Special attraction was Sanskrit language spoken by our Sanskrit student Srikar Vadula recited Chapter 12 of Srimad bhagvad Geeta, spoke in Sanskrit about Dewali Festival and conversed in Sanskrit with his guru Purnima ji which was very much appreciated by our Chief Guest Hon. NYC Council Women Elizabeth S. Crowley.

The second half of the program was performed by highly professional artists.

American National Anthem was sung by Kirti Shukla.

Dr. Raj Bhayani spoke about Shikshayatan’s contribution, achievements and continuous efforts in spreading Indian culture to young and adults for 27 years non-stop.

A  renowned vocalist from Kolkata Santanu Bhowmick accompanied by Tapan Modak on tabla and Sayduzzaman Rid on Octopad sang few melodious songs and thrilled the audience.

Dr. Smita Guha sang famous poet RabindranathTagore’s Hindi version song “Jodi Tore” and another Hindi song with her sweet voice.

Suresh Ketwaroe sang two beautiful songs on his Guitar and he too mesmerized the audience.

An eminent Bharatnatyam dancer Sridhar Shanmugam ji performed dance on Shiv Panchaakshar stotram with full of grace.

Extra ordinary Kathak dances were performed by Pandit Krishan Mohan and Rachana Sinha who stole the show by their heart felt footwork and gestures. An eminent Sitar player Abhik Mukherjee and famous tabla player Narendra Budhakar accompanied Kathak master Pandit Krishan ji with full enthusiasm and grace.

A Poetry Recital to promote Hindi was organized. Dr. Bindeshwari Aggarwal, Anand Ahuja Esq, Neena Wahi, Sushma Malhotra, Ashok Singh, Dr. Mangala Sand and Purnima Desai a recited their original poems in Hindi and audience truly appreciated their poems.

ABHYUDAYA 2015 – MOUTHPIECE OF SHIKSHAYATAN was also released on the occasion.

Purnima ji thanked all the advertisers, supporters, participants, parents and the wonderful audience.

Special recognition awards were given to distinguished people in the field of philosophy, education, fine arts, literature and community services etc. Roger Sengupta of a big organization “Celebrations” presented a precious pin  with Rabindranath Tagore picture and honored Purnima ji’s community services.

Recognition awards to all the students of Shikshayatan were given. Kavita Mahabir, Shivani Panchal, Manohar and Srikar Vadula received Trophies from our Chief Guest Hon. NYC Council Woman Elizabeth S. Crowley

Mahaprasad: was sponsored by Shikshayatan Prasadalaya.

Shikshayatan honored Our Chief Guest: Hon. NYC Council Woman Elizabeth S. Crowley.

Special Guest: Hon. Uma Sengupta -Democratic District Leader

Distinguished guests included  Consul General of Nepal: His Excellency Mr. Narayan Mainali, Bharat Goradia, Shivangi Maini – Miss Bollywood, Swami Paramanand, Dr. Hari Shukla, Kirti Shukla, Ushir Pandit Durant , Prof. Saluja, Ravi Batra, Roger Sengupta, Dr. Raj Bhayani, Michael Sillert, Sumita Kaufhold, Amit Parikh and many more.

Many dignitaries, diplomats, and distinguished community leaders attended this event and blessed Shikshayatan. Their presence was inspiring and was much appreciated.

Volunteers received very special thanks. Rosa Mori, Niranjan Row, Sangeet Sharma, Kirit Parikh, Butala Emporium, Arish Sawhney, Sunder Iyer, Mukund and Padma Mehta, Sunil Mehta, Mohan Tailors, Ronald and Keval Singh and Krishna Mahabir were recognized for their untiring work in organizing the event.

Purnima A. Desai (Founder/ President/Director) received Proclamation from by our Chief Guest Hon. NYC Council Women Elizabeth S. Crowley. Citation from Hon. NYS State Assembly Woman Michaelle C. Solages

Mrs. Uma Sengupta , Democratic District leader who was a special guest addressed the gathering and  praised Purnima Ji’s efforts at promoting Indian art and culture. She blessed Purnima Ji and assured of all help to her.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Roger Sengupta and Narayan Mainali, Nepal’s Consul General.

Kavita Mahabir led the singing of Indian National Anthem.