SEPTEMBER 2018: GLOBAL PEACE MARCH

October 2nd has been declared as International Day of Non-violence by the United Nations as a respect to Mahatma Gandhi. To mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the High Commission of India in NZ organised a Peace March in Auckland on Sunday, 30th of September 2018. Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust and Roopa Aur Aap Charitable Trust got an opportunity to participate in this historic march along with as many as 30 community organisations and general public.

The gathering was graced by many community groups, school children and senior members of Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust. All participants commemorated the historic march from Queen street at 9:15 am, with great enthusiasm and love towards their nation and the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. The march was led by Hon Consul of India, Bhav Dhillon, along with Kiwi-Indian MPs, minister of ethnic communities Hon Jenny Salesa and representatives of various community organizations. The peaceful march was received by the His Worship Mayor of Auckland, Hon Phil Goff, at Aotea Square. He then addressed all the marchers with his inspiring words. It was a great privilege and honour for Mr. Jeet Suchdev to address the gathering along with other dignitaries who were present there.

Children from Bhartiya Samaj’s Language and Cultural School participated in cultural program held at the venue before the event ended with everyone joining the chorus of Indian National Anthem

The march was an opportunity for the Indian community along with the youngsters to come together and spread the value, power and importance of peace, harmony and non-violence. We as, Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust, would like to thank Hon. Consul of India and the High Commissioner to take this initiative. Moreover, we would also like to congratulate all the dignitaries and participants to make this initiative a grand success.

 

International Day of Older Persons - 29th Sept 2018

With the philosophy and value of honoring the seniors for the immense contributions they make to the society, Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust has always strived to take steps towards making the life of the seniors a more pleasurable one. With the same intentions in the hindsight, Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust and Roskill Together jointly celebrated International Day of . The event brought more than 350 respectable elders from different ethnic backgrounds in the single hallroom. The occasion was graced by the presence of many dignitaries- Ethnic Communities Minister Hon Jenny Salesa, Honorary Consul of India Mr Bhav Dhillon, Dr Ashraf Choudhary- Otara Papatoetoe Local Board member and Patron of Bhartiya Samaj, Ethnic Liasion Officer Ms Jessica Phuang, Dr Parmjeet Parmar, Dr Kalburgi, Community Development Manager Roskill Together David Mitchell, Puketapapa Local Board Chair Mr Harry Doig and other local board members Ms Ella Kumar, Anne-Marie Coury and Shail Kaushal and many more.

Many agencies displayed their stalls to create awareness about the various support services offered for the elderly.

The celebrations commence with the prayers as a tradition of all the Bhartiya Samaj meetings followed by spectacular dance performances by various ethnic groups- Indian, Chinese, Korean and Samoan that awed the audiences by their immaculate display of talent. The performances engaged the audience in a wonderful way with everyone clapping and singing along to the songs they knew. The electrifying atmosphere was overflowing with words of deep gratitude and admiration for making the day memorable.

After an exhaustive and highly participative performance, all the members feasted on a delicious lunch. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day and it was yet another fun-filled eventful day that kept the entire audience glued to their seats. It was delightful to see everyone smile and look forward to more entertainment. The event was a milestone achieved to culturally integrate different ethnicities.

We sincerely thank the valued audience and the service providers for their contribution to this event. A special thanks to Swati Sharma and Roopa Suchdev for being the MC for the event. Highly appreciable are the efforts of volunteers who feverishly supported us to make this event a grand success.


AUGUST 2018: HALL OF FAME AWARDS

The Indian Weekender’s Kiwi Indian Hall of Fame Honours has a simple objective of celebrating the success of Kiwi-Indians on a much bigger scale. In that endeavor, the event was once again commenced this year to celebrate the Indian connection with greater enthusiasm. It is a matter of immense pride and joy for the community to see  Mr. Jeet Suchdev honored with The Kiwi Indian Community Service Excellence award 2018 for his years of dedication and service to multi-ethnic communities in New Zealand. This event had witnessed participation from several high-profile personalities and this recognition to Mr. Jeet Suchdev is pride for all the members of Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust. This will definitely give Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust more motivation for working towards larger community service.

AUGUST 2018: BHARTIYA SAMAJ QUEENSTOWN INDEPENDENCE DAY

Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust Queenstown held its first event 72nd India Independence Day Celebrations on 18th August 2018. This was celebrated with great pomp and grandeur with a variety of cultural programmes. Amidst loud cheers, applause and music, the occasion was celebrated with great enthusiasm and was a great success considering the small size of Indian community down South. This celebration comprised of a ceremonial hosting of the Indian National Flag, followed by a wide range of cultural performances reflecting the diverse culture as well as the rich & vibrant flavours of India. The first event being so successful and awed by everyone would make sure to lead to many more successful events with the upcoming festive period.

JULY 2018: Volunteer Recognition Day

It was a proud moment for Bhartiya Samaj Senior Citizen (Flat Bush) Volunteers when they were invited on 28th July 2018 along with other groups for the recognition of their selfless contributions to the community in the Auckland Council Howick Local Board Volunteers Recognition Day. The primary aim of the event was to promote the appreciation of the volunteerism and volunteering. The programme commenced with a thanks-giving ceremony, followed by a short message from the members of the board. All the volunteers were felicitated and were introduced to the people who were present at the venue. All-in-all it was a day packed with smiles everywhere and vibes of empathy and selflessness.

JULY 2018: Matariki Celebrations

Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust (BSCT) celebrated Matariki on July 14, 2018 and it was a great honor to have Māori Community Elder, Helene to grace the occasion with her esteemed presence. She addressed the entire audience and patiently explained the meaning of Matariki with its true significance in the lives of Māoris.

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars that rises in mid-winter and for many Māori, it heralds the start of a new year. Traditionally, it has been a time for celebrating new life and planting new crops. In the 21st century, observing Matariki has become popular again as a cross-cultural celebration.

Our regular Senior Citizen’s Meeting followed this and there was a visible increase in the attendance by our endearing members. The day commenced with a stupendous performance by our several senior member participants based on “The 1970s Bollywood Theme”. It was truly delightful to watch these 2-minute stints in the form of dialogues, dance performances and acts from each participant that made us travel back in time and took us back to yesteryears. The entire audience applauded their performances and as a token of appreciation our respected panel of judges felicitated the top performers.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day and it was yet another fun-filled eventful day that kept the entire audience glued to their seats. It was delightful to see everyone smile and look forward to more entertainment.

JUNE 2018: International Yoga Day

Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust celebrated International Yoga Day on June 30, 2018 as announced earlier and there were participants from different age groups including children, youth, women and senior citizens. Although it was a chilly morning, it did not deter the spirits of our members and their enthusiasm was beyond appreciation.

We are thankful to The Art of Living and New Zealand Hindu Council for willing to share their interest in teaching important yoga lessons and explain their true meanings as well. It was a remarkable experience with such exquisite yoga forms practiced by all members. The entire session spanned for an hour and each moment was thoroughly enjoyed that relaxed all members. We are extremely thankful to Honorary Consul for India in Auckland, Bhav Dhillon Ji for gracing the occasion despite his busy schedule, sharing the importance of yoga and inspiring the audience to follow this healthy practice.

This was followed by our regular Senior Citizen’s Meeting, which was attended in huge numbers by all members. As the day progressed, we are thankful to Auckland Transport for conducting a detailed seminar educating all our members on new transport rules, especially the new bus routes effective from July 8, 2018. All members were extremely satisfied with this session as Auckland Transport Team encouraged an interactive session, which allowed everyone to ask their doubts and even share their suggestions. They generously distributed new route maps for different Auckland Regions and booklets in Hindi language as well.

The entire day was enjoyable to the core and concluded on a positive note with many members expressing their interest to participate in all future yoga events.

JUNE 2018: Bhartiya Samaj Queenstown Formed

It was a memorable moment for Queenstown Indian Community as Bhartiya Samaj Auckland assisted them to form Bhartiya Queenstown Association. Another milestone added in the beautiful journey of our Organisation which will outshine the Indian culture and  promote harmony and togetherness amongst the members of our Indian community based in Queenstown. This will give a wonderful opportunity to the like-minded people who are willing to dedicate their tireless efforts to bring positive change in the lives of the people delivering selfless services. Bhartiya Samaj Queenstown will be celebrating Indian Independence Day on 18th August 2018.

JUNE 2018: ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS DAY

The abuse of elders by caregivers is a worldwide issue. In 2006 the International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) and an increasing number of events are held across the globe on this day to raise awareness of elder abuse, and highlight ways to challenge such abuse.

We, at Bharitya Samaj celebrated this day on Saturday, June 9, 2018 by hosting an event to honor ‘the respectable elders’ in our lives and bring the community into a single hallroom. It was an overwhelming response with more than 250 Seniors, many dignitaries and volunteers to commemorate this day.

Our senior citizen group enthusiastically performed a short play on most common scenarios faced by elders nowadays wherein they get manipulated and face such challenges in the form of abuses within their own families. The message was very clearly communicated to the entire audience on these frivolous acts and everyone watched it with thorough attention. This was followed by a very enthralling video of children enacting a play on senior citizens being kept at old age homes. We concluded the day with short video interviews of our community members who shared their own experiences in understanding these abuse situations and advising on precautionary steps to tackle them effectively. We were also very fortunate to watch dance performances by 2 young talented girls who kept every member gaze in awe by their immaculate display of talent.

Everyone present there thoroughly enjoyed their day with the precious learnings from different aspects of the flow of acts and speeches. Apart from refreshments and snacks served in the beginning, there was also a sumptuous lunch towards the end for everyone and all members savoured it completely. The event was yet another milestone achieved by Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust in their efforts to socially engage the community.

JUNE 2018: A Cruise Trip down the Sparkling Waters of Auckland

Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust organized a memorable Cruise vacation for 3 nights with over 100 senior citizens on “Pacific Jewel Food and Wine Cruise” from 15th June to 18th June 2018.

It was an amazing experience with excellent hospitality by cruise staff, luxurious cabins, unlimited variety of delicious food, loads of onboard activities and the amazing performances by artists.

On special request the Captain of the ship permitted the group to start their morning with “Bollyworks” session by Fitness Trainer Ms. Ella Kumar and “Bollywood Dance” by the young and very talented Instructor Ms. Simran Chadha. The peppy Bollywood songs not only made our group dance but also attracted the other guests to join the group and loosen up their muscles and feel fresh. We are also thankful to Sandeep Singh Ji from Indian Weekender for sparing his valuable time to live stream the event on Facebook.

The evening group dinner turned out to be enriching wherein the melodious numbers made everyone sway to the rhythm and brought them together on the dance floor. There was no limit to the fun element and all senior citizens had a memorable time enjoying, singing and dancing. Post this fun and frolic, all members sat together for dinner at Waterfront Restaurant.

The clock kept ticking and time just cruised by with everyone wishing this would never end but all good things come to an end just like this wonderful trip. A special thanks to Saadia Juvale for organising the wonderful 3 night getaway on “Pacific Jewel Food and Wine Cruise” in the pristine waters of Auckland. Bhartiya Samaj achieved yet another milestone in its efforts to keep the community socially connected. This was appreciated by all members and they acknowledged Jeetji’s efforts in leading the pathway.

Testimonials:

Asha Gupta: “It was my first Cruise trip which turned out to be a memorable one. I enjoyed it very much and we all are very happy.”

Sadguna and Madhubhai Patel: ” It was a fantastic leisure time with all our friends. Thanks to Bhartiya Samaj for giving us this wonderful opportunity. We look forward to many more such wonderful experiences”.

Sudha Nayak: We had a blast.The food was awesome! We were spoilt for choice. The service was great,staff was very courteous and ready to help at every point while embarking and disembarking. Entertainment programmes were excellent, especially the dance show.Superb! Also enjoyed informative workshops on metabolism and orthotics. Overall a fabulous Experience!

MAY 2018: Seniors Meet facilitated by GOPIO Botany Group

The Senior Citizens meet on May 26th,2018 commenced with prayers as a tradition of all Bhartiya Samaj meetings followed by Birthday Celebrations. One of our senior members celebrated his birthday with a large cake cutting ceremony and it was such an enjoyable moment to see his entire family come together, along with his children and grandchildren joining the celebrations. All other present members who were celebrating their birthday were also called upon and birthday songs were sung by everyone to celebrate their special day.

The Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) Botany Group enthusiastically participated in this meeting. They initiated the session with freestyle yoga which was thoroughly enjoyed by all  participating members in our weekend event. This was followed with melodious bollywood numbers of the golden 1970s era that kept the audience enthralled and humming with their lead singers. The entire musical episode was beautifully concluded with a golden collection of Late Jagjit Singh’s ghazals and it truly felt that we were hearing him live !

The event concluded with seniors dancing and enjoying the lovely songs, followed with a sumptuous lunch.

“Indian Community Relief Fund” – a fund set up to provide assistance to the people in distress, was launched during the meeting where we generated $1300 for the cause.

We, at Bhartiya Samaj would like to earnestly thank GOPIO Botany members and a special thanks to Viraj Maki Ji and team for cheering our senior citizen members and making the event a huge success.

MAY 2018: Bhartiya Samaj represented NZ

It is a great pleasure and honour to share that Mr Jeet Suchdev, Chairperson of Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust was invited by Hon. Minister of External Affairs Shrimati Sushma Swaraj ji, to attend a conference in Delhi, India at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra on May 5, 2018. It is a great privilege for Bhartiya Samaj as he was the only selected representative from New Zealand in Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Panel Discussion on the theme of Indian Organisations Working for distressed Indians Abroad. He sincerely thanked Hon. Sushma Swaraj ji and Indian High Commissioner Shri Sanjeev Kohli ji, for acknowledging the work done by Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust and giving him this valuable opportunity to be a part of such a prestigious event.

Proud to be an Indian – Jai Hind

JUNE 2018: International Yoga Day

Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust celebrated International Yoga Day on June 30, 2018 as announced earlier and there were participants from different age groups including children, youth, women and senior citizens. Although it was a chilly morning, it did not deter the spirits of our members and their enthusiasm was beyond appreciation.

We are thankful to The Art of Living and New Zealand Hindu Council for willing to share their interest in teaching important yoga lessons and explain their true meanings as well. It was a remarkable experience with such exquisite yoga forms practiced by all members. The entire session spanned for an hour and each moment was thoroughly enjoyed that relaxed all members. We are extremely thankful to Honorary Consul for India in Auckland, Bhav Dhillon Ji for gracing the occasion despite his busy schedule, sharing the importance of yoga and inspiring the audience to follow this healthy practice.

This was followed by our regular Senior Citizen’s Meeting, which was attended in huge numbers by all members. As the day progressed, we are thankful to Auckland Transport for conducting a detailed seminar educating all our members on new transport rules, especially the new bus routes effective from July 8, 2018. All members were extremely satisfied with this session as Auckland Transport Team encouraged an interactive session, which allowed everyone to ask their doubts and even share their suggestions. They generously distributed new route maps for different Auckland Regions and booklets in Hindi language as well.

The entire day was enjoyable to the core and concluded on a positive note with many members expressing their interest to participate in all future yoga events.

MAY 2018: Mother’s Day Celebrations at BSCT

Mother’s Day is celebrated to honor all mothers and express gratitude for the hardships they bear in bringing up a child. Bhartiya Samaj Celebrated this day at different locations with one thing common- showing mums how much we love her!

Mother’s day for Senior Citizens was celebrated on 7th May 2018 at Flatbush, South Auckland which was attended by 50+ members and on 12th May 2018 at Mt Roskill War Memorial Hall which was attended by 200+ members. Celebrations started with paying tribute to the mothers for their

To pay tribute to this wonderful creation of GOD, Children wing of Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust celebrated Mother’s day on 13th May 2018 at “Bal Vikas Language and Cultural Classes”.

We had invited the mums for a special talk by National Speakers Association of NZ Inc Member on “Strength based Positive Parenting” . While children were busy preparing Mothers day cards, mums were engaged in understanding the importance of positive parenting and ways to embrace an individual parental style by encouraging their children talents and strengths. A great emphasis was laid on focusing on children’s positives which further helps in building their confidence, resilience, competence and also provide skills to develop their weaknesses. This was reinforced by giving examples and real-life stories of parents who encouraged their children’s strengths to become successful adults.

The event was a great success that ended with lots of laughter and cheerful feelings which every mother would remember for their lives. The day concluded with all the children presenting the cards to their mums followed by cake cutting and delicious snacks served to all.


Golden Years of Old age - motivational workshop

Golden Years of Old Age“- motivational workshop

April 28 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

“Golden Years of Old Age“– A highly motivational workshop was organized by Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust in collaboration with Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (hereafter referred as “GOPIO NZ”) on 28 April 2018, at Mt Roskill War Memorial Hall. The event witnessed the participation of around 200 senior members and was graced by the presence of many dignitaries.

The meeting started with the usual practice of offering prayers and seeking blessings followed by birthday wishes to share the moments of happiness.

The workshop was presented by a renowned psychologist Dr. Prakash Grover aimed to educate the seniors on how best senior citizens can utilize their golden years and lead a stress free life. A very strong emphasis was laid on the importance of having peers and friends to overcome isolation. He emphasized that death is inevitable so why sit and worry, instead make life more blissful by cherishing each and every moment of your life. This inspiring workshop not only enlightened the souls but also motivated the seniors to live positively. A video was shown to reinforce the learning.

The grand finale of the event was a lavish spread of sumptuous lunch served by Bhartiya Samaj to everyone present there. The event was yet another milestone achieved by Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust in
their efforts to socially engage the community. A special thanks to GOPIO NZ Auckland Central President, Ms Shefali Mehta and other team members for facilitating this workshop. Also, special thanks to Joan Lardner-Rivlin from Auckland Council Seniors Panel, Anne-Marie Coury from Puketapapa Local Board and Asian Liasion officer Ms. Jessica Phuang from NZ Police, including Dr Prakash Grover for gracing this event.

Bhartiya Samaj Commemorates ANZAC DAY- 25th April 2018

Bhartiya Samaj Commemorates ANZAC DAY- 25th April 2018

April 25 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Anzac Day- A day to remember the courage and sacrifice demonstrated by the soldiers who lost their lives at Gallipoli in World War 1 and also to honor the servicemen who returned from the war.

As an ANZAC Day Tradition, parade service was held On 25th April 2018 at Mt Roskill War Memorial where we, Bhartiya Samaj charitable Trust and Roopa Aur Aap got an opportunity to participate in the Parade Service. People made their way to the venue just after 9:00 am for the start of the parade service.Boasting one of the largest commemorative gatherings in New Zealand, it was proud moment to see so many people honoring their heroes.

The ceremony started with a parade by many  veterans and ex servicemen wearing their medals, school groups, community groups, Bhartiya Samaj senior members who marched towards the cenotaph at the war memorial. The service started with everyone joining the a chorus of the hymn ‘Lest We Forget‘ followed by prayers, readings, National Anthem, one minute silence and laying of wreaths in remembrance of the soldiers who laid their lives in protecting the honour of their country. On behalf of entire Bhartiya Samaj and Roopa Aur aap family, it was a great privilege and honor for Mr Jeet Suchdev and Ms Roopa Suchdev to lay the wreath .

We would like to extend our warmest thanks to Puketapapa Local Board  for giving us an opportunity to be the part of this commemoration.

Easter- Celebrations at Bal Vikas Cultural School on 25th March 2018

Easter- Celebrations at Bal Vikas Cultural School on 25th March 2018

March 25 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Easter- Beginning of new life -Celebrations at Bal Vikas Cultural School on 25th March 2018Children at Bal vikas Language and Cultural School celebrated Easter on 25th March 2018. The preparations for this celebration started 4 weeks prior (from 4th March onwards ) where we focussed on educating Children with interesting facts associated with Easter through Audio visual presentations. We also added some fun with crafts helping them make and decorate their Easter baskets and easter eggs for the Easter Egg Hunt.
We organized Easter Egg hunt on 25th March, a morning filled with fun, muffin decoration, quiz and chocolate egg hunt .The Children came prepared and participated enthusiastically in Easter Quiz which helped them to learn more about Easter in a fun way. After the quiz the children excitedly decorated the muffins with icing and easter eggs. This was followed by the much awaited Easter Egg Hunt. All the children gathered in the front yard where all the eggs were hidden and they were asked to listen to the clues carefully before they began the search for their respective eggs . Everyone got busy without wasting a minute and started looking for their eggs and the special Golden Egg. The event turned out to be a thrilling experience and it was a fun spent day for them.

All the kids participated and showed their talent and won exciting prizes. The fun packed morning concluded with a special Morning snack with Easter eggs, muffins and cookies, served to all.

APRIL 2018: A Visit to Auckland Arts Gallery

Bhartiya samaj Senior Members got an opportunity to visit Auckland Arts Gallery on 19th April 2018 and participate in a community-based project led by the internationally acclaimed artists Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan. Our Senior members enthusiastically engaged themselves in imagining and creating their dream houses with recycled boxes, cardboard, tape and glue. This art making workshop prompted the members to share conversations about what makes a home. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed making their models and sincerely thanked Ethnic Liaison Officer Jessica Phuang from NZ Police for organising this visit. The hospitality offered by the Management of Auckland Arts Gallery was highly appreciated.


APRIL 2018: Workshop On Diabetes

BSCT conducted another successful Senior member’s meet on 14 April 2018 that was attended by over 200 + senior citizens and special guests Inspector Scott Gemmell and Ethnic Liaison Officer Jessica Phuang from NZ Police. The meeting started with the usual practice of offering prayers and seeking blessings followed by birthday wishes to share the moments of happiness.

A Special workshop on Diabetes, which is one of the most significant health issues today, was conducted by Ms Nivedita Sharma Vij of South Asian Network NZ .Though, the problem of Diabetes is very common but its knowledge, preventive measures and ways to reduce its effects are not so commonly known. She emphasized that  In the long run, not controlling diabetes can also damage the vessels that supply blood to important organs, like the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves.

 The main focus was to educate them about the ways to prevent this condition by doing exercises and managing sugar intake by planning meals, making healthy plates and start absorbing organic milk. Everyone was advised to go for regular check ups and to keep an eye on the blood sugar levels. This was followed by a question and answer sessions to clear doubts regarding the subject. At the end of the session everyone pledged to lead a healthy and happy life.

The grand finale of the event was a lavish spread of sumptuous lunch served by Bhartiya Samaj to everyone present there. The event was yet another milestone achieved by Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust in their efforts to socially engage the community. A special thanks to South Asian Network NZ for facilitating this workshop and creating awareness among the communities.

Seniors Trip to Taupo March 2018

Seniors Trip to Taupo March 2018
March 14 – March 16
Another mesmerizing trip by Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust.

Before the summer comes to an end and the winter slowly starts to creep in, Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust, decided that it is a pleasant time of the year to set the stage for our senior citizens yet again and take them to experience the beauty around the Taupo region. Hence, a perfect 3 days’ trip, from the 14 th to 16 th of March 2018, was planned with an exciting itinerary for a 100 people, who were zealously looking forward to this trip.

The trip took off with 2 bus loads of Senior Citizens along with a team of Volunteers in the morning of the 14 th of March from Mt Roskill War Memorial Hall, towards Taupo. Our first stop was the Takanini Gurudwara, known as Sri Kalgidhar Sahib Gurdwara to seek blessings from Almighty. Located at the suburbs of Auckland, it is one of the largest religious places in New Zealand and home to the revered Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

This brief stop at Takanini Gurudwara, was followed by a quick lunch at Matamata, 2 hours south of Auckland, and this is the place of the Hobbiton movie set.

We reached Taupo by late afternoon and checked in to the Silver Fern Lodge and the Lake Taupo Motor Inn, where the senior citizens rested for a while, to relieve themselves off the travel exhaustion. Both the hotels, provided comfortable accommodations with breath- taking view of the lake and mountains.

A cultural evening was organized by Bhartiya Samaj in the nearby community hall the “Great Lake Centre” , and the evening turned out to be pretty charming and captivating, with the members participating with complete enthusiasm ablaze with happiness and joy. After an exhaustive and highly participative dance performance all the members feasted on sumptuous dinner followed by the king of Indian dessert-Gulab Jamuns .

The next morning started off, with packed breakfast being arranged and delivered to the respective rooms and without wasting much time, we headed off to the next place in our itinerary, the Lava Glass. This place is an art glass gallery, inspired from New Zealand’s landscape, where handmade and unique art glass masterpieces are created from hot molten lava. The tourists are simply bound to be captivated with the beautiful glass sculpture garden here. Following the visit to the Lava Glass Gallery, we came back to the Great Lake Centre hall, where Pizza lunch was served to all, but what made this afternoon more exciting was the fact that, the Mayor of Taupo Hon David Trewavas had visited to address our Senior members.

After lunch and a brief rest, we made our way to the Honey Hive which is New Zealand’s one of the most visited natural attraction, since it is an incredible force of nature. It is a remarkable visual feast, all based around bees and the golden liquid they produce. After this we headed off to the spectacular “Huka Falls”, the most visited and photographed natural attraction in New Zealand. It was a beautiful experience witnessing the high waterfall on a sunny day and the water looked amazing and crystal clear blue. We all left the place, feeling refreshed by the sights and came back to our respective hotels. The excitement among the members hadn’t reduced much and after a little bit of rest, everyone gathered back at the Great Lake Centre hall, for another glamorous evening with even more zeal. The evening ended with the members socializing, singing , dancing, dining and wining.

The final morning on Day 3 commenced with bidding goodbye to the hotel and to Taupo.We all headed to the “Craters of the Moon”, a geothermal walkway featuring bubbling craters and steaming vents. It was a unique and memorable experience for everyone and post this, we got the opportunity to visit the Hamilton Gurudwara, where we were served delicious lunch.

As much as, we didn’t want this tour to end, the time had come to head home. Our journey back home was definitely a moment of satisfaction. The members had a good time and so did Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust and its volunteers, whose persistent efforts worked in bringing the community together and giving them a moment of enjoyment. Having had such an amazing time spending time with each other, on our return to Auckland some of the seniors were exhausted, and some revitalized. But, all agreed that a fantastic time was had by all!

MARCH 2018

Holi, also known as the “festival of colors” is celebrated all across the world with fervor by people irrespective to their diverse religious backgrounds. Bhartiya Samaj has a tradition of celebrating Holi each year at different locations for the convenience and enjoyment of the community. It is also an occasion for self-reflection, renewing bonds and celebrating life.

The Holi for Senior Citizens was celebrated on February 24th at 13 May Road, Mt. Roskill War Memorial Hall which was attended by 200 + members and on 5th March at Flat Bush, South Auckland which was attended by 50 + members. Celebrations started with showering colourful petals on one another and singing and dancing to the tunes of Bollywood music. The air was filled with blues and greens, reds and yellows. The event ended with all the members enjoying lunch and sweets together.

We also celebrated Holi at our “Bal Vikas Language & Cultural School” on 25th February.  The celebration began by all of us singing our National Anthem and then educating the children about the cultural and social significance of Holi through audio visual presentations.  The kids had fun experimenting with colours to create vibrant calendar art. Later we all went outdoors and played Holi by showering flower petals on each other. The day concluded with children feasting on sweets and savouries.

“Colours in the Park 2018” , event organised by Humm FM in association with Bhartiya Samaj at the Three Kings Reserve on Saturday March 3rd was celebrated with fun and frolic. The event had live performances on the stage in front of thousands of people drenched in vivid colours from top to bottom. The event witnessed enthusiastic participation from people of all ages and cultures to enjoy the playful spray of colours. The atmosphere was buzzing with laughter, music, fun and wide variety of food. The event witnessed over 5000 people , a mix of multicultural society of Auckland who all gathered to celebrate the festival of colors and went home feeling joyous.

The celebrations commenced with Mr Jeet Suchdev addressing the gathering and greeting  everyone on the occasion of Indian Republic Day. The dignitaries then congratulated Bhartiya Samaj for their relentless efforts and commendable work to build a strong and connected Indian community. This was followed with urfurling of the Indian Tri-color flag by Mr Harish Lodhia. Thereafter, National Anthem was sung in unison by everyone present there which permeated the atmosphere with the patriotic feeling. The cultural program was put up with great enthusiasm and patriotic fervor that added a festive spirit to the occasion .

The grand finale of the event was a lavish spread of sumptuous lunch served by Bhartiya Samaj to everyone present there. The event was yet another milestone achieved by Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust in their efforts to socially engage the community.

69th Indian Republic Day- 27th Jan 2018

26th January, 1950- A day of honour and pride for every Indian when India’s constitution came into force thereon celebrated as Republic day.

Bhartiya Samaj and Roopa Aur Aap Charitable Trust hosted Indian republic day celebrations on Saturday, 27th Jan 2018 at Mt Roskill War Memorial Hall. The event was attended by more than 250 Seniors,  many dignitaries and volunteers to celebrate the achievements of our Golden Indian history.

We were truly honoured by the enigmatic presence of many dignitaries. To name a few were Hon. Michael Wood, Hon. Judge Ajit Swaran Singh, Honorary Consul of Fiji Mr. Harish Lodhia, Honorary Consul of India, Mr Bhav Dhillon, Ms. Shefali Mehta QSM, Bhartiya Samaj Patrons Hon. Dr. Bruce Hucker QSO, Hon. Dr.Ashraf Choudhury QSO, Ms. Jessica Phuang- Asian Liasion Office NZ Police, Auckland Council Puketapapa local board members Ms Ella Kumar and Ms Anne- Marie Coury, Managing Director Bank of Baroda Mr Anupam Srivastava, CEO New India Assurance Mr. Nilanchal Mishra, Team leader Research centre Auckland council Ms Smita Biswas, Census Engagement Advisor Sindy Xian and executive committee members of Bhartiya Samaj.

The celebrations commenced with Mr Jeet Suchdev addressing the gathering and greeting  everyone on the occasion of Indian Republic Day. The dignitaries then congratulated Bhartiya Samaj for their relentless efforts and commendable work to build a strong and connected Indian community. This was followed with urfurling of the Indian Tri-color flag by Mr Harish Lodhia. Thereafter, National Anthem was sung in unison by everyone present there which permeated the atmosphere with the patriotic feeling. The cultural program was put up with great enthusiasm and patriotic fervor that added a festive spirit to the occasion .

The grand finale of the event was a lavish spread of sumptuous lunch served by Bhartiya Samaj to everyone present there. The event was yet another milestone achieved by Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust in their efforts to socially engage the community.

JANUARY 2018: Annual Summer Camp

Bhartiya Samaj’s conducted its 16th Annual Children & Youth Summer Camp, a five day programme for children aged 6 to 14 years from 8th till 12th Jan 2018 at Mt Roskill War Memorial Hall. It has gained immense popularity amongst the Indian community for the past 15 years. The number has been increasing every year with 110 students enrolled this year in the camp. Twenty-five volunteers/teachers devoted their time and energy to support/organise various workshops and activities.

Age appropriate workshops were planned and designed aimed to promote overall development of the young minds and to impart skills like personality development, leadership, community involvement and tolerance / understanding of cultural diversity at an early age through various activities like outdoor sports, art and craft sessions, music, dance, drama workshops, spiritual workshops, public speaking and other fun filled activities.

The camp program was a balance of academic enrichment in the morning and sports in the afternoon by professional sports club. The Children were also taken out for a full day picnic that they thoroughly enjoyed. All the days included regular nutritious meals (breakfast/lunch and evening snack). An overwhelming response was received from the parents who gave a very positive feedback about the camp and wished Bhartiya Samaj for more successful camps in years to come.

We are very happy with the outcome that was achieved and we sincerely thank all the Volunteers, Teachers, supporting organizations and parents who were devotedly involved, for their undefinable contributions that made this event a grand success. All sincere efforts were made to make those five days joyful and memorable for the children.

JUNE 2018: International Yoga Day

Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust celebrated International Yoga Day on June 30, 2018 as announced earlier and there were participants from different age groups including children, youth, women and senior citizens. Although it was a chilly morning, it did not deter the spirits of our members and their enthusiasm was beyond appreciation.

We are thankful to The Art of Living and New Zealand Hindu Council for willing to share their interest in teaching important yoga lessons and explain their true meanings as well. It was a remarkable experience with such exquisite yoga forms practiced by all members. The entire session spanned for an hour and each moment was thoroughly enjoyed that relaxed all members. We are extremely thankful to Honorary Consul for India in Auckland, Bhav Dhillon Ji for gracing the occasion despite his busy schedule, sharing the importance of yoga and inspiring the audience to follow this healthy practice.

This was followed by our regular Senior Citizen’s Meeting, which was attended in huge numbers by all members. As the day progressed, we are thankful to Auckland Transport for conducting a detailed seminar educating all our members on new transport rules, especially the new bus routes effective from July 8, 2018. All members were extremely satisfied with this session as Auckland Transport Team encouraged an interactive session, which allowed everyone to ask their doubts and even share their suggestions. They generously distributed new route maps for different Auckland Regions and booklets in Hindi language as well.

The entire day was enjoyable to the core and concluded on a positive note with many members expressing their interest to participate in all future yoga events.

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