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Members of Honor

  Milind Pandit

Abhijit Railkar
  Hemant and Vasudha came to the warm and sunny Dallas in 1978 after spending 8 years in the cold and windy Chicago. At that time there were only a handful Marathi families in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. DFW Maharashtra Mandal did not exist then. In May 1985 Dinesh-Vidya (Kagal), Suhas-Shubhangi (Mantri) and Hemant-Vasudha presented a Marathi play 'Gharo Ghari Heech Bomb' - and the idea of starting our own Maharashtra Mandal started emerging.
DFW Maharashtra Mandal was formally started that same year (1985) on the auspicious Ganapati Day in September. Hemant was the member of the first executive committee. Later he served as President in 1987-88. During his tenure, DFW MM presented another play 'Pala Pala Kon Pudhe Pale To'. In 1999-2000 Vasudha served as President. Hemant and Vasudha were also active in Indian Classical Music Circle and Chinmaya Mission.

Mrs. Asha Ghate was Mandal President during the year 1993-94. She also served as Mandal Treasurer during 1991-92 and 1992-93. During her Presidency, our Mandal received the status of non-profit organization. Ashatai and P.B.Ghate celebrated Ganeshotsav in their home for several years before the establishment of Mandal. Ashatai was among few other people who started the Mandal in 1986. Outside Mandal, Ashatai worked on Vitthal pratisthapana in D/FW Hindu Temple. She served as President of Chinmaya mission for 8 years and is still active with that work. She has recently completed 2 years Vedant Course offered by Chinmaya Mission, Sandeepany Sadhanalya, Mumbai.

Mr.Dinesh and Mrs.Vidya Kagal were honored for their contribution to the Marathi community and Indian community as a whole during all these years. Their participation in Mandal and other cultural organizations makes them ambassadors of our culture to the wider audience in the metroplex.

Mr.Dilip Patankar is a founder President of the Mandal. He served as President during 1986-87 and 1987-88. He registered our Mandal and created Working Rules. He represented Southwest area in Brihan Maharashtra Mandal. He also served as Treasurer on India Association of North Texas, for two years.

Mr. Sanjay Date was Mandal President during 2003-04 and served on committee during 2002-03 and 2000-01. He has provided his talent, skill and hard work by taking care of audio needs of Mandal programs since 1999. He has been part of Marathi dramas and has also worked on props and sets on several occasions.

Mrs. Vasudha Vengurlekar was chosen for her continued support and involvement of Mandal Ganapati decorations.

Mr.Subash & Mrs.Sarita Gaitonde were honored for their continued and unconditional support (at times even financial) of Mandal and all its activities. They have been Mandal members for 20+ years but still enthusiastically attend the Mandal programs. For several years now, Sarita has volunteered to restore and maintain the beauty of the Mandal 'Ganapati Moorti'. She also actively participates in the 'prasad/modak' preparation for the Mandal Ganapati program. Other than their contributions to the Mandal, they are also very active in the Marathi Community in general like arranging music (classical/semi-classical) programs, informative programs (Prakash Amte and their work), working with the DFWMM Hindu temple, offering Yoga classes, etc. Sarita is a very passionate and dedicated Yoga Teacher. It is her mission to bring the ancient art of India-Yoga to masses. She offers regular Yoga classes in DFW hindu temple for advanced and beginner students as a service to the community.

Mrs. Anjali Nerlikar was Mandal President during 1998-99 and a committee member from 1996 to 1998. While on committee, she worked on putting together the Mandal's annual magazine 'Phulbajya'. She also facilitated her house for the Mandal Library. She has been a dedicated volunteer for last 10+ years to prepare 'Modak' as 'Prasad' for the Mandal Ganeshotsav.

Mrs. Vasudha Vengurlekar has enthusiastically taken care of Ganapati decoration right from the beginning of Mandal Ganapati. She has created several different scenes (dekhava) over the years. The pleasant and beautiful decorations have been one of the major attractions of Ganeshotsav.

Mr.P.B.Ghate has a long and varied background of volunteer services and social work. He came to Dallas in 1966. From 1966 to 1972 he served on India Association of North Texas as member and President. Mr. and Mrs. Ghate started Ganeshotsav in their house and continued it for several years. When the group started growing, he and few other Marathi members founded Dallas/Fort Worth Maharashtra Mandal in 1986. He also had a major contribution in founding D/FW Hindu temple, Vitthal-Rakhumai and Dattatreya pratisthapana. Although he had an engineering background, to take care of the growing need in the communicty for Hindu Priest, he performed weddings, vratabandh, vastu and other pooja. He has served as Acharya in Chinmaya mission for several years and is still active with that work.