By Trusha Chandak
Houston, Tx.: The Maheshwari community of Rajasthan came together on the Thanksgiving weekend to relive their culture and connect with each other at the 11th International Maheshwari and Rajasthani Convention (IMRC). The event was hosted by the Southwest chapter of Maheshwari Mahasabha of North America (MMNA) at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Houston.
The convention kicked off in the traditional way by lamp lighting by Convenor Sharad Mantri, National President Abhilasha Rathi, Board of Trustees (BoT) Chair Ghanshyam Heda and Co-convenors Archana Bhakkad and Sanjay Jajoo. The guests of honor at the event included Shailesh Lodha, Dr. Ruma Devi, Kartikeya Baldwa, Dr. Renu Khator, and the Consul General Aseem Mahajan.
The community event included a trip to the ranch, traditional Rajasthani Ghoomar dance, creative breakout sessions, musical night, kid’s talent show, matrimony sessions, diet planning, and yoga sessions. Tireless work of around 150 volunteers for the last six months made the event a grand success.
Thanksgiving eve – Nov 24, marked the beginning of the celebration. The opening ceremony was kicked off by a graceful Ghoomar dance performed by over 40 ladies. MMNA National President Abhilasha Rathi welcomed the guests and appreciated the volunteers, “I feel fortunate to be part of the MMNA pariwar and proud to be a Rajasthani Maheshwari,” she said.
Convenor Sharad Mantri expressed his delight at the event’s success with over 900+ attendees from all over the world. “The Education Foundation of MMNA also raised $115,000,” he informed.
The MMNA Matrimonial Session announced the launch of a mobile app to help Maheshwaris and Rajasthanis find the right match.
The Rajasthanis Abroad Youth Samaj (RAYS) was equally involved and took the lead as emcees, coordinators, and welcoming the attendees. The event concluded on Nov 27 with the closing ceremony, annual awards, and volunteer appreciations. Sushma Pallod received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her selfless work and dedication to the community while Jitendra Muchhal and Padam Maheshwari received special recognition awards.