Celebrating 30th anniversary of both Shanti Fund and Long Island Multi Faith Forum

Arvind Vora, Chairman of the Long Island Multi Faith Forum and the Shanti Fund welcomed the presenters, Volunteers of Shanti Fund, Members of Long Island Multi Faith Forum, and guests. He indicated that Mahatma Gandhi was stickler of punctuality and as such two events held here – Gandhi Punya Tithi on January 30th and Gandhi Birthday on October 2nd – do start on time as invitations indicate. “Please remember those dates since more than 20 years we have been having events regardless of the day of the week.”


The 76th Punyatithi of Mahatma Gandhi event was kicked off by volunteers of Gayatri Pariwar. (L to R): Sucheta Naik, Gauri Hegde, Dina Kinariwala, Gopi Udeshi, Heena Mistry, Tejal Raval, Usha Shah, and Maitry Patel.


Jain Peace Prayer by Beena Kothari


One of the most touching performances by Hindu youth. (L to R):Tanisha Penjarla, Srisharan Shankaranarayanan, Abhay Pisharody, Akira Amey Penkar, Lasya Kandukuri, Rashmi Manjunath, Raghavendra Tenkasi on Tabla, Aditi Raghavendra, Ananya pisharody


The program was conducted by Paresh Raval.

Vora indicated the diversity of faiths and organizations represented at the Punya Tithi to provide unique peace items from traditions ranging from Baha’i to Zoroastrian. He thanked all, specifically youth presentations by Hindu and Sikh. Many events are in the pipelines to celebrate anniversary coincidences in 2024 and stay tuned.

He indicated that many anniversaries are coinciding in 2024 – 30th anniversary of Shanti Fund and Long Island Multi Faith Forum, 25th anniversary of unveiling of the Gandhi Statue at the headquarters of the Suffolk County, and 5th anniversary of the Gandhi Peace Garden at the SUNY-Old Westbury. Many events are in the pipeline to celebrate these anniversaries, so stay tuned.

Meditation for Peace Outside and inside


Jewish Presenton by Cantor Lisa Ann Wharton


Mother Mini with Sohni Kaur Singh who presented Sikh Shabad


Christian Hymn sung by Soh Young Lee-Segredo


Hindu presentations by Long Island Multi Faith Board Members, Sangeeta Kulkarni and Narinder Kapoor


Bahai reading by Naomi Escobar, Desmond Escobar, Harriet Fishman, Kelly Corbin, and Akbar Fishman


Peace outside starts from peace inside us. Meditation has emerged as an antidote to mental health issues. In the wake of COVID-19, New Age guru Deepak Chopra says, there is an increase of 2000% in the number of people meditating.

At Shanti Fund’s Gandhi Punya Tithi event, there were a couple of presentations centered around meditation.

Representing Brahma Kumaris, Erik Larson said, “As our pledge for peace, let us silence our raging minds just enough to hear our inner voice yearning for peace and find it.” Sr Anjani added, “Let us create a thought – ‘I am peace. Peace is within me, and it is just a thought away’.”

Mariko H. Fusillo, representing Yoga Dharma, shared a mantra to chant to heal the earth, we, and people who are suffering. In an exercise, she had people try to create energy and see light enter their bodies and hearts.

The program concluded with Parveen Chopra conducting a short meditation. He explained that meditation entails a gradual reduction of mental activity. To meditate, “Pick up any holy word or sound or mantra from your own faith religion. Repeat it mentally with closed eyes. If thoughts come, do not mind, keep returning to your mantra.”

Image courtesy of Image provided

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