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ब्रिटिश कोलंबियातील मराठी मंडळाची ओळख

मराठी कल्चरल सोसायटी ऑफ बी. सी. म्हणजेच ब्रिटिश कोलंबियातील मराठी मंडळ १९९३ सालापासून कार्यरत आहे. वर्षाकाठी कमीतकमी तीन कार्यक्रम, म्हणजे गणेश चतुर्थी, दिवाळी आणि वार्षिक पिकनिक काढून मराठी मंडळ सभासदांशी संबंध ठेवते. शिवाय यातील सभासदांतर्फे अनेक लोकोपयोगी कामे केली जात आहेत. अनेक वर्षांपूर्वी अतुल गोखले यांनी हिंदी – मराठी लोकप्रिय गाण्यांवर आधारीत “गीतधारा” ह्या कार्यक्रमातून वेगवेगळ्या परोपकारी कामांसाठी पैसे उभारले. विद्युल्लेखा अकलूजकर यांनी पाच सहा वेळा विविध विषयांवर साहित्या वाचनाचे आणि करमणुकीचे कार्यक्रम सादर केले आणि १९९८ सालापासून त्यांनी सभासदांचा मायबोलीशी संपर्क राहावा यासाठी स्वाध्याय वाचनालय नामक मोफत ग्रंथालय चालवले आहे. त्यांच्या पुढाकाराने “सखी-सहवास” हा उपक्रमही २००९ सालापासून दर वर्षी सहा वेळा चालवला जातो. यात विविध वयाच्या स्त्रिया व्यक्ती या नात्याने एकमेकांशी भेटतात, बोलतात, सहभोजन करतात, आणि एका विशिष्ठ विषयावर वैचारिक देवाणघेवाणही करतात.

मराठी शाळेचा उपक्रमही गेली काही वर्षे पुढील पिढीसाठी जोरात चालू आहे. यात वैशाली भिडे, शरयू जंगम, हर्षदा नाईक यांचा प्रामुख्याने सहभाग आहे.

जुन्या-नव्या मराठी लोकांना एकत्र आणून दरमहा एक तासभर भजन आणि नंतर भोजनाचा कार्यक्रम विनय आणि माणिक चासकर यांच्या पुढाकाराने गेली २५ वर्षे चालू आहे.

शिवाय वेगवेगळ्या उपयुक्त विषयांवर तज्ज्ञाची भाषणे, सेमिनार आयोजित करणे, वर्षारंभाचे आणि महाराष्ट्र दिनाचे नृत्य-गायन-नाटक वगैरे कार्यक्रम पार पाडणे, विविध लोकोपयोगी संस्थांसाठी उदा. फूड बँक, रिचमंड नेचर पार्क, टेरी फॉक्स कॅन्सर सोसायटीसाठी फंड रेझिंग वगैरेंसाठी मंडळाचे सभासद सतत सेवाभावे कार्यक्रम करतच असतात.

थोडक्यात सहवास, सहकार आणि समाजोपयोगी सेवाभाव ही आमच्या मंडळाची ओळख.

The Marathi Society of BC was founded in the year 1993 by a handful of Marathi people, now there are over a 100 Marathi families in BC and most of these are members of our society.

We started off with organizing 3 events a year and at present do at least 8 to 9 events per year. Some major events include, Maharashtra Din, Annual Summer Picnic, Ganpati Utsav, Diwali celebration, Dandiya (Navratri) and Christmas/New Year party. These events include a variety of Marathi cultural items including plays, skits and group dances. These programs are enthusiastically received and well attended. As a registered charity, we also organize fund raising activities such as the Terry Fox Run and Food Bank Drives.

Apart from events organized by the board, there are also programs organized by other society members, where Marathi people from all age groups get together and enjoy each other’s company:

Every month, around 45-60 members get together for Bhajan Sandhyas. Vinay & Manik Chaskar have for the past 25 years organized these Bhajan & Bhojan programs. These events are held at various member households and are a great way to keep in touch and catch up on all the latest news. We will be celebrating our 25th Bhajan Group anniversary in September 2016

Vidyut Aklujkar has provided us with a library called ‘Swadhyay Vachanalay’. Members can read and enjoy Marathi language books free of cost. Ms Aklujkar has also brought ladies of different age groups and back grounds together in a group Sakhi Sahwas, which she started in 2009. This group, which is ever increasing in number, meets every alternate month, where ladies chat, exchange books from the library, eat together and have lively discussions on a range of topics.

With the help of BMM, our Marathi Shala has been active for a few years now. Vaishali Bhide has been instrumental in the running of the school. For the past couple of years, she has been assisted by Sharayu Jangam and Harshada Naik. The Shala has around 20 kids who learn to read and write in Marathi. They also learn about Marathi festivals, culture, shloks and prayers.

Apart from these regularly organized events, there are some members, namely Vidyut Aklujkar, Vinay Chhatre, Atul Gokhale, Anandrao Paranjpe and Saurabh Chhate, who have brought several programs to us over the years, ranging from literature, comedy, music and Marathi cinema, for the entertainment of the society members. We are very grateful to these members.

Promoting our language & culture and organizing activities for the entertainment of our members has been our motto, and we try our best to achieve it.

MSBC Board 2016-17.