Desi Talk

12 November 24, 2017 CITY VIEWS – that’s all you need to know By Puja Jani T his past Saturday, Nov. 18, marked the 25th anniversary of the Metropolitan Asian Family Services program. The non-profit, which helps South Asian immigrants from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, as well as from the Middle East and European coun- tries, celebrated the occasion at Ashyana Banquets in Downers Grove, Illinois. Metropolitan Asian Family Services was born in 1992, founded by Santosh Kumar, an attorney who witnessed the plight of new immigrants striving to adapt to the new country. The very next year, MAFS received its first contract, and the rest is history as it became a ray of light in thou- sands of people’s lives, helping clients get public benefits like Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, health and education, and helping with citizenship and immigration issues, The event not only celebrated the anniversary of MAFS, but was also used as a tool to help fundraise and increase awareness within the organization. According to its 2017 Annual Report, MAFS raised $54,500 in 2016 alone. This May, MAFS held a mini-fundraiser where more than 300 senior citizens and community members joined together to raise $14,000. The Nov. 18 event honored members of the board, staff, volunteers and organiza- tions that have helped to shape MAFS. “To be in an organization that survived 25 years, my mom started the organization in 1992 when I was five years’ old, I’ve seen it grow from a suite in Des Plaines to eleven, or twelve locations” stated Sagar Kumar, son of Santosh Kumar, said at the event. Sagar Kumar is on the MAFS board since 2016, and serves as treasurer. “I see how much this means to the community, and every time, I come to one of our satel- lite offices, you get to see the hustle and bustle of all the staff doing their work, and that’s how I get that fulfillment, so these types of events are for them,” he added. The event also featured a show-stopping dance performance entitled, “Kal Bhi, Aaj Bhi” by Madhura Sane who is also the director of Nritya Kala Kendra. This year alone, the silver jubilee year of MAFS, the organization has helped 25,000 people according to organizers, with meals, bills, enrolling in healthcare, immi- gration services, or providing housing referrals. By StaffWriter he Consulate General of India, Chicago in partnership with the Sikh Temple ofWisconsin cele- brated 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji on Nov. 19. The event was attended by about 500 devotees and particularly poignant as it was held at the Oak Creek Gurdwara in Wisconsin, the site of the terrible tragedy on Aug. 5, 2012, when a white supremacist massacred several members of the con- gregation. At the solemn ceremonies, the Shabad Kirtan by Bhai Gurmail Singh Ji was fol- lowed by Katha recitation by Bhai Harjinder Singh Ji, Kirtan by Bhai Surjit Singh Ji and Ardaas Prayers, and langar. Consul General Neeta Bhushan deliv- ered the keynote address emphasizing the greatness of Guru Gobind Singh ji as a great leader who sacrificed his whole family for the sake of his belief and con- victions as well as for his community, a press release from the consulate said. He was a true nation builder and remains an exemplary example of courage in the face of crisis, Bhushan said. Guru Gobind Singh molded the Sikh religion into its present shape, with the institution of the Khalsa fraternity, and completion of the sacred scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, in the final form found today. The Consul General thanked the Gurdwara management Committee for the cooperation extended to the Consulate for organizing the event. Indian Consulate AndWisconsin Gurdwara Celebrate Guru Gobind Singh Birth Anniversary T Organization Helping South Asian Families Holds 25th Anniversary Celebrations