Ayyappa Seva Sangham, New York Chapter, celebrated its 1st National Ayyappa Convention on Sunday 9th December from 3pm to 9 pm at the Auditorium of Vaishnav Temple of New York, 100 Lakeville Rd, New Hyde Park, with various cultural programs. Like-minded People from all walks of life participated in this Convention.
Ayyappa devotees and representatives of various organizations from South Indian states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh etc, participated.
The event started, at 3:00 pm sharp, with a beautiful rendition of Ganesha Stuti by Nitya Vishwanathan, followed by ‘Sharanam Ghosham’ initiated by Shri Saji Kumar (Secretary –Ayyappa Seva Sangham) and joined by all present.
In his Welcome Speech, Shri Gopinath Kurup (President –Ayyappa Seva Sangham) spoke about the working of the Sangham and also about the ‘Dream to Reality’ Ayyappa 18-Padi Temple Building Project’. He elaborated on the 3 year plan that the Sangham has put together and also reinstated on the fact that they intend to complete the temple within these 3 years period. He concluded his speech by welcoming all the participants and the audience to the event.
The convention was inaugurated with the auspicious ceremony of ‘Lighting the Lamp’ ceremony performed by Dr. A.K.B. Pillai (Patron and Chief Consultant, Ayyappa Seva Sangham), Vijay Kumar (Tamil Sangham), Dr BR Surendra (Kannada Koota), Shri Gopinath Kurup(Ayyappa Seva Sangham).
The opening speech was given by Dr AKB Pillai. He spoke about the activities of The Ayyappa Seva Sangham in detail, from the time it was initiated, and while ending his speech, he request to one and all to extend their generous support towards the building of Ayyapa Temple in New York. Shri Vinod Kearke stated that the Sangham has estimated an expense of about USD 1.5 million for the temple project and went on to elaborate on the various expenses. Shri Ashok Keshavan, Treasurer added the information on the ways of contributing towards the project. He stated that the sangham has made the procedure easier by introducing the Pay Pal Account, a secure payment gateway online, for all to contribute online without any hassles.
Shri Jayprakash Nair (NBA President), Shri Sudakaran Pillai (Mahima President), KG Sahrudayan (SNA President), and Raju Nanu (KHNA Ex Board of Trustee & Chairman) conveyed their greetings. Mr Pravin Kumar (State Bank of India) and Perumal Venkita Swami (Councillor of Indian Consulate) send messages.
Shri Ram Potti of Bhima Brothers sponsored the Souvenir of Ayyappa Seva Sangham for this event.
Lead by Shri Nilambur Kartikeyan, Mata Amrutanandamayi Bhajana Sangham performed one hour rendition of Devotional Music making the audience sway in devotion. Captivating cultural song and dance programmes in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam made it a memorable evening to remember.
Smt. Vanaja Nair gave Vote of Thanks. Shri Viswanthan Rajagopalan was Master of Ceremony. The Ayyappa devotees of the South Indian states pledged to "Ore Oru Lakshyam, Ayyappa Kshetram" to work together to fulfill the Ayyappa Temple dream.
The event was concluded at 9 pm with the distribution of prasadam and a grand feast.