Amir Dodhiya, Agent with New York Life Insurance Felicitates Sanatan Shiv Shakti Temple for its Philanthropic Act During Harvey!


By Vanshika Vipin Varma

HOUSTON: The mention of Hurricane Harvey that roared ashore towards the end of August, last year, and parked above the greater Houston area for five destructive and ruinous days, still sends shivers down our spine. But it was heartening to see that so many organizations and individuals from all across helped communities with shelter, food, relief supplies and other support systems. Several Indian businesses and places of worship had opened up their hearts as well as their doors to shelter Harvey victims. Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir in Houston, which is known to be amongst the first to help during times of crisis also left no stone unturned to support during this catastrophic event. 

From left (standing) Pralay Pandya, Prakash Adhvaryu, Jashu Atodariya, Jaydeep Bhatt, Umang Mehta, Dhirubhai Kotak, Virat Mehta, Amiralli Dodhiya, Rajan Bhatiya, Vijay Adhavaryu. From left (sitting) Gopal Pandya, Hardik Raval, and Haresh Bhatt at the felicitation event on Monday, January 8 at Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir, Houston.

From left (standing) Pralay Pandya, Prakash Adhvaryu, Jashu Atodariya, Jaydeep Bhatt, Umang Mehta, Dhirubhai Kotak, Virat Mehta, Amiralli Dodhiya, Rajan Bhatiya, Vijay Adhavaryu. From left (sitting) Gopal Pandya, Hardik Raval, and Haresh Bhatt at the felicitation event on Monday, January 8 at Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir, Houston.

At a felicitation event on Monday, January 8, Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir received a $5000 check from New York Life Insurance Company as a token of appreciation for their support to Harvey victims. In the ceremony, Amiralli Dodhiya, agent with New York Life Insurance Company, who himself volunteered at the temple during Harvey presented the check to felicitate the temple for their noble and tremendous support offered during the storm’s trajectory. The entire managing committee of the Shiv Shakti temple had used its premises diligently, with its parking lot transformed into a distribution centre. This was a convenient approach as it helped volunteers to deliver the necessities for shelters, from all over. They welcomed generous donations in form of supplies, and these started pouring in huge numbers from restaurants. Forty food trucks and supplies were transported from the temple to the Beaumont victims and it also helped serve around 10,000 meals. Hardik Raval and other members of the temple, Amiralli Dodhiya and Umang Mehta of Deep foods played vital roles at the temple during Harvey.

Amiralli Dodhiya, has been a New York Life agent since 2008, and associated with New York Life’s Houston General Office in Sugar Land. He has several feathers to his cap, such as being a 9-year MDRT member and a 4-time ‘Court of the Table’ qualifier. By achieving ‘Court of the Table’ status, Dodhiya establishes amongst the top professionals in the global life insurance and financial services industry. His caliber has been well recognized in the industry, with him time and again demonstrating exceptional professional knowledge, client service and ethical conduct. Being a member of NAIFA (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisory), he has received the accolade of the NAIFA National Quality Award, consecutively since 2010.  To add up to yet another feather in his cap, Amiralli has been named a member of the 2017 Chairman’s Council of New York Life. The philanthropist is also an active member in the community and supports various non-profit organizations, as he strongly believes in sharing- whether it is money, time, or knowledge. With such noble and kind thoughts, he went ahead and supported to the best of his capacity during the deluge.

The temple priests, committee members and trustees were present at the felicitation ceremony to receive the check. In his note of thanks, the head priest and trustee, Virat Mehat, mentioned, “I would like to thank New York Life and Amiralli Dodhiya for this kind gesture. It was our duty to help the victims during Harvey and we are happy that we were able to do so. This amount will be used towards a good cause because we believe in helping and donating”. Trustee Rajan Bhatiya also shared his emotions and stated, “We are very thankful to Amiralli Dodhiya as he was extremely helpful during Hurricane Harvey. We had cancelled all our Ganapati festival celebrations and converted the temple to a shelter. Even now we are focusing on serving the community. We have been holding cultural classes during weekends to teach kids more about the Indian culture and its languages, Sanskrit classes, classical and bollywood dance, and these are all free of cost. We are always thankful to Umang Mehta who has been supportive from the very beginning of us knowing each other. Several of our trustees don’t charge us anything for their services. In fact each year, they contribute towards the development and betterment of the temple. We would like the community to come forward and utilize our facilities, which has been built for them”. Following his speech, trustee Dhirubhai Kotak also shared his views that he was extremely happy to see the way the temple was shaping over the years. He mentioned that from where they started off several years back, they have grown tremendously with the support of everyone including Amiralli Dodhiya, who is like a son to him.

An elated Amiralli Dodhiya mentioned, “It was my privilege to help during Hurricane Harvey. I was fortunate that I am part of this temple that believes in the act of philanthropy. The members of this temple are like family and we are available for each other. I would like to highlight the fact that this temple is open to everyone. The noble act of this temple deserves everyone’s respect and love as they have helped rebuild Houston”. While the Ganpati festival could not be celebrated with fervor and enthusiasm, they are geared up for the upcoming Mahashivratri festival on Tuesday, February 13. Volunteers are excited and set to prepare the food within the premises of the temple, and they have organized over 10,000 thandai’s and prashad for over 5000 people. It surely is an event that everyone is looking forward to.

The Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir of Houston is located at 6640 Harwin Drive, Houston. For further details visit their website at