Maheshwari Mahasabha Houston Community Celebrates Diwali

Committee Members and spouses with Renu Khator: From Left Preeti Rathi (Sakhi Coordinator), Pratibha Rathi (Cultural), Harish Kabra (Sports and development), Jyoti Bagdi (Treasurer), Manoj Mundra (Vice President), Mr Girish Khator, Mrs Renu Khator, Narendra Zamwar (Trustee), Pramesh Maheshwari (President) Radhika Lohiya (Secretary).

Houston: The Maheshwari Mahasabha of North America (MMNA) Houston community celebrated Diwali Milan on 13th November 2021, at VPSS Haveli with food, fun and laughter. This auspicious occasion, the festival of lights, the most important festival for all Hindus globally symbolizes the victory of good over evil, celebrating Lord Rama’s vanquishment of the evil king Ravana, and the subsequent victorious return of Lord Rama as king of Ayodhya. This spectacular Diwali program, which was named as Deepotsav 2021, was conceptualized, planned and executed by its committee members Shri Narendra Zanwar (NEC – BoT), Pramesh Maheshwari (President), Manoj Mundra (Vice president), Radhika Lohiya (Secretary), Jyoti Bagdi (Treasurer), Pratibha Baheti (Cultural Secretary), Harish Kabra (Development & Sports) and Preeti Rathi (Sakhi coordinator).

Event Sponsors being felicitated by Narendra Zamwar.

The President of the chapter, Mr. Pramesh Maheshwari said “We are doing this annual event after a gap of two years due to COVID. Everyone is very excited to come together to hope and pray for the victory of humanity against the deadly global pandemic. This event inspires the community to promote cultural values, to provide fun and entertainment, acknowledge societal and individual achievements and network with each other. Houston has large number of Maheshwaris who are prominent in the field of business, education, medical, industry and culture. Even though Maheshwari’s are very small in numbers overall, they have played a significant role in the overall development of Indian Society and the region.”

The program started with Laxmi Puja followed by grand cultural program showcasing most popular Hindu Spiritual Story of Ramayan and significance of Diwali and over 75 participants displayed their incredible talent of dance, singing, skit and music! A live band performance where kids played various instruments and sang melodiously was the highlight of the cultural program! Pratibha Baheti, Rajeev Baheti, Radhika Lohiya and Anup Lohiya, the masters of ceremony delighted the audience through their skillful mastery. The on-stage program was beautifully supported by accompanying visuals created and managed by Harish Kabra. Maheshwaris also took part in food drive for the needy under SewaDiwali banner and collected various non-perishable food items which were later donated at various elderly homes.

The highlight and breathtaking moment of the event was the presence of one of our most respected and accomplished member, Mrs. Renu Khator and Mr. Suresh Khator. Mrs. Renu Khator is the eighth chancellor and the thirteenth president of the University of Houston. She had embraced the program with her inspiring speech and humble attitude. She uplifted the spirit of all the achievement award winners with her inspiring words and her wishes. Through her crisp oration, she made all the attendees proud to be Maheshwaris, while giving a glimpse of her own family history. She struck a chord with all the kids enlightening them to dream big and work hard not worrying about the failure and nurtured them to retain thier culture and be a proud Maheshwari and Indian which is our core foundation. MMNA also felicitated it’s dynamic members with achievement awards in various fields like academics, sports, science, music and Etc. All achievers received a certificate from Ms. Khator.

“The event saw very active participation from men, women, kids and members from all walks of life. The cultural part was conceived and prepared by different women from the community who worked very hard for last two months” said Pratibha Baheti, the cultural secretary. “I feel so proud to see so many women coming forward and taking lead in preparing and actively participating in this event.” Said Preeti Rathi, the women wing coordinator for the chapter.  International Maheshwari Rajasthani Convention (IMRC) conducted a skit competition ‘Sabse Chokho Nyoto’ and 3 teams of 6 members each entertained the audience. Video of the winning team will be used to invite community members from different chapters. IMRC is scheduled for next year 2022 during thanksgiving holidays in Houston.

“We started the event sharp on time and everyone participated throughout the event. Many of the community senior members came on time, stayed throughout and blesses us during the event”. Said an elated Manoj Mundra, Vice President of MMNA.  Jyoti Bagdi, Treasurer of MMNA said “It was a paid event attended by over 200 community people. We also had a bunch of generous donors who opened their hearts and made this event a grand success!”

Narendra Zanwar thanked all the members of the community in making this a very successful event. He also appreciated all the volunteers for their efforts. Neeta and Ganesh Lathi volunteered for leading decoration, Ashish Phafat and Manish Garg managed front desk registration and Triveni and Sharad Mantri managed kids gifts. The organizers also thanked all the families in hosting the event preparation.

The MMNA is a non-profit organization in operation for more than 35 years. With six chapters in North America, it caters to the needs of Maheshwari /Rajasthani  families in North America. It maintains links between similar organizations in India and Europe. Its major charitable contributions are in the areas of education and social work. For more information, visit