By Suresh Bodiwala
TORONTO: The Akhil Anjana Association of North America (AAANA) organized a grand two-day convention last week at the Gore Meadows Community Centre in Brampton and continued the next day at Vaughan Secondary School in West Vaughan.
Both days were devoted to fostering community cohesion through recreational activities and the launch of a dedicated website. There were also several guests invited from India Manibhai Chaudhary (Pamol) Rameshbhai Chaudhary ( Bakarpur) Shivrambhai Chaudhary (Indrapura) Babubhai Chaudhary (Bhrahmanvada)
Saturday commenced with lively outdoor activities, such as egg toss, dodge ball, cricket and badminton matches), and a meet and greet socializing session over breakfast. Youth dances including garba were performed through the evening over dinner.
AAANA Vice President Uday Chaudhary gave a brief introductory speech and invited Meenakshi Chaudhary and Parth Chaudhary to be MCs.
The program started with lighting of the auspicious lamp. An invocatory dance offering flowers (Pushpanjali) was performed by five-year old Jia Chaudhary and seven-year old Vishwa Chaudhary, who had come all the way from Alabama. This was followed by another dance by Vidhi Chaudhary and Dhwani Chaudhary.
Two kids then performed ‘Ek Radha Ek Mira’. After an enthralling Bollywood dhamal, Dherya Pandey briefly introduced. Vishva and Jia danced “Saiyaji baiya churaake nahi Jana.” The following dance by Heta Chaudhary was applauded by one and all.
Dr. Bharat Barai & Kanti S. Patel (NFIA) from Chicago was invited to throw some light on choosing medicine as a career in North America. Barai is a practicing cancer and blood specialist, who also teaches at Indiana University Medical School and Methodist Hospitals. He is on the Medical Licensing Board of State of Indiana and on Board of Directors of the Methodist Hospitals, of which he is also the immediate Past President and Medical Executive Committee Chairman. Along with all these professional responsibilities, he manages to find time out for vivid voluntary social and charitable Activities both in the USA and in India. The latest feather in his cap is the Ellis Island Medal of Honor reserved for immigrants, who have gone on to make major contributions to the host nation.
The two-day program concluded with formal launch of the AAANA website www.aana.org, prepared by Global Integrated Networks and presented to the Samaj by its founder Ankur J. Chaudhari
Anjana Jats migrated to Bhinmal, Marvad, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh from Rajasthan. The Jats are reputed for three characteristics: martial prowess (symbolized by the sword), livestock (buffalo), and agriculture.
The Anjanas, traditionally, are known by 3 different last names: Chaudhari (almost a stamp of identity), Patel or Pateol (reflecting their occupation as farmers), and Desai (which was originally a title conferred by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad of Baroda for distinguished community service).
Both men and women are renowned for their skill and bravery in battle; north Gujarat is strewn with memorial stones marking sites of self-sacrifice around which legends have grown. The ultimate origins of the Anjana community remain shrouded in undocumented history and myth.
Founded in 2013, AAANA Youth Program (YP) educates students and young professionals and by providing hands-on experience through organized group visits and volunteering opportunities across locations in North America and around the world. AAANA Seva is a non-for-profit organization dedicated to serving Anjanas living here and abroad. Seva offers useful services to help new immigrants and other disadvantaged persons integrate into the host society with dignity as well as provide emergency care and support when needed. Its programs foster self-reliance and aim to reduce dependence on outside assistance.
AAANA committee comprises Uday Chaudhari (President), Soham P. Chaudhari (Executive VP), Ankur J. Chaudhari (Secretary / IT Director), and Muljibhai M. Chaudhari (Past President). Its Trustees are Dalsangbhai H. Chaudhari, Popatbhai K. Chaudhari, Ashaben D. Chaudhari, Vithalbhai L. Chaudhari, Prembhai N. Chaudhari, Ashokbhai K. Chaudhari, Mohanbhai V. Chaudhari, and Muljibhai M. Chaudhari. Marsh Chaudhari is Director of Youth Canada and Om P. Chaudhari of Youth USA. AAANA Women’s Wing comprises Soham P. Chaudhari, Ashaben D. Chaudhari, and Smita P. Chaudhari.