HSS sAGM on November 16, 2019

First of all, I would like to thank members of Hindu Society for giving me the opportunity to serve you in the capacity of HSS president and also for giving me the able team of executives.

We have remained extremely busy executing any tasks related to the temple programs, building maintenance, improvement in security system and fundraising activities. I would high light the major activities since April this year to now:

Maintenance and activities:  
1) Temple interior including kitchen appliances were professionally cleaned. We do inspection walk through the whole facility on Mondays to ensure the cleanliness, proper maintenance and safety. and the cleaning person is scheduled to clean the entire facility on every Tuesday. The fridges are being emptied on every Tuesday and oil is thrown outside in Oil bin, to avoid any fire hazards.

2) Recycle bins were placed in the kitchen.

3) All the soap and paper dispensers are checked on a regular basis. Supplies sufficient for few months are always being stored in the storage room. HSS is buying the supplies from Enviroway, at a huge discounted price. Vishesh is the representative who checks on this task.

4) Facebook is being used to update on temple activities.  We have 1000 followers to our Facebook page.

5) Website was problematic, we have now purchased new server and transfer of website is in progress.

Building improvement: 
6) Lawn mowing and snow removal are outsourced for prompt service.

7) We completed fire inspection, health inspection, back flow report, gas inspection etc.

8) Regular Sunday service is going well and for the last five months we have started serving lunch after the service.

9) In addition, to our regular events and functions, we have also conducted Shiv Jaap, Sawan Somwar, Maata ki Chowki, Diwali Mela with fire works – which were well participated and enjoyed by everyone.

10) We put Pitra Paksha bins for food bank – many devotees have donated nonperishable food and items for food bank.

1) For the past few years we were paying $35 every month to ADT to secure the temple hall, but the installation was incomplete and temple was never armed. We now got the installation complete and also extended the security service to the suite, Geeta Bhawan, and the open area. Smoke detectors were installed.

2) We had an incidence of theft in the temple one night fortunately no valuables were lost since then, we installed new locks and additional cameras.

3) The telephone was upgraded to record and reply all the messages, as well a parallel connection was placed in the suite.

4) The incidence was recorded by the security cameras. This incident was reported to the police. It became difficult to track all the keys issued in the past. In this process we realized that some of the past board members still carried the keys. We go most of the keys back. However, the new systems replace all the keys issued in the past and thus the security aspect is taken care of to our best. Now we have an accurate record of temple keys. I would request all members that if you get keys for the rental purpose, please keep It secure and not share with nay unauthorized person.

Building Upgradation:
1) Work is in progress to install new lights in the temple basement (Courtesy: Amit Dhawan)

2) Steps to basement hall (on one side) are upgraded from carpet to wood (Courtesy: Drs Suryavanshi and Drs. Vikas Sharma)

3) Few new benches were ordered for use in the temple prayer hall (Courtesy: devotees).

4) Flowers beds were upgraded (Courtesy: Dr. Ramesh Tandon).

5) Broken concrete walkway at the entrance was replaced with non-slippery path Expense was donated by Mrs. Maya Chakravarty and some other members.

6) Four additional speakers were installed in the prayer hall (Installation courtesy: Mayur Patel and colleagues)

7) Received a Harmonium donated by a musician from Toronto with efforts from Mr. Sunil Sohani.

8) LED Televisions were mounted and connected for an electronic display of weekly announcements

9) Whole temple, office, basement and surrounding were painted before Diwali function (Expenses were donated)

10) We are in a process of addressing all the fire code deficiencies for building safety and to facilitate connection of fire alarms to the fire department. Connection of temple building with fire department is also mandatory as our fire code capacity is 300.

Renting the premises:
1) Since May 2019, the suite is rented to a very nice family from India.  The rent is $1300 per month.  The tenant is also helpful to check that no electric lights / pilot lights were left on.  For additional security of the tenants, a bell, ADT system and phone were installed in the suite.

2) One of our regular tenant group, ISSO, has moved to their own place. We wish them all the best. The other major group BAPS is continuing to use Gita Bhawan every Sunday and is paying a rent of $400 per week.  Increase in this rental from $250 to $400 has helped to offset departure of the ISSO group. Saskatoon Sharbojonin Puja Porishod (SSPP) uses once a month, also, on Durga and Sarswati Puja time.

3) We continue to rent the temple for many other occasions on a regular basis.

1) Under Vedanta Endowment Lecture Series, two excellent lectures were held at the temple and University of Saskatchewan.

2) Contact information of HSS has been updated with multifaith, open door society and other community organizations for prompt receipt of any information, bills and invoices.

3) The HSS faith leader at the University of Saskatchewan is Dr. Nawal Sharma and the representative for Saskatoon Health board is Miss Rajesh Sexana have been appointed. We thank Mr. Asit Sarkar who had served as Faith leader for some
years previously.

4)Included many other organizations to work with the Hindu society to bring togetherness in the community.  We celebrated Diwali Mela with India Student Association, took part in global peace prayers, India Canada Cultural Association had organized the Indian Councilor’s camps time to time in Gita Bhawan to help community members for their immigration needs so they do not have to travel to Vancouver. Walk for Value with Sai center, Rath Yatra with Saskatoon Iskon, holding program of Brahmrishi Gurudev and also speech by Swami Ken.

I am pleased to inform that our Annual Vegetarian Banquet on March 09, 2019 was well attended with over 600 people. The banquet was a celebration of our culture, heritage and food, showcasing our communities and our contributions to society at large.  As a chair of the banquet committee I thank all the committee members and volunteers for a fantastic job.

I am pleased to announce that the Shri Lakshmi Narayan mandir’s mortgage has gone down to about $495,000 With the blessing of the Sri Lakshmi Narayan and the contribution from our generous devotees the HSS was able to meet the mortgage commitments. We encourage community members to keep donating in various way to reduce our mortgage. It has been very busy and fruitful past few months. Once again, the Board is thankful to the community members who have donated funds for the above mentioned projects as well volunteered their time.  I am so proud of each of the board member for their hard work bring our community together and service to the temple in best possible way.

Amit Dhawan – As Vice-president, looking after the work while I am out of town, answering every phone call with respect and doing temple work.

Bhagya Lakshmi – As a Secretary. The temple and board are very fortunate to have such an efficient and organized secretary to maintain the meeting minutes and records.

As Treasurer – Pragnesh: always doing work with great smiles, as you will see in treasurer’s report.

Our sincere thanks and very much appreciate Mr. kalayana Venkatraman for helping with the financials. Even though, he is not a board member but has contributed no less than any board member in preparing the financial records. His passion for numbers and accuracy is admirable.

Jay Shree- program coordinator – making duty roster and reminding everyone and helping with music and special functions.  She is India for few months and we are grateful to Bhagya Lakshmi for taking care of her work.

Fundraising coordinator – Myhtili has done a lot for the temple.  She is very hard working, dedicated, and doing work with enthusiasm.  Main fundraising activities conducted were Food and Fun Fair, Walkathon, Devotional concert by Pandit Narendra Datar, Lakshmi Puja, Diwali Mela, Janmashtami celebration at Prince Albert (coordinated by Dr. Lalita Malhotra).  Also, Durga Puja 50th anniversary was celebrated elegantly by the Durga Puja committee.

Facility Coordinator– Neelam Chaukla has done a great job in keeping track of all of the facility requirements including paper supplies.

Outreach Coordinator – Vishal Jheengut In- charge of the quarterly newsletter. Took the responsibility of getting rid of the mice in the premises.  He suggested few practices such as no spill over / storage of food around kitchen and to dispose garbage immediately after temple service. Also, Vishal is involved in getting the temple connected to the fire department.

Sunil Sohani – Looks after the music part of the temple.  He takes part in Sunday services harmonium playing and leads the temple concerts.

Satish Goyal – helps in many tasks as required.

I am also thankful to several volunteers who took care of other programs including Dr. Braj Sinha and Dr. Suresh Kalagnanam for conducting the Hindi and Hinduism classes, Dr. Nawal Sharma for conducting Reflection of the Hinduism series of lectures, Mrs. Maya Chakravarty for helping with Sunday lunch program and organizing the temple with many volunteers, Miss Kiran Kalia, Mr. Gade and Ratna Reddy for helping in various task. Dr. Lalita Malhotra for Janmashtami celebrations in Prince Albert.  I also thank the sponsors of our lunch program as well Delhi Chaat, Black Pepper, Pardeshi Bazaar, Bombay spices, Dollar stores, Angethi, Pritesh Choksi for electric work, Jay Vishthama for the carpentry work. ISSO Swami Narayan and BAPS groups for their ongoing help.

Thank you
May Lord Lakshmi Narayan bless you and your family!

Respectfully presented by

Leela Sharma
President, Hindu Society of Saskatchewan