MAFS Celebrate 25th Anniversary – A Pioneer, Change the landscape of Social Services in Chicagoland-Looking Back, Moving Forward… MAFS converts Ashyana Banquet Hall into Theater to showcase special Dance Drama, Kal Bhi, Aaj Bhi, written, produced & Directed by Kushal Bose.
Commemorating its Silver Jubilee, Metropolitan Asian Family Services held its 25th annual fundraising dinner on November 18, 2017, at Ashyana Banquets, Downers Grove IL. The celebration started with the traditional “Deep-Lighting” performed by Swami Mukundananda of Bharat Sevashram Sangha, Aurora IL. Prominent dignitaries in attendance were Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Schaumburg Trustee Nimish Jani, Philanthropist Deepak Kant Vyas, Dr. Vijay Prabhakar, Executive Director CLESE Marta Pereyra, Chairman for Indian Community Outreach Krishna Bansal, FIA Ex-President Sunil Shah, Chand Kumawat, Chairman of Manees Media, India, Anis Ahmed, Chairman, AMU of Greater Chicago, MAFS Board Members, and other community leaders Narsinhbhai Patel, Dr Rasik Shah and business supporters including seniors and their families. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi commended the MAFS team for its exemplary service to the community for 25 long years and said he wishes MAFS will continue to do so for many more years in future.
Honorable Consul General of India Ms. Neeta Bhushan also congratulated MAFS for completing 25 years of serving the elderly and other immigrant populations in Chicagoland. She praised the array of services MAFS provides to the community successfully, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle appreciated the dedication MAFS has to serve the community and gave good wishes to continue for many more years. A warm welcome was given to Mr. Sagar Kumar MAFS Treasurer, who spoke about the limited amount of funds MAFS receives and the expenses and deficits the company faces every year. Mrs. Santosh Kumar Executive Director MAFS, spoke about the long journey and the trials and tribulations they faced to come this far. She also remembered all the people past and present leaders of the community, such as Shankerprasad Bhatt, Manohar Manchanda, Ramesh Goyal, Narendra Patel, Yasmin Tiwana, Dr. Firdaus Jafri, Rosemary Gemperly, Marta Pareyra, who have helped to accomplish MAFS’s mission to educate, counsel, assist and empower immigrants to become productive member of American Society.
She and her Late husband Mr. Kumar worked very hard to bring MAFS, a pioneer organization, who has changed the landscape of social services in Chicagoland area that far. She requested the community, that MAFS was created for them and want them to take care of the MAFS, a well-recognized, trusted and licensed by County, State, and Federal Government. She also assures the community about MAFS’s future and presented her both the sons, as future leaders. I believe that MAFS will grow more in the coming years, to lead the way, we already have our future leaders- energetic, technically savvy and competent in management skills, She said.
Under this new leadership, MAFS is now better positioned to find new resources to find the solutions to ever growing problems and appeals the community to support its mission wholeheartedly. She also thanked its sponsors, Dr. Jafri, Board president, board members, MAFS/UMAS staff Mr. Jain. Kushal Bose, Madhura Sane and other artist seniors, friends and families for their support and taking time to attend and making it an unforgettable gala celebration. A warm welcome was given to Sagar Kumar, MAFS treasurer, who gave the financial report of MAFS and encouraged the community to read pages 16-18 of Souvenir book and understand its funding structure and spoke about the difference in fund receivables and expenses. He explains why MAFS has to raise funds to fill the gaps in funding and to match the grants to accomplish its mission to help the community.
An award ceremony was performed by MAFS board and dignitaries, Hon’ble Nita Bhushan, Indian Consul General, Ms. Tony Preckwinkle, Chicago Board president, Dr. Vijay Prabhaker, Ethnic Taskforce, Chand Kumawat, Chairman, Manees Media The Pramod Kumar Philanthropy Award was presented to Mr. Deepak Kant Vyas Chairman & CEO Redberri Corp, The Partnership Award was presented to Mr. Sean Dunn, VP WINTRUST Community Bank, Pillar of MAFS Award was given to Ms. Promila Mehta Manager Social work Chicago center; Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Mr. Prem Jalota Manager Roselle center, Employee of the Year Award was given to Ms. Connie Dogaru SOS Coordinator, Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Ms. Bhanumati Maheta, a Yoga Teacher.
A special Award of GSA Outstanding Citizen of the year 2017 given by Shri Pranav Mukherjee, President of India on July 1, 2017, was also presented by Hon’ble Nita Bhushan, Indian Consul General, and Dr. Vijay Prabhaker to Mrs. Santosh Kumar, Founder of Metropolitan Asian Family Services, IL USA. SENATE RECOGNITION – was given by Senator Cristina Castro and presented by Ms. Nazneen to Mrs. Santosh Kumar, Founder of MAFS which reads: The Illinois Senate of 100th General Assembly of the State of Illinois acknowledges- METROPOLITAN ASIAN FAMILY SERVICES, In recognition of celebrating 25 years as a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic organization committed to educate, assist and empower the immigrant community to adjust to life in United States, and extends its congratulations and best wishes on this momentous occasion and further commends MAFS for its continued commitment to providing comprehensive and integrated social services to our immigrant population. The entertainment began with Ganesh Vandana by Soorya Dance School of Northbrook, ably followed by a traditional Bosnian Dance by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Club of Chicago but Reena’s Rockers from Naperville really rocked the hall with their fusion dance mix of Ballet and Bharatnatyam. A special dance-drama was showcased to celebrate 25 years of Metropolitan Asian Family Services – “Kal Bhi Aaj Bhi” conceived, written, produced and directed by Mr. Kushal Bose was a multimedia play that incorporates live dance, narration, video projection and music that essentially translates to “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”.
The play chronicles the evolution of Indian classical music, dance and musical instruments over five thousand years that have historically adopted and evolved with many styles- influenced by both from within and outside India. The dances were mesmerizingly performed by the well known Kathak actor/dancer from Chicago’s own Madhura Sane. It tells the story of roots of Indian classical music, found in the Vedic literature of Hinduism such as Samaveda and Rigveda. Told through in documentary style of narration and live examples, it presents three art forms- musical instruments (vadya), vocal music (geet) and dance (nritya). The play captured and demonstrated skillfully the essence of the development of Sangeeta as it became a distinct genre of art, expressing emotion, feelings, spirit, and passion of epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata, and other Hindustani literature over thousands of years. The audience was captivated by this interesting tale of their own history, heritage, and culture The evening was brought to a close by “Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai” a musical tribute to the Founder/ CFO of MAFS, Late Mr. Pramod Kumar performed by well-known artists from Chicago again researched, conceived and directed by Mr. Kushal Bose, whose inventive and intelligent plays and musical programs have been enlightening Chicago audience over two decades . He brilliantly traces the life of Mr. Kumar from 1937-2016 era. His life journey was showcased through video and matched the music drama of that era. Again performed by Madhura Sane, was not only electrifying, unforgettable but also a spiritual experience.
Emcees Jahnavi Bavisi Niles Manager and Neelam Desai Naperville Manager successfully managed the entire program and were able to generate a good amount of donation through their entertaining and lively appeals. The Vote of Thanks was given by MAFS Board Secretary Dr. Rakesh Asthana.