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Welcome to Maharashtra Mondal London
 
 
 
A Brief History Of The Mandal And Its Present Activities
   
 
Maharashtra Mandal London is one of the oldest Marathi organisations outside of India. It was founded in 1932 during a visit of Late Mr. N. C. Kelkar, a noted Marathi writer and a politician, when he was attending the round table conference in London. Many dignitaries such as Dr. Ambedkar, Barrister Jaikar, Diwan Surve of Kolhapur, Dr Godbole and Dr Paradhi were present at the inauguration tea party. Mr. Tamhankar of "Kesari" newspaper, acting as a secretary to Mr. Kelkar later became the mainstay of the Mandal
   
 
The Mandal flourished. It had organised a number of get together/programmes until outbreak of the 2nd world war. Then its activities were stopped during the war period.
   
 
The Mandal's activities revived in 1952, when Mr. Balasaheb kher was appointed as the High Commissioner of India in London. A new generation of Maharashtrian young families joined hands with the older members. They made the Mandal a meeting place where Marathi music concerts, dramas, Marathi cuisine and Diwali Dinners were organised. Consequently the Mandal played the host to many renowned artists from India. It was also visited by prominent personalities such as M. M. D. V. Potdar, Mr. C.D. Deshmukh, Mr. Y. B. Chavan, Mr. Sharad Pawar and recently by Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh
   
 
After acquiring its own premises in 1989, the Mandal started performing its activities effectively and put its development work on a permanent footing. Since then the Mandal continues to organise 10 to 12 cultural functions every year. In addition, it undertakes many other activities on a regular basis such as: annual summer holiday play scheme for children, a day centre for elderly, sport facilities: badminton and table tennis, talent shows such as dramas and song concerts and a monthly gathering for women- ‘Mahila Mandal’. The most important annual event is ‘Shree Ganeshotsav’, when every family visits the Mandal during the ten days of festivity. Most programmes are organised with emphasis on the Marathi culture. They strongly reflect Marathi tradition and Maharashtrian's love for drama and music. Over the years the mandal has extended a helping hand during natural disasters in Maharashtra/India. It is not possible to list all activities of the mandal during its long and illustrious history. It is gratifying that our Community in U.K. being so small and spread out has achieved so much since mandal’s inception.
   
 
The mandal is of course a venue for grown-ups to gather, chat and discuss, participate in events and generally have a fun time. The mandal, howerver, is also a platform for our new generations. As we live away from India,we want to be able to show our children what being Indian, and in particular Maharashtrian is all about. We want to give them a platform to make new friends, learn about our culture and have a ready-made community that they can belong to "Mahrashtra Bhavan"-Mandal's Own Building.
   
 
For many years the programmes were staged in rented halls or theatres. In late 1980’s the dream of acquiring our own ‘Vastu’ became a reality. A church building became available and then trustees and the executive committee launched a campaign for a building fund. The mandal received magnificent financial support of general membership and generous donations from Mr & Mrs N.H. Sahastrabudhe, Mr & Mrs S Prabhu, the late Mr. Ram Marathe, Mr. S J Dighe, Mr. & Mrs Chaugule, and the Maharashtra State Government, Maharashtra State, India.
   
 
It is remarkable that many members put in a lot of efforts to raise the required funds during that period. The mandal received on an average £150 per member family as a donation at that time.
   
 
The mandal paid £72,000 and acquired its own premises on a 99 years lease in 1989. The mandal renovated the rather rundown / redundant church building into a pleasant community centre that is to day.