CHICAGO: A group of local Indian community activists in Aurora area (south side of Chicago) banding as Fox Valley Ganesha Utsav Committee, arranged installing for the first time a 5 feet statue of Lord Vinayaka on the occasion of Vinayaka Chaturthi at 5000 sq feet shamiana beside making food arrangements for the devotees and give a real festive look for the 8 days duration
The Ganapathi Pooja was started at 10am on September 5 followed by Ganapathi Prathishtapam which was for the first time in open area in Chicago land. Lot of devotees were so enthusiastic to watch it that they started singing bhajans and kirtanas. Later it was followed by Ganapathihomam in the presence of 200 families belonging to different parts of Chicago land.
The event was also highlighted with the noteworthy presence of Mohammad Mahmood Ali, Deputy Chief Minister of Telangana State along with Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India, A.K. Khan, Director General of Police, Anti-Corruption Bureau, Telangana State and Iftekhar Shareef, a front ranking community activist in Chicgoland. They participated in the celebration and offered prayers to Lord Vinayaka. This was a special moment where Hindu temple priest offered special prayers to the gathering of about 400 devotees.
The Ganapathi festival arrangements were done meticulously by the decoration team Anupama, Prasuna and Sunitha. It was appreciated by all the devotees, a huge tent that can hold around 1500 people was erected and by entering into it the devotees really got a feeling that they are in a holy place.
All the Ganapathi Utsav Samithi members Srinivas Reddy Sirikonda, Vijay, Raj, KK Reddy, Sudheer Velpula, Vinoz Chanamolu, Krishanmohan, Chandra Sekhar Reddy, Krishna Mushyam, Harinda Reddy, Venkat, Ramana Abbaraju, Gopi, Mallareddy and others worked hard to make it a grand success.
In addition first time it was supported by various other community leaders like Sundar Dittakavi, Iftekar Shareef, Ravi Thokala , Mani Thallapragada, KV Reddy, Mohan Reddy, Dr Sukanya Reddy, Radhakrishna Reddy, Srinivas Peddamallu, Venkat Thudi, Chalma Bandaru, Rangareddy, Srinivas Reddy Chada, Narenar Cheemarla, Hari Raini, Srini Voruganti and other friends and volunteers
Later in the evening, lot of cultural activities were organized and crowd was really pouring in to have Ganapathi darshan, Ravi Thokal and Mani Thallapragada really entertained the audience with their singing skills. Ravi conducted workshop that helped kids in making their own Ganeshas.
Srinivas Sirikonda planned the entire Pooja activities, Raj Addagatla organized the Maha Aarthi for which the devotees were so happy and felt that they didn’t miss India for Ganapathi celebrations. All the food arrangements were taken care by Krishna Mohan, Venkat, Vinoz and Mallareddy.
The prasadam was provided voluntarily by none other than Tamarind Restaurant for more than 3000 members.
From S Ramesh & Keerthi Ravoori