Dev Darshan Senior Center hosts first Anniversary Gala

Dev Darshan

Richa Chand

CHICAGO:  Completing its First Successful Year, the Dev Darshan Senior Center, a multi-ethnic organization, specializing in senior and elderly care, hosted its 1st Annual Gala on March 30th at National India Hub, Schaumburg, a Chicago suburb, along with famous Bollywood Star Singers Sammy & Gautam from Dallas

Dev DarshanMaster of the Ceremonies, Richa Chand welcomed the guests and presented Dev Darshan Mission Statement, “The purpose of DDSC (Dev Darshan Senior Center) is to uplift senior citizens’ lives by providing a variety of programs such as yoga exercises, birthday celebrations, musical events, educational and notable speakers.” The social hour during Dinner and Meet & Greet witnessed a beautiful Flute performance and, songs by Raju Bankapur, another talented artist.

It was a heart touching moment for Hema Sashtri, President, to hear from her grandson Darshan who said,”Mrs. Hemaben Shastri is one of the dearest members of our community and founding member & president of Dev Darshan Senior Center & she’s my grandma.”

Hema Shastri has provided a great deal of support to our community, our temples and has provided services for our Seniors by guiding them and helping them with their healthcare options for over 25 years

In her welcome speech, Hema Shastri fondly reminisced how DDSC had held its Inauguration ceremony, in March, on Saturday 25th, 2023, at Manav Seva Mandir, Bensenville, IL, with similar fanfare and, the year went by too quickly, completing the many activities for the Seniors. She thanked all the guests, sponsors and supporters who have contributed to the growth of Dev Darshan Senior Center group, which now has 138 members and still growing!!

To honor the inspiration behind the Dev Darshan Senior Center, Late Dr C.L Shastri, who was  respected astrologer with weekly published editorials, also having served at Manav Seva Mandir as the main Priest & Acharya at the Jalaram Temple, a beautiful commemoration ceremony was conducted by the Shastri family, led by Hema Shastri, Devesh Shastri, Mika Shastri, Darshan along with the other members of the Shastri family and devotional song performed by Singer Poonam Poddar.

Dev Darshan

The deep-lighting ceremony was performed by Hema and others, and, felicitation was performed by Vinita Gulabani. Pandit Rohit Joshi chanted mantra for  prosperity for all during this auspicious Deep Pragatya ceremony.

The Chief Guest Consul General Somnath Ghosh, congratulated Hema Shastri and Dev Darshan Senior group for the great achievement and shared how well the NRIs are helping to support US & Indian economy. He shared statistical details about how many Indians & Indian origin folks are residing in Chicago and USA and was proud to see that senior groups have really been a great part of this success story.

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi was not able to attend but he sent his remarks and notes to Dev Darshan Senior Center, which was read aloud and shared by Vice President Neelam Desai. Other Prominent speakers were Manish Gandhi, Sunil Shah,Dr Vijay Prabhakar, Chairman Global Eye Magazine, GSA along with Dr Rajiv Kandala, Chief Medical Officer, Capital Hospice & Palliative Care presented a Special Recognition Award to Hema Shastri in recognition of her outstanding service to the community.

And in recognition of the valuable support provided to the Senior Center, the recipients were invited to receive the DDSC plaques which were presented to Consul General Hon. Shri Somnath Ghosh, singers Sammy & Gautami and Event Emcee Host Richa Chand. Matt Matthew, Jason Arthur of Blue Cactus Photography, Amit Patel & Deepakji were also recognized for their selfless support. A special honorary support plaque was also presented jointly by Dr Vijay Prabhakar and Hema Shastri to Dr Rajiv Kandala also.

Dev Darshan

Other dignitaries who were recognized and honored on the stage were Guests of Honor Mr. Sodhi and his wife Mrs. Monika Sodhi from California. Shri Jayanti Thakkar who actively organizing Selfless Annual Healthcare in Chicagoland for last 35 years was also honored. DDSC seniorcommittee memberPramod Joshi, Graphic Designer & Fine Arts Commissioner for Village of Skokie, recipient of the award by Gujarat Governor, was also honored by Hemaji.

The evening was full of entertainment for the guests, that included Bollywood beautiful dances, Tum Hi Meri Pooja, Tum Hi Devta Ho – by Hema Shastri and two Bollywood Kathak inspired fusion dances by Suhani Dance Academy’s Riya & Ananya Sullivan and Madhuri Dixit inspired dance by Falguni Rana, the owner and choreographer who has been teaching dance for past 40 years. But the main highlight was the Bollywood Musical Extravaganza by the Special Guest Artists Sammy and Gautami. The beautiful couple performed on the theme of Bollywood’s Superstars,churning out all the hit new and old Bollywood numbers of the legendary artists. Local singers Poonam Poddar & Melody Mahesh Kumar also sang popular hit songs during the intermission and entertained the guests.

Vote of Thanks was presented by Vice President Neelam Desai. Music and DJ support was provided by Amit Patel & Deepak from Nupur Sound. Neelamji thanked all sponsors and supporter,. Overall, it was a great event by Dev Darshan Senior Center which brought all the people together

Dev Darshan 2024 Team:

Advisory committee: Dr Bharat Barai, Dr Ashok Shah, Dr Kamlesh Amin, Jasbir Singh, Suga Builders, Dr Vijay Prabhakar, Ajeet Singh, Ajit Pant,Vandana Jingan, Rita Shah, Kadar Sodagar, Manish Gandhi

Executive committee member: Devesh Shastri, Neelam Desai, Bhavna Thakkar, Pritesh Desai, Rajubhai Patel, Umesh Patel, Mayank Shukla, Rajendra Patel, Mitesh Modi

Executive Volunteers: Hetal Shukla, Jignaben, Kokila Patel, Malvika Patel, Jigishaben, Raksha Modi and Lata Patel.

For joining Dev Darshan Senior Center Group  please Contact/Zelle Email:

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