On Friday 18th of November at the Leicester Stage Hotel the OCHS held "An Evening with Ranjit Sondhi CBE". The impetus for the dinner, prompted by the Sir Mark Tully Dinner held in London, in May, came from Mr Vijay Thakrar. A team of our Leicester friends organised, managed and executed the evening wonderfully.
The evening was part of the OCHS Awareness-raising Campaign and a regional launchto the business community in Leicester andit was a tremendous success.Ranjit Sondhi, a BBC Governor, very kindly agreed to share his thoughts on bring a british Indian as our main speaker for the event. The main sponsors were ICICI Bank and Yorkshire Bank and we had 270 people who came to enjoy the evening. We held a raffle and an auction, which made the evening profitable, exceeding our expectations. Everyone seemed to have agreat time and the feedback forms confirmed this, with the majority of scores being 5 out of 5.
The talks began with the spirited oration of 11 year old Devarshi. Explaining that he was from the 'Why?' generation, Devarshi said, "many children of my age agree that not enough is being done to them teach the basics of Hinduism. This leads to problems and embarrassment for us." His talk was followed by Priti Raichura, Chair of Leicester Hindu Youth UK, andmyself launching the OCHS,our achievements,our relevance to society and our need for support.
The main presentation, "The Middle Way: On Being a Indian in Britain Today.", by Ranjit Sondhi, was very well received. This talk included questions from the floor and sparked an engaging dialogue. Ranjit began by observing that, "Our lives are now more complexly constructed than ever before. We struggle to reconcile tensions between choice and constraint, freedom and security, individual aspiration and collective provision, enterprise and equity, risk and guarantee. The search for a middle way has become more and more pressing and urgent."
Musical entertainment was provided by the dulcet tones and wonderful artistry of Chandubhai Mattani and band. We are indebted to Chandubhai for his kindness to the OCHS and for satisfying the hearts of our audience.
One of thenotablesuccessesof the evening was the development of such a strong and committedOCHS Midlands team led by Vijay, and including Bhikhubhai Hindocha, Raj Chauhan, Jagdish Ghelani and Manish Thakrar. We had a team of about 20 members of Hindu Youth UKwere kind enough to doall the setting up and practical arrangements.