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As part of the celebration of the Birth centenary of Vandaniya Mausijee, the founder of Rashtra Sevika Samitee, Bharat, Erie hosted a workshop for women "Maitreyi".

It was our pleasure to have Ma.Shantakka, sarkaryavahika of the Rashtriya sevika samitee as the Speaker & Dr. Yashwant Pathakji as our guide for the workshop.

The program was attended by about 50 people, held at Montessori Children's house of Erie on Sunday, July 31, 2005 from noon to 6 pm.

The session comprised of shakha prarambh followed by fun-filled indoor games as well as some interesting outdoor games. There was a brainstorming discussion initiated by Ma. Shantakka on "How to build awareness & self confidence among Hindu women" & "Role of women in preserving Hindu culture in the Indian families in the US". In the tea-snacks break, along with relishing homemade food, everyone enjoyed the display of handmade art/craft ranging from glass paintings to embroideries of various kinds, which was arranged by sevikas. After the break, everyone enjoyed some outdoor games in the sun.

The afternoon session ended with a lecture delivered by Ma.

Shantakka, where many interesting points were presented. Citing the example of a pencil, She mentioned that just as a pencil needs to be continuously sharpened, we need to constantly improve our skills. And like a pencil, each human being should leave a mark (an exemplary one) after he / she goes. Also, just like a pencil is always in the hands of others, every human being has to realize the importance of society as a group to accomplish anything.

She also stressed on the important role played by housewives and mentioned that they should never introduce themselves as "I am just a housewife" as this is a full time job a great importance.

After a short break, the praudh Milan baithak was conducted by Dr. Yashwant Pathakji & Ma.Shantakka, where some of the guests were people of Erie, who have been in the city for quite some time. Here, the proposal for building a Hindu temple /community center was put forth & pros & cons were evaluated. The jist of the discussion was that a small Hindu community center is more feasible than building a full service Hindu temple, considering the maintenance costs & manpower. This plan is now to be implemented & further discussed by sevaks & sevikas of Erie.

The workshop was really helpful for all of us & we look forward to having such events in future too.