Maharashtra Mandal Dubai is a social organization that was formed in 1973 under the able leadership of President Shri. Nana Shahane, Secretary Shri. Arvind Adhikari and Treasurer Shri. Garde.
It was a commendable act no doubt, but even more commendable is the uninterrupted continuity the Maharashtra Mandal has provided to young and old Maharashtrians for close to 30 years – a reminder of our roots, a custodian of our culture.
Since that modest beginning of a few members the Mandal has grown from strength to strength, now boasting nearly 600 members. Each April, a new managing committee led by a newly elected president takes charge of the annual program. Each year the managing committee tries to outdo their predecessors by giving better, more innovative programs.
In the first few years, the events were mostly indigenous utilizing local talent. In 1981, the then President Shri. Ravi Dingankar invited late Shri. P.L. Deshpande, an acclaimed and prolific writer, actor, playwright and musician, thereby setting a welcome precedent. Among the celebrities who have performed for our Mandal are Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj, Asha Bhosle, Hridaynath Mangeshkar , Arun Date, Dr Pankaj Chande, Dr Girish Oak & Mrs Devaki Pandit.
The activities traditionally include musical evenings with guest artists from India, staging plays by professional theatre companies, entertainment programs by members and their families, picnics, celebrations of some key Indian festivals, literary evenings and more. These play an important role in making children aware of their cultural heritage in distant lands.
We are renowned for our interest in arts and our Marathi theatre is considered to be among the most progressive in India. The members of the Mandal do stage at least one three-act play every year, choosing from a wide variety of plays by well-known playwrights. Plays like Ghashiram Kotwal, Shantata Court Chalu Ahe , Natasamrat , Kuryat Punha Tingalam have been staged by our local artists. Professional actors and actresses who visit us are usually overwhelmed by the response of the appreciative audience.
It is a venue for like-minded people to meet, speak our native language and enjoy the variety events. Most members feel that they have benefited by the numerous friendships that have developed over the years through Maharashtra Mandal Dubai.