It is my pleasure to report back to you all that we had a very pleasant, joyous, and successful religious bus trip to various Jain Temples in New York and New Jersey area during the October 10-11, 2015 weekend. This trip was not possible without the contribution, hard work, and tireless efforts put in by many individuals. I apologize if I have missed thanking any one in person or listing their names below. Michchhami Dukkadum from the bottom of my heart.
Listed below is the summary of the Panch Tirth Yatra:
- We had 79 yatris (30 families total) officially registered for this trip spread between two big buses.
- These two buses were led by our Sanghpati “Mehta” family: Bhadreshbhai, Manjuben, Sandeepbhai, Jhalakbhen, Maneet, and Kashvi.
- On Saturday, October 10th, we departed our Jain Center at 6:17 a.m. and on Sunday, October 11th, we returned back to our Jain Center at 9:40 p.m.
- We visited Cherry Hill Temple, Long Island Temple, Jain Center of America, Siddhachalam, and Franklin Derasar.
- On our way back, we also visited the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in Robinsville, NJ.
- The yatris’ age span ranged from 15 months to 73 years old. Despite this wide gap, each yatree had fun as well as had the chance to participate in various religious activities, including seva Pooja at various temples, just to name a few.
- The time in the buses were spent playing Jain Bingo, Jain puzzles, Antaakshari (with the youngest singing English songs and Jain stavans), and other games with prizes being distributed for the winners. The various activities/entertainment for young and adults were compiled and planned together by Jhalak Sandeep Mehta, Ripal Sahil Shah, Ami Mehul Doshi, Keyuri Janak Rajani, and Nimesh Chheda. The prizes were purchased and donated by Keyuri Rajani.
- There were two iPad raffles up for grabs for donation of $5/ticket. The lucky winners of these two devices were: Asha Jain and Moksh Shah (son of Harshid and Hemangini Shah).
- Dinner on Sunday, October 11th was sponsored by Vaishali Chheda and Ashok Shah, courtesy of Globex Realty, Inc.
- I am happy to share with you that this trip has broke even with the expenses incurred, including $5,646 towards bus expenses, $2,956 general donations at all temples visited, $290 towards snacks while in the bus.
- Snacks related planning, picking up from the stores, and distribution to the yatris were carried out by Allap Shah and Mehul Doshi.
- Thanks to Jhalak Sandeep Mehta, we enjoyed delicious Jain brownies and cupcakes, while in the bus.
- I take this opportunity to thank many volunteers who dedicated their time and energy in making this yatra so successful, fun an enjoyable, specifically Allap Shah, Sanjay Jain, Vishal Mehta.
- Some pictures are located at this link (click here). Thanks to Nimesh Chheda and Vishal Mehta for being our official photographers for the trip.
- Finally, work is in progress to get a return gift, that of an 8×10 color picture taken at the Franklin Derasar of the entire group of yatris. I will get in touch with you as soon as this picture is ready for delivery.