The very first HAVAN conference was organized by World Hindu Council of America (VHPA) and hosted by The Hindu Temple of Central Indiana (HTCI), Indianapolis.On Saturday, May 21, 2011, Vanaprasthis (Older Adults) of the Hindu American community gathered in Indianapolis, IN   to confer the vision, mission, and future plans of the HINDU AMERICAN VANAPRASTHI NETWORK (HAVAN).

The conference was a step forward in building a network of Vanaprasthis (Older Adults) across the country. The focus of the conference was to find ways to engage Vanaprasthis in meaningful activities and to brainstorm the transformative lifestyle stages of Vanaprasthis.

The conference began with words of welcome and prayers by Prachi (9) and Sneha (6) and invocation by the Temple priest. Ram Belagaje, the president of HTCI thanked VHPA and HAVAN to bring the conference to Indianapolis. Conference participants discussed the following matters:

* Vimal Patel of Indianapolis explained the vision and mission of HAVAN.

* Sree Aswath, Vedic Scholar from Columbus, discussed the Vedic Vision of Vanaprasthi lifestyle in his keynote address.

* Discussion on physical health, mental health, and social well-being was led by Dr. Chittaranjan. J. Shukla of Cincinnati.

* Discussion on how to establish a Vanaprasthi Village and engage them in Seva was led by Dr. Vipin Kalia of Indianapolis.

* Young entrepreneur Krishna Patel of Indianapolis led the discussion on “strategy of effective estate planning.

* Sudershan Khurana of Atlanta, GA discussed the need of a national and local Vanaprasthi network, so that a (helping) Vanaprasthi or non-Vanaprasthi can reach the Vanaprasthi (in need) in a timely manner.

* A discussion was set on creating useful material (explaining the important rituals and traditions like pooja, symbols, mantras, wedding, and Samskaars) by Vanaprasthis. This was led by Shrinarayan Chandak of Illinois.

* Bhakti Mehta of Pittsburgh and Preya Dave of Indianapolis of CHY (Coalition of Hindu Youth) discussed the idea of : Building bridges between generations.

The conference collectively reached the following conclusions and action items:

* Strengthening HAVAN through networking – communication amongst members, phone calls, create members database, fund, HMEC (Serving Temples) etc.

* Engage in Seva Projects like Hindu Seva Divas, Support a child/EKAL, health clinics etc.

* Organize Future HAVAN Conferences/Seminars.

* Help CHY (Coalition of Hindu Youth group) in their development and growth

* Create a library of useful material for Vanaprasthis and by Vanaprasthis in the areas of Health, Estate (Hindu Village), Spiritual, Cultural or any other.

The conference concluded with a Yagna and cultural program by the youth of HTCI. This cultural program included a special program by the HTCI children for “Grandparents Day,” honoring their grandparents as well as all Vanaprasthis at the conference.

Members from Illinois and Toledo, OH has offered to host the future (date TBD) HAVAN conference.

Contact Details:

Yogesh Naik 281-433-1321, 281-485-8256 yogeshnaik@att.net

Kumar Dave 317-889-7328 317-809-2145 kdave@sbcglobal.net

The Hindu American Vanaprasthi Network (HAVAN) is an initiative of World Hindu Council of America (VHPA), founded in 1970 and incorporated in the state of New York in 1974, is an independent, nonprofit, tax- exempt and volunteer-based charitable organization serving the needs of Hindu community in USA . It aims to build a dynamic and vibrant Hindu society rooted in the eternal values of Dharma and inspired by the lofty ideal of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, i.e. the entire creation is one family. For more information on VHPA, please write to media@vhp-america.org or visit http:// www.vhp-america.org

Conference Report May 27, 2100