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Work on $1 million Sangam Temple to begin

The Then India Sanmarga Ikya Sangam (TISIS) will shortly commence construction of a Temple for Lord Murugan, known as the ‘Tamil God.’ The $1 million Temple will be a part of ‘Sangam Village,’ with a community hall and a number of other facilities and services at its property located at 723 Great South Road. The erstwhile Temple and community hall, located at the property were destroyed by a fire that raged the property last year. M K Pillay, Chairman of the Trust that owns the property and controls the overall activities of TISIS in New Zealand, said that while a small Temple, temporary office and a drop-in-centre are currently in operation, the new complex will be of greater service to a larger number of people. “My dream of a Temple built by TISIS in New Zealand is finally being fulfilled, thanks to members, devotees, donors, supporters and Pandit Sunil Sharda. The ‘Sangam Village’ will house a Temple, the Sangam Seva Service Centre, a Community Garden and a Library,” he said. Further information and details regarding donations can be obtained from Nikhil Naidu on 021-2559955. Email: info@nzsangam.com In Tamil language, ‘Then India Sanmarga Ikya Sangam’ means ‘Association of all People of South India,’ which was the purpose behind the establishment of the Organisation in New Zealand in 1999. Integrating people Its mission is to enable the people of South Indian origin to integrate the various activities, groups and divisions into a single structure to bring about commonality and combine the strengths of people for the benefit of the society. TISIS accounts for 20 groups in major cities including Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Wellington and Christchurch. The New Zealand body follows the pattern set by TISIM in Fiji, where it enjoys the status of being the largest Non-Governmental Organisation. Established in 1926, it is also the largest non-public provider of education with 26 schools, a Nursing Academy and numerous pre-schools. The Sangam has dozens of branches and Temples. Financially sound The TISIS Board of Trustees include M K Pillay (Chairman), Nikhil Naidu (Secretary), Kushmargaran Nair (Treasurer), Shiva Mudaliar and Channan Swamy (Members) According to Mrs Nair, the Trust is financially sound, with more than $150,000 in consolidated funds, and a debt-free property valued at over $1 million. “We expect to receive $200,000 as insurance claims settlement. In addition, initial donations and pledges for the new Temple amount to $200,000. This puts the Sangam in a very good financial position to construct the Temple and other facilities to further its services to the wider-community,” she said. Executive Committee TISIS New Zealand is administered by an Executive Committee led by Dharam Raj as National President. Among the other members of the Committee are Surya Narayan, Dhan Latchmi Naicker, Rajesh Lingam, Roopa Nair and Ganga (Vice-Presidents), Jerry Goundar (Secretary General), Raj Gounder (General Secretary, Operations), Ram Raju (General Manager) and Kamlesh Naidu (General Treasurer), Harish Chandra Kovil The Organisation built the Harish Chandra Kovil at the Manukau Memorial Gardens (Puhunui Cemetery) in Papatoetoe used for burial ceremonies. Harishchandra was the 36th King of the Solar Dynasty (Surya Maharishi Gothram). He was renowned for piety and justice. Hindu Heritage Centre The Trust is currently using the community halls and other facilities of the Hindu Heritage Centre, given by Vinod Kumar, Chairman of Mitre 10 Mega Henderson, and Botany and Mitre 10 in West City. The property, located at 10 Bukem Place, Mangere East is now the venue for Hindu festivals such as Janmashtami, Navaratri, Deepavali and other events. The venue is also available for hire. The Sangam conducted a function last week jointly with Arya Samaj and Hindu Elders Foundation. Nikhil Naidu hoped that the Sangam will continue to work closely and jointly with other like-minded organisations.

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