New England Marathi Mandal hosted 8th BMM convention on July 3-6, 1997 at the Hynes Convention Center, Boston. This was the first BMM convention organized in Boston area. It was attended by about 3500 participants from various parts of North America and around the world. We were fortunate to have seven family members of Mangeshkar family in the audience. Padmabhushan Lata Mangeshkar was chief guest and Shivshahir Babasaheb Purandare and Professor Ram Shewalkar were key note speakers for this event. One of the highlights of the convention was an unforgettable presentation of Janata Raja by Babasaheb Purandare. It was staged by his group and local participants. An incredible stage for this show was created by late Kishore Pathare. Other highlights of the convention included motivated speeches by key note speakers, A 3 act play “Char Diwas Premache” by Prashant Damle and his Suyog group, A fashion show by local youths and a talent show by youths and adults from various parts of North America. Although Lata Mangeshkar, Babasaheb Purandare, Ram Shewalkar, Kishore Pathare, BMM president Dr.H.Deshmukh and some of the key volunteers are no longer with us, this event is not forgotten by many attendees even after 25 years. Convention organizing committee faced many challenges because of a limited man power, financial support and non existence of cell phones and information technology. A limited number of about 50 dedicated volunteers worked very hard for two years to overcome these challenges and staged highly organized and successful convention. This event will always be treasured by organizing committee and many Bostonians.
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