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Sunday, 20 July 2003

Kishores and Yuvaks from Dallas and Houston joined together at Cullen Performance Hall, located on the main campus of the University of Houston, to provide an exciting Cultural Heritage Evening for the local community. The two-and-a-half hour long program sought to increase in public awareness of the consequences of harmful addictions. To do so, the participants reenacted a series of moving, real-life incidents from the lives of fellow youngsters that challenged the overall social negligence and practice of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. The admission-free program, entitled ‘Charan Kamal naa Phool’, was performed and managed entirely by the youths who are under the divine guidance and inspiration of His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of the BAPS.

Swamishri’s constant efforts in the battle against addictions has revived and transformed thousands of lives for the better. Unmistakably, the spirited children and teenagers of BAPS are seen as role models in aiding others to overcome the abuse of drugs, tobacco, and alcohol.

The colorful program consisted of artistic and devotional dances, in addition to a musical ballet, inspiring dramas and skits, and enlightening speeches. Furthermore, the program consisted of an exhibition, which advanced awareness of the current traditional Hindu Mandir being constructed in Houston. The Mandir, which along with its sister mandir in Chicago, will be the first of its kind in North America, is scheduled to be inaugurated in the summer of 2004.

At the conclusion of the program, the participants, many of whom have sacrificed their entire summers in preparation, were acknowledged with an extended jubilant standing ovation. The spectators went away thrilled by the sheer sincerity with which the youth took up their project. Many of them later commented that this program surpassed any other that they had previously attended. The expressive folk dances and motivational dramas were a pleasure to watch, instilling a sense of pride and satisfaction in the attendees’ hearts.

Dr. K.C. Patel, the national president of BAPS who was also in attendance, gleamed with confidence. He acclaimed, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj has often said the future of our cultural heritage in this country is bright. Looking at the genuine efforts and devotion of these kids, I am certain that our cultural and religious values will remain intact for generations to follow. These children will help transmit the ancient traditions and customs of India through the quality of their lives and of course, with the new traditional Mandir coming up soon, our youth will remain bonded with our structure of morality and ethics.” The evening was an exhilarating experience for everyone.

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