$4.5 million Indian Cultural Center opens in New Jersey

A $4.5 million Indian Cultural Center has opened in Evesham Township in New Jersey (USA), said to be the first of its kind in the region.

A project of Indian Temple Association Cultural Center and about 25 years in the making, Griha Pravesh Pooja (religious housewarming) to bless this two-storey 20,577 square foot multipurpose building on an 18.8-acres plot was held on December 15, reports suggest.

It will reportedly provide community of over 3,500 India-descent families in South Jersey with a gathering place for ceremonial, social and educational activities; including holding of various cultural and religious festivities, classes in music, language courses, exhibits, health screenings, blood drives, weddings, birthday parties, receptions, youth programs, senior services, etc.; and will house a library, game room, conference room and two kitchens. Its ballroom, besides a teched-out stage, will seat up to 579 people. It has been termed as a facility for the promotion, development, education and safeguarding of the Indian social values and cultural heritage.

Meanwhile, Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded efforts of Center leaders and area community to realize this Indian cultural complex.

Rajan Zed, who is Chairperson of Indo-American Leadership Confederation, further said that it was important to pass on our traditions and concepts to the coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that this cultural complex would focus in this direction.

Originally proposed in 1987, 18.8 acres for this Center were reportedly donated by Prahlad Patel and his wife Kirti and the rest was collected in donations. Dhiraj Panda, Prahlad Patel, Naresh Talati and Rina Patel are President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer respectively of the Center.

Randy Brown, Debbie Hackman and William Cromie are Mayor, Vice Mayor and Manager respectively of Evesham Township; which was formed in 1688 and incorporated in 1798.

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