HOTAVIC forum at the Vakratunda Vinayagar Hindu Temple, Basin, Melbourne
A new forum to facilitate effective networking, collaboration and empowerment of Hindu organisations
Using the Ekta Shankh (unity conch shell) as its symbol and relying on the motto Sanghe Sakthi Kaliyuge (organisation is strength), representatives from various cultural, spiritual and educational groups in Melbourne came together recently for a first-of-its-kind HOTA (Hindu Organisations, Temples and Associations) forum, on Sunday, 5th June 2016.
Facilitated by Vishva Hindu Parishad of Australia (World Hindu Council of Australia) – Victoria chapter, HOTA is a forum of participating Hindu temples and other organisations working together to discuss and deliberate various topics of common interest, issues, ideas and opportunities with the objective of enhancing community service and preservation of Hindu culture.
Sri Swami Vigyananand Ji launched HOTA VIC forum at the 4th Australian National Hindu conference in Sept 2015 and at present has over 35 partnering organisations. HOTA forum aims to achieve its objectives through two annual events - a forum meeting and a cultural event- Raksha Bandhan. Each year with HOTA co-ordination, one of the forum partners will host all the events for that particular year, with rest of the partnering organisation’s support. The change of ‘HOTA Host’ takes place at each Raksha Bandhan event, with passing the HOTA batten to the new host organisation. The forum partnering organisations will collaboratively work on the plans and projects of the forum, with a view to strengthen the community.
Sri Sharma Betanabhatla, HOTA VIC co-ordinator spoke on the vision, benefits of conducting HOTA forum as an annual project by networking and collaborating on a common platform. Similar HOTA forums have benefited the cause of preserving Hindu culture and enhancing community service in other countries such as USA and New Zealand.
The discussions and brainstorming sessions by the delegates were very engaging and robust. Acting Mayor of City of Wyndham - Cr Gautam Gupta, spoke passionately of the need for more public representation from the community. Each of the delegates of 5 temples, 18 associations / organisations and 5 individual supporters presented their contribution and future ideas for community service.
The outcome of the forum through the brainstorm session and subsequent discussions are as follows:
- Prioritised initiatives from both temples and association groups are to be led by a champion team lead using the appropriate media (such as yahoo group, facebook, monthly meetings, etc.)
- The prioritised list of initiatives are:
- Sharing of events (festivals/functions/celebrations) with other organisations - champion lead – India Australia Exchange Forum
- Fundraising tips and grants applications – champion lead – Amma’s Ashram
- Central communication service – HOTA can act as central distribution to others – champion lead – HOTA Victoria
- Forming a temple sub group, where temple issues can be discussed – champion lead – Vakratunda Vinayagar Temple
- Linguistics action group – champion lead – Greater India Research Institute
- Hindu chaplaincy – champion lead – ISKON Melbourne
- Expanding volunteer base - champion lead – Kerala Hindu Society Melbourne
- The champion leads to organise focus groups in order to plan and action with their respective initiatives on a regular basis (monthly, qtly etc.).
- The HOTA VIC secretary (Sharma Betanabhatla) to follow up with champion leads regularly on the progress of these initiatives.
- The champion leads to keep HOTA VIC secretary informed of any specific updates on the initiatives.
- The champion leads to represent and present their progress in the next year HOTA forum.
HOTA VIC forum venue and lunch for the delegates was provided by Sri Vakratunda Vinayagar Hindu Temple. We would like to express our sincere thanks to the members of the executive committee Sri Moganaraju, Sri Shan Pillai, Sri ThuraiSingam, Smt Miruthula and Sri Raj Nagarajan for their unconditional support and making the forum meeting a success.
For further details please contact:
Sri Sharma Betanabhatla, Secretary HOTA VIC - 0447 202 716
Smt Geeta Devi, President VHPVIC - 0423 297 666