Promote East Indian music & culture, provide education based on exposure to different cultures in the areas of leadership, development skills, music arts, healthy living and theatrical arts, provide support and activities for community seniors and to provide an atmosphere, guidance and facility to experience spiritual, intellectual stimulation; and assist newcomers to integrate within Canadian life. Establishing necessary infrastructure and relevant programs that will facilitate the establishment of institutions that will foster the culture and arts amongst migrants of the Indian, South Asian, African Indian, South Caribbean community in the region.
JDHS main objective is to provide a new modern and clean place with facilities to seniors,adults, youth, and persons with disabilities and create a family friendly space that provides care and fitness programs, and harmonious philosophy within the community members and educate young boys and girls about the way of life, promote harmony/ respect for all cultures within Canadian society.
Encourage seniors to contribute their skills, experience and wisdom in support of social well being in the community and get them engaged with other arts, culture and heritage organizations, artists and community groups, including diverse communities, there by promote the ongoing involvement of seniors to reduce the risk of social isolation.
Provide essential services to the community to address its Spiritual, social, and Cultural needs.
To partner with existing government services and other community institutions to address the general needs of the community.
The mission of their cultural project is the pursuit of the following principles:
JDHS Cultural project wants to expand the perspective of youth, adults and seniors to make them aware of life’s possibilities though happy and healthy living.
JDHS Cultural centre wants to inspire pro-social friendships, strong interpersonal skills, and instill a sense of hope in the future amongst seniors, adults and youth.
This is proposed to be achieved through musical concerts by professional singers as well as children, writing contests among children, theatrical performances by adults and children,annual picnic, yoga classes, music classes, classes on theatrical arts, seminars on health and
financial matters, prayer sessions.
An individual is dramatically influenced by their support system. JDHS Cultural project wants to surround young people in a caring, inclusive learning environment.
Jai Durga Hindu Society has
- Knowledgeable, friendly volunteers, staff that can empathize with our member’s needs and circumstances, especially in handling sensitive cases.
- Policies that meet or exceed the expectations of our members, and that are affordable, available, and understandable.
- Provide low income group with an affordable basic package.
- Establish good working relationships with our present volunteers by meeting and plotting a mutual plan for success.
e. Get commitments for support and services that we can offer starting April 1st of Year 1.
- To understand challenges, duties and responsibilities
- Build a strong, active team of volunteers who gain self-awareness.
- Ensure that the offered services satisfy community and neighbourhood needs.
- Design and implement strict financial controls and accountability.
- JDHS has much to offer at a glance. It has the widest selection of services, member -friendly hours, and affordable rates.
- Establish a strong network of support with the community.
- Launch a series of fundraising activities that will successfully fund the expansion program.
- Establish an effective training program for seniors and teachers that will increase their ability to be successful communicators.
- Establish an effective monitoring system
- Lift the spirits and get the members feeling confident about themselves
At Jai Durga Hindu Society a few community members felt the need for a place for Cultural activities.
Jai Durga Hindu Society, Scarborough (JDHS) is a non-profit, registered charitable organization in Ontario, Canada popularly known as DURGA MANDIR within the community. JDHS was founded in 1984. Earlier Mr. Gogna also founded another organization by the name
of Hindu Cultural Society, Scarborough in 1983 along with Late Mr. Kewal Krishan, and Mr. Yograj Verma.
In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s Scarborough began to flourish with South Asian immigrants. This necessitated the need for additional cultural services for the South Asian community. Jai Durga Hindu Society, Scarborough rose to the occasion.
Jai Durga Hindu Society – Cultural Project, Page 18
Due to lack of space, funds and resources, during the Society’s initial days, meetings and gatherings were held in the basement of the Gogna residence located at 37 Unita Grove, Scarborough on a monthly bases. Individual were notified by phone to come to attend the meetings. The Board members gathered individual of common interest in the area of music who willing offered their services at no cost to members of the community to host musical and cultural performances at their private homes/apartments. During the musical performances donations were solicited for the Society. The initial members of this group were Mr. Ved Vyas Sharma, Mrs Nirmala Gogna, Mr. Krishan Bhasin, Mr. Satpal Dhunna and Mrs. Shoba Sharma. Since than many volunteers have contributed their valuable time for the good of the community. JDHS still performs this service for the purposes of fundraising. The current members of the musical group are Kamal Gogna, P.Eng, Rajinder Suri, Rajesh Khosla, Balbir Gogna, Shashi Garcha, Nirmala Gogna, Nitu Kashyap, Mrs. Kamlesh of Fiji, Savita Bahri, Rakesh Kumar and Suresh Kumar.
Shortly after, JDHS purchased a PA system and microphones and also began to rent space on weekends at local community centers for meditation, cultural events and musical performances. Practices were conducted in the Gogna residence basement. The sessions were
well attended and enjoyed by the community. This however could not continue due to the fact that the location of the meetings was not consistence. In addition, due to City policies, JDHS was advised by the City of Scarborough, Parks and Recreation department that the city
policies prohibit them from renting the City facilities to the same group on a regular basis.
For the past several years Jai Durga Hindu Society, Scarborough has been host to many Indian artists and great spiritual leaders namely Deva Ji, Swami Premanand Ji, Swami Yograj Ratna Nand Ji, Shri Asharam Ji, Sai Dass Baba Ji, Gargi Bhai Ji, Shri Ghyan Raj Hans Ji, Swami Satyam Ji, Swami Shud Vichara Vivaka Nand Ji, Swami Pratyagbohananda Ji, Iknaam Dev Ji, Sai Dass Ji, Pt. Somnath Sharma Ji, Shri Govind Jha Maharaj Ji, Akhili Ji Maharaj, Pt. Shiv Kumar Viyogi Ji, Pt. Somnath Sharma. In addition JDHS has been host to musical artists such Mrs. Urmila Khurana, Jaspinder Narula, TV Hari Haran, Anuj couple, Narinder Anchal, Neetu Anand, Dev Chakravati…. just to mention a few and the membership has been growing in numbers.
This venue has been very busy with various community events. In this location The Society:
- Presents educational programs and forums for its membership and the public
- Sponsors cultural events presenting the visual and performing arts of India.
- Acts as a resource center for information on Indian culture and customs.
- Presents programs relevant to the Indo-Canadian experience.
In response to the needs of the Indian community of Scarborough, Markham, Pickering and adjoining areas, since then the Society has presented a number of Humanitarian, Cultural and Educational programs such as,
- Lectures and Camps focusing on Meditation with guest speakers from India.
- Broadcasting of Television program “Durgajyoti”.
- Jai Durga Hindu Society – Cultural Project, Page 19
- Educational Hindi Classes & Music Classes for Children.
- Seasonal events celebrating traditional Indian Customs.
- Live performances by some the top performers of the Indian film industry.
- Participation in Indian Earthquake Relief Fund.
- Participation in the Tsunani Relief Fund.
- Organizing annual eye camp for the needy and underprivileged.
- Organizing of Annual Community Picnic.
- Supporting of television programs such as “Ashirvad”, “Z-TV”, “TV-Asia” to promote Indo-Canadian relations and culture.
In 1993 for the benefit of the South Asian Community, Jai Durga Hindu Society commenced the popular TV program DURGA JYOTI ® which is was hosted by Kamal Gogna for approximately 7 years. The show provided valuable information to the South Asian community across Canada on Vision Television.
The membership continued to grow, however the industrial unit was insufficient to accommodate the community. In addition the facilities were inadequate to provide the service required by the community. After careful consideration, in order to meet the growing needs of
the Society, the Board of JDHS purchased vacant land (2701 Markham Rd, Scarborough) measuring approximately 1.25 acres in 1997 for approximately $375,000. The land was financed at a interest rate of 9% due to the fact that cheaper loans were unavailable to us
from the leading financial institutes. They refused to provide mortgage for the vacant land. The land was fully paid off in 2003.
In 2006 JDHS acquired the services of an architect to commence to preparation of drawings for the development of the land. The Architect was paid retention fees in the order of $8000. Preliminary drawings were prepared and an application for preliminary zoning review was
made with an additional fee of approximately $3400. Comments came back from the City revealing that the proposed building size could not be accommodated on the land due to insufficient parking. The project needed to be scaled back. However before this could be
done, additional problem came to light. The land had be grid locked. No sanitary or storm sewer are available on Markham Rd for this land. City recommended JDHS obtain an easement from the condo corporation at 2691 Markham Rd in order to connect to sewers on
Tapscott Rd. The Condo Corporation did not cooperate due to past issues between the Condo Corporation and the previous owner of JDHS’s land.
In late 2006, a law firm was hired to achieve a solution for a cost of $30000, however after several months and $30,000 later no solution was found by the law office. The project was suspended while the Board looked for solution(s).
In 2010, Kamal Gogna, P.Eng. stumbled across a solution and an existing easement registered with the land registry office was found. The City was consulted and acknowledged that JDHS’s land may drain into the sewers of 2691 Markham Rd as per the registered easement. Accordingly, Mina Design Group was hired to prepare a servicing drawing for City Approval. A Building permit for the service connections was obtained in late 2010 and the connections installed in January by Kintel General Contracting.
This was followed by awarding design contracts of Giancarlo Architects and Mina Design Group for the design of the new building. Currently JDHS have made an application for Zoning review and anticipate and application for site plan approval in the near future. It is expected the project construction will start in the current year.
Jai Durga Hindu Society – Cultural Project, Page 20
This organisation (JDHS) was formed to provide a place where community members of all ages and abilities are encouraged to develop their full creative potential through dynamic, unique and constantly evolving programs in performing arts, live folk dances and drama, symposiums targeting the social issues in the community especially pertaining to seniors, family unrest, domestic conflicts, children and youth disputes, parents vs… Children issues, school related conflicts and new immigrant’s problems.
President: Jeff Lal
Vice President: Pawan Kumar
Director: Pt.Ghansham Dass
Secretary: Gopal Sharma