Our Volunteers

Jyoti Parashar

Chairperson : Education and Religious Activities

I immigrated to New Zealand in 2004 with my family. I have a background in teaching and fashion designing. Being community-oriented, I am currently working as a Programme Coordinator at Shanti Niwas Charitable Trust, Onehunga Auckland. I run positive ageing day programs and various other projects to empower senior citizens of South Asian community. It also includes engaging them in activities that encourage them to lead a healthier lifestyle. Before joining Shanti Niwas, I worked for Diabetes Auckland as a Customer Services Coordinator, and for Migrant Support Services as a Program Coordinator for 3 years. I have recently completed Diploma in Diversional Therapy for the benefit of the senior citizens.

I am currently Vice President of the executive committee and the Chairperson of the Education Committee, at Bharatiya Mandir. Currently I am in charge of BalVikas (children development) classes which is mainly focus on teaching Indian languages like Gujarati, Hindi, and Telugu, Religion, Classical music, Art and craft, Cultural Dance, preparing for the performance in Janmashtami and other celebrations.

I co-ordinate the course for Bal Vikas classes, guide and support the volunteer teachers in running their respective classes. My responsibilities include teaching Hindi classes, coordinating with the teachers, parents and students and appointing teachers and monitoring their performances.

I also organise the annual summer camp and other cultural programmes.

Indira Bandari

Volunteer: Deputy Chairperson – Education Committee &Hindi Teacher

I am a Business Intelligence Specialist currently working with HealthLink Auckland, New Zealand.

I have been an IT professional throughout my career and have worked with several multinational organisations in India and in New Zealand. I am currently holding a Master’s of Science with statistics and have done Post Graduation Diploma in Computer Education.

I believe that the only way to increase and update your knowledge is by sharing, and this is my way of serving the community. Hence I run free game development classes for kids aged 9 years and above. Two of the games developed by such kids won the second and third prizes for JHACK 2016 game development competition.

As my expertise mainly attract younger generation, I feel it is time for us to channelize our youth into a creative and dynamic path of technology, where they can shine out with the best of their ability.

At Bharatiya Mandir Balvikas classes, I assist in teaching Hindi as well as dance and music. I also assist the teachers whenever they need help with technology (eg. compiling the music from different sources). I also support in running Mandir Facebook and whatsapp groups.

Since 2002, my family and I am a regular devotee of Bharatiya Mandir and I started volunteering since 2009. I feel that by serving my community, I am serving God.

Sona Dutta

Volunteer: Hindi Teacher

I have done my Masters in Commerce.Currently I am pursuing to be Early Childhood Educator.

Hindi language is one of the most spoken language in the world. I believe that children from south Asian community should learn Hindi as it keeps them connected to their country and their roots.

As we all know “When roots are deep there is no reason to fear the wind”, Children with strong cultural background will rise high in life.

I enjoy teaching the children in BalVikas because being with kids have always been my passion. I feel so proud when I see despite of being away from their country children don’t only speak but can also read and write Hindi.

My vision for BalVikas classes is to keep children connected to their culture.

Asha Srivastava

Volunteer: Religious Teacher

I am a qualified teacher holding a Bachelor in Education (B.Ed) and Master in Science (M.Sc) degree majoring in Micro Biology. I am currently managing a SME business and trying to contribute to the economy.

I love being around Kids, imparting Knowledge and seeing them grow as successful individuals. I believe that a migrant child of every ethnicity should maintain allegiance with their cultural roots and sovereign at the same time. When an individual is faced with tough questions in life, it is their deep-rooted beliefs and identity that guides them forward.

I am inspired to teach religion to children by my generations of family history in their cultural believes and connection with the Supreme Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna was requested by the creator and destroyer to provide human life with its principles. It is when he created Bhagvad Gita. It is with this belief in our Vedas and religion that I find religion as most important part of our identity in society. It acts as an anchor throughout our lives towards positive human values. I consider that my role as a religious teacher contributes towards long term spiritual development of a child by introducing them to such sources of human wisdom at the right age.

I enjoy reading Hindu Scriptures to continuously have connection and understanding of religion. I enjoy being with children and read them shlokas in Sanskrit and then through short and simple mythology based narrations I try to make them understand the meaning behind the shlokas. Sanskrit is one of the oldest known language, I try to familiarise children with it through the narrations and their translation.

My vision for Bal Vikas Classes is that it should lead by example to every other cultural and religious school of learning where children can get the right pathway to connect with the wealth of wisdom that their culture can offer to them and from them to the next generation.

Seema Rajapurkar

Volunteer: Music Teacher

I am a qualified teacher holding a degree of MSc Bed, currently working with Caltex Newmarket as a Store Manager.

I have done 5 years diploma in music from Maharaja Sayajirao Gaikwad University Baroda India. I have also learnt classical music from Pt Rajendra Kandalgonkarji. I run my own music class and teach vocal and Harmonium I have performed in Auckland at many places such as Marathi Mandal, Bharatiya temple during Diwali festival.

I am Bal Vikas volunteer since 2006, and teaching music to the children has become my passion as I also get a chance to bring out the musical talent of the children. The young children’s love and energy inspires my artist soul.

Aparna Sangwar

Volunteer: Classical Dance

With a lot of passion, I started my career back in India with a bachelor’s degree in commerce. Shortly after coming to New Zealand, I started working with Progressive Enterprises and still continue to enjoy my work there. My hobbies include cooking various dishes and learning to make new things. I love to travel from time to time and spend quality time with family and friends.

I have been enthusiastic about dance for as long as I can remember; I started to learn Bharat Natyam at the age of seven and since then it has become an important part of my life.

Currently, as a dance teacher at the Bharatiya Mandir I get the opportunity to pass on my knowledge and teach my students the artistic culture through dance, I feel proud with the young talent who starts as a beginner and graduates as a qualified in Arangetram (dance degree).

Kirti Suri

Volunteer: Art and Craft

I am a qualified commercial artist, proficient graphics designer. I am currently working in a council owned organisation as Billing Services Advisor.

I enjoy teaching art and craft to the children at Bharatiya Mandir BalVikas classes because I believe that every individual has an artistic and creative instinct in them and it can be flourished and developed in their younger years when their heart and mind are pure.

I thoroughly enjoy teaching them at the same time I get inspired by their creative energy.

Kalpana Patel

Volunteer: Gujarati Teacher

I am born in a Gujarat state and have ingrained values of being connected with the family. I am holding a Bachelors in Commerce degree and am Early Childhood Education level -5 qualified. I currently work for Randstad education agency, in a day care centre.

I immigrated to New Zealand several years ago and made this country home away from home like many of us. However, I strongly believe that it is important for the new generation to stay connected with their mother tongue.

Sometime in 2008, during a normal conversation with some elderly people at the Bharatiya temple, I got an idea that these elderly grandparents are unable to communicate heart to heart with their grandchildren due to the language barrier.

This inspired me to teach Gujarati to all the children whose mother tongue is Gujarati. It gives me immense pleasure when I am able to teach speaking and writing Gujarati to the young Gujarati Kiwis.

Rini Dadhichi (Chakraborty)

Volunteer: Music Teacher for Senior Citizens

I am well trained in Hindustani Classical Music from India & have done Sangeet Visharad (Music Degree). I have done MBA from Auckland Institute of studies & worked as a sales consultant in Brand Developers Ltd, now I am focusing more on music, preparing myself for next level (Music).

I teach religious, inspirational & motivational songs to the senior citizens in Bhartiya Mandir. I love to share my musical knowledge to my students, as I always got students who are kids. But before two years when I came to know that I will be teaching senior citizens, it was really very inspiring for me.

I thoroughly enjoy teaching these senior citizens, when I see the happiness in their eyes after learning something new. I feel so satisfied when I see them to pursue their interest with great motivation, which may be they were not able to do before.

My vision for this senior citizens music class is to engage them in such an activity through which they can be happy, get mental relaxation and off-course learn some good music.