PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE ( 2009 – 2012)
HEARTY CONGRATULATIONS!!! To each one of you as Madrid can now boast of having its own Sindhi cultural centre after a prolonged wait of 27 years. On this occasion, addressing you once again from this wonderful medium, I experience a great surge of joy and feel humbled by the honour bestowed on me of being re-elected with thumping majority, the president of ISAOM.
What was always envisioned by the Sindhi residents of Madrid has finally been translated into reality, i.e. possessing a Sindhi cultural centre in Madrid. The edifice of ISAOM CULTURAL CENTRE is indeed a picture of splendour and an embodiment of everyone’s hope and dream. I trust it must have met your expectations. The journey started as an unreal dream for all of us but it unlocked a code that revealed a secret that nothing is impossible and our very own cultural centre which comes into being now demonstrates just that. However, to conceive and shape up the entire project was by no means a small feat. Starting from the collection of the funds to the unforeseen legal hassles and subsequently to the budget going up by a few notches, it was a challenging task. Despite all this, with your resounding support we have achieved our goal; the ISAOM CULTURAL CENTRE has finally been realized. My sincerest gratitude to every member of the community!
The inauguration ceremony of the ISAOM CULTURAL CENTRE took place on the 5th of April 2009 by our beloved and revered Dada J.P.Vaswani whose gracious presence in Madrid after 2 decades was a perfect prelude to an official inauguration of the centre. It was a great opportunity to seek his divine blessings and bask in the sunshine of his peace, love and joy. Dada left the audiences totally mesmerized with his pearls of wisdom. An unforgettable experience! Million thanks to the committee and the volunteers who ensured the smooth functioning of the inaugural event.
The last four years during my tenure as the President, there has been a tremendous effort from the ISAOM committee to successfully organise various events besides Diwali parties. For instance: the silver jubilee cocktail with the launching of the directory and the mela. The overwhelming response in the above events reflects your desire to integrate in the community. More of such events could have been held by ISAOM but due to the high cost of the venues, it was not feasible to exhaust the resources. However, having a place of our own now gives us the option to organise any function henceforth at an affordable cost.
Another outstanding feature of this term was the annual membership fee which came into vigour from the year 2005.This was essential for the construction (in part) and for the upkeep of the centre now.
More than two years ago in 2006, www.isaom.com was launched although I believe it has not been updated as expected but I assure you it will be resumed soon to keep you posted on all the upcoming events happening at ISAOM.
ISAOM has taken a different approach of working now. Each committee member handles different departments and has formed its own parallel sub-committee comprising of 6-12 persons. There was an urgent need to do this as the work-load has increased four-fold due to the cultural centre. Moreover, in this way we get the innovative ideas of the community members and their involvement in the organisation.
Once we get the ”licencia de apertura” (operating licence) for the cultural centre from the town hall, it will be available for weddings, banquets and the like. Charges will differ for ISAOM members, non-members and non-Indians. This strategy will take care of the daily maintenance of the centre and the repayment of the mortgage loan of twenty years. It is about time we reap rich rewards of our endeavour and utilize the cultural centre to its maximum. The cultural centre which is a milestone in our lives is ideally the best way to maintain a bond and connect within the community. In fact, in collaboration with Sangeet Premees, we recently hosted a musical night at the cultural centre.
As mentioned above, the unanticipated increase in the costs of construction of the cultural centre were innumerable. Firstly, as you may have noticed, the main hall without any pillars looks splendid aesthetically. Furthermore, there is more space available now without any obstacles. Another factor for the unexpected rise in the expenses was that both the car park basements (Level 1 and Level 2) have fewer pillars than the usual, as seen in the other car parks of Spain. Hence this facilitates the parking of the cars of any size. Lastly, as per the Spanish law, a non-profit Association is not entitled to get any tax refund (16% iva) which we were not aware of, thereby making a huge dent in the funds. Nevertheless; we sailed through this and have emerged triumphant thanks to your understanding and cooperation.
Working in tandem guarantees success and remarkable results. More than three years of inputs, constant visits and supervision and the rapid implementation of the cultural centre should be credited to my current and the past committees including the youngsters committee. Together, they have expended so much of their time and energy towards the cultural centre. On the other hand, I appreciate you entrusting me regarding the initial donation at the time of purchasing the land, your advertisements in the directory and generous contributions every Diwali despite the recession. In turn, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of you as I hope I have lived up to your trust to serve you in this ever growing community. Therefore, it is imperative now more than ever that we should unite and stand. Jai ho!!!!
President of the Indian Sindhi Association of Madrid 2009 – 2012