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MAFS and UMAS inconsolable loss of Naren Patel and Shankarprasad Bhatt

By Suresh & Usha Bodiwala

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Chicago IL (Jan. 19, 2015): Metropolitan Asian Family services (MAFS) and Universal Metro Asian Services (UMAS)  has lost two of its Board Members this past month. This is a tremendous loss to the organization.  Mr. Shankarprasad Bhatt was a pioneer member of MAFS and he lighted the first lamp during the opening of the suburban location. Mr. Naren Patel was a strong supporter of MAFS and highly respected in the community. When MAFS was facing difficult times, Naren Patel stood by CEO Santosh Kumar fearlessly. His financial and moral support can't be matched by anyone.

MAFS salutes Mr. Shankarprasad Bhatt for his community service for more than 20 years. Mrs. Santosh Kumar said that Mr. Bhatt played a vital role in the history of MAFS.  The Late Mr. Naren Patel said in his 2012 speech that his father Shantilal Patel, enjoyed chatting with Mr. Bhatt and they shared lovely memories of India.

Mr. Shankarprasad Bhatt was a staunch supporter and believer of doing good for the community. One day he received a call from Mrs. Kumar asking him to join hands with her and Ms. Shashi Singh.  He was thrilled to join MAFS in 1992 since he came from India after retirement. He enjoyed serving on the Board of MAFS, greeting and meeting people of his age; enjoying healthy Asian vegetarian food; enjoying daily activities and lunch program; planning and organizing events with his fellow seniors; and celebrating Indian festivals. He found a group of like minded people and everyone enjoyed his company at MAFS. Not only Shankarprasad Bhatt but his daughter Dr. Jayshree, Vasanti Bhatt and her family were also deeply involved in MAFS.

Mr. Bhatt received an award for his community service in 2012. Mrs. Santosh Kumar said that she knew Mr. Bhatt since 1992 and he served on the board for many years. He was active until 2012 when MAFS celebrated its 20th Anniversary. Mr. Bhatt gave an emotional speech about how important it is to support organizations like MAFS and how Mrs. Kumar has helped seniors and brought joy to their dull and idle life. Mrs. Kumar said, "Whenever I needed a support, Mr. Bhatt who had immense experience with community work, always gave me assurance of success and came through stronger than I expected."  His convincing power was greatly appreciated and seniors listened to his message because he was one of them on the receiving end as well.

MAFS has been providing comprehensive services to the senior population of India/Pakistan/Bangladesh and East European countries facing multiple linguistic and cultural barriers for more than two decades.   Mr. Bhatt frequently gave his sound opinion and advise to Mrs. Kumar and was a great pillar of support to the organization.

In his final good bye message, Mr. Bhatt thanked Mrs. Kumar for giving him a chance to help his friends and community through MAFS. We will truly miss both our beloved board members and pray to the almighty for their souls to rest in peace.