A clarion call given by an ardent devotee of Shirdi Sai Baba, Revered Dr.C.B.Satpathy that Shirdi  Sai temples across the globe should focus more on providing effective community service, culminated in a two day summit being organized at Auckland, New Zealand. Shri Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan of New Zealand Inc in association with Shirdi Sai Global Foundation, Gurgaon, India, jointly organized a two day Shirdi Sai Devotees Summit on 27th and 28th February, 2016. The summit was attended by 29 delegates drawn from countries like USA, UK, Germany, Malaysia, Australia and India. Besides, good numbers of devotees and others from within New Zealand also participated in the event.

The prominent personalities who attended the summit include:  Shri Sadashiv Lokhande, Member of Parliament, Ahmadnagar (Shirdi), India, Mr.Phil Goff, MP – Mount Roskill, Mr.Kanwaljit Bakshi, Mr.Mahesh Bindra and Dr. Paramjit Parmar all listed MPs from New Zealand of Indian origin along with many other luminaries  have attended the event.

The main purpose of the summit was to focus on various community service initiatives taken up by different trusts and temples in their respective countries. The basic belief is that knowledge sharing gives an enriching experience to explore better ways of rendering effective community service. The deliberations were not just confined to this alone as topics like: Global Sai Movement, Philosophy and Teachings of Perfect Masters, Role of Social Media and Literature, Concept of Mobile Temple, Management of Temples and Issues and challenges associated with running non-profit organisations were also covered in detail by the delegates.

Dr.C.B.Satpathy was the chief guest of the summit. As part of the key note address, he stressed the fact that Shri Shirdi Sai Baba’s main focus was on community service. To make it clear he cited various instances drawn from the holy book ‘Sai Satcharita’. He said all Sai temples should become effective community service centres. Mankind, everywhere in the globe is facing different kinds of problems and hence there is ample scope for community service. Best way of doing this is to identify local needs and serve them rather than doing something elsewhere.

In recognition of the yeoman service rendered by Dr.C.B.Satpathy, Mr.Phil Goff, recognized him as the ‘Outstanding Global Humanitarian’ and presented a plaque of recognition. Mr.Goff has commended the work done by Shri Sai Baba Sansthan Inc of New Zealand Inc over the years. He appreciated the decision of NZ Sai Sansthan to support Starship Foundation on a regular basis. Dr C B Satpathy presented a cheque of $ 12,000 to the CEO of Starship Foundation Mr.Brad Clark. While acknowledging the support he said that every pie we get will help a child down with series health issues and bring smiles to the entire family.  Through Dr Satpathy, the NZ Sai Sansthan also donated substantial amount to the flood victims in Fiji and Chennai.

All the local MPs and community leaders were requested to share their thoughts on how NZ Sai Sansthan could collaborate with other organisations and take up more projects in future. Helping the victims of domestic violence, establishing trauma centres, setting up of educational institutions and a few other things were suggested by these leaders.

The Executive Committee of NZ Sai Sansthan and Shirdi Sai Global Foundation made elaborate arrangements for the event. On both the days cultural programmes were organized to celebrate the event. The main attraction was the performance of Mauri group. Dr.Satpathy presented mementoes to all the major donors and delegates. All the delegates in one voice said that it was a tremendous learning experience for them.

Some memorable moments of the Summit are as below-