Maharashtra Mandal of Kansas City (MMKC) is a cultural organization which was founded in 1995 to enable Marathi speaking families residing in Johnson County, Kansas to get together, make new friends and organize cultural events. Since its foundation, MMKC has been very active in promoting Maharashtrian culture and traditions. MMKC members work very hard to promote, preserve, cherish, and perpetuate the socio-cultural values of Maharashtra.MMKC is proudly affiliated to the Brihan Maharashtra Mandal (BMM) of North America and is registered as a non-profit organization in state of Kansas and Johnson County since 1997.
Until 1994, there were very few Maharashtrian families in Kansas City and surrounding towns like Overland Park, Olathe, Lawrence and Shawnee (maximum 15 families). The families were celebrating our festivals like Ganapati, Diwali and occasions like Gudhi Padwa at someone's house or in club house. Since 1996, due to the improvement in the technical field in Kansas City, more and more people especially in software engineering field started coming to Kansas City (either directly from India or from other states in USA).
Due to the increase in the number of Maharashtrians, it became difficult for the host to invite everyone for celebrating festivals like Diwali. An idea about forming a Maharashtra Mandal in Kansas city started circulating.
In early 1995, at Mr. Pravin Kulkarni's house where Mr. and Mrs. Shuke were invited for dinner along with other friends, Mr. and Mrs. Shuke and Mr. Pravin Kulkarni decided to establish Maharashtra Mandal. Mr. Kulkarni immediately greeted the idea. Afterwards, Mr. Limaye, Dr. Chhatre and Mr. Sane were among others to welcome the thought of forming a mandal. They suggested that Mr. and Mrs.Shuke take leading part in organizing the mandal. Later when requested by Mrs. Shuke, Mr. Sanjiv Shelar agreed enthusiastically to join and shared the responsibility of being the treasurer for the mandal. Mr. Pravin Kulkarni worked as an active member in the committee until he left for Toronto in 1997. A working committee was formed and Maharashtra Mandal was established on a very auspicious day of Maharashtra - Gudhi Padwa in 1995.
In MMKC, there has never been a formal election. All the committee members have the equal status. They all work together and take the decisions jointly. This tradition still continues. In forming Maharashtra Mandal, Mrs. Manda Shuke played a key role. She worked hard and patiently organized the menu and refreshment in all our events especially in the years 1995, 1996 and 1997 respectively. She has been giving valuable suggestions, encouragement and advice in all our cultural programs. Her dedication is greatly appreciated by everyone.
Every member whether in committee or as a volunteer has contributed greatly in the success of the Mandal. Ladies have been organizing food groups and preparing delicious food at the various MMKC events.