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DTMB Cares: Annual Diwali celebration at Operations Center raises more than $700 to help fight hunger
December 02, 2022
The Diwali celebration held Nov. 16 at the Ops Center provided team members the opportunity to gather and celebrate good food, friends, and fun, while raising more than $700 for the Greater Food Bank of Lansing.
Diwali – the festival of lights -- is considered the biggest and brightest of the Indian festivals. During the five-day celebration, people in India, Southeast Asia, and other parts of the world celebrate life, enjoyment and a sense of goodwill with family, friends, and, in the case DTMB team members housed at the Operations Center, coworkers, and customers.
While the celebration at DTMB, which was held Nov. 16, highlighted Diwali and included flowers, candles (battery-operated), and other traditional Diwali decorations, it also included Mehendi for those wanting to take part in one of the oldest forms of body art (see picture below). Mehendi is a temporary skin decoration that originated from the Indian subcontinent and features intricate designs drawn on the hands (and feet) with henna. In addition to being a sign of good luck, mehendi - derived from the Sanskrit word "mendhiwithka," which refers to the henna plant -- also has very practical purposes -- it is believed to help control body temperatures, as well calming nerves and providing relief from stress, fever, and headaches.
Pictured below from left to right are Jino Baby, Brahma Madhira, Subhakar Yandrathi, Srujan Alimi, Anaamika Maddipati, Samata Devabhaktuni, Lakshmi Kandula, Munish Beri, and Nikhil Madhusudhan. Together, they planned this year's Diwali celebration at the Ops Center. Samata said the gathering is really about welcoming and honoring everyone who attends, regardless of their background and beliefs.
All those of Indian descent on the floor contributed to the food and setup for the celebration, which featured a lunch buffet of Indian dishes and a raffle for Indian-themed prizes. The event also provides an opportunity for all who attend to extend a helping hand to individuals and families in mid-Michigan communities who do not have enough to eat.
Since its inception, the celebration has raised funds for the Greater Lansing Food Bank, a nonprofit organization that provides emergency food to individuals and families in need throughout mid-Michigan in Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Shiawassee, Clare, Isabella, and Gratiot counties. Attendees are invited to make a voluntary contribution to GLFS. This year, participants donated more than $700. To learn more about the Greater Lansing Food Bank, visit greaterlansingfoodbank.org.
The annual Diwali festival celebrates the diversity of our DTMB staff and embraces a culture of inclusion, but it also shows one way our staff is making a difference in the communities where we live, work, and play.