सिंहावलोकन

दुस-या महायुद्धाच्या वेळी बरेच मराठी सैनिक सिंगापुरला आले, काही इथेच स्थायिक झाले, काही नेताजींच्या सेनेतही होते. पण साधारण ७० सालानंतर सिंगापुरची भरभराट होऊ लागली आणि पर्यटक व नोकरदार येथे वाढत्या प्रमाणात येऊ लागले. ८०च्या दशकात शाहीर दादा कोंडके, सौ. सुहासिनी मुळगांवकर यांचे छोटेखानी कार्यक्रमही झाले.

१९९२ साली ३०-४० उत्साही मंडळींनी स्थानिक मराठी लोकांची नीट यादी करणे, वारंवार भेटीगांठी घडविणे अशा महत्वाच्या गोष्टीतून या संस्थेचा ओनामा केला. १९९४ साली ऑगस्ट महिन्यात "महाराष्ट्र मंडळ (सिंगापूर)" या नांवाने संस्था अधिकृतरित्या अस्तित्वात आली.

मंडळाला सातत्याने उत्साही व निरलस कार्यकर्ते मिळत राहिले. कार्यक्रमांतील सुसूत्रता व आयोजन सुधारत गेलंच, पण कार्यक्रमांचा आवाकाही वाढत गेला. महाराष्ट्रातील अनेक नामवंत कलाकारांचे कार्यक्रम आयोजित करणे, स्थानिक कलाकारांचे गायन, संगीत, नृत्याविष्कार तसंच "तुझे आहे तुजपाशी", "सूर्याची पिल्ले" यांसारखी तीन अंकी नाटके सादर करणे, यांतून मंडळ सिंगापुरात महाराष्ट्रीय संस्कृतीचं संवर्धन जोमाने करीत राहिले आहे.

History

For Indians, Singapore has always been a major tourist attraction. The mid-seventies saw the inflow of professionals from Maharashtra in Singapore seeking lucrative career opportunities. The dulcet tone of Marathi bhasha could be heard amid English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil across Singapore on its streets, at shopping malls and at food courts. There was no clear indication as to how many Marathi speaking individuals and their families resided in Singapore but the strong bond did ensure that Maharashtrians met each other at social and religious functions.


Soon Singapore became a venue for celebrated Maharashtrians and the eighties saw an entertainment event featuring the famous film and stage humorist Shahir Dada Kondke which was followed by a musical drama presented by actor impresario Suhasini Mulgaonkar.

In 1992, Singapore-based Maharashtrians organised an outing – through verbal coordination – at West Coast Park and the seeds of MMS were sown. Soon, enthusiastic volunteers started to create a database and organised social meetings where 30 to 40 Maharashtrian families met one another occasionally in traditional outfits amid friendly gappa-tappa in Marathi.

With the data of contact numbers and addresses in place, a few enthusiastic volunteers started organising cultural and entertainment programs to bring Maharashtrians together and rekindle their cultural values. These programs were appreciated and supported by Maharashtrians and organisers soon prepared the constitution in order to get approval and recognition from the government of Singapore.

In August 1994, MMS was registered with Registrar of Societies, Singapore, and members on its mailing list are increasing every year. As is our endeavour, MMS continues to organise a variety of cultural and social programs each year that are enjoyed with great enthusiasm by all.


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