Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu (CKP)

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Smt. Shalini Mohan Khopkar

Smt. Shalini Khopkar is a M.A. of the Mumbai University and spent her school and College days in Girgaon, Mumbai.  She has won many prizes in cookery, Painting & elocution competition at various centres.  

On arrival in Vile Parle around 1954 after her marriage, she joined the C.K.P. Dnyati Sabha as a common member and reached the position of its Vice President, on her selfless and devoted services to Samaj.  She greatly assisted in the amalgamation of two C.K.P. organization into one  C.K.P. Mandal in Vileparle and went round with other members to collect donations for its present  imposing Vastu. Those days, she also conducted her private cooking/Baking classes which were indeed very popular with the ladies. Because of her expertise in cookery she was appointed the Food Project Director in the Government of Maharashtra’s “Nirantar Shikshan Yojana” conducted in SNDT College Vile Parle.  She had also a hand in preparing & marketing fresh fruit juices which were very popular with buyers.

Smt. Khopkar has a deep study of C.K.P. ways and procedures that are observed for years during religious and social functions but found that they were not known to many especially young and newly married ladies.  She therefore with the help of her colleagues wrote and published through “ SNEHASHALAKA” a book on C.K.P. ways under the name “VASA” in Marathi.  The book is very popular in C.K.P. families and has had 3 editions so far and has demand from our overseas families too.

Smt Khopkar also took interest in A.B.C.K.P. Madhyvarty  Sanstha activities and was and President of its  West Region working committee for sometime.  She too was given the respondibility of Mahila Parishad and to organize an Arts & crafts exhibition at the A.B.C.K.P. conference of 1986 held in Vile Parle. The exhibition was highly successful and was applanded by all the visitors.

During  those days, Mahila Vibhags of the CKP Sabhas were attached to parent bodies and were solely dependent on them for their activities.  The women remained indoors and could not take their rightful place in the society.  The situation then, was not acceptable to thinkers among them and on one auspicious “RAM-NAVMI” day, under the Leadership of Late Smt. Ushatai Despande and others including Smt. Shalinitai Khopkar, they announced the formation of “Snehashalaka”- an independent Stree Sanstha,in Vile Parle.

Snehashalaka since then, for the last more than 38 years, is growing from strength to strength – regularly holding seminars, competition, medical camps,classes on various subjects of interest to women,yearly groceries etc etc. The activities have made  the organization very popular,with its members.  The phenomenal success of  the Sanstha, one may say without exaggeration, is due to the progressive vision and leadership qualities, with which Smt. Khopkar for 10 years as its President conducted herself. Snehaslaka has its own independent constitution, the Managing Committee and is registered with the Charity Commissioner.  A number of members have been trained up in Sanstha administration, its finances, accounts keeping, submission of annual reports and Balance sheets etc.  In fact some of its members are taking leading parts in the parent male bodies as  their office-bearers.  Indeed my kudos to Smt. Khopkar for creating  self awareness and confidence in Vile Parle C.K.P. Mahila.

Despite success stories of Snehashalaka- their  brain child, Smt. Deshpande & Smt. Khopkar were still restless . Seeing the plights of their sister from some of the Mahila Vibhags of other C.K.P. organizations outside Vile Parle, they decided to suitably assist them in their plight.  On one of the Snehashalaka functions, they invited the office bearers of Mahila Vibhags of other places and emphasized on formation of “SNEHANKITA” – a Madhyavarti Stree Sanstha, to help and guide them in their respective places.  The idea was immediately accepted and “SHEHANKITA” was inaugurated in the same general meeting with the usual fan-fare.  The meeting thus happened to be the first annual Shibir [conference] of C.K.P. Mahilas from Maharashtra. The Shibirs are held every year and recently celebrated its Silver Jubilee conference.  It would be surprising to our male brothers to note that average of 1000 women – both house-wifes and others, attend these one full day functions, irrespective of the places where they are held by the local Vibhags. Apart from discussing the common problems, The Shibir offers our own platform for the mahilas to know each other, discuss mutual problems, give out their Best in the various competitions held. SNEHANKITA has its own constitution and is registered with the Charity Commissioner.  Smt. Khopkar as its Kayam Trustee, has attended all its Shibirs and at her pivotal role of adviser, is consulted regularly for her guidance. 

Smt Khopkar was also associated with “Mahrashtra Sahakari Udyogini” – an NGO, an institution which conducts Hostels for approximately 250 working women. She was working as treasurer and Director on the parent body. 

Questioned about the success stories of Shehashalaka and Snehankita Smt. Shalinitai explains in her modest way thus –“ We basically work for the enlightment of our sisters, ask them not to neglect their family responsibilities and work within the framework of their constitutions, with love and affection for each other”. 
Shrimati  Khopkar took interest in A.B.CKP Madyavarti Sanstha activities and was the President of its West Region working committee for some time. She too, was given the responsibility of Mahila Parishad and to organize an Arts and Crafts exhibition at the ABCKP conference of 1986 held in Vile Parle. The exhibition was highly successful and was applauded by all the visitors.

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