Dated: Aug 05, 1999
Dear Member,

Thanks for being a member of Prabasi. The completion of NABC-99 marked 
an important milestone in our 25th year Silver Jubilee celebration. We 
take this opportunity to update you on a few important points. 


The last few months have been very exciting and eventful for all of us 
with preparations for the North American Bengali Conference. The 
conference was a huge success with an unprecendented attendance of 5,500 
people, the largest ever in the West coast. The letters of appreciation 
that we have received from outsiders and insiders clearly indicate that 
the conference was a phenomenal success. For that, the credit goes to you 
and all local residents of the Bay Area, who have worked tirelessly 
before and during the conference and volunteered their time to 
meticulously take care of every small detail. Truely, we were overwhelmed at the 
unity of the Bengali community here and would like to express our 
sincere thanks for making it happen!

- Shyamal Choudhury
(Chairman NABC-99 and Prabasi)


This is also the time when our financial year ends. Our new financial 
year started on July 1, 1999 and will continue till June 30, 2000. So, 
this is also the time to renew your membership. This year's membership 
fee is the same as last year, details of which are given on our web-page 
You will get a discount if you register early. The discounted rates 
will be valid until September 15, 1999.

With an annual membership, you can attend six days of  four cultural 
festivals of the year, namely Durga Puja (three days), Kali Puja (one 
day), Saraswati Puja (one day), and Baishakhi (one day). Because of NABC, 
the last year's Baishakhi festival could not be celebrated. This year 
we are going to compensate for that by having a special function in the 
Year 2000.

The accounting of NABC-99 and Prabasi's accounting for the financial 
year 1998-1999 will be made available within the next 60 days. This year 
we are going to have our accounts audited by an external Certified 
Public Accountant (CPA).


Last year we consolidated all our membership data and created our 
web-based membership system. This year are are taking it a step further by 
allowing you to renew your membership or register new from the Web 
directly by using your credit-card on our secure server. The secure server 
is well tested and has undergone extensive testing during NABC with more 
than half of our registrations coming from the web. Using the system 
saves you time and also saves volunteer effort to do regular accounting 
work. We highly encourage you to use the web-based membership system.

To renew your membership you'll need to use either your password or a 
special "membership renewal code" that will be mailed to you separately, 
both at your Email address and at your home address. Please use either 
of the two mechanisms to gain access into your record.

Prabasi has been thriving on your support for the past 25 years. We 
look forward to having you with us as a member again this year too.


This year's Durga Puja dates have tentatively been set at Oct 15, 16 
and 17 depending on availability of facility. We'll update you on the 
dates when we have more details.

This year we have also obtained a new idol of Goddess Kali from 
Calcutta for Kali Puja.


Besides organizing cultural festivals, Prabasi is all set to take on 
new endeavors this year. Among them are:

1. We are planning to start a Bengali School in the Bay Area for young 

2. We also have plans to start a Bengali Music school for young and old 

3. After our huge success in the NABC Business Forum, Prabasi will set 
up a Business Development Wing in collaboration with West Bengal 
Industrial Development Coporation (WBIDC) to undertake projects by 
entrepreneurs in West Bengal.

4. We are also commiting to take part in "Project Well" for improving 
the situation of Arsenic infected drinking water in West Bengal.


Last year Prabasi had sent a donation of Rs 1 lakh (approximately) to 
the Ramakrishna Mission Orphanage in India. This was handled 
single-handedly by Partha Bhatacharya. Prabasi will continue to support all such 
humanitarian activities this year with more encouragement to volunteers 
who wish to contribute for such worthy causes.

Before we wind up, Tanushree, your membership this year will help us 
reach our goals. Your "membership renewal code" will be sent to you in a 
separate mail. Please register early to take advantage of the 
discounted rates.

- Anupam Bagchi
Prabasi Webmaster