The Hindu Temple of Wisconsin needs to keep up with the growth of our community and analyze how to address the increasing requirements. At the same time we need to still support the existing infrastructure. This vision document is compiled based on the feedback from the committees, community members, current and past board members and Temple employees.
Temple Expansion Projects
1. DHWAJA STAMBH & WELCOME CENTER. Dhwaja Stambh literally means flagpole and is essential for all Hindu Temples. This structure, belonging to the Vedic tradition, is a key element wherein the life energy of the Temple is installed. It is constructed and installed as per agama principles between the main entrance of the Temple and the Garbha Gruha (Main Sanctum) of the Temple. Worshipping the Dhwaja itself equals worshipping the Main Deity in the Temple. The Dhwaja raises man to higher level of understanding and activity. We need to install the Dhwaja Stambh before we perform Kumbhabhishekham in the Twelfth year after the Temple is built. This project will complete our Temple.
A new Welcome center will allow us to move the office, the coat / shoe room as well as the bathrooms to an outer building and away from the Temple inner sanctum. This will open up the Temple Hall for accommodating more devotees as well as removing any non-religious/non-spiritual activity from inside the Temple. This is also a must, according to the shastras, for installing the Dhwaja Stambh.
2. HTW Parking lot expansion is a much-needed project for the temple. The temple should be able to cater to the parking needs for the regular daily/weekly/monthly events. The goal is to increase the current parking space by 30%.
3. A Community Meeting Hall is needed to handle the increased audience at major events. Everyone who’s attended recent major events knows the existing auditorium fills up quickly. The new smaller auditorium being constructed as part of the temple expansion project this year will provide much needed space for smaller gatherings. But there’s a growing need for a larger auditorium. Preliminary analysis will be conducted to identify requirements and potential options.
a. Infrastructure Development – The temple needs to be connected to the community at all times. The temple’s website and administrative software are in the process of being upgraded to provide extended capabilities to our community. With the goal of providing enhanced information about all the events, pujas and resources that are available. The objective is to empower and enrich our community’s experience with the temple and its services.
b. Devotee satisfaction – HTW should cater to the spiritual needs of the devotees by increasing their participation in various pujas, religious events, bhajans or pravachans. Devotees should be able to obtain necessary information through the temple bulletin boards, weekly email (available by registration) or from the website. Registration for events should be made simpler.
c. Devotee /Customer service – Customer satisfaction is the key criteria for the success of the temple. Office managers and priests will work with the devotees and conduct the operations in a cordial way, which includes scheduling and performing religious events/pujas to devotees’ satisfaction. The board of directors and the committee’s are expected to plan and organize more events requested by the community.
Youth Involvement and Education
Many children in our community are involved in Volunteer activities outside the temple. Our temple needs to establish a program where all our children can volunteer and learn the discipline and value of our religion and our culture. These programs will focus on teaching the children about our religion, culture and ideals and the importance of their involvement in helping others.
Increase in Revenues & Reduction in Expenses
1. Our temple’s operating expenses are over $1,400/day and growing, as our community continues to expand. The Mandir Shobha program has been launched to attract and sustain regular donations from the community every month to meet our monthly operating expenses. We also need to increase devotee participation in Yearly pujas, Sponsor A Day and the priest services performed at the Temple and at home. The temple has to enable the options of sponsoring special private occasions like Birthdays/ Wedding Anniversary/ family special occasions etc. Life membership program and Circle of Friends programs have to be rejuvenated and marketed to the community.
2. The fundraising committee needs to be innovative in finding ways to raise funds by increasing the donor base to include the entire community.
3. Reduction of expenses is always very important. The finance committee has to work with operations and religious committees to keep the expenses in check and find ways to reduce the expenses. The Operations committee needs to analyze all the contracts and find opportunities to reduce the expenses.
1. Community Participation & Feedback – HTW should solicit feedback from our various community organizations and associations. HTW needs to invite and encourage various volunteers of other organizations like Telugu Association, Maharastra Mandal, Milwaukee Tamil Sangam, Kannada Koota, Bengali Association, Gujarati Association etc. to participate in and help in temple events. Our volunteer base has to be expanded to cater to the needs of the temple during large events and festivals.
2. Voluntary programs from HTW – Continue programs like Fight Hunger, Help Disabled Veterans, Help Homeless Veterans etc. With the large physician base in the community, HTW needs to explore and expand opportunities to conduct activities like free medical screening camps, blood drives, CPR training camps, seminars (ex: How to apply for a Medical School) and other programs at the HTW.
3. Indian Fine Arts – India has various cultures and a wide variety of languages. Despite our rich and diverse culture, many arts are vanishing due to lack of support. Our temple should provide an opportunity to support Indian arts, especially ones that are struggling. The temple needs to invite people from our community to conduct classes, seminars and expositions to help these artists.
The HTW library needs to be digitized. The content needs to be made available in digital format for easier and faster distribution to the community through the web. Various spiritual lectures, religious seminars, recorded pravachans etc. should be made available to the devotees. The existing library has to be revamped and reorganized to better serve our needs in this area.