The needler in the haystack.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

House fire brings former community activist back to Plainfield


Kickoff of a citywide cleanup workday, September, 2001. Budhan, one of the organizers,
is near the left, arms crossed. Mayor Al McWilliams is right of center, in sunglasses and baseball cap.

A Plainfield house fire has brought a former community activist back to the Queen City.

Mahendra Budhan, whom many will remember as an organizer of the St. Mary's Block Association, and who figured prominently in organizing several citywide volunteer street cleanups in the early to mid-2000s is back in the city for a few days as a result of a fire in his property on West 6th Street.

The house, across the street from the Sisters of Mercy convent (Mother Theresa's nuns), was where Budhan raised his family until they moved to Kissimmee, Florida a number of years ago.

It has since been a rental property.

Running into Budhan, who is staying with relatives in the city this week while he tries to get insurance matters moving along, he was full of questions about the city and citizen activities.

He was sad to learn that the block associations group which had been shepherded by Assistant Prosecutor Tiffany Wilson as the SALT Project has dwindled to a shadow of itself since the Prosecutor's office defunded the program.

Nevertheless, he was pleased at the liveliness of the downtown business district and some of the visual changes to downtown.

Budhan wanted to send greetings along to any and all who remember the days of the citywide neighborhood cleanups.

The kids grow up so fast -- their son is in college and their daughter is pursuing a career in pharmacy.

Best to the whole family!!



The fire started in the rear; the house has been declared a total loss.


-- Dan Damon [follow]

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