Nestled within Edison, New Jersey, the Margate housing complex is a vibrant community comprising 632 apartments, celebrated for its cultural diversity, with almost thirty percent of its residents tracing their heritage back to India. However, for over three decades until 2015, the community remained passive during annual elections, failing to reach a quorum and allowing the Board of Directors to select candidates at their discretion.
Picture a child residing in a picturesque apartment complex, surrounded by manicured lawns, only to be forbidden from playing on them under the threat of steep fines. This was the harsh reality faced by Margate’s children as the Board of Directors imposed strict regulations that hindered their growth and development, robbing them of the simple joys of childhood. It’s worth noting that on the East Coast, there are only a precious few summer months when kids can enjoy outdoor play.
In October 2015, a transformative moment arrived during the annual elections. Tarendra Lakhankar emerged as a leading force, rallying shareholders to challenge the existing restrictive rules. They achieved the elusive quorum, and Tarendra’s team won the election, allowing him to assume the roles of Board of Director and President, heralding a new era for the Margate Community. Over the last eight years, several capital improvement projects have been completed in the community, including pavement, landscaping, boilers, roofs, etc. Remarkably, maintenance fees have not increased during this eight-year period, as the budget has been tightly controlled.
Dr. Lakhankar, a proactive and compassionate resident, couldn’t stand idly by while the children suffered. He united with a community group, determined to bring about change. Their victory in the election marked the beginning of a remarkable journey under Tarendra’s leadership. With Dr. Lakhankar at the helm, the Margate Community undertook a mission to construct a spacious playground within the complex. The playground symbolized freedom for the children, offering a haven where they could run, play, and explore to their hearts’ content.
However, Tarendra’s contributions extended far beyond the playground’s boundaries. His presidency ushered in a cultural renaissance within Margate. Annual festivities like Diwali, Holi, and Ganapati became cherished traditions, connecting residents with their cultural heritage and fostering unity and belonging. In addition to these joyous occasions, Tarendra organized various community events, including memorable Mother’s Day celebrations, over several consecutive years. These events strengthened the bonds among residents and created enduring memories for Margate families.
Dr. Tarendra Lakhankar’s legacy in the Margate Community serves as a testament to the transformative power of community engagement and dedicated leadership. His tireless efforts, from dismantling barriers that hindered children’s play to enriching the community’s cultural experiences and providing crucial support during times of crisis, have left an indelible mark on the lives of Margate’s residents.
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