Andy Bhatia, an engineer by training who has been involved with the work many community organizations and have been honored by some of them for his leadership role, has been elected president of the Federation of Indian Association of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, an umbrella body known for organizing the largest annual India Day Parade in New York City.
Bhatia took charge Jan. 1 along with a new team comprising Srujal Parikh, executive vice president; Alok Kumar, vice president; Chhavi Dharayan, secretary; Jatin Patel, joint secretary; Himanshu Bhatia, treasurer and Anand Patel, immediate past president. After taking over, Bhatia said that an all-out effort will be made to expand FIA’s activities. He said expanding the programs of FIA to Connecticut and Queens/Long Island areas were also being explored.
Bhatia has extensive experience in the airline/travel industry where he has worked for mealy 35 years in various capacities, including as area sales manager for Air India in New York.
He has served FIA in various capacities, and for a quarter of a century, he actively participated in organizing the India Day Parade and Diwali in New York City, and Diwali Mela in Jackson Heights. He has been honored by the FIA and the National Federation of Indian Associations earlier as also by organizations like the Gujrati Samaj USA, Jackson Heights Merchants Association and also by the City Council of New York.
“My passion of serving the community comes from my parents, who served a small town of Gujarat through Lions Club International,” Bhatia who holds a master’s degree in engineering from NJ Institute of Technology, said.
Bhatia, who has chaired the Halsey International Scholarship Program, consisting of community support groups representing 16 countries including India’s Shastri Scholarship Committee, said a college fair for the youth and a fundraiser for FIA were being planned in April.
In addition, FIA’s signature events, including the India Day Parade, India Day Banquet and the ‘Dance pe Chance’ program, will be organized with new features to attract more people which, he said, “will help take the traditional events to their next level.”