Hundreds of books on India donated to Edison Public Library

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Dignitaries, Library and GOPIO officials at the launch before lighting of the lamp.
From left to right: Library Director Allan Kleiman, Edison Council Vice President Joyce Ship-Freeman,
Library President Patricia Massey, Consul General Randhir Kumar Jaiswal, Parikh Worldwide Media
Chairman Dr. Sudhir Parikh and GOPIO Vice President Ram Gadhavi. Photo: ITV Gold

The Edison Public Library officials are grateful to the Indian Consulate in New York and the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin -Edison NJ Chapter (GOPIO-Edison) for donating hundreds of books that have significantly expanded its collection on India. Edison and surrounding areas have one of the largest concentration of Indian-origin residents in the country.

Books on India donated to the Edison Public Library. Photo: GOPIO-Edison

The “India Collection Launch” event held April 10, 2022, was attended by some 120 people, less than the number who wanted to attend but could not be accommodated, according to organizers. The Consulate provided 140 books while the community including GOPIO, Gujarati Literary Academy, Assam Sahitya Sabha and Zakir Husain Circle donated 110 books.

The collection includes 60 Gujarati books donated by Ram Gadhavi, GOPIO vice president, who is also chairman of the Gujarati Literary Academy.

Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Chairman, Parikh
Worldwide Media & ITV Gold.. Photo: ITV Gold
Allan M. Kleiman, Director, Edison Public Library. Photo: ITV Gold
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Many supporting organizations are eager to help, including Gujarati Literary Academy of North America, Gandhian Society, Indo American Cultural Society of USA, Assam Sahitya Sabha and Zakir Husain Circle. The grand sponsor of the program was Sabinsa Corporation, a food supplement company located in East Windsor with operations in India.

Patricia Massey, President, Edison Public Library. Photo: ITV Gold
Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman, GOPIO International. Photo: ITV Gold

The Indian Consul General Randhir Kumar Jaiswal was the chief guest along with Consul for Community Affairs A.K. Vijayakrishnan. Many prominent Indian American community leaders, elected council members from Edison and nearby cities, media and a large number of community leaders and Indian-American residents from Edison and nearby towns attended the event to show their support to this initiative.

Pallavi Belwariar, President GOPIO – Edison. Photo: ITV Gold
Ajay Patil, Councilman, Edison Township. Photo: ITV Gold

A moment of silence was observed for the victims of Russia’s war in Ukraine and for the passing away of GOPIO-Life Member and community leader Yash Paul Soi early this month.

Consul General Jaiswal spoke on the vibrant library system in America that helps spread knowledge and make it a developed country, and making the Indian books available thru this system will help the diaspora with the availability of rare Indian books.

Library Director Allan Kleiman said he was very excited by this new collection and noted that many of the library staff were of Indian origin, who speak 5 to 6 Indian languages, and the new donation had increased the India collection four-fold. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Indian Consulate and GOPIO and to bring the Indian community in Edison and some of the other areas here at the library more than just once,” Kleiman said.

Dr. Sudhir Parikh, a Padma Shri award recipient and chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media and ITV Gold which covered the event, said education was the greatest way to be philanthropy. Helping one student with education means helping a family, a community, and the country. “This initiative of GOPIO, of which I am a patron life member, is a great initiative because this is the window where Americans will see what is the culture of India, the richness of India,” he said. It would also be educational for the 2nd generation of Indian-Americans, he added. He also noted that the several publications brought out by Parikh Worldwide Media would be a great addition to the library.

Patricia Massey, president of Edison public Library, welcomed everyone and thanked those who had organized the event for their “generous donation” of books. “It’s very difficult to find books in different languages, so this is particularly appreciated,” Massey said. She urged everyone to get library cards.

A section of the audience at the Edison Pubic Library April 10, 2022, for the India Book Collection Launch. Photo: ITV Gold

Newly reorganized GOPIO-Edison Chapter President Pallavi Belwariar spoke about plans to organize many community service programs in Edison and nearby areas including supporting and volunteering at soup kitchens, youth programs and welcoming new Indian students assimilate when they join the nearby Rutgers University.

GOPIO International Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham noted that GOPIO-CT chapter had already successfully launched an India Collection of books at the Norwalk, CT and Stamford, CT Public Libraries.

A press release from GOPIO noted that one of the main organizers of the event was Pradeep “Peter” Kothari, a veteran community leader who had organized the Oak Tree Indian businesses and serves as the Founder and President of Indo American Cultural society of USA. Kothari recognized the work by many Indian American leaders and thanked the town council members for attending.

Other speakers and elected officials at the event included Piscataway Township Councilman Kapil Shah, Edison Councilman Ajay Patil, Edison Town Council Vice President Joyce Ship-Freeman, Kunal Mehta, president of GOPIO-Central Jersey, GOPIO vice president Ram Gadhavi, and Federation of Indian Association President Kenny Desai. Several community members and elected leaders spoke to ITV Gold to express appreciation for the initiative and the need to support it.

The ceremony was followed by a Holi celebration with a musical program by singer Pallavi Belwariar and Yogesh who entertained the audience with Holi themed Hindi songs.

GOPIO said it is collecting old Indian classic books and Indian language books in all languages from the community to donate to other libraries. Those wanting to donate should contact GOPIO at 203-329-8010 or send an e-mail to gopio@optonline.net

 

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