The New York chapter of the Association of Indians in America (AIA), held an inauguration and oath ceremony of its newly elected executive committee at the Consulate General of India in New York, March 5. The ceremony was attended by the Consul General Riva Ganguly Das, Deputy Consul General Dr. Manoj Kumar Mohapatra, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, past presidents of AIA National and chapter presidents and prominent members of the community.
The ceremony was invoked with a Ganesh Vandana performed by Melana Krishna of Nritya Saagaram Dance Academy and a performance by students of the Nartan Rang Dance Academy of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, after the renditions of national anthems of USA and India by ITV host Gita Setia.
Immediate past president Sunil Modi, introduced by Asmita Bhatia, talked about accomplishments of his four-year presidency.
The newly elected executive committee includes President: Govind Munjal; Vice Presidents: Harish Thakkar, Dr. Bal Gilja, Gitanjli Anand,and Dr. Jagdish Gupta; Members-At-Large: Gobind Bathija, Asmita Bhatia, Vinod Chand, Indu Gajwani, Jyoti Gupta, Usha Kapoor, Beena Kothari, Deepika Modi, Sudeep Jay Modi, Beenu Sabharwal, Nina Sahani, Shyam Gajwani, Divya Shah, Pushpa Shah, Avinash Suri, Hargovind Gupta, Anita Thakar and Swati Vaishnav.
While presenting a commendation certificate to AIA, Comptroller Stringer lauded the contributions of the Indian-American community to the city of New York, and emphasized the importance of diversity. Brewer, a long-term friend of AIA, congratulated the team, and reinforced her support to the Indian-American community, citing examples of her support for the suspension of parking during Diwali.
National President Shashi Shah shared AIA’s achievement such as obtaining the minority status and the inclusion in the census.
In his address, Munjal laid down his vision for expanding youth programs and stressed the need for membership drive for the youth to get them involved. He expressed his commitment to upholding AIA’s objective of “Indian Heritage, American Commitment” through expanded program such as Desi Next, a forum for the younger generation, commitment to local philanthropic projects to serve the Indian community, in addition to the continued commitment to ‘Deepavali’ Festival. The program concluded with a vote of thanks by the Secretary Vimal Goyal.