Federation of Indian Associations-New England (FIA-NE) hosts Spring gala

Special guests at the Spring Gala of Federation of Indian Associations-New England (FIA-NE) March 25, 2023. Photo: courtesy FIA-NE

The Federation of Indian Associations – New England (“FIA–NE”) held its Spring Gala Saturday, March 25, 2023, at the McVinney Auditorium in Providence, Rhode Island.

Among the high-profile guests who attended was Congressman Seth Magaziner of Rhode Island; Rep. Shri Thanedar of Michigan and his wife Shashi Thanedar; East Providence Mayor Roberto (Bob) DaSilva; and India’s Deputy Consul General in New York City, Dr. Varun Jeph.

Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee’s representative Rose Decastillo, and Rhode Island Secretary of State Gregg Amore’s representative Eileen Sweeny, both Directors of Community Outreach in the respective offices, were also present. Lincoln’s Town Administrator Philip Gould also joined the more than 300 members of the Indian American community, a press release from FIA-NE said.

Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee announcing launch of Indian American Unity Cricket League March 25, 2023, at Spring Gala of FIA-NE. Photo: FIA-NE

Sonali Doshi sang the U.S. and Indian national anthems and a moment of silence was observed to the life and memory of a beloved community member, Dr. Paromita Das Asija. Members of FIA-NE’s executive team, New England business owners, performing artists and talented students welcomed and felicitated the guests of honor with garlands and bouquets.

Decastillo read the Governor’s message wishing a happy Holi to the Indian American community. Rep. Magaziner spoke about the valuable contributions of the Indian American community in Rhode Island and how people of Indian origin have enriched Rhode Island’s cultural and culinary scene.

Congressman Thanedar thanked FIA–NE’s President Abhishek Singh and Vice President Sanjay Gokhale for inviting him and his wife and related his life story, which is an example of success through integrity, perseverance and hard work, the press release said. India’s Deputy Consul General Jeph, emphasized the shared values and shared goals between India and the United States, and expressed confidence about continued growth and strengthening of collaboration and friendship between the world’s two largest democracies.

The highlight of the Gala was the launch of “Indian American Unity Cricket League” (“IAUCL”) by FIA–NE, with legendary Cricketer and Captain of India’s first World Cup winning team, Kapil Dev, as IAUCL’s brand ambassador. Mayor DaSilva made this announcement which elicited great excitement from attendees. Inaugural Cricket matches of IAUCL will be held in the first week of September this year.

The announcement was followed on stage by a simulated cricket faceoff between two sides – one team consisting of Congressmen Magaziner, Thanedar, Mayor DaSilva, DCG Dr. Jeph, Lincoln Town Administrator Philip Gould and  Decastillo batting against the other team composed of bowlers who were Captains of four New England based Cricket Club teams, on the stage.  The crowd cheered them on. Kapil Dev delivered his recorded video message, expressing excitement about IAUCL promoting cricket in America, and thanking RI Governor Daniel McKee and East Providence Mayor DaSilva for their support.

FIA-NE facilitated donation of a set books on India as a part of India Corner initiative, to HARI Vidya Bhawan, a nonprofit school in Rhode Island, which teaches Hindi and Indian culture to next generation of Indian American children.

Guests of honor participated in the ribbon cutting for the book donation. They also launched FIA-NE’s commemorative book, The Journey So Far.  FIA-NE’s documentary on Celebration of India’s 75th Independence Day in Boston and Providence was also released at this event. The documentary highlights the planning and execution of the celebration of India’s 75th Independence Day in August 2022, held at the Rhode Island State Capitol Building in Providence which was attended by more than 10,000 people in person, and over 8 million viewers online.

FIA-NE’s OTT platform, FIA-NE Connect, was also launched at  the Spring Gala. It is available for download at the Google Play Store.

Oath ceremony for new FIA-NE executive team during the March 25, 2023 Spring Gala. Photo: FIA-NE

Finally, FIA-NE’s executive team for the years 2023-24 were sworn in by some of the special guests.  Several distinguished members of the Indian American community were recognized and honored for their service, including Founding Director of HARI Vidya Bhawan Hans Maheshwari for his services; Dr. Dinesh Patel, for over five decades of medical service; Subu Kota, for entrepreneurship and philanthropy;, Trustee of Rhode Island Hindu Temple Society Mahesh Goyal, for community service; Dr. Sattar Memon, oncologist and Author, for medical service and contribution to literature; Abhishek Singh, president of FIA-NE, for leadership and community service; Dr. Neelam Sahni, faculty at Northeastern University, for contribution in education and community service; Dr. Monie Malhotra, for contributions in the fields of medicine and art; Mukta Munjal, for community service in the field of women’s empowerment.

The event concluded with dance performances by talented children from Sanjana Dance Group and Mass Magalir Group.  FIA-NE provided complimentary snacks, dinner and masala chai from Woodlands restaurant in Westborough, Massachusetts, and also after-dinner Paan from Rasiya Paan, to all guests.



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