GOALS OF AIA
MISSION : INDIAN HERITAGE – AMERICAN COMMITMENT
Speech AIA Feb 25th
Honorable Congressman Tom Suozzi, Mr. Nair from Consulate, From AIA, Former National Presidents, Board of Trustees, Past and present Chapter Presidents, , Distinguished Guests ,community leaders, and friends.
It is so interesting at this vary place, I had transfer of gavel as a President NY Chapter in 2003 and today the MOST IMPORTANT ONE is MY Inauguration as NATIONAL PRESIDENT of Association of Indians in America
Congressman, please accept my heartfelt thanks.
Friends My acquaintance with AIA is right after I came to this country in 1970.
I came to know the Visionaries of Indian Origin who realized , the community is growing from sudden Inflex of Migration from India in late 60’s. So they formed this Association with the Mission,” Indian Heritage and American Commitment “. The philosophers like Maxmullar, Tallstoy, Mark Twain and Einstein , they all said India was the Cradle of Human Civilization. They taught us how to count. Zero invented in India was the gift to the World.
Ladies and Gentlemen ,I am truly Honored and Privileged to be elected as the First woman to head this great Organization at the National level.
On behalf of National Executive committee I Welcome you all for this special occasion. It is beyond the scope to enumerate all the achievements of 50 years hard work , I will mention a few.
AIA is is a the Grass Root organization of Asian immigrants in united states, fostered on the Democratic principle of “ one member one vote “, with chapters and memberships spread across the United States of America. It was founded on August 20th 1967, adopted by US congress in 1970 ., incorporated in 1971 and obtained the IRS Tax Exempt in 1976.
Association acquired Minority status for Asian Indian community in 1970, Enumeration of Asian Indians in US Census as an independent category in 1980. Representation before congressional committees to testify for family reunification provision in the immigration Bill And representation at Federal, State and local levels of Governments, in case of Bias or discrimination against the Asian Indians .
Voters Registration Drive in early 1970’s was done by Volunteers of AIA, Most of them were neither Citizen nor Green Card Holders .
One of the most important Aim of AIA was to promote the image of India in United states , it is not a land of Snake Charmers, but A Nation of intellectuals, people with work ethics, family values and a very rich Heritage and culture.
To show its rich culture and Traditions In 1987 we started the most important Indian Festival Diwali, at the South Street Sea Port in NYC, later on in MORIKAMA PARK in Florida, Dussehra in long island and New jersey and Gandhi Jayanti in Chicago
Project India is an ongoing project of AIA, has been contributing since 1990 . Orthopedic implants, Ophthalmic and radiological Supplies, H I V education and care during HIV epidemic in India are some of them.
New York City recognized Diwali in 2003 and approved suspension of parking in all the 5 Borrows of NYC on the day of Diwali inspite of Mayers VITO . AIA was the first organization to celebrate Diwali at white house in 2006 and it was commemorated by issuing 1000 Silver coins at the occasion .
The movement of Issuance of Diwali Stamp was started by AIA.
In last 50 years we Honored about 110 individuals at our Honor award ceremonies, out of which 4 were recipient of Noble Prize. They are, Amartya Sen, Lawrence R. Clein, Norman E Borlaug and Chandra Sekhar.
A BOOK about India name ANANYA, written by Professor Shridhur and Dr Nirmal Mattoo was placed in City hall and Gracy Mention in 2003.
At present Indian community needs are different, many of our people are not as fortunate economically as others. Old age, Health needs, and fragmented family are some of the community problems. Life is taking an emotional and economical Toll on many.
Another very important need is to Maintain and promote Heritage and culture in the second generation, who are growing up in Diverse culture , one at home and another out side as peer pressure . The Substance Abuse is the major problem today need to be controlled.
Time has come to hand over the Torch to Younger Generation of Indian Americans to maintain our strong Heritage and culture in future generations to come .
The bond of friendship Among India and USA is stronger than ever before. My Vision is to bring all different Asian Indian Organization work together and stay together . Our Unity and solidarity can make us strong and it will help both , our community and our adopted home land, United states of America.
It is lot of pressure on me to bring this association to a greater height, The work seems very difficult, However with your help, I have no doubt that we will succeed .
Please Mark your calendar to Save the date, Dec 1st 2018, We are going to have a Historic Event, celebration of Golden Anniversary of AIA at Garden city Hotel Long island NY
I request you all to please participate in it and make it successful
I am repeating Quotation of President Kennedy in my version . “Do not expect from your Association, see what can you do for it .”
May God bless India and America!