(Editor’s note: Ashish Cowlagi is the newly-elected president of India Society of Worcester (ISW), one of New England’s oldest and largest Indian associations. Recently, he wrote his reflections on recent events and how ISW plans to deal with them.)
By Ashish Cowlagi
The last few months have seen several events that have had a deep impact on our community. This includes the disturbing acts of violence against people of Indian origin in some parts of the country. Many of you have asked – “What should ISW do to respond?”
I am writing to share some of my thoughts on this and to ask for your feedback.
ISW is a non-political organization; however, there are some important ways we can help bring our local community together:
ISW will continue to share our culture with the communities that we live in and promote understanding of the Indian culture. We will make a special effort to highlight the “Unity in Diversity” that is a unique part of the Indian cultural fabric. “Unity in Diversity” will be the theme of this year’s India Day at the DCU center as well!
ISW is engaged in several volunteer efforts that serve the local communities that we live in, including the Free Health Stop at India Center, our elder support group (Humrahee) and several activities of the India Youth Group. We will continue to expand these volunteer activities and enhance visibility of the great work that our volunteers do!
Educate and Engage:
We will offer a platform to educate and engage our community around local and community issues and encourage involvement in local civic organizations. We have two seminars coming up on this theme –
- On April 1st we will host a panel discussion for the candidates for Shrewsbury’s Selectmen positions, where all residents can understand the candidates’ positions and make their voice heard.
- On April 8th we will host a seminar on “Know your Rights” covering immigration, travel and civic rights of residents and local laws impacted by recent announcements.
Help & Support
ISW continues to have a very responsive crisis committee standing by to help members in need. If you know someone who has been impacted by recent events and needs help – please reach out to us.
ISW will continue to build and expand partnerships with regional community organizations to present a unified voice to the community across New England. India Day at the DCU Center brings together over 50 organizations including Indian regional cultural organizations and other nonprofits. We participated in a recent vigil in Boston organized by the Indian American Forum for Political Education (IAFPE). We are in discussions to organize more statewide joint events with IAFPE and IAGB.
All of our activities and events share one common element – you! ISW has been blessed to have active community members who make its many events possible and I look forward to working with you on these events.
(ISW is one of New England’s most vibrant Indian associations, and it is primarily a cultural, social, educational and charitable organization whose mission is to encourage people with ancestral origin in India or people who are otherwise interested in India, to form an effective and cohesive group with the objective of retaining, facilitating, and fostering the cultural heritage of India; including ethnic arts, languages and religions of its people.)