United India Association Starts 2020 With a New Team: All Four Officers Women

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Aditi Soni

CAMBRIDGE, MA–The United India Association of New England, known as UIANE) has elected Aditi Soni as its new president and a new executive committee and board of directors for 2020-21 term. Ms. Soni replaces outgoing president Rakashi Chand.

Other office bearers are: Priyadarshini Kumar, Vice President; Rashi Jaggi Gujral, Treasurer; and Aanch Jain, Secretary.

UIANE held the general body election for Executive Committee and board of directors in Cambridge, MA late last year. The newly elected Officers of executed committee are looking forward to start their term this year.

The Board of Directors include Rakesh Datta, Lovely Kaur, Jaya Goyal, Deepak Garg, Rekha Palriwala, Surender Kapoor, and Yash Sood. Parvin Khetarpal will continue to be UIANE webmaster. UIANE has elected three new Board of Advisors Sonia Sharma, Rakashi Chand and Rakesh Soni.

Here are the bios of new officers of UIANE:

Aditi Soni

Aditi Soni, President

Aditi Soni is an associate director, managing R&D programs in a Cambridge based Biotech. In addition to her passion to find a cure for severe neurological diseases, she also serves as the cultural ambassador of her company.

Aditi has chaired Cambridge Women Resource Group where she was working actively to promote the Diversity & Inclusion vision and enhance the professional growth and development of its 500+ members. Aditi lives in Needham with her husband Rakesh Soni and son Aditya Soni who have been very active in UIANE and Indian community for many years.

“I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to everyone who came out to vote in our 2020 election. Many thanks to the Board of Advisors, the Nominating Committee, the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee to give me this wonderful opportunity to serve my community. The United India Association team look forward to an exciting year ahead. We hope to keep up with our traditional cultural celebrations and add many more fresh ideas in coming year.” said Ms. Soni, the newly elected president of UIANE for 2020-2021 term.

Priyadarshini Kumar

Priyadarshini Kumar, Vice President

Priyadarshini Kumar is a Massachusetts licensed teacher in Special Education, ESL, English and Early Childhood. She is currently working as a 3rd & 4th grade Special Education and ESL Resource Room teacher at the Mission Hill K-8 school in Jamaica Plain for Boston Public Schools.

In February 2019, Priya was awarded the Project Bread & Blue Cross Blue Shield Teacher Champion Award in recognition of her efforts to alleviate childhood hunger in her school. Fighting for underprivileged children and working to ensure they have equal opportunities similar to children from more affluent communities is something she is deeply committed to. Priya is also a planning team member for the BPS ALANA (African, Latinx, Asian and Native American) Educators Program whose mission is to celebrate diversity and provide educators with a safe space to build community while learning from one another by sharing their expertise and experiences.

Priya lives in Somerville with her husband Jaideep and daughter Sabrina. In her free time she loves to travel with her family and be active in local community events.

Rashi Jaggi Gujral, Treasurer

Rashi Gujral was born in India and moved to the US at the age of 15. She has known Boston as her home ever since.

Rashi Gujral

Rashi completed her MBA in 2011 and has been instrumental in successfully managing and leading the financial operations at multiple organizations.

Beside engrossing herself in numbers all day, she also volunteers at Shishu Bharati, where she teaches Indian culture and Hindi language, contributing to the

Aanch Jain, Secretary

Aanch Jain was born and brought up in Chandigarh and she is a teacher in a public-school district. Aanch lives with her husband, two children and in-laws in Saugus and very passionate about her Indian heritage.

Aanch Jain

Her hobbies include traveling, reading, cooking, and exploring cultures around the world. Her favorite quote is “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever – Gandhi

UIANE was founded in 1984 with the core mission to preserve, promote and nurture the values of our Indian heritage by planning, developing and executing programs which bring our community together. Since 1984, the United India Association has been very active in pursuing and implementing this Core Mission. In addition to other activities and functions, they regularly hold a festive and elaborate New Year’s Party in the ballroom of a premier hotel, Seminars, a Family Picnic in summer and most importantly, a professionally produced Diwali Celebration, rich with music, dance, and drama from many regions of India.

“I am blessed to have a family of seven siblings and loving parents and most of us now live here in USA. We moved to Boston area in 2002 where I found United India Association as my extended family to enjoy the cultural and social celebrations. This amazing organization was a wonderful resource to help us pass on our rich Indian heritage to our son. Since then we all three, my husband, son and me, have relished, contributed and volunteered for UIANE in different capacity. My son has grown up into a very responsible and independent young man. Even though I miss our time together in all the commutes to cold hockey rinks and jazz concerts, I see it as an opportunity to spend all that time to give back to my wonderful extended family and community,” said Ms. Soni.

She thanked all the past presidents and their team members for working hard to build this wonderful organization.

“To sustain our organization, we need our members to take an active role in planning and executing the functions, we all look forward to each year. We are hoping that we can attract more members to contribute with their talent, great and small. Many of us can be shy about coming forward but have excellent ideas. UIANE encourages all these folks to express their interest and we will find a place for everyone in our inclusive organization,” Added Aditi Soni.

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