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FIS Participated in the 22nd MLK Grande Parade in Midtown

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Children: Thrayee Sai Saridey (9),Anand Morales (9), Apoorv Nednur (11),Sai Aakarsha Saridey(12), Shravya Aparasu (12),  Saureesh Aparasu (12), Adults: Raghavender Nednur,Event Chair, Kranthi Nednur, Dr. Ponnada Narayana, Dr.Sai Kaumudi Saridey, Amanda Vavilala,  Satish Saridey, Shankar Perumaalla, Rohan Perumaalla, Raghav Perumaalla, Lakshmi Vavilala,Parul Fernandes,Hiren Sarma, Atul kothari (Gandhi Library) and Krishna Vavilala, FIS Chair dressed as Gandhi ji.

HOUSTON: Under fabulous sunny skies, a group of dedicated Indian adults and children maintained the tradition of participating in the annual MLK Jr. Grande Parade, for the fifth year in a row. Being the winner of the prestigious 2015 Grand Marshal Award, FIS was offered a premier spot in the Honors Section of the parade. The children thoroughly enjoyed the attention they got from the spectators and the fanfare.

12 Years old Shravya said “If I could put into words, It’s like being a celebrity for a day. Every minute seem like a dream. Especially when you walk by the crowds to give out T-shirts. At one point a girl even hugged me for giving her one! Most of all though, you make lots of memories and become a part of a really  great cause.”

Saureesh (12) stated “I am thankful to be part of FIS and the MLK parade because it taught me more about Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi”

Apoorv,(11) said,”It was exciting to walk along side many other people and all the amazing sights.  I hope more people come next time.”

Aakarsha,(12 ) said “It was super cool to know that everyone knew how Mahatma Gandhi & MLK Jr. were ‘related’.  I definitely want to come back next year!”

Thrayee, (9) remarked: “It was fun to walk around.”

FIS was committed to connect Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy with MLK Jr. Though the two had never met, MLK Jr. was inspired by Gandhi ji’s philosophy of Peace and Non-violence in his fight against racial discrimination in America.  On invitation from Gandhi Memorial Fund, King and his wife Coretta Scott visited India in Feb.1959. King declared that he may go to other countries as tourist, but to India he would go as a pilgrim. King also spoke on All India Radio broadcast when he said, “If this age is to survive, it must follow the way of love and nonviolence that [Gandhi] so nobly illustrated in his life.” Upon his return, he also wrote in Ebony magazine that his visit to India was a revelation as if “the spear of frustration had been transformed into a “shaft of Light”. In 2009, fifty years after his trip to India, US Congress unanimously passed a resolution introduced by Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) recognizing Gandhi’s influence on MLK Jr.

Here in Houston, Congressman AL Green also declared during his speech at Hilcroft’s Mahatma Gandhi District inauguration that “there is no King without Gandhi.” Names of Gandhi and King are synonymous in the context of Peace and Non-Violence. Foundation for India Studies(FIS) is proud to participate every year in the MLK Parade.

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