India House 16th Gala Recognizes Outstanding Achievements

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HOUSTON: India House mission of uniting cultures, creating bridges, and serving the community came to fruition during its fashionably elegant 16th annual gala on Saturday, March 9 evening at the Sugar Land Mariott Hotel ballroom. Gala chair was India House Trustee Bal Sareen.

The chief guest for the gala was Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. It is a tradition at the gala to present awards to outstanding achievers. For 2019, the winners were real estate icons Chowdary & Angela Yalamanchili for Lifetime Achievement, fine dining chef Kiran Verma as Entrepreneur of the Year, and Sewa International President Gitesh Desai for Community Service.

The evening’s formal portion began with the spirited performance of the US and Indian national anthems by Jiya & Malikka Ghei. In his introductory remarks, India House President Jugal Malani remarked, “India House has laid an impressive and strong foundation by showcasing itself at the forefront of community development, educational programs, healthcare services, wellness programs as social events.”

Lieutenant Patrick spoke of Texas’ attraction to immigrants from across the United States and the world at the rate of 1,000 people per day. Patrick pledged to reduce property taxes to retain Texas’ economic attraction by ensuring that there is no income tax and reducing property taxes, thereby receiving a thunderous applause from the audience.

A highlight of the evening was a speech on social entrepreneurship by Hersh Kumar, a recent addition to the India House trustees. Kumar spoke passionately about his struggle as an immigrant and how he built up a charitable organization with a current funding of $40 million. Also recognized on stage was Dr. Stephen Spann, Dean of the University of Houston School of Medicine.
Recently reelected Congressman Pete Olson spoke glowingly about the trade ties between Texas and India, exemplified by the recent purchase of LNG by Indian oil and gas companies.

A full house of India House patrons and guests enjoyed the evening’s entertainment, which included a presentation of bridal and contemporary fashions by Manyavar Mohe and dancing by Infused Performing Arts, coordinated by Vanshika Vipin Verma.