India House Continues to Embark on its Mission By Serving & Benefiting the Community

From left: Jugal Malani, Anjali & Hari Agrawal, Sushila & Dr. Durga Agrawal, Congressman Kevin Brady, Angela & Chowdary Yalamanchili, Bal & Rita Sareen, and Nalini & Dr. Virendra Mathur at the 15th Annual India House Gala, on Saturday, March 24 at Sugar Land Marriott Town Square.

From left: Jugal Malani, Anjali & Hari Agrawal, Sushila & Dr. Durga Agrawal, Congressman Kevin Brady, Angela & Chowdary Yalamanchili, Bal & Rita Sareen, and Nalini & Dr. Virendra Mathur at the 15th Annual India House Gala, on Saturday, March 24 at Sugar Land Marriott Town Square. Photos: Bijay Dixit

Click here to see Photo Collage

By Vanshika Vipin Varma

SUGAR LAND: America is truly a land of diversity and presently there are at least three generations of Indo-Americans living in Houston. India House Houston, a non-profit organization, continues to embark on their mission to unite cultures, create bridges and serve the community by bringing resources, education, services and Indian culture to Houstonians.

From left: Congressman Al Green, Dr. Durga Agrawal, and Congressman Kevin Brady. Photos: Bijay Dixit

From left: Congressman Al Green, Dr. Durga Agrawal, and Congressman Kevin Brady.

On Saturday, March 24, India House celebrated its 15th Annual Gala at Sugar Land Marriott Town Square.  Guests at first walked into the  ‘need of the hour’- the social hour which eased everyone out. It was a well-planned section of the event, taking place in a separate room, where mouth-watering appetizers and drinks were served. The icing on the cake was some live music being played by Anis Chandani, from the Sa Re Ga Ma fame. He mesmerized the audience with his magnificent flute.

The gala commenced at 7:45 pm at the main hall with the American National Anthem, followed by the Indian National Anthem, sung by Apurva Ghosh and Prasun Kolhe. The audience got into the groove and to build up the tempo the talented Rashi Vats of Fox 26 joined in as the Emcee. Jugal Malani, the President of India House, gave the introductory welcome note. Mentioning about the successful completion of a decade of India House, he gladly shared insights that occurred through the year.

Consul General of India, Dr. Anupam Ray & Col. Vipin Kumar, Executive Director of India House

Consul General of India,Dr. Anupam Ray (left) & Col. Vipin Kumar, Executive Director of India House

In his note he mentioned, “India House has become an important institution in the cultural mosaic of the Greater Houston area and with its growth we will continue to serve and benefit the community by means of its various programs and services”. His glaring speech was followed by powerful video messages in support of India House from the Governor of Texas- Greg Abbott, Senator John Cornyn and Congressman Pete Olson.

Soon after, Col. Vipin Kumar, Executive Director of India House, recognized the Board of Directors, Council members, volunteers and staff. He mentioned about the programs and activities of India House and introduced the guests to a short video that depicted a brief history of India House and its programs and activities. This video gave the audiences a perspective of their mission and vision. Next up on stage was the Consul General of India, Dr. Anupam Ray, who was introduced by the Gala co-chair and India House Trustee Bal Sareen. Dr. Ray mentioned, “India House is the pillar of Indian presence in Houston, making it the foundation of Indian community here.

The Indian Consulate has always been supported by it and I thank India House for everything that they do”. The audience gave him a huge round of applause. The next gentleman to be up on the stage was the eagerly awaited keynote speaker Congressman Kevin Brady, who was introduced by India House Trustee, Dr. Durga Agrawal.

Apurva Ghosh and Prasun Kolhe & Rashi Vats of Fox 26, Emcee

Apurva Ghosh and Prasun Kolhe (left) & Rashi Vats of Fox 26, Emcee

Congressman Kevin Brady has been an ardent supporter of India House since the very beginning and he was also present at the India House ground breaking ceremony. He chairs the House Ways & Means committee, which is the most powerful committee in Congress that envelopes all tax matters, social security, Medicare, trade, energy, health care and welfare. He has major legislative accomplishments and accolades to his credit.

He mentioned, “There are few times when Republicans and democrats come together in support of a common thing and India is one factor that brings both Republicans & Democrats in congress together”. He applauded the Indian community in their leading roles in the education, healthcare, business sectors and left with the audiences smiling. While his speech was still sinking in, all the major donors of the India House were requested to come up on stage in order to be felicitated with a golden shawl.

It was indeed a day for felicitations as the next remarkable episode was about a lifetime achievement award, which was announced by the trustee of India House, Dr. Virendra Mathur who was the recipient of the last year’s lifetime award. India House presented it this year to Dr. Durga & Mrs. Sushila Agrawal.

India-in-1

Dr. Durga Agrawal is the Founder, President and CEO of Piping Technology & Products, Inc. He is the first major donor, founding president and the current trustee of India House. He mentioned that his wife has been a phenomenal support in his life and career, serving as a strong pillar of support in his achievements and success. He stated, “I am thankful for this award and I would like to contribute it and the success of India House to the entire team of India House. I request the new generation to get involved and contribute to India House.” The zest and enthusiasm of the entire team at India House, to have the younger generation participate is what drives their mission to success.

Some of the guests and attendees at the gala included Congressman Al Green, Jay Guerrero- Rep Senator John Cornyn, Neeta Sane- HCC trustee District VII, and several prominent and noteworthy Indians.  The guests were thoroughly entertained by Anis Chandani, Payel Mitra, Dipayan Bhattacharya and Serene Kaggal and the fusion of live singing and flute left the audiences captivated. An interesting piece of this gala was the auction of necklace that was donated by Karat 22.

India-in-6

The guests were then treated to palatable dinner with delectable desserts catered by Bombay Brasserie. The magnificence and artistic beauty of the event is credited to Touch of Elegance.  While they ensured the event decoration was awe-inspiring, Darshak Thacker from Krishna Sounds Production entertained with his unique and professional styling of sound, lights, projector, and live feed. Bijay Dixit was the official photographer on board who did magic with his lens. The entire event was gracefully carried on successfully.

The esteemed trustees of India House include Bal Sareen, Brij Agrawal, Chowdary Yalamanchili, Dr. Durga Agrawal, Gopal Savjani, Hari Agrawal, Jugal Malani, and Dr. Virendra Mathur. Their executive committee is- Jugal Malani- President, Anil Aggarwal- VP Finance, Manu Gupta- Secretary, Swapnil Agarwal- Joint Secretary, Mohit Agrawal- VP Operations, Vikie Agrawal- Treasurer, Rajinder Soni- Joint Treasurer, Sam Merchant- Council Chair, Dr. Manish Rungta- Immediate Past President, and Col. Vipin Kumar- Executive Director.

For further details contact India House at 713-929-1900, email at vipin@indiahouseinc.org or visit www.indiahouseinc.org

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