New Executive Team Aims to Widen HSA Reach in America

From left: Sanjay Gulati, National CFO; Sagar Vira, National CTO; Ramya Ravi, National President;  Varun Mehta, Member of Board of Directors; Ruchita Naik, National Vice President; Saumya Saran, National Secretary and Raja Venkateswaran, National Executive Branch President from Dallas.

From left: Sanjay Gulati, National CFO; Sagar Vira, National CTO; Ramya Ravi, National President; Varun Mehta, Member of Board of Directors; Ruchita Naik, National Vice President; Saumya Saran, National Secretary and Raja Venkateswaran, National Executive Branch President from Dallas.

By Saumya Saran

The new executive team of Hindu Students Association (HSA), which has assumed office recently, aims to widen the reach of the organization in the United States and create a broader platform where more young adults can discover Hinduism and interact on faith-based issues.

“Our predecessors have laid a great foundation for HSA to excel in America,” said Ramya Ravi, the new National President. “My goal with the help of my team is to grow this platform to more campuses and also focus on Hindu representation at corporations by developing a unified alumni base.

“The young professional group remains untapped by traditional religious organizations. HSA aims to bridge that gap by creating a space in their respective cities to meet and discuss faith and issues that affect Hindus all over America,”she said.

To achieve its aims, the new HSA  team is looking beyond traditional venues, such as temples, religious “meet-up” groups, and family. It hopes to move forward and make HSA a loud voice on the Internet and create a place where young adults can listen to Sanskrit verses, engage in meaningful debates online, and meet like-minded people interested in learning more about Hinduism.

The new leadership plans on creating more opportunities for young adults to interact with Hinduism, in the form of meetings, lectures, camps, videos, and much more.

“It is so exciting to see the new leadership of HSA,” said Varun Mehta, past National President and Co-founder of HSA. “Ramya Ravi has been a strong leader in the founding national team and brings, along with other officers, a firm belief in what their Dharma is as officers of one of the only platforms for young Hindu adults in the United States. Not only do I wish them success, but I urge others to step in financially and support their efforts.”

Ramya Ravi is the previous CFO and one of the three founding members and is deeply responsible for the success of HSA today. A Biomedical Engineering graduate of Texas A&M University, Ramya was instrumental in raising the capital needed to sustain the operations of HSA over the last two years. Currently a Field Clinical Engineer for Cyberonic, Inc in Houston, Texas, Ramya has a team of dedicated officers that includes both students and young professionals from around the country.

Supporting her is Vice President, Ruchita Naik. Ruchita currently a Hotel Management major at the University of Houston. Ruchita also serves as the branch president at the University of Houston where she has, and continues to, exhibit exemplary leadership skills and devotion to HSA’s mission.

Sanjay Gulati, the newly elected Chief Financial Officer, is an Investment Banker at MHT Partners in Dallas, TX. Sanjay is deeply committed to the concept of seva and spent a year abroad volunteering for an organization that promotes education. He has also previously served as CFO for a non-profit organization and was a District Officer for HSA before accepting the position as CFO.

The Chief Technology Officer, Sagar Vira, has been instrumental in raising awareness for HSA through social media and was the lead organizer for Gateway 2013. Residing in Georgia, Sagar currently studies Finance and Economics at Emory University.

Saumya Saran, the new Secretary, is a young professional based in Dallas who works as a Software Engineer for Cisco Systems. He graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a double major in Computer Engineering and Business Administration. Saumya served as an officer at the UTD branch for 2 years and is keen on learning Sanskrit.

HSA has accomplished some truly astonishing feats since its inception. For the past 3 years, HSA has represented the voice of Hindu students in the Interfaith Youth Leadership Institute in Washington DC. This is an event that is organized by the White House and the Inter Faith Youth Core (IFYC) and is a major platform to raise awareness about the needs of the young Hindu community today. Furthermore, the organization has engaged a wide number of Hindus and non-Hindus alike with the creation and publishing of various Hindu-related materials on the web. For instance, a YouTube video titled “What is Yoga?” produced by HSA has garnered more than 45 thousand views since it was uploaded in June of 2011.

At inception, the founders envisioned creating an organization that would serve as a home for a new emerging voice. This voice belongs to young individuals who are curious about their faith, who want to learn more about the teachings of Hinduism, and who strive to incorporate the gained knowledge into their daily lives. Now, two and a half years later, the steep trajectory of HSA’s growth bears witness to the fact that the organization is successful in catering to a widely overlooked demographic: the young Hindu adult.

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