Disha USA Celebrates 2nd Annual Diwali Gala with Over 500 Attendees

HOUSTON: Disha USA ( organized its 2nd annual Diwali gala on Friday, Oct 27, which had over 500 attendees including community members of ~20 Hindu organizations across Greater Houston area. The event was also attended by over 100 dignitaries including Consul Adesh Sudhir (Indian Consulate Houston), elected officials with family members from both Democratic and Republican parties, and many interfaith community members.
Mary Millben (, the award winning international singer who has performed for many USA Presidents as well international dignitaries, captivated the audience with her amazing rendition of The Star Spangled Banner, National Anthem of Bharat, and first time live performance of Hindi song “Om Jai Jagdish Hare”. The audience was spell-bounded and gave Mary a standing ovation.

Joseph Emmett, a native Houstonian, and founder of Vedanta Institute Houston (, delivered a profound keynote address that brought together the principles of Hindu scriptures (Vedas, Shrimad Bhagvad Gita) and their applicability for all of us. He reinforced the need for righteous action and the fact that civic engagement is very much a part of our Dharma.

Ashish Agrawal, co-founder and Chair of DISHA USA, then proceeded to share the highlights of last 12 months of engagement by DISHA USA. He also made the case for urgent need for Hindu Leaders to step up and drive civic engagement across the Hindu community. He wrapped up with a call for action for all Hindus to Vote (in every single election), Engage (in various civic activities), and Contribute (financially to civic causes).
The evening was wrapped up by the beautiful Ramleela (history of Diwali and Lord Rama) performance by over 30 members of Kalakriti Performing Arts in association with Kusum Sharma’s Shri Natraj School of Dance.
Our very own local young professionals, Ms. Supriya Aggarwal and Mr. Atman Shukla did an amazing job as the Emcees of the event by sharing their personal stories growing up here in the Greater Houston area, and ensured the event ran smoothly. Disha USA thanks the 20+ High School and Middle School volunteers who were critical in making the event successful.

Disha USA was honored to receive certificates of recognitions from the Texas State House of Representatives (Rep Gene Wu, Rep Suleman Lalani) as well as one from the US House Representative Al Green for the work to foster deeper ties between the community and civic officials.

The mission of DISHA USA is to “Empower Hindu (dharmic) civic engagement” and the event provided an opportunity for the community to interact with elected officials and candidates from across the Greater Houston area. Disha USA is open for everyone and receptive to ideas for increasing Hindu civic engagement. Visit for more information. Pictures and videos of the event will be available on our Facebook Page (