Foundation of India Studies (FIS) Participates in MLK Grande Parade

From Left to Right: Raina Desai, Krishna Vavilala, Sudhakar Tallavajhula (Event Chair), Parul Fernandes (President of ICC), Rhea Desai, Netra Tallavajhula, Sonali Gupta, Sophia Matthew, Dr. Sudha Tallavajhula.          (photo by: Amanda Vavilala).


HOUSTON: The Foundation for India Studies (FIS) demonstrated solidarity with Houston’s black community by actively participating in the 30th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Grande Parade. Originally scheduled for MLK Day on January 15th, the parade was rescheduled due to freezing weather and eventually took place on February 17th, 2024, amidst challenging weather conditions.

Despite the unfavorable weather conditions, ten bravehearts from FIS boldly marched in the parade, determined not to break the organization’s twelfth consecutive year of participation. The month of February is also recognised as a “Black History” month by all civic and Governmental authorities in America. The MLK Grande Parade, one of the largest multicultural events in the U.S., honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This year’s theme, “We Still Believe,” resonated with various participating groups, reflecting the enduring belief in Dr. King’s dream of equality and justice. FIS was joined by enthusiastic high school students from the greater Houston area, adding youthful energy to the event.

Event Chairman Sudhakar Tallavajhula, supported by FIS board members, led the group, showcasing their commitment to honoring Dr. King’s legacy. High school participants actively contributed to event planning, organized peers, and carried the FIS banner, symbolizing the common vision shared by Dr. King and India’s freedom movement leader, Mahatma Gandhi.

The unexpected adverse weather conditions on that day did not dampen the spirit of participants and onlookers who passionately cheered and waved as the FIS group, representing both the United States and India, paraded through the route.

The FIS banner served as a poignant reminder of the shared philosophies embraced by Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King. Spectators chanted phrases such as “Peace!” and “Non-violence,” paying tribute to the remarkable legacies of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King. The parade became a powerful platform to revive the influence of these leaders, whose nonviolent approaches catalyzed positive societal transformations.

Mahatma Gandhi, known for his nonviolent resistance against British colonial rule, inspired movements globally, with Dr. King being an early adopter of Gandhi’s philosophy. Dr. King’s contributions to the American Civil Rights Movement were instrumental in ending legalized racial discrimination in the United States.

FIS remained dedicated to commemorating the legacies of Gandhi and Dr. King, celebrating their commitment to peaceful resistance and non-violent struggles. The organization extends sincere gratitude to high school volunteers, parents, and all participants for their crucial roles in organizing and executing this meaningful event.

For more information about FIS and its commitment to honoring the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., please visit our website: and/ or contact Krishna Vavilala, Founder, Chairman, Foundation for India Studies Inc.(FIS): 713-795-5169.