ICC and India House Houston Partnership: A Vision and a Hope


By Lachhman Das

ICC Trustee and India House Board Member

HOUSTON: India Culture Center (ICC) and India House (IH) are two of the most unique Indo-American community organizations in the Metropolitan Houston Area that represent all of India.

As most Houstonians know, establishing an Indo-American Community Center had been one of the major goals of ICC, enshrined in its constitution since 1973. After many years of ups and downs, the land on which the current India House stands was purchased in 2000. But, due to ICC’s several other activities and due to practical/economic reasons, an independent organization, had to be formed in July 2002 for the express goal of building the India House Building. Once this was done, ICC transferred the land title to IHI in July 2003and the two organizations started working together on the new Project.

On January 26, 2005, a joint function of India House groundbreaking and 55th anniversary of India’s Republic Day was held. However, to continue this coordination consistently, certain transition issues still needed to be worked out. All these issues were eventually resolved amicably and a final Agreement was signed between the two organizations in 2011. Since then, the two have been working hard to forge a solid partnership, resulting in the following outcomes:

•ICC now has an office and holds its meetings at India House.
•The Annual Diwali functions are now being held jointly, most recently on November 1, 2015.
•IHI is now one of the Partnering Organizations of ICC.
•IHI leaders actively support ICC’s major functions. Likewise, ICC leaders also actively support the IHI events such as Annual Gala, Flag Hoisting Ceremony on India’s Independence Day, Hosting the visits of dignitaries, etc…
•ICC always provides a free booth to IHI during its signature events.
•Several of the IHI leaders have received ICC’s Community Service Awards.
•Space permitting, almost all of the ICC functions are now held at India House.
•For the present, ICC’s two annual signature events—cannot be held at India House due to the unavailability of large indoor area. However, as India House’s future expansion plans materialize, these two functions will also shift to India House.

The eventual goals of the two organizations should be as follows:
•ICC should hold all its functions and conduct all its activities at India House.
•ICC and IHI leadership should actively support each other’s functions, both physically and financially…
•All the Board and Council Members of India House, Inc. should also become paying members of ICC. Likewise, all the ICC Board Members and Trustees should aim to become IHI’s Council Members, and Board Members, if possible.
•Both organizations should cosponsor as many community events as possible…
•Both the organizations should be in the forefront in coordinating responses to major disasters locally and internationally. The money collected by individual organization should not be advertised as individual contributions, but collective community contributions.
•Although it appears far-fetched at this time, it is not hard to imagine and accept that ICC’s soul lives in the body of the India House Building.  Perhaps, due to the realization of this concept of the spirit of cooperation and understanding, some of the leaders in both the organizations have privately expressed their wishful desires that the two organizations should ultimately merge.