HAPPENINGS AT ISW
Our Vendors -
Subash Chander Gupta passed away peacefully Thursday, April 7, 2022.
He passed away at the age of 79 surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife Sneh Gupta, his daughter and two sons, Shweta, Taneja and her husband Sanjay, Ish Gupta, and Gaurav Gupta and his wife Vidushi. He is blessed with his grandchildren, Paarth, Vaasu, Viraaj, Gauri, Geetika, and Vaani.
Subash was the son of the late Gokal Chand and late Leela Vati born May 8, 1942 in Lahore, India. He lived his early adult life in Madras where he completed his Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Madras. In 1966 he married Sneh and they had an adventurous life moving to Ranchi, Delhi, Faridabad, and ultimately the United States in 1980. Initially settling in Andover, Massachusetts, he lived there for 26 years after which moved to Shrewsbury.
Having traveled widely throughout the world for work, Subash believed that the United States was the land of opportunity and the country where you could have an ‘idea’ and mold it into whatever you wanted. He firmly believed that one should make an impact in your field and give back to your community.
In engineering, he continued his training to become an expert in quality assurance attaining several higher level certifications. In his role as lead quality assurance engineer, he helped introduce high quality Bose speakers and make them a household name. Later, he joined Raytheon and continued his quality assurance work in defense projects until his retirement.
Being a firm believer in giving back to one’s community, he actively engaged in a variety of community societies including India Society of Worcester, United India, and VHP. In these endeavors, he engaged in growing the societies with multiple active leadership roles. People would look to him to be an arbitrator between contesting thoughts. Having strong spiritual beliefs, he advanced his knowledge of Hinduism and our connection with the universe. He was one of the founding member of Sarva Dev Mandir in Oxford, Massachusetts and actively engaged in its operations.
Calling hours will be held between 3 - 5pm on Sunday, April 10th at Hays Funeral Home, 56 Main Street, Northborough, MA 01532. A private cremation to follow the next day.
Shanti Puja followed by Memorial service and lunch at ISW India Center from 12.00 noon Sunday, April 17th. RSVP to Gaurav Gupta.
ISW mourns the passing of Shobha Shastry, a staunch ISW supporter and life member, who touched people far and wide with her selfless service to the community. We will miss her vivacious personality and generous spirit. Om Shanti. A compilation of memories of Shobha from the ISW community in celebration of her life is on the ISW Website.
ISW will be holding a celebration of Shobha's life on April 8th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the ISW India Center. More info and registration on the ISW Website.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Shobha for the education of Shobha's granddaughter Suhana Sundari Sullivan may be made to a college fund set up in her name. Please mail checks to:
Account owner FBO Sahana Shastry
The Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan
C/O 44 Carriage Hill Rd, Northborough, MA 01532
Thank You. Any questions please contact email@example.com
Shobha Shastry was born in Mosur, Chennai to CM Krishna Shastri and Shivagami Sundari Iyer. She is survived by her father CM Krishan Shastri, Daughter Shyla Shastry, Grand-daughter Sahana Sullivan, Brother Ravi Shastri, Sister-in-law Malathi Shastri, Nephew and Niece Mahadev and Revathi Shastri respectively. She is predeceased by her husband Sharad Y. Shastri and her mother Sundari Shastri. She passed away peacefully on March 23, 2022 in Marlborough, MA.
Shobha’s childhood and youth were highlighted by enjoying life and laughing with friends - charming others with her strong, loving personality. She was an artistic savant, specifically in painting and
drawing. Her creative genius also manifested itself in the theater, as she cultivated and honed her acting skills, displaying her adept ability to capture an audience and win others over.
At the age of 19, she was engaged to Sharad Y. Shastry of Vellore. Shobha moved to the United States and married Sharad in Westborough, Massachusetts when she was 24. Shobha and Sharad were married for 25 amazing years until his untimely passing.
Shobha had numerous achievements but, most notably, was the founder and CEO of Alankar Event Planners and Decorators, providing wedding services, decorations and mandaps in New England for 25 years and helping thousands of couples get married. She was one of the first female Indian American entrepreneurs in New England and was known for her gold-star service, always fulfilling her commitments to her clients. In addition, she was a part of many other non-profit organizations such as the Indian Society of Worcester and Tamil Sangam.
The spirit of Shobha could be described in many ways. She was an inspiration to all with her generosity and her ability to accept everyone as if they were her own. Shobha was a carefree, fun-loving, selfless, larger-than-life character whose devotion towards others was boundless. The happiness she brought to everyone was unparalleled and her presence alone could light up an entire room.
Her wake will be held at Rice Funeral home located on 300 Park Avenue, Worcester, MA on Sunday, March 27th, 2022 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The family will be holding the funeral as a private ceremony. They respectfully ask those who would like to pay their respects to attend the wake. In lieu of flowers, if you would like to make any contributions in Shobha’s memory to her granddaughter’s college fund, please contact her brother, Ravi Shastri, or Kasi Viswanathan.
Free ISW organizational membership passes permits general admission to the Garden. We can email an e-ticket to you.
New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill has gifted two ISW organizational membership passes to ISW, which can be used by our members. Please show the printed tickets upon arrival at the Garden for free general admission to Tower Hill. Complete this form AND send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
One membership card admits three individuals for FREE, we have two, so 6 can visit per day. 10% discount at The Garden Shop at Tower Hill with presentation of membership card (three individuals per card). Savings on classes, tours and workshops, and Discounts at local participating nurseries upon presentation of membership card, plus FREE gardening advice through the HORTLINE, open every Wednesday from 12noon–4pm. Call 508.869.6111 x104 or email email@example.com.
Hi everyone, my name is Tanu Nekenti, and I’m here to give you a little recap of last Saturday! If you didn’t already know, the India Society of Worcester (ISW) kicked off the new year with an extraordinary event called The Harvest Festival! It took place last Saturday, February 12th, 2022, from 2-6 pm. The event was a virtual program streamed LIVE on ISW’s Facebook page.
India is popularly known as the land of festivals, considered a colorful nation where people celebrate with full vigor and joy. Harvest festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm to mark the beginning of the new spring and are celebrated in most of India as the new year by Hindus. Being the cheerful nation that India is, the most vibrant harvest festivals of India involve interesting mythological legends and joyous celebrations. They are as incredible and diverse as their people and landscapes and let you experience the beauty of Indian culture. India has 29 states, and every state celebrates harvest festivals at different times in the year. The first yield of the crop is a delight for the people, as it marks a time of prosperity for the farmers. This leads to them celebrating it cheerfully as a festival.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, we could not gather in person as in previous years. However, we invited the extended ISW community to participate virtually in the cultural event and dance competition. This was met with astounding participation.
The show lasted nearly three hours and was emceed by Tanushree Nekenti and Kunal Chauhan. It featured a variety of acts, including Indian traditional dances, semi-classical dances, and Bollywood medleys. Participants included many energetic individuals from all age ranges. All the dances were brilliantly choreographed and incredibly entertaining for both young and old.
As mentioned earlier, each and every single contestant brought a fantastic talent to this one-of-a-kind platform. There were four very accomplished judges to judge the competition: Hema Iyengar, Shaila Verma, Sunita Ramnani, Srinivaas A.B. They did a spectacular job with the judging, though I know it must have been tough for them, as all the performances were absolutely magnificent! However, since it was a contest, the judges identified these gems from the participants.
Age Category - Below 9 years
1st place - Jhankar by Shaswati Basu - Performers - Gavishi Joshi, Rohini Patel.
2nd place - Bollywood Beats by Shaswati Basu - Performers - Shivani Suresh, Ayushi Dasgupta, Saanvi Karuturi, Thenammai Valliappan
3rd place - Disco by Ekta Jain -
1.Riya Thiagarajan2. Isabel Thomas 3. Pihu Mangarhe4. Jasmin Grover5. Niyati Dosala6. Kaira Agarwal7. Shanvika Potli8. Jia Gadhia
Age Category - 9 to 12 years
1st place - Tapori by Ekta Jain. Performers - Naksh Parwani, Neil Dixit, Neil Dave, Anish , Saahith Karthik, Ruhan Lawana
2nd place - Dancing Divas by Adilakshmi. Performers -
Sai Jayita Vootla, Pallavi Padala, Pragathi Senthilkumar, Sravya Gollapudi, Tanvi Padmaraju, Tanvika Chintalapudi
Age Category -13 to 17 years
1st place - Kathak Kunj by Shaswati Basu. Performers - Aishani Mukherjee, Safalta Sanjay Shukla, Samvriddhi Sanjay Shukla, Mihika Sengupta, Saanvi Basu
2nd place - Tarana by Mona Mitra. Performers - Prisha Kumar, Miley Arora, Sanvi Kumar, Dia Arora
Age Category - 18 and over
1st place - North and South by Ekta Jain. Performers - Geena Virmani, Jyoti Grover, Namita Khungar, Neetu Gupta, Nipun Asija, Manasa Singamsetty, Vaishali Sharma , Ranjan Sharma
2nd place - Agary Nandini by Priya Asthana and Sadhvi Majumdar. Performers - Priya Madhan/Priya Asthana
Congratulations to everyone, the contestants and the winners. All of you are winners in our hearts and performed magnificently!
All of the contestants and participants brought sensational talent to this one-of-a-kind platform. We thank our participants for sharing their talent and love with us. We also thank our choreographers, emcees, organizers, sponsors, and especially the audience at home; we couldn’t do it without you! I had a great time watching and participating in this amazing event, and I hope you had fun too! If you missed the event, you can still view it on Facebook on the ISW page. We hope to see you at future ISW events as well.
~ Tanushree Nekenti
Deadline for PVSA award extended to Feb 28, 2022
Thank you for your volunteer hours.
We hope to track the hours to recognize the amazing volunteers who contribute to India Society of Worcester
Try and fill it at the end of each quarter in 2021
Additionally, if you want, you can allow ISW to share your info to be considered for the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA). The PVSA recognizes incredible individuals who are committed to a high level of volunteer and service with a PVSA medal and a letter from the White House. More info at:
To be eligible for President’s Volunteer Service Award, one has to be a US Citizen or permanent resident.
If volunteers have volunteered for other organizations that do not have this PVSA program, we can combine it , depending on verification, as long as there is no duplication.
Hours Required to Earn Awards in Each Age Group
Age Group Bronze Silver Gold
Kids (5–10 years old) 26–49 hours 50–74 hours 75+ hours
Teens (11–15) 50–74 hours 75–99 hours 100+ hours
Young Adults (16–25) 100–174 hours 175–249 hours 250+ hours
Adults (26+) 100–249 hours 250–499 hours 500+ hours
ISW re-launches multiple LGBTQ support
---Vivian Saravanan, Shiamin Melville
Lambda is a peer-led safe space for LGBTQ+ youth of South Asian origin to connect with peers for informal discussion, support, and connection with the larger community. While the group is tailored to the South Asian LGBTQ+ experience, all are welcome!
Meetings occur every Wednesday from 8:00 - 9:00 PM via Zoom and feature activities and topics chosen by group participants.
We recognize the individual talents and creativity of our youth and hope to provide a safe space for them to not only have fun but to feel welcome taking initiative in planning group activities. This is also a great leadership opportunity for older South Asian LBGTQ+ youth and adults.
To join our weekly meetings, or talk more about becoming a peer leader, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ISW Family of LGBTQ+ Support Network
The ISW Family of LGBTQ+ Support Network is a support group for family members of LGBTQ+ people meeting periodically. The aim of the support group is to provide an open forum for the discussion of touching issues raised by the intersection of Indian culture and LGBTQ+ people. An adult facilitator will be present to lead discussion and provide referrals to pertinent resources.
For more information, send email to email@example.com
ISW Advisory board
School Counselor Shubh Agrawal, MEd, Harvard Teaching Fellow
Ami Popat-Jain, PhD
Pediatrician Dr. Sahdev Passey, MD,
Numerous resources through CenterLink and OUT MetroWest.
Enrollment is open, starting February 1, 2022
18 sessions, schedule determined by Tutor and parent.
Prepare your child for the second semester academic year. Math, English, Spanish, French, Speech & Debate, Chess and many more. Tutor and Tutee will meet via zoom once a week for 18 sessions. One-on-One, no group classes.
Cost - $90 (18 sessions at $5 per session ) - ISW member
A separate registration is required for each subject
Funds collected are to be allocated to ISW Building Expansion.
Use ISW membership email id to login. ISW Membership can be completed/renewed here.
We would also love to hear back from you, so please fill out the survey
India Society of Worcester is back on the TD Garden floor after a 3 year hiatus. Not one but two performances
On Wednesday February 2nd Boston Celtics play against Charlotte Hornets: Darshana Jani’s group performs the pregame show.
On Thursday March 3rd Boston Celtics vs Memphis Grizzlies: Jasmine Shah’s group and Ekta Jain’s group perform the pregame show.
Three of our best choreographers are putting ISW back on the TD Garden map. We will have over 500 of our community members going to the games to watch their kids perform on the floor that the Celtics play. It is indeed a proud moment for all of us to keep the tradition going that was started in 2011. When we asked if we could schedule a pre game performance, Marc Rogers, our Group Celtics coordinator, did say we were his favorite group. He was amazed that we were coming in for two days. Yeah we are ISW STRONG. For more information please contact the choreographers directly.
Feb 2nd, 2022 Wednesday
Darshana Jani @508451-3190
March 3rd, 2022 Thursday
Jasmine @ 603-930-3783 and Ekta Jain @ 508 488-7775
Affinity Networking: a ISW-Women Empowering Women (WEW) event
By Snehalata Kadam and the WEW team
On January 8 th 2022, we organized an online event called ”The Art of Self-portrayal: defining your presence”.
The event was an interactive, inspirational conversation attended by members of the community. The participants were from diverse professional backgrounds, for instance: an oncologist, leading a drug discovery company, a mental health professional and an entrepreneur. They provided an unique perspective on the theme by sharing their journey with us. The take-home message of the event was that being confident and prepared enables you to succeed in any professional setup. All participants interacted and left with a smile on their face.
WEW team members Kalyani Kanuri and Neha Kaushal did a great job engaging the attendees and carrying the conversations forward.
The WEW initiative is part of ISW’s 2025 strategic plan focusing on ELEVATING, EDUCATING and EMPOWERING women.
For ideas and suggestions, contact Snehal at