Past Events Reports
By Sarita Deshpande
On Sunday September 12th ISW's very own Shrewsbury Ganeshotsav Mandal (SGM) team celebrated Ganesh Festival with lots of enthusiasm and vigor, for the tenth year in a row. Ganesh festival is mainly celebrated in Maharashtra, where its public festival form was first introduced by the leading freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak in his hometown of Pune. With the spread of Marathi speakers across India, the Ganesh festival is now celebrated outside Maharashtra too. People celebrate and follow the tradition fondly in various parts of the world.
This year's festival at ISW had many significant highlights. First and foremost, it was held in the newly renovated India Center. Second highlight was the hand-made three and half feet Ganesh idol. It was made out of eco-friendly clay, by local artist Shrikant Savant. Shrikant along with his wife Sapna and daughter Urvi spent umpteen days in July and August to create this beautiful idol. The devotees who came marvelled at the grace and beauty of the idol with much appreciation.
The pooja, aarti in the morning was performed by Guruji Shrikant Joshi which was telecast live on the ISW Facebook page and followed by a cultural program. The event was held in a hybrid mode to limit the in-person attendance, in accordance with covid guidelines.
The theme of the event was folk art (लोककला) of Maharashtra. In conjunction with the theme, the local artists had made a beautiful backdrop of various folk arts of Maharashtra in picture form. One more highlight from the cultural program entertainment by Music 18 group from India. It also included an interview of popular Marathi and Hindi celebrity couple and Hindi actors, Ashok Saraf and Nivedita Joshi Saraf.
The third highlight of the event was the Dhol-Tasha. The team played the instruments (specially ordered from India) in a procession with many others dancing and rejoicing to the rhythm. The air was filled with energy and a lot of enthusiasm just like the festival back in India. From the older generation to young kids everyone enjoyed the music and participated in the celebration fever wholeheartedly. The afternoon entertainment program was broadcast live where local artists performed various dances and songs to highlight ten different local folk arts.
All in all, it was a very colorful celebration with pooja, prasad, entertainment program, decorations and food, and the added grandeur of the newly renovated India Center. Everyone who attended the program enjoyed it thoroughly. The fruitful completion left all very satisfied, especially the volunteers who had planned the event for months.
The Shrewsbury Ganeshotsav Mandal Team consists of Ashok Kale, Atul Deshpande, Durgesh Warty, Govind Dindore, Manjiri Patil, Priya Vaidya, Sakshi Gurao, Sarita Deshpande, Shrikant Savant, Vishakha Khamankar, and Yatin Manjrekar.
You can view the video of the cultural program and the pooja on the ISW Facebook page.
By Snehalata Kadam
ISW Women Empowering Women (WEW) held its summer event on Thursday, August 12, inviting a panel of 5 professional women from varied backgrounds. The rationale behind this event was showcasing how different talents leads to one’s contentment. Each speaker shared their intriguing stories, career choices and hurdles they faced in their journey so far. It was fun to hear their stories, ask questions and the engaging audience appreciated the insights.
Priya Vaidya, A multi-talented personality:
After completing her M. Tech. in Biomedical Engineering from IIT Bombay, Powaii, her desire was to pursue further studies in United States. Per the demands of a conservative society in India, she got married. Instead, she came to the US on a student visa and completed her Masters in Electrical Engineering from Brandeis University. Though she was keen on pursuing her PhD in the Bio-Medical field, she concluded that her happiness was more important than her potential academic profession. Fast forward to today. Not getting a PhD degree did not stop her from being any less successful as a professional. She has published 15 papers and has 12 patents. While being at the peak of her successful professional career, she followed her creative intellect with poetry, art, and culinary skills. She has also poured many hours and days volunteering and fund raising.
Sarmistha Bera, Singer
Just like many of us, Sarmistha went through the norms of an arranged marriage and moved to the US on a dependent visa. Prior to her move, she was a college teacher back in India and was quite sure of continuing with a career in education in the US. She kept an open mind and investigated available opportunities and what she could enjoy professionally beside teaching. She decided to do her masters in Computer Science. At the same time, she had a very young child at home and another on the way. With her hands full, she had to keep aside her love for music. As she was hoping to get back to her world of music once she was free of familial responsibilities, she brought her musical instruments with her when she moved to US. She also thrives on experimenting with growing unique plants at home. She has grown a three foot tall Jamun tree. Nature and gardening has taught her to be grounded. One day you are planning to harvest your precious cauliflower in your vegetable garden. The next day you see an animal has cleared it all. It is such a bummer yet such an experience grounds you to go ahead and try again next year.
Amita Naik, Environmentalist
Amita also came to US on a dependent visa, but the stay at home scenario didn’t stop her from exploring opportunities to understand and learn about the difference between tropical agriculture and temperate one. She did not let go of her love of agriculture and environmental sustainability. She joined the library, attended green and suitability conferences, volunteered at the environmental health department through a connection she made at one of the conferences. Once she got her Employment Authorization Document, she worked at Price Chopper to build her employment record. As she had done a Masters, she did question whether she was doing the right thing. She felt working at Price Chopper made her a resilient person. At the same time she updated her resume, made connections, and never gave up until she finally got a job in her field. Initially the struggle was inevitable with working odd shifts at Price Chopper. Now she has a great job at the MassDEP (Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection).
Radhika Bisht, enjoying the constancy and the unconditional love with her dog Zeus
Radhika grew up with dogs in her house back in India. After moving to the US, doing a Masters in Software Engineering and joining the workforce, the ups and the downs on the professional front, the effort raising the family, she really yearned for the unconditional love of a pet. Once she got her pet Zeus, she felt complete. She got a feeling of contentment and closer to nature through him. She found the weather wouldn’t bother her and her work stress would disappear with the smile that Zeus would bring to her face. The one thing she truly treasures with Zeus every single moment is reliving her childhood.
Karuna Gurbaxani Bhatia, a multicultural accounts expert
Karuna has done a masters in business management from India. She has worked in multiple countries- in India, in the UAE and now in the US. As a management leader working with employees from different cultural backgrounds has broadened her perspective and trained her to be a robust learner. She is very passionate about yoga and uses it to create a family environment of togetherness at home and to build a better future. Her lesson in life is that the definition of perfection is unique for each individual, three is no general definition that fits everyone.
Thank you for supporting our summer programs. With the help of our volunteers we were fortunate to hold 20 summer sessions over the last two months. Looking forward, we now want to share our upcoming academic programs, please see below
ISW University: Introduction to Lego Robotics (second session) 1st grade to 4th Grade $25 for 5 sessions starting August 2, ending August 6
ISW UnIiversity: Tutoring: Preparing for the upcoming academic year, one-on-one six sessions $30, ending August 31, schedule is mutual
ISW University: QI (key) Skills: Middle Schoolers Guide to Managing Time (free webinar), August 11 at 11 am (45) mins
September 20 session start date
ISW University: Tutoring: Support during academic year, $90 for 18 sessions, starting September 20, 2021
September 11 (Saturday)
ISW University: Learning how to program a robot using LEGO Mindstorms 4th grade to 7th Grade $80 for 8-10 sessions
Usha Yadav Advisor
Tanvi Gahlot Registrar/Manager
Poonam Hingorany, ISW Executive Board
Shiamin Melville, Chair, 508-353-4316
Under ISW Symphony's Culinary Arts wing, this very first program of 'Achaar Making workshop' was held at the India Center on July 10th.
The three demonstrators were Reeta Tandon, Suchitra Agrawal and Neena Sehgal.
Reeta ji showed a unique way of making sweet and sour raw mango pickle. The pickle which is very popular to the people who like sweet and especially in the hot summer days this kind of pickle can accompany any menu of the meal.
Suchitra ji revealed a secret traditional with her own creative inputs in the recipe of making 'carrots, cauliflower and turnip sweet and sour pickle'. The pickle itself was looking so tempting that the attendees could not resists but showed an interest to taste it as soon as it got ready.
Neena ji Sehgal started her demonstration by showing a fresh, green chilies to the audience. Many of the attendees asked her that 'isn't it going to be too spicy?' Neenaji answered them very quietly 'you better taste it!'. Believe it or not but when I, myself could taste that 'chilie' with curd rice and realized what she meant to say.. The green chiilies when it got mixed with all other spices and some vinegar sprinkles; diluted the extra spiciness of the chillies .
The overall event was very well appreciated by the 25+ attendees. There is a demand of many more such demo and workshops in this series.
The next one in this Culinary Arts series will be 'South Indian Achaars'. Stay tuned for the more details. Till then, keep cooking!!
--Sarita Deshpande, Chair ISW Symphony
- Tanvi Gahlot
My name is Tanvi Gahlot and I am one of the volunteers for ISW. I am going to be going into my sophomore year at WHS. Below I have listed some of the volunteer opportunities at ISW with a small description and links to forms.
1. IYG - https://iswonline.org/page-18066
The Indian Youth Group is a group of 7th-12th graders for the youth, run by the youth. We have meetings once every month and have many volunteer opportunities. Some of these include dance events, walks to raise awareness for issues, and many other fun events. I have been a part of IYG since 7th grade and I have learned a lot and truly enjoyed the whole experience.
If your child is interested please email email@example.com for more information and to join.
2. Tutoring- https://iswonline.org/page-18129
ISW has a great program called "ISW University". Currently, over the summer we are running a 8 week long summer camp with subjects ranging from Math and English to Robotics and Coding. Additionally, there is a year long tutoring program where high schoolers can tutor younger kids in varies subjects. I am a tutor year long and am also volunteering for the summer camp, I’ve loved teaching kids a lot since the pandemic hit and this program started.
If your child is interested please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to join click here .
3. eSandesh- https://iswonline.org/eSandesh-Newsletter
Each month ISW publishes 2 newsletters. In this newsletter there is a "youth corner" which many high schoolers and middle schoolers volunteer for. I actually write for the eSandesh and do career profiles and interviews of people in different career fields. However, the eSandesh has a variety of topics, such as poems and articles.
If your child is interested in writing for the eSandesh please contact email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com .
4. Events- https://iswonline.org/page-18090?EventViewMode=1&EventListViewMode=2&SelectedDate=7/8/2021&CalendarViewType=0
Each year ISW has many event would never be as fun without all the hardworking volunteers. Currently, the India Day Event is coming up and we need may volunteers.
India Day Event Information: https://iswonline.org/event-4380319?CalendarViewType=0&SelectedDate=6/8/2021
If your child is interested in volunteering for the ISW India Day Event please fill out the following form: https://forms.gle/zR4ygHEuHzi51kKc7
For questions about the India Day Event please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope this helps!
A well known Classical music teacher, an entrepreneur and a great vocalist Vandana Rao presented a nice musical rendition of the song ‘Teri Mitti’ from the movie ‘Kesari’. A group of youth artists - Nivetha, Sruthi, Sravya and Pranav offered a beautiful song from the film ‘Razi - Aye Vatan Vatan in the honor of Motherland India. This mellifluous presentation was very well appreciated by the audience. The Shrewsbury School Principal Mr. Jonathan Kelly sent a special message to those whose families / friends have been affected by COVID in India. ISW Language and Culture School students’ devotional bhajan of ‘Hey Ram’ , Mr. Ernest Gulla and Mrs. Manjula’s prayer and text from the Bible were presented to maintain the peace and serenity in the environment of these tough times. Ashita Shekhar talked about the importance of Meditation during these difficult and tough times to keep oneself positive and strong.
ISW University presented online webinar on QI (key)communication skills for middle schoolers on May 8, 2021.
The Facilitators were Dhruv Jagan and Aashi Gupta, 8th graders, Oak Middle School, Shrewsbury, MA . They give tips on how to strengthen student's confidence in speaking up and communicating. With better communications skills, students will then be less fearful of asking a “wrong question,” or feeling shy about asking a question or making a statement in front of a class. They introduced the concept of Qi (pronounced 'key') skills which are mostly communication skills, but they also included emotional aspects such as confidence and courage. These skills include ME and WE skills.
The webinar concluded with a Kahoot game, a list of resources for the attendees and feedback from the attendees as they introducted themselves.
Next session is on Time Management in June 2021
Link to the ISW YouTube recording
Here's the consolidated list of COVID Resources, complied by Amita Not all have been verified by ISW, this is just a listing
List of Resources: Please send email to Amita if you have others you want to add
We are happy to announce results of the Art Contest.
Red Group 4-5years
1st place - Ashvika Agrawal 2nd place - Shataneek Dasgupta3rd place - Arjun BadenehalBlue Group A 6-8 years1st place - Aayushi Das Gupta2nd place - Riana Sukhija3rd place - Yashika PalBlue Group B 6-8 years1st place - Soumili Dey2nd place - Sathveega Karthik3rd place - Prachi NayakYellow Group A 9-12 years1st place - Mishka Chellappa2nd place - Ishita Agrawal3rd place - Saanvi BasuYellow Group B 9-12 years
1st place - Tanvi Badenehal
2nd place - Sohan Hegde
3rd place - Jagruti Mazumdar
Green Group 13-17 years
1st place - Esther Antony
2nd place - Smrithi Krishnaswamy
3rd place - Tanushree Nekenti
ISW Symphony initiative is bringing to you an Art Contest for all ages. The platform is to express all our local artists, artists from all over the country, their inner creativity, emotions through drawing, painting and artwork.
In the effort of giving a platform to artists, Shviangi Das Gupta came up with an idea of Virtual Art Contest.
The concept and idea of this event was seeded by one of our brilliant and ingenious IYG (Indian Youth Group) members - Shivangi Dasgupta. This young lady had worked hard on planning and chalking out the format of the contest, registration form, themes, and many other logistical aspects.
The goal of raising some funds from this event for ISW was visioned by Shivangi and team. The goal was pretty much accomplished.
More than 60 artists participate in the contest. The contest was held via live zoom sessions, when more than 15 IYG volunteers conducted these sessions while contestants were engaged in their creativity on the morning of Saturday April 24th. The contestants were given themes to work on their art and they were working on their art work during this event on Saturday.
ISW is fortunate to have an amazing Judges’ Panel of Avni Chheda, Aradhita Sarkar, Sharmistha Bhattacharya Dutta, Rashmi Pitre, Dr. Java Joshi. (meet our Judges)
The winners will be recognized by certificates and rewards. The winners’ artwork will be published on our website for some period of time.
Shviangi Dasgupta - Initiator, Coordinator, Main Lead
Swara Gurao, Prachet Mahawar, Atharv Deshpande, Arnav Sharma, Siddharth Deshmukh, Soumya Warty, Tanvi Gahlot, Pranav Manjrekar, Devishi Jain, Surabhi Dindore
ISW University Summer Camp 2021: REGISTRATIONS are now closed
We have summer classes in English, Math, Introduction to Robotics, Arts/Crafts, Scratch Programming etc being scheduled. The cost per class is approx $40 for 8 sessions. If you sign up for two classes, the cost is $80, and so on. The Introductions to Robotics camps is $25 for 5 days. Each class is 45+mins
Camp starts June 28 to August 13 for 8 weeks. The classes are all online.
For now we have assigned the tutors, who signed up as of May 30, 2021. If you are interested in being a volunteer, you are welcome to enroll, however we are unable to assign any classes to you until we get students to sign up with our current schedule.
Thank you for your interest, and depending on demand Usha Aunty will contact you for an interview.
If you are interested in signing up, register asap
Any questions do contact our Summer 2021 Team, we can add you to our email group.
Usha Yadav, and Kalpana Choudhary
Shiamin Melville, Advisor 508-353-4316