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HAPPENINGS AT ISW

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  • 25 Apr 2022 9:33 PM | Anonymous
    A one-of-a-kind Arts Festival organized as ISW Symphony initiative at India Center was a Grand Success!  
    ISW Symphony team would like to thank all our Artists who brought not just their beautiful artwork, creativity but also their amazing presentations and a deep thought involved in their artistry.
    Sunanda Sahay - Madhubani Artwork
    Susmita Bando - Paintings 
    Mridula Satyamurthi - Clay Sculpting
    Sara Lividini - Collage work
    Bindiya Jain - Wooden Tray with mod podge
    Suchitra Patil - Architectural designs and nature drawing
    Tejal Doshi - Mandala Art 
    Neha Ujlayan - Spring Tree Artwork
    Sunita Ramnani - Folk dance
    Dhruv / Arush /  Atharv - Fusion Music

    Our Vendors -

    Aditi Dinakar

    Manisha Sinha 

    Neeraj Gupta
    Pushpa Joshi
    Rashmi Deshpande
    Swati Baldua
    Bawarchi (Framingham)
     Special thanks Alankar Decorators for sponsoring decorations for the festival. 
    Big thanks to all the attendees, presenters, and volunteers without whom this event would not have been a success!
    Art Contest  - The Art Contest was greatly attended and appreciated  by attendees. All the contestants' art-work was admired by our spectators and judges. Heartiest congratulations to our winners
    Kids (10 and under ) - Kite Decoration -
      1st  - Darshit 
      2nd - Anushka Karkhanis
      3rd - Niyati 
    Kids (11-16 years) - Rangoli on canvas in acrylic painting - 
        1st - Karishma 
        2nd - Surabhi Dindore
        3rd - Sahiti Kundu
    Adults (over 16) - Rangoli on canvas with sand art - 
       1st - Rampriya Sundaramoorthy
       2nd - Abhinaya Vikramasundaram
       3rd - Puja Rathi
    Adults (over 16) -Clay sculpting -
      1st - Divya Kantem
    ISW Symphony would like to thank all the volunteers who contributed to this event by working hard to make it happen and successful.
     
      Article written by one of our attendees on Art Festival – Sonam Ahuja
     Importance description
    Art can be a freedom of expression for some, a way of bringing one's imagination to life, a way of making things fun, a way to make sense of this wide world and yet lighting am spark of curiosity for some others. Art is a language that knows no gender, no race, no color and only truly influences our sense of self.
    About ISW event:
    ISW’s much awaited art festival was held on a beautiful spring Saturday of April 23rd at ISW center, Shrewsbury. The event was one of a kind and was able to bring art in its purest, most authentic form together under one roof. The event provided a platform to various artists to demonstrate their many different forms of art. The event covered exhibitions of Madhubani art, Clay sculpting, Paintings, Collage work, Wooden tray art,
    Architectural designs and Nature drawing, Mandala art etc to name a few. The event hosted a very well thought art contest that stimulated the minds of young artists and also provided avenues of artistic expression to adults.
    This was me and my five year old daughter’s very first experience of attending an Art event at Indian Society of Worcester. We began participating in the event with the kite decoration art contest. It was such an indulging experience of celebrating Indian culture through art.
    We then went on to create flowers with stencils for the Spring Art Tree. It
    thrilled/encouraged my little one to have her art displayed on a tree for everyone to admire.
    We were just in time to witness the amazing performance of Rajasthani folk dance on a very popular song Mhare Hiware me Jagi dhokdi. It reminded us of the beauty of the Indian culture and the many colors of India. It made us all groove to the tune and experience the joy of dancing by joining the very talented performers on stage. It was now time for us to cater to our growling stomachs with some mouth-watering Indian street food. From samosa-chat to mango lassi everything left us drooling for more.
    The next art had the superpower to leave my very fidgety toddler still for a full 3 minutes, yes it was Caricature art followed by beautiful henna art.
    Finally it was time to announce the award for much deserving winners of the art contest. The award ceremony that encouraged young budding artists to pursue their talents and nurture their inner imagination. It definitely did light a spark in the mind of my five year old child to learn to express herself through art.
    Conclusion/Thank you note
    It was an evening well-spent at ISW attending a very unique art festival. Thank you to the organizing team of ISW for co-ordinating and bringing together such talented artists under one roof and giving young artists the opportunity to showcase their artistic talents! We hope and look   forward to attending many such events in the future.


  • 8 Apr 2022 3:39 PM | Anonymous

    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.  

  • 23 Mar 2022 10:58 PM | Anonymous

    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:

    Kasi Viswanathan
    Account owner FBO Sahana Shastry
    The Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan 
    C/O 44 Carriage Hill Rd, NorthboroughMA 01532

    Thank You.  Any questions please contact president@iswonline.org

    Shobha Shastry

    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.



  • 11 Mar 2022 11:25 AM | Anonymous
    New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill (new name)

    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 iswuniversity@iswonline.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 hortline@towerhillbg.org.

  • 12 Feb 2022 10:00 PM | Anonymous

    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 -

    Performers - 

    1.Riya Thiagarajan
    2. Isabel Thomas 
    3. Pihu Mangarhe
    4. Jasmin Grover
    5. Niyati Dosala
    6. Kaira Agarwal
    7. Shanvika Potli
    8. 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 PadalaPragathi SenthilkumarSravya GollapudiTanvi PadmarajuTanvika 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

  • 8 Feb 2022 3:28 PM | Anonymous

    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:

    https://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/eligibility#volunteers

    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 



  • 5 Feb 2022 1:45 PM | Anonymous

    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 lambda@iswonline.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 friends_of_lambda@iswonline.org

    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.



  • 3 Feb 2022 5:10 PM | Anonymous

    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

  • 29 Jan 2022 7:12 PM | Anonymous

    ISW STRONG

    --Ragini Seth

    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



  • 20 Jan 2022 5:00 PM | Anonymous

    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

    isw-wew@iswonline.org 


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