Desi Talk – that’s all you need to know 5 CITY VIEWS August 5, 2022 Bihar Jharkhand Association Of North America Launches Initiative To Connect Parents T he Bihar Jharkhand Association of North America (BJANA) launched a first-of-its-kind virtual parents meet-and-Greet July 30, 2022, to connect parents of BJANA mem- bers on a unified platform, creating a mini community for them. The BJANA Parents Connect Initia- tive was inaugurated by India’s Consul General in NewYork Randhir Jaiswal, who hails from Bihar. Jaiswal commended BJANA for starting the program and hoped other community groups in the U.S. would consider starting this kind of unique program. “While our BJANA family has been growing and thriving for nearly 50 years in the USA, we were missing a platform dedicated to our parents in India and the USA. It provides a social platform as well as an ecosystem to help them when in need,” the organization said in a press release. The objective of the program is to keep BJANA NRI parents engaged while they are in the U.S. or in India. It also helps provide a common place where they can support each other in matters related to travel, visa, healthcare, or during emer- gencies. “We can also leverage the vast experi- ence of our parents to expand our charita- ble initiative within Bihar and Jharkhand,” BJANA said in the press release. Anurag Kumar, the BJANA president, welcomed participants and shared the vi- sion of this initiative and described the ef- fort by the BJANA team to bring all BJANA parents together on this platform. In his speech, CG Jaiswal said being a Bihari, he felt a special pride in and joy to see so many parents from his home state, and promised all assistance as necessary. “Our Virtual Meet and Greet event has been a huge success with an overwhelm- ing number of parents from various cities in the USA, Bihar, and Jharkhand,” BJANA said. Participating parents introduced them- selves and engaged in the group discus- sion, presenting their ideas to enhance the effectiveness of the new platform. Some ideas that appealed to those at the virtual meeting include: • To have small gatherings in Bihar and Jharkhand • A trip to tourist places like Bodh Gaya, Rajgir, Neterhaat The virtual meet was attended by one of BJANA’s founder Rajendra Prasad, former presidents Dr. Avinash Gupta and Shashi Sinha, and FIA Past President, BJA- NA, Bihar Foundation East Coast Chapter Chairman Alok Kumar, and Rajeev Akhou- ri. They praised the initiative and offered their full support and commitment to making it effective and useful. The BJANA executive teammembers and volunteers included President Anurag Kumar, Vice President Sanjeev Singh, Secretary Anil Agrawal, Secretary Sushant Krishnan, Executive Committee members Sanjay Gupta, Vandana Vatshalayan, Dr. Avishek Kumar, Nimisha Verma, Akhilesh Azad, Dipen Banerjee. Rahul Sahay and volunteers Ashish Dwivedi and Anil Sharma reiterated their commitment to work towards taking this platform to the next level which is to ensure the health and happiness of all BJANA parents. By a StaffWriter Heritage Of India Festival In Westchester, Ny, Promises Something For Everyone O rganizers of the 2022 Heritage of India fair inWestchester, New York’s Kensico Dam Plaza, on August 4, promise there will be” something for everyone” at the mela after a hiatus of two years because of the pandemic. From a kids’ center, youth participation in dances and theater, seniors’ activities, a fashion show, vendors of Indian prod- ucts, foods of every kind from dosas to panipuris, you name it, they have it, said executive members of the Indian Ameri- can Cultural Association ofWestchester, during a July 25 interview on ITV Gold, a part of ParikhWorldwide Media. Members of the core committee for the festival who spoke virtually on ITV Gold, included Lisa Shah, a 2nd generation In- dian-American who is the Festival Chair; founding members Himanshu Pandya and Rohit Pandya, founding member and past president, and Hiral Trivedi, co-chair of IACAW. Shah said this was the 22nd annual Heritage of India festival and that this year was more noteworthy because it is the 75th year of India’s independence from British rule. This year, the theme of the fair/fes- tival is “Peace and Harmony” and it the symbol to represent this is a Banyan tree, Shah noted. “We chose the Banyan tree because of its deep roots, each different but intertwined. That is how we see all of us coming together,” Indians and non- Indians, Shah said. Rohit Pandya described the year-long events held by IACAW including religious and non-religious programs, calling it a “jam-packed schedule” and enormous variety. Himanshu Pandya said all those work- ing on the upcoming festival were pas- sionate about promoting Indian culture and work long hours over four months volunteering to make this festival a suc- cess. Organizers estimate more than previ- ous large attendance ranging from 6,000 to 12,000 people. There will be a main stage where dances and other perfor- mances will take place. Some 500 chairs in front of the stage for people who wish to sit and watch; plus a section for children with activities of all kinds; the same for seniors; and the highlight “Panipuri com- petition” which has proved very popular in the past. They advised people to car pool or use mass transit to get to the festival as park- ing spaces may be limited. They thanked theWestchester Parks Department for its support, including Park Police personnel. “There’s always something for some- one,” said Rohit Pandya describing the producs, and vendors at the festival. It is “the happening place,’ said Himan- shu Pandya. The last Heritage of India Festival was held in person in 2019, and a virtual one in 2021. So, the excitement is immense for renewing the in-person event, organizers emphasized. They called the site of the event, Kensico Dam Plaza, as a “spectacu- lar” venue worth visiting. Shah emphasized the support received from sponsors and individuals. Trivedi said the day starts with a prayer and breaking of a coconut. Kids start the events and nation anthems will be sung by students. Dances will follow. She encouraged everyone to attend the effort of IACAW to bring India to the U.S., like a “home away from home.” By a StaffWriter Photos:Videograb ITV Gold footage Hiral Trivedi, co-chair of IACAW, left, and Rohit Pandya, founding member and past-president, discussing Heritage of India Festival on ITV Gold, July 25, 2022. Himanshu Pandya, left, and Lisa Shah being interviewed on ITV Gold July 25, 2022, regarding Heritage of India Festival in Westchester,NY. BJANA virtual meeting to launch a parents network – BJANA Parents Connect Initiative July 30, 2022. President of BJANA Anurag Kumar. PhotoS:BJANA