Connect India 2017
Presented by India Association of Minnesota (IAM) in partnership with Dr. Dash Foundation, Connect India 2017, the first signature IAM event of the year, got off to a great start to a full house on Saturday, February 11th at DoubleTree Hotel Park Place, St. Louis Park.
Over 40 non-profit Organizations attended the event that included 250 community leaders and 30 dignitaries including state senators, legislators and mayors. Among the notables included MN Attorney general Lori Swanson and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.
The evening started with the social hour followed by elevator-style community introductions where each organization got the opportunity to introduce and share their respective work with the rest of the room. This was followed by a video recap of Dr. Dash Foundation about the various cultural, educational and charities that the Foundation has helped over the years.
IAM 2017 President Sree Kamojala addressed the gathering with a stunning announcement about 2017 being the year in which the much-anticipated India Heritage Center would see the light of day – a core committee spear-headed by IAM is already in place.
The keynote speakers were next and gave rousing speeches about the need of the hour – amidst the negative rhetoric, how we as Minnesotans have always welcomed one and all and stand tall against any kind of discrimination and hate. Speaker after speaker, including AG Lori Swanson, assured and empowered the crowd about the we in us all!
The Awards Ceremony followed the speakers – Mr Mukhtar Thakur, community leader, music and cultural icon in the Twin Cities and an engineer extraordinaire was awarded the prestigious IAM Lifetime Achievement Award and presented to him by Dr. Dash.
Three scintillating cultural performances interspersed the evening – from graceful mudras of Kutchipuddi, foot-tapping Bollywod dance numbers and ending with an energetic and fun bhangra performed by University of Minnesota students.
Ravi Sagi, Vice-President of IAM, gave his vote of thanks, commemorating all the community leaders and dignitaries that were in attendance.
The successful evening was completed as always by delicious Indian dinner.