Gunjan Rastogi, a well known community leader in the New York region has taken over as the new President of The National Indo-American Association (NIAASC), Rajeshwar Prasad, the founder and outgoing President of NIAASC announced here at the end of the NIAASC’s 31st annual virtual conference and Board of Directors meeting held on November 8. 2020.
Dozens of participants from across the United States attended this interactive conference, which was inaugurated with an audio message from Honorable Randhir Singh, Consul General of India in New York.
The conference discussed the current global hot issue, ‘The Impact of COVID-19 on Seniors.’ Speakers at the conference included: Dr. Mani Srinivasan, Dr. Jyothi Jasti and Dr. Rao. Executive Director of National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA), Dr. Hari Har Singh spoke about the NFIA and the larger role it plays in organizing Indian American community.
Dr. Bhavani Srinivasan, NIAASC Vice President was the host and Gunjan Rastogi was the co-host of the day long conference. Dr. Vasundhara Kalasapudi, Founder and President of India Home in New York, facilitated the smooth running of the conference through technical support.
In his opening remarks at the conference, Rajeshwar Prasad, NIAASC President, welcomed the participants and focused on the importance of precautions everyone MUST take during this deadly and dangerous virus, COBVID-19, which has taken millions of lives all over the World.
Dr. Mani Srinivasan through a power point presentation focused on the simple preventive measures we all should follow strictly: no close assembly and be at least six to eight feet of social distance; wash your hands frequently; never go out without a mask covering your nose and mouth fully.
Drs. Jasti and Dr. Rao complemented and provided examples how dangerous this virus can be if not handled carefully. It not only requires professional support and guidance but equally important is the precautions people should take for being safe.
While elaborating the elections process, Rajeshwar Prasad, said, one-third of the Board members retire every year; however they are eligible to be re- elected if so recommended by the Nominating Committee and approved by the General Body at its annual meeting. Of the five retiring members, three would continue as Board members for a period of three years ending December 31, 2023. They are: Dr. Asha Samant, Professor Jyotsna Kalavar, and Harbachan Singh. Two members of NIAASC were also recommended by the Nominating Committee to serve on the Board of Directors and approved by the general body. They are; Baldev Seekri, from Rhode Island and Santosh Kumar from Chicago area. Both Seekri and Kumar, life members of NIAASC were speakers at the annual meeting of NIAASC in 2019 held at Shantiniketan, Tavares, Florida. Santosh Kumar would be for one year ending December 31, 2021, and Baldev Seekri would be for two years, ending December 31, 2022.
In addition to Gunjan Rastogi, who has become the President of NIAASC, Bhavani Srinivasan, currently serving as the Vice President was reelected for the second full term. Harbachan Singh, currently a Board member, was elected as the Secretary, and E M Stephen, associated with NIAASC since its inception, was elected as the Treasurer.
The General Body also approved the two NAASC members for the Board of Directors: Mrs. Santosh Kumar, Counselor, attorney, professor and community leader from Greater Chicago for one-year-term ending December 31, 2021, and Mr. Baldev Seekri, who has been the General Manager, Texas Instrument, and now lives in Rhode Island for a 2-year term ending December 31, 2022.
IALI past president and current NIAASC president Rastogi elaborated on her vision as the new president to lead the organization, especially during Covid pandemic. She reminded of the many activities by IALI for seniors in Long Island coordinating efforts by both the organizations. Stephen, Founder of Kerala Center described also in details services rendered by the Center for seniors and their families.
Since 1998 NIAASC has arranged 31 conferences on seniors in various places in USA. In addition to organizing several programs pertaining to the needs of the seniors, NIAASC uses the Area Agency on Aging as front line support for seniors. Any caller to NIAASC is referred to local AAA in the callers’ zip code.
(Submitted by Rajeshwar Prasad)