FIA Joins Indian Consulate in New York Celebrating International Women’s Day

Featured & Cover FIA Joins Indian Consulate in New York Celebrating International Women’s Day

The heavily attended event saw several accomplished women being honored. The Chairwoman of FIA IWD committee Smita Micky Patel addressed the gathering, thanking all those involved in making the event a success —  the Consulate and Consul General Binaya S. Pradhan, and Deputy CG Dr. Varun Jeph, leaders of FIA like Chairman Ankur Vaidya and President Dr. Avinash Gupta and the whole Women’s Empowerment Team.

The FIA President Dr. Avinash Gupta briefly addressed the gathering stressing values women bring to the family and society. he called the inspiration of the women as a “nutritional source” and called for standing together to build a society where every woman and girl gets the chance to achieve. He also thanked the women in FIA who :stand shoulder to shoulder” with the rest of FIA for every event. “Except, today, they did it all on their own,” Dr. Gupta said.  The sponsors of the event included Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media.

FIA Joins Indian Consulate in New York Celebrating International Women’s Day 2The celebration commenced with a welcoming Meet & Greet, followed by a digital showcase of the FIA’s history of furthering diversity and gender equality. Payal Shah, Co-chair of International Women’s Day, emceed the event.

The Consulate noted on X, formerly Twitter, that the occasion, “celebrated the achievements & indomitable spirit of women.”

Indian Consul General Binaya S. Pradhan presenting awards to women recipients at March 8, 2024, IWD celebrations hosted by FIA-NYNJCTNE. Clockwise, Megha Desai, Indu Lew, Neena Singh. PHOTO: X @IndiainNewYork.

The four women honored and recognized for their contributions included Radhikaraje Gaekwad, who was not present and had been presented the honor in her hometown in India; Mayor of Montgomery township Neena Singh, the first Indian American Sikh woman to win that position; Indu Lew, executive vice president and Chief of Staff of Robert Wood Johnson Barnabus Health; and Megha Desai, president of the Desai Foundation which has the goal of elevating health, livelihood and menstrual equity for women and children through community programs in rural India.

A portrait of awardee Radhikaraje Gaekwad broadcast on screen March 8, 2024, at the FIA event in the Indian Consulate. PHOTO: videograb Facebook @India in New YorkRadhikaraje Gaekwad was presented the honors from FIA in India. Seen with her are FIA representatives Ankur Vaidya,left and Srujal Parikh, right. PHOTO: FIA

India’s Consul General, Binaya Srikant Pradhan, in his speech, shared insights on the achievements of Indian woman and the government’s commitment to empowering them and India’s women-led development. He presented a sash with the honorees’ name, a trophy, as well as a bouquet to each woman, recognized.

The three awardees present in person, spoke to the audience about their ideas and vision, and all of them spoke about lifting the second generation of Indian American youth, and youth in India.

Mayor Singh, among other things, discussed one of the programs her administration is engaged in which encouragesFIA Joins Indian Consulate in New York Celebrating International Women’s Day 3 youth to be mentored in various departments in the Township “Representation matters,” Singh said, adding, “We are making a mark in this country.”

Indu Lew praised the other recipients of the FIA awards and thanked the organization for choosing her as one. In any industry, from entertainment to technology, she said, women bring a unique perspective, experience, and intelligence to bear on the issues. And in all cases, “Outcome far exceeds the expectation,” when a woman is leading. They are balancing so many balls, that even if by some chance, they drop one of them, it will be the one that bounces back, she said. Her motto “As we raise, we must rise,” emphasized that everyone has a responsibility to mentor and guide the next generation, and also their own colleagues. “I am proud to be an Indian American and to have this honor,” Lew said.

Megha Desai spelt out the goals of the Desai Foundation and its goal of achieving dignity for women. “What we mean by women’s empowerment is we shouldn’t have to be extraordinary in order to be empowered.” One can be ordinary and empowered, she emphasized, poor and empowered. She cited an example of a young woman who felt empowered in one of the Foundation’s projects. According to her, if the millions of women in India could be empowered, it would raise the GDP, improve healthcare, and other aspects of life.

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