Lokvani Honors Community Heroes - I
Lokvani is delighted to present the first set of community heroes to be honored at the 2nd Annual Lokvani Community and Youth Night to be held on Dec. 15 at Ambrosia Banquet Hall in Foxborough, MA. Manoj Shah and Varavani Dwarki are being recognized for their tireless support of community work. We humbly salute their work. In addition to honoring the heroes, the evening features great entertainment, a lovely feast and DJ dancing. Buy your tickets for the heroes night. Come celebrate the holidays with us!
Manoj Shah came to the United States in 1982 after completing his BS in mechanical engineering from S.P University and MBA from Bajaj Institute in Mumbai India. After his arrival in Massachusetts, he joined Lowell University and completed his MS in computer engineering and joined Mass lottery commission as software engineer. In 1984 he then joined DEC (Digital Equipment Corp), and worked there for 17 years in various positions. Manoj Shah has also worked with AMCC, SONUS, and BTI and currently works at eClinicalworks.
Manoj Shah joined Gurjar’s executive committee in 1982 as a treasurer and has since then served the organization for over 25 years. Manoj has held various key positions, including the Presidency for multiple times. As a staunch supporter of the association and a firm believer, he supported the organization that serves the cultural values to the Gujarati population as well as across the Indian diaspora.
In all his years of service, he has never missed any major event, hardly ever missed a meeting, had always prioritized Gurjar’s activities, letting his children follow him to Gurjar all the way.
Manoj Shah was also involved in Shishu Bharati (school of language and culture) as a part of the school executive committee in Burlington, unfailing arriving in time every Sunday, rain or shine before the assembly bell sounded. He is currently involved in Shishu Bharati in Nashua, as a volunteer and you see him there every Sunday with the same true dedication.
Manoj has been a pillar of strength to his wife, Jasmine, the well-known founder of “Aangikam Dance Academy”. The community knows how Aangikam students under the guidance of Jasmine provide entertainment for events in the Indian community, be it INE Diwali festival/mela, temple inauguration, cultural programs, by Gurjar, IAGB or ISW.
The glory and the accolades come to Jasmine, but little do people know, that Manoj is and has been the backbone of all the free entertainment that Jasmine’s troupes provide.
Manoj has been the man behind the scene, logging every prop that’s needed for various programs, silently sits through the program videotaping, so his wife can use the information for future improvements. This sometimes requires the patience of a saint. At the end of the program all the applause and thanks go to the teacher and the performers. We have yet to hear an applause or a thank you said to Manoj on the podium, for all these years of his services to Aangikam Dance Academy. His overall community service speaks for itself.
We are pleased to honor Manoj Shah.
Varavani Dwarki, an alumnus of IISc, Bengaluru, is currently the Head of Alliance Management at Editas Medicine and formerly a Vice President at Sanofi.
For past many years, in his spare time, Dwarki has been an untiring and inspiring volunteer at many of the area events and is the silent force at organizations such as Mandaara, New England Kannada Koota (NEKK), Ranga Taranga, and more.
At NEKK events, Dwarki handles program logistics and helps in many aspects of the successful conduct of an event. He is always willing to serve with a smile and takes care of everyone irrespective of their age! Often arriving early and helping; Dwarki misses a lot of on-stage programs but continues to serve each year. At the stage shows held by Ranga Taranga (a cultural non-profit organization) in partnership NEKK, Dwarki has contributed in planning and organizing the events. His very presence is an assurance to the organizers that things will go fine!
Dwarki has successfully completed the Boston Marathon, and other New England area marathons, and loves to ride long distance on his bicycle – raising funds for causes such as Rare Diseases research, etc. In the past two years, Dwarki has floated an informal group of runners and walkers called as “Modest Marathoners”. Currently, this group has over 70 people from all age groups. He inspires many newbies to walk or jog, and explore their potential. Because of this, group members have started running to stay fit, inspire each other, support and bring out the best in all. He has inspired a few members to successfully run marathon and many more to run or just walk shorter distances regularly.
Dwarki continues to be a positive influence in the community - inspiring many and serving the people around him wherever he goes!
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