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UIA Celebrates Baisakhi

Ranjani Saigal

Over 200 people attended the Baisakhi celebrations organized by United India Association held at the VFW Hall in Needham on the 23rd of April 2005. Featuring music, dance and a fabulous dinner the event was able to bring out the joie-de-vivre that is characteristic of Baisakhi celebrations in India.

Baisakhi is a festival that stands for the dawn of a new year in the northern India, especially the state of Punjab. In Punjab, Baisakhi has a unique significance; the day also commemorates the founding of the Khalsa by the tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh. It is also the time of harvest when the farmers dance to celebrate the fruits of their labor.

“We are so happy to see so many people at this event,” said Shobha Khetrapal who is the President of the association. She and her team had worked hard to create an event that is classy and yet is reasonably priced. “We really wanted people to come and have a good time without it pinching their pockets. Thus we decided to charge only $10 /person for this event. This makes it affordable for everyone,” said Khetrapal.  For Khetrapal the organization is very special since her father was one of its co-founders.

The committee had spent a lot of time and effort in decorating the hall and creating a beautiful ambience. The dinner was a full course meal sure to please the most demanding of palettes “The goal of organization is to 'unite' people.  Since 1984, we have been organizing events that bring people together. Fun events that include DJ dancing and good food always brings people, especially young people together." says Kidar Vaid who is one of the founding members of this organization.

The association welcomes every Indian to be part of it. “In addition to other activities and functions, we regularly hold a festive and elaborate New Year’s Party in the ballroom of a premier hotel, seminars, a family picnic in summer and most importantly, a professionally produced Diwali celebration, rich with music, dance and drama from many regions of India,” said Vaid. “The organization is extremely open and welcomes and supports any member who would like to take a lead and organize an event.”

Puran Dang, who serves as an advisor to this organization along with Dolly Raja and Kidar Vaid, was very appreciative of the efforts of the present committee. “This committee is so wonderful that I propose we should let them take charge for another year,” said Dang.

Anil Sood is the Vice President, Surendra Kapoor is the Secretary and Eileen Mehta is the Treasurer. Harinder Kaur, Chandar Kanta Vaid, Neeta Datta, Pravin Khetrapal, Sarla Kalra, Rekha Palriwala, Shiv Tangia, Pradeep Sharma and Suresh Gidwani are Directors of the association.
Pravin Khetrapal serves as webmaster and maintains the website.

Rajiv Raju, the DJ and a Northeastern university student who has his own business, was fabulous and succeeded in bringing everyone onto the floor. “Special thanks are due to the businesses that supported us,” said Shobha Ketrapal. The food was catered by India Paradise.


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