The North Bay Indo-American Association (NBIAA), a foundation by the Indian immigrants in Sonoma County in California to celebrate Indian culture this Diwali.
The NBIAA has been celebrating Indian festivals such as Holi, Navratri and Diwali since 1991 to celebrate Indian festivals and to bring the Indian diaspora in North Bay together.
According Vipul Seth, who was the president of NBIAA for 15 years, NBIAA, a cultural organization, was formed 25 years ago, to create closer ties within the Indian community and bring them closer. “NBIAA was formed by like-minded Indians who wanted to feel closer to their homeland and it has done an exemplary job at it,” said Seth.
NBIAA, which celebrates the Indian festivals, organizes the events by two committees, NBIAA Adult Committee and NBIAA Youth Committee, in tandem with each other and generates funds for the events through sponsor and member donations.
The cultural organization started with only 20 members had a strong membership of 1,200 till 2015 and every year there are gatherings around Holi, Navratri, Diwali and New Year, which attracts hundreds of Indians and several local Americans in North Bay.
In this year’s 25th Diwali celebration ceremony of NBIAA, famous singer Kavita Krishnamurthy will feature and the whole event will cost around $20,000. The other focus of the ceremony is to draw attention to the Hindu Temple Project, through which the community is exploring the options to start a new Hindu temple in North Bay’s Santa Rosa, the county’s largest city.
By adding that this is the biggest project the NBIAA has undertaken and will require sustained efforts and donations, Seth said, “Because the closest temple currently is 38 miles away in Vallejo, a nearby temple to gather in, will help more Indians get to know each other. Plus, majority of the members want it badly.”
Former President of the Youth Committee, Reeya Shah said that the organization is also involved in relief work and tries to help those in unfortunate circumstances by hosting fundraisers. She explained, “NBIAA has done a lot for people around the world by donating to charities. We have held multiple fundraisers to raise awareness and help the less fortunate. We also support Wells for Life, an organization that builds the much needed wells in India and Africa.” According to the reports, last year NBIAA’s fundraising dinner to build shelters and send some supplies to the victims of the Nepal earthquake raised $10,000.
By Prajakt K