Shrewsbury – The India Society of Worcester elected Puneet Kohli as President along with a full slate of officers and Executive Board members at its Annual General Body meeting on Jan. 31. Outgoing President Ashish Cowlagi presented the State of the Society, reiterating the completion of all 10 major objectives laid out as part of the ISW 2020 vision and culminating in the current expansion of the ISW India Center.
The committees reported that despite the disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ISW programs seamlessly switched to a virtual mode including weekend classes for over 140 students in 5 languages and new tutoring and summer fun offerings to help homebound students and parents. Many of the year-round cultural events continued virtually benefitting from a national and sometimes global audience. Similarly, the free Health Stop, that is available to all regardless of insurance or income, was able to offer telehealth services for those in need partnering with volunteers from UMass Medical.
Kohli shared the vision for ISW 2025 to leverage the expanded ISW India Center and make it a true year-round community asset open to all. In support of this he said that ISW was introducing 4 new initiatives –
- ISW Symphony will expand the cultural presence in the community providing a platform for the full breadth of art and culture
- ISW University will ISW will offer expanded services ranging from social and activity clubs, college prep, to STEM and life skills
- ISW Women Empowering Women will support women by providing mentoring, helping develop professional networks, and nurturing professional opportunities
- ISW Professional & Entrepreneur Network will harness the experience in the community to build a professional network, nurture careers, and incubate new ideas
“I am excited to lead ISW forward in its next chapter of community engagement with the new and active community center and an expanded volunteer and member base,” said Kohli. “I call on our friends and community members to take advantage of these new resources and help it become a vibrant center for the community. Make ISW your home away from home.”
Established in 1963, ISW is one of New England’s oldest and most vibrant Indian associations. As a non-sectarian and apolitical organization, ISW’s purpose is to encourage people with ancestral origin in India or people who are otherwise interested in India, to help retain, facilitate and foster the cultural heritage of India. You can read further details on the programs at the ISW Annual Report.