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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Activities & Organizations

Organization celebrates culture of India

The Indian Students Association at UH is a non-profit student organization that’s sole purpose is to provide a medium for students to experience Indian culture. 

“Our organization is not just for Indian students but for anyone who wants to learn about the culture. We want to educate students about India and the diverse culture that it has to offer,” ISA President Nehal Verma said.

In the 1970s and 1980s, ISA was a robust and active program with numerous events and activities, but for the last decade or so the program fell by the wayside.

Then, about two years ago, ISA was “rebooted” and brought back to campus. Although it could be considered a new organization, ISA is fully on its feet and growing fast.

According to the ISA Web site, its mission is “to provide a platform to all students to share, experience and spread the profound joy of our rich Indian Cultural Heritage, with pride and dignity.”

Membership can be attained by completing the membership form and paying a $10 annual fee. Members get free T-shirts and access to monthly socials.

“Not only do I get to learn more about the culture, but I also love the activities,” ISA Secretary Janoo Shah said.

ISA holds many events throughout the year, from bake sales and blood drives to banquets. The organization also volunteers with a senior citizen society in Houston as well as sponsoring education for underprivileged children in India. 

Some members said that volunteering is one of their favorite things to do with the organization.

“I love how it gives me a chance to interact with other Indians as well as to give back to the community,” Shah said.

ISA will host Nasha, which will be held at 7 p.m. April 2 at the Cullen Performance Hall. It will feature various Indian singers, dancers and other performers who are interested in sharing Indian culture with the Houston community.

Groups specializing in Raas, Bhangra, Bollywood Fusion and various traditional dance forms from southern India, as well as a cappella groups, will compete for $1500 in cash prizes. The show will also be highlighted by a professional fashion show to display the rich colors of the Indian heritage as well as a lavish full course Indian cuisine dinner.

“We promise you an evening of extravagant music, exquisite food, glamorous fashion and unbeatable talent,” Verma said.

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