“FIA”– New England & Indo-American Community Celebrated Diwali with RI Governor, Providence Mayor and, CGINew York by organizing a massive food drive at Crossroads Homeless Shelter

Federation of Indian Associations – New England (“FIA”) and Indo-American Community celebrated Diwali and held a large food donation event in Providence, Rhode Island on Wednesday, 3rd November 2021.

“Diwali is the festival of lights. It symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, Good over Evil, and knowledge over Ignorance. Diwali comprises prosperity and abundance for everyone and that was FIA’s motive behind celebrating Diwali with residents of Crossroads Homeless Shelter”, said Abhishek Singh, President of Federation of Indian Associations, New England, in his opening remarks.

The celebrations started at 3.30 p.m. at Crossroads, a homeless shelter in Providence, which provides housing solutions to individuals and families in need.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, former RI State Representative Bob Lancia, Crossroads’ President Karen Santilli, its Director of Community Outreach Richard Wild, and FIA – New England team led by its President Abhishek Singh were present at this event. FIA – New England’s Vice President, Sanjay Gokhale, welcomed all the guests. He thanked Mayor Elorza for honoring the Indo-American community by attending the event and for working tirelessly for the people of Providence. He also thanked the leadership of Crossroads and Rhode Island Community Food Bank for accepting the food donations. FIA executive member Raj Gupta said that sharing and caring is FIA’s guiding principle, and the food donations are aligned with it.

FIA – New England volunteers delivered 50 large Pizza to the Soup Kitchen at Crossroads for a Pizza Party for the residents in the evening. FIA – New England also brought a truck full of non-perishable food items weighing more than 5,000 pounds. Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza cut the ribbon to initiate the food donation. Crossroads team accepted all the donated items their food pantry could hold. Other items will be donated to Rhode Island Community Food Bank and other Food Pantries in New England. Mayor Elorza also read a Citation issued to Aadi G. Dixit, a high school student volunteer who had helped during this and several other community events with great dedication and responsibility.

The Diwali Lighting of the lamp event was held at the Governor’s Reception Hall inside the majestic Rhode Island State House building. Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, India’s Consul General in New York Consulate Randhir Jaiswal, Deputy Consul General Dr. Varun Jeph, former RI State Representative Bob Lancia, President and Minister of Vedanta Society of Providence Swami Yogatmanand, and prominent members of the Indian American community in New England attended this event.

Diwali celebrations inside the State House started with melodious singing of classical Indian music and recitation of Sanskrit Shlokas by the gifted singer Mr. Dhruvit Shah, who is a resident of Rhode Island. FIA – New England President Abhishek Singh welcomed the guests and invited Governor Daniel McKee, Consul General Randhir Jaiswal, Deputy Consul General Dr. Varun Jeph, and Swami Yogatmanand to light the traditional Indian lamp. Swami Yogatmanand then explained the meaning and tradition of Diwali and gave his blessings to all the guests.

Consul General Randhir Jaiswal talked about the growing importance of India’s relationship with Rhode Island and invited Governor McKee to visit India’s consulate in New York City when the Governor is going to be in that city. He thanked Governor McKee for hosting Diwali celebrations at the State House and for his support of the Indian American community. Governor McKee thanked Consul General Jaiswal, accepted Consul General’s invitation to visit Indian Consulate in New York, and asked him to visit the Governor’s office at the State House whenever the Consul General is back in Rhode Island. Mayor Jorge Elorza also addressed the guests and shared his experiences from visiting India and working with the Indian American community in Rhode Island. He thanked FIA – New England for the generous food donation to Crossroads and Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Former RI State Representative Bob Lancia also addressed the guests at the event.

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