Late Indian American community leader Durvasula V. Sastry Oct. 7 was memorialized by 200 community members at the Livermore HCCC Shiva Vishnu Temple.
The temple chairman and president noted that though they had little interactions with Sastry, they had been hearing about his legendary work and examples and values he set forth for the organization which is the envy of the U.S., according to an email sent by Sastry’s son, Dinesh Sastry, to India-West.
Senior leaders noted their longstanding work with Sastry across several organizations and extolled his leadership qualities and honesty. Among those in attendance at the memorial were Muthuraman Iyer, V.V. Giri, G.S. Satya, Jaganadham Akella, Vish Akella, Sainath Kala and Leela Prasad, among many others, the younger Sastry said.
Sastry founded the Federation of Indo-American Associations, Bay Area Telugu Association, South India Fine Arts, the Hindu Community and Cultural Center. Satya, referencing those organizations, said all are prospering phenomenally making the Bay Area non-resident Indian community the finest in the world.
He explained how Sastry was the inspiration to start The Indus Entrepreneurs, better known as TiE, as well as Silicon Andhra.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a glowing letter to the Sastry family recognizing the late community leader for his work bonding the U.S. and India together.
"Sastry will be remembered for his notable contribution towards furthering India-USA friendship,” Modi said in his letter, provided by Dinesh Sastry. “He was a guiding light of the Indian diaspora in USA and always worked to promote Indian culture across USA.”
California Congresswoman Jackie Speier also noted Sastry's contributions to the community, saying in a letter, "Sastry obviously demonstrated enormous leadership over the course of his long life, and his message of compassion and community-building, as well as his support for international comity, are gifts from which this nation will benefit for many years to come."
"I am proud of the work (Sastry) did in our community," Indian American Congressman from California Ami Bera wrote in a letter. "We need more like him — men and women who will selflessly devote their time, talents and energy to cultural understanding, community awareness and intercultural relationships."
Added Rep. Ro Khanna of California, "Durvasula was an enormous and irreplaceable member of the community, and those of us fortunate enough to cross his path were better for it. (Sastry) spent his life creating a better community, and contributing to both America and India. Although his presence will be missed, his contributions will certainly be felt for many years to come."
Sastry, who passed away peacefully Aug. 23 in his sleep with his wife by his side during the couple’s 48th wedding anniversary, was 78 (see India-West article here).