The Indo American Social Association hosted the official launch of the organization during a gala event held March 31 at Aroma Bar Grill and Banquets in Upland, Calif. The event also marked one of the most important dates of the Sikh calendar, which is Baisakhi.

Rajbir Singh Husson, president and founder of IASA, launched the organization with a mission to unite people, and the large gathering of Indian Americans at the event seemed to signify that.

The emcees of the event, Aman Kamboj and Shane Sagar, introduced the mission of IASA and welcomed guests to the opening gala. The event began with observing a moment of silence for the CRPF soldiers in Kashmir, the victims of the New Zealand shooting, and the victims of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes.

Venkat Peddi, secretary of IASA, gave a welcome speech following which Mahima Karia sang the American national anthem, and then the Indian national anthem was sung.

While introducing the mission of IASA, Husson also introduced the three main chapters of the organization: Main Body, which is responsible for promoting charitable, political, and social functions for the Indian American community, and bringing the community together; Youth Group, which is a place for young people to make an impact, which includes networking, forums with community leaders regarding issues affecting youth; and Women’s Group, which will focus on women’s empowerment and help in the resolution of women’s issues.

At the event, which featured entertainment, food and dance, Telugu actress Laya Gorty, who was a special guest at the event, and Shalini Vadhera, entrepreneur and CEO of Passport Beauty, were also recognized.

Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu was the chief guest at the event and was presented with a plaque. Ali Sajjad Taj, Artesia council member, emphasized unity and also received a plaque. Sidhu, while commending the organization, presented a certificate of recognition to IASA. Rajpal Sangha received the Youth Ambassador award for being elected the chairperson of the planning commission of Fontana, Calif.

Diane Tillman, head of the Brahma Kumari Foundation, was recognized and awarded. Ken Bijork, chief information officer at Los Angeles County Superior Court, received an award from Peddi.

Sidhu presented Rashpal Singh Dhindsa, founder of United Sikh Mission, with the Humanitarian Award for setting up eye camps in various villages in India, 360 to date; donating 206K eye drops and 122K eyeglasses; and facilitating 22.5K cataract surgeries.

Siddha Samadhi Yoga members were also among the guests present at the event,

The IASA committee members are: Rajbir Singh Husson, founder/president; Tarlochan Rangi, chairman; Dr. Atul Karia, co-chairman; Aseem Tandon, executive vice president; Venkat Peddi, secretary; Suresh Malkani, treasurer; Ravi Sagar, vice president; Dr. Asmath Noor, vice president; Raghbir Bagga, vice president finance; Ashok Vanza, preparations manager; and Anne Tahim.

The women’s group includes Anju Multani, chairwoman and legal advisor; Rekha Tandon, president; and Seema Sagar, secretary.

Youth club mentors include Aman Brar, Dinesh Sharma, Aman Kamboj, chairman; and Shane Sagar, president. The honorary board members include Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu, Ranjir Singh Kamboj, Tulsi Savani and Gundeep Singh.

The mission of IASA, Susson stated in a press release, is: “To make a change from division to togetherness, from religious fanaticism to spiritualism and unconditional forgiveness and unconditional love.”

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