IAPAC’s Celebratory Luncheon showcases the Power of Global Community and Cultural Unity


IAPAC board members with Elected officials: From left- Jay Guerrero representing Senator John Cornyn. Mayor Sylvestor Turner, Honorary Consul General Marty McVey of Bangladesh, US Congressman Al Green, Texas State Representative John Rosenthal and US Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee

The IAPAC Luncheon stands as a testament to the transformative power of community, cultural understanding, and the shared pursuit of a brighter future

Our Bureau

Houston, TX

In a festive culmination of the year, the Indian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) of Greater Houston celebrated their annual Luncheon themed“ Gratitude with global cultures and religions” at the newly inaugurated Eternal Gandhi Museum on December 2nd, 2023. Attended by over 125 guests, the event became a harmonious blend of cultural appreciation and reflection. Distinguished attendees included leaders from diverse Indian American organizations, faith-based groups, business communities, and global representatives, including members of the Consular Corps of Houston.

The event commenced with an enriching mix of networking, appetizers, and guided tours of the Eternal Gandhi Museum, graciously offered by its founders Manish Wani and Atul Kothari. This venue, dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi’s life and teachings, as well as other influential figures such as Caesar Chavez and Nelson Mandela, provided the perfect setting for the annual gathering, symbolizing principles of non-violence and positive change.

In the tour of the Eternal Gandhi Museum, a replica of the Pietermaritzburg railway station of
South Africa is seen where Mahatma Gandhi was evicted from the first-class compartment of
the train on June 7, 1893 due to racial discrimination.

The official program opened with a powerful rendition of the USA and India’s National Anthems by Sharan Thind from the Kinder, HPVCA. Samia Ahsan, IAPAC board member and event chair, extended a warm welcome to all attendees and supporters. Dr Roopa Gir, IAPAC President, introduced Manish Wani, who shed light on the significance of the Eternal Gandhi Museum. The keynote speaker, Rajmohan Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, delivered insightful reflections on gratitude as “the key to sanity” in turbulent times. He challenged the audience with the question, “What can we do?” and shared examples of Mahatma Gandhi’s acts of non-violence and kindness, sparking an engaging Q&A session that resonated with the audience.

Samia Ahsan, a Board member of IAPAC and the event chair, extends a warm welcome
to all attendees

Mayor Sylvester Turner, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and Congressman Al Green, and many other elected officials graced the event with their presence. Mayor Turner pondered on the challenge of being both diverse and inclusive simultaneously, emphasizing the continuous effort required. Congresswoman Lee echoed Mahatma Gandhi’s call for non-violence, urging against silencing such voices. Congressman Green delivered a powerful message on the courage needed to stand for peace, even if you stand alone. Marty McVey, honorary consul general of Bangladesh, conveyed a powerful message of peace and fostering unity on behalf of the global community.

Shero Mukhtiar, a Board member of IAPAC, expresses gratitude in the vote of thanks.

Video messages from U.S. Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi and State Senator John Whitmire highlighted the importance of diversity and inclusivity. U.S. Senator John Cornyn and State Senator Joan Huffman, represented by their delegates, expressed deep appreciation for IAPAC’s efforts in bringing communities together.

Swapnil Gupte from the Vedanta Institute conducted a universal prayer followed by lunch catered by the Biryani Factory with a delightful spread for attendees. Sheroo Mukhtiar, IAPAC Board member, extended heartfelt thanks to all, including elected officials, guests, volunteers, board members, and the dedicated staff of the Gandhi Museum, for their invaluable contributions to the success of the event.

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