August 11th, 2020
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India Day Weekend Recap
For the first time, ISW India Day was online and spread over three days from August 7th to 9th. Dedicated work by the ISW Cultural Committee, ISW EB and many volunteers pulled off a sizzling extravaganza with something for everyone. From cute kiddie dances to intricately choreographed productions, with panels on professional life and on youth activism hosted by new ISW group, SAYAA, the event highlighted the diversity of ISW and the country it represents. Watch for our special eSandesh Independence Day Issue recapping the entire event, links to the videos, a few local events and more.
India Center Update
The ISW India Center expansion was possible through the generous support of several key donors. Recently, thee donors were invited to sign their names on the steel columns. Enjoy the new video and look out for our next update on the construction here in eSandesh as well as on the website. You can join these donors as we ramp up fundraising to close the final gap. We hope you can continue supporting this effort in any way you can. Revisit this site often to keep up with the construction.
ISW Ganesh Idol Workshop
August 15th and 16th, 2020
We are planning to hold this year's Ganesh Idol Workshop virtually. The workshop will be held over a period of two days, August 15 and 16, 2020. The first day is for making the idol from clay and the second day is for painting the idol after it has dried. All the material required will be provided and local participants can collect their material from ISW SGM volunteers in advance. Remote participants will be provided a list to order. Click here to register!
ISW Savers Fundrive
Yet another successful ISW Savers Fundrive yielded over 6 carloads of material that were donated to Savers. Thanks to Sharat and Ragini for organizing and Ashish, Pranav, Shiamin, Nusrat, Ragoo, Rao and Sharda for help with transport.
ISW Yoga
An added benefit for ISW members
By Hemant Gera and Ragini Seth

While Yoga is a practice that originated in India, in the West it has developed into a physical fitness and relaxation technique.

At ISW, we offer Yoga sessions as a benefit to members. We have regular yoga classes at the ISW Cultural School taught by ISW member, Alka Yadav Mehta. We have chair yoga for seniors taught by Latha Rao. And for committed practitioners, we have an early morning yoga class held at 6:30 am daily and led by Hemant Gera, another very enthusiastic volunteer. The classes have attracted a devout following specially since they have gone online. For more info and an in-depth article on the class, its benefits and how to join, click here.
SAYAA, South Asian Youth Activists and Allies Initiative
by the new ISW Young Professionals group
We are excited to announce a new ISW group to reach out to young professionals of South Asian descent.

The first activity is committed to social justice and racial equity initiatives in the South Asian community. SAYAA or "South Asian Youth Activists and Allies" is sending out a survey to gauge the interest in pursuing this endeavour. Click here to take it. SAAYA held an online discussion about these issues during India Day. More info and links in the special eSandesh India Day edition.
Our registration for September 2020 is now open! Register at:

In-person classes will start later based on the Shrewsbury School Guidelines, and our building expansion completion. Online Open House on September 20th, 2020 attended by parents, teachers and students. Online School starts on September 26th, 2020 attended by teachers and students.

The ISW Cultural and Language School was established in 1992. We believe that ‘a language binds a culture’ and we have a home base for our children who are the future of the Indian Community. The school meets every Saturday & Sunday morning from September to May We currently have 17 classes in 5 different languages (Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati,Tamil, Telugu) for all age groups, including Hindi for adults. Click here for info
By Pradnya Cowlagi

Raksha Bandhan is a tradition that has been practiced in India for hundreds of years. Traditionally, the sister ties a piece of string (Rakhi) onto her brother’s hand, saying that the brother will protect his sister forever. It also signifies the connection that they share as brother and sister. Even long ago, in the times of the Mughal empire, Rani Karnavati sent a rakhi to Mughal emperor Humayun, asking him to protect her fort while it was under siege. Rakhi is one of the oldest traditions there is!

My brother and I were both born in America, though our parents were born and raised in India. Raksha Bandhan is a way for us to stay connected with our culture, even here in the US, so far away from India.

In our home, we usually change a few things. For example, we both give gifts to each other instead of the traditional version where only the brother gives a gift. We also might make an American sweet for the occasion, instead of a more traditional Indian one.

This year, my new baby cousin joined us. Though he probably didn’t have the faintest idea as to what was going on, he was interested throughout the whole process. You could see that already at such a young age, our culture was already being introduced, and he associated it with an interesting experience.
Language Fun
by Pravin Trivedi

Yet another humorous look at life in this vignette by Pravin Trivedi on the confusing tricks language can play in a strange place.
"Children are not afraid to try anything, including communicating. They have no fear of rejection, being laughed at or misunderstood. Dada, on the other hand, was very concerned of making mistakes ..." Read the rest of the story on our website!
Hindu Students Council sponsors Online Arts Competition
by Divya Kaushal, V. P. Hindu Students Council Chapter, University of South Florida
The HSC leadership announced a nationwide student arts competition showcasing how Hindu identity has shaped their artwork during these trying times and to collect funds for Sewa International’s COVID-19 Response Fund. Click here for more info and to enter.
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Interview with Dr. Rajaneesh Gopinath
By Ragoo Raghunathan

During your professional transition, you may find yourself finding new avenues. You may find yourself following a different path from what you were trained. It is OK to pursue such passions and make a career out of it. This issue we talk to Dr. Rajaneesh Gopinath about how he pursued his passion in writing and communication after a Ph.D and postdoctoral research in the field of molecular and cellular biology.

When did you decide to venture into science communication? 
I always had a flair for writing in my formative years as a scientist but hadn’t explored it thoroughly. Back in 2018, while trying to transition out of a postdoc job and work within the limited networking options I had, I met the CEO of GeneOnline. At the time, the company had already built quite a reputation as a fast-growing biotech media in Asia. They were looking to expand into the global market using their new English platform and replicate an identical growth curve. Although I was more interested in business development and similar such client-facing positions, I decided to give science communication a go. So, I began freelancing as a scientific editor and helped them curate scientific content. That was when I realized I could excel at this job and have fun presenting readers with a unique perspective.

Read the rest of the interview on our website here!
Contact Information               
India Society of Worcester
Mailing Address: PO Box 136, Shrewsbury, MA 01545
Answering Machine: 508-842-9795
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