Happy New Year 2021
The year 2020 brought us unprecedented challenges. As the year comes to a close, we would like to express our gratitude for your continued support.

Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a Happy New Year. May peace, love, and prosperity follow up always.

The year 2020 is almost over. Multiple Covid-19 vaccines have received Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA and more are on the way. Millions of doses have been delivered around the country. The number of people receiving the vaccine shot in their arms is increasing exponentially by the day. The US is currently targeting an 80%-85% population vaccination goal to achieve herd immunity. Until then we all need to continue to mask up and maintain social distancing.

IAGB executive team had invited all IAGB members on December 5th between 1 and 3 PM for its annual General Body (Online) Meeting. The team presented its financial reports and all amendments made to its By-Laws. The presentation and all the accompanying material were shared with the IAGB membership.

New Year is a great time for making resolutions; Authoring a small piece of article/column and seeing it published in a magazine could be on cards for many of you. Please avail of this opportunity to check off one of your New Year resolutions in the first few days of 2021. IAGB invites writers, artists, and dreamers to submit entries under various categories listed below. IAGB editors will select and publish. We strongly encourage you all to avail this opportunity and participate in the 72nd India's Republic Day celebrations in your own way!!!

Category 1 - Youth Column
Category 2 - Opinion Articles
Category 3 - Human Satire
Category 4 - Creating Community in COVID Times
Category 5 - FrontPage Art

DEADLINE: January 10, 2020, is the deadline for all entries. Please submit all entries to email id: iagb@iagb.org (In subject mention Category name and #. For submissions from children under the age of 18, please mention your age, so that we are able to recognize the children contributions appropriately). For more details, please visit: IAGB Website

The IAGB EC continues to be busy preparing for the upcoming Republic Day 2021 event. We look forward to your participation and support.

As always, visit https://iagb.org/ for a complete list of all our upcoming events.

In this issue, you will find:
  • From the Director's corner - Sutanuka Basu
  • Guest Column - My perspective with respect to Covid-19 - Ramakrishna Penumarthy 
  • Guest Column - Immigration Matters: There is hope - Trupti Patel
  • IAGB Youth Corner - Aarushi Pant
  • IAGB Youth of the month - Sravya Tanikella
  • IAGB Youth Art & Music Spotlight - Avik Sarkar
  • IAGB Youth Guest Column - Shourya Gupta
  • IAGB Upcoming events
  • IAGB Republic Day 2021
  • IAGB Recent Events
  • IAGB in the News
  • IAGB Community Partnerships
  • IAGB Sponsors
  • Our Media Partners

Celebrate Democracy!!!

Once every four years, after all the political wrangling, debates, ads, and much more, America comes together to celebrate the swearing-in of President and Vice President on January 20th. IAGB joins the rest of the world in congratulating President-Elect, Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect, Kamala Harris for their victory and wishing them the best for their administration.

Please reach out to us at iagb@iagb.org if you need the assistance of any sort in these difficult times.

FROM THE Director's Corner
Senior Initiatives by IAGB
--Sutanuka(Tanu) Basu

8 out of 10 covid 19 deaths reported in the U.S have been in senior adults 65 and older. IAGB is planning on liaising with Councils on Aging in various towns to implement some simple, no expense steps that younger people and adults can take to help seniors cope right now. Of course, there are many other ways we can serve elderly communities at large, which we are also planning to ideate on and implement.
 To do the...

 My perspective with respect to Covid-19
--Ramakrishna Penumarthy 
Though the current state of affairs put the globe on pause, this gave me time and opportunity to reflect on many aspects; it has driven me to innovate continuously and revisit my priorities. Covid-19 is indeed new and unfamiliar to everyone, the isolation and separation we now face do not feel amicable to many of us. However, in reality,... 

Ramakrishna Penumarthy is TAGB President (2020-2022)
Immigration Matters: There is hope
--Trupti Patel
Law Offices of Trupti N Patel & Associates
We have seen immense attacks on the U.S. Immigration System by the current Administration over the last four years, and these attacks became more vigorous in recent times. Although we can all agree that the U.S. immigration laws are overdue for reform, it is fortunate that the current administration was not able to change any existing laws and make it even harder for immigrants........


A note from IAGB Youth Editorial Director

-- Aarushi Pant
December 5, 2020
The unprecedented pandemic has forced school districts in Massachusetts and all over the country to follow either remote (fully online) or hybrid models. Schools may differ slightly in how they handle the situation, but one thing is common to all: digital learning has led to students becoming overwhelmed with screen time. At my school, we've had several fully online weeks, and, as I’ve personally experienced, spending an average of seven continuous hours of scholastic screen time for five-day weeks can become really exhausting, for the extended increase in blue light exposure has led to sleep issues. Additionally, the resulting sedentary lifestyle has decreased our regular physical activity. Reduced supervision allows phones to more easily steal students’ attention. Some students are driven and motivated to complete their studies diligently, but others are simply feeling burned out. What we can do is intersperse moderate physical activity in between our classes such as standing up and walking around. We can have audio calls with friends as we eat lunch, take advantage of family time, pick up books, and seek (safe) activities away from our devices in order to bring in balance. Difficult as this school year may be, we still maintain control over our mental and physical health, and we must do what we can to protect our wellbeing.

IAGB Youth of the Month
Sravya Tanikella
December 12, 2020
This month’s youth spotlight is Sravya Tanikella, a senior at Algonquin Regional High School, who is extremely invested in the community. During her freshman year, she began the process of gathering signatures to petition for the passing of a new law that would ban wasteful single-use plastic bags. Despite initial difficulties in getting votes, Sravya persisted, speaking with each and every business in town to gain support. She revised the bylaw language, and also added a second law that would ban styrofoam usage in local businesses. In 10th grade, she presented both her ideas for a plastic bag ban and styrofoam ban in front of hundreds of people, and the laws were successfully passed. As a co-chair of Vote Northboro MA, a chapter of the larger Vote Local Ma, she has helped her town of Northborough see a 214% increase in voter turnout for the 18-24 age range in the June 2020 local elections by spreading the word about how local elections work and what each position does. She also is extremely talented in singing; having received an All-State recommendation for three years in a row, she teaches younger children for free. IAGB congratulates Sravya Tanikella on being the December 2020 Youth of the Month.

~ IAGB Youth Editorial Director, Aarushi Pant
IAGB Youth Art & Music Spotlight
Avik Sarkar
December 13, 2020
Graduate of Buckingham Browne and Nichols School in Cambridge MA, Avik Sarkar is a pianist and composer who has received both national and international recognition for his work. Currently a sophomore at Yale majoring in gender studies, Avik was selected as a Young Scholar of the prestigious Lang Lang International Music Foundation in 2018. As a scholar, he has performed in Carnegie Hall and Grand Central Station in New York City, as well as the Penderecki European Center for Music in Poland. This year, he was interviewed and featured through the foundation’s Play It Forward virtual concert series. Avik’s compositions have been performed at New England Conservatory, Beinecke Library at Yale, and WBUR CitySpace in Boston, for which he has been featured on NPR. For his orchestral work Mirror, he received the Carlos Surinach Prize for being the youngest winner under age 29 of the BMI Student Composer Awards. Avik says he’s “always been inspired by the role of music in supporting and advancing social justice. With the global pandemic and anti-Black state violence, he’s “hopeful about the power of music… to serve as a critical tool in the fight against enduring oppression.”

~ IAGB Youth Editorial Director, Aarushi Pant
IAGB Youth Guest Column

Shourya Gupta
December 8, 2020
As Covid-19 cases continue to surge in numbers as high as seen back in March and April, all we can do is hope that our situation will improve in the long run. If there even is a “long run.” Maybe this will just become a part of our life for the next decade. Although there is a vaccine on the horizon, along with the best technology of our generation so far, victory has not been declared yet. People are starting to gather in large numbers without enforcing the mandate of wearing masks, causing this re-emergence of Covid in high numbers. Throughout the summer, Massachutessans were following rules well, and the rate of new Covid cases dropped. However, with schools reopening and sports being played, along with more small businesses coming back, people are starting to become lazy in a time where we need to be even more precautious. Although there is a vaccine that will be available in the near future, we must not let go of the safety precautions that have kept 95% of us safe. That statistic may seem like Covid is not a big issue, but an important fact to remember is that people are dying and Covid cannot be taken lightly, especially during an already busy flu season. The state of Massachusetts and the U.S. as a whole need to do better to contain the coronavirus until legislative actions have been taken that deem it safe to be outside.
~ Shourya Gupta (IAGB Youth Talks Director)
IAGB Upcoming Events
IAGB Republic Day 2021

Save the date Jan 30th 2021 for the grand finale. There will be a series of events leading to the big one.
IAGB Republic Day - Competitions and Antakshari
Open for Entries Now!
Submit your entries today
IAGB is gearing up for its annual Republic Day celebrations. This year we will celebrate virtually on January 30, 2021. As part of the grand celebration, there will be unique entertainment performances from local talents and professional artists from India, showcasing the cultural diversity of India. There will be several virtual competitions for all ages throughout the month of January.

IAGB Antakshari Competition is back by popular demand. The first preliminary round on 12/19 was kicked off by Rishab Nair, a local talent and a finalist for a SingNWin competition in a popular Malayalam channel Flowers TV USA division, and entertained us with his beautiful singing. All the contestants gave a stunning performance and Facebook and YouTube audience made it even more exciting and fun.

Register to participate for the next prelims on Sat, Jan 2nd in this fun-filled family game of Bollywood Antakshari. We promise it will more fun and just a little competition.

Similar to last year several competitions will be held, of course virtually this time. Participation is open and free for all members.
·       Antakshari
·       IAGB Junior Shark Tank
·       IAGB Jeopardy (First of its kind in New England)
·       Poetry
·       Art
·       Essay Writing
·       Chess
·       Story Telling
·       Cake Baking and Decoration
·       Chess

Submit entries for competitions and Antakshari here: bit.ly/RD2021Competitions
  Republic Day D2021 - Sponsorship
IAGB strives to be a unifying community organization across New England. Advertising with us lets you communicate with the broader Indian-American community and provide IAGB with funds to successfully host events for the benefit of the community. Also, you will support the large scale events and celebration while bringing the community together in the virtual environment during these challenging times.

In addition, we are inviting families & Individuals to share their Republic Day wishes and family pictures, through IAGB Republic Day Digital Magazine. Support IAGB and its events by sponsoring/advertising with us.
In accordance with its by-laws, IAGB recently held a General Body Meeting of its members. All active members were invited to attend. The topics included:

·       Introduction of IAGB EC
·       Overview of accomplishments thus far
·       Overview of financials and membership
·       Upcoming Events
·       Amendments to bylaws - Discussions, and Voting
·       Community feedback and discussion

Certain amendments to the bylaws that were previously communicated to the members were approved unanimously by the members present at the General Body Meeting. The approved amendments are reflected in the by-laws attached to this email. A copy can also be found on the IAGB website.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at iagb@iagb.org.
The IAGB YOUTH team kicked off their first event - Youth Talk series for the topic “Youth perspective on Election 2020 “. The knowledge, confidence, perspective, and presentation by these young leaders are mind-blowing.

If you missed the event, here is the link to the full video where you can watch these young 16-year-olds give their perspective on Election 2020 in this virtual talk.

IAGB in the NEWS
Editors: Yogita Miharia & Sanjay Kudrimoti
IAGB Communications