LYNNFIELD, MA—Indians in Lynnfield, which has a total population of about 12,000 and a median household income of $111,328 (2013), now have their own organization: Lynnfield Desi Association, whose activities will focus on children and organizing events such as Diwali and other festivals and picnics and some intellectual events.
Lynnfield is the third Massachusetts town where Indian have taken such an initiative to organize a formal forum for Indians and Indian-Americans. Indian Americans of Lexington, known as IAL, was the first such organization to be formed in the area. Earlier this year, Indians in Burlington started Indian Americans for Burlington.
INDIA New England News recently conducted an email interview with Sanjay Kudrimoti, one of the founders of Lynnfield Desi Association. Here are the excerpts:
INDIA New England News: What is the full name of the new Lynnfield organization?
Sanjay Kudrimoti: Informally, we have been calling our gorup as Lynnfield Desi Asssociation.
INE: When was it founded?
SK: While we had been talking about this for months now, the official start was in Fall 2015. We made connections through emails, whatsapp chat and Facebook but the first ever face-to-face meeting we held was on October 13th, 2015 at Lynnfield Public Library.
INE: Who are the key founders?
SK: While this was on minds of many of us, a few of us took initiative in calling the meetings and took other important decisions: Venkat Tudi, Sanjay Kudrimoti, Srikanth Konduri, Deepa Jhaveri, Sanjay Aurora, Srikanth Medarmetla and Aushutosh Pareek.
This is the list of people who attended at least one of the four meetings we had before the event: Sanjay Kudrimoti, Venkat Tudi, Srikanth Konduri, Sanjay Aurora, Srikanth Medarmetla, Vishal Gupta, Ashutosh Pareek, Swati Kodali, Shamila Sayed, Vasudha Kudrimoti, Shoven Srivastava, Nishant Gopinathan, Ram Batchu, Seema Arora, Jagjeet Gaind, Prashant Mopala.
INE: What are its goal and objectives?
SK: The goal: volunteer, participate, get involved, and contribute. In other words, our goal is to ‘take ownership’ of our neighborhood.
As for the objectives – LDA has plans to organize activities with targeted aim. Some of our activities will focus exclusively around children – fun competitions such as quizzes or talent competitions. The other track will be family centric – such as the Diwali and some other festival celebrations, Picnics, walks etc. Additionally, we will have some intellectual events such as – inviting speakers (Selectmen, Congressman, business leaders), get involved in town meetings, charity fund raisers.
INE: How big is the Indian population in Lynnfield?
SK: The town of Lynnfield and proportionately the number of Indians living in Lynnfield is akin to the Goldilocks story – Not too big, not too small – Just right! Gathering all the Indians under one umbrella made perfect sense. Additionally, I was aware that many of us have volunteered in homeless shelters, been soccer coaches, helped out in health fairs, done fund raisers for various local and Indian organizations to name a few examples of being involved locally and in the broader Boston area. With so much of individual community spirit amongst us – I am sure collectively we the members of Lynnfield Desi Association have potential to make miracles happen.
INE: Future plans?
SK: In future years we hope to not only have fun, but also help create a warm desi environment for our children to grow in, help create some sweet memories as we ride into the sunset in years ahead all the while contributing significantly to the community and causes that impassion us.
INE: Was the recent Diwali festival its first event?
SK: Yes, organized on Sunday, November 15th at Knights of Columbus, Lynnfield.
INE: How many people participated?
SK: The approximate count was 100 including kids.
INE: How many and which cultural programs were held at your first event?
SK: In all we had 10 different events (singing, dancing, playing instrument and a skit). The participants age ranged from age 4 to adults.
INE: Any other information you would like to provide about your first Diwali event?
SK: Lynnfield had its first annual Diwali function on Sunday, Novemeber, 15, 2015. The event recieved an overwhelming response from the local Indian community. There were about 100 people that attended the event.
We had excellent support from many volunteers. The hall was beautifully decorated with traditional Indian diyas and saris.The event started off with beautiful rendition of American (Sumeet and Kiran Lampert) and Indian anthems (Savita Tudi). Janine and Victor Saldhana were the keynote speakers. This was followed by a wonderful entertainment program by kids from ages 4 and up and songs and a skit put on by the adults.
This was followed by a scrumptious meal and desserts from Godavari restaurant in Woburn. The evening ended on a spectacular note with sparklers which were enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Kudos to the Indians in Lynnfield!