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History of ISW

The Past

It goes back in time... The India Society of Worcester came into existence in 1963 by transforming its precursor, simply called Indian Association. Dr. B.L.T. Lingappa was the first President. There were just 25 or so Indian residents, including the students in the area colleges and the research Institutions.

For a number of years, the Society remained small and quite informal. Diwali, Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations were the main events. Community participation in running the affairs of the Society fluctuated from heavy to lackluster. Mr. Shyam Sharma holds the record for serving as the President for the most number of terms.

The recent revival of strong interest in the Society occurred during the Massachusetts boom years starting with the years 1985-86. With the influx of several new Indian residents in the area, there was a strong desire to see ISW become a focal point in the Indian community, fulfilling its cultural and social needs. In 1987, the retiring Executive Committee led by Dr. Satish Gupta gave the new Constitution to the Society. The encouragement and the generous offer of underwriting the costs from Dr. Jitander Kalia allowed us to bring such renowned artists as Anup Jalota, Jagjit & Chitra Singh to Worcester under the ISW Banner. A number of successful programs and new activities introduced under the Executive Committees led by Dr. Gupta, Mr. Barin Bando, Dr. Ishwara Sharma, and Dr. Sahdev Passey put the Society on a strong footing.

ISW Today

India Society of Worcester today is a vibrant organization with many activities and programs. Its growing membership represents all regions of India. The Society is the window into the cultural heritage of India, not only for Indians but also for the local community in the Greater Worcester area. Its programs provide an outlet for the cultural talents of the young and the old in the community. It participates in many community related causes, here in Central New England as well as in India. ISW today is one of the most active Indian organizations in New England.

In 1991, ISW reached another significant milestone. After many years of search, the India Center subcommittee under the able leaderships of Dr. Shankar Garg and the ISW President Dr. Sahdev Passey, located just the right place for the ISW Community Center. In November of 1991, ISW acquired a 5-acre lot with existing buildings at a prime location in Shrewsbury (152 W. Main Street), just off Exit 22 on Rte. 290. India Center is ISW's home - a community center to fulfill a variety of objectives. India Center building is already being used as the ISW office and for a number of activities, including a cultural school. Plans are under way to build a new India Center that will become a landmark in Central New England.

Check out the Activities page for current programs and activities.

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