Overcoming Fear and Anxiety in These Trying Times!

Acting As a Catalyst for Reversing the Current Environment of Intolerance into Acceptance!!

Dear Esteemed Members of Our Community:

There is genuine and valid concern about the discriminatory actions of some who have been emboldened by the current political atmosphere. They have always been among us, but had not expressed their views as openly as they do now. However, America is still very welcoming and most people are good Samaritans keeping the American promise and its greatness alive. One such example is Mr. Ian Grillot, a 24-year-old from Olathe, Kansas who took a bullet in Kansas fatality of an Indian-American.

It is our responsibility to report any discriminatory behavior to appropriate authorities, but it is also our duty to appreciate our friends, colleagues, neighbors, school mates and others who love and respect us – it does not matter what the apparent differences are between us.

We, Indian-Americans need to be the catalyst for this change – reversing the current environment of intolerance into acceptance – and must continue to be inclusive and open-minded and get to know people from all communities around us. We are a fortunate people because we originate in a country that exemplifies the true meaning of unity in diversity. Inherently we know how it is done. Now we need to demonstrate it here.

We will continue to discuss our concerns with the various government bodies so they are aware of our concerns and our contributions. To that effect, I am sharing letters that IAALV Board Member and Legal Counsel Deepak Sharma, Esq. has just sent to Hon. Congressman Charlie Dent and Hon. Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Josh Shapiro regarding our concerns seeking a meeting and press conference.

Please ensure that our community members are aware of the actions IAALV has taken to make 7000 plus Lehigh Valley Americans of Indian Descent (irrespective of their affiliations) relevant and safe.

Let us all forge ahead together with a single unified voice as IAALV continually strives for the betterment of the community we serve, and the community at large.

Happy Navaratri, Easter, and Lailat al Miraj! May these Festivities Bring Us All Together Overcoming Bigotry, Intolerance and Hate thus Giving Us a Better Understanding of Our Shared Future and Making the World a Better Place to Live in Harmony!!

Please click on the following link to view the letters sent to our elected officials:

IAALV Letter to Congressman Dent (PDF)

IAALV Letter to Atty. General Shapiro (PDF)


Arun Kumar

IAALV President 2017

484-358-2335 (Mobile)


Ashim Bhowmick

IAALV Board Chair 2017-18

610-966-5057 (Home)

610-457-4205 (Mobile)

A letter from the IAALV President


I am Aparna and I am the new president of IAALV. As you probably know I have been with the association for the last two years as a Program Manager and also as Program Director. It is with great humility I have accepted this position with the association. I will strive to do my best to the association and also to the community we live in.

To do my best, I will need all the help and support I can get from the Indian community. That is why I am reaching out to you. Me and my newly elected team are open to suggestions to get our association more in the fore front. I know that you have the right ideas and I will work hard to get it implemented should it help in our overall goal.

As of now, IAALV is known for the Diwali, Independence day, Foods of India etc. Our association is a lot more than just those functions. That is the fun side of IAALV. We have a serious side as well. We do a lot of community service in the local area which have gone unnoticed. We have a wing that educates Lehigh Valley prisoners. We provide help to the senior citizens in the valley. We do food drives for the needy. There is plenty more which we do, which we need to bring to the limelight.

What I want to do during my tenure is to get the association’s name out. Not just as an association that does cultural programs, but one that truly works with the local American community. This is where I need help from you. Come and become a part of the association. We here work as a family. We all have full time jobs which we have to take care of, but any help you can give, be it in terms of volunteering or donations or becoming a member of the association will all help. I know it may be asking too much. I understand everyone would love to spend time with their families, which I love to do as well, with my husband and my 5 year old daughter, but being a part of IAALV has given me exposure to so much more that I truly enjoy. I am able to now proudly say that I am a part of a group which does not stop at promoting the Indian culture to our American friends, but also be able to give back to the community that has helped us thrive.

With that being said, I look forward to your help and assistance in any which way you can. You can visit our website at www.iaalv.org to learn more about who we are and what we do and that, will give you an idea as to where you can help!

If you want to know more about how you can help or what is it that we do, send us an email to info@iaalv.org . Let us talk and let us make this association attain its true glory!!!

President – IAALV

Election of IAALV Executive Committee 2016-17


A lot will depend on the leadership and management skills of The TEAM RUNNING the organization for the next two years! 🙂


Dear Esteemed Members of our Community:


All are cordially invited to IAALV Annual General Body (GB) Meeting and Election of 2016-17 IAALV Executive Committee (EC) are convened as per the schedule below.


Date: Saturday, Dec 19, 2015

Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM (GB Meeting and Election of 2016-17 IAALV EC)

Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 Noon (EC Meeting)

Venue: Hindu Temple Society, 4200 Airport Rd, Allentown, PA 18109, Phone:(610) 264-2810


Kindly make it convenient to attend the meeting as it is important for us all.




As per constitution of IAALV, the term of office of the current executive committee has come to a close and elections are due for the selection of new executive committee for the two year term 2016-17 with their term beginning on Jan 1st 2016. 


Accordingly, nominations are invited for Election to the Executive Committee. As outgoing IAALV President, I have installed a nominating committee with the following members:


Chair: Surender Dayal 610-392- 5851

Members: Kamacharulu Ramoju 678-779-1606, Ashok Khandelwal 732-318-9418


who are entrusted to find few good people who have the leadership and understanding to take the association forward for the benefit of 7000 plus Lehigh Valley Indian-Americans 


We have several positions of program managers and members at large currently open, interested candidates are requested either to call members of the nominating committee or send their nomination

to the president@iaalv.org by or before the nomination deadline midnight of Sat Dec 12th.  All the eligible nominations received per the deadline indicated above, shall be placed on the slate by the nominating committee for election.


With best regards,

Ashim Bhowmick

President, IAALV 2014-15

610-966-5057 (Home)

610-457-4205 (Mobile)


Happy Gandhi Jayanti (2015)

Happy Gandhi Jayanti!

On 2015 Bapu’s Birth Anniversary – An Important Message


 Dear Esteemed Members of our Community:

 Let us all choose to rise above our differences and live together – as citizens of this world.  We must promote good human relations where we live and bridge the gaps between people of different cultures, language, race, age, background and beliefs, so that all citizens may participate fully in the life. This applies not just in the Lehigh Valley, but the world we live in so we can leave future generations a world full of peace, acceptance and inclusiveness.

 I strongly believe, to leave a legacy of love and passion in the world, we must raise our future generations to belong to this adopted country of ours and to be able to succeed as global citizens (if we groom them that way and they so choose).

 Broadened horizons give a perspective that broadens the mind and creates visionaries out of ordinary people. Our children deserve the opportunity to be recognized not as belonging just to any one State of any one country but as individuals and communities that the world wants to welcome as their own no matter where they go geographically. We must have the ability to envision that our next generation will relate to themselves as Americans and as World Citizens of Indian Descent not the 36 states and union territories that their parents have migrated from to these United States. 

 These are simple ways we Indian-Americans can improve race relations in America for our current generation and the generations to come. A lot has been done and lot has to be done on race relations. This is particularly important in the context of what has been happening lately in the United States.

 Team IAALV is proud of the work put in towards our and the larger community and wants to see the work continue and keep getting better with each new committee. IAALV needs many good people with altruistic sentiments to join as it continues to represent ‘Composite India’ as an ‘UMBRELLA ORGANIZATION’ in the Lehigh Valley making 7000 plus Lehigh Valley Indian-Americans relevant.

 Let us elect a new executive committee that represents diverse India and choose members with different backgrounds, perspectives and skills and a strong interest in serving our community. Diversity will make the committee stronger and continually improve our association.

 Ashim Bhowmick

President – IAALV 2014-15

Winner of 2003 Allentown Human Relations Award

610-966-5057 (Home); 610-457-4205 (Mobile)


Diwali 2015

IAALV Annual Diwali Celebration

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Springhouse Middle School 1200 Springhouse Rd, Allentown, PA 18104

3:00PM – 3:30PM Participants & Kids Snacks

3:00PM – 7:00PM Cultural Program and Music Band

7:00PM – 8:30PM Vegetarian Dinner

Gates open at 2:30PM

For Further Information, Please Contact:

Minal Patel, Payal Suratwala, Aparna Bharath, Shikha Sood, Bama Bhashyam at diwali@iaalv.org


Buy Tickets : iaalv.org/tix

Adult (Age 16 and above): $25.00

Child (Age: 5-15): $12.00

One Complimentary Ticket worth $25.00, per 2015 Paid membership.

If you are not a paid member of IAALV, become a member today to take advantage of this offer. Offer not valid after the event is sold out.

We have also reserved few best seats in the house for 2015 Paid members.

We call it “Membership Advantage”. Ask us about it when you buy tickets.

Offer valid while reserved seats last.

Tickets are on sale starting Sept 15, 2015.

Visit www.iaalv.org/tix to buy tickets or contact

Rajib Baruah at tix@iaalv.org.

Buy Early, Avoid Disappointment. Sells Fast!

Last Year was a ‘SOLD OUT’ Event and IAALV had to turn people away.


Please bring non-perishable food items to benefit the Second Harvest Food Pantry



Urgency for Social Integration and Political Assimilation

An Important Step Necessary for Their Future Generations


Ashim K. Bhowmick

To emerge out of the dominance of alien environment – and the barrage of non-akin western customs into something meaningful and tangible, the estranged Indian Diaspora celebrates a long repertoire of religious, cultural, and social activities every calendar year. These performances and functions organized by the Indian immigrant communities across the United States recreate a ‘homeland’ – a memory and identity.

This is important and it flows in abundance among the members of this uprooted Diaspora precisely because none of them can afford to take their roots for granted. The vitality is born of a marvelous communal potential even if the homeland’s nostalgia is awesome.

The vitality of these parents is often seen to derive from professional accomplishments and intimacy of interaction with the members of their ‘own’ community. They are drawn to each other by a spontaneous condition of affiliation and alienation from their ‘homeland’. It invokes a vaguely powerful relationship drenched in primordial passion, but this very passion that lends an imaginary character and a false sense of convictions, belonging, and a comforting identity to the Diaspora.

The magnificent Indian regional cultures and performing Indian arts, love of beauty and life, with a longing for something beyond, and deeper than the materialistic American milieu, epitomize the cultural traditional heritage that the Indian-American community is trying to maintain in order to pass on the same to their children effectively. But it also has a propensity to invent an imaginary culture of India in this adopted land, thereby, defeating the sole purpose, which is, appropriately passing on the heritage to their children. Many second-generation children strongly feel that these programs are geared towards their parents and offer very little for them to relate to. This leaves the second generation in disarray and, perhaps, forces them to search for an identity, which is different from what their parents envision.

The industry of these parents and their relative affluence now seem to have turned against them making them a visible target for fanning latent hatred and jealousy. Indian residents are often taunted and harassed by white, black, and Hispanic youths who are intolerant of their apparent ‘foreignness’ and their obvious economic ‘success’.

This is where the foresight and aspirations of Indian-Americans, who are willing to overcome old cultural barriers and narrow perception of collective interest, are of significance. Such aspirations should not only be national but be also of ‘International’ in content. The foresight for their future resides in ‘internationalism’. The community has to play a greater role in the wider socio-cultural and welfare processes in the US and not is solely oriented toward national politics in India. The process should be ‘self serving’ and will provide for ‘acculturation’, thereby, gradually neutralizing the ‘misperception’ of those who object to their alleged ‘foreignness’.

The collective and shared community conscience is no longer based upon any narrow nationalism or group interest to hang together. It has developed out of interaction and a genuine willingness to relate to one another. Most immigrants in their adopted countries inevitably form different ethnic groups and collectively act for various purposes, in spite of their internal differences. However, some Indian-American communities, as I see them, are different in their identity and articulation.

As in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, the Indian-American community has wonderful accomplishments to its credit including a deep involvement with local welfare and community service activities such as: labor services to the well known ‘Habitat for Humanity’, provide food for homeless, raise funds for the Art’s Council, contribute funds toward renovation of an opera house, offer educational programs at institutions, donate funds toward local charity, develop and participate in “Adorning India” program for local art museum, participate in local Musikfest, Mayfair, multi-cultural activities, etc. The Indian-American Association of the Lehigh Valley thus involving in local welfare activities seeks to relate to their American neighbors in way that can impress any observer.

Many parents, here in the Lehigh Valley, encourage their children to relate to others, in order to learn from and understand people better. I think, this might not only shift gainfully the perception of Indian-American community and its future but also will equip our children with hybridized talents, which will be necessary for their survival in the 21st century. This will empower them with a unique sense of belonging and interaction, even though many of their parents struggle between returning ‘home’ and ‘staying-on’.

For many Indians, internationalism and multiculturalism are not in the air without roots or anchorage. It can well be traced from their own multicultural composite tradition. It is that tradition of multiethnic understanding, which the leaders may seek to bring forth, not just as skilled immigrant professionals or entrepreneurs, but also as an integral cultural vanguard of multicultural American citizenry.

An association representing Indian-Americans should provide the best nexus for ‘acculturation’, ‘mainstreaming’, and ‘social integration’ by adopting appropriate missions and by engaging themselves in a suitable range of activities, from positive political influence to social and cultural involvement. For instance, Indian-American Association of the Lehigh Valley strives for and has accomplished good success in the acculturation process by adopting the following mission:






The community received spontaneous commendations on their unique but prudent approach. The associations’ new activities did not go unnoticed by the media. Clearly, this new direction was considered unique and a trendsetter by many. The local administrations here in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, wished that other ethnic organization would emulate similar objectives for their associations.

Associations should strive for the Indian-American community’s presence in the local scene in a bigger and more positive way through altruism. We, as an Indian-American community across the United States, need to send a positive message to the larger community that ‘We Care for the Community We Live In.’

Many amongst us argue, implicitly and explicitly, that because of the Indian-Americans’ special attachment to their homeland, culture, etc., many Indian-Americans residing here have been somewhat reluctant to make what seems to them to be a final break from their past and culture, etc. and become US citizens.

No one can exist in a vacuum. Everyone is affected by the pulls of various centrifugal forces. The total complexities of relations between human beings and the society are known as politics. Recognizing this as a reality, a community will do extremely well by playing a positive role. ‘Politicalization’ is a necessity Indian-Americans cannot afford to deny any longer. It seems appropriate that an organization devoted to just this aspect, striving for the Indian-Americans ‘political assimilation’ has become an urgency – a sine qua non.

By understanding and participating in the process we will enrich ourselves, help others to understand us, and through that interaction, we will understand others better. I am certain that this will help alleviate misinformation and misperception. By adopting appropriate steps and conducting suitably, any ‘first generation’ immigrant can shift the perception of those who object to their ‘foreignness’.

Here in the Lehigh Valley, a newly formed organization, known as the Indo-American Political Action Committee is dealing with political issues ably by engaging in: raising campaign funds for candidates, sponsoring election debates, providing political education, installing Indian-Americans to serve in the local administration/boards, encouraging voter registration, etc.

I think of India – how her beloved multicultural legacy is enriching local culture and ‘acculturating’, when I observe the Indian-American children in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, staging hybrid performing arts to large local audience and engaging in the local welfare process with great vigor. Their empressment toward everyone gives them identities related to the ‘mainstream’ America, and see the bright future of the Indian-American community flowering before me. This holds many promises for US.

About the author:

Ashim K. Bhowmick, President, Indian-American Association of the Lehigh Valley (1992 Part Year, 1993, 1996, & 1997 Part Year); Founding Member (1994) Indo-American Political Action Committee of the Greater Lehigh Valley; Member, Board of Trustees, Hindu Temple Society of Lehigh Valley (1996-98); and Chairperson, Planning Committee, Proposed Lehigh Valley Multicultural Center (1992-94), was instrumental in providing new direction to the Indian-American community. He changed the name of the association from India Association of the Lehigh Valley (IALV) founded in 1972 to Indian-American Association of the Lehigh Valley (IAALV) in 1996 and gave it a new logo, and wrote association mission/goal/promise/slogan and developed and implemented suitable programs toward that end.

Pennsylvania State Senate with a citation and Allentown Human Relations Commission with a Human Relations Award recognized his efforts in 2003. The citation reads like this –

“Ashim Bhowmick was the primary driver to change the course of 20 year old India Association of the Lehigh Valley from its primary focus to service its own community to one of interaction with other ethnic organizations in the Lehigh Valley. He offered programs to other ethnic organizations, media, and elected officials benefiting all people of the Lehigh Valley. Through his efforts, a lot more people now know about India and Indian-Americans in the Lehigh Valley.”

He strongly suggests that the Indian-American community must rise beyond their exclusive ethnic activities to do their share of community services including serving in the local boards to reach-out to the larger community and to pass on these traits to the second generation appropriately. Thus, this will not only help dispel misperception and misinformation about but will also provide an appropriate ‘mainstream’ identity and character to the Indian-American Diaspora.

Article has been widely published from 1997 until 2013 by almost all

leading Indian-American News Papers, as well as Indian Observer, New Delhi, India. Article was well received by the readership who relate well with the exigent message it puts forth.


Great PA Cleanup Project

Dear Esteemed Members of Our Community:

 I am writing to bring to your attention two important projects that IAALV is undertaking on behalf of you.

–       PA Clean-Up Project Rescheduled.
–       IAALV Supports a Local School for National Science Olympiad.

The Team IAALV would appreciate your involvement, attention and your cooperation in disseminating and sharing this information among your inner and outer social circles.

Thank you for your continued support.

Ashim Bhowmick

IAALV – President

IAALV – Great Pennsylvania Clean Up Project

Due to lukewarm response, we had to reschedule.

New Date – Saturday, June 13 (9:00AM – 11:30AM)

(Place: Rt 33 x Wm Penn Hwy (Assemble at the Parking lot for instruction)

IAALV hopes to inspire your lukewarm response with enthusiasm this time.

– Please come forward –

Together we can make a difference and demonstrate our relevance in the Valley.

If this date for the Highway Clean up suits your schedule kindly contact Prof Balakrishna Rao (via e-mail balarao37@gmail.com or call 610-849-0002) IAALV Coordinator – Road Clean-up project at your earliest (preferably on or before June 11) so that he can then get materials from Penn DOT for our community volunteers.

 Note: PennDot has agreed to install a signage at the intersection of Rt 33 and William Penn Highway. The sign will that Indian-American Association of LV has adopted this section of the highway. IAALV plans to expand this to other parts of Lehigh Valley as this is where we have established our home and we would like to see this as the best home it can be.



IAALV Supports Local School for National Science Olympiad!

IAALV has been facilitating and undertaking a broad range of activities to inspire and enthuse the torch bearers of tomorrow – our next generation – our youth with the intention of educating and inspiring them to lay strong foundation for the future of the globe we live in.

Consistent with this new direction, IAALV plans to support the Springhouse Middle School’s Pennsylvania State Champion Team for National Science Olympiad as it continues to show promise. The Springhouse Team was placed 11th among the top 60 teams in the Nation at the recently held national competition in Lincoln, Nebraska – they came 17th in 2014.

To encourage their continued participation and help them grow, the Springhouse team needs funds to attend out of town competitions and to attract new talents.

While fund raising from various local corporations with employee participation are currently underway, IAALV wants to join in to help a great cause.

Please help support Springhouse Science Olympiad.



Holiday wishes from IAALV President

Wishing you and your family Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays! It’s time to celebrate the joy and warmth of the season and spread happiness among everyone you/we know.

Happy Holidays



Dear Esteemed Members of Our Community:

It is time to reflect on 2014 and provide a yearend report for your organization.

This has been a record setting year. By adopting many systemic processes; focusing on the people we serve and presenting ‘Composite India’ in our Lehigh Valley, Team IAALV created excitement among the Lehigh Valley Indian-Americans.

IAALV Team volunteers, with their ideas, attention to details, and above all their dedication to do something meaningful during every program this year, have motivated the community to be part of this important organization as participants and officers. A good sign – moving forward.

I am elated to say that Team IAALV accomplishments in2014 are too numerous to list here. These are listed in our year end newsletter which in the mail and is also available on our website – www.iaalv.org.

Well-wishers contributed more than $10,000 to support IAALV in 2014. We remain indebted to them for their generosity and support.

Membership is the mainstay of any organization and IAALV is no different. IAALV paid membership is very low. With less than $1 a week you can help working for the community. Small financial support from all can produce some lasting effect on our community.

To those who are not yet involved, consider becoming a member and/or an officer in 2015, and/or financially contributing to IAALV. Your participation and contribution gives us a voice to express our relevance and importance not just within the community, but through IAALV, in the region. Alone we can achieve some things but together we are an agent of change and betterment.

We look forward to seeing you during IAALV’s activities in the near future.



Ashim Bhowmick—President

We Care For The Community, We Live In.

Together Let Us Show Lehigh Valley That We Truly Mean It.

Team IAALV 2015

Celebrating 42 years and creating a future for 5,000 plus Indian-Americans in the Lehigh Valley!

IAALV Diwali 2014 – A big thank you

Happy Veterans Day to You All!


Dear Esteemed Members of our Community:


Clearly IAALV’s Annual Diwali function was a blast and most of our guests went home upbeat! 

On Nov 8, IAALV made history with a sold out event with over 650 people in attendance. With 205 participants, it was truly spectacular with variety, and received rave reviews.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the choreographers and the participants and their families for coming forward to be a part of our year ending celebration. 

The outstanding effort of Team IAALV helped us conclude the year with such a high note. Without their dedication and attention it would not have been possible!

IAALV made history in more ways than one in 2014. Together we made it happen! We look forward to another successful year and your continued support in 2015. 

Soon we will embrace 2015 and plan on staying the course as most of you told us to. We are glad to have struck the right chord with you. 

To continue to be of service to you we need your help. 

First, we would like to see that our annual event is not one time Be-All and End-All engagement. We would like to see more of you in all of our programs. 

Second, we want you to become a paid member in 2015 by paying your dues online. This will help us undertake projects on your behalf.

Third, we want you to consider becoming a Team IAALV member to help us moving forward. We are looking to fill number of positions (secretary, asst secretary, asst treasurer, asst webmaster, (2) program managers, (6) members at-large) in 2015, so interested candidates are requested to send their nominations to president@iaalv.org.

All the best!


Where Team Matters, Not The Players!





Help Our Hungry Neighbors




Team IAALV is helping Second Harvest Food Bank to feed the hungry and the less fortunate during the Thanksgiving Season. Please help us by donating some of the below mentioned items. As Diwali is a festival of giving and sharing, we hope that you will be able to support us in this endeavor. Thank you for your generous support towards the local community

3 ways to drop off the food:

  • Drop off at the choreographers place
  • Bring it along with you on the day of rehearsal( Most Preferred)
  • Bring it on the day of the program


Items most needed: (No glass bottles)

  • Corn Meal and Muffin Mix
  • Jello and Pudding Mixes
  • Bisquick or Flour
  • Canned & Dry Pasta
  • Rice
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Canned meats
  • Canned Soup
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Canned fruit
  • Salt & Sugar
  • Instant Mashed Potatoes
  • Stuffing Mix
  • Canned Gravy or Packets
  • Canned Pie Filling
  • Personal Care Items (soap, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.)

Contact: Bama Bhashyam for more info. Email us at: info@iaalv.org

Also visit: www.shfblv.org for more information.