The entire Indian American community is talking about the Rajasthan Association of North America (RANA) International Convention being held from July 3rd to 6th at the upscale Hotel Islandia Marriott on Long Island, New York. There is a lot of excitement about the event, particularly among the Rajasthani community. The Indian Panorama spoke with Rajasthan Association of North America (RANA) President Narendra Hadpawat to know details about the organization and the convention. Speaking with The Indian Panorama, RANA President Mr. Narendra Hadpawat , disclosed that the convention, being held at Islandia Marirott from July 3rd to 6th was likely to be attended by about 800 to 1000 delegates .
Asked about the prominent persons attending, Mr. Hadpawat said that the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Mrs. Vasundhara Raje has been invited to inaugurate the convention as Chief Guest. Other prominent people include Padma Shri D. R. Mehta, Chairman of Jaipur Foot. Mr. Hadpawat said RANA has always had the best among the Rajasthanis from across the world attending the convention. In the past, the Steel King of the world, Mr. Lakshami Mittal amd Mr. Anil Aggarwal, Chairman of Vedanta group attended the RANA convention. Mr. Hadpawat was at pains to emphasize that Rajasthan government has always been supportive and has participated in each of the RANA Conventions.
Speaking about the theme of the Convention, Mr. Hadpawat said it was to make a “healthy and literate Rajasthan”. About the purpose of the convention as such, Mr. Hadpawat said it was to raise funds for charitable activities in Rajasthan. He said, normally 10 to per cent of the money collected is donated for charitable purposes in Rajasthan. RANA, in fact, is a conduit to funding charitable projects in the state of Rajasthan. He said, in 2006, an amount of 2 crore was collected for Akshay Patra. Mr. Hadpawat said honoring excellence and recognizing service to community was one of the regular activities of RANA.
He said RANA will be honoring four eminent persons for excellence in their respective fields. They are Prof. Arvind Panagariya for excellence in the field of global economics; Mr. Prem Jain for entrepreneurial excellence in the field of information technology; Dr. Radhesham Agrawal for excellence in the field of Medicine; and Mr. Sampat Poddar for excellence in the field of gems, stones and jewelry. It will be interesting to know about the genesis of Rajasthan Association of North America.
Rajasthan Association of North America (RANA) came into existence in 1999. A group of six Rajasthanis living in New York decided to form an association with a view to promote Rajastani language and culture. They were Mr. Arvind Bhandari, Mr. Kamlesh Mehta, Mr. K. K. Mehta, Mr. Naveen C. Shah, Mr. Rajesh Shah and Mr. Sunil Shah. RANA which started with six, to begin with, in 1999, today has Chief Minister of Rajasthan along with many Maharaja’s and honorable businessmen as patron members .
Asked as to what was the objective behind the formation of the association, RANA President Mr. Narendra Hadpawat, in his interview with The Indian Panorama said, “The association twas formed for the purpose of bringing all Rajasthanis on a single platform, to preserve the Rajasthani Culture and Heritage and instilling Rajasthani values amongst the younger generation. Giving details of the objectives, Mr. Hadpawat said, “RANA’s objectives include performing charitable activities in the areas of education, healthcare and social welfare; contributing to the home state by promoting economic and industrial development; creating a bond between Rajasthan and Rajasthanis living in North America. In a short span, RANA membership has increased multifold.
Today, around 1000 families are a part of the bigger RANA family. The association has been greatly instrumental in uniting the community in North America. Every year RANA organizes many cultural and social events like Holi, Deepawali and Summer Picnic. These functions are attended by hundreds of Rajasthanis. Apart from organizing the above events, RANA is greatly dedicated toward the various philanthropic causes. It has donated generously toward earthquake relief in India and also in the wake of the recent drought in Rajasthan.
It has set up an education fund that gives out scholarships to the deserving students. It has set up free health clinics where people can consult the physicians free of cost throughout the New York metropolitan area. It has also set up free consultations in areas of tax, accounting, immigration and other legal matters. RANA’s future goals include making it a nationwide organization with Chapters or Regional offices in every state where Rajasthanis reside. RANA also wants to build a Rajasthani Community Center – a place which the Rajasthanis can call it their own and together celebrate the various festival and cultural activities.
Asked about his association with RANA, Mr. Hadpawat said he has been a member since its inception in 1999. Over the years, he has held responsible position in the organization, having been its Vice President in 2011-12. He has been on the Board of Directors . In 2010 he was Chairman of Convention Committee. Asked about what he thought should be the major agenda for RANA, he said RANA needs to focus on various facets of Rajasthan, including Healthcare and education. Mr. Hadpawat has been associated with quite a few organizations.
He has been President of India Association of Long Island from 1993 to 1994. He is the founder President of AAPI-Q-LI and remained its president from 1995 to 1997. He was President of American Heart Association of Long Island in 1998 and 1999. A man of charitable disposition, Mr. Hadpawat made initial contribution for a hospital building in his native village of Pratapgarh in Rajasthan. He support a number of healthcare and educational projects in Rajastthan. Organizing free healthcare camps on a regular basis is one of them .
He says his vision is to work for development of Rajasthan, particularly in the field of healthcare and education. For his noble work and tremendous contribution to community, he has ben profusely awarded and honored. He was honored for excellence healthcare in 2000. In 2006, he was honored by RANA for community service. Mr. Narendra Hadpawat has been practicing Medicine and Cardiology in New York for the past 40 years. He is married to Hansa and the couple have three children,, a daughter, Anita who is a doctor, and two sons- Neil who is a doctor and Deepak who is in to Real Estate business. They live on Long Island.