Dr Romesh Japra to be honored with NFL Alumni & MESHOF award

Dr Japra pic9-webFREMONT, CA: NFL Alumni and Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame will honor Silicon Valleys’ community leader Dr. Romesh Japra at their 16th Annual Bay Area Induction and Legacy Award Ceremony.

This year’s Hall of Fame inductees include 49rs Willie Harper, Allan Kennedy, Ted Kwalick, Dana Stubblefield and Ray Wersching. Raiders will include George Buehler, John Vella, Robert Jenkins, and Mervyn Fernandez. Coach Bill Walsh (posthumously), Clem Daniels and Leigh Steinberg will receive Legacy Awards.

To be chosen for this honor, one must have made a major contribution to the world, and have been a role model for youth during their career. With diligence and tenacity in his own endeavors, Dr. Japra, has made an impression on the world, and on the youth with his influence upon them for the betterment of their personal lives.

“I am pleased to accept this award on behalf of Festival of Globe, Silicon Valley (FOG-SV), its members and the Silicon Valley community”, said Dr. Romesh Japra reacting to this announcement from NFL.
This event will be held at 6 PM on March 26th in Fremont, CA.

Dr Romesh Japra, the Visionary
Thirty-six years ago, Dr Japra had a vision – How to empower Indian American Community. Since then he’s been on a continuous journey working tirelessly towards this mission. He’s been very creative and innovative and step by step has brought the Indian American Community to a tremendously respectable and empowered status, not only in Silicon Valley of San Francisco Bay area but across the United States of America.

In 1979, he observed that next generation children were being discriminated in schools as browns and they were losing their confidence and will, despite being the most intelligent kids in their class. They started refusing their identity of having Indian roots, eating Indian food and wearing Indian clothes.

Along with some other like minded people Dr Japra founded Hindu Temple and Cultural Center in Fremont, California. It’s a long and touching story but they managed to buy a church and convert it into a thriving and flourishing center which not only provides social, spiritual, cultural and religious needs of the society but has also transformed those children from confused to confident Indians. Dr Japra has been serving as Chairman of this center for the last 33 years.

In 1987, Dr Japra became President of FIA (Federation of Indo Americans) of Northern California. From 1987 to 1992 he founded the Annual Unity Conventions where Youth Leadership Development, growing up in two cultures, pride in your identity, culture and heritage etc were the main topics. Dr Japra led celebrations of India’s Independence Day and Republic Day. To bring about Economic Empowerment, he founded the Indo American Chamber of Commerce. He was also President of National Indo American Forum for Political Education.

He was appointed by President George Bush to the Meritorious Award Commission in the White House. He raised funds to set up the first India Studies Chair at University of Berkeley. He was bestowed upon the best Immigrant Award. All this helped him to empower the Indian American Community in every field of life.

In 1993, Dr Japra envisioned something real big. He founded Annual Festival of India and Parade along with India’s Independence Day Celebrations. Creating this Little India every year, he helped the first generation Indo Americans to cherish and thrive on nostalgic atmosphere and second generation to imbibe their rich heritage, culture, values, traditions and philosophy. Showcasing our culture to mainstream Americans and other ethnic communities helped in contributing best parts of Indian culture to the mainstream American culture.

The First Festival of India and Parade where Bollywood Star Asha Parekh was the Grand Marshall attracted 5000 participants. Since then it has grown by leaps and bounds and in 2014 there were 150,000 attendees.

Dr Japra has not only been the founder of Festival of India and Parade but also its Convener for the last 23 years. He’s been persistent and consistent in recruiting youngsters in thousands. They participate in different aspects of leadership roles. They design and build Parade floats reflecting our culture and heritage. They perform cultural dances, musicals as reflections of our rich antiquity.

Besides promoting Art, Craft and Food in the Festival Dr Japra initiated free Health Fair which has been serving the communities for 30 years. His motto all along has been Sharing and Caring. He personally devotes time to serve the uninsured and elderly patients at the center.

After noticing cross cultural ethnic communities and mainstream Americans joining in, Dr Japra is envisioning the Global picture. Lots of other diverse groups are asking him how to empower their communities. So Dr Japra decided to launch FOG (Festival of Globe).

Dr Japra ‘s vision is to create a single platform and many bridges for all global communities to share their culture and heritage and thus empower themselves.

San Francisco Global Movie Fest is also his brainchild. Dr Japra strongly believes that films, music and performing arts can unite all the diverse communities lot easier than any other activity.

Dr Japra has lived in Silicon Valley for 36 years. He has seen ideas transforming into reality and entrepreneurship blossoming into wealth. He envisions Silicon Valley helping filmmaker entrepreneurs as well. Venture capitalists, angel investors and bankers will also come on FOG platform to participate in Investor Pitch.

Besides promoting culture and Arts Dr Japra has been a champion of various charities. Through Aasra, helping women and children victims of domestic violence; through FIA Senior wing helping elderly for health, transportation, immigration, meals and abuse issues; through IWE wing, Empowering Women; through Toy Drive, helping destitute and juvenile children. His vision also includes feeding the hungry and supporting homeless, fundraising for earthquake victims and many others.

Dr Japra’s stamina amazes everyone. He has become a role model to many and an icon of not only Indian Americans but communities at large.

India Post News Service

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