For more than 35 years, the India Community Religious and Cultural Center (ICRCC) has been a vibrant organization that is fulfilling its mission to share and promote India’s rich cultural and religious heritage in the greater Syracuse area and support the community-at-large.
This year when the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic reached our region, Dr. Shridevi Karikehalli, pathologist at the Syracuse VA Medical Center, along with other ICRCC members decided to fundraise and contribute to the COVID-19 Community Support Fund. ICRCC believes that, especially during circumstances such as these, it is imperative to take care of neighbors and provide as much support as possible. “ICRCC has a humanitarian perspective. In times of need, our members have stepped up to help generously on numerous occasions,” noted Dr. Ashutosh Kumar, one of the first presidents of ICRCC and a long-time supporter of the organization.
Professor Kishan Mehrotra, ICRCC board member and former chair of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University, commented that, “The adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic overshadow all other needs right now. Basic requirements such as medical services and providing food for families affected by unemployment represent CNY’s greatest needs. It is with this spirit that members contributed to the COVID-19 Community Support Fund.”
The Central New York Community Foundation, in partnership with United Way of Central New York, Allyn Foundation, The Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Foundation, the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York, the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County, established the COVID-19 Community Support Fund to support nonprofit organizations working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. To date, the fund has raised over $2 million from which vital funding is rapidly deployed to support the greatest needs.
Jayant Datta, treasurer of ICRCC, remarked: “If history is a guide, the human spirit is indomitable. Pandemics in the past have caused a lot of hardship, but these stressful situations also served as a catalyst for the human mind to unleash a lot of innovations – this will be no exception. We expect Central New York to emerge stronger and more resilient than before.”
“In times of such calamities, our decisions should be swift and decisive,” said Mehrotra. “They should be based on science and data. The general population should be constantly kept up to date so that it fully understands the values and significance of the decisions made by the government.”
In addition to fundraising and philanthropy, ICRCC supports Indian cultural programming including concerts, Diwali celebrations, and spring festivals. It has also sponsored numerous community programs. Dilip Bhole, past president, has been instrumental in ICRCC’s involvement in the arts. In the 1980’s, ICRCC brought artists from India to make contributions to the sculptures in the Everson Museum. ICRCC also collaborates with and supports other community organizations like the South Asia Center of Syracuse University, CNY Arts, the Open Hand Theater and Syracuse’s Festival of Nations.
After holding events at various locations throughout the city, ICRCC acquired its own home in July 2019. ICRCC is located off Meadowbrook Drive (next to Nottingham High School). For more information, visit: icrcc.org