A Mid Summer Night’s Dream
Sonal Bhuchar is a physical therapist and long standing community volunteer. She is the Past President of FBISDs Board of Trustees and is finishing her second term. She has served in numerous leadership roles and is now running for the Texas House of Representatives HD 26. She is married to Dr. Subodh Bhuchar and has three children. They have lived and worked in Sugar Land for the last two decades.
The Indo American community has now come of age. As first generation immigrants, we have worked hard, made tremendous strides in every professional field from aerospace engineering to zoology research. We have built businesses, big and small, led corporations, established roots and raised our families here. This community, like all the others before it, brought its traditions and culture with it. And it also brought with it a desire become a part of and amalgamate within its new home and environs, much along the lines of “mixing as sugar in a glass of milk”.
With that in mind, the community has given freely of its time, talents and resources, becoming engaged philanthropically, socially and certainly through an aggressive introduction to its cuisine and culture. In a world class international setting like Houston, Indo Americans are recognized for their prowess in medicine, engineering, business leadership, research and education. A big part of our success story lies in one key element – EDUCATION. It is a value we hold dear, often to the point of obsession. That obsession, together with a firm understanding of democratic principles and religious secularity, empowers our community to adapt and enhance the world that we live in.
And yet, a key element that is missing within our community and is the missing piece in this puzzle, is our civic involvement. Indo Americans must understand that the value we bring to the communities we live in, can grow tenfold by our engagement in civic activities. This can range from a simple act of going to vote, serving on school PTOs, HOAs, City and County boards and being part of the process that ultimately affects us all at a very personal level. Our involvement at our places of worship, must translate to a responsibility to encourage participation in civic duties at every level. Our media that focuses on primarily community events, must continually provide information on the process and how to, of this important task. And we, individually must take on the onus of sharing our value systems, which are very similar to those of this nation and are based on the principles of good deeds, compassion and standing up for the truth.
It would be erroneous to suggest that no effort has been made to engage in civic activities. Our increasing involvement in every sphere of service and volunteerism is evident in our schools, hospitals, non- profits, businesses and municipalities. Certainly, several from within the community have run successfully and served in elected offices – a commendable task, and made more so by the high quality of their service. That run for a public office has not come as a wily nily decision to grab power but to serve and enhance the quality of the organization. It then is imperative that as a community, we wholeheartedly support those efforts, from those that have the will and courage to do so.
And yet this is not a unilateral effort from the Indo American community. It must, by its very nature, have the support of the mainstream community , that understands our ability to serve, our cultural background and philosophy of service and truth (Karmanye vaadhika rasye and Satyameve Jayate) and our emphasis on education. That support can come, only if we all work together to break down barriers of poor understanding, imperfect knowledge and preconceived notions.
This epiphany for both will only come as fast we let it come… till then we can dream of the perfect world.