To the Indo – Americans in Houston

   Professionally and economically, Indo-Americans in Houston are recognized as one of the most successful communities. In almost every field of expertise, we have established our presence and proficiency, blending in and sharing our contribution to the country that we chose to domicile. As individuals and as a society our accomplishments are enviable as attested by the many roles we excel in and the many entities we function through. The several civic, philanthropic, professional, and religious organizations that we have created offer a variety of services needed for the public.
          As with almost any constructive achievement in life, there are accompanying negative impacts, perhaps a legitimate price to pay for the gain that we enjoy. Human nature often allows its vanity to impede with courteous articulation leading to disturbed relationships that stifle well-meaning endeavors and escalate issues into the litigious territory.The experience of the Indo-American community in Houston is no different. During 2012, at least five of our organizations have been exposed to and endured through conflicts and controversies requiring legal and mediation proceedings. Such disputes have severely damaged the functioning and repute of such institutions that were all started with well-meaning intent. It is understood that the monetary burden to legally deal with these claims was huge in the past year. Many such disputes are ongoing and the negative impact from community’s loss of reputation and difficulty to raise funds for worthy causes may be many times over.
        In order to minimize such damage, to prevent or lessen the impact resulting from such conflicts and to settle the opposing demands through friendly, persuasive discussions, it is felt to create an entity, the Indo-American Mediation Council, akin to our ancient custom of resolving conflicts through ‘मधसता’ (Madhyasdhatha)
        The agency is formulated to help resolve disputes in the functioning of IndoAmerican organizations in Houston, especially the ones in their beginning stages. It is proposed to create a council with nine or eleven community leaders, who are requested to become members of the Indo-American Mediation Council. As needed, we may request a few Americans, who are not of Indian origin but with an understanding of our requirements to serve as Advisors. The details about the structure and functioning are to be decided by the group. The members are required to complete a mediation or arbitration course provided by many of the institutions in the area
        This Council is formed with the guidance and support of the Sri Meenakshi Temple Board and Advisory Council. We request your presence at the first planning session on Sunday, March 31 at 3 pm in the Kalyanamandapam of Sri Meenakshi Temple, Pearland. If your time does not permit to participate, please suggest a name or two who may be willing to serve.
        As reputable leaders of the community, your input, help, and involvement are essential in establishing the entity, its orientation, and ongoing functioning. Cordially,
            (Sam Kannappan initiated the thought and I was asked to help in the coordination)

Author: Dr. Venugopal Menon

Was born and raised in a loving family in pre-independent India, became a doctor, served Indian army, got married, then came over to America with wife and a daughter, established as a successful Allergist, raised a family of three children, was involved in many social establishments, retired, and wrote memoirs, 'My Mother Called Me Unni, A Doctor's Tale of Migration'.

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