Executive Board of FICA
FICA (Federation of India Community Associations of Northeast Ohio)
FICA is an organization dedicated to serving the needs of the Asian Indian Community in Northeast Ohio. From its humble beginnings as a student association in 1962, it has grown to be the voice of a diaspora of over 20,000 and on the increase. FICA helps Asian Indian families assimilate into the mosaic of greater Cleveland. Its community service arm, known as Project Seva, and the India Cultural Garden have been instrumental in building bridges and in promoting greater understanding of Indian culture.
The India Community Center on Cedar Road serves as the home of FICA and the site of various community events. Since 1967, it has published a monthly newspaper, the Lotus. As part of the Ohio bicentennial, a historic marker recognizing the milestones in the growth of the Indian community was dedicated in front of the Center in 2003.
To organize events that promote the rich cultural heritage of India in greater Cleveland; to facilitate ongoing dialog with civic leaders regarding issues of importance to Asian Indian families in the region; to facilitate the mainstreaming of Asian Indian families by creating a platform for the community's active participation in the civic life; to collaborate with local organizations to promote goodwill and understanding between diverse communities; to partner with business groups that promote ties between Indian and US firms and foster economic development.
To be a valued community resource contributing to the economic development, cultural enrichment and diversity of Northeast Ohio.
Since 1981, Project Seva has been feeding the impoverished and the hungry at several area churches every month. The program also hosts an annual Thanksgiving Dinner, and distributes blankets to the needy on Martin Luther King Day.
India Cultural Garden
The India Cultural Garden on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Rockefeller Park was dedicated in 2005, joining the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, a collection of gardens representing various nationalities that symbolize Cleveland's rich diversity.
The garden includes a statue of Mahatma Gandhi. His example of civil disobedience anchored in non-violence inspired civil rights movements around the world, and also inspired a young pastor named Martin Luther King, Jr. The symbolism of a Gandhi statue on Martin Luther King Boulevard is inescapable.
Shiksha Daan was established as a new initiative of FICA in July 23. The objective of Shiksha Daan is to get the Indian community more involved with the education and development of under-privileged youth in the Greater Cleveland community.
What a legacy for the world in Cleveland, Ohio - the tallest Mahatma Gandhi statue in the U.S. on Martin Luther King Boulevard in the Cultural Gardens of Cleveland.