Letter to the Community Members

Dear Neighbor, Date : 3/3/2020

Long hours at work and getting to and from work and private entertainment (such as watching television or surfing the Net) have dramatically reduced the time available for building and sustaining engaged communities. These changes have caused “neighborhood- mindedness” to be replaced by looser, more transient relationships. This loss of community connection has physical and psychological effects: we lose our connection with the place we call home, which can lead to social and emotional isolation. This results into loss of “social capital”.

There are two kinds of social capital: bonding (socializing with others very much like yourself) and bridging (connecting with people who are different). In the past the most homogeneous communities were also richest in social capital. As we become more skilled with building bridges across differences, communities richer in diversity will also become rich in social capital.

Many of us from India are in Folsom Ranch making it our home and calling it our community. Traditions and customs do define the cultural heritage of a community. These aspects bring our identity and recognition amidst the vast rising modernism. India is one country endorsed with such rich cultures that are distinct in language, dressing and several activities.

Cultural diversity creates uniqueness and enriches the community’s history and social setups. Unfortunately, it poses a challenge where these distinctions create language barriers and enhance social segregation due to variability of individuals on language, caste, religious or geographical basis. Politically, socially and economically, cultural differences acts as disengagement factor, especially on civic levels.

It is very important for a community to be engaged because our personal well-being depends a great deal on the quality of our social networks – the relationship that exists among individuals, and between various groups. The relationships with others and the interconnectedness between people play a central role in each person’s identity. There is no such thing as an individual, we are just all a collection of each other’s influence on each other. Everyone is connected to each other, family, friends, and community, that’s all we are, is a collection of intermingling ideas as a collective.

The strength of the community is each individual member. The strength of each member is the community. For a community to be whole and healthy, it must be based on people’s love and concern for each other. A harmony within the community is of utmost importance to adhere to the traditional values or behaviors.

How can we create engaged communities in a time of such rapid change? We believe that :

  1. We should reaffirm the value of personal connections and recognize that communities exist in physical places that must be welcoming and safe. This is based on the belief that human beings need to see, hear, share and collaborate with each other in order to form lasting bonds with one another and with their communities. Since a sense of place also includes shared history, arts and culture, educational, and historical, all have an important role to play.

  2. We should focus on addressing the social and economic issues that limit individual success or civic participation. We need to recognize the many ways in which people contribute to the common good. Even if individuals don’t have the time to become involved, they may be willing to contribute their expertise or write a check for a cause they support on a case-by-case basis.

Hence the inception of the “Samasti” – The Indo American Club, to reach better collective outcomes by bonding and bridging, inculcating the essence of oneness and togetherness, moving forward together in creating an engaged community. To provide a forum where individuals can make an effort to learn their community’s social and natural history, and make connections between their particular area of interests and broader civic concerns. They should be able to reach out to everyone and participate in artistic and cultural collaboration, and community events, engage in discussions about what they value and develop actions for addressing the problems at hand.

“Samasti” (समष्टि, समस्ति)in Sanskrit means Collectiveness, Collective Existence, Totality, and Equal

The Samasti is a Nonprofit Organization of Asian Indians at Folsom Ranch, Folsom CA to promote the cultural, secular heritage and values of India as well as the furtherance of friendship and understanding with people of other cultural backgrounds.

This is a social network formed by many volunteers. Alongside our cultural representations, Samasti also hosts/coordinates

  • cultural service activities and events - performances, cultural-evenings, fairs, parades, celebrations of festivals of all religions

  • socials, and community service gatherings in a mission to make residents feel at home and united

  • necessary academic, social, physical and technological knowledge and skills for continuous improvement

  • recreation, leisure and sports activities improving the health and well-being of individuals, and promoting the development of inclusive community

Samasti is organized pursuant to the General Nonprofit Corporation Law of the State of California. This Corporation does not contemplate pecuniary gain or profit to the officers or members and is organized for nonprofit purposes.

It is with great pleasure we invite you, your family and friends to provide your services and expertise voluntarily to the organization and thereby to the community at large. It enriches our society, brings us together as a community, and helps keep the organizations afloat. Besides helping the organization, it also helps better you as an individual. Being a volunteer for a very large non-profit organization myself, I can vouch that volunteering is a free way to feel good about yourself. It provides a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem and life satisfaction. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment, pride and identity. Following functional committees will need multiple hands to support and you can choose the committee of your interest:

  1. EC Secretary and Publicity Committee

  2. Joint Treasurer and Fundraising Committee

  3. Cultural (Art, Culture and Heritage) Committee

  4. Youth and Education Committee

  5. Sports and Recreations Committee

  6. Human Services and Social Work Committee

  7. Food and Beverage Committee and

  8. Information Systems Committee ​

Please email to info@samasti.org with a brief introduction of yourself, your passion and experience in the area.

In addition you can also help the organization by writing checks. The property of this Corporation is irrevocable dedicated to the charitable, cultural, secular heritage and educational purposes, and no part of the net income or assets of this organization shall ever inure to the benefit of any director, officer, or member thereof or to the benefit of any private persons. Please be assured that the management structure, procedures, and dispute resolution processes are established in the bylaws of the organization and this is the legally binding document that serves as an operating manual for Samasti. Every donation received will be wisely spent for the benefit of the community and accounted properly per the General Nonprofit Corporation Law of the State of California.

We believe that we have the duty to foster opportunities for each likeminded resident to build a legacy of heritage. We therefore, collectively commit:

  • to explore and understand the cultural diversity with the ability to relate effectively amidst varied cultures within a rapidly changing modern society.

  • to shape the cultural behavior within to put family and community first

  • to taking ownership of a collaborative, educational partnership through the family, and civic engagement

  • to bond and bridge through cultural exchange, increase mutual understanding, and seek successful cooperative relationships

  • to make Folsom Ranch safe and welcoming for every resident

Please join us in this endeavor for accomplishing our goal to support programs that encourage cultural enrichment thus promoting diversity and making Folsom Ranch “engaged community” and rich in “Social Capital”.

Yours Sincerely,

Leela Prasad Koneru

Chairman | chairman@samasti.org

Hari Krishna Gadiraju

President | president@samasti.org

Mukund Wadekar

Vice-Chairman | vicechairman@samasti.org

Avinash Reddy Peechari

Secretary | secretary@samasti.org

Nimish Agashiwala

Treasurer | treasurer@samasti.org

Information about all Committees

We are requesting Volunteers to join the all following Committees. The duties of each functional committee can be found here. You can send your interest to info@samasti.org. The corresponding functional chair will reach out to you.