By Suresh Bodiwala
CHICAGO: At the annual Diwali dinner hosted by the Association of Indian Pharmacists in America (AIPHA) here on Saturday at the Meadows Club, its president Harish Bhatt announced the formation of the National Indian Pharmacy Association (NIPA) amid over 500 guests.
Highlighting NIPA’s goals, Rupesh Manek said it is dedicated to the construction of networking opportunities and promoting Indian cultural heritage in the United States of America.
Rupesh and Harish Bhatt said NIPA will build a single platform from which to petition lawmakers in an ethical and responsible manner to serve our interests and those of the patients we serve.
NIPA aims to promote the highest quality of care and advance the future our business and our industry by improving our professional skills and furthering our members economic interests, they said.
Saturday’s event began with booths of different demos and business enterprises presenting their products.
Noteworthy booths were from Cardinal Health; H. D. Smith; Nipro Diagnotics; Best Computer systems, Inc.; Collossal Health; Micro Merchants System; Windmill Vitamins; Script Pro; NIPA-National Indian Pharmacists Association; H & H Wholesale; Amneal Pharmaceuticals, etc.
The Diwali program began with a beautiful dance. Dhristi presented a mind blowing program encompassing an array of Classical, Bollywood and Salsa dances.
Snehal Bhavsar next invited speakers Steve Lawrence of Cardinal Health, Bill Bodin of HD Smith and Shannon Rivero of Amneal Pharmaceuticals to the stage to speak briefly.
Swati Dandekar, who announced that she would be running for US Congress from the 1st Congressional District in Iowa, spoke briefly.
Gary Prestor was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Dedicated Service to profession of Pharmacy by Harish Bhatt.
The evening ended on a high note as the multi-talented singing sensation Babul Supriyo entertained the audience with a selection of recent Bollywood hits, Tagore classicals and old favorites. Babul Supriyo comes from a prestigious musical family in West Bengal and is the grandson of the noted composer- Banikantha N. C. Baral. Carrying on the family tradition Babul has belted out hit songs in numerous Bollywood and Bengali movies. He has also recorded three Rabindra Sangeet albums, released in 2011. Proving that his talent is not limited to singing, he played the lead role in Tarun Majumdar’s Bengali film Chander Bari (2007), followed by another lead role in the remake of of Uttam Kumar’s “Ogo Bodhu Shundori” (based on ‘My Fair Lady’). He got his first break when he toured with Kalyanji-Anandji in the early 90s. By mid 90s he had broken into the competitive world of playback singing in Bollywood. He has sung hits in movies like Hum Tum, Fanaa, Hello Brother, Kaho Na Pyar Hai, Agnisakshi and more.
NIPA has been launched this year and is still in its infancy. The members involved with NIPA have made huge strides thus far and look towards the future with high hopes. The present pharmacy organizations have come into their own after 25 years of persistence and dedication. With combined resources and efforts, there are no limits to where NIPA will go on the next 25 years.