Social workers provide a valuable service to the community, in many cases far more than a doctor or nurse could provide, said Dr. Thomas P. Mathew, a physician by profession, who is committed to the overall wellbeing of the Indian Americans in the New York region. While applauding the contributions of the members of the American Association of Indian Social Worker's Inc., Dr. Mathew, who was delivering the keynote address, suggested that AAISW must provide a helpline, especially to the Indian American community in the region to learn and access the various services and programs that are being offered to them by the States, Federal, and community agencies.
As though responding to the challenge, George Thaila, a Board member of AAISW, came up to the podium and announced to the delight of the more than a hundred members and their families, who had gathered at the annual holiday party, family Get-Together and inauguration of new office bearers at Charis Christian Center, Floral Park, NY on Saturday January 19th 2008, that AAISW has already decided to launch the Information line and is operational. And he invited Dr. Mathew to make the first call to the Helpline at (516- 305-4634). With the first official call to the Information line, this new and timely service to the Indian American community was launched, even as the crowd applauded loudly. Dr. Mathew encouraged the members to continue to offer their clinical skills, in addition to facilitating for the benefit of Indian families to face the challenges.
The new executive committee was sworn in by Dr. Mathew, with the lighting of the lamp.
In his presidential address, Alex Chamakla, who assumed charge as the president of AAISW, said, Let us continue to show our solidarity and commitment to our Association by your active participation and support. While paying tributes to the outgoing executive committee for their many initiatives they had undertaken in the past years, he said, I am happy to state that we have accomplished and achieved many strides over the years. Today, our association is well recognized among professional organizations in New York, particularly in our community. He said, we will continue the Sponsor a Child program, and licensing review classes, while initiating several new programs benefiting our community and the members of the Association.
Raju Kuruvilla, secretary of the Association, who was emceeing the event, said, AAISW is an association of Social Workers of Indian origin currently residing in North America and Canada. The purpose of the association is the professional advancement of its members and provision of services to the general public especially Indian Community.
Earlier, in her welcome address, Margaret Charles, the newly elected Vice President, said, This is an important opportunity wherein we provide the venue for our children and our members to bring out their multi talents for a variety entertainment program.
John Mattam, the outgoing president and the executive committee members, who were part of his team were felicitated with plaques of appreciation.
The cultural programs by children and youth were filled with music, mimicry, and dance, which were enjoyed by one and all. The fellowship ended with a dinner.