South Asian Students Association plans to bring awareness to Conant community

New organization started by freshmen Nikita Lakshminarayan and Deepika Ramchandani called South Asian Students Association.

A new organization known as the South Asian Students Association (SASA) has been started by freshmen Nikita Lakshminarayan and Deepika Ramchandani. The purpose of this club is to provide awareness of the different South Asian ethnologies to students.

Vaishali Tajpuria, a social studies teacher and the advisor of SASA, said that Lakshminarayan and Ramchandani were very passionate in starting this new group at Conant. It took them almost a month to get the club started because Tajpuria wanted to make sure it didn’t clash with the message of Cultural Awareness, another cultural club at Conant.

Lakshminarayan said that this club is different from Cultural Awareness because it “focuses specifically on South Asian culture” and they “really want to just hone in on the traditions and the practices of this region.”

When asked what inspired her to start a chapter of SASA at Conant, Ramchandani said, “All my life I have been raised to be extremely religious and to follow our culture. After coming to Conant, I saw the abundance of South Asians at school and felt that a strong community would be very beneficial.”

According to the advisor and its two founders, SASA is a club that shows that culture is important. Ramchandani said, “We shouldn’t lose sight of our values just because of where we live and how we are surrounded by multiple lifestyles.”

Because a large majority of Conant is South Asian, Lakshminarayan and Ramchandani can see SASA becoming a large organization in the near future. Right now, their main focus is to get the club known throughout the Conant community, but they said that they would love to see it become popular in the other D211 schools.

Though it is a work in progress, the two girls and their advisor are prepared to take on the challenge to manage this new club. Tajpuria explained, “We want to be able to represent everyone and understand all different societies and religions. By increasing our knowledge, we can [get] rid of racism and stereotypes.”

To learn more about SASA, attend a meeting in room 226 every other Thursday from 3:35-4:30.

katwala4417@students.d211.org'

Aditi Katwala

Aditi Katwala is a senior at Conant High School. She is excited for her final year working on the Crier as an editor in chief. She is also the captain of the Congressional Debate Team, president of HOSA, and involved in BPA. In her free time, she enjoys Indian classical dancing, Netflix and volunteering at local hospitals. Something that many don't know about Aditi is that she did her Bharatnatyam Arangetram (dance graduation) during the summer of 2014.

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