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Mr Vikram Nair, Member of Parliament, Sembawang GRC (6th from the left), Dr Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Health, Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Transport and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations, Mr Lawrence Wong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr K Ramamoorthy, Chairman, Narpani Peravai and others

The People’s Association (PA) Indian Activity Executive Committees (IAECs) celebrated their 45th anniversary on 7 January 2023 at the Fairmont Ballroom at Raffles City Convention Centre. The anniversary celebration dinner, hosted by Indian Activity Executive Committees Council or Narpani Pearavai, was graced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Lawrence Wong. Also in attendance were Transport Minister S Iswaran and Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Health, Dr Janil Puthucheary who are Advisers to Narpani Pearavai. Called the Indian Cultural Group, the first IAEC was formed at the Kallang Community Centre in 1977 to promote Indian cultural heritage.

Currently, there are 99 IAECs across Singapore with more than 2,000 volunteers. With the dinner themed “The Way Forward”, Narpani Pearavai’s objective was to inspire IAECs to continue to stay relevant, explore new possibilities and ideas to meet the changing needs of the community, deepen engagement with the Indian community and promote social integration with the greater Singapore community. The event saw more than 1,000 people in attendance, including grassroots leaders and community partners to celebrate the past work and contributions of the IAEC volunteers in promoting social cohesion among Indian community as well as racial harmony with the wider Singapore community.

The IAEC’s community partners from Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society (SIFAS), Soorya (Singapore), Singapore Telugu Samajam (STS) and many others had performed at the event, showcasing various Indian dance forms, and displaying the strong partnership between the IAECs and other Indian organisations.Mr K. Ramamoorthy, JP, BBM in his welcome address, thanked all volunteers and partners for their strong support despite the challenges over the last two years. He gave examples of how everyone had pivoted during the turbulent period to continue their engagement with the community, such as SINDA who has worked with the IAECs in door knocking exercises. Leading the Narpani Pearavai, he is confident that the partners and volunteers would continue their good work in the community and expand their partnership especially in areas of promoting racial harmony, social integration and health and mental wellness. In his keynote speech at the anniversary dinner, DPM Lawrence Wong said that the IAEC had played an important role in keeping the community united throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, rallying the Indian and wider community.

He added that it was because of the nurturing of close bonds in the community that Singapore continues to remain a high trust society. He also urged Singaporeans to continue to work together to tackle the challenges ahead amid an uncertain global outlook given the pandemic war in Ukraine, potential energy and food disruptions and inflation, and cost of living concerns. DPM Lawrence Wong concluded his speech by encouraging the IAECs to continue to do their part to build stronger and more cohesive communities in Singapore through strengthening their networks and engagement on the ground. He also encouraged IAECs to grow their volunteer base and bring on board more youth volunteers by giving them the space to experiment, pursue their interests, and initiate projects close to their heart. He urged the community leaders to take proactive steps in identifying more promising youth leaders, mentor them, give them opportunities for larger leadership responsibilities and hand over the baton to them once they are ready.

Article Credit:  People’s Association 

Photos Credit:  PA Narpani Peravai

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