Over sixty years ago, India’s Founding Fathers asked all Indians to respect the national symbols of India, to cherish its heritage and preserve its composite culture (Constitution Part IV-A). To honor the importance of those ideals, a small group of very successful Indian American entrepreneurs in the San Francisco-Bay Area decided to create a broad-based and inclusive Community Center. Its mission would be to preserve the culture, values, and heritage of India for future generations based on the vision and ideals of the Founding Fathers of India.
India Community Center was conceived to be a place where every generation of the Indian Diaspora could find comfort in various facets of their culture, preserve and practice unique traditions, and celebrate festivals and social milestones in a welcoming environment. It was also designed to be a center where people of other cultures can explore and experience Indian traditions and values.
In addition to cherishing our heritage, ICC founders also decided that promoting brotherhood and fraternity in the spirit of the constitution would be even more important in a distant land. So uniting the diverse community also became one of ICC’s goals. And finally, incorporating community service as an essential pillar of this center was considered vital to living up to traditional Indian values. Thus came into being our mission of UNITE. SERVE. CELEBRATE
India Community Center (ICC) opened its first facility in February 2003 with the efforts of the Godhwani brothers, Anil and Gautam, first generation Indian Americans and successful entrepreneurs, who created ICC as a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the Indian American and Greater Bay Area community. ICC is a non-religious and non-political organization with a goal to unite, serve and celebrate Indian culture in the community.
Talat Hasan served as the first Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Anil Godhwani served as the first President of the Board of Directors and Naren Bakshi, who created the first ICC in the U.S. in Cleveland in the 1960s, was the first Advisor who guided the founders in early direction. They were joined by several successful, passionate community members including Kanwal Rekhi, Sheena Vaidyanathan, Bala Joshi, and Kailash Joshi who worked full time for several years to establish ICC.
ICC is financially supported through membership fees and community donations. It has also received corporate, foundation, and government funding. Today it is the largest Indian American community center in North America. Its 38,000 square feet facility in Milpitas, California, and 10,000 square feet Table Tennis Center serves the entire Bay Area, with a professional staff and hundreds of volunteers providing a wide range of programs and services. ICC conducts a wide variety and a great number of programs annually to serve the community.
Since ICC was founded in 2003, it has grown significantly in just about every area such as number of patrons, the overall availability and use of the space, and programs and services offered to the community.
Our growth has been exponential and significant in various areas as mentioned below:
- Expansion of the building space from 10K square feet to 40K square feet at the Main Center in Milpitas
- New locations like the ICC Table Tennis Center in Milpitas, ICC West Valley in Cupertino, ICC Tri-Valley in San Ramon, and ICC Mid-Peninsula in Palo Alto
- Annual Budget has grown from $500K to $4M in 2022
- Youth Camp participation has increased from less than 50 kids to 1400 kids served annually
- The Senior Program is held from 2 days a week to 4 days a week in Milpitas and Cupertino (West Valley), 2 to 4 days a week in Mid-Peninsula and Tri-Valley.
- Event and Rental numbers have increased from approximately 30 in 2007 to over 150 in 2021
- Weekly Newsletter Readership: From less than 500 to over 15,000 in 2010
- Staff has increased from 10 to 60 by 2022
- Volunteer Base has grown from about 20 volunteers to over 150 in 2021