Houston: Hindu University of America (HUA) in association with Hindus of Greater Houston (HGH) hosted a Friends of HUA Gala evening on March 26, 2023, at VPSS Haveli, Houston. The gala, which was attended by about 500 community members, honored Kiran and Ramesh Bhutada and their family for their generous gift of one million dollars to HUA.
Ramesh Bhutada, CEO of Star Pipe Products, is a successful Houston-based businessman and philanthropist.
The evening’s highlight was Ramesh Bhutada’s address where he shared why he chose to support HUA. Despite being born and raised in a traditional Hindu family and being a member of several prominent Hindu organizations and traditions, he stated that he “did not really understand the essence of Hindu Dharma.” It took him 60 years to recognize the silver spoon that he was born with, that is, to understand the true essence of Hindu Dharma “which teaches us how to live in harmony within ourselves, with our family, friends, colleagues, and with the entire world. Other universities may impart knowledge for students to earn a livelihood. Only an institution like HUA can impart Hindu knowledge that teaches a student how to live their life.”
Stressing the fact that he did not want the next generation of Hindus to take as long as he did, Ramesh Bhutada urged the attendees to support HUA so that the youth of today and tomorrow can gain the knowledge and understanding of Hinduism much earlier in life, enabling them to live happy, productive lives for themselves and for the benefit of the entire world.
Drawing on his personal experiences as well as narratives from the Hindu American community, Ramesh Bhutada noted that the traditional Hindu upbringing and teachings about Hinduism within the family and home environment alone is not sufficient. Knowledge, he underlined, imparted by established educational institutions in the modern academic setting is critical to ensure the younger generations understand and apply Hinduism in their lives.
Chairman of the HUA Board and Padma Bhushan awardee Ved Nanda and HUA President Kalyan Viswanathan spoke about the rejuvenation of HUA, its current state, and future roadmap. Houston-based faculty members Dr. Raj Vedam and Chandra Raghu shared their thoughts as well.