I hail from Mumbai (Bombay), India, and came to Philadelphia for my graduate studies in Organic Chemistry in the Fall of 1956. The ESU has had a great influence on my life. I was invited to a "Commonwealth Student's Reception" by the Philadelphia branch of the ESU in the early 1960's. I was offered a complimentary student membership with the Younger Members' Group (YMG) of the Philadelphia branch. The younger group had two meetings each month - one social and a second meeting which was a lecture on current topics. This got me started with the ESU and in a couple of years, I was asked to join the Steering Committee of the YMG. In 1966 I was appointed Chairman of the YMG Steering Committee which met monthly at different homes to plan future YMG programs. In 1968 our branch was asked by the National ESU office to organize the first Regional meeting of YMG consisting of members from New York City, Washington DC, etc. to exchange ideas for future planning for YMG activities. This meeting triggered having future Regional meetings in different cities of the region every couple of years. Being a Chairman of the YMG I was invited by the branch President William Lingelbach to represent the YMG on the Branch Board. In the early 1970's there were about 500 YMG members and the total branch membership was over 2000.
The ESU expanded my circle of friends. I met people not only from different walks of life here in Philadelphia but people from different countries all over the globe. I was appointed Vice-President of the Philadelphia Branch and later I served as the Treasurer. On October 27, 1995 on the occasion of the 75th Annual General Meeting of the ESU of the United States in Chicago, I received an award of Merit by the Chairman of the national ESU Board, Hon. J. Sinclair Armstrong for my contributions. Later I was asked to serve on the National Board and also its Executive Committee.
I will always be grateful to ESU for helping me become part of the American dream as well as giving me the opportunity to meet people from different countries. I will continue to support the ESU mission to promote communication and understanding through the medium of the English language.