Diwali Celebrations by Friends of India on Saturday November 13, 2021. Attendees Comment…
UPDATE – Reviews are IN. Based on the comments and constructive criticisms from the attendees it appears the event became shameless self-promotion and self-serving prophecy of one individual. Please check out all the comments below from the attendees, along with a message from the current FOI President. Read on…
As the Las Vegas economy is almost back to near normal, the Friends of India has announced an upcoming Diwali celebrations. All the current COVID restrictions, as recommended by the local health authorities, will be observed.
The annual Diwali celebrations will be held on Saturday, November 13, 2021 on the Strip at the TI Hotel & Casino. Tickets are moderately priced at $30 per person for members, and $35 per person for non-members which include a gourmet freshly prepared Indian buffet along with live entertainment. The best value in town for $30. Tickets are available at https://foilv.com/new/
The non-religious Diwali celebrations will be held at the TI Hotel & Casino on the Strip with a live performance by a well known US based entertainer duo Rram Tasildar and Bhavna Chawla of Roshini Productions.
Big disappointment. More than a cultural and community event it looked personal event for one man. Started with recognition of people from past and present and multiple organizations that kept going for more than an hour while general public and members waited patiently and thinking it to get over soon but then it converted into an auction event and was’t a cultural event anymore.
Next year Ram Bharose?
Message to FOI Friend
Dear Friends. Diwali Gala 2021 was an incredibly successful event based on positive feedback. There is always an opportunity to improve as no event in life is perfect. Thank you all for attending the Diwali Gala celebrations!!
My executive team and I spent countless hours to try and put up a good community celebration.
Unfortunately, due to limited space availability at Treasure Island venue of only 500 and expected Covid restrictions we were not able to accommodate all those who wanted to attend. That led to ticketing problems and seating arrangement.
We strive to excellence and will make sure that any real or perceived shortcomings will be addressed to your satisfaction. I learned a lot in this process, which will strengthen my skills to further the mission of FOILV.
My team and I are committed to resolve all issues and will make sure the next event be the best ever! See you at HOLI
Additionally, As a standard protocol to review and reflect back, We have recognized the concerns, issues, problems and potential to enhance the positives and avoid the negatives by interviewing the focus group
However, I would like to reach out to you all to get a feedback for opportunities for improvement as we like to have the next event the way you like!!
Please advise me by texting anytime 24/7 at 7025569800
Dr. Ram K. Singh
I don't agree with Ram Singh's comment "Dear Friends. Diwali Gala 2021 was an incredibly successful event based on positive feedback. " I don't see any positive feedback.
Agree with previous comment that the show was one man show. People were leaving without eating dinner because of him and his endless speeches and unnecessary recognition. This event used to be a mega event previously. 2018 show was far better.
1. I talked to many committee members and they are also not happy with the leadership. VP doesn't know what going on and she was sideline and asked to looked at food counter. Food was not served on time because of Ram Singh speech. Food was served at 8 instead of 7 because Ram Singh asked them not to serve without completion his speech.
2. Instead of hiring professionals or volunteer, Treasurer was asked to sell the tickets at the counter.
3. Useless PR good for nothing, they removed earlier PR Ashok, who was really good and looks like this PR is very close to Ram for bushiness interest.
4. We sponsored one table (ram forcefully asked to pay for advertisement and book the table) but someone else was on our table and refused to leave. When I talked to their PR, he paid no attention. Busy with making business relations.
5. Secretary, Madhu was clueless about his role and he was enjoying drinks.
6. As per some of the committee members, when I asked about event details, they said talk to Ram and no one know the timeline and details of the events.
7. No doubt, food was good but looks like they ordered less food.
8. Musicians – worst, just doing lip-sing. for a minute, their iPad connecting wire came out and all the music and singing stopped. Instead they should have hired local talent.
9. I heard that they paid $44000 to TI, means $100+ per person just for Treasure Island. Worst management and no planning.
10. Cultural program was OK. Kids performed well but its a conflict of interest. The cultural secretary run her own studio to train kids year round for this event for money. She should be either removed her from this position or ask her to stop doing side business using FOLIV name. That means, if your kids want to perform at FOLIV, you need to goto her for paid training.
11. I was really impressed by president-elect. He is very capable with vision. While talking to him, I recognized that FOILV needs him as an president with immediate affect to overcome the damage done by current president.
Ram, can you please show us this year or even last year General Body meeting's recording? and proof of invitation? I don't see any invitation for the last year and current year. I have one from 2018 invitation and recordings from Mahendra Mehta when he was president.
Swadeep, please take some action here to make FOILV better as it used be.
After attedning the Diwali event in person I am disturbed by the comment from the President, Dr. Singh. It indicates a total disconnect from reality. I am not sure if it is plain narcissism, a false sense of self worth, or complete self-absorption. The Diwali event that was too be a highlight of the FOILV calendar and started of so promising collapsed like a house of cards under under pompousness, lack of discipline by the organizer in chief, and total disregard for the attendees, donors, and performers.
Full marks for effort and I am sure many and all worked hard to make this happen, for which all of us in attendance are grateful. However it was obvious to all, it was unravelling very quickly when Dr. Singh refused to give up on his 15 minutes of fame. No paying guest or donor should have been subjected to this torture. It was like being stuck in an alternate reality or some kind of horror movie/game whose sole purpose is to kill every participant by subjecting them to intense levels of boredon.
What I cannot comprehend is why his executive committee let this train wreck happen. They saw this at the Independence day celebrations and should have been prepared to stage an intervention or a coupe de etat if necessary, but they all stood by. Is it because they dislike their leader so much and wanted to see him humiliated, or they just didn’t care, or the purpose of some was flattery to secure some other long term gain? I beleive that the whole executive time should immediately resign or speak out publicly to repudiate this one man show.
There were many good things – the food (not sure if it was enough? and it was not being refilled quick enough), the performers who wore their hearts on the sleeve and gave it all, the table settings and venue were top-notch, and the patience of the community as they sat through this boondoggle,and the efforts of so many behind the lights and glory who we will never know who labored to give back to the community. We should also recognize the generous donors without whose support such an event would never be possible (please check all of them out in the evening souvenir book).
Some things were just fascinating as to the how and why – having Naveen Jindal zoom call in, (though the repeated stress on how much we was worth prior to his calling was very off putting and not sure of what purpose he served so late in the evening), the auction of sports memorablia and miscellanous goods and services at a South Asian Diwali function,and the community award presented (without any framework of understanding the how and why)being some of them.
And then some were unmitigated disasters – the band (did no one vet their repetoire or ask them for their playlist?), the announcement to ask people waiting in line and filling their plates to stop becasue that was the VIP line and go eleswhere, the lack of any master of ceremonies to keep the event flowing or even a program with time slots and performer information etc.
However all of that pales in comparison to the transformation of our communities’ signature cultural event into a dietification ceremony for one man and his twisted sense of hubris.
Let us hope that by next year there are a whole new set of locals, because I doubt most of the first timers will ever come back (unless they or their near and dear ones are participating). In a few weeks I will post some suggestions that I hope the next team will take into consideraton. Those are actually based on real feedback of the community and people in attendance and not the Alice in Wonderland kind of reality.
I am one of the executive committee member (sorry, can’t disclose my name) and agree with most/all of the comments above. I am very much disappointed as most of tasks were not discussed with us. Yes, it was one man show. Many of us will resign soon.
I am a member of FOI and have attended about 15 annual Diwali functions of the FOI in the past. After the long pandemic shutdown, the enthusiasm of the community at this year’s Diwali celebration was visible at the venue by the sheer number and joyous socializing. The committee needs compliments for their time and efforts in organizing an event of this size in these uncertain times.
Here are some of my observations which I hope will be noted by the committee for next year’s Diwali function.
1. In Cashman Center where most of the previous Diwali functions were held, the performing area (room where the function actually took place) was void of any ‘noise’ because of the theatre style seating which prevented socializing inside the area and double-door noise prevention from the Hallways where members had ample room to socialize. While this year’s venue itself was spacious and elegant, there was no attempt whatsoever by the committee or attendees at noise control. Doors to the Ballroom remained open and socializing inside the Ballroom by members as well as committee members was common and distracting from the event. The result was that, being seated fairly away from the stage, I had to be content with just seeing the stage and not hearing anything spoken on the stage. I believe this was the experience of many attendees.
2. Most of the kids’ cultural shows took place at ‘ground/eye level’ and not on the stage preventing any direct view. The view was further blocked by (apparently) parents taking pictures/videos of the performers. Yes, there were large screens on the stage but that felt like watching TV or recorded program rather than a live performance.
3. The speeches and recognitions took long time and cut into the cultural program timeslot. Apparently, there was no structure (why/who/when) in those recognitions. It was not a good use of precious time of the attendees.
4. The Live In Concert was a disappointment. Within 15 minutes of its late start at 9 pm, the singers started catering to the small crowd on the ‘Dance Floor’ below rather than to the entire audience in the room. In previous years at the Cashman Center, the singers kept the entire audience spell bound until the closing time of 12 am. Contrary to that, this year, the room excluding the Dance Floor, became practically empty by 10 pm. If this is how the Live In Concert will be, why not just go with the local talent/DJs.
Social hour snacks and dinner service by Mint, supervised personally by Kris Parikh was praiseworthy.
An email with directions to the Ballroom from parking area would have been helpful for those not familiar with TI.
I have been attending FOILV’s events for the past 20 plus years and the events under Ram Singh has been the worst ever. I have some very close friends that worked tirelessly towards the 2021 events that is supposed to be set up by the committee.
Ram Singh disrespects the committee members that work for the community. He does not know how to communicate respectfully. He calls himself a doctor and thinks everyone else is beneath him. He belittles folks that spend hours and hours for FOILV. He ONLY showed appreciation on stage by awarding plaques to the so called Executive Committee that didn’t do crap while he showed zero appreciation to the Cultural Committee that spent endless hours working on events for FOILV. Where are your Cultural Committees plaques?!
I did not see any of his Executive Committee members running up and down the ballroom to get the folks that participated on “stage”, yet I saw the poor few Cultural committee members sprinting across the ballroom, all confused! He throws out the cultural committees suggestions and does not trust his committee with anything.
He keeps changing things to what be wants and does not communicate to his committee members.Its his way or the highway with him. He brings his girlfriend who is not part of this Executive or Cultural committee into EVERYTHING!!! She goes around with him bossing the volunteers like they are her servants.
Ram Singh is narcissist. All he wants is the limelight, his pictures and the mic! He is disrespectful of others times. His time is most valuable and everyone else’s time is worth nothing. He cuts people off and wants EVERYTHING to be ABOUT him AND his family. He even brought his son on stage for FOILV to wish him happy birthday. This man had no shame when not even a single person in the crowd wanted to a part of his insanity. to wish him a happy birthday. His poor son looked totally embarrassed on stage! Then he introduces his in laws! Who cares!! He goes further to talk about billionaires and how proud he is to bring one on Zoom!Ram Singh, this event wasn’t your personal event! You do not own FOILV. FOILV is for the people, by the people! Then he brings other organizations that have no relation to Diwali on stage. He kept on talking like a lunatic! On and on and on.
Kids were getting hungry as food was to be served at 7pm. Ram Singh said to not serve food until he was done. Hungry kids and parents left after being subject to the torchure of this mad man. And then the stupid auction! Then the incapable so called Bollywood singers!
Ram Singh, people came to Diwali Gala to have fun and not sit and be subject to your torchure! Ram Singh, if you have any shame, please leave FOILV. You have made a fool of yourself in front of Las Vegas Indian Community. If you are like this in non profit community events, I can only imagine what kind of doctor you are! You have proved that having a degree on paper doesn’t make a man worth! You have shown your worthiness. You are a mad clown!
God Bless FOILV! FOILV needs to be run by a sane respectful leader!
Just want to clerify that this post is from Jitender Sharma not from Jatinder Sharma(Local Ghazal Singer & Health & life Insurance Broker) I was not even there at the day of event. There is a big time confusion amongst lots of my friends who think it’s me who wrote this.
Rightly Said Jitendar. We left the show in between because of his family show. I am opening a case with Paypal to get my money back.
What a disaster this Ram Singh has caused in our community! This event was supposed to be around, love, family and joy and we were subject to his insanity. Ram Singh is incapable for this role. If Ram Singh has any shame and self respect left, then please resign from this role immediately!
Dr Singh, please resign. You are not fit for this job. You have lost people’s respect. Before it gets out of control and your brand is even more spoiled in the valley, leave FOILV.
Don’t want to participate more … they are getting money & cultural program because of participants , they disrespected them not even give us stage to perform . I asked them to do once more because of some technical issue in our dance but they refused .. Diwali event was all political based . So much politics their . Feel so bad this is what happens in our community….
My understanding that they did not remove mr Ashok. He resign because of dr sing behavior. Most of the committee members did not like him at all. Mr Singh thinks he has money and power to treat the people with no respect for them. He is dictator.
Now he is president of Napi. He should resign from one and concentrate on one position. He name the committee for no reason at no fault of them. He tells them what to do.
He should take moral responsibility of the things hadpen and should resign from the post for his own self respect
All the executive committee members shout resign or come together to impeach dr singh
Dear community-Dr Singh is all over Facebook NOW thanking everyone and posting Diwali Gala pictures as if it was a day full of roses. You are dillusional guy.
Dr Singh who is supposedly educated should know that the event was held on Nov 13th and the platform to thank was then, and not more than 2 weeks later and a day AFTER Thanksgiving. You are late mate! Damage’s done. Also, inviting your Cultural Committee and volunteers who labored for the FOILV events under your “lack of leadership” for lunch or dinner at a restaurant after continously insulting them is really cheap thinking.
It’s the biggest slap you can give them. I am sure most of these people are not 3 year old’s that you can please with a plate of food after not acknowledging them at every event under your lack of management. This shows how degrading your thinking is Dr Singh. Grow up!
Huge waste of time at the FOILV Diwali event thanks to Ram Singh. I have been to other FOILV Diwali events, that I have throughly enjoyed. The difference being in those FOILV Diwali events and this one- the me, myself show by RAM SINGH!! Seriously Ram Singh turned this community event into a let’s sing praises about RAM SINGH!
Honestly if he needs a cheer team he can gather his own ‘BENSON’ squad, I don’t see why he’s doing it on the Indian community’s time!
The Diwali Gala 2021 was a Great Event.
Lots of food, friends, socializing, meeting new friends and old.
This was a first for Las Vegas Friends of India.
Chairman of Board of Trustees of the Temple, our Hindu Priests, numerous Past Presidents, dignataries, amazing cultural performances, too many friends to count!
You could see a LOT OF WORK went into this by the President, the Vice President, and all of the Executive Team.
It is important to recognize the thousand good things about the event: the beautiful location, the great performances, the live entertainment, the food, and the Award Show Recognition of
-The hardworking, talented Executive Team
-all of the Presidents/Representatives of the Indian Communities and organizations with their wives
-all of the Past Presidents and their significant others
-all of the academically talented students who received awards
-Dr. Prabhu for his Lifetime Achievement Award
-Dr. Shelly Berkeley who publicly donated to FOI during the event
-The Nevada Dignitaries who took time from their busy schedules who came to support the FOI Mission
and the kind new donations from large organizations/companies and dignitaries (made possible by the President of FOI) who purchased large tables (for way more than $30/seat and didn’t even place an ad) to allow our community and families to experience a $150/seat event for only $30/seat.
Like Vegas Desi said, “The best value in town for $30”
Wonderful time had by all of my family and friends!
Congratulations Dr. Ram Singh and Executive Team for a Great Event!
This Diwali Gala 2021 event was really a great and superb event. I am in Vegas for last 20 years I am attending this function every time, and me and my whole family really enjoyed. What you are going to get in $30 Food, Fun, Entertainment, socializing what else you need in $30.00 this is the best value for money you spent. Specially after last year’s covid and lockdown and getting back to normalcy gradually recovering all over the world happening of this event really gives strength in our community.
Hey guy I saw some negative comments also, let me clear you some of the things as Indians we are all one community so stop/stop/stop criticizing our own community. there are always merits and demerits of a function but it doesn’t mean that whole function was bad, I will say the whole event superb, stop saying flop.
thanks to all executive committee member for organizing such a grand event.
To address the recent comments that have shown up in support of the Diwali function let me crystallize the arguments here – not one person has spoken up against the event or the broad organization. In fact there has been a groundswell of support for the hardworking working vokunteers and performers and the donors. The problem here is Ram Singh who maybe took the movie Singh is King for real and thought he was the lead actor.
He maybe a great doctor but as a leader of a community organization he is a failure because he fails to comprehend the fundsmental concept of Service Leadership.
His desperate efforts to create a false narrative two weeks after the event just got to show what bad PR looks like.
And i am still trying to understand exactly what certain mmembers of the executive committee were doing on that day, prior to that day, and after that day. It seems that people like Madhuji’s only Job was to bolster the good doctor’s fragile ego. The saving Grace to this event were the senior returning mmembers like Lipikaji and Bhavna Ji who were part of Mehtaji’s team and the event vokunteers for this specific event.
Again a big thank you to all the generous sponsors and participants but if we ignore what happened that night due to sycophancy we are doing a great diservice to them.
Average Bollywood movies are three hours long. How many bad Bollywood movies have you all seen? How many hours and days your spouse lectured you after your child like behaviour in gatherings and parties? How many hours you spent in negotiating and buying your pride and joy of that Mercedes, BMW?
How many hours your spouse takes time to do make up to look beautiful and tall?
How many hours you spend on watching multiple times forwarded WhatsApp Jokes and videos?
You have nothing but time!!!!
The only complaint is that you wish you had that microphone for five minutes ! You wish you could speak also as long as Dr Singh?
You all are good people. You have now solved the problems. You have exhibited your poor writing skills but at least you have tried.
Remember you are very good people.
Yes, we are all good people .. not so sure about you though lol. It is sad to read your thoughts, especially the spouse related comments. But I am happy you messaged anonymously so that your friends aren’t embarrassed publicly to have you as a friend.
When people watch forwarded WhatsApp jokes, movies, videos again & again, it is because it gives them joy & laughter (unlike this event). The bigger frustration is Dr Ram Singh tried to claim this as a successful event, rather than acknowledging the mishap. If he didn’t write the comment the way he wrote, this chain of messages would have looked little different.
For you,I can only hope that you are not in any influential position in this committee or any other similar groups, otherwise it is truly ‘Ram bharose’!
Regarding this event, lot of things were really good .. Amazing participants, good food, super decoration, and so many community members to socialize with.
Dear community leaders and members,
I was at the event and I witnessed what happened and agree with many of the positive and negative comments. There is no excuse on what happened . Important thing is to Learn the lesson, readjust the course and move on. Focus of the FOILV President and executive committee for next event should be to address the issues identified here.
Events planning , execution and success of an even is a team effort . it takes numerous hours of planning to execute an event. Every team comes with innovative approaches to raise funds and execute an event . And sometimes the approach results in less than 100% satisfaction. An agreed upon plan and script by executive committee is needed to stay on course. Personal agenda , promotion and ego should not be allowed , has no place in the organization and must be discouraged totally
FOI is the organization functioning with the support of community leaders and volunteers who are stepping up to fulfill the mission of the organization . With the kind support of all of us , the organization can raise funds and execute events to bring community together. Where else you can get a festive gala event , with lovely decorations , with delicious food , entertainment by local talent , in a ball room , in a Las Vegas strip casino for $30 dollars.
Running a non profit cultural organization is not easy . I and many of the past presidents have first hand experience. Time , efforts and team work is needed to execute the three key FOI events successfully . Every team has different challenges and comes up with unique approaches to handle those challenges. Finding a venue , cost effectively, to entertain 500 plus members is a challenge. Finding invited artists to perform for reasonable cost is a challenge.
The success of FOILV as an organization is due to Community participation and support . Thanks for your support and participation. without your generous support , such events can’t be organized and executed successfully.
Constructive criticism is the foundation of improvements and we have a platform to do so. Pick the phone , talk to executive team, write your comments etc. . Important thing is that you have shared your honest feedback, ideas and concerns .I am sure this will encourage Dr Singh and the executive committee to learn from their mistakes and address the issues . No one is perfect.
Thank you all for your continued support to FOILV and your openness in sharing your experiences and comments .
As Immediate Past President Mr.Mahendra Mehta Ji has provided an appropriate summation. I don’t believe there is anything more to say on this subject and it is time to set aside and move on.
Here are some suggestions based on what I have been reading and what I witnessed.
Going forward, as Mehtaji has suggested, a Master of Ceremonies supported by additional hosts and a prepared script and program will be very beneficial in alleviating some of the issues.
I saw many older youth ( high school/college) in attendance who could play this role. This might also provide a good platform for them to be involved and continue to be integrated with the community as well as as give them new skills. A community call put out for volunteers just like one for performances in advance may lead to a greater engagement opportunity for many who might bring different insights and approaches and a continuous resource for the future.
The viability to bifurcate the event out into a Diwali event ( cultural) and an annual FOILV banquet could be explored which is where the recognition and celebration of the community engagement and office bearers can be highlighted, celebrated, and acknowledged. Instead of concentrating all the local talent performance around this one event maybe we can encourage some of the acts to take part in the other events so that the Diwali function does not get too loaded?
As far as the live entertainment piece there is always going to be a debate between the listening kind and the participating kind. Maybe a compromise would be too have the live entertainment during the dinner or prior to dinner and a DJ for post dinner fun. This could also broaden the entertainment options from just live music to stand up comedy, variety entertainment, or even magic.
What was remarkable and easy to see was the enthusiasm of all the participants and the organizers. It would be important to keep this channelized effectively and grow it organically from year to year. If opportunity permits it would be invaluable to take a poll and survey of what the community would like to change, keep the same, or see new. My input as an attendee of this and past Diwalis and based on reading the comments for what they are worth.
Ram, looks like the last comment came from you and now you are hiding behind Mahendra. You can’t compare yourself with him. You got 2 years to learn from him as president-elect but you haven’t learned anything and you are constantly repeating the mistakes event after event.
Maheshji I don’t think I know you or vice versa. I can assure you though that the last set of comments was not from Dr. Singh.I was also profoundly disappointed by some of the things that night that took away from the whole night.
Everyone knows what happened but it is time to come together and move on. Let us create a positive welcome environment for the new board so they can have a fresh start. The concept of grace or forgiveness is one of the most important gifts we can give each other. In this holiday season I am striving to do that. God bless all of us.
Curiously, the common talking point of all the postings in Dr Ram Singh’s favor seems to be- Look what you got for 30 dollars, so shut up and move on. This whole issue goes beyond Diwali function. It is important to understand the how and why.
Indian community has three main organizations in Las Vegas- FOILV, NAPI (some organization for Indian doctors) and the Temple. How was Singh able to become a leader of all three within a year? He has mastered the art of quid pro quo. Look at strategically chosen photos and postings on his social media platforms. Those give you a peak into his devious mind
As for why, he has grabbed these titles so that he can use them to present himself to the outside world as a leader of the community for his political and financial gains.
We need to implore the respectable members of the community not to provide him cover just because he requested them to do so. Singh does believe in kiss up and kick down.
This is a time for introspection for our robust Indian community. Do we want to give a person of Singh’s character the symbolic authority to represent us to the outside world?
Dr. Ram Singh is very kind and a great leader. DIWALI CELEBRATIONS was great this year and we truly enjoyed the cultural events, Food, decoration. Good Job Dr. Ram and Team.
My family always looks forward to celebrate FOILV Diwali and cultural event. We were excited to hear the venue is TI. This Diwali was one of the largest and most memorable in terms of venue, food, cultural program and dignitaries. Dr. Ram is very humble, kind, and a great leader. He is ready to help people in need. Thank you Dr. Ram for serving our communities in the best possible way!
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