Tushar Patel was born in 1973 in Baroda, Gujarat, India. As a student at Vidyakunj Primary School for his early childhood, it was difficult for him to leave his friends, family, and especially the beloved food of his native country behind to move to America. Mr. Patel, with his stepmother and father at the age of 8 moved to Wildwood Crest, New Jersey. After completing his early education in New Jersey, Patel settled in Wrentham, Massachusetts and, eventually, Attleboro, Massachusetts. (He is especially proud of his expansive knowledge of New England geography!). Patel became involved in a career with Texas Instruments, and after 18 years with the company, it closed its doors, supporting his inspiration to go back to college. Once back at school, studying at CCRI and New England Institute of Technology, Patel chose to focus his studies in occupational therapy.

Mr. Patel now serves as the Director of Advertising on the Executive Committee for the India Association of Rhode Island, an organization towards which he

Tushar Patel

Tushar Patel

and his wife, Mona, put forth great effort. Since his initiation into the organization in February, Mr. Patel has developed a passion for community outreach on behalf of the Indian community of greater Rhode Island. He is interested in building awareness and giving a voice to his Indian culture, advancing the mission of the 30-year-old organization in Rhode Island and throughout the United States.

“It’s not just my organization,” he says, “it’s everyone’s organization. These are all my family members.”

The Indian Association of Rhode Island has provided Mr. Patel and his family an opportunity to build a greater Indian cultural identity in the state. He is thankful to many members of the community for their generosity and interest in the organization. The Patel’s and their close friends and family members believe in the power of community and culture. Their diligent work reflects such commitments and, in turn, they hope to inspire others to join the movement, fostering and preserving culture across all borders. A perfect representation of the hard work Mr. Patel and his colleagues have been directly involved in was raising the Indian flag atop a city’s capital building, something that has never been done before in the history of the United States. Mr. Patel does, however, believe it necessary that the various cultures represented all across the globe must come together in order to build a stronger earth community. This type of unified community is not possible without collaborative efforts and a willingness to be exposed to all that this world has to offer.

“It’s not just a one man wrecking crew. We all have to have our own impact on the community for the state, to better the state.”

As an active member of the Pawtucket, Rhode Island community, Mr. Patel has nothing to dislike about the ocean state: he enjoys the rich history, the weather, the beaches, even the mansions; overall, it is a perfect place to raise a family, of whom he describes as his “biggest inspiration.” Raising two beautiful daughters, Shreena and Krisha, who are self-reliant and have self-respect, is his self-proclaimed “greatest accomplishment.” He envisions his Rhode Island community progressing into a more active environment for citizenship, hoping that his daughters will one day contribute to society in order to benefit their own well-being. Mr. Patel believes that “people need to do what they should as a community, everyone has a role and everyone needs to do their part… come together” in order to collectively act for the good, and improve society through cultural understanding.

Mr. Patel is committed to making Rhode Island as welcoming as possible for all prospective citizens, especially Indian immigrants. The Indian Association of Rhode Island provides a network of resources to be shared and spread in the interest of new community members. Mr. Patel is thankful to Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island who is devoted to the same type of work. Patel continues to speak fondly, even years later, about “Bruno,” a representative from the institute who made Patel’s green card possible and exposed him to all that Rhode Island has to offer.

Written and compiled by Patrick Monaghan, Monica Houghton and Chris Scagliarini