The Federation of Malayali Associations in North America (FOKANA) will hold its 21st international convention in Washington this July, taking forward the four decades of activities of the organization which has five lakh members in the United States and Canada.
The three-day event will be held in Washington DC from July 18, FOKANA president Babu Stephen told a press conference here today. FOKANA Trustee Board member Paul Karugapillil and Treasurer Biju Kottarakara were also present.
Washington is set to witness the most remarkable of FOKANA’s conventions, Dr Stephen said.
Former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, MP, and fellow Parliamentarian John Brittas MP will be the chief guests at the conclave in the North Bethesda Montgomery County Convention Center at Marriott in the US capital. While Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is likely to participate, poet Murugan Kattakkada, besides political, social and cultural leaders, will be present.
Preparations for the convention are on under various committees including an executive Committee. As many as 1,500 delegates from 60 member organizations of various countries will participate in the two-day convention. It will host business meets and seminars, besides a meeting of the women’s forum. Further, the event will distribute literary awards and host talent competitions.
The 1983-founded FOKANA has been carrying out activities related to the heritage and culture of India. The forum is involved in a range of activities that includes maintaining loyalty as well as duty towards the motherland and cooperating in the general development activities of the country.
For the last two years, the management committee headed by Dr Babu Stephen has been initiating an array of activities. FOKANA floated international chapters in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and the Middle East.
The association has a Rs 360,000 scheme to build ten houses, providing scholarship for high-school and nursing students and a relief fund for the underprivileged. ‘Bhashakkoru Dollar’ has been FOKANA’s proud project to nurture the Malayalam language.
Dr Stephen has contributed 250,000 dollars to FOKANA towards building its headquarters.