A New Indian Community Center Opens

By Subhash Joon e-mail: sjoon@wowglobal.com

Subhash Joon was born in Rohtak area of Haryana, India and arrived in the US in 1998 on project for US Steel. He has done B.Tech from India and completed a small-MBA program at Pitt. After being an entrepreneur of an IT consulting company for ten years, Joon, with his wife Sarita Khatri, is now focusing on Nirvana Development, their real estate development/investment company. Subhash lives in Upper St Clair, PA.

While attending a dinner with several friends, someone said, “Temples are so far away for people who live southwest of Pittsburgh. Why don’t we have anything on this side of town where we can have Indian community programs and do the cultural things that temples offer?”

That’s how it all started. There was certainly interest and need for people of Indian origin for a facility like a community center. Being in real estate investment and development for years, I always wanted to develop ideas outside commercial projects. I started talking to more people in the community to get some feedback, which turned out to be very positive.

The next step was to convince my wife of the idea and explain to her how we could develop an Indian center and perhaps name it “Karma Center.” The Indian center, we discussed, could have a banquet hall, an Indian restaurant, space for yoga and dance-type activities, including a small, unique type of Karma temple (maybe) without any priest or reli­gious images.

After three years of hard work and substantial financial investments, we have finished the Indian Community Center (ICC) at Carnegie. During the development of the project, we brought in new passionate partners who helped grow the idea and who had experience in the restaurant industry. During the development process, we decided to convert the small Karma temple area into a library and a cultural hall to have more focus on educa­tion and about Hindu living.

The ICC opened its doors to the public on Feb. 27th, 2012 at 205 Mary Street, Pittsburgh, PA. The phone number is (412) 278-5058. The ICC houses the Café Delhi restaurant, a large banquet facility, an Indian dance school, Yoga and meditation institute, and much more.

The ICC offers a free hall to community groups and individuals, pro­vided that the programs are for non-profit and community growth. We are excited to see the response from our community and how people are able to take advantage of the facility. We continue to work on new ideas and to start more programs in partnerships with our temples. You will see many more activities in the future, including a free medical clinic, a cultural school, and community round-up and growth programs.

I hope everyone will get to enjoy the activities at ICC and help educate our community and bring everyone together.n

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