Ankur History

Ankur is unique in this country. Very few Indian communities have a place of their own, other than temples, where they can meet, socialize, host dinner and entertainment programs, and enjoy and promote their culture. When people from other cities hear about or visit Ankur, they are awestruck by our close-knit Gujarati community and our accomplishments. "How did you all do it?" they ask. Well, it did not happen overnight! Let's walk down the memory lane and see how it happened.


In 1960s there were fifteen Gujarati families in the Cincinnati area. By mid-1970s the number had grown to sixty and was rapidly increasing. As the Gujarati community was expanding, new Gujarati families moving into the area had a difficult time in making contact with and getting to know other Gujaratis. There was no organization or association to facilitate their entry into the community, welcome and afford them an opportunity for social interaction with other Gujaratis and to make new friends. Therefore, there was a need for a Gujarati association. Few Gujarati Couples took initiative to form Ankur Gujarati Samaj. These are Meena and Ashwin Mehta, Sarla and Naren Parikh, Kirti and Kishu Parikh and Rekha and Mec Trivedi. These are the founders of Ankur Gujarati Samaj.


Thus, on March 19, 1978, (Fagun Sud Punam, V.S. 2034) Ankur Gujarati Samaj (ANKUR)   was born. At this point we should remember what poet Narmad wrote in 19th century about people of Gujarat... "Wherever there is a Gujarati, Gujarat shall  always be there". Ankur has adopted poet Narmad's couplet as a part of Ankur's emblem.


The name Ankur was chosen because it embodies a new beginning. Ankur means a germinating or a sprouting seed. Metaphorically, Ankur is a green lustrous tree under which we come to meet and socialize with one another, in good time and bad time, year after year. Under its cool shade, and misty breeze, we all feel at home and celebrate our culture, propagate our heritage, and look for mutual warmth, happiness, and peace. We have been doing this for the last 25 years. Ankur is a common thread that binds us all together. Since its conception and planting, it has established firm roots. It has turned into a mature tree with a strong trunk (Ankur building), many branches (member families) and lustrous green crown - the members, who, through their individual and collective accomplishments have enhanced the image of India in the local community. Ankur started with sixty families as members in 1978. Since then, the Gujarati community has grown manifold. Today, Ankur has matured into a strong, vibrant, and energetic organization with more than 260 families as members.