Remembering Neena Gada

March 25, 2024

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Neena Gada on the 6th of January, 2024. Neena, and her husband Ram, have long supported CAA and been pillars of the local Jain and Indian communities.

Neena’s life

Born in 1942, Neena’s life was a testament of devotion, unwavering strength, and selfless service.

A true icon of resilience, Neena was known for her kind-hearted nature. Throughout her life, her vivacious spirit and unwavering optimism uplifted those around her. Neena’s life was defined by her love for others, and she spent much of her time making a positive impact on the lives of those she cared for.

Neena’s passion for education and the importance of culture was vividly evident throughout her life. She believed that education was the most powerful tool to change the world, and she dedicated a significant portion of her life to this cause, working to establish centers of Indian education in Minnesota.

Neena’s writing

You can read her story in her own words here. She started the piece from her hospital bed in 2005 and finished in 2014. 

Neena’s role at the School of India for Languages and Culture

In memory of Neena and her unwavering commitment to education, funds are being raised for the School of India for Languages and Culture (SILC). Neena’s contributions to SILC were vast and diverse. As a founding mother, she played a pivotal role in developing SILC’s programs and initiatives, always striving for excellence and ensuring that the services met the needs of the community. Her tireless efforts and leadership have made a lasting impact on SILC and the lives of countless individuals. It was a place close to Neena’s heart and she strongly believed in its mission to educate and culturally enrich students. Contributions in Neena’s memory can be made here.

Minneapolis Star Tribune article

The Star Tribune wrote a fascinating summary of Neena’s life and contributions which you can read here.

Her husband’s memories

Her husband, Ram Gada, remembers:

“Neena and I have been married since 1967. We had an amazing life with our two children, four grandchildren and many friends near and far.

From the moment she walked through the door at our first meeting, I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. Neena’s beauty and radiance lit up the room and her intelligence won me over.

Neena made me a better husband, father and person. We worked well as a team to build an incredible life in the USA, despite missing our dear families in India. She always supported me and my dreams and helped to create our amazing life and family. We were a true partnership that was stronger together than apart.

Neena had many dreams but the dream that was her passion was “creating an Indian community in Minnesota for our children so they would know our wonderful homeland”. She inspired many people towards similar goals. She embraced her new life in the USA, and worked tirelessly to impart India’s culture and traditions to our youth through her efforts in co-founding The School of India for Languages and Culture (SILC) and active involvement in the India Association of Minnesota (IAM).

Neena’s gentle, outgoing and inviting personality always brought people together. Many newcomers to Minnesota were invited into our house for a home cooked meal and guidance on how to make Minnesota their new home.

Neena loved to learn and took many courses via community education to better herself. She loved cooking, gardening and participating in activities like ping pong and bowling.

Neena has always been a fighter and never backed down from a challenge. From the difficulties of giving birth to our son, Ketan, to her battles with heart problems later in life. She faced these challenges admirably with strength and determination. Though the last two years were tough with her failing heart and difficulty walking she continued to fight. She still had a smile on her face when she met her friends, lighting up the room.”

You can meet Ram and get to know members of the local Jain community at the Ahimsa Vegan Carnival on March 30. We encourage you to join us in learning more about this community and their great compassion for animals.

Portions of this blog were taken from the Neena Everloved site and Ram Gada’s writing with permission from Mr. Ram Gada.

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