Building bridges is the mission of the Frisco Indian Affairs Committee.

Created in 2017 by Mayor Jeff Cheney, the ad hoc committee is focused on fostering communication between the city’s Asian Indian community and city leadership.

Co-chairs Ram Majji and Gopal Ponangi say they believe in the strength of promoting community relationships and encouraging conversation.

“The major mission we are focused on is civic engagement,” Majji said. “This committee is where we bridge the gap between the Indian community and the city, police, schools and public works.”

A rapidly growing segment of Frisco, the Indian community has about 35,000 residents, according to city data. That represents about two thirds of the Asian community as a whole, data showed.

That growth can be attributed to several factors, according to Ponangi, a Frisco ISD school board member.

“Dallas is a central location for business travel,” he said. “Frisco is chosen first for the school district. The second reason is affordability. The cost of living is low. Also, there is an existing Indian community here.”

The Frisco Indian Affairs Committee defines its mission through four pillars: community outreach, civic engagement, philanthropy and events. While Majji focuses on outreach and engagement, Ponangi manages philanthropy and events.

While most of the committee’s events have been paused due to the pandemic, it still hosts get-togethers online to keep people engaged.

“We’re there to hear their questions and to help with issues and for the city to communicate with the Indian community,” Ponangi said. “It goes both ways.”

Giving back to the city is a key part of the Frisco Indian Affairs Committee. Through its efforts, the committee has raised funds and donated time to a variety of groups. Among the beneficiaries are the Frisco Education Foundation, Frisco ISD and first responders.

“We want to help the community, serve the community and integrate the community,” Majji said.

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