MILAAP is the officially recognized Indian Students' Organization (ISO) at the University of Wyoming. We are a Recognized Student Organization (RSO) of the Associated Students of University of Wyoming (ASUW). The underlying objective of our organization is to inculcate, diversify and promote the rich culture and heritage of India within the Laramie and university community.
MILAAP strives to serve as a connection among people of different ethnicities and backgrounds. Members of MILAAP constitute people from different faiths, languages, ethnical and geographical backgrounds. Everyone in the Laramie community is welcome to become a part of MILAAP. Apart from this, we also help to make the journey and transition of new incoming students from India smooth and easy by helping them in their arrival process.
Our motto: " To bridge the cultural gap amongst people of different origins by learning, understanding and celebrating diversity and education ".
For more info: Facebook-Milaap
The biggest event organized by MILAAP every academic year is the “DIWALI NIGHT”. MILAAP has been hosting “DIWALI NIGHT” since the past 11 years and last year marked MILAAP’s 15th anniversary as an RSO on campus. Apart from this, we also host “INDIA AWARENESS WEEK” every Spring semester which showcases India’s rich cultural history, architecture, music, dance forms, movies and social/political issues pertaining to India through Documentary Screening, Bollywood Movie Night, Panel Discussion and concluding with the “DANDIYA NIGHT” event. Along with this, at the start of every semester we host a Potluck to welcome all the new students from India.
Last year, the University of Wyoming’s (UW) President, Dr. Tom Buchanan and his wife, Mrs. Jackie Buchanan were the Guest Speakers for the “DIWALI NIGHT” event and Dr. Bonnie Zare welcomed the President and talked about her team’s “Keep Girls in School Project” which provides young abandoned boys and girls in India with medical care, shelter, food, high quality schooling and, above all, a chance for a better life. The President was honored by Bonnie and MILAAP for his contribution to the UW community. The first performance was given by Mrs. Prathyusha Apparasu, who entertained the audience by performing “Kuchipudi”, a Classical Dance form of the state of Andhra Pradesh in South India. Mrs. Prathyusha is a professional Kuchipudi dancer and also runs dance classes in Colorado. Following Prathyusha’s dance was a classical music performance by Kaustubh and his band “Mehfil” from Colorado State University, Fort Collins. Diya Deepak, an 11 year old student of Prathyusha gave a splendid dance performance and entertained the audience with her graceful blend of “Kathak” and Bollywood-style dancing. Following the dance was a musical performance by students (Rik Chakraborti, Alexander Stevens and Tom Creighton) from UW’s College of Business, Economics and Finance Department, who entertained crowds with acoustic renditions of popular music, both old and new. We then had a small teaching session by Mrs. Prathyusha to teach some Indian Classical dance steps to the audience. To our astonishment, more than 20 people joined her on the stage and tried some steps which made them very happy. Rashmi (another student of Prathyusha) performed a popular classical dance form called “Bharatnatyam”, wherein the dancer narrated a story through her expressions and dance stances. Vikram Singh, an Indian student at UW gave a rocking performance by singing a popular Bollywood song titled “Chak De India”. Last but not the least, we had a fabulous performance by our Guest performer from Canada, “PARICHAY” who made the audience dance and groove to his beats. PARICHAY also served as the DJ for our Bollywood After Party where the entire dance floor in the Wyoming Union Ballroom was crowded with about 70-80 people who “rocked” the floor (for two hours at a stretch) and danced without any inhibitions to his blend of songs representing different regions of India.
For “DIWALI NIGHT 2012”, ASUW sanctioned $10,850 in the form of available funds to MILAAP while 24 other departments allotted a total of $3,350. Last academic year (2012-13), we won the coveted “HONORARY RSO AWARD”. This award usually goes to an RSO that "demonstrates sponsorship/teamwork with University Departments, fellow RSO’s, the Laramie Community, Campus Community and others". Competing with 200 other RSOs on campus, this is no small feat and we would like to thank all the members, non-members and volunteers who worked really hard throughout the year in making MILAAP visible all over the campus and Laramie community as well creating a goodwill that is revered by a lot of other RSOs here at UW. We would like to specially thank our wonderful advisor, Dr. Mark Ritchie (Professor, Department of Art), Dr. Bonnie Zare (Professor, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies), Dr. Leah Hardy (Professor, Department of Art) and Dr. Rodney Garnett (Professor, Department of Music).
A special token of thanks to Bonnie for getting MILAAP involved with the “Keep Girls in School Project” and continuing to show an interest in us!