The tenth Indian Auckland Meetup hosted by ‘Behind the Dreams’ received the highest attendance of community members and deemed one of the most successful meetup events held so far.

The brainchild of Rachit Kuchwaha, Indian Auckland Meetup is an event platform inviting people of Indian origin living in Auckland get together under one roof, meet new people, network, and create new relationships.

The idea of the event was to remove barriers people have by creating ice-breaking activities and fun drills that help people open up, introduce themselves to one another and sow the seed of new friendship.

The tenth Meetup was held at Freemans Bay Community Centre on Saturday, January 17 that was attended by 217 people from different age groups, diverse educational backgrounds, and walks of life who mingled with unknown new faces and created new bonds.

As the visitors entered the community centre, there were assigned a number between 1-9 which was used to group them to participate in the ice-breaker activity.

Each number made two circles within their groups and introduced one another going in courter-clock sequence and asking trivial questions with one another. Each group was looked after by a moderator who helped conduct the activity.

The groups were then broken into an open crowd, and visitors asked to look for an unfamiliar face and talk to them.

“The purpose of the event is to get to know new people by doing different activities, remove the mental barrier and shyness and just say ‘hi’ to an unfamiliar face, make a new friend,” Rachit Kushwaha told The Indian Weekender.

On the milestone of the tenth Meetup event, the host invited Hon Consul of India, Bhav Dhillon as a chief guest and gave a motivational speech to the attendees at the event.

The event also felicitated members of the Indian New Zealand Meetup group who have been associated from the very first meet up the event a year and a half ago and who through the efforts helped organise the meetups and create the buzz in the community.

Rachna Sethi was given the ‘The Online Star’ trophy, Nagesh Nemani with ‘Leading Helping Hand’ award, Ashish Ramakrishnan as Outstanding Performer, Group Moderator Sabiha Patel with ‘Always 110%’ and Mohsin Khan, Kush Sharma and Ravindra Kamboj with ‘Dil Se Dil Tak’ Award.

Renowned youth music group, ‘Gharelu Gigs’ performed live band at the event as the audience joined in the unplugged live entertainment session.

“The tenth Indian Auckland Meetup was a milestone for Behind the Dreams.

“We started with a score of people at the first meet up in Auckland and hosting the tenth Meetup with the highest footfall so far was a big milestone for me,” Rachit Kuchwaha said.

Rachit adds that the Meetup event, although for three hours needs months of preparation, several sleepless nights of planning, investment, bookings and much more.

“It takes several months of preparation to deliver a Meetup event, but it's all worth when we see such a huge crowd of young migrants come together, have fun, participate in activities, dance, meet new people, make new bonds- the feeling is priceless,” Rachit said.

The call for hosting such Meetup events for the community has come from different cities around New Zealand as the popularity of the group ‘Indian New Zealand Meetup’ has multiplied manifold in the last few months.

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