Indian Heritage and Cultural Association-NJ (IHCA-NJ) is a volunteer-based, 501 (C)-(3) registered non-profit organization, established in 2013 in New Jersey USA.

The main purpose of this organization is to promote local talent and to bring communities together through the performing arts: theater, dance, and music. IHCA-NJ gives an opportunity to local highly gifted artists to express their talent without the limiting factors of language, subject, and censorship. With U.S. based local artists, IHCA-NJ produces theater events such as Natya Darpan, a dance based event called Nritya Darpan, and a musical program events, Sangeet Darpan.

IHCA-NJ’s other goal is to bring our communities together to exchange ideas, and to learn regarding many social awareness issues including women empowerment,metal health issues, human trafficking, LGBTQ+ issues, through performing arts. .
Every year, IHCA-NJ organizes Natya Darpan, a multilingual short play festival in New Jersey. Many highly acclaimed and award-winning US-based theater groups performed exceptionally high-quality short plays in Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati and English.

During Covid-19 pandemic, IHCA-NJ initiated virtual short play festival “Vibrations” in
partnership with the Consulate of India, New York. All three vibrations series received
overwhelming response from audience from USA a swell as from India.
Partial funding for Natya Darpan was provided by Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholder through a grant award from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund and Consulates of India-New York and San Francisco.

Dr Ashok Chaudhary is a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the IICT, India. He is an accomplished Scientist & Sr Manager with more than 20 years of experience overseeing research & development in Fortune 500 pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, Merck & Siemens USA. Since his childhood in Pune (India), he was inclined towards the performing arts. Back then as early as age 6, he has also performed on stage & All India Radio (Aakashwani Pune, India). He has been active in the local community in New Jersey, since 2001 where he was instrumental in promoting arts & culture through several events that he organized. He was appointed by Mayor of Old Bridge, NJ as Human Relation Commissioner for Old Bridge Township.

With this love & passion of acting since a young age, Ashok was very keen on doing something for the younger generation in the US. He founded the IHCA-NJ in the year 2013.

IHCA-NJ created Natya Darpan – a platform to promote local talent and to bring all communities together through performing arts such as classical music, classical dance, and theater and successfully doing so for the past few years. For the last 3 years Natya Darpan has seen local theater groups perform mind blowing short plays in various languages, including English, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali and Gujarati, with the focus being on social issues such as Women’s Empowerment, Human Trafficking, Immigration, LGBTQA+ Advancement, Community Relationships, Mental illness and others. The program has received an overwhelming response from the tri-state audience over the last few years.

Our Executive Team

Nitin Ashtekar: (908)-392-5152

Ashok Chaudhary: (732)-533-9194

Sanjay Shetye: (267)-253-9112

Snehal Vaze: (732)-979-1771

Ashok Vanjari: (732)-331-7169