University of Florida Homepage

Safe Spaces: Episode 3 – “Miracle On 13th Street”



This episode of the Safe Spaces series looks back at the creation of the India Cultural and Education Center (ICEC) in Gainesville, Florida. Efforts to create the center began in 1990, following the suicides of three students of Indian origin within a short period. These tragedies inspired Dr. Dinesh Shah’s vision of a student center near the UF campus where students could meet with other students, UF faculty and staff, and community members to develop a strong support system. The center also served as a community space for cultural programs and events. Dr. Shah found strong support from the Indian community in Gainesville both on and off campus and their fundraising campaign took them all over the state of Florida. Although the Indian community in Gainesville was small in comparison to major cities in the United States, faculty and community members were able to raise the million dollars required to create their “Miracle on 13th Street,” likely the only Indian cultural center in the United States that was created with university students in mind. This podcast was made possible by the Dr. Dinesh Shah, Dr. Ramakant Srivastava, Mrs. Chethana Mehta, and Mr. Ravi Bhosale, who so generously agreed to share their memories of the ICEC. Many thanks as well to the many other founders, board members, volunteers, students, and donors who helped make the ICEC possible.