HSS – Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh – Amit Mishra
The Houston Chapter of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA, Inc. ("HSS"), wishes to express its deepest sorrow on the death of our swayamsevak, Akhil Chopra. On Thursday, August 11, 2005, Akhil was senselessly murdered in broad daylight while walking in a park during lunch, apparently the victim of gunshot wound during the course of a robbery.
Akhil was young and dynamic, endearing everyone with his friendly nature and willingness to serve. He moved to Houston three years ago, but in this short time, he had offered his volunteer time to numerous Hindu organizations in the Houston area. Akhil attributed his willingness to serve to his firm belief that service to humanity is service to God.
Akhil will be greatly missed in the Houston Hindu community. We pray that God grant peace to the departed soul and give strength to Akhil's family and friends to bear this enormous and untimely loss.
FACT – Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism – Rahul Pandit
Akhil had been providing me crucial help for the FACT (Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism) Exhibit coming to Houston in the next 2 weeks, and for IAKF (Indo-American Kashmir Forum) activities in the past. His service to the Kashmiri Pandit community cannot go unrecognized. I hadn't had the opportunity to meet him, but was so looking forward to it. I felt close to him without even having met him. It is difficult to find selfless and self-motivated individuals like this, and he should be duly recognized. He has touched those that he has never even met. I wish peace to his family, and know that his legacy will live on.
VHP-A - Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America – Girish Naik - Secretary of VHP-A (Houston Chapter)
Houston Chapter is deeply in sorrow after hearing the sad new about tragic event that took the life of such a humble and wonderful person away from us. We remember Akhil Chopra as a person with great talent, always smiling and willing to help out in any situation.
He was ever ready for the community and service to mankind. His ever smiling face and energy was always a boost for all of us in times when we were drained out.
Akhil Chopra has helped us tremendously in our Kite Flying Festival, Youth Camp and many other community programs for the last several years. The whole community will miss him dearly.
Our prayers go out to family and friends and may god give us all the courage to face the reality of live and death.
sVYASA – Meera & Rama Rao
We met 4 years before in our Yoga Classes. Very soon, he
completed yoga teachers’ training and became very successful yoga teacher who
was liked by all yoga students. He lead a ’yoga way of life’. His laughing yoga
sessions are remembered even to this day by one and all. Personally, to both of
us he used to help us in every field. For all our problems and requirement, the
only person who was coming to our memory was Akhil. Day before to his
unfortunate incident, we had the opportunity of meeting and offered his help.
His memory of smile, friendship, co-operation, understanding, remains with us
for a long time.
LET GOD GIVE PEACE TO THE BEREAVED FAMILY.
MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE.
IDRF – Vijay Pallod - Vice President
Akhil Chopra was an essential part of IDRF thanks to all his work on the media side since 2002. A few years ago when we were attacked by leftist organizations he was instrumental in media work. He was responsible for dispelling the misconceptions formed by the hate attack on IDRF. Without his ever-ready hand, IDRF could not have raised the millions of dollars we did. We are very thankful for all the help he has given us, for Akhil was a man who not only believed but practiced to the fullest extent possible, the principle that service to man is service to God.
Samskrita Bharati – JayaKumar
-- Om Sri Ganeshaya Namaha --
MMNA - Shri Chandak & Prabhulal Rathi
During the MMNA convention held in Nov 2003, we were in your office for a whole week. During that time we came to know Akhilji. He was the most courteous and helpful person. After that I met him again. I can not believe what has happened. Our prayers to the LORD to provede etyernal rest to this parting soul. Equally, may there be solace and strenth be given to his loving parents. I know based on a personal contact with him that he cared greatly for his parents. Appreciate your efforts to help the situation by setting up a foundation in his memory. Shri Chandak and Prabhulal Rathi
Hindus of Greater Houston - Anu Udpa
Akhil’s death has plunged us all in deep shock and sorrow. Some of us are here knew him more closely then others but almost everybody knew Akhil in some way or the other – through his voice over the Sanathan Hindu radio, his writing in the newspapers, the pictures he so diligently took of the community events, his meditation classes, or even his infectious smile.
How does one deal with a loss as grave as this, as close to home as this? Well, it’s hard and only time will tell how.
I have known Akhil for three years, from my Janmashtami connection – this year in particular, we worked very closely, constantly emailing each other. As the Chair of the event that is scheduled in a few weeks, I was heavily depending on him for almost everything. And how can you not depend on a person who is so willing to help, so efficient and confident. It almost like taking advantage of his goodness – but Akhil never gave one that feeling. He would do everything with a smile.
At first, I was in denial but it slowly dawned on me when I stopped receiving his emails. My heart sinks every time I think about this gruesome tragedy. It was not his time to go we may say, but God had other plans for him and we are thankful to Him for the moments he let us share with Akhil.
There is but one way we can keep in forever in our hearts – to follow his dream here in America and complete his task. We all know how he loved to reach out to people through the Hindu dharma, our culture and values, especially to the younger generation. How happy he felt working for the younger people – like a true big brother he was ready to lead and like an obedient son he followed unquestioningly.
Akhil knew that he was loved; Akhil knew that he was admired and respected and Akhil will know now that he will be forever remembered.
May his soul rest in peace.
Hindu Students Council Inc. (HSC International) – Samir Rawal – President
On behalf of the HSC family worldwide, I would like to express our heartfelt anguish and shock at the tragic demise of Shri. Akhil Chopra in Houston. I have personally known Akhil bhai since the Global Dharma Conference 2003, in which he played a stellar role. He has been a dynamic media coordinator for HSC and has served in several community outreach programs in Houston. As a dedicated HSC worker, he has also been a spiritual role model for his peers.
What struck me most about him was his yogi-like inner calm, his soft-spoken nature and kind voice. Hindu scriptures and history are full of young yogis like Markandeya Rishi, Dhruva and Bhagat Singh who fulfilled their missions in life at a very young age. Akhil bhai is undoubtedly one among them. In such a short time, he selflessly contributed so much to society. His positive legacy will always be an inspiration to Hindu-American society for many generations to come.
Akhil bhai’s absence will be deeply felt. Our prayers are with his family whose loss is irreparable. May the Almighty grant everlasting peace and immortality to his noble soul. Mrutyorma Amrutam Gamaya. Om Shantih Shantih Shantih.
Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA - Ramesh Shah - Secretary
All of us in Ekal Vidyalaya team in Houston and National office extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to Star Pipe family and Akhil’s family, relatives and friends in India and here. Our thoughts and prayers
We were touched by his service and contribution to Ekal Vidyalaya. He not only supported Ekal Vidyalaya Tribal schools but supported this movement by giving his valuable services in every events in Houston. Since 2002 he helped us in various activities. Radio announcement, flyer making, helping organize our national meeting in 2003, photography of events, helping our artists, physically helping on the event’s day, etc. When we call him early morning on Saturday to go to radio station he was there for us. What we are going miss most is his smiling face and his positive attitude for all his services.
We love you Akhilbhai, we love you Akhilbhai, we love you Akhilbhai.
We pray to God for the peace of his soul and give strength to all family, friends and relatives to pass through this difficult emotional moments.
Ohm Shantihi, Shantihi, Shantihi
Voice of Sanatan Hinduism (Radio) -
With a heavy heart I share the grief with all of you and especially the
family of Akhil in India.
I could not help reminiscing my acquaintance with Akhil here is a short note I wrote of him:
I came to know you for a little while
Little did I know then, that it will be
only for a short while,
And what little I came to know you
Will always be with me for a long while.
The same ever charming smile,
I cherished the last moment that I saw you
So vividly and clear
The respect, reverence and regard
for all around you, with
The same ever charming smile.
To have a son like you,
Every mother will pray
How cruel can Fate be
To take you so quickly away.
It’s hard when the young die
And the old survive,
But it is sure the Time of Kali Age
We have to take what comes our way
And pay our sincere respects to you
And Peace to your soul, we pray.
Indicorps - Sonal Shah
The Indicorps also sends its heartfelt condolences. We still can not believe this has happened. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Akhil's family, friends and loved ones. Akhil was always the quiet force behind many and we will miss him. Please let us know if we can be of any help.
Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) - Gitesh Desai - Secretary
I am shocked to learn about Akhil’s death.
Akhil was one of the best and noblest people that I have come across in Houston’s Indian American community. He was endowed with unalloyed dedication and flaming passion to serve our community. His character and conduct were the manifestation of divine attributes such as honesty, integrity, simplicity, and love for humanity.
His contribution and support to Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) was very valuable. He was actively involved in our media cell and resolute to spread the message of cultural nationalism and integral humanism.
On behalf of OFBJP, I extend my deepest condolences and sympathies to Akhil’s family and his friends at Star Pipe Products. May God bless his soul to rest in peace, and give strength to his family in this difficult time.