Desi Talk

4 July 5, 2019 COVER STORY Planning For India Day The tri-state Federation of Indian Associations announces theme and details of August 18 parade on Madison Avenue By StaffWriter he Federation of Indian Association of NY-NJ-CT (FIA) held its 26th curtain-raiser for the annual India Day Parade, at the Indian Consulate in New York, unveiling the 2019 theme of ' Support our troops - Salute our troops'. The event opened with national anthems of USA and India, followed by some performances from Nritya Dance Academy, choreographed by Meena Basu Naag. The emcee of the evening was Nisha Kalamdani. Alok Kumar, President-FIA, in his speech, emphasized the need to appeal to the community to do more in saluting and supporting men and women in uni- form. Kumar applauded the contribution of his team of volunteers. He complimented and expressed gratitude on behalf of the FIA fraternity to the Consulate officials, including Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty and Deputy Consul General Shatrughna Sinha for their warm wel- come and reception. He said the parade is to “promote our motherland, and to showcase what our community is all about.” Kumar also appreciated the spouses of volunteers for their support as the volun- teers juggled their professional and per- sonal life with their commitment to the community. He added that the parade is “where the community comes and cheer for the suc- cess, and see India rising under the lead- ership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” Chakravorty cited the need of includ- ing youth and the second generation in the festivities. “India Day parade is an iconic parade. It is held in the capital of the world, which is New York. When you march in the India Day parade, you march for your country and you feel very proud, and humbled at the same time,” he told ITV Gold. “It has been held for so many years, and has become a rallying point for the Indian American community.” Chakravorty added: “Earlier when the community was small it had a different purpose. The purpose was to bring the community together. Today, the commu- nity is different, to highlight India, to show the diversity, and the culture of India. To show that India has arrived in the world.” FIA Chairman Ramesh Patel reflected on how the parade as an event has evolved and how support from the com- munity needs to grow to further the out- reach and grandeur of the parade festivi- ties. The curtain raiser showcased some distinguished dignitaries, including FIA Trustee and Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, the Founder and Chairman of ParikhWorldwide Media, FIA Trustee and Padma Shri Dr. H R Shah, Albert Jasani, Anand Patel (from Dunkin Donuts), Anil Bansal, Andy Bhatia, Srujal Parikh, Shobhna and Dr. Dinesh Patel, among other speakers. Alok Kumar acknowledged the women team of FIA, along with the 2019 Executive Committee comprising of Himanshu Bhatia, EVP, who also deliv- ered the vote of thanks, Immediate Past President Srujal Parikh, Vice President Saurin Parikh, General Secretary Amit Yadav, Joint Secretary Mardavi Patel and Treasurer Amit Ringasia. The curtain-raiser also showcased live music as well as authentic appetizers and a full dinner sponsored by the Royal Albert’s Palace. “Indian Americans are perhaps the most proud of their heritage and mother- land. There are some important reasons for this: it is a stable and democratic country despite all the challenges and problems,” said Dr. Parikh, in his speech. “When we hold the India Day parade, not only do we celebrate our heritage, we celebrate independence and freedom of India,” he added. Dr. Sudhir Parikh Ramesh Patel Sandeep Chakravorty Alok Kumar Albert Jasani Ankur Vaidya T The Federation of Indian Associations tri-state area (FIA) hosted a kickoff ceremony for the annual India Day parade, at the Indian Consulate in New York. (From left to right): Surjal Parikh, Albert Jasani, Shobhna Patel, Sandeep Chakravorty, the Consul General of India in New York, Ramesh Patel, Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, the Founder and Chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media, Alok Kumar, the President of FIA, Shatrughna Sinha, the Deputy Consul General of India in New York, Padma Shri H R Shah, Mohan Kothekar, District Sales Manager, Air India, New York, and Ankur Vaidya. All Photos:Peter Ferreira www.desitalkchicago.com – that’s all you need to know

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