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Biggest R-Day festivity marks heightened aspirations of Indian Americans

Biggest R-Day festivity marks heightened aspirations of Indian Americans
February 01
08:12 2018

India Post News Service
SANTA CLARA, CA: In the presence of about two dozen elected officials, dozens of heads of community organizations, a large number of sponsors, scores of artists, and 2000 attendees, Federation of Indo-Americans of Northern California celebrated the biggest festivity of the Bay area to mark the 69th Indian Republic Day at Santa Clara Convention Center theater, Santa Clara.
The singing of the National Anthem of India by Alka Bhatnagar, students from Keen Learners Montessori, Fremont, spiked the patriotic atmosphere of the evening. The traditional ceremony of lamp lighting augmented the nostalgic value a notch up.
Dr Romesh Japra, FIA’s Chairman and Founder of FOG, aptly summed up the positive spirit. “We truly represent the heightened aspirations of Indian Americans and we are amplifying our efforts to reach out to the 200,000 and growing population of our folks,” he said. He announced that FIA would be organizing a Holi Mela on March 10 at Newpark Mall, Newark. “We want to bring the whole community at a larger stage so that we can create a bolder image of our community,” he said.

The majestic Rajpath in New Delhi saw a fascinating display of India’s military might and resplendent cultural diversity as the country celebrated its 69th Republic Day on Thursday, Jan 26, with the leaders from 10 Asean countries attending the event as Guests of Honor.
Rajesh Verma, President, FIA, expressed his happiness on witnessing the huge crowd and dignitaries. “FIA is growing exponentially and its best days are ahead and will be reiterated on the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Festival of India and Parade which will be celebrated from August 11 to 19, 2018,” he declared. He urged the public to volunteer, sponsor and support this historical event.
Consul General Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok was the Chief Guest and he commended the FIA leadership for hosting such a magnificent event that will project the growing strength of the Indian community. He spoke of Indian roots and the bonding we share with our motherland.
Joining the celebrations, Assemblymen Kansen Chu and Assemblymen Ash Kalra in a statement said it marks an important day that India adopted their Constitution as their governing document – the day India officially became a republic. “Today celebrates both India becoming a republic and it signifies the special bond between the world’s oldest and largest democracies. This bond encompasses shared values, commercial trade and mutual security,” they said.

Among the elected officials who attended the event included Assemblymen Ash Kalra, Assemblymen Kansen Chu, Savita Vaidhyanathan, Councilmember, City of Cupertino, Lily Mei, Mayor of Fremont, David Bonnaccorsci, Raj Salwan, Council members, City of Fremont, Kathy Watanabe, Council member, City of Santa Clara, Rishi Kumar, Council member of Saratoga, Steve Spinner, Yogi Chugh, Pradeep Ganatra, Air India. Steve Spinner was awarded for his contribution to empowering the community. Kamal Nair, longtime volunteer of FIA, was awarded for her volunteering efforts for over 30 years.

Musical feats

Cultural activities were held and the gathering was treated with some spectacular musical feats. A multifaceted entertainment program which included music and dance performances was presented by Bay area kids. It was one of the highlights of the event.
The day-long event was emceed by Jyotsna Bendapudi, FOG Cultural chair. Over 700 kids from 120 groups from age group 4-19 participated in the competitions which had categories such as Bollywood, hip-hop, classical to name a few. Students presented a patriotic and cultural program along with short speeches depicting their patriotism in the best possible manner.

The celebration continued with song and dance competitions that reminded of the sacrifices made by freedom fighters. The competition culminated with prize distribution ceremony wherein trophies and certificates were given to the winners of all categories.
This year FOG Republic Day celebrations hosted a special kids fashion show dressed as brides and grooms of different Indian States. Nearly thirty five children in the age category of 5-12 years walked and posed at the stage of Santa Clara Convention Center Theater on the background scores of patriotic songs like India Waale and Chuk De. The program was co-ordinated by Ritu Khurana, Gurus Education. Kids represented Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kashmir, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and few other states.

On Saturday Jan 27, an Art Competition was conducted with “India and its Glory” as the theme. The competition was presented by Nurture Kids.
Highlight of the evening was students from Amrutha Nethra public charity trust from Bangalore participating at the event and rendering soulful patriotic songs. The students are blind and that didn’t stop them from mesmerizing the crowd with their renditions.
Sponsors for the evening were Bank of the West, Astro Vastu Solution by Vaneet Sharma, Air India, Nurture Kids, Keen Learners Montessori, Gurus Education, Young Explorers, Dr Monika Chugh, Dr.Bhupinder Bhandari, Royal, Think Tank learning and Tea India. Proposing a Vote of Thanks, FIA Chairman Dr Romesh Japra thanked the generous support of the sponsors, members, media and the immense contributions of his team.

Vidya Sethuraman

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