NAFIA convention in Chicago next month

NFIA Convention Committee members: L to R Sohan Joshi Convener, Ms Vandana Jhingan and Kanti Patel Co-conveners

CHICAGO: An umbrella organization of scores of Indian associations across the country, National Federation of Indian Associations (NFIA), has announced holding its annual Convention in Chicago in middle October this year.
Sohan Joshi, the Convention Committee chair, said here that the three-day Convention commencing from Friday October 12 and ending Sunday October 14 will be held at Holiday Inn in Rolling Meadows and is expected to be attended by 125 delegates from across the country besides hundreds of members, guests and invited dignitaries from Chicago land and neighboring States of Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Talking to ethnic Indian media over lunch at Mysore Woodland restaurant on Devon Avenue here, he said that NFIA has as its members 150 associations of Indian origin representing close to 240,000 Indian Americans all over the country. “It is after a lapse of ten years that NFIA will be holding its Convention here and that it would be endeavor of the Convention committee to make it an affair to remember,” he said.
Briefing the media he said that the Committee has chalked out a crowded program for the three days beginning with dinner and cultural program on Friday, October 12; a banquet on Saturday 13 and lunch on Sunday October 13 interspersed with number of conferences related to health, investment, economic and social issues. “We would shun political issues of this country and back home India, and concentrate on issues that affect the community at large. Our main theme is Unity – unity among Indian Americans so that we pull our resources, energy and strength in addressing concerns and problems that affect us,” he said.
Citing specific concerns he touched upon recent shooting at Oak Creek Gurudwara near Milwaukee and observed that a unified community would be a bulwark against similar happenings in the future.

Other common issues relate to double taxation that Indian Americans face investing in India with IRS and the Indian government, immigration, health care, job discrimination, etc.
He said that efforts are afoot to have expert tax attorneys here and back home India addressing a tax and Investment seminar at the conference which is also expected to be attended by bankers and government officials. Vandana Jhingan, a co-convener, said that “we will be inviting a number of elected officials in the State including Congressmen, Senators, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Mayors.” She said that the Indian Minister for Overseas Affairs Vyalar Ravi, is likely to attend the Convention besides a number of State level officials and ministers from India
Sohan Joshi added that Bollywood celebrity Rekha is most likely to attend and so also Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Ghelot. “We will leave no stone unturned to make this event a grand success unlike the one that was held a decade ago,” he said.
Kantilal Patel, a Trustee and a former president of FIA is also a Co- Convener.
He observed that all round efforts will be made to get all Indian associations and groups to get involved in the Convention as the main theme is “Unity among Indian Americans.” He mentioned “a breakaway FIA group would be approached to foster unity in our community.”
The NFIA Executive Committee consists of President, Lal K Motwani, Executive Vice President Anil Yadav, Vice Presidents M. Anirudhan, Ashok Madan, Kirit K.Patel, Secretary Sachin Amin, Joint Secretary Satish Misra, and Treasurer Chandrakant K Patel.
Directors-At-Large Ajoy K Dube, Niranjan Patel, Olahan Poulose, Rajeshwar Prasad, Harihar Singh, Lavanya Reddy, Gulshan Bajaj. Executive Directors are Joydeb Roy and Sudip Gorakshakar.

Ramesh Soparawala
India Post News Service

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