CHICAGO: Naperville Indian Community Outreach(ICO) in association with City of Naperville and Indian Consulate will be hosting the second grand India Day Parade and celebration on August 14, 2016 (Sunday) to mark the 70th anniversary of India’s independence.
Announcing this at an ethnic Indian media press briefing, Krishna Bansal, the Outreach President said that they expect anywhere between 10,000 to 15,000 Several thousand people from Chicago and suburbs to attend the event which is being held in downtown Naperville. This event has the distinction of being the 2nd India Day Parade backed by any city in America, he added.
Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico and Consul General of India in Chicago, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, will be chief guests, Sunidhi Chauhan, Indian’s sensational singer will be the Parade Marshal.
The India Day Parade will serve as a showcase of India’s rich and diverse culture with estimated 100 parade entries, said Viral Shah,the Outreach Treasurer. Colorfully decorated floats organized by Indian cultural associations, local businesses and political organizations along with multiple colorful dance performers will be the highlight. Spectators will be treated to a rich variety of Indian cuisine, ethnic arts, apparel and jewelry.
The Parade will be followed by a concert with a top Bollywood singer from India, Sunidhi Chauhan and her troupe. It will be the first India Day in America with a concert of this kind with the free entry for everyone, Shah said.
The ICO is a non-partisan and a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and promote the cultural heritage and contributions of Indian Americans while promoting their integration in the growth of Naperville. Its chairman, Krishna Bansal, has been appointed by the Mayor of Naperville.
Bansal said that he and his team are excited to have the ICO organize this pioneering event. “Indian Americans are now a significant part of Naperville’s population, both in numbers and impact,” he said.
The community which has seen a dramatic growth since the nineties, now comprises of over 10 percent of the suburb’s total population. Moreover, with the recent influx of information technology workers and other professionals which is over 70 percent are first generation immigrants from India.
Several South Asian community leaders, restaurants, businesses and cultural organizations have come forward to support the event. While Ashfaq Syed, Member of the Organizing Committee said that among other dignitaries invited include the Governor, Senator, Congressman, State and Local elected representatives and prominent leaders of the Naperville community.
Nimesh Jani, board member ICO and leader of event logistics explained that parade will begin at Naperville Central High School in Naperville at 5 pm and end at Knoch Park, 724 S West St, Naperville where the celebration/concert will kick off. While providing outline of the event, he emphasized this to be an excellent opportunity for local businesses and groups to partner, participate and gain visibility.
The parade may be seen as a symbol of the rapid growth of the Indian American community in the Chicago suburbs. From 1990 to 2010, Indian-Americans became the largest Asian ethnic group in Illinois, according to data from the last census. Demographers and Indian community leaders say they expect that the figures will increase even more as highly educated Indians continue to fill jobs in the computer industry and change the face of the suburbs.
Ashfaq Syed pointed out that Naperville is home to more than 15,000 Indian-Americans, making it the suburb with the largest & growing population of the community in the area outside Chicago. Indian-Americans have been contributing greatly in the fields of business, medicine, information technology and as the leaders of large corporations.
Vinod Vashisth and Ashfaq Syed emphersized the importance of getting second generation Indian Americans to participate in this type of events. Vashisth further added, that in the last year India Day Parade, hundreds of second generation Indian Americans volunteered and this year the number should be still higher.
Ramesh Soparawala & Harish Rao