CHICAGO, IL: It’s a New Year for all and a new era, “Amrit Kaal” for all Indians & Indian Diaspora proclaimed by Hon. Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi and it’s also women empowerment time in FIA-Chicago, where President 2023 Mrs. Vinita Gulabani, along with Chairman and Founder President Mr. Sunil Shah paved the way for a wonderful beginning of the year, creating a golden benchmark with their first FIA-Chicago Event for the year 2023, which was nothing short of a Bedazzling, Enthralling, Grand, Royal celebrations for India’s 74th Republic Day, fit to honor motherland India’s glorious rich history and current advances as an emerging global power! FIA Chicago hosted the 74th Republic Day, on Jan 29th, 2023 at Chicago Marriott Northwest, Hoffman Estates, IL.
About 400 plus guests attended this most happening, most mesmerizing event of the year so far! And FIA Chicago is indebted to the generosity of the Grand Sponsors of the Event, the famous Ghoman Brothers, Amarbir Singh Ghoman and Harsharan Singh Ghoman, the proud owners of Chicago Marriott Northwest, IL, who welcomed Team FIA and all the guests with open arms and left no stone unturned in their warm hospitality. Another Grand Sponsor of the event, Mr. Chintan Patel, owner of INDIACO greatly supported the event and FIA-Chicago greatly appreciated their generosity.
The FIA would like to express our gratitude to the sponsors for the event, Orochem (Anil and Asha Oraskar, Vinakom (Ketu Amin), IT Experts US (Harry mohan), SNT Biotech (Ninad and Shital Daftari), Rely Services (Neil khot) , Crossroads Animal Hospital (Dr. Bhupinder Beri), SSS Entertainment, Hollybolly Unlimited (Sunil Shah and Family), Indian American Business Council (Ajeet Singh), Manish And Shailja Gandhi, Strike Ten (Dhitu Bhagwakar), World’s Money Exchange Inc (Anil Shah), Chicago Cardiology (Dr. Doshi), Inter-Continental Trading USA Inc, Bhatt Foundation (Hitesh And Kim Bhatt), Rgl (Aishwarya and Rajiv Sharma), Dimples Beauty Salon (Hitesh and Dimple Gandhi), Pranacare Pharmacy (Hansal Patel), India Foodie Lounge (Yagnesh Patel), XDC Global (N Nagasubramium Iyer(Subbu)), SR International (Rita and Sanjeev Singh), Nalanda Educational Foundation (Pradeep Shukla and Team), Innovative Consulting Solutions, LLC, Gardi, Haught, Fischer & Bhosale Ltd (Hiten Gardi), Ashima Washington, HMSI (Anil Loomba), Standard Homecare (Syed Husseini), Blue Sky Innovation – Sanjiv Gulati, Krishna IAA Insurance Group, Cosmic Consulting Group (Chandini Duvuuri). FIA-Chicago is very thankful & grateful to all our supporters & sponsors for making this event a GRAND success, which was truly an unparalleled, unsurpassed & transcendent event because of their generous support.
The event was well attended by dignitaries: Chief Guest, Consul General Chicago Hon. Somnath Ghosh; Guest of Honor, U.S. Representative for Illinois’s 8th congressional district Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi; other special guests Michelle Mussman, State Representatives of the 56th district; Tom Dailly, President Schaumburg Village; William Duncan McLeod, Mayor of Hoffman Estates, IL; Rodney S. Craig, Mayor & President- Hanover Park, IL; Gopal Lalmalani, Mayor & President- Oakbrook, IL; Dr. Suresh Reddy, Trustee Oakbrook Village; Vandana Jhingan, Bureau Chief TV Asia; Kevin Morrison, Cook County Commissioner; Khaja Moinuddin, Hanover Park assessor; Swapnil Shah, Hollywood Actor; Susan Mendoza, Illinois State Treasurer. Apart from showing unstinting support to the FIA, to show solidarity and support for FIA-IL, many prominent community leaders were present on the stage including Dr. Bharat Barai, Vandana Jhingan, Meghna and Krishna Bansal, and Karl Kalra.
The evening started with a social hour with Raju Bankapur playing melodious tunes enthralling the audience with nationalistic fervor organized by Anu Malhotra.
The main event began with Sonia Luthar opening the event thanking the attendees and inviting Chandini Duvuuri and RV Reddy to host the initial segment. They thanked the attendees, outlining the importance of Republic Day. Chandini and RV Reddy then spoke about the FIA theme and its achievements and community service in the recent past. They invited the FIA Chairman and Founder President Sunil Shah on Stage. Sunil Shah welcomed and thanked everyone for their presence. He outlined the important achievements and community service that the FIA provides. Shah in his closing remarks, spoke,” Freedom in our Heart, Pride in our Soul, Purity in our Blood, Let us Salute our Motherland India!!”
Sunil Shah then invited Past President Rita Singh to host the next segment. Rita Singh invited Current President Vinita Gulabani on stage, Vinita spoke of the pride that Indians exude all over the world. She spoke of the institutions that keep India safe and the sacrifices of the armed forces personnel that enables the general population to live without fear in the country. She spoke of the progress the country has made in its Amrit Kaal over the years, whether it’s the local Indian populace in India or people who left the country and made other countries home.
Rita Singh then called Past President Hitesh Gandhi and Founder and Past President Onkar Sangha on stage.
Then the American National Anthem was sung by Jenish Bulsara and the Indian National Anthem by the group of singers Manmeet Kaur, Geetanjali Maru, Jeetendra Bulsara, Ravi Thokala, Swapnil Sahu, and Mani Tellapragada.
This was followed by a Prayer dance choreographed and performed by Pika Munshi( RK Dance Academy), and a Patriotic dance Choreographed by Pika Munshi, and the participants included Diya Talati Kavya Shah, Veda Mehta, Harini Patel, Shayna Shah, Kavya Parikh.
Rita Singh then welcomed the Chief Guest, the Consul General of India Chicago Mr. Somnath Ghosh to the stage to address the gathering. He outlined the importance of Republic Day and the leap India has taken under the current leadership in all sectors and the improvement in India’s image worldwide. He thanked the Indians living in the United States of America for further showing the locals that the Indians living in this country have a very positive image.
Guest of Honor, U.S. Representative for Illinois’s 8th Congressional District, Hon. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi then took the stage and in his inimitable style addressed the gathering.
Rita Singh then invited Executive Vice President Shital Daftari to co-host the next segment. In continuation of a long-cherished tradition, the lamp lighting ceremony took place by Shital Daftari calling prominent personalities who attended the event on stage namely Chief Guest, Consul General Chicago Hon. Somnath Ghosh; Guest of Honor, U.S. Representative for Illinois’s 8th congressional district Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi; other special guests Michelle Mussman, State Representatives of the 56th district; Tom Dailly, President Schaumburg Village; William Duncan McLeod, Mayor of Hoffman Estates, IL; Rodney S. Craig, Mayor & President- Hanover Park, IL; Gopal Lalmalani, Mayor & President- Oakbrook, IL; Dr. Suresh Reddy, Trustee Oakbrook Village; Vandana Jhingan, Bureau Chief TV Asia; Kevin Morrison, Cook County Commissioner; Khaja Moinuddin Hanover Park assessor; Swapnil Shah, Hollywood Actor; Susan Mendoza, Illinois State Treasurer. Other organizations, supporting including but not limited to: Mr. Hema Kanuru, TANA: Telugu Association of North America, Mr. Hanumanth Reddy, ATA: American Telugu Association, Narender Reddy Chemarla ATS: American Telangana Sanghan, Mr. Madan Pamulapati NATS: North American Telugu Society, Mr. Rambhupal Khandula NATA: North American Telugu Association, Mr. Hari Raini NRIVA: NRI vasavi Association Mrs. Preeti Reddy TDF: Telangana Development Forum, Mr. Hema Chandra Naidu TTA Tri-State Telugu Association, Mr. Parameswara Reddy Yarasani. TTA Tri-State Telugu Association Mr. Gowri Shankar Addanki CAA: Chicago Andhra Association, Mr. Nambi Nambiv, Tamil Sangam, Mr. Malla ReddyBokka IAGC: Indian Association of Greater Chicago, Mr: Kishore Channabasavaiah, Kannada Kuta Association, President: Anto Anthony. Kerala Association of Chicago, President: Rajinder Mago Punjabi Association, Girish Kapoor, United Punjabi Association, Mr. Debasis Chatterjee, Bengali Association of Chicago Deepali Saraogi, North American Chattisgarh Association, President: Chandan Singh USOGC Uttarakhand Samaj of Greater Chicago, President: Anil Pattnaik, Orissa Association of Chicago, Nageswari Thota, American Progressive Telugu, Association:(APTA), and Maharashtra Mandal and She also Introduced and Invited the FIA Advisory Board, the Executive Board and the FIA Board of Directors.
The main highlight of the event was the FIA’s Annual Scholarship Program, where 5 meritorious needy students were selected to receive the scholarship award of $1000 each, selected by an independent academician Scholarship Judge, not affiliated with FIA-Chicago, Mr. Kiran Palla, founder and Chairman of AVS Academy and a recipient of the United States Presidential Service Award. Scholarship Sponsors: Pinky & Dinesh Thakkar, Dr. Asha & Dr. Anil Oroskar, Vini’s Salon- Vinita Gulabani, Dr. Usha Kartan, Chandini Duvuri, Heart Foundation – Sona Shah, Brij Sharma Powervolt, Anil Loomba (HMSI). The recipients of the scholarships were Diya and Dev Talati, Dhruv Syngol, K Darshan Thomas, and Gautami Palthepu, the 5th Recipient Anya Venkat was unavailable to come and collect the scholarship.
The emcees for the gala entertainment section were Richa Chand and Suchitra Kukreja.
The evening was filled with patriotic songs and colorful dance performances – Rajasthani Dance by the Saaz Dance group and the participants included Hinal Patel, Neela Aloor, Renuaka Nathan, Madavi Padamati, Patriotic Parade participants Diya Talati (Rani Jhansi), Kavya Shah (Ahilyabaiwhi De), Veda Mehta (Lal Bahadur Shastri), Harini Patel (KasturBa),Shayna Shah (Sarojini Naidu), Kavya Parikh (Sardar Vallabhbhai), Dev Talati (Mahatma Gandhi), Kavish Shah (Bhagat Singh), Rushabh Shah (Sardar Vallabhbahi Patel) and the Final dance – Jay Ho Patriotic dance choreographed by Falguni Rana, and the participants were Aanya Sullivan, Ria Sullivan, Samanvita Kulkarni, Vishrudha Suvithaa, Aavi Krishanmoorthy, Sruthilaya Poonguzhali.
A fine group of Singers entertained the audience with their singing style and gifted voice, namely, Manmeet Kaur, Geetanjali Maru, Jeetendra Bulsara, Ravi Thokala, Swapnil Sahu, Saanika Sahu, and Mani Tellapragada, mesmerized the audience with their melodious voice singing patriotic songs with nationalistic fervor.
The FIA would also like to thank the Emcees Rita Singh, Shital Daftari, Richa Chand, Suchitra Kukureja, Chandini Duvuri & RV Reddy who kept the audience engaged throughout the event, Neela Patel & Kamlesh Kapoor both were fantastic. Directors Vijay & Nilabh, and Hemendra did excellent work. Sonia Luther graciously opened the event & did wonderful work at registration. Music was provided by DJ Sanjay. Photography & Video by Asian Media USA Team and the delicious dinner was catered by Jigar’s kitchen.