Stamford, CT Mayor David Martin hosted the 73rd Indian Independence celebration at the Stamford Government Center, on August 17, 2019.
The Connecticut Chapter of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO-CT) organized the event. Consul Vipul Mesariya from the Indian Consulate was the chief guest who delivered the Independence Day message emphasizing the importance of India’s independence and its adoption of democracy. He also complimented the role played by GOPIO and the Indian American community in cementing better Us-India relations.
The program began with the singing of a patriotic song, followed by a welcome address given by GOPIO-CT President Anita Bhat who gave an account of what GOPIO-CT is doing for the community and the local society. She described the many flagship events the organization organizes every year, according to a press release.
“Our mission at GOPIO-CT is to be active participants in the local community through involvement in community events and local politics, and by providing services to the Indian community at large here in Connecticut,” she said.
Bhat then introduced Martin, who issued a proclamation and spoke on the diversity of the City of Stamford and said it enriched the whole city. Others to speak at the event included Connecticut Attorney General William Tong and State Senator Carlo Leone. Both congratulated the community for its success and thanking for its contribution to Connecticut.
In his proclamation Mayor Martin said that the Indian Independence was marked largely by non-violent resistance and civil disobedience and the Independence Day is celebrated by the Indian Diaspora worldwide. The proclamation further noted that Stamford city will honor Indian community which is an integral part of city’s diversity, success and great future.
After remarks by the honored dignitaries, brief entertainment of music, presenting a community service award and recognizing high school graduates everyone went to the street for the flag hoisting.
The Independence Day Liberty Award 2019 Recipient for Service to GOPIO-CT and Community Causes was given to Pradeep Govil, who has served as a Board Member and the Executive Vice President of GOPIIO-CT for several years. He is Program Manager at the world’s largest semiconductor company ASML. He has received over 21 patents and published numerous articles in international journals. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Fairfield University since the early 90’s.
Later in the day, the nearby Mill River Park in Stamford wore a festive look as Indian Americans gathered in large numbers to celebrate India’s 73rd Independence Day with an annual India Festival. Many attendees were dressed in colorful traditional Indian attire, with melodious music from the popular Bollywood world, dances depicting the wide variety of Indian culture, kite flying, spicy Indian cuisine, and colorful booths decorated with Indian dresses and face art.
“The India Festival in Stamford, CT is a tribute to a strong and vibrant Indian-American community that has excelled in almost all areas of life in this adopted nation of ours,” Dr. Thomas Abraham, Founder President and chairman of GOPIO International, who is also a Trustee of GOPIO-CT, said.
The celebration sponsors were First County Bank of Fairfield County and Wadia Associates of New Canaan, CT.