The “Indian American Festival” hosted by the Indian American Friendship Council (IAFC), on May 4, 2019, in Dallas, Texas, with a theme of “Merge into the Mainstream” was a grand success that was well attended by over 3,000 people.
It was an evening of family, fun and entertainment comprising many kids’ activities like Petting Zoo, Pony Rides, Mehandi, Face Painting, Bounce House, Stilt Walkers, Balloons giveaway, according to a press release.
Kids enjoyed thoroughly running around with tricolor Indian and US Flag balloons hopping from one booth to the other to enjoy various activities. More than 500 Indian American youth enthralled audience showcasing their dance skills in Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Oddissi, folk, classical and semi-classical dance items.
American youth from Coppell High School band captivated the audience by playing different musical instruments. US Senator Ted Cruz presented commendation certificates to all the participants.
Kranthi Kumar, known as “Drillman of India”, who participated in America Got Talent and also stood as a semi-finalist in Spanish Got Talent was a star attraction at this event by exhibiting his adventurous skills like breaking green coconut with index finger, drilling his nose with a drill machine without having any trace of blood, drinking boiling oil with his both hands, inserting 32 long swords into his throat, hitting nail on a wooden plank using only his forehead, and many more scary acts.
IAFC President Dr. Prasad Thotakura and Board of Directors felicitated Kranthi Kumar and bestowed him with “Saahasa Veera” award for his extraordinary skills. IAFC Board of Director Ranna Jani coordinated cultural events efficiently with the help of Master of Ceremonies Rajeswari Udayagiri, Aparna Vamsi and Anjana Jayanthi. Tanveer Arora, a renowned stand-up comedian, entertained audience with his comedy bits.
Senior Democrat, US Congress member Eddie B. Johnson, Chief Guest of Honor, in her message said, “USA is a melting pot and a land of opportunity for immigrants. There is no place for discrimination in this country, I applauded the contributions of the Indian Americans for the economic growth of the USA especially to the state of Texas. I appreciate the initiative taken by IAFC to host this important major event.”
Texas State Senator Jane Nelson brought a proclamation from Texas State Senate declaring May 4th as “Indian American Day”. Texas State Congressmember Terry Meza also read a proclamation from the Texas State House of Representatives lauding the efforts of Indian American Friendship Council in building better and stronger relations between the largest and oldest democracies India and USA.
Texas State Representatives Julie Johnson and Matt Shaheen in their remarks encouraged Indian Americans to participate more actively in US policymaking process. Indian descents Jay Chaudhuri, who recently got elected as North Carolina State Senator and Manka Dhingra, Washington State Senator, narrated the process of getting into mainstream political system and the importance of working hand in hand with mainstream to make a difference.
Anurag Kumar, Minister, Community Affairs, Indian Embassy, DC reiterated the pivotal role of Indian Americans to play in strengthening ties between India & USA. Coppell city Councilmember Biju Matthew, Coppell city Police Chief Danny Barton and Coppell city superintendent Brad Hunt attended as Special Guests of Honor.
Thotakura emphasized that “the unified voice of millions of Indian Americans makes significant impact in the community. It is important to merge into the mainstream while preserving our cultural heritage with active involvement and engagement. As the more educated, affluent, law abiding US Citizens, we certainly can make a big difference.”
Rao Kalvala, IAFC Board of Director, oversaw the Voter Registration Drive initiated by IAFC at this event.
Raja Krishnamoorthi, US Congress member, Padma Kuppa, Michigan State Representative, US Senator John Cornyn and US Senator Ted Cruz sent video messages appreciating the decades of service of IAFC.
The event ended with a big fanfare of colorful firewroks show.
The event was organized by Thotakura, and the IAFC Board of Directors – John Hammond, Rao Kalvala, Taiyab Kundawala, Dr. C.R. Rao, Piyush Patel, Murali Vennam, Dr. Sat Gupta, Ranna Jani, Ramki Chebrolu and Prof. Niranjan Tripathi.