NEW YORK – The National Council of Asian Indian Associations (NCAIA), along with other local community organizations, held a grand ceremony to celebrate the 69th Republic Day of India at Eleanor Roosevelt High School Auditorium in Greenbelt, Maryland on Saturday, January 27.
Among those who attended include Vinod and Sarala Prakash of India Development and Relief Fund, Vinod and Sudarshan Goel, Raj Mallick, Gita Shah, Indian Embassy Head of Chancery Mridu Malaya Das, Convener and Chairman of National Council of Asian Indian Associations Er Shreekanta Nayak, Vice Chairs Satish Korpe and Adapa Prasad, President of FIA Satish Satish Mishra, Representative of Sanskrootee Bharatee Foundation Achrya Shankar, who came from India, the governor of Maryland, the Senate Majority Leader, Prince George’s County Executive, and some U.S. Senate and House Representatives.
The ceremony began with the singing of “Vande Mataram” by Lipishree Nayak after which the lamp lighting ceremony took place followed by the singing of the national Anthems of both the U.S. and India.
Shreekanta Nayak emphasized the fact that although we live in the U.S., we are still connected with our roots which we pass them on to the next generation by teaching them that we learned and gathered while growing up in India.
Nearly 380 children performed classical, folk and Bollywood dances while Lipishree Nayak sang some patriotic songs. A music and dance performance lasted around four hours. The entire program was skillfully presented by Manas Samantray and Subharekha Nayak.
On completion of the cultural show, all the teachers and performers were felicitated with individual trophies sponsored by Sanskrit Bharati Foundation and mementos were distributed by Gita Shah, Raj Mallick and Lipishree Nayak.
Several distinguished Indian Americans were recognized for their lifetime achievement and service for the community on this glorious occasion. This included Dr. Vinod and Sarala Prakash of India Development & Relief Fund, for 30 years of dedicated service to the downtrodden in India; Dr. Vinod & Sudarshan Goel for promoting Indian news, views and music through Bibidha Bharatee for four decades; Dr. Raj Mallick at 95 years of age for community philanthropic activities for over six decades and Dr. Gita Shah, MD, for her experience over four decades in healthcare services.
The vote of thanks was delivered by Er Manasa Samantaray at the end of the trophy distributions.
The grand event ended with a complimentary community dinner catered by Nataraj Restaurants and Caterers.