FIA-Chicago holds Independence Day of India gala and Flag Hoisting events  

FIA-Chicago’s Independence Day Gala at Waterford Banquet Hall, collage. PHOTO: courtesy FIA-Chicago

The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA-Chicago), founded in 1980, hosted an India Independence Day Gala Banquet at The Waterford Banquet Hall August 13,2023, and a Flag Hoisting ceremony at Daley Plaza-City Hall, Chicago.

The Waterford Banquet Hall was adorned with vibrant decor representing India’s national colors – saffron, white, and green – for the occasion. Traditional motifs and symbols showcased Indian culture and heritage. The venue featured displays depicting pivotal moments from India’s struggle for independence. A map of the Indian subcontinent, adorned with the tricolor and illuminated lighting, served as a prominent focal point. Tricolor decorations graced the banquet hall, and a special centerpiece reflecting Indian culture sat on a tricolor tablecloth.

The guest list was a testament to the diversity and inclusivity of India itself, featuring a mix of political leaders, foreign dignitaries, cultural icons, celebrities, diplomats, military officials, business leaders, academics, and representatives from various sectors. Notable attendees included Consul General of India in Chicago Somnath Gosh; Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, and Danny Davis, D-Illinois; Mafat Patel; Santosh Kumar; Vinod Gupta, and other prominent figures.

Special recognition was accorded to dignitaries from India, including Sambhaji Raje Bhosle, Adv Dr. A.P. Krishna Das, Zafer Baig, and Raj, to highlight India’s diversity and global contributions, a press release from FIA-Chicago (1980) said.

Trustees, including Bhailal M. Patel, Sunny Gabhawala, Kanti S. Patel, Kanti N Patel, Sohan Joshi, Iftekhar Shareef, and all Executive Committee members were present.

President Dr. Rashmi Patel in his speech, noted that this year FIA hosted and conducted many more community events than other years in the history of FIA.  Among the events it held were International Yoga picnic day, Meet and greet with CG Mr. Somanath Ghosh, created Women Power cell and FIA Youth Cell, and launched its new working website – FIACHICAGO2023.ORG. It will be celebrating Gandhi Jayanti as well as a OCI day. He also announced an AROGYA Day for community health education.

From left, Rajesh Patel, Iftikhar Sharif,Bhailal Patel Dr.Krishna Dar Sri Chatrapati Shambhaji Rajie, Dr Rashami Patel Kevin Antony, Zefer Beig, Nitin Patel, Hine Trdievi,Cecil Joseph at Flag Hoisting at Daley Plaza-City Hall Chicago. PHOTO: FIA-Chicago

At the Flag Hoisting held in Daley Plaza-City Hall Chicago, those present included President Dr. Rashmi Patel, Consul General Somnath Ghosh, and Sambhaji Raje Chhatrapati. It was a solemn event paying homage to India’s struggle for independence.

There was a vibrant Indian cultural segment at the Waterford Banquet Hall. Various performances included classical dance forms like Bharatanatyam and Kathak, as well as traditional folk dances; musical performances ranged from classical Hindustani music to modern Indian music genres. A special highlight was a medley of patriotic songs that played a crucial role during the independence struggle.

Several speakers delivered inspiring speeches and some mementos were presented to those present. The speakers delved into the progress India made since achieving freedom and the challenges that lie ahead. All the Trustees and the President of FIA-Chicago were honored for their contributions with special mementos presented by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas.

“Women Power cell and Youth cell worked very hard and assisted and conducted both the program very well,” organizers said in the press release.



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