FIA-Chicago hosts Indian Independence Day event  


Federation of Indian Associations Chicago team members Sunil Shah [Founder President and Chairman], Vinita Gulabani [President], Executive Board, Directors and Advisory Board members at the Sept. 15, 2023 India Day celebrations in Naperville, Illinois.
The Federation of Indian Associations, Chicago (FIA) hosted a celebration, “Ae Mere Watan” to commemorate India’s 77th Independence Day – Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav with September 15, 2023 at the state-of -the-art banquet hall in The Matrix Club, at Naperville, IL.

The event was attended by more than 550 people including the who’s who of the Indian community, according to a press release from Asian Media USA.

The FIA led by Founder President & Chairman Sunil Shah, and Current President Vinita Gulabani, Past President Neil Khot, Founder and Past President Onkar Singh Sangha and the entire Board of Directors conducted patriotic activities with an India centric program. That was followed by a musical extravaganza, the Sahir Ludhianvi Show, directed by Milind Oak and facilitated by Madan Kulkarni and produced by Niche’ entertainment during the second half.

A Bharat Natyam dance by Board member Bharatnatyam exponent and choreographer Pika Munshi, began the event.  Sunil Shah and Vinita Gulabani gave a welcome address.

Mayor of Oakbrook Larry Herman spoke at the event and presented awards, along with Shah and Gulabani. A Medal of Excellence and an Appreciation Certificate were presented to members of the FIA Team in a Recognition Ceremony.

The traditional lamp lighting ceremony was conducted. The American and Indian national anthems were presented by Samaira Bongale and Sahiba Sidhu respectively.

Chicago-based singer Nipa Shah sang Ae Mere Pyare Watan.  There was also a welcome dance performed by Team Laya, choreographed by Priyanka Parekh.

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, 2nd from left, along with FIA members and special guests, presenting awards at the Sept. 15, 2023, India Day event. PHOTO: Asian Media USA

“Because of the unforeseen circumstances we had to celebrate Independence Day in September. But the fervor, love for motherland & tribute to martyrs is not limited to one day, month but it’s to be celebrated every day,” Shah said in his speech, thanking team members of FIA, the board, as well as sponsors.

Dignitaries welcomed on the stage included Scott Wehrli, Mayor Naperville, followed by FIA Advisory Board: Aishwarya Sharma,  Ajeet Singh, Anil Loomba, Asha Oraskar, Bhupendra Beri,  Brij Sharma, Hitesh Bhatt, Jasbir Suga, Keerthi Reevori, Manish Gandhi, Nag Jaiswal, Pinky Thakkar, Pradeep Shukla, Suresh Bodiwala, Syed Hussaini, Vinoz Chanamolu,  Yogi Bhardwaj. The FIA Past Presidents were also invited and acknowledged: Sunil Shah, Onkar Sanga, Rita Singh, Dhitu Bhagwakar, Mukesh Shah, Neil Khot, Ninad Daftari, Gurmeet Singh, Hitesh Gandhi. All the organizations, including the State and Regional organizations were also appreciated for their participation and support.

Above and below: FIA Chicago members and special guests and attendees at the Sept. 15, 2023 India Day celebrations. ALL PHOTOS: Asian Media USA.

The FIA Community Leadership Awards were presented to: Vinita Gulabani, Chintan Patel, Pinkyben & Dinesh Bhai Thakkar, Santosh Kumar MAFS, Dr Asha Anil Oroskar with OROCHEM, American Dog Movie /Neil Khot, Rajeev Sharma, Dr Alamdar Badar, Jane Lee Remax, Venkat Talari, Eggholic Bhagyesh Patel & Lav Patel, Brij Sharma, Dr Bhupinder Beri, Sona Shah, Harry Mohan, Syed Hussaini, Ajeet Singh IABC, Manoj Mulki Rani Foods, Sanjay Vishnu Panjwani / All About Furniture, Global Eye – Dr.  Vijay Prabhakar, DABUR / BADSHAH- Rickie Singh.

FIA Appreciation awards were presented to FIA Team Members: Dhitu Bhagwakar, Mukesh Shah, Hemendra Shah.

Media Appreciation Awards were presented to: Desi Talk & Hi India, Vandana Jhingan, Suresh Bodiwala, Harry Sidhu, Prachi Jaitly and Phani Krishna.

A medley of patriotic songs was presented by the talented FIA singers: Pratibha Jairath, Geetanaji Maru, Jitendra Bulsara, Swapnil Sahu, Ravi Tokala.

The Grand Finale was the segment, Sahir – A Tribute to the legendary Bollywood poet & Lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi. The  show was directed by Milind Oak, narrated by Nachiket Devasthali and supported by singers Abhilasha Chellam, Rasika Ganoo and Dhawal Chandwadkar, along with their team of musicians.

The singers par excellence and Sahir team took to the stage after the dinner and enthralled the audience until midnight for almost three hours belting out the most famous and melodious Sahir songs. Everyone present praised the talented artists and said that they would love to come back and attend again! The FIA would like to thank all the vendors who set up booths and provided the food samples.

The Emcees to the event were Richa Chand, Anu Malhotra, Pratibha Jairath, Suchitra Kukreja and Chandini Duvuri.



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