Vaishnav Temple in New York celebrates India’s 74th Republic Day

Attendees and organizers at the Jan. 29, 2023, Republic Day of India celebration, unfurling the flag at Vaishnav Temple in New York. Photo: Vijay Shah, Vaishnav Temple

The Vaishnav Temple of New York, Inc, (VTNY), the first traditional ‘Pushtimargiya’ temple in North America, established in December 1986 under the leadership of the late Dr. Arvind Shah, celebrated the 74th Republic Day of India Jan. 29, 2023. Close to 300 people attended.

The Chief Guest was Dr. Bobby Kalotee, the chairman of the Nassau County Commission on Human Rights, and Town Clerk of North Hempstead Ragini Srivastava.

The event was sponsored by devotees Dr. Pratix Shroff and his family, who are devoted Vaishnavs and longtime supporters of the temple.

Dr. Pratix Shroff was event’s sponsor of Republic Day of India at VTNY, addressing the gathering Jan. 29 2023. Photo: Vijay Shah, VTNY

The event started with an Indian and American Flag parade with all the dignitaries, trustees, and executive committee members of VTNY and Gujarati Samaj of New York, GSNY, and fellow Indians joining the march.

Dr. Bobby Kalotee and Mrs. Ragini Srivastava presented Citation to Dr. Parag Mehta, Jan. 29, 2023 Republic Day of India celebrations at Vaishnav Temple New York. Photo: Vijay Shah, VTNY

Kumar Mathuria, secretary of VTNY welcomed everyone. Jaymin Shah, president of VTNY, Anil Shah, chairman of VTNY, Harshad (Pakaji) Patel, president of GSNY and Co-Chairman of VTNY, Diyesh Tripathi, program manager of GSNY and Jignesh Gandhi, joint secretary of VTNY introduced and felicitated the sponsor and chief guests of the event.

All the senior members of VTNY and GSNY along with the dignitaries came on stage for the flag unfurling ceremony under overseen by Champak Parikh and his son Bharat Parikh.

The American National Anthem was sung by Avantika Shah, followed by singing of Vande Mataram, Flag Hoisting by the dignitaries, Rashtra Dhwaj salami and singing of the Indian National Anthem Jana Gana Mana by everyone.

Kalotee and Srivastava presented citations and recognized members of the community for their service.

Youth attendees performed patriotic songs and dances including students of Gujarati Class of VTNY. The program was choreographed by Vaishali Shah and Arya Dance Academy led by Shilpa Zurani along with performance by kids choreographed by Sonal Shah and a performance by Prachi Shah.

The members of the Karaoke group of VTNY  sang a medley of patriotic songs that dwelt on sacrifices of the Indian freedom fighters and leaders of India’s independence movement, and highlighted India’s heritage and culture.

The celebration concluded with an update on future events of VTNY provided by Jt. Secretary Jignesh Gandhi and update on future events of the Senior Community Center of VTNY provided by the President Chandrakant Shah. A vote of thanks was conducted by Divyesh Tripathi, the program manager of GSNY and Kumar Mathuria, the secretary of VTNY.



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