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Federation of Indian American Associations of Southern California


Grand Celebration of India Republic Day By FIA of Southern California

Los Angeles, Jan. 26, 2009
By Dilip Butani

Federation of Indian American Associations of Southern California celebrated, in a grand way; India’s Republic Day, on January 25, 2009, at The Bombay Garden Restaurant.

The restaurant was overcrowded with Indian Americans, some of whom came all the way from Valley and San Diego areas. The restaurant hall was beautifully decorated.

The program started at 7:15 PM with Ganesh Shloka by Sunil Kansara followed by a poetry on India by Chairman Prakash Pancholi. Next was an hour long first session of live music by Amit Anand, Parul Shah and Party who entertained everyone with patriotic songs and Bollywood numbers.

The guests, that included Congressman Ed Royce, Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, Orange County Supervisor Chris Norby, Cypress Mayor Pro Tem Dr. Prakash Narain and Anaheim Councilmember Harry Sidhu, came around 8:15 PM.
As per the tradition, the formal function started with lamp lighting by the guests who were joined by the ex committee members. Both Ramesh Bhatt and Siddharth Pathak chanted the traditional Mantras. This was followed by the National Anthems of USA and India. Palak Pancholi played the US national anthem on violin, while everyone joined in singing the Indian National Anthem.

President Dilip Butani then welcomed the guests and in his brief speech said that it was on this day that the constitution of India came into force and India became a truly sovereign state. He then introduced his team and mentioned that each and every one had worked very hard for this function. He and Prakash Pancholi then invited the guests to speak. All the guests highly spoke about Indo-American relations and presented the Committee Members with certificates of recognition. A minute silence was observed in memory of the Nov 26 victims and brave officers & soldiers. The President and Chairman on behalf of the Executive Committee received City of Cypress recognition award from Dr Prakash Narain. Secretary Vishakha Purandare proposed vote of thanks.

The reception was followed by a cultural program put together by Kalaimamani Dr. Sinduri. The items included Pushpanjali performed by Vinaini Jayasinghe, Tthulashi, Rachel Kannampuzha, Susmitha Verghese followed by and Traditional Costumes of India by Sheryl Justine, Leah Sun, Gisel Kannampuzha, Beena Mathew, Christina John, Cynthia Sridhar, Sruthi Murali, Sai Dilip, Sriya Ponnaganti, Syama, Angali Mani, Sneha Verghese, Keerthana and Maria Lliz Jim,
Next was Vande Mataram by Vinaini Jayasinghe, followed by Bhangra by Nikhil, Sujay, Arjun,Rahul, Mohit, Ranjith and Sai Dilip. After that was a bollywood dance on the popular song Dance Pe Chance Maar De by Mansi Kansara followed by a song Nanha Muna Rahi Hoon by Vinaini Jayasinghe. Popular singer Shabari Girish also sang two songs.

After the cultural program the sponsors, media representatives and community leaders were honored and recognized. The sponsors honored were State Bank of India – Venkatesh Hegde, Sir Speedy printers-Jagjit Singh, Savithri Arts Academy-Dr Sinduri and Bombay Garden-Allen
Community leaders honored included Uka Solanki, Amrit Bhandari, Mohan Sharma, Raj Walia, Manu Patel, Ravji Patel, Joy Dhokia, Dr Jay Shah and Harshad Mody; while media included Gary Singh from NRI Press, Raj Nangia fromTV Asia, Riaz Khan and Snigdha Dwivedi from India West, Shashi Trivedi and J.S. Bedi from India Post, Amelia Mathews from India Journal and Tony from News Asia.
Others to be honored were Swami Sahajananda, Swami Jyotimayananda and Shri Sanjay Thakkar - the dynamic teacher’s trainer of RSVK who specially came from India to attend this function, Amit Anand, Nauzad Sadry, Khushi Sadry and Malati Baker, Divisional Manager of H & R Block. A special souvenir, sponsored by Sir Speedy, was also released.

After the award was second session of lively music by Ami Anand and party. Prakash and Payal Pancholi were the emcees and beautiful decoration was due to extraordinary efforts of Vishakha Purandare, Devna Shah, Atul Ghadiali, Kiki Urmila Purohit and Dr Chandra Shah. The function was followed by a sumptuous dinner and ended around 11:30 PM.

It was one of the best functions in recent times and an event to remember.




FIA- Indian


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