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Los Angeles, IALA Celebrates 72nd India Independence Day
Attended by Congressman Sherman, Consulate General of Sri Lanka Ms Swarna Gunaratne , representative of Consulate General of India Asit Datta

Los Angeles, Aug. 28, 2018
Sunil Agrawal// A.Gary Singh

The Independence Day of India, which is celebrated religiously throughout the Country on the 15th of August every year, holds tremendous ground in the list of national days, since it reminds every Indian about the dawn of a new beginning, the beginning of an era of deliverance from the clutches of British colonialism of more than 200 years. It was on 15th August 1947 that India was declared independent from British colonialism, and the reins of control were handed over to the leaders of the Country. India's gaining of independence was a tryst with destiny, as the struggle for freedom was a long and tiresome one, witnessing the sacrifices of many freedom fighters, who laid down their lives on the line.

On August 25th, thousands of people flocked to the beautiful ground of Birmingham Charter High School here in the San Fernando Valley to celebrate India’s 72nd Independence Day. Independence Day Celebration is a showcase of the real India where its rich heritage and cultural from different regions of India were presented by local talents on one platform.


The grand event, which has been organized by the India Association of Los Angeles (IALA) since 1999, attended by Congressman Sherman, Consulate General of Sri Lanka Ms Swarna Gunaratne , representative of Consulate General of India Asit Datta, LAUSD Board member Scott Schmerelson, AJC LA Interreligious-Intergroup Committee Co-Chairs Enid Lieber, many community leaders and thousands of people.

 Birmingham Charter High School's jazz band played various melodies to start the program. Ceremony started with flag hoisting and  national Anthems of the USA and India. 
 One of the IALA's founder Inder Singh  welcomed the audience in his address and touched upon the subject of growing friendship between the two great democracies of the world. IALA President Manmohan Chopra thanked everyone and said, “India Independence Day celebration is a great way to thank our mother land India where we born, and the mother in who's lap we are nurturing our dreams". The Guest of honor Congressman Sherman presented US flag to IALA president Manmohan Chopra, which was hoisted on Capitol Hall  and praised Indian Community's contributions in his address. He emphasized that India is the most important strategic and geopolitical partner for the United States and he is proud to work towards strengthening this relationship. Executive VP, Sunil Agrawal said "This event offers a family gathering where next generation of Indians learn, see, express, and feel their culture and tradition". 

Board of director Raman Chadha and Executive VP Sunil Agrawal emceed plaque ceremony to honor this year's sponsors. Congressman Sherman presented plaque to grand sponsor of the event Turkish Airlines, and gold sponsor Sundam Solar. Sundam Solar's Plaque was received by Asif Ansari, who was in Barak Obama's energy council. Congressman Sherman also presented plaques to other notable sponsors Sunil Agrawal, Vinod Manchhani, Robin Paik, Ranjit Joea, Satish Tomar, Iqbal Samra, Mukhtiar Khamboj, Wallis State Bank, HAB Bank, DJ Scorpio, Navdeep Singh, Prem Seem, LA City Department of Cultural Affairs, Kanaksinh Zala, Yogi Patel, Harbans Bawa, and Media partner TV Asia. 

 The event featured a grand cultural show presented by VP cultural Kavita Puri and her team. Indian songs, dance and other form of Indian arts by little ones, grownups and talented artists mesmerized the audience. Kathak dances,  Bharathnatyam, Folk dances, Ghoomar, Ras-Garba, Lavani dance, Bhangra, and many Bollywood numbers by various groups stole the heart of the audience by powerful performances.

 There were 65 booths with lots of variety consisting of fashion, food, Non-profits etc, put up by Parmesh Shah, and his team, attracted thousands of visitors where they shopped, eat and enjoyed colorful fair.

 Event's major attraction free health fair put up by VP health Deepi  Singh and Dr. Bama Sridhar, visited by thousands of valley resident to check up their health parameters and take guidance on their diet and nutrition. Free eye check for Lion's club was another feature of the Fair. Health fair greatly assisted by Shukla Sen, Malini Chetty, and many more volunteers.

 On this occasion of celebration, Congressman Brad Sherman and CG Sri Lanka Ms Swarana Gunaratne  sent their congratulatory messages to IALA, which was published in IALA’s annual booklet edited by Executive VP, Sunil Agrawal. This year IALA's magazine ran cover story, "India: Excelling in All Directions", which highlighted various accomplishments of India in last few years.

 Concluding the event, in his vote of thanks, IALA president Mr Chopra and Chairman Vinod Manchhani thanked all the dignitaries for their valuable time, sponsors for their support and contribution, and IALA executive team, Board of directors and volunteers for their hard work for making event memorable and successful. 
 Event was a great success, thoroughly enjoyed by thousands of audience with awe and appreciation and will be remembered by many.

 The IALA 2018 Executive Committee is comprised of 17 members: Manmohan Chopra, Sunil Agrawal, Aishveryaa Nidhi,  Manjeet Wahi, Raj   Thakkar, Kanaksinh Zala, Ramesh Bramharouthu, Kavita Puri, Nalini Natrajan, Robin Paik, Sunil Prabhakar, Parmesh Shah, Hema Chopra, Prem Seem, Yashpal Guru, Deepi Singh and Dr Bama Sridhar.