Four Dignitaries Attracts Unprecedented Crowd at India's 67th Independence Day Mela in San Fernando Valley
IALA never looked to whom they should nominate as the Grand Marshal.
Los Angeles, Aug. 17, 2013
Close to 8000-10,000 people came to celebrate India's 67th Independence Day function in Granada Hills Charter High School on Saturday, Aug 17. The function was organized by (IALA) India Association of Los Angeles ( San Fernando Valley).
There was overwhelming participation from the people who started coming at 4 PM for health check-up at health fair. Four physicians, two dietitians, three nurses and several volunteers greeted the patients who came for consultation or check-up. Lions Club provided a van fully equipped for eye check-up.
Cultural program started at 6 pm. This year, IALA did not repeat their last year’s mistake of bringing high ticketed 2nd rate Bollywood singer. Simar and Kavita reached out to local artists – and there were plenty – who entertained the audience uptill 10 PM.
The dignitary included India’s ambassador, Nirupma Rao, Consul General of India, N. Parthasarathi, Congressman Brad Sharman, District Attorney, Jackie lacey and several others representing local elected officials. Los Angeles County District Attorney JACKIE LACEY was sworn in as District Attorney on Dec. 3, 2012 and oversees roughly 1,000 lawyers, nearly 300 investigators and about 800 support staff employees.
“Various culture programs depicting India's thousands year old traditions and culture were showcased in the celebration,” Sunil Agarwal said. “Indian National Anthem was sang by three young girls Yashvi Agrawal, Ria Puri, & Pragya Gupta. American National Anthem was sang by twin sisters Rama & Rucha Kelkar. Crowd enjoyed various dances choreographed by famous Kathak dancer Rachna Upadhyay. and Bharatnatyam dancer Nalini Natrajan. Kathak Kala Kendra's students presented Tarana, Ganesh Stuti, and Rajathani Folk dance. Dancers from Shingarai School of Rhythm, Thalam School of Fine Arts, Electobattle, Chandam School of Dance and many more, mesmerized the audience by their wonderful dances. Kavita Ramchandani, Akshya Hari & various singers from LA's band Pacific Rhythm presented melodies to make whole evening musical.”
Sunil Agrawal conducted the Raffle and distributed prizes to the Raffle-winners. Raffle was sponsored by India Sweets & Spices and Emirates Airlines. A new young team of executives with good teamwork brought professionalism & enthusiasm to the organization, which was reflected in the successful completion of the event.
“ IALA is the only organization in Southern California which paid tribute to Gadar heroes at the 100th anniversary of Gadar Movement,” said Inder Singh who is founder of FIA and President of GOPIO. “ IALA brochure carried an article about the Gadar movement and the front page had photos of some leading Gadar heroes. Ironically, other three organizations which celebrated Independence Day in LA area, although were part of the Centenary Gadar celebration two months ago, did not even mention about Gadar movement in their entire program of India Independence Day.”
Vineet Puri of IALA spoke about the sacrifices of Gadar heroes and ambassador Rao paid rich tributes to the Gadar movement as the movement started by NRIs to free India from the British slavery.
Soon after 7 PM, when the dignitaries were seated on the stage, the crowd had jam-packed the mela grounds. Even the organizers were amazed at the tremendous turn-out. The food vendors had huge lines to serve their customers but ran out of food by 10 PM, some even earlier, and disappointed several Mela visitors. Vineet Puri said, “This Event marks a beginning of a totally new IALA, more energized & purpose driven than ever before.”
"We should all work together for the progress of India and the US," said Dr. Surinder Singh." We are calling for the unity among all the Indian community members, no matter from what region of India you come from, no matter what your language is, and no matter what your faith is, you must realize that you are an Indian."