A Dazzling Display of Patriotism and Festivities at the FIA Chicago Republic Day Gala Banquet

Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India in Chicago, FIA official and invited dignitaries at the lighting of the lamp
Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India in Chicago, FIA official and invited dignitaries at the lighting of the lamp

CHICAGO, IL (TP): Federation of Indian Association (FIA), Chicago celebrated the 67th Republic Day of India, followed by a Gala Banquet, with traditional enthusiasm and fervor, on January 26th, 2016 at Shalimar Banquets, 280 W North Ave, Addison, IL. The presence of over 750 persons at the celebrations, despite the freezing cold, demonstrated their deep sense of patriotism for their motherland. The singing of the National Anthem of India was followed by the traditional lighting of lamp by the FIA Executive Committee, Trustees, and the dignitaries.

Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India in Chicago, who was the Chief Guest, said that India has emerged as the country with the fastest economic growth and, about two decades later, it will have the world’s largest economy. He added that India’s triumphs will bring in their wake multiple beneficial outcomes not only for India but also for the entire world.

Dr. Sayeed stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visits to different countries will be greatly instrumental in taking them along and making a collective effort for bringing about peace, progress, and prosperity, across the globe. “His recent historic stop over at Lahore was a big leap forward in achieving this cherished goal which received huge admiration by world leaders and statesmen alike”, he added.

“In the domain of education the achievements of India are spectacular. In another 10 years’ time, educational institutions of India would churn out about 200 million graduates, who, on account of their fresh vision and great enthusiasm, would, in turn, make a breathtaking contribution to the development not only in India but also across the globe”, Dr. Sayeed said.

Dr. Sayeed said that India, despite the huge diversity in terms of 22 official languages, 2000 dialects, multiple religions, different cultures across 29 States and 7 Union Territories, from Kanya Kumari to Kashmir and Gujrat to Assam, has been united in its pursuit of its national goals.

Dr. Sayeed said that the 3.2 million-strong Indian-Americans, who are one of the wealthiest and best-educated communities in the US, have made a phenomenal contribution to the economy of the US.

Debra Silverstein, Alderman of the 50th Ward of the City of Chicago paid rich tributes to Indian-Americans for their amazing contributions in improving the safety, beauty, and economic strength of the 50th Ward.

Debra’s husband, Ira Silverstein, Democratic member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 8th district, thanked the Indian-Americans for their wholehearted support in successfully sponsoring a number of Bills and initiating people-friendly projects.

Judge Anthony E. Simpkins said that India’s unity in diversity should be a source of inspiration for different countries, across the globe, in their search for the ways and means for peaceful coexistence.

Congressional Candidate Raja Krishnamoorthi said that he is proud of the positive work ethics, spirited values, vibrant culture, and inspiring traditions of India. He solicited voluntary services and precious votes of people for his victory in his campaign for the US Congress and assured them of his committed services as their representative.

Niranjan Shah, Chairman & CEO, Globetrotters Engineering Corporation and FIA Trustee, who was the Guest of Honor, called upon people to shun their pessimistic and negative attitude and advised them, instead, to look at the skyrocketing growth made by India since gaining independence in 1947.

Bharat Barai, Trustee and Past FIA President said that, under the enlightened stewardship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is emerging as one of the world super powers.

Minhaj Akhtar, President, said that the top priority of the newly-elected Executive Committee of the FIA, Chicago would be to achieve the twin-objectives of not only empowering the Indian-Americans to realize their American dream but also to preserve their unique culture and heritage.

The Republic Day event inspired me to create unity within the community during my tenure as President of FIA, Akhtar added.

Akhtar said that the event had a human dimension too and added that the donations made by people will be used to support the victims of the recent torrential rains and massive flooding which devastated Chennai and surrounding areas in the State of Tamil Nadu. Syed Hussaini, Vice President, Wintrust Community Bank, who was the Chair of the Gala Banquet, said that his Bank has been sponsoring the events of the FIA, considering the fact that it represents the true face of Indian-Americans.

Nakul Chand of Air India, one of the sponsors of the event, said that in 1990 the Indian Government airlifted over 1,70,000 Indians from Kuwait with help of 488 flights in just 59 days, which is considered to be the largest air evacuation in the history of mankind. “Air India, thus, entered into Guinness Book of World Records for the civil airline that had evacuated the most people till date. This daredevil mission has been effectively showcased in the recently-released Bollywood blockbuster, “Airlift”, he added.

Dr. Sayeed and Niranjan Shah presented an award, on behalf of the FIA, to Wintrust Community Bank as the Best Financial Institution, which was received by Syed Hussaini. In addition, award was presented to Gulam Mustafa known as Faheem as the best community supporter. He is the owner of Shalimar Banquet, Hollywood Trendz and Eyebrows Designer 21. He donated banquet for the event. Masood Shaikh as the best event organizer. He arranged delicious dinner for all the attendees at the event without any cost. He is owner of Bombay Grill Lombard, IL. An award was also presented to Ravi Harsoor as the Best Community leader, He is a great supporter of FIA Chicago.

A multifaceted entertainment program, presented by trained professionals, was one of the highlights of the event. Mudra Dance Academy presented two dance items, “Pushpanjali” by Suzan Abraham and “Thilana” by Pooja Thakkar. The dancers and their mentor, Krishnama Shah, were given a huge round of applause by the audience.

Sunny Gabhawala proposed a vote of thanks. He specially thanked Vinod Patel for his services as the banquet co-chair, Moneydart for their generous donation for Chennai, and representatives of the media, including TV Asia and Asian Media USA. The vote of thanks was followed by sumptuous dinner.

Sanhita Agnihotri conducted the proceedings of the event with a professional touch.

The event was sponsored by Win Trust Community Bank, Globe Trotters, Bombay Grill Lombard, Eyebrow Designer 21, Hollywood Trendz, and Shalimar Banquet.

(Photographs and Press release by: Asian Media USA)
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