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FIA’s grand kick-off to herald I-Day fiesta

CHICAGO, IL – The Federation of Indian Associations-Chicago (FIA) hosted a grand kick-off to herald the exciting festivities hosted in celebration of the 72nd Indian Independence Day on April 29 at the Holiday Inn in Skokie, IL with the eminent attendance of several top-ranking elected officials, community and business leaders.

FIA president Dr. Sanhita Agnihotri, US Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Alderwoman Debra Silverstein, IL Senator Democratic Nominee Ram Villivalam lighted the lamp symbolizing an auspicious beginning to the festivities centered on the celebration of India’s Independence Day.

The lamp-lighting ceremony was joined by a host of FIA Trustees and the members of the Executive Board and Mayor of Lincolnwood Barry Bass.

Krishnamoorthi thanked the FIA-Chicago for helping maintain an enduring connect with motherland India and inspiring the spirit of ardor for India as manifested in FIA’s grand celebrations of India Independence Day year after year with remarkable display of India’s growing preeminence.

Dr Agnihotri said FIA is robustly engaged in showcasing a much bigger and larger festive events centered on the celebration of India’s independence with crown jewel Grand Independence Parade & Pageantry taking the pride of place to be flagged-off on August 18 at Devon Ave & Western Ave at noon. On August 17 ahead of the Parade, FIA will hold a Gala Banquet at the Meadows Convention Center in Rolling Meadows, IL.

On August 15, FIA will host a colorful flag-hoisting ceremony complete with cultural dances and music on the Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago. Plans are under way to host India Independence Day Mela on Devon Ave on August 18 following the parade that showcases a grand musical and dance festival enhanced by India’s culinary fair.

Dr. Agnihotri asserted that the 2018 festivities will be seemingly spectacular and shall strive to showcase the ostentatious display of color, music, dance, costumes that identify with the spirit of modern, resurgent India. She is enlisting the support of the large burgeoning Indian American community to partner with FIA-Chicago to host these grand united celebrations.

FIA Trustee Iftekhar Shareef who has been declared as the 2018 Parade Chairman promised that FIA-Chicago will host a spectacular parade of all times replete with exciting additions and the grandness of the pageantry and will be unprecedented.

Babu Patel, Trustee Chairman, outlined the overview of FIA and its glorious history spanning over the past 38 years highlighting some of the historic milestones FIA proudly traversed.

Alderwoman Debra Silverstein of 50th ward that encompasses large Indian American community expressed great delight being associated with the FIA-Chicago and pledged unstinted support and cooperation of her office to help facilitate grand India Independence Day celebrations.

Keerthi Kumar Ravoori earlier introduced Congressman Krishnamoorthi. Ena Agnihotri emceed the kick-off and Executive Vice President Pradeep Shukla proposed a vote of thanks.

Others who participated included several of FIA’s leading Trustees and Board members besides Trustee Director Babu Patel, Sohan Joshi ([NFIA Chairman), Kanti Patel, Bhailal Patel, Ajai Agnihotri, Ranjit Ganguly, Keerthi Ravoori, Minhaj Akhtar, Harish Kolasani and Satish Dadepogu.

Vivak Khanna and Shaffeq Khwaja took the mantle of Gala Banquet as Chairperson, Ranjit Ganguly for Daley Center, Downtown event and Kanti Patel for Parade on Devon Ave.

Other prominent community leaders present included Dr Srinivas and Vilasini Ravnam, Maqsood Siddiqui, Anshul Sharma and Subash Bhatt.

For the media partner, Hemant Brahmbhatt attended the kick-off ceremony for Hi India Weekly Indian newspaper.

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