Governor’s presence lights up I-Day Celebrations & Parade

india wintrustSurendra Ullal

CHICAGO: The Fourth India Day Parade & Celebration on the occasion of India’s 72nd Independence Day organized by Indian Community Outreach (ICO) in Naperville on  Sunday August 12 turned out to be a huge success.  Thousands of Indian-Americans from all over Chicagoland and neighboring States and a large number of local residents participated. The rocking concert featuring Bollywood singing sensation Sukhwinder Singh was the icing on the cake.

Governor Bruce Rauner, Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, Consul General of India, Neeta Bhushan and Mayor Steve Chirico were the Guests of Honor at the event. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Congressman Peter Roskam, Congressman Bill Foster, State and local elected representatives and prominent leaders of Chicago and Naperville also graced the occasion.

The event proved to be a magnificent platform for India-Americans to display their talents in the domains of art, dance, music, and culture.  Over 100 booths presenting their products, health fair, an International food court, children’s park, and ethnic Indian bazaar attracted the attention of the spectators. A colorful parade with over 70 entries including 35 intricately decorated floats, sponsored by various community organizations, businesses and restaurants captured the imagination of one and all.ind dayattendees

The talent show included unique and energetic performances by the best and most brilliant dance groups of Chicagoland. The spectacular display of flair by Indian youth in music and dance left every one awe-struck. The winner of the talent show, UC Bhangra, led the parade and performed at the main stage in the evening.

The free Health Fair featuring specialists from different areas, screenings and blood drive was a biggest draw for the community members. The Autism awareness booth with specialists providing guidance was very much applauded. Kid’s area with free activities including bounce houses, petting zoo, educational activities, face painting, slime stations and much more were highly enjoyed by the children. Presence of US Military and their vehicle was as much an attraction.

Thousands of enthusiastic Indian-Americans and members of Naperville community lined the Grand Parade route waving flags of both the United States and India. The Parade showcased culture, dances and uniqueness from over 20 states of India and was aired live by many media outlets, including NCTV17 and TV Asia. The event concluded with magnificent fireworks.

indi day publicThe highly acclaimed Indian rock star singer, Sukhwinder Singh, set the stage on fire by rendering patriotic songs and a number of Bollywood hits. He kick-started the scintillating evening with the most unforgettable melodies.  The nonstop singing for over two hours and a fusion of the rare talent of Sukhwinder and the musical capabilities of his team mesmerized the audience.

Guest of Honor Governor Bruce Rauner said that the Indian-American community is an integral part of the US and it has been enriching the music, food, and dance of the US Midwest in a big way. He applauded Indian Americans for their worth-emulating contributions in a number of fields, especially Health Sector, Technology, Hotel Industry, Teaching & Research, etc.

Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico said that he was pleasantly overwhelmed to see the response of Indian-Americans to the celebrations and parade. He added that Indians are respected across the globe for their right attitude and positive work ethics.

CG Neeta Bhushan urged the Indian-Americans to keep contributing to the multifaceted development of India as well as USA. “In such diverse fields as technology, education, science, entrepreneurship, etc., Indian-Americans have been empowering both India and the USA to grow much stronger and dynamic”, she added.india day naper Chirco

Krishna Bansal, Chairman of the ICO, said that the Celebrations and the Parade were aimed at engaging Indian-Americans into mainstream fabric of Naperville. He stated, with a sense of pride that Naperville has emerged as one of the best places in the US Midwest to work and live. He added that many Indian-Americans, who own businesses, are not only looking to come to Naperville but also showing enthusiasm to get involved with the city as volunteers.

Governor Bruce Rauner presented the “Outstanding Service in Leadership Award” to Krishna Bansal for his distinguished service to the Indian American community in Illinois.

Chirag Jani, ICO Board Member and Co-chair of India Day and Viral Shah addressed the gathering.  ICO Treasurer Dinkar Karumuri thanked technology companies of Chicagoland for stepping up in supporting the event while providing local jobs to area residents. He also thanked a strong army of volunteers who contributed immensely to the success of the fourth India Day Parade & Celebration.

Krishna Bansal announced to be back next year on 11th Aug 2019 India Day and urged everyone to join the outreach efforts and encouraged to visit by call 630.300.0345 for more details.

india day naer lining upDave Vasudevan adds:

This event was made FREE for all by the generous contributions from a number of sponsors. The event proved to be a magnificent platform for the India-Americans to display their talents in the domains of art, dance, music, and culture.  Over 100 booths presenting their products, health fair, an International food court, children’s park, and ethnic Indian bazaar attracted the attention of the spectators.

Bollywood singer Sukhwinder Singh, who gained international fame for singing “Jai Ho” from the film Slumdog Millionaire which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, performed live at Knock Park. The park was filled with thousands of fans dancing merrily enjoying the evening.

The Grand Sponsors were Patel Bros. The   event Sponsors were Tech Companies of Chicago, and India Health Care Professionals. The Platinum sponsors were Wintrust Bank represented by VP Business Banking Shakeel Khan, New York Life, Accenture, Vinakom and Famous Liquors.  The Gold sponsors were Ashok Lakshmanan of PMSI leading Mortgage provider serving the community for over 17 years, Air India, Suga Builders, Power Volt, Spice Mart, MAFS, North Central College, Universal Metro Services and Arlington Rental. Followed by many Silver and Bronze Sponsors.

It is worth recalling that the commencement of India day celebrations was a very humble beginning in 2011-2014 as India Fest.  It was started by the Alliance of Midwest India Associations. The Alliance team included Prem Lalvani, Dave Vasudevan, M. Bhaskaran, and Suresh Khattar. Now it has grown into India Day festivities and the prime mover is the ICO team led by Krishna Bansal and the ICO team of Chirag Jani, Viral Shah, Dinkar Karumuri, Dharmesh Patel, Rahul Saigal, VC Vasisth and Vasavi Chakka.

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