Grand celebration of R-Day in St Louis

Speakers at the celebrations
Indian Association of St Louis celebrating Republic Day with dignitaries

ST LOUIS: India Association of St. Louis celebrated the 69th Republic Day of India on January 28 in a grand manner at Mahatma Gandhi Cultural Center of St. Louis.
Besides members of the Indian community, there were special guests who graced the occasion. Over 100 children participated in flag hoisting ceremony. Both American and Indian national flags were hoisted on the stage by the children singing both national anthems.
There were four chief guests who graced the occasion and were introduced by Sreenu Dandamudi, the commissioner at administrative hearing. They were Judges Judy and George Draper, state representative Dean Plocher and businessman and aspiring county executive Mark Mantovani.
Krishna Rao Moharir, President of India Association gave the welcome address, reminding all present of the significance of the Indian Republic day and how it differs from Independence Day. He stressed the importance of keeping in touch with the motherland and observed that India endured as the largest democracy all these years due to the sound constitution.
Keynote address was delivered by Ram Lakshmanan, a Banking consultant and also an acclaimed Mrudangist. He is a dedicated volunteer in the Hindu temple of St. Louis. In his address he stressed on the importance of volunteerism and helping people in need. While emphasizing that sentiment, particularly to the children, he said that dedicated unselfish work would build a sound character. He gave various ways by which young and old can service the society.

Speakers at the celebrations

Jude Judy (Associate Circuit Judge) stressed the importance of having more members of the Asian community on the bench. The fact that most of the immigrant Indians has great achievements makes it obligatory that they should be more informed of the judicial administrations in Missouri, so that more of the next generation can be officers of Law.
Judge George Draper, the justice of Supreme Court of Missouri, talked about how the justice system works. He stressed upon the importance of impartial justice system, which will be endangered if there is no participation from public.
State representative Dean Plocher congratulated the Indian community for an excellent organization and mentioned the importance of a sound constitution. The business man and also active individual in county administration stated that the Missouri State administrative systems have several faults. He suggested ways to fix them with the help of the immigrant Indian community.

The chief guests were highly complementary to the Indian community and were happy to see so many children participating in the event. Patriotic songs were sung by local community members and refreshments were served at the end of the function. The program lasted over two and half hours.

Dr. Rathna Sri Mogalaapu served as the master of ceremony for the event. Other members of the Board of Directors of the India Association are Sanjeev Rao Chintakunta (president elect), Vijaya Lakshmi Buddhiraju (Treasurer), Sharath Rao (Secretary), Sendil Rathina Sabhapathi, Mrs. Meera Jain, Venkat Pulumati, Haridas Kartha and Vijaya Bhutaria.

Ashwin Patel

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