Republic Day celebrated with launch of FIA’s new Scholarship Program!

FIA Sunil & Hitesh
FIA Sunil & Hitesh
FIA Team wirh Attendees
FIA Team wirh Attendees

India Post News Service

CHICAGO: The Federation of Indian Associations [FIA] Chicago, hosted its first signature event of the year 2022, Celebrating India’s 73rd Republic Day with great fervor  at Chicago Marriott Northwest, at Hoffman Estates, a Chicago suburb on January 29 2022. This limited seating event was broadcasted virtually via zoom and Facebook live adhering to the latest Covid 19 guidelines and Illinois  regulations. 

The event began with the emcees Richa Chand & Vinita Gulabani,  rending of the American National Anthem (by Nitya Rao) and the Indian National Anthem( by Ananya Ghosh). Sunil Shah Chairman and Founder of the FIA welcomed guests and invitees outlining vices provided by the FIA in the recent past during and after the pandemic. He also introduced the new team under the new president Hitesh Gandhi. He spoke of the plans for the new year and mentioned of FIA Chicago’s intent to commemorate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi addressed the audience expressing great joy and best wishes to Team FIA as well as the entire Indian community for the outstanding contributions.

Immediate past president Dr. Kamal Patel outlined the achievements of the FIA during his tenure last year as the outgoing president of the FIA and welcomed the new team led by Hitesh Gandhi. Onkar Sanga in his brief address congratulated the FIA for their achievements in the last year

Hitesh Gandhi the new president for 2022 outlined his plan for the new year. He listed out the activities and events that would take place during the year and thanked the FIA board for the trust that was shown in his ability to lead the FIA to greater heights in the new year.

FIA Raja K with FIA Team
Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (second from right) with Sunil Shah & Guests

The FIA Board was introduced and immediately followed by the traditional lamp lighting ceremony. The patriotic song “Ae Mere Watan Ke Logo” by Jitendra Balsara reminded everyone of the beautiful motherland India. The audience cheered as they watched an energetic dance performance by the students of SR Dance Academy, choreographed by Elizar Rodriguez.

The Chief Guest Consul General Amit Kumar in his address, wished everyone a Happy Republic Day and spoke about the enormous progress India has made in the last several years and mentioned that India is now positioned to succeed even more as we approach 75 years of India’s Independence, and getting ready for Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, an initiative by Govt of India. He spoke about the covid pandemic, and despite its challenges how India successfully carried on its vaccination drives and the role of technology and innovation.

Other leaders who spoke at the event were: Mayor Oakbrook Dr Gopal Lalmalani, Mayor Hoffman Estates, William D Mcleod, Mayor Schaumburg Tom Dailly (via zoom), Village President Hanover Park Rodney Craig, Illinois Gen Assembly Rep Michelle Mussman, Secretary of State candidate – Alexi Giannoulias (via zoom), Senator Laura Murphy.

Mayor William D Mcleod and Mayor Tom Dailly presented commemorative plaques to FIA on behalf of Village of Hoffman Estates and Village of Schaumburg respectively.

On a somber note, the FIA paid tributes to Mir Ali who passed away recently by facilitating his wife with a honorary plaque for his dedicated service to FIA and a Scholarship grant of $1000 to his daughter Nida Ali.

In total 3 Grant Scholarships were provided to students. These were announced by FIA Chairman Sunil Shah and given away by Consul General of India, Amit Kumar, Deepak Kant Vyas CEO Redberri, Anil Loomba (virtual) Hitesh and Kim Bhatt, the Bhatt Foundation, Deepak Kant Vyas CEO Redberri. The other two students who were the recipient of scholarships are Ria Sharma from Stevenson High School &Jaisnav Rajesh from Waubonsie Valley High School.

Hitesh Bhatt, Founder & Kim Bhatt, President of the Bhatt Foundation were honored with a Plaque and were acknowledged for their sponsorship support to FIA. In their speech, the Bhatt’s, shared their message of “Improving Global HealthCare and Education through Innovation”. They touched upon their philanthropic work in USA / India / Honduras / Africa and expressed their interest in supporting FIA’s initiatives as well.

FIA Lamp lighting ceremony
FIA Lamp lighting ceremony

Aparna Chakravarty and Mukhtar Shah provided musical entertainment. Mukhtar Shah (Voice of Mukesh) gave a beautiful tribute to Late Mr Mir Ali FIA Director through his songs.

The highlight of the event was a very exciting live zoom session with the legendary Bollywood actress Poonam Dhillon from India. Followed up by questions and appreciation remarks

The event ended with a vote of thanks by the Cultural Secretary Pika Munshi. Music provided by DJ Sanjay. Technical Director Phani Krishna, and Photography & Video coverage by Asian Media.

FIA thanks and greatly appreciates all its attendees, esteemed guests, sponsors, supporters & media partners for their unwavering support & trust in FIA.