Chicago IL: Chicago Chapter of Global Organization for People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) conducted “Thanksgiving and Feed the Needy Charity Event” at Viceroy of India Banquet Hall, Lombard, Illinois. The event was attended by Consul of India, O.P. Meena, Judge Ketki Sheroff, CTA Board Vice Chairman, Dr. Ashish Sen, politicians, technocrats, businessmen, community leaders, and a large number of Indian-Americans. GOPIO Chicago President Gladson Varghese presided over the meeting.
Hon. Lou Lang, Illinois Deputy Majority Leader, who was the Chief Guest, said that the Government earmarks huge budgets for schemes aimed at the welfare of weaker sections of society. However, he called upon voluntary organizations, including GOPIO, to come forward to create wider awareness about these schemes and to ensure that their benefits reach the target groups.
“Contributing to democracy is one’s sacred duty. All American citizens, including their counterparts from India, should exercise their right to vote in elections for all democratic bodies in the USA and enrich its political system”, Lou Lang asserted.
“Active participation of people in the functioning of democratic institutions is a prerequisite for ensuring multifaceted welfare of society”, Lou Lang added.
Hon. Stephanie Kifowit, IL State Representative, in her Keynote Address, said that bringing about change is not the duty of Government alone; each and every citizen should contribute to this challenging task.
“The US is a huge country in terms of its size and diverse in terms of its composition. This calls for voluntary action, characterized by kind, loving, and humane approach, for the collective welfare of different sections of society” Stephanie Kifowit added.
Dr. Gopal Lalmalani, Mayor of Oak Brook, in his Keynote Address, said that there is an urgent need for addressing the universal problem of poverty by serving the poor, considering the fact that poverty anywhere is a danger to prosperity everywhere.
“Even though the US is a developed country, there are quite a few patches of poverty across its length and breath. Considering this, the practice of serving the poor becomes relevant even in the context of the US”, Gopal opined.
Gopal stated that if one wants to be happy for a lifetime, he should serve as often as possible, to as many people as he can, and as long as he is alive”, Gopal urged. “I have three messages to share. The first is to serve; the second is to serve; and the third is also to serve. And the best practice is to serve silently, humbly, lovingly, and unconditionally”, he added.
Raja Krishnamurthy, an eminent politician, said that shelter, which is one of the fundamental needs of people, has not been fully met, across the globe. “GOPIO’s initiative of providing shelter to the people of Nepal is, therefore, a worth-emulating initiative”, he added.
Gladson Varghese, in his Presidential Address stated that the funds raised at the event will go to Nepal-based charity organization and Missionaries of Chicago run by Mother Theresa’s Sisters.
The Missionaries of Chicago will use the same to provide food and clothing to poor people in Chicago”, Varghese added.
Earler, Krishna Bansal, Naperville City Planning Commissioner and GOPIO Board Member, welcomed the guests. He said that over 20 million people of Indian origin are spread across the globe and GOPIO is committed to establish a mechanism of their live networking.
Krishna Bansal congratulated GOPIO for organizing the “Feed the Needy Charity Event”, which is in keeping with the true spirit of the American tradition of Thanksgiving”.
The function commenced with the singing of the Indian and the US National Anthems by Dr. Narayan Tata and his team and lighting of the lamp by Chief Guests and the Board Members of GOPIO.
The formidable team of singers and dancers presented a brilliant potpourri of all-round stage performances and mesmerized the audience.
Saarang Sane kick started the scintillating musical evening with the most haunting melody, “kahin door jab din dhal jaye saanjh ki dulhan badan churaaye, chupake se aaye”.
Shalini saxena rendered a wave of well-known tracks, including “Suno na sangemarmar”
On public demand, Saarang and and Shalini sang duets, icluding “Tu hi ye mujhko bata de chahun main ya naa, apne tu dil ka pata de chahun main ya naa”. They received huge admiration of the audience for giving them an authentic “Bollywood Music Experience”.
Board members Syed Hussaini, Krishna Bansal, Ashfaq Syed, Ninan Thomas,Vandana Jhingan, Ram Saini, Vinoz Chanamolu, Shree Gurusami and Jeen Varghese gave leadership to various activities of this event.
The dancers, who performed different genres of dances, and the DJ who provided electrifying music, added great value to the event.
Savi Singh and Vikrant Singh, who were the MCs, conducted the proceedings of the event in a professional fashion.