Chicago IL: United Punjabis of America (UPA) celebrated Lohri on January 28th 2017 at Ashton Place, Willowbrook, IL. The event started with lighting the lamp and national Anthems sung by Nipa Shah and Aavni Limdi. The UPAeExecutive board members Madhu Uppal and Dharam Pawani introduced the UPA core team Brij Sharma, Om Dhingra, Ramesh Malhan, Shammi Mittal, Girish Kapur Rosey Bhasin, Shikha Tandon, Kumkum Kumar, Atul Wahi and Vishal Dutt. The event was anchored by the famous emcee and founder of Desi Junction Radio Jassi Parmar.
The Introduction was followed by a variety of singing and Dance items brought by varipus dance schools of Illinois. Jagoo folk by Sangeeta Singh, Rosey Bhasin & Group from Sant Nirankari Mission added a traditional color to the event. Madhu Chawdhary’s school Danceology brought a kid’s dance performance on Sadi Gali Aayo Karo. Prachi Jaitly’s Bollywood Arts Acdemy presented a kid’s talent show with boys and girls performing on a mix of songs like Singh is King, Tutak Tutak Tootitayaan, Radha Teri Chunri and Aun wala Sama tere bhai da. Boys Group Dance by Gauri Mittal performed on the famous Daler Mehandi song Hayo Rabba, Hayo Rabba. Sheetal Dhanani,s Tarana Kathak gave a stupendous performance on Bajirao Mastani – Diwani Mastani. Shalini Dixit,s dance school Nashe si Chadh Gaye and Love Letter, Nach De ne Sare – Cuite Pie and Phuttey Chuck De and Kala Chashma.
The UPA board honored three business leaders Shalabh Kumar, Hersh Ketharpal and Rahul Wahi for their contribution to Indian community as well as the entire society at large. Shalabh Kumar, “Shalli” is the CEO of AVG Group of companies with headquarters in Chicago and operations all over the world. AVG, established in 1975, has produced over 500 innovative hardware, firmware and software products He is an active supporter of the Indian community in the US.
Hersh Ketharpal, Distinguished Punjabi Spiritual & Community Leader and the founding director of the Yog Sadhna Ashram of Chicago, West Chicago, IL For 25 years she has been serving the community by sharing her knowledge of Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, Pranayam, Mediation & and Yogic Cleansing not only at the Ashram but also at other locations, including Naperville, Oakbrook, Lemont etc. Rahul Wahi, Distinguished Young Punjabi Entrepreneur Rahul Ji is the founder and CEO of LLT Group, a digital marketing company operating in Naperville, IL and Boston MA. LLT Group donates $50,000 per year to the College of DuPage for scholarship for creative art students.
UPA members Shammi Mittal, Rosey Bhasin, Girish Kapur & Atul Wahi gave a vote of thanks to all the sponsors with special thanks to GOLD sponsors Karl Kalra of Live2U and Om Dingra of Wholesome Health Pharmacy and media partners. The cultural program continued and another talented singer Sanjay Amin sang some evergreen songs like Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaye Roop Tera Mastana, Dil Kya Kare Jab, Kuch Na Kaho. Sukhdev Singh presented a Punjabi Skit by depicting Mast Malanga, a hilarious Punjabi Character. The Famous Punjabi Singer Maddy Singh made the audience dance on some fabulous Punjabi numbers. The grand finale performance Gidha was brought by Prachi Jaitly’s Bollywood Arts Academy and the dance floor was opened to the entire audience followed by BonFire.