“Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s innovative schemes and initiatives have made India the most favourite destination for investments by global players. His visit to the United States has opened newer vistas of mutually beneficial partnership between the two countries.”- Ms. Neeta Bhushan, Consul General
Asian Media USA ©
Chicago IL: Consulate General of India, Chicago celebrated the 71st Independence Day of India on Tuesday August 15, 2017 with great enthusiasm and traditional zeal. The Flag hoisting ceremony was held at Richard J. Daley Centre with an overwhelming participation of the Indian-American Community and Friends of India under the umbrella of the Consulate General of India, Chicago. The atmosphere at the venue was charged with feelings of patriotism and pride.
The celebration kick started with Consul General, Ms. Neeta Bhushan, hoisting the National Flag which was followed by singing of the National Anthem of India. Consul General read out the Address of the Hon’ble President of India. A cultural program was organized in which students of the Kalashree Dance Academy, Mythilli Dance Academy, Kalapriya Dance Academy, and Fun Creative Kids presented colourful Indian dances. The programme depicted different dance forms in India. The lively audience thoroughly enjoyed the dance and musical program and appreciated the hard work put in by the artistes, especially small children.
The National Day Reception was hosted at the beautiful iconic building of Chicago Cultural Centre. Prominent local dignitaries, Members of Diplomatic Corps, and Indian-American community participated in the event and friends of India. Several Congressmen and Mayors, including Mr Raja Krishnamoorthi, Congressman from 8th District of State of Illinois, Mayor of Skokie, Mr. George Van Dusen, Mayor of Burr of Ridge, Mr. Mickey Straub, and Mayor of Carmel [State of Indiana], Mr. James Brainard were among the prominent attendees. Representatives from the office of Governor of Illinois Bruce Rauner, Governor of Minnesota Mark Dayton, office of Senator of Illinois Tammy Duckworth, office of the Attorney General Ms. Lisa Madigan, office of Congressman Bobby Rush, office of Hon’ble Mayor of City of Chicago Rahm Emanuel, and many Consuls General also attended the event. The National Day Reception started with National anthems of India and the US, followed by address by Consul General, Ms. Neeta Bhushan.
In her address, Ms. Neeta Bhushan welcomed the guests and mentioned that the celebration represents an important milestone in the historic city of Chicago, well known all over the world for its multi-culturalism as well as diversity, which in many ways is reminiscent of India. She stated that she was honoured to see so many dignitaries including Mayors, Congressmen and Consuls General as well as many members of Indian-Americans, business community, and friends of India participating in the event. She thanked the dignitaries and guests who travelled from various States and far off cities to join this Celebration.
She stated that India has been marching forward from strength to strength in the last seven decades. “India is not just the largest democracy in the world today but a very mature democracy where people from different communities, ethnicity, religious, and castes live together in harmony”, she stated with a sense of pride. Continuing her address, she said: “India is a country of 1.25 billion people with a large segment under the age of 35. India has one of the largest pools of professional and skilled personnel. At present, India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world with a growth rate of over 7% as predicted by the IMF and other credit rating agencies”. She further stated that over the last few decades or so, India has gone through a series of transformations which are so unique not just because of the numbers but because of its implications and ramifications for doing business and interacting with the rest of the world. Consul General mentioned that India has recently been ranked No. 1 among 110 countries making it the world’s top most investment destinations. “In terms of scientific achievement, the Indian Space Research Organization has recently launched over 104 satellites in a single flight of the PSLV. In terms of humanitarian missions, India carried out one of the largest evacuations of its kind in Yemen, bringing home not just Indians but people from over 26 nationalities”, she stated.
She mentioned that India has emerged as a software solution provider for rest of the world and also become a manufacturing hub in the region. She mentioned that Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, has launched a number of initiatives such as Skill India, Digital India, Make in India, Clean India etc. She also mentioned that PM’s visit to the US has further strengthened the partnership between the two countries.
On this occasion, Proclamations and Messages received from dignitaries were also read out which included messages from the Governor Bruce Rauner, State of Illinois, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, City of Chicago, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, State of Illinois, and Congressman Bobby Rush. Congressman Raja Krishnamurthy read the Proclamation himself.
The ceremony was followed by a cultural program. Students from Team Ghunguru & Soorya Dance School presented colourful Indian dances.
The function concluded with a grand banquet attended by a full house of over 350 people in which sumptuous Indian delicacies were served.