The Federation of Indian Association of NY NJ CT held its 26th Curtain Raiser at the Indian Consulate unveiling the 2019 theme of ‘ Support our troops – Salute our troops’. The event was opened with national anthems of USA & India followed by a themed performance done on Bollywood medley. The spectacular performers were from Nritya Dance Academy and the performance choreographed by Meena Basu Naag.
The emcee for the evening was up and coming model and actress Nisha Kalamdani. Addressing the gathering, Alok Kumar, President-FIA, elaborated on the theme and placed emphasis on the need to appeal to the community to do more in saluting and supporting the men and women in uniform. Kumar applauded the contribution of his team and pointed out the hard work that goes in on a day in day out basis by the 100% voluntary team that place a prolonged hard work and effort to bring the parade festivities to fruition. Kumar complimented and expressed gratitude on behalf of the FIA fraternity to the CGI-NY Hon. Sandeep Chakravorty, DCG Shatrughna Sinha and the CGINY team for their warm welcome and reception extended to FIA for nearly 3 decades.
Guest of Honor and keynote speaker, CGI-NY Hon. Sandeep Chakravorty cited the need of including youth and the 2nd generation in the festivities and extended his help and support with elevating youth participation in the parade by including more schools and inviting them to participate as well as engaging the youth. He pointed the need to introspect on how the changing and growing community needs should reflect into a large event such as the India day parade which should become adaptive and inclusive of the changing times in its event format.
FIA Chairman Ramesh Patel reflected in brief on how the parade as an event has evolved and how support from the community needs to grow to further the outreach and grandeur of the parade festivities. The curtain raiser showcased distinguished dignitaries including FIA Trustee & Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, FIA Trustee & Padma Shri Dr. H R Shah, Albert Jasani, Anand Patel-Dunkin Donuts, Anil Bansal, Andy Bhatia, Srujal Parikh, Shobhna & Dr. Dinesh Patel among other speakers. Concluding Alok Kumar acknowledged the women team of FIA along with the 2019 Executive Committee comprising of Himanshu Bhatia-EVP-who also delivered the vote of thanks, Imm. Past President Srujal Parikh, VP-Saurin Parikh, Gen. Secretary Amit Yadav, Jt. Secretary Mardavi Patel & Treasurer Amit Ringasia. The curtain raiser also showcased live music as well as authentic appetizers and a full dinner sponsored by the Royal Alberts Palace.