“Only a life lived for others is a life lived worthwhile….” – Albert Einstein
Chicago IL: Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) of Chicago celebrated India’s 71st Republic Day & hosted one of the largest Healthcare Fair Event on Saturday, Jan 25th, 2020, at Rana Reagan Community Center at Carol Stream, IL.
Keeping its past 10 year long tradition of serving the community, following its mantra, of ‘United We Stand’ and ‘We Serve!’, FIA Chicago, successfully hosted its yearly Healthcare Fair Event on the occasion of India’s Republic Day. In spite of all of us being away from our own homeland, we were blessed to be able to celebrate this very special day, when India officially got its Constitution on Jan 26, 1950, and the spirit of India with the same enthusiasm and excitement, in the country that we love and have now embraced as our home.
Over 600 people attended and availed the services provided; including 100 plus blood testing was done. One can imagine how popular this event is amongst our senior citizens, just by looking at the registration lines which started forming at 8:30am, a half hour earlier, then the scheduled start time of 9:00am. But Team FIA was ready to welcome the guests and the service providers and medical Camp personnel since 8:00am. Pratibha Jairath, Sonia Luther, Richa Chand, Vineeta Gulabani, Varsha Visal, Hema Shastri, Dr Kamal Patel, Vaishal Talati, Sunil Shah, Neil Khot, Gurmeet Singh Dhalwan, Ninad Daftari, Shital Daftari, Anu Malhotra & Bharat Malhotra, Ruchi Dabral, Bharatbhai, Haribhai and several volunteers from BSC group were seen receiving and greeting the doctors and service providers and the other guests as well, and helping fill out with Patient registration forms, and finding their designated spots & booths. FIA leadership Team, led by Sunil Shah, Gurmeet Singh Dhalwan, Neil Khot were seen visiting each and every booth, and greeting and thanking them for their support.
Healthcare Fair section of the program, Medical Camp (Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Dentist, Phlebotomy Blood Draws, Alternate Medicine Homeopathy /Ayurveda, Nutritionist & Dietician, Registered Nurse Practitioners consultations, Scans/Imaging, Blood Glucose & Cholesterol tests, Back and Shoulder Massage Treatment), Passport and Visa Counseling and Guidance Services, Tax Consultation, Social Security, Yoga/Meditation, Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Medicare Benefits & Community Services were provided. Food & snacks were also provided to the attending guests. This was a FREE event with no charges or costs to the guests.
A Special Educational Lecture series presented by the specialists was also a part of the Healthcare Fair Event this year. Topics & presenters included: Cardiology – Dr Paul Nguyen, Dietician – Shweta Sheth, Deepti Singh Suri, Homeopathy – Vidya Joshi, Yoga/Meditation – Anu Malhotra.
With high spirits and keeping the ‘Josh High! ‘ as well, Republic Day Cultural Program, began promptly at 12:00pm, enthusiastically hosted by the Masters of Ceremony Richa Chand & Varsha Visal. There were presentations of US. National anthem (by Malavika Gopal) and Indian National anthem (by Pushpaben Parikh), followed by a beautifully choreographed patriotic Welcome Dance, “Ae Watan” (choreography by Sridevi Ram Pandalai, and performers were: Sarirha Srijith, Nisha Roy, Prathiba Varun, Swetha JayaPrakash, Sandra Suresh).
A beautiful Lamp Lighting ceremony was performed by the dignitaries present at the event, Sunil Shah, Founder President of FIA Chicago, Chief Guest, Consul General Sudhakar Dalela, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Onkar Singh Sangha, Founder & Past President, Gurmeet Singh Dhalwan, President 2020, Smt. Prem Kaur, Mother to Incoming President 2020, Pinky & Dinesh Thakkar, Guest of Honor, Ninad Daftari, President 2019, Dhitu Bhagwakar, Rita Singh, Sunny Kular, Neil Khot, Founding Members & Past Presidents, Amarjeet Singh, Founder & President Wheaton Gurudwara belonging to Sikh Religious Society, Chicago, IL , Haribhai Patel, President BSC group, Dr Kamal Patel, Executive VP, Amit Jhingran, CEO State Bank of India, Nimish Jani, Schaumburg Township, Krishna Bansal, Commissioner at Naperville Planning. And Advisory Board Members, Syed Hussaini, Asha Oroskar, Brij Sharma, Aishwarya Sharma, Pradeep Shukla, Keerthi Reevori.
Welcome Speeches by the FIA leadership was followed by the Introduction of FIA Board, and all FIA members were requested to join on the stage and a group picture was taken. As is the tradition for a Republic Day Cultural event, there were many inspiring speeches delivered throughout the program, including a few notable ones by Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Consul General Sudhakar Dalela, both a keynote speaker at the Republic Day Event. Hanover Park Mayor, Rodney Craig & Trustee Herb Porter also spoke about the Indo-American community and their contributions.
Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Consul General Sudhakar Dalela helped in the inauguration of the FIA Souvenir Book and distribution of the Wheelchairs and Walkers to the needy. One Wheel Chair was received by Bharatiya Senior Citizens Group and the second one was received by Wheaton Gurudwara, IL.
There were important announcements made for the upcoming FIA Events, Indian Heritage Night celebrations, along with Windy City Bulls basketball game on February 23, 2020 at Sears Center Arena and Holi event on March 21, 2020 at DuPage Fairgrounds. For the Awards & Recognitions during the cultural program, Consul General Shri Sudhakar Dalela was felicitated and presented with a recognition plaque for Consul General Chicago’s continued support and whole-hearted participation in FIA’s numerous community service endeavors.
Guest of Honor, Pinky Thakkar & Dinesh Thakkar was also invited and recognized for their wonderful support and were presented with a recognition plaque as well. All the Sponsors and Service Providers and Supporters who helped out for this special event, were also called upon one by one, and were presented with the recognition plaques, as a token of FIA’s appreciation towards their generous support and help with the cause. Certificates were also given to all the cultural program performers, and the volunteers who helped out with this event.
To mark the conclusion of this beautiful and grand event to celebrate India’s 71st Republic Day, Anu Malhotra, Director FIA, gave Vote of Thanks, to all the guests, FIA’s senior leadership for facilitating and creating such wonderful opportunities for our community. She thanked Dr Pardeep Sood, Dr Tariq Ahmed, Dr Naveed Saeed, Dr. Huma Vaid, Dr. Mona Ghosh, Dr. Rakesh Nambiyar, Dr. Usha Kartan, Dr. Madhu Sharma, Dr. Sanjeev, Dr Niranjana Shah, Dr Utpal Parekh, Dr Imaad Shaikh, Dr. Aslam Qazi, Dr. Harpreet Singh, Dr Paul Nguyen, Dr Sara Alfano, Dr. Rubina Nguyen with S.C.A.R.F. group and others for their valuable time and service. She also thanked Promila Kumar, Shree Gurusamy, Raman Patel, Anu Bangaley, Amandeep Gill, Kinnari, Patrick, Chinttal Mehta, Chirag Patel, Prakruti Patel, Vidya Joshi, Deepti Singh Suri, Sweta Sheth, Pradeep Shukla and Consulate general of India, and all the sponsors and supporters. Only some mentioned here from the long list of all our wonderful sponsors/supporters: Syed Hussaini, VP Wintrust, Amit Jhingran, CEO State Bank of India, Pinky Thakkar & Dinesh Thakkar, Jigar’s Kitchen, Anil R Shah from World Money Exchange, MEDSTAR, Neal Patel for providing medical supplies, Dr. Neelam Bala Bhardwaj for donating Wheel Chairs and Walkers, and BSC group and committee members for all of their wonderful support to make this event a huge success.