On August 25th, thousands of people flocked to the beautiful ground of Birmingham Charter High School in the San Fernando Valley to celebrate India’s 72nd Independence Day.

Independence Day Celebration is a showcase of the rich heritage and culture from the different regions of India presented on one platform.

 

The grand event, which has been organized by the India Association of Los Angeles (IALA) since 1999, attended by Congressman Sherman, Consulate General of Sri Lanka Ms Swarna Gunaratne , representative of Consulate General of India Asit Datta, LAUSD Board member Scott Schmerelson, AJC LA Interreligious-Intergroup Committee Co-Chairs Enid Lieber, many community leaders and thousands of people.

One of the IALA’s founders, Inder Singh,  welcomed the audience and talked about the growing friendship between the two great democracies of the world. IALA President Manmohan Chopra said, “India Independence Day celebration is a great way to thank our motherland India where we born, and the mother in who’s lap we are nurturing our dreams.” The Guest of Honor Congressman Sherman presented a US flag to Manmohan Chopra  and praised the Indian community’s contributions. He emphasized that India is the most important strategic and geopolitical partner for the United States and he is proud to work towards strengthening this relationship. Executive VP, Sunil Agrawal said “This event offers a family gathering where next generation of Indians learn, see, express, and feel their culture and tradition.Board of Director Raman Chadha and Executive VP Sunil Agrawal emceed during the plaque ceremony to honor the sponsors. Congressman Sherman presented a plaque to the grand sponsor Turkish Airlines and gold sponsor Sundam Solar’s Asif Ansari, who served in Barack Obama’s Energy Council. Congressman Sherman also presented plaques to other notable sponsors Sunil Agrawal, Vinod Manchhani, Robin Paik, Ranjit Joea, Satish Tomar, Iqbal Samra, Mukhtiar Khamboj, Wallis State Bank, HAB Bank, DJ Scorpio, Navdeep Singh, Prem Seem, LA City Department of Cultural Affairs, Kanaksinh Zala, Yogi Patel, Harbans Bawa, and Media partner TV Asia.

The event featured a grand cultural show presented by VP Cultural Kavita Puri and her team. Indian songs, dance and other form of Indian arts by little ones, grown-ups and talented artists mesmerized the audience. Kathak dances,  Bharathnatyam, Folk dances, Ghoomar, Ras-Garba, Lavani dance, Bhangra, and many Bollywood numbers by various groups stole the heart of the audience by powerful performances.

There were 65 booths featuring fashion, food, Non-profits etc, organized by Parmesh Shah and his team, which attracted thousands of visitors as they shopped, ate and enjoyed the colorful affair.

The major attraction was the free health fair organized by VP Health Deepi  Singh and Bama Sridhar. Thousands of residents got a free check up of their health parameters and got guidance on their diet and nutrition. Free eye check by Lion’s Club was another popular event. Health fair greatly assisted by Shukla Sen, Malini Chetty, and many more volunteers.

Congressman Brad Sherman and CG Sri Lanka Ms Swarana Gunaratne  sent their congratulatory messages to IALA, which was published in IALA’s annual booklet edited by Executive VP, Sunil Agrawal. This year IALA’s magazine ran a cover story, “India: Excelling in All Directions”, which highlighted the accomplishments of India in the last few years.

The event was a great success and enjoyed by thousands of folks who attended.

 

The IALA 2018 Executive Committee is comprised of 17 members: Manmohan Chopra, Sunil Agrawal, Aishveryaa Nidhi,  Manjeet Wahi, Raj   Thakkar, Kanaksinh Zala, Ramesh Bramharouthu, Kavita Puri, Nalini Natrajan, Robin PaikSunil Prabhakar, Parmesh Shah, Hema Chopra, Prem Seem, Yashpal Guru, Deepi Singh and Dr Bama Sridhar.

 

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