FIA Chicago Commemorates the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav by giving Prestigious Community Excellence and; Leadership Award

FIA honored people for their unparalleled contribution to build the nation and help the community.

Lighting of Lamp by Rakesh Malhotra, President of FIA Chicago, together with Consul General of India in Chicago, Amit Kumar, Mayor of Lincolnwood Jesal Patel, President/Mayor,Village of Oak Brook Gopal Lalmalani, Village Trustee Dr. Hina Patel, Mrs Surubhi Kumar, Dr Sunita Malhotra, FIA Trustee Hina Trivedi and Dupage County Judge Kavita Athanikar

Chicago, IL: The Federation of Indian Associations Chicago celebrated 75th Independence Day – Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav by thanking Freedom Fighters and recognizing the contributions of the Indian diaspora living in Chicago during its annual Gala dinner event on Friday, August 12, 2022, at Ashton Banquet. The event was attended by more than five hundred prominent people from the community. President of the Federation Sh. Rakesh Malhotra extended his gratitude

by remembering the Freedom fighters, soldiers, and all those who sacrificed their lives for India’s Freedom, liberty, and prosperity. Malhotra said, “Today is a time to reflect upon our achievements of the past 75 years and set the agenda for the next 25 and involve our younger generation in nation building and making India secure safe, healthy and peaceful future.” On behalf of the executive board of FIA, Rakesh Malhotra welcomed all the Trustees, Past Presidents, honorable guest and dignitaries including the Consul General of India Amit Kumar, Congressman Raja Krishnamurthy, Mayor of Lincolnwood Jassel Patel, Gopal Lalmalani, Village President Village of Oak Brook, Dr Bharat Barai, Alderman Shweta Baid, Dr. Hina Patel, Village trustee, South Barrington. Shri Mitesh Bhai Patel, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha joined the event virtually via Zoom and addressed the attendees.

Releasing annual FIA Souvenir to commemorate the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, Cosul General Amit Kumar, Mrs Surabhi Kumar,  FIA President Sh Rakesh Malhotra,  Mrs Santosh Kumar,  CKB founder Dr Ram Chakraborthy, Trustee Chair Shri Satish Gabhawala, Mayor of Lincolnwood, Jesal Patel

The event began with Ghar Ghar Tiranga video, followed by Bharat Mata Song in Sanskrit written by Written by Prof. Dr. Naga Bhushan Moolky, USA followed by playing of the US National Anthem. The Indian National Anthem was sung by Ameya Vora, Pranikha Poossa, Nishika Dubey student of Nirmita Dholakia founder of Sadhana School of Indian Music followed by the ceremonial lamp lighting by the dignitaries and Trustees of FIA Chicago. Mrs. Nirmala Reddy and Mr. Abhinav Raina

Lifetime Achievement Award FIA Trustee Sh Kanti S Patel, with President Rakesh Malhotra and Leadership Achievement Award winner Past President Sh Rajesh Patel

anchored the event and greeted the audience. During his keynote address the FIA President Rakesh Malhotra emphasized participation of the Indian diaspora in nation building for peace, development and prosperity. He said, that “We are all responsible Citizens. We should throw ourselves into the work of citizenship in real life regardless of our religion, faith, color and values.” Consul General Amit Kumar dwelt on the wide-ranging India-US strategic partnership encompassing almost every facet of human development including The Quad for security in the Indo-Pacific as well as other multilateral agreements to confront global challenges. Consul General also released the annual FIA souvenir at this momentous occasion. Congressman Krishnamurthy greeted the Indian American community and appreciated the efforts made by Federation of Indian Associations for organizing series of events to commemorate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav under the leadership of FIA President Rakesh Malhotra. Dr Bharat Barai connected with the audience remotely via zoom and congratulated the Indian diaspora. Addressing the audience via a video call Mitesh Patel, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha greeted the Indian American community, thanked FIA, Chicago for their efforts and initiatives. “The Indian American Community is a living bridge between our two great countries and

contributed immensely to strengthen trade, commerce and cultural relations”. Said Mitesh Patel.

Consul General of India Amit Kumar, Trustee Chair Satish Gabhawala , President of FIA , Rakesh Malhotra Honoring Philanthropist and Chairman of Vaishnav Samaj of Midwest Dr Umang Patel. Also seen in the picture Mrs Patel and Dr Sunita Malhotra

Annual FIA Community Excellence awards

FIA Chicago, President Rakesh Malhotra presented the Prestigious Annual Community Excellence Awards to people including children for their unparalleled work to strengthen US- India relations steadfastly and silently and for their contributions to help the community. Trustee Chair Satish Gabhawala outlined the achievements of the FIA and introduce renowned philanthropist, Chairman and Trustee of Vaishnav Samaj of Midwest, Dr Umang Patel , who was honored and rewarded with prestigious community Excellence award at the event. Freedom Fighter Sh. Surinder B Jhingan, FIA Past Member of Parliament Sh Mitesh Patel, Past President of FIA Chicago Shri Rajesh Patel was honored and awarded the Leadership Excellence award. Kanti S Patel, past president of FIA and Trustee was honored and awarded with Lifetime Achievement Award. Founder Chicago Kali Bari

receiving this huge honor said he was humbled by this recognition and dedicated the Award to all the devotees of Kali Bari for promoting the values and culture of India. Amar Upadhyaya dedicated his award to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Continuous upliftment of the tribals of India. “Congratulations to all the awardees and the entire leadership team of FIA CHICAGO 1980 led by the dynamic President Rakesh Malhotra for trailblazing and pioneering work to celebrate #75 Azadi Ka

– Kathak Performance by Indian Dance School founder Gauri Jog and team of talented dancers.

Amrit Mahotsav and beyond,” said Judge Kavita Athanikar. The FIA has been very active in community social and cultural events through the year not only in 2022 but has provided services during and after the pandemic to families not only in Illinois but also in India said Sh Subhash Chander Pandey, founder of UP Associations of Greater Chicago. During the event audio-visual presentation of India Day Parade at Devon Ave was played on huge screen highlighting the member associations enthusiasm and participation, which was highly appreciated by all the attendees. The FIA commemorated the 76 th Independence Day by honoring Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthy, Dr. Bharat Barai , Dr Darshan Singh Dhaliwal, Dr Ram Chakraborty , Mrs Santosh Kumar, Mayor Jassel Patel, Trustee

Wheatland Township Mrs. Meghna Bansal, Alderwoman Ms. Shweta Baid, Judge Kavita Athanikar, Lion Hina Trivedi, Dr Subhash Chandra Pandey, Founder and Chairman of Uttar Pradesh Association of Greater Chicago, Dr Umang Patel, Trustee and Chairman of Vaishnav Samaj of Midwest, USA, Jayanti Thakkar founder of Lohan Association of Chicago, Renowned Journalist and founder of India

Tribune Shri Prashant Shah, Hemant Patel, Executive Vice President of FIA, Retd Army officer Shri Arvind Ankleswaria , Entrepreneur and community leader Shri Joy Shah, Art Yoga & Meditation Practitioner and Art of Living Teacher, Pam Brockman, StandwithUS director Peggy Shapiro, Sunderkand Parivar founder Sanjay Sharma, BAPS volunteer Shri Paresh Patel, HSS volunteer Shri Ram Prasad, Students, Vidhi Chavda, Sarah Patel, Anjika Awasthi, Sathya Padhu Venkatesan and  year old Vardan Tiwari. The awardees were honored with specially designed carved trophies arranged by D- from the tribal artisans in the State of Chhattisgarh in India for this historic occasion. Gauri Jog Kathak exponent and founder of Indian Dance School, Chicago, Dancing Petals students – Akansha, Anushi, Kunjal, Luna and Pooja performed a mesmerizing Kathak fusion dance choreographed by Gurmeet Kaur. Hemant Patel reiterated the importance of Independence Day and

presented the vote of thanks.

Federation of Indian Associations (FIA), Chicago is the largest non-profit Indian American organization. It was established in 1980 to primarily serve the community and promote and educate Indian Cultural Heritage while making meaningful contributions to America’s growth. More than 50 Illinois-based community organizations and non-profits are members of the Federation. Besides engagement with various organizations across Chicagoland, the FIA also takes a lead role in bringing the community together to celebrate various events of historical importance to both the United States and India.

Photographs by: Asian Media USA

Press release by: Staff writer

Suresh Bodiwala 

Asian Media USA

Cell: 847-420-4789    

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