IBA hosted official New Jersey India day parade grand success

Iselin NJ – On a beautiful Sunday, the sun shined as over 27,000 celebrated India’s Independence Day. The annual parade, hosted by the Indian Business Association, a non-profit organization, is now in its 8th year. “Thanks to all our sponsors, volunteers, and over 100 organizations that participated, we delivered a great parade to our community” said Kapil Shah, President of the IBA.

Commencing at Wood Avenue, on Oak Tree Road, the parade featured a marching band, over 15 floats, dozens of marching groups, and even a horse carriage, the latter courtesy of Wells Fargo. Leading the parade was Grand Marshal and Bollywood actress Prachi Desai and Special Guest Aadesh Shrivastava, a noted singer and music director. Thousands dressed in traditional Indian attire, a tribute to India’s freedom fighters. India became free of British rule on August 15, 1947.

Several prominent elected officials attended today’s event, including Woodbridge Mayor John McCormick, Congressman Frank Pallone, State Senator Sam Thompson, Freeholders Polos and Rios and members of the Woodbridge Council. “The Indo-American Community should be proud, this is an amazing event” said Congressman Pallone. The parade route was decorated with American and Indian flags.

“The theme of this year’s parade was Our India, Our Pride, Our Parade” said Manher Shah, past president of IBA. “This is an event for our community,” he added. “Born in America, the parade is a reminder of my culture. It makes me proud,” said Jay Amin, a 9 year old from East Brunswick. Over 20 groups, comprised of children of various ages performed dances at the cultural program following the parade.

The IBA has a long history of arranging community events. “Our primary goal is to empower the members of our community. This is an organization built to strengthen and unify our community.” Said Chandrakant Patel, a member of IBA’s executive board. Over 150 sponsors helped make today’s parade possible, including: TV Asia, Sahara One, King Fisher, Air India, Wells Fargo, Prudential, Money Dart, Times Now, Met Life, Valley National Bank, Columbia Bank, Sansone Auto Mall, and Nina Jewelers.

Over 150 volunteers worked round the clock to put the final touches on the parade. “There is an ownership of this parade by every individual, that’s what makes it a success” said Mahesh Shah, a trustee of IBA. Nandu Balija, president of the Krishna Temple in Marlboro, commented “this is such a well organized event. Everything started on time, there was water available for the public, it was a great.” The temple sponsored a float, for the third year in a row.

In addition to hosting the event and coordinating with over 100 participating organizations, IBA also arranges for security and post parade clean up. “There is no cost to the tax payer. Plus the parade draws customers and attention to Oak Tree Road, “our Little India” said Praful Vaid, a sponsor and local jeweler.

Press release by: Satish Poondi
Photographs by: Asian Media USA

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