ORANGE,C.A.-United Federation of Indo-Americans in California (UFICA) a celebrated India’s 65th Republic Day on Jan 24 at Tandoor restaurant here.Ashok Patnaik, foundeing member of UFICA and Economic Development Commissioner of Cerritos welcomed all the guests and spoke on the significance of Republic Day.
President of UFICA, Alka Patel led the lamp lighting ceremony along with the other UFICA board members. Patel thanked all for being part of the celebration and said they were gathered to rejoice and remember India’s long battle for freedom. She was proud to say that the two countries that could truly represent freedom and democracy are India and the United States of America. “We celebrate Republic Day in America to keep our traditions strong and to honor our motherland India, to educate our children on the struggles of obtaining freedom and the rich history that India has to offer”, said Patel. She revealed that for the first time ever, a contingent of women from the armed forces of India would take part in the Republic Day parade. This order had come from top authorities as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was keen on women empowerment and’ Nari Shakti’.
Ashok Patnaik, Alka Patel , Vinod Vineet ,Vineeta Vineet honored the dignitaries Naresh Solanki running to Cerritos Council, Councilman of Cerritos Ali Taj ,President of Pratham L.A. chapter Raj Dhami , Mayor of Cerritos Mark Pulido.
Taj said it was truly an honor and pleasure to be present and thanked UFICA for organizing the wonderful event. He ended by shouting ‘Jai Hind’.Pulido said it was high time to recognize the contribution of the Indian- American community. “We know how important it is to celebrate our heritage and it feels great to see young people celebrate their Republic Day through involvement in the community to make our community, stronger and better”. He wished all success to UFICA in the coming years and presented a proclamation commending UFICA for promoting cultural exchange and greater understanding of India. Then it was time for music and dance. Many Bollywood and cultural dance performances were put up by children. A group of children danced to ‘Vande Mataram’, ‘Des Rangila’ and ‘India wale’. Seven -year- old Vyom Mathurani, the young face of L.A., danced on ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’. Sajan Gohil danced to a Bollywood medley and Anjali Gandhi wrapped up by her mesmerizing performance on the Devdas songs ‘Haraa rang daala’,’ Dhola Re’.