CHATSWORTH, CA – The Indian Association of LA (IALA), San Fernando Valley, hosted their 17th annual India Independence Day event at the Chatsworth High School on Aug 20 attended by hundreds. The Guest Of Honor Congressman Brad Sherman was immensely pleased to be invited again as he has attended...
Proudly he informed the gathering that Indian-Americans are dominating most fields today be it the world of education where they are heading top universities or the medical field or the children winning the Spelling Bee competitions and last but not the least toping in SAT. He thanked the hard work of those on the committee and the volunteers who work hard year after year to make this event the best ever.
Congressman Sherman joined the event later in the evening.
He started his address by saying that when the Federal Agency makes any mistake John Alford runs around to solve the problem while he Brad takes all the credit for resolving it. Which brought laughter and a round of applause from the audience.
He went on to say that Indian- Americans are the best educated and wealthiest of the community at large, and San Fernando Valley leads the way,” so eat your heart out Cerritos” which brought another burst of laughter from the audience.
Sherman as a senior member of House for Foreign Affairs Committee and a top Democrat on the subcommittee of Asia, emphasized that India is the most important strategic and geopolitical partner for the United States. He is proud to work towards strengthening this relationship. He is very hopeful that the trade between the two countries will reach $ 500 billion in the near future under the “Bilateral Investment Treaty” currently under discussion.
Series of combined Military and Naval exercises is another very important factor in strengthening the India – US relationship.
In 2014, Sherman was instrumental in obtaining nearly 100 signatures from his colleagues to get Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come and address the Joint Session of Congress.
Finally in 2016 he had the privilege of welcoming Modi to the US Capitol to address the joint session of Congress, the highest level of honor that the Congress can convey to a foreign leader.
Sherman briefly touched on the subject of civil nuclear cooperation agreement between the two countries which he has supported all along. Sherman has very deservingly received the ‘Friend of Community’ award in 2012, for his efforts to bring to light the plight of ethnic minorities specially Hindu’s and Sikhs. He is an active member of the International Religious Freedom Caucus and is working hard towards allowing Sikhs to wear turban and beard while in active military duty.
Sherman presented to Vineet Puri, President of IALA, a precious gift -– the US flag which had actually flown on the Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. accompanied with a certificate of authenticity.
Sherman in turn received a plaque of appreciation from the Mayor and the council members of Lancaster arranged by councilman Raj Malhi . Puri profusely thanked all major sponsors and vendors for their continued support and commitment and appreciated the dedication of the IALA board of directors and the executive committee.
The cultural program performed by local artists and youngsters focused on the colors and music of India .
A free health fair was set up. The consultants Deepi Singh has over 30 years experience with Kaiser as a nutrition educator along with Dr. Bama Sridhar a psychiatrist who has been with Kaiser for nearly 27 years. Both worked hard to involve other physicians to come and give their free service at the fair. Not to forget free eye check ups by the Lions Club of Northridge.
Around 70 booths dotted the area which kept the attendees busy. Most popular were the food booths.
It was an evening celebrating India’s culture, tradition, family values, color, fun, history and heritage.
Major sponsors for the event were Qatar Airways. As Puri said, ``Thanks for being our anchor sponsor for last so many years.’’ Other top sponsors were Iqbal Samra, Mukhtiar Kamboj, Ravinder Grewal, Harbans “Bob” Bawa, Ranjit Joea, Jack Khangura, Jang Bahadur Sethi, Wallis Bank, Hab Bank and many other individuals who donated personal checks to show love for their country and community at large.