ANAHEIM, CA – I-Day celebrations in the Southland which started as early as Aug 12, wrapped up at an impressive ceremony in Anaheim Hills, headlined by Ambassador Arun Singh on Aug 23 morning. Addressing the gathering against the picturesque backdrop, Singh spoke on a wide range of topics making a strong pitch...
Indo-US trade ties are also seeing better days despite the US pushing for more reforms. The US is India’s largest trading partner. Indian companies are investing more and more in the US and are creating opportunities for job growth in the US. This is reflective of the potential of collaboration. Innovation, he stressed, will be the focus of collaboration.$2 billion has been invested for start-ups collaboration. Pointing out that India is the fourth country in the world to send a vehicle to Mars which succeeded at the first attempt, he underscored that India’s cost-effective, cutting edge technology can benefit collaborations. Entrepreneurship, digital development, energy efficiency are some areas for future collaboration.
Lauding the contribution of Indian-Americans to the US in many fields, he said, one out of every 7 people in the US is seen by an Indian-American doctor while 40 percent of hotel rooms are owned by Indian-Americans. There are 100K Indian students in the US generating around $3 billion in tuition fees, indicative of the fact that. India has a huge engagement with the US education system.
People in India watch very closely the achievements of Indian-Americans like Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai and are filled with pride. He thanked Harry and Gin Sidhu, who opened their house to host the event, for their hospitality.
The ambassador assured that he and his staff were focused on engaging with the Indian-American community to make interaction with India as seamless as possible and to help resolve any issues that arise.
Congressman Ed Royce , also Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans addressing the gathering lauded Ambassador Singh who had become a good friend over the years and had helped to propel Indo-US ties forward. He focused on the progress India has made under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Reminiscing, as a founder of the India Caucus, he said it started off with just eight members and today has 163 and is one of the strongest country caucuses. The founding members worked hard at changing perceptions of India and today they are working to built the caucus and the narrative. Royce pointed to his push for civil nuclear cooperation and a close counter terrorism initiative with India. On an upbeat note he said there was a bright future for Indian-American community and exhorted them to work to deepen Indo-US relationships specially in the area of business partnership and trade goals..
Marie Royce and spoke briefly on her love for India and described her visits to eight states in India as offering an experience in diversity. Other dignitaries present included California Assemblyman Don Wagner, California Assemblywoman Young Kim, Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do and Deputy Consul General from San Francisco K.J. Srinivasa who also spoke briefly to the gathering. Shawn Steel of the Republican National Committee of California, Dilip Butani and Amrit Bhandari Co-Chairs of the Indian-American Republicans of CA offered a historical perspective for the occasion and urged people to support Sidhu at the coming elections. Special recognition was given to community leader KV Kumar, for his support in planning the event
Earlier, The event kicked off with an invocation by Don Wagner followed by the US and California flag ceremony by the Anahiem Police Dept Color Guard and Lt Cdmr. Pooja Shah from the US Navy. Indian Veterans Col. T.J. Barring; Col. R.S. Sohi; Col. Pannu; and Col. Jagdeep Singh entered for the Indian flag hoisting.
Assemblywoman Kim led the falg salute as Erika Miller, of the Chance Theater, sang the US anthem followed by the Pandey family rendering the Indian national anthem. Gifts were presented to the Ambassdor and other special guests by Ma Viroopa, Vice Chancellor, Nithyananda University , a follower of Pramahansa Nityananda.
Emcee for the event was Apra Bhandari.
A cultural program followed which included blindfold reading by two children Keshav, 6 and Isha, 9 under the guidance of Ma Viroopa.Bollywood dances by Adaa Dance Academy students and music by the local artist Nauzad Sadry followed.
Harry Sidhu, former Anaheim Pro Tem Mayor in the running for CA Assembly District 68, thanked all for coming and joining in the celebration of freedom and liberty enjoyed by citizens of the two great democracies – India and the US. He came to the US 42 years ago and said he owed what he is today to the great country where hard work pays off, reiterating he was proud to be an American who had strong roots in India.