Indian American Shree Saini, who originally hails from Ludhiana (Punjab), known as Manchester of India, and India’s favorite singer couple Samir and Dipalee were star attractions on the scintillating Diwali celebrations organized by India Association of Indianapolis on Saturday night at Murat Theater, Old National Center, 502 N New Jersey Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204.
After Chairman Ramu Chinthala introduced the Executive Committee and Board members Dr Abhinav Singh and Poonam Singh delivered the welcome address. Poonam introduced SVDC ( NY Dance company) to present eight-minute dance performance by its members.
Abhinav and Poonam then invited guests/VIPs to light the Diya (lamp). Miss India USA- Shree Saini performed the traditional ceremony by lighting the lamp. Others who lighted the lamp were outgoing IAI chairman Bharat Patel, Raju Chinthala, IIBC President, Mayor Greg Ballard, Winnie Ballard, State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell, State Representive Donna Schaibley, Senator-Elect JD Ford, Abhi Reddy State Director for Congressman Todd Rokita, Mayor Jeff Papa, Aaron Martinez-Vigil, IEDC and Diego Morales.
Speaking on the phenomenal rise of Bharat Patel, Dr Ajay Ponugoti in a lighter vein said it would be proper to describe India Association of Indianapolis as ‘Bharat’ (one of the names of India) Association of Indianapolis. Bharat Patel, owner of a chain of hotels in USA, emphasized to make IAI more stronger, vibrant by taking members of other organizations formed by persons of Indian origin on the IAI Board and Executive Committee.
The Association should have only one religion- ie “we are of Indian origin.”
After IAI president Venkat Tadikonda delivered his speech Abhinav and Poonam invited Ms India USA Shree Saini, who had a pacemaker implanted at the age of 12 and was told that she would never be able dance, is an inspiration for all.
Shree Saini was crowned Miss India USA last year where she competed with 50 girls across America and now she would represent USA in the Miss India Worldwide Peasantry, where 42 countries will be represented on December 14.
“I will be speaking about my journey, being a heart patient, having a pacemaker to winning nationals and share my humble message of hope and resilience. I have also have gotten the opportunity to study at Harvard Yale Stanford University. ”
She thanked IAI for inviting her to celebrate Diwali celebrations. During the function, she posed for photos with families, individuals and also gave her autographs to the children.
Meanwhile, the guests continued to be entertained by the NY Dance company and singer couple Samir and Dipalee. It may be recalled that Dipalee was honored by Indian Prime Minister Narender Modi with the “Voice of Gujarat” Award.
Samir and Dipalee sang the old and new songs from Bollywood cinema. Most of the guests left their seats to dance as the couple entertained them.
It may be recalled that Mr Ramu Chinthala was recently elected president of the India Association of Indianapolis along with other office-bearers.
Newly elected president Shanti Karthik introduced the new executive committee members and invited them on the dais. Jhanvi Bhatia is the yougest EC member (youth committee).