74th Republic Day celebrated at Vaishnav Temple of New York

Vaishnav Temple of New York, Inc, (VTNY) was established in December 1986 under the leadership of late Dr. Arvind Shah. It is the first traditional ‘Pushtimargiya’  temple in North America. For more than 30 years, members of VTNY and Indians in the community have shown their patriotic spirit and celebrated India’s Republic Day. For the past couple of years, VTNY has partnered with The  Gujarati Samaj of New York (GSNY) to organize and celebrate this day. On 29th January 2023 almost  300 Indian “Desh Bhakts” gathered at VTNY to celebrate the 74th Republic Day of India.

The Chief Guest of the event was Dr. Bobby Kalotee, the Chairman of the Nassau County Commission on Human Rights and Mrs. Ragini Srivastava, serving as Town Clerk of the Town of North Hempstead both in Nassau County, New York. The event was sponsored by Dr. Pratix Shroff and his family,  who are devoted Vaishnavs. Dr. Shroff is a renowned General & Cosmetic Dentistry practitioner and a longtime supporter of VTNY.

The event started with an Indian and American Flag parade with all the dignitaries, trustees, and executive committee members of VTNY and GSNY and fellow Indians joining the march. Kumar  Mathuria, Secretary of VTNY welcomed everyone. Thereafter, Jaymin Shah, President of VTNY, Anil Shah, Chairman of VTNY, Harshad (Pakaji) Patel, President of GSNY and Co-Chairman of VTNY,  Diyesh Tripathi, Program Manager of GSNY and Jignesh Gandhi, Jt. Secretary of VTNY introduced and felicitated the sponsor and chief guests of the event.

All the senior members of VTNY and GSNY along with the dignitaries then joined on the stage for the flag-hoisting ceremony under the guidance of Champakbhai Parikh and his son Bharatbhai Parikh.  Champakbhai has been guiding the flag-hoisting ceremony for more than two decades. This ceremony started with the American National Anthem sung by Avantika Shah, followed by the singing of Vande  Mataram, flag hoisting by the dignitaries, Rashtra Dhwaj salami and singing of the Indian National  Anthem Jana Gana Mana.

Dr. Bobby Kalotee and Mrs. Ragini Srivastava then gave citations and recognized members of the community for their selfless service.

This was followed by some amazing patriotic song and dance performances by young kids and teenagers from the community. This included the kids from the Gujarati Class of VTNY choreographed by  Vaishali Shah and Arya Dance Academy led by Shilpa Zurani along with performance by kids choreographed by Sonal Shah and a performance by Prachi Shah. The members of the Karaoke group of VTNY then sang a medley of patriotic songs which reminded everyone of the sacrifices of the  Indian freedom fighters and independence leaders and highlighted the great heritage and culture of India.

The celebration was concluded with an update on future events of VTNY provided by the Jt. Secretary  Jignesh Gandhi and update on future events of the Senior Community Center of VTNY provided by President Chandrakant Shah followed by a vote of thanks from Divyesh Tripathi, the Program Manager of GSNY and Kumar Mathuria, the Secretary of VTNY.


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