About three thousand people from the Greater Sacramento area and further away in California, attended the Indian Independence Day celebrations organized by the Indian Association of Sacramento (IAS). After two years of virtual celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IAS resumed in-person India Day Celebrations last August.
On Aug 13, 2023, at 10 AM, IAS members waved the Indian tricolor flags in the lawn area in front of the California State Capitol. On the same day at 9 AM, IAS conducted a car parade at the State Capitol, Sacramento with over 30 decorated cars to celebrate Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav and mark the 77th year of Indian Independence.
Paresh Sinha – the Parade Lead, and Gobi Ramasamy – IAS President, led the car parade decorated with Indian and US flags, Indian regional leaders and distinguished personnel, monuments, and cultural representative symbols.
Anupriya Ramraj, Bhaskar Vempati, Amitab Sheik, Anu Nandagopal, Bhavik Vyas, Bhavin Parikh, Gobi Ramasamy, Jay Shrivastava, Ranju Verma, Selvi Janardhan, Shivesh Sinha, Vandana Sharma, Venu Gopal Acharya, Venkat Nagam, and several IAS committee members helped with the car parade event coordination. The IAS supporting organization’s members and several community members joined the car parade.
At the Capitol Building Lawn gathering, IAS President Gobi Ramasamy said, “It was one of the best ever in the region’s history that IAS organized this car parade at the iconic CA State Capital venue in all its glory. On this very special day when our mother country is celebrating her 77th birthday, here I am wishing everyone’s dreams of a new tomorrow come true! May your Independence Day be filled with patriotic spirit.”.
Patriotic Indian slogans reverberated through the California Capitol Building as members of the Indian-origin community gathered in large numbers with Indian flags for the parade demonstration.
“This year’s and last year’s Independence Day will mark a new chapter in IAS’s history, organizing India Day car parade, celebrating India’s Independence Day at the State Capitol building and an in-person cultural event at California State University – Sacramento,” organizers said.
IAS Board of Trustee Dr. Bhavin Parikh said history has been created for the fourth time in a row.
IAS Vice President Amitab Shaikh reiterated it was a historic moment for the Indian community as the tricolor was demonstrated in large numbers in front of the CA State Capitol. “It is indeed a proud moment for all of us, when India turns 77, we should turn the page on partisan communities. Our goal is a unified community,” he said.
IAS Secretary Ranju Varma said, “Today is the day to celebrate our outstanding achievements, great successes, our freedom struggle, all the sacrifices done by the leaders and also to chart out our future course of action.”
IAS Treasurer Madhuri Natu thanked everyone who participated in the car parade beating the summer heat wave in Sacramento.
The following Saturday on August 19th at 11 AM thousands of members of the Indian-American community based in the Greater Sacramento area participated in the IAS India Day Celebrations at the California State University Union Building in Sacramento. “All guests were mesmerized by watching colorful rich Indian cultural performances for about six hours non-stop and congratulated the cultural show participants,” said the cultural lead Selvi Janarthanan.
The guests of honor for this year’s IAS India Day included Bruce Houdesheldt – Mayor of City of Roseville, Bobbie Singh-Allen – Mayor & Kevin Spease Vice Mayor from Elk Grove City, YK Chalamcharla, Vice Mayor of Folsom City, Lisa Kaplan Councilmember, District 1 Sacramento, Sarah Aquino Council member Folsom City, Siri Pulipati Councilmember – Rancho Cordova, and Chris Clark FCUSD Board Member – Folsom. The local Folsom Cordova Unified School District Board Member, Chris Clark, expressed his best wishes to communities across Sacramento that are celebrating India’s 77th Independence Day.
Rancho Cordova City Councilmember, Siri Pulipati said, “Let’s celebrate our vibrant democracy and its progress and prosperity.”
Several attendees congratulated IAS for conducting India Day event to showcase a diversified Indian heritage with a wide variety of regional languages, colorful costumes, mesmerizing cultural dances, music, food, stalls, and more. In addition to the cultural activities, IAS planned Indoor/Outdoor Sports, Food Stalls, Jhanki (Tableau), Business and Non-Profit Stalls, Henna, Face Painting and Kids balloons, Forums on Women Empowerment and Mental Health Awareness were conducted.
IAS officer Venu Acharya expressed sincere thanks to the sponsors and vendors for supporting IAS India Day. For the year 2023, IAS announced NEMI and Suvidha International will receive charity funds. IAS Marketing Committee Lead Venkat Nagam, and IAS ex-President IAS Board of Trustee Dr. Bhavin Parikh presented a slide show to the audience about the NAMI – a Sacramento based nonprofit group (https://namisacramento.org/) for helping people with mental illness and Suvidha International Foundation’s (https://suvidhainternational.