BOSTON–Approximately 5,000 Indians and Indian-Americans celebrated India’s Independence Day at Boston’s Hatch Memorial Shell, featuring a robust cultural program that included approximately 300 participants. The event was organized by the India Association of Greater Boston, a non-profit community organization known as IAGB.
“It is indeed a special day for all of us to celebrate India’s 70th independence anniversary – India Day 2017, the unparalleled flagship event of IAGB,” IAGB President Jaya Voruganti told the audience. “On 15 August 1947, the UK Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act 1947 transferring legislative sovereignty to the Indian Constituent Assembly.”
Voruganti said that she was proud to stand at Hatch Memorial Shell with the audience who represented the two largest and biggest democracies in the world: United States and India.
“I am a proud Indian, celebrating 70 years of Independence of my janma bhoomi, my mother land, where I was born and grew up in a free country who taught me the meaning of independence and free thinking,” Voruganti said. “I also stand here, very proudly, today as an American citizen, in my Karma Bhoomi. I could literally say that I grew up here.”
This year marked the 30th anniversary of celebrating India’s Independence day at Hatch Memorial Shell. IAGB celebrated India Day first time at Hatch Memorial Shell in 1987 under Bijoy Mishra’s presidency of IAGB. IAGB came back to Hatch Shell in 1997 to Celebrate India’s 50th Independence Anniversary and has not turned back since then from this historical location.
The India Day celebrations included music, dance and other activities under the banner of “Unity in Diversity.” The program started right on time at 3:30 pm as announced.
“We have become very particular about starting our programs on time,” Voruganti said proudly. As the program progressed the audience started to fill the open space at the Hatch Memorial Shell along the scenic Charles River. Independent sources estimated that approximately 5,000 people attended the event.
Missing this year, however, was the Chief Guest. This was probably the first time in many years that IAGB’s flagship event India Day did not have a chief guest. Corporate sponsors this year were: Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, Turkish Airlines and One World Cuisine.
Here are programs that were presented on India Day at Hatch Memorial Shell.
US National Anthem
Indian National Anthem
Introduction of 2015-2017 Executive Committee
Jaya Voruganti, President, IAGB
Welcome Speech: Zehra Khan, Director, IAGB
Emcees: Dr. Sameer Kapasi, Noura Khan, Dr. Ruchira Kumar, Abha Patil
Apna Ek-kal Hoga Na
Iconic ekal song in Hindi giving a message of hope and brighter future for rural India
Teacher/Coordinator Written By – Sunayana Kachroo Music/Choreography – Anuradha Palakurthi
Rebecca Koleth, Amy Koleth, Sunthriiwi Venkat, Amirtha Chen, Akul Chen Bamiela Venkat, Janani Baskaran,
Pushpa Baskaran, Akhil Upneja, Anu Upneja, Nikita Minocha
Young dancers rejoicing life by singing peppy songs in different languages
Teacher/Coordinator: Sonali Bhargava (Sakhi)
Participants: Vedavit Bharadwaj, Shruthi Viswanadha, Omkar Naluvala, Isha Patil, Sanjay Alva, Riya Bharadwaj, Shubhang Viswanadha, Shreya Goyal
Children recreate Vrindavan and portray Krishna’s love for all
Teacher/Coordinator: Bina Negandhi
Participants: Radhika Verma, Farah Semy, Devangi Rathi, Radhika Heda, Vrinda Heda, Hrishaan Kachrani, Veda Keny, Reetika Bhagadia, Zara Semy, Abhilasha Banka, Aryam Dave, Aditi Nagaraja, Rhia Sharma, Devam Morparia, Aditi Wadhwa
A presentation of dance on Indian festivals and gods such as Shiva, Ganesh and Krishna beautifully presented by
BDA kids and adults group
Teacher/Coordinator: Nikita Rao, Bollywood Dance Academy
Neel Koodhathinkal, Adhrit Yadav, Anushkaa Verma, Kritika Agarwal, Kanika Agarwal, Suraj Sanariya, Shivani Sanariya, Vihar Kottakota, Shreya Soni, Navya Manuja, Tavisha Bansal, Amisha Arora, Khushi Minajigi, Ishan Gottipatti, Saanvi Bajaj, Saee Purohit, Pratyush Kapoor, Akshar Ganta, Nikhil Byrapuram, Devshri
Patel, Nimisha Yutharkar, Sahaj Agrawal, Pranav Nair, Alisha Padhy, Meghan Ulin, Sindhuja Kanamarlapudi, Shailashree Sherigar, Anulekha Sahu, Ketki Hatle, Arushi Biswas, Dhrithi Motwani, Meenakshi Soni, Tanulakshmi Natarajan, Teenu Tom, Megha Kamath, Shwetha Shangari, Sithara Sonathi, Neha Kodeboyena
Supriya Saurabh, Director, Board Member
An advocate of gender equality and women empowerment, Supriya is an avid supporter of Saheli’s objectives and vision. Supriya has been with Saheli for over 3 years and actively participated in Community outreach events, Support Groups, Computer Literacy Classes and Media Communications. She is a Biomedical Engineer by qualification and worked as Assistant Professor with SJPML Engineering College in India. She later collaborated with a professor at John Hopkins University to conduct research in the field of Neuroimaging and Neurospectroscopy. Supriya works as Quality and Compliance leader in the medical device industry. She lives in Andover with her husband.
A folk dance from the mountains of India and Nepal
Teacher/Coordinator: Jyothi Setty, Desi Rhythms School of Boston
Participants: Sahithi Setty, Sanjula Jakati, Tamanna Babbar, Diya Vedantham, Diya Munshi, Nikita Mullangi
Introduction of Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare
Rose Hom, Marketplace Inclusion, Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare
Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare is one of the nation’s leading not-for-profit health services companies that, along with its subsidiaries, is improving the well-being of its 2.7 million customers. Our mission is to improve the quality and value of health care for the people and communities we serve.
An invocatory Bharatnatyam piece played when the deity of a temple is brought out in a procession
Teacher/Coordinator: Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Natyanjali
Participants: Aditi Korrapati, Advika Swamy, Arya Swamy, Deepthika Vedavinayagam, Diya Manikandan, Hamsika Vedavinayagam, Ishika Pandi, Lakshmi Jayaprakash, Prisha Dedhia, Priya Roy, Priya Soundar, Rushika Susarla, Shreya Manikandan, Siri Jayaprakash, Sreshta Jonnalagadda, Yuktha Jonnalagadda, Vijaya Swamy
Rang Ki Dhoom Machai
Kathak dance presenting abhinaya leading into bhaava and story-telling with sophisticated footwork, expressions, and feelings it carries.
Teacher/Coordinator: Himanshi Patel, Himanshi Dance Academy
Participants: Shreya Vijay, Carol Cheng, Gunjan Kuthiala, Shruti Nayak, Kavleen Kaur, Alka Narang, Tanushree Rout, Himanshi Patel
IAGB Youth Excellence Awards Presentation
Sanjay Gowda, Treasurer, IAGB; and Avinash Patil, Secretary, IAGB
Colors of India
Vibrant performance depicting unity in diversity through regional folk dances of India
Teacher/Coordinator: Swasti Bhargava, Swastika Dance Group
Participants: Gayatri Raja, Aditya Raja, Akshita Nistala, Dheeraj Nistala, Roshini UtthayaKumar, Abie Utthayakumar, Karun Siva, Kiranmayee Nemalapuri, Pragathi Ram, Nanditha Ramesh, Neva Mathew, Arya Venkatesh, Jagan Siva, Lavisha Saini
Sung in praise of Lord Subramaniya or Murugan, Kavadi Chindu relies heavily on folk music. Kavadi represents burden of life in a form of a mountain.
Teacher/Coordinator: Veena Teli, Tarangini Creations School of Dance
Participants: Abha Chaudhuri, Arthi Vithiananthan, Harini Selvaraj, Kshama Kolur, Lena Shan, Nandita Lajeesh, Sanjana Jadav, Sruthelaya Mohan, Tulasi Vithiananthan, Varshini Arumugam
- Toh Sur Bane Hamara
A visualization of the legendary song on unity ‘Miley Sur Mera Tumhara’ with an artistic twist incorporating current folk and fusion songs from different regions of India.
Teacher/Coordinator: Rupa Datta, Rutuja Patil, Isha Magavi, Shany Rajagopalan, Kristy Embrack-Seales, Natalie Mulmule
Participants: Rupa Datta, Isha Magavi, Shany Rajagopalan, Pooja Thyvalappil, Kristy Embrack-Seales, Amrapali Sukhdeve, Vandana Gupta, Manjiri Kulkarni, Swetha Bandapalli
IAGB President: Jaya Voruganti
Jayashree Voruganti is the current president of India Association of Greater Boston (IAGB) for the term of 2015-2017. She is a life member of IAGB and has been IAGB supporter for over 20 years. She joined IAGB in 1995 as a director and served for two consecutive terms as the Culture Committee Chair. She joined IAGB again in January of 2012 as a director and served for two consecutive terms. In 2015, she was elected President of IAGB.
Her vision for IAGB is to expand its community services activities proactively and work with other Indian Organizations in the area to garner the strength and visibility the Indian Community deserves. To that end, Jaya lead the creation of new sub-committees within IAGB – Community Services and Community Collaboration. She has worked with her team to expand the IAGB culture activities beyond the two flagship events IAGB conducts each year (Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations).
Among many other initiatives, her team started monthly eNewsletter and several community collaboration activities supporting non-profit organizations. In addition to IAGB, she had served as a volunteer for Saheli, FISCO and NEMM and was instrumental in the formation of the Indian Americans for Burlington (IAB) organization.
Dance Spirit – Azeem O Shaan Shehenshah
Women and children display strength in a unified manner by celebrating the reign of the Mughals which brought diversified groups together as one.
Teacher/Coordinator: Bina Negandhi
Participants: Khushi Morparia, Medha Morparia, Devam Morparia, Rayhan Semy, Sarah Semy, Vidhi Shah, Dhruti Ashar, Savitha Rajagopalan, Priya Joshi, Shweta Humad, Ruby Boyanapalli, Kiranmai Arava
Mile Sur Mera Tumhara
SETU (Stage Ensemble Theater Unit) presentation
Teacher/Coordinator: Vasudha Kudrimoti, Swasti Bhargava, Nishtha Saxena
Participants: Sridhar Pola, Swasti Bhargava, Soumya Dharmateja, Anchal Dubey, Priyangini Patel, Nishtha Saxena, Rakhee Wagal, Medhasri Jegga, Queenal Vrishni, Vasudha Kudrimoti, Shreyas Kudrimoti, Minishrang Borgoyary, Shubha Vijayesh, Ranjana Maheshwari
Prop Support: Akshaj Aneja, Arnav Bhargava, Aanvi Bhargava, Shlok Kudrimoti
Bollywood Dance Academy – Fusion Dance Troupe
An energy packed Bhangra performance by adults and kids.
Teacher/Coordinator: Nikita Rao, Bollywood Dance Academy
Participants: Advika Tuniki, Diya Dodhia, Priyanka Mannan, Anushka Mannan, Ronit Prasad, Nikhita Prasad, Meher Bijani, Nikita Mugundu, Sarah Jaimon, Nivan Gujral, Naman Gujral, Aryan Rajpal, Ariana Rajpal, Hema Bhatia, Pallavi Awate, Rini Gandhi, Anushka Rathi, Celina Mannan, Karina Mannan
Teacher/Coordinator: Sonal Bali
Participants: Ishivita Bali, Jasleen Kaur, Kiran Lampert, Sunaina Kaur, Jessica Pabla, Arminder Kaur, Sania Kaur
Traditional Gujarati Garba dandiya Raas
Teacher/Coordinator: Shaila Verma
Participants: Sandeep Shah, Neeta Shah, Sharyu Shah, Sanjay Shah, Sunil Soni, Surekha Soni, Divya Rani, Sanjay Chaudhary, Uma Vinod, Vinod Rao
Introduction of One World Cuisine
Narender Chhabra, Director, IAGB
For over 30 years, One World Cuisine restaurant group has provided Boston with distinctive culinary excellence from the Indian subcontinent. Their restaurants have grown to include diverse culinary concepts ranging from casual takeout, to fine dining and nightlife, to gourmet Indian groceries. One World Cuisine’s locations can be found throughout the Greater Boston area, covering most neighborhoods in the city. Each restaurant provides dine-in, takeout and catering options. It is their mission to provide customers with exceptional food and an outstanding experience.
Their restaurants include: Bukhara in Jamaica Plane; Diva Bistro and Lounge in Davis Square, Somerville; Dosa Factory in Central Sq. Cambridge and at Newbury Street in Boston; Mela in South End, Boston; and Shalimar and Bao Nation in Cambridge.
Celebrating Holi – Krishna and Radha play Holi, showering each other with colored water and powder. Their dance fills the air with music and love
Teacher/Coordinator: Pandit Chitresh Das
Participants: Meenakshi Sharma, Purvi Patel, Rina Kaul, Surbhi Dhar, Sudha Maheshwari, Lavanya Kumara Jayachandran
A fusion of entertainment and creating awareness about the pressing issue of different forms of violence faced by women by the NGO, DAWN
Teacher/Coordinator: All performers
Participants: Nupur, Kin, Bharti, Ittycheria, Jasdeep, Alvaro, Megha
Bollywood Fusion Dhamaka
Graceful fusion of Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Hip-Hop
Teacher/Coordinator: Nikita Rao, BDA Wellness Center
Participants: Divija Anuga, Shalvi Gupta, Ishita Rao, Gauri Menon, Tanisha Bhaskarwar, Neha Kodeboyena, Rhythm Arora, Priya Rao, Keerthana Dasari, Poorvi Tikoo, Aashna Diddee, Anushka Diddee, Divya Mannan
Devika Fusion Dance
A medley of North Indian Dance styles
Teacher/Coordinator: Devika Dhawan
Participants: Amy Koleth, Anika Shroff, Anushka Phillip, Isha Mehta, Manavi Vajhallya, Olivia Adelabu, Prajusha Reddy, Preksha Munot, Rayana Ryaz, Sana Nadkarni, Shravya Sathi, Shruthi Gajjar, Shruthi Puranik
Dance depicting diversity through colors
Teacher/Coordinator: Jyothi Setty/Desi Rhythms School of Dance
Participants: Jyothi Setty, Chavi Mishra, Avani Mishra, Sowmya Sampige, Rashmi Munshi, Priya Singh, Anandita Joby, Sowmya Aneesh
Introduction of Turkish Airlines: Syed Ali RIzvi, IAGB
Asli H. Basegmez-Leyanna, Regional Marketing & PR Representative New England
Turkish Airlines is a global brand among the top-ten airlines in the world. It flies to 299 destinations across 120 countries. Our motto is “Widen Your World” – it is an appeal to discover the world. Turkish Airlines’ brings the passenger experience to a new level with its expanded fleet. Fly Turkish Airlines for a diverse and memorable travel experience.
Vote of Thanks
Avinash Patil, Secretary, IAGB
Giddha – Punjabi folk dance
Giddha – an energetic Punjabi folk dance form showcasing grace and elegance
Teacher/Coordinator: Rashi Gujral
Participants: Rashi Gujral, Karishma Mannan, Daizy Rampal, Meenakshi Kumar, Sangeeta Jaggi, Lovely Singh, Monika Mohindru, Rekha Dawesar, Indira Sharma, Naina Dutt, Poonam Gill, Jyoti Karwal
IAGB EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Officers 2015 – 2017
President: Jayashree Voruganti
Vice President: Praveena Naduthota
Secretary: Avinash Patil
Treasurer: Sanjay K. Gowda
Syed Ali Rizvi
Culture – Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Aditi Taylor Fundraising – Praveena Naduthota, Jaya Voruganti Public Relations – Zehra Khan
Community Services – Suzana Naik, Syed Ali Rizvi Community Collaboration – Venu Rao, Syed Ali Rizvi Bylaws – Narender Chhabra, Dr. Nannaji Saka
IAGB Advisory Committee
Dr. Kaplesh Kumar
Dr. Nannaji Saka
Dr. Anil Saigal
Gouri Banerjee, Ph.D
Rita Shah, LCSW Salita Mehta
Saheli Advisory Committee
David S. Ludwig MD, Ph.D
Trupti Patel, Esq.
Manju Sheth, MD
Rajendra Trivedi, MD
ORGANIZING TEAMS AND VOLUNTEERS
Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Aditi Taylor, Praveena Naduthota,
Syed Ali Rizvi, Lata Rao, Ruchi Agrawal, Umesh Rao,
Jaya Voruganti, Ali Rizvi, Praveena Naduthota,
Narender Chhabra, Jaya Voruganti
India New England News,
Neil Pandit, Asrah Rizvi, Mark McMinn – LexMedia
IAGB Registration/Reception Avinash Patil, Suzana Naik, Zehra Khan, Robin Mathews, Mallika Narayanan, Nila Rakit, Ranin Chatterji, Ruchi Misra
Umesh Rao, Matthew Chacko, Lata Rao, Ruchi
Agrawal, Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Aditi Taylor
Public Relations and Advertising Zehra Khan, Syed Ali Rizvi, Noura Khan, Praveena Naduthota
Facility/Venue Management Sanjay Gowda, Avinash Patil, Syed Ali Rizvi, Ram Voruganti, Praveena Naduthota, Venu Rao
India Day Program Management
Suzana Naik, Syed Ali Rizvi
Dr. Salman Khan Alig, Salman Bin Kashif
Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Aditi Taylor
Vendor Table Management
Praveena Naduthota, Ujjwal Parikh, Lata Rao
Robin Mathews, Jeyanthi Ghatraju / Praveena
Naduthota, Syed Ali Rizvi
One World Cuisine
Printing Graphic Services of Billerica
Zehra Khan, Umesh Rao, Noura Khan, Jaya Voruganti,
Aditi Taylor, Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Syed Ali Rizvi
Zehra Khan, Noura Khan
Dr. Kaplesh Kumar, Esq.
Ram Voruganti, Pradnya Patil, Madhu Mathur Anand,
Alia Rizvi, Sanjay Jain, Bala Vishnumolukala, Dr.
Deeba Husain, Heena Parikh.