Approximately 5,000 Bostonians Celebrate India Day at Hatch Shell

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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.

Jaya Voruganti

“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

  1. 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

  1. Fundia

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

  1. Krishna Leela

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

  1. Jhalak Dhiklaja

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

Saheli Overview

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.

  1. Dharpan Chaaya

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.

  1. Mallari

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

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. Kavadi Chindu

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

  1. 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.

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. Boston Punjabans

Girls Bhangra

Teacher/Coordinator: Sonal Bali

Participants: Ishivita Bali, Jasleen Kaur, Kiran Lampert, Sunaina Kaur, Jessica Pabla, Arminder Kaur, Sania Kaur

  1. Vibrant Gujarat

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.

  1. Holi Tarana

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

  1. Hult

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

  1. 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

  1. 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

  1. Navrang

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.

Raffle Drawing

Vote of Thanks

Avinash Patil, Secretary, IAGB


  1. 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


Officers 2015 – 2017

President:                    Jayashree Voruganti

Vice President:            Praveena Naduthota

Secretary:                     Avinash Patil

Treasurer:        Sanjay K. Gowda

IAGB Directors

Ruchi Agrawal

Matthew Chacko

Narender Chhabra

Jeyanthi Ghatraju

Zehra Khan

Robin Mathews

Suzana Naik

Ujjwal Parikh

Venu Rao

Lata Rao

Syed Ali Rizvi

Aditi Taylor

IAGB Subcommittees/Chairpersons

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

Shiva Sheel

Dr. Kaplesh Kumar

Dr. Nannaji Saka

Ram Voruganti

Amrit Soni

Dr. Anil Saigal


Tel: 1-866-4SAHELI

Saheli Directors

Pooja Bakhai

Gouri Banerjee, Ph.D

Divya Chandra

Tanvi Devimane

Amrith Fernandes-Prabhu

Supriya Saurabh

Pradip Tandon

Kiran Uppuluri

Usha Vakil

Saheli Staff

Rita Shah, LCSW Salita Mehta

Lata Rao

Renu Tewarie

Vandana Sharma

Nadia Madden

Saheli Advisory Committee

Ramesh Advani

Anu Chitrapu

David S. Ludwig MD, Ph.D

Sweta Mepani

Trupti Patel, Esq.

Ranjani Saigal

Manju Sheth, MD

Rajendra Trivedi, MD

Jaya Voruganti

Neelam Wali


Culture Committee

Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Aditi Taylor, Praveena Naduthota,

Syed Ali Rizvi, Lata Rao, Ruchi Agrawal, Umesh Rao,

Jaya Voruganti

Fundraising Committee

Jaya Voruganti, Ali Rizvi, Praveena Naduthota,

Narender Chhabra

Food Committee

Narender Chhabra, Jaya Voruganti


India New England News,

RadioMusic India,


Burlington Union


Photography/Video Recording

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

Brochure Cover

Dr. Salman Khan Alig, Salman Bin Kashif

Stage Management

Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Aditi Taylor

Vendor Table Management

Praveena Naduthota, Ujjwal Parikh, Lata Rao

IAGB Website/Facebook

Robin Mathews, Jeyanthi Ghatraju / Praveena

Naduthota, Syed Ali Rizvi


One World Cuisine


Printing Graphic Services of Billerica

Brochure Layout

Zehra Khan, Umesh Rao, Noura Khan, Jaya Voruganti,

Aditi Taylor, Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Syed Ali Rizvi

IAGB eNewsletter

Zehra Khan, Noura Khan

IAGB Disclaimer

Dr. Kaplesh Kumar, Esq.


Ram Voruganti, Pradnya Patil, Madhu Mathur Anand,

Alia Rizvi, Sanjay Jain, Bala Vishnumolukala, Dr.

Deeba Husain, Heena Parikh.



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