India Culture Center’s 75th Republic Day Celebration: “Tiranga in Space”

HOUSTON: India Culture Celebrated India’s 75th Republic Day on January 28th at the GSH Event Center. The event started at 1.00 PM. The theme of this year’s celebration was “Tiranga in Space” to celebrate the landing of Indian Space Vehicle Chandrayan-3 on the Moon on August 23. The decorations at the event were full of Indian tricolors deep saffron, white, and green and paintings and replicas of space crafts. It was a day full of songs, Indian dances, food, joy, and celebration. The event chair was Dr. Hina Azam, and the co-chair was Dr. Santosh Verma. Uma Mantravadi was the cultural chair. The emcees for the event were Naeem Vehvaria and Ashmita Singh.

The cultural program started with the Aigiri Nandini Stotra melodiously recited by two young children Arni and Amvi Sahu. The rhythm, energy and the periodic swing of the words makes it truly outstanding. The sounds from this Stotra support the human body system in  raising consciousness and energy. There were several dances that were performed to the tunes of popular Indian patriotic songs. Children from the following schools performed: Bharatha Darshana (Bharatanatyam), Nrityakalpana (Kathak), Khushboo Dance (Bollywood), Any1CanDance(Bollywood), Aditi Dance Sensation (Bollywood), Storytellers (Kathak), APARC Dazzling Stars (Kollattam), Bollywood Dancing Stars, Dhadak (Bharatanatyam), Kathak Beats(Kathak), Naatyavani (Indian Classical) and  Indiawaale (Contemporary). It was a mesmerizing sight to see so many children of all ages perform on the stage. These performances were choreographed by very popular dance gurus and professional choreographers who have given their entire life in learning, teaching, and promoting famous classical, folk and contemporary dance forms from India.

One of the highlights of the celebration was Dr. Kamlesh Lulla, a NASA Chief Scientist, who gave an excellent presentation on Chandrayyan-3 mission and the collaboration between ISRO and NASA over the years. He congratulated the men and women of India’s ISRO who contributed to the success of Chandrauaan-3.

The current Mrs. Universe USA, Mrs. Rutvi Chauhan, also graced the occasion with her presence. She was introduced to the audience with pomp and show and was extremely liked by the audience.

Several dignitaries, of Indian origin, from the Greater Houston Area also went up on the stage to congratulate Indo-Americans on the 75th Republic Day of India. The dignitaries present were Judge of Fort Bend County Hon, K.P. George, Ken Mathew, Mayor of Stafford, Robin Elackatt, Mayor of Missouri City, Judge Juli Mathew presiding judge of County Court-3, Fort Bend County, Alice Chen, Council Member of Stafford, Abhijeet Utturkar, Council Member of Fulshear, and Naushad Kermally, Council Member of Sugar Land. Hon. K.P. George congratulated the Indian diaspora on the occasion and thanked them for their contributions to USA.

ICC President Mr. Malla Mekala introduced the chief guest for the event Consul Sandeep Chaudhury from the Consulate General of India, Houston. Consul Chaudhury gave a rousing speech on India, its people, and its democratic traditions on the occasion. Mr. Malla Mekala also introduced to the audience and also honored Karim Traore, a social and solidarity Economist and General Director of APEC from the country of Burkina Faso in Central Africa.

The entire ICC Board of Directors led by the President Mr. Malla Mekala along with ICC’s board of trustees contributed to the outstanding success of the afternoon. The afternoon fair also include about 40 booths that included sale of Indian dresses and jewelry, health clinic by Ibn Sina Foundation and Medwin, several religious, political and cultural non-profit organizations from the Houston area. One of the booths, Hindus of Greater Houston, had poster exhibits showcasing “Ramayan Around the World”. It was a nice collection of pictures on Ramayan.

Indo-American Newspaper congratulates all the volunteers of India Culture Center, including its Board of Directors, Board of Trustees for bringing such an event for free to the Indo-Americans of Greater Houston. Each of the ICC Board members  sponsored the event. Other major sponsors were Bharat and Falguni Gandhi, Tasnim Vadva, Swapan Dhairyawan, Raj and Kanwal Bhalla, Mahesh Wadhwa, Tara Capital, Rajender Singh, Infodat, Hindus of Greater Houston, Ramesh Cherivirala, MD & Associates, WallisBank, Desi Brothers and Biryani Factory.