IAGB Presents Variety and Fun for All at Republic Day Mela
India Association of Greater Boston's Republic Day Mela on January 28 was its first-ever day-long affair. The theme was "unity in diversity," and the program was a phenomenal hit. Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito as well as Indian Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna sent letters of congratulations to IAGB on the occasion.

Team Atom Bomb, consisting of Namita Deshpande and Parag Singh were the big winners of the antakshari competition. Nilesh Agrawal won the raffle for a Turkish Airlines ticket to anywhere the airline flies. Here are some more highlights of the event:

The program began with the Republic Day competitions, including Science, Poetry Writing, Kite-Making, Essay Writing, Art, Geography Bee and Chess, after which Secretary Avinash Patil welcomed the audience. Noura Khan rendered the US National Anthem, followed by the Indian National Anthem sung by Debarati Mukherjee and Reshma Nair. Director Jeyanthi Ghatraju emceed the cultural program, which was interspersed with speeches by President Jayashree Voruganti and Chief Guest Riva Ganguly Das, Consul General of India, New York. Jayashree also recognized the contributions of Kamal Mishra, president of IAGB from 1997-1999.

Consul General Das stressed the importance of being connected with the community. She said that the Indian Consulate General in New York  hosts an open house on Wednesdays "to address grievances of the people," and invited those who were visiting the city to visit. Check out the Consulate's website for details. She told the audience that she was invited to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange on the occasion of the 68th Republic Day of India on January 26.

Vice President Praveena Naduthota introduced Avinash Padhye, director of "...Chale Hans ki Chaal," the Hindi comedy being presented jointly by IAGB and Leherein (read more about Leherein below) on Saturday, May 13,  at Littleton High School, Littleton, MA. Finally, Director Syed Ali Rizvi introduced IAGB's corporate sponsors Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare and Turkish Airlines before Treasurer Sanjay Gowda gave a vote of thanks to the participants, sponsors and volunteers for their valuable contributions.

The evening came to a close with the Antakshari Grand Finale with hosts Aditi Taylor and Vaishali Gade. A team of musicians provided live music as the competitors sang, jazzing up the performances.

Take a look at the program book that IAGB published on the occasion of its Republic Day mela.