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IAGB Pays Fitting Tribute To 75 Years Of India's Independence

Ranjani Saigal

The India Association of Greater Boston (IAGB) celebrated India’s 75th Independence Day at the Hatch Shell in a spectacular fashion on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. Over 7000 people attended the event. The event featured a live concert by the Berklee Indian Ensemble. 

The event was the culmination of several weeks of celebrations, where the Indian Flag was raised in over 50 towns. In addition to the celebrations at the Hatch Shell, the Boston City Hall Plaza was lit in Tricolor from Aug 13 - Aug 15 to honor India’s independence. Returning to the Hatch Shell after four years, the event featured a fantastic showcase of music and dance. Musical presentations by the Shishu Bharati Band and Choir led by Dr. Mallika Anand and Dr. Alexander Li Cohen, IAGB Youth Band led by Ruchi Shroff and Leher led by Dr. Amal Jawa and Dr. Raagini Jawa were followed by dance presentations by Triveni School of Dance, Aangikam dance academy. Other dance presentations choreographed by Jyothi Setty, Viprali Bhatkar, Bina Negandi, Devika Dhawan of DFD Academy and Neha Sharma added color to the event. 

Sponsor Bhuren Patel gave an inspiring talk on community service. The chief guest for the evening was Niren Chaudhary, CEO - Panera Bread, who mesmerized the audience with his musical presentation. Following the presentations by local musical and dance groups, IAGB presented recognition to over 30 community organizations who had worked tirelessly to help people around the world during the pandemic. Community Youth Excellence 2021 award was presented to Arnav Bhakta, Sachi Badola, and Archita Neemlikanti. 

A live concert by the Berklee Indian Ensemble followed the presentations. “This is the 10th year of this ensemble. We really wanted to celebrate this milestone. We could not have asked for a better celebration. We thank IAGB for giving us the opportunity” said Annette Phillip, the professor who leads the orchestra. They presented several popular numbers, some patriotic and others foot taping. The audience was delighted to dance to the numbers standing in front of the stage. 

IAGB had placed chairs at a safe distance around the grounds so that people could stay safe during the pandemic. Many brought their own blankets. The weather was picture perfect for a family outing and many families came with children and seniors to attend the event.  Food vendors - Maya Indian Bar & Grill, Home Kitchens and Mela were very busy throughout the evening. 

“I am so grateful to all the volunteers who made this event happen. We thank Sraveo for Photography and Videography and Fotu Duniya for Photography.  Volunteers Raghavendra Nanjaiah, Samhita Gowda, Angel Patel, Heny Patel, Sanchita Gowda, Esha Shinde, Aditi Manjrekar, Kishan Angadi, Jayanth Angadi, Srinathan Gade, Anees Buxamusa, Swasti Bhargava, Shourya Gupta, Vasudha Kudrimoti, Dhriti Motwani and others worked alongside the executive committee all day to make the event happen.” said Sanjay Gowda, President, IAGB. 

Having coordinated this event for several years, I know the hard work that goes into making this happen. Kudos to the IAGB team for pulling off such a beautiful event, a fitting tribute to the 75th year of India’s independence. 

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