New York, NY
For more than 30 years, members of Vaishnav Temple of New York (VTNY) and Indians in the community have shown their patriotic spirit and celebrated India’s Republic Day. For the past couple of years VTNY has partnered with The Gujarati Samaj of New York (GSNY) to organize and celebrate this day. On 29th January, 2023 almost 300 Indian “Desh Bhakts” gathered at VTNY to celebrate the 74th Republic Day of India.
The Chief Guest of the event was Dr. Bobby Kalotee, the Chairman of the Nassau County Commission on Human Rights and Mrs. Ragini Srivastava, serving as Town Clerk of the Town of North Hempstead both in Nassau County, New York. The event was sponsored by Dr. Pratix Shroff and his family, who are devoted Vaishnavs. Dr. Shroff is a renowned General & Cosmetic Dentistry Practitioner and a longtime supporter of VTNY.
The event started with an Indian and American Flag parade with all the dignitaries, trustees, and executive committee members of VTNY and GSNY and fellow Indians joining the march. Kumar Mathuria, Secretary of VTNY welcomed everyone. Thereafter, Jaymin Shah, President of VTNY, Anil Shah, Chairman of VTNY, Harshad (Pakaji) Patel, President of GSNY and Co-Chairman of VTNY, Diyesh Tripathi, Program Manager of GSNY and Jignesh Gandhi, Jt. Seretary of VTNY introduced and felicitated the sponsor and chief guests of the event.
All the senior members of VTNY and GSNY alongwith the dignitaries then joined on the stage for the Flag Hoisting Ceremony under the guidance of Champakbhai Parikh and his son Bharatbhai Parikh. Champakbhai has been guiding the flag hoisting ceremony for more than two decades. This ceremony started with the American National Anthem sung by Avantika Shah, followed by singing of Vande Mataram, Flag Hoisting by the dignitaries, Rashtra Dhwaj salami and singing of the Indian National Anthem Jana Gana Mana by all together.
Dr. Bobby Kalotee and Mrs. Ragini Srivastava then gave citations and recognized members of the community for their selfless service. This was followed by some amazing patriotic song dance performances by young kids and teenagers from the community. This included the kids from the Gujarati Class of VTNY choreographed by Vaishali Shah and Arya Dance Academy led by Shilpa Zurani alongwith performance by kids choreographed by Sonal Shah and a performance by Prachi Shah. The members of the Karaoke group of VTNY then sang a medley of patriotic songs which reminded everyone of the sacrifices of the Indian Freedom Fighters and Independence Leaders and alsoand highlighted the great heritage and culture of India.
The celebration was concluded with update on future events of VTNY provided by the Jt. Secretary Jignesh Gandhi and update on future events of the Senior Community Center of VTNY provided by the President Chandrakant Shah followed by vote of thanks from Divyesh Tripathi, the Program Manager of GSNY and Kumar Mathuria, the Secretary of VTNY.
Vaishnav Temple of New York, Inc, (VTNY) was established in December 1986 under the leadership of the late Dr. Arvind Shah. Vaishnav Temple of New York is the first traditional ‘Pushtimargiya’ temple in North America.
Photos by Vijay Shah.