Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrating India's 75 glorious years of independence witnessed a grand celebration in New York as the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) NY NJ CT NE organised 40th annual India Day Parade in Manhattan. As a part of this celebration, FIA aimed and smashed two Guinness World records in a single day.
FIA now holds two Guinness World Records for the most number of different flags flown simultaneously and the largest ensemble of Damru, the twin-headed drum. Besides, the India Day Parade was also the world's largest Indian event outside India.
As soon as the Guinness title was claimed, Prem Bhandari, Convenor of FIA's "Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebration" congratulated FIA Chairman Ankur Vaidya; President Kenny Desai; and FIA Secretary and Event Chair for the attempts, Pravin Bansal; Former FIA President & Chairman of Bihar Foundation, Kumar; and their entire team who worked tirelessly to make this a grand success. Ankur Vaidya said that these records are dedicated to the global Indian community.
The flags display, in keeping with the theme this year of honouring the Tiranga, the Indian flag, made a show of India's universality by also including the flags of nations around the world.
New York's Mayor Eric Adams, holding aloft an Indian flag, was among those leading the parade. Singer and composer Kailash Kher led a mass singing of "Hindustan Meri Jaan".
There was a massive gathering at the India Day Parade, with thousands flocking to see the grand celebrations. The parade saw over 20 floats and was attended by more than 200,000 people.
The event also witnessed some VVIPs, who brought with them glamour and finesse. Telugu superstar and Pushpa fame Allu Arjun attended the parade as the Grand Marshal, along with other notable dignitaries, including Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda, H.E. Gaston Browne as the Guest of Honour, NYC Mayor, Eric Adams, popular singer Kailash Kher who led a mass singing of "Hindustan Meri Jaan", Consul General of India, Randhir Jaiswal, FIA'S Conveyor who was also the Chief Guest of this parade, Prem Bhandari, and Deputy Commissioner, Dilip Chauhan. FIA's current and past office bearers, Board of Trust, volunteers, and all important organizations, and other dignitaries, were in attendance.
Mega artificial limb fitment camp in Hyderabad
Following the parade, an evening gala dinner was also hosted by FIA for all the special guests along with 700 other dignitaries. During the gala, Ankur Vaidya made an important announcement about the state-level Mega Jaipur Foot Camp to be held in Hyderabad, which will benefit both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states. At the camp, 1,075 differently-abled will be given free artificial limbs. Alok Kumar, former FIA President is the chief coordinator of the camp from the US and Dr Sudhakar Reddy will be the local coordinator at Hyderabad.
Jaipur Foot USA's parent organisation BMVSS is organising the state-level "Mega Artificial Limbs Fitment Camp" in Hyderabad in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Associations NY, NJ, CT, NE. Founder of BMVSS Padma Bhushan D.R. Mehta will also attend the event.
BMVSS has helped over 2 million differently-abled people globally through 85 international camps in 35 countries across Asia, Latin America and Africa. The artificial limbs, popularly referred to as Jaipur Foot cost the organisation $70, but the beneficiaries are not charged a single penny.
Prem Bhandari, who is the Chairman of Jaipur foot USA, a subsidiary of BMVSS, thanked India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then Former Foreign Secretary and now Chief Coordinator for G20 Harsh Vardhan Singla for renewing the government contract for another 12 international camps on August 5, 2020. To commemorate Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary and to showcase his principles and ideology to the world, Govt of India started "India for Humanity" program and made BMVSS - Jaipur Foot as their partner, under which the Ministry of External Affairs, Govt of India has sponsored 19 international Camps.