India Festival USA 2010 Independence Ohio September 11, 2010
Over 1200 visitors attended the first annual India Festival USA 2010 held on September 11, 2010 at the Independence Middle School.
The organizers explained the objective of the festival as being in the event tagline itself - "Bridging cultures, generations and communities". Northeast Ohio has been home to Asian Indians for decades retaining their unique cultural identity while assimilating in the salad bowl of America. Within the Indian community, the various sub-cultures celebrate the diversity that is called India. The next-generation Americans of Indian descent are the brand ambassadors of this unique cultural mix.
"The first North-East Ohio INDIA Festival USA aims to act as the bridge between these cultures, communities and generations. This year's theme is 'Tribute To Heroes'."
Taste of India FoodFest
Basketball Competitions, Kids & Adult Activities
Door Prizes and Raffle
"You've Got Talent" Competition
"THE ART OF LIVING" Presentation
Mr. Ratanjit Sondhe "Mr. Stress Free" Lecture, Q/A & Book Signing Presentation
Tribute To Heroes evening program
Advisory Board members included Dr. Amiya K. Banerjee, Dr. Sri Sreenath, Mr. Sudarshan Sathe, Dr. Neil Mehta, Mr. Christopher Cotton, Mr. Patrick Golembiewski and Mr. Vipin Gupta.
Dr. Deb Roy and Mr. Bharat Kumar
Mr. Bharat Kumar was the Executive Producer and Dr. Deb Roy was the Technical Director.
The evening Tribute to Heroes began with Master of Ceremonies Christopher Cotton.
Master of Ceremonies Christopher Cotton
The Shaker Heights High School Women's Ensemble sang the National Anthem of the United States.
Shaker Heights High School Women's Ensemble
Jana Gana Mana , the Indian National Anthem, was then sung by Dr. Amiya K. Banerjee.
Dr. Amiya K. Banerjee
MC Chris Cotton spoke about terrorism and asked for a minute of silence for the victims of of September 11, 2001 and other victims of terrorism. Then Dr. Deb Roy gave the rationale behind organizing the 2010 India Festival USA.
Dr. Deb Roy
Mayor Gregory Kurtz of Independence Ohio welcomed the Indian Festival USA 2010 to his city. Then organizers Deb Roy and Bharat Kumar and the Mayor exchanged words and tokens of appreciation.
Dr Deb Roy and Independence Mayor Gregory Kurtz
The Board of the India Fest USA 2010 donated a portion of the proceeds to a non-profit organization, the Cuyahoga County Critical Incident Stress Management or CC-CISM. Denise Elliott, Board Chairman of CC-CISM explained her organization and how even heroes need help. CC-CISM helps police, fire and others who need help with the stress of their jobs.
Denise Elliott, Board Chairman of the Cuyahoga County Critical Incident Stress Management
Next the heroes were recognized and called to the stage. The first two were recognized as Young Heroes. Anamika Veeramani was recognized as a Young Academic Hero for her outstanding performance in winning the 2010 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
The other Young Hero was Ari Meshkin who was recognized as a Young Environmental Hero for his work with Green Computing.
Ohio State Senator Nina Turner then awarded Lt. Edward D. Teare, an Independence firefighter and paramedic who died in the line of duty in 2010, the True Hero Award.
Lt. Edward D. Teare
Lt. Edward D. Teare's brother David accepted the award from Senator Turner
Next, Independence Police Sergeant Christopher Cross was honored as a hero for his bravery in action.
State Senator Nina Turner and Independence Police Sergeant Christopher Cross
Page 2 of India Fest USA 2010 includes speeches from hero retired 3-star Lt. General Robert Wagner and Lt. Colonel Om Julka of the Indian Army