Oyster Bay Hosts 11th India Day Parade
By Priya Persaud
The 11th India Day Parade of Long Island was held last Sunday, on a blazingly hot day, but with thousands of people cheerfully manning the parade route.
The Parade marked the celebration of India’s milestone 75th anniversary of independence.
The festivities began at the Hicksville Community Center. Numerous marching groups, decorated floats, vibrant flags, and patriotic songs were distinctly featured throughout the parade.
The Parade leaders were India Day Parade founder Bobby Kalotee; Chairperson Indu Jaiswal; President Vimal Goyal; and Vice Chair Mukesh Modi.
Dr. Varun Jeph, India’s Deputy Consul General in New York, served as the Grand Marshal of the parade. Jeph had thoughtfully implored the parade-goers to exhibit India’s Tricolor Flag, in their homes.
The Celebrity Grand Marshal - sports and film star Prachi Tehlan - expressed her amazement at the love for India displayed throughout the parade route.
Guests of honor included Shibani Kashyap, a famous singer, Prashantt Guptha, a popular Bollywood/Hollywood actor and writer, and Navika Capital Group’s Naveen Shah.
Oyster Bay Supervisor Joe Saladino; North Hempstead Supervisor Jenr DeSena; and Nassau legislator Rose Walker all spoke at the celebration of India’s independence.
The parade route ended by the Hicksville LIRR station, where over 30 booths featured activities and products - and an entertainment stage.
Kashyap sang various Indian cultural songs. Many dance groups performed on the entertainment stage.
Over the next year, India – with 1.4 billion people - will become the most populous country in the world, as India surpasses China in population.
India is already the sixth-largest economy in the world, and is the major global power of the Indian Ocean.