India got its independence from the British in 1947. To mark the 74th Anniversary of India’s independence, the Connecticut chapter of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO-CT) has joined hands with Stamford City and Mill River Collaborative to host India Festival in Stamford to commemorate Indian Independence, when the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru raised the Indian flag at the Red Fort on August 15, 1947. The Indian Diaspora in Connecticut is a growing community consisting generally IT and management professionals. healthcare workers and a large number of entrepreneurs in hospitality and small businesses. They will join for a celebration organized by the GOPIO-CT by hoisting American, Indian and Connecticut flags at the Government Center in Stamford on Sunday, August 8th at 11.30 a.m.
Following the flag hoisting, at 12.00 Noon, there is an official ceremony to celebrate Indian Independence Day at the adjacent Mill River Park (corner Broad St. and Washington Blvd., Stamford). Honored guests are Indian Consul A.K. Vijayakrishnan, Stamford Mayor David Martin, CT Attorney General William Tong, CT State Senator Patricia Billie Miller and CT State Representatives Harry Arora representing CT 151st district and Caroline Simmons representing 144th district. Baseball legend Bobby Valentine will also join the celebration as a honored guest.
After the ceremony, the Mill River will witness Kite flying and an India Festival with colorful Folk and Classical Dances of India, Music, Magic Show and Bollywood Dances. There will be vendors for Indian food, Indian arts and crafts, Indian clothing and other items. Admission is FREE for both events.
Stamford Resident Mr. Shailesh Naik will be bestowed with Indian Independence Liberty Award. An engineer by profession and Principal of Charles A. Manganaro Consulting Engineers, Naik has been serving the Indian American community for the last 15 years. Shailesh served as President GOPIO-CT from 2010 to 2014 and as President of Society of Indo-American Engineers and Architects (SIAEA) for two years. When Covid hit India badly in 2021 Spring, Shailesh came forward and coordinated GOPIO-CT’s efforts to raise funds and to send Oxygen concentrators to India. Naik is a licensed professional engineer with over 30 years of experience in the field of engineering.
The celebration is hosted by Mill River Park Collaborative and the sponsor is First County Bank of Stamford.
Over the last 15 years, GOPIO-CT, a chapter of GOPIO International has become an active and dynamic organization hosting interactive sessions with policy makers and academicians, community events, youth mentoring and networking workshops, and working with other area organizations to help create a better future. GOPIO-CT – Global Organization of People of Indian Origin – serves as a non-partisan, secular, civic and community service organization – promoting awareness of Indian culture, customs and contributions of PIOs through community programs, forums, events and youth activities. It seeks to strengthen partnerships and create an ongoing dialogue with local communities.