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As per the Press Release, Garden City, NY, TIO: For the India Day Parade of Long Island set for August 7 in Hicksville, Deputy Consul General of New York, Dr. Varun Jeph, has consented to join as Grand Marshal, it was announced at a press conference held at the Mint restaurant on July 26.
IDP USA President Vimal Goyal and Adviser Mukesh Modi told the media that the EQ (entertainment quotient) of their 11th India Day is soaring as famous Bollywood actress and sportsperson Prachi Tehlan will be the Celebrity Grand Marshal, and the Guests of Honor are the singing sensation Shibani Kashyap, Hollywood/Bollywood actor Prashantt Gupta, and Naveen Shah, President of Navika group. Shibani will perform for an hour on the entertainment stage. New York-born Prashantt will also do a surprise act.
Highlighting the Unity in Diversity theme of the parade, President Vimal Goyal said that there will be banners of all 28 states of India, and Indian lovers have been requested to walk behind the banners of their respective states and come dressed up in their state’s traditional attire. He added that many lawmakers from Long Island and New York have confirmed their participation in the parade.
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Past President Mukesh Modi announced that Padma Shri Sudhir Parikh, Chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media, will join the parade with his wife. Modi wanted the public to note the parade route change. Starting at 2 pm from Hicksville Community Center at Carl Street West, the parade will go along Broadway North before turning left on John Street to culminate at 125 West John Street, where the food and other stalls will be set up as well as a children’s carnival area. There is ample LIRR parking nearby.
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Parade organizers thanked the officials of Nassau County and the Town of Oyster Bay for their cooperation in holding a safe and successful parade. Harry Malhotra, Director of South Asian Business & Development – Town of Oyster Bay, who shared the stage at the event, promised all help.
Other speakers shared the enthusiasm in the community about the parade being held this time in the landmark 75th anniversary year of India’s independence and exhorted people to throng the parade route and help monetarily by buying raffle tickets for which attractive prizes include laptops and large TV sets. The ladies sang patriotic songs. Bharat Mata Ki Jai rang in the air.
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Speakers at the well-attended dinner event included IDP Chair Indu Jaiswal, Past President Beena Kothari, Sr Vice President Bina Sabapathy, and Vice President Roopam Maini. Sunil Hali, whose media properties include Radio Zindagi and The Indian Eye, reiterated his ongoing pro bono support for publicizing the parade. Realtor Raj Jaggi promised a truck vending free ice cream to children.
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IDP Secretary Pradeep Tandon proposed a vote of thanks. Prominent attendees included Vibhuti Jha and Sanjeep Jindal, both of whom are candidates this year for the New York assembly, albeit from different districts.
The press conference was attended by prominent media houses including ITV Gold, Jus Punjabi, and Preetnama TV.
Tabla performance was given by Aryan Rishi. Indian and American national anthems were sung by Anoushka Rishi, accompanied by Aryan Shah on saxophone.
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Grand Marshals and Guests of Honor
Dr Varun Jeph – Grand Marshal
A medical graduate, Dr. Varun Jeph is a career diplomat with over one decade of experience in the Indian Foreign Service. He has served in different capacities in the Indian
Embassy in Myanmar and the Indian High Commission in Malaysia. He joined the Consulate General of India in New York as Deputy Consul General in September 2021.
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Prachi Tehlan – Grand Marshal
A renowned TV and film actress Prachi Tehlan made her acting debut in Diya Aur Baati Hum on Star Plus in 2016. Her Malayalam movie Mamangam with Mammootty was a superhit. Prachi is a former Indian netball and basketball player who spearheaded the Indian Netball Team in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
Shibani Kashyap – Guest of Honor
Recipient of the best playback singer award at Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival, Shibani Kashyap has given hits like ‘Ho Gayi Hai Mohabbat’, ‘Sajna Aa Bhi Jaa,’ Zinda Hoon Main’, and ‘Kya Nazakhat Hai.’
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Prashantt Guptha – Guest of Honor
Hailing from New York, Prashantt Guptha has played key roles in the movie Neerja and OTT series Aashram. He recently produced and starred in his first American film, A New Christmas.
Naveen Shah – Guest of Honor
As its President and CEO, Naveen Shah has led Navika Group of Companies to become a $1.5 billion commercial real estate and hospitality enterprise.
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Mr. Shah is cofounder and Past President of RANA (Rajasthan Association of North America) and is supportive of community organizations and worthy causes.
Curated and Compiled by Humra Kidwai
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