DESI TALK NEW YORK – that’s all you need to know 5 February 8, 2019 CITY VIEWS By StaffWriter hrough a Facebook Live from Chicago, the Chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress (IOC), Sam Pitroda, addressed a large audience of Indian Americans, who were gathered to celebrate India’s 70th Republic Day on Saturday, January 26 at the Christos Church Auditorium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The celebration was hosted by IOC Kerala Pennsylvania chapter, where the IOC PA chapter President Santhosh Abraham chaired the event and among those present were IOC USA National President Shudh Prakash Singh, General Secretary Rajender Dichpally, Vice President Kalathil Varughese, Treasurer Vinit Nagpal, Secretary Shalu Punnoose and Kerala Chapter National President Joby George, who has been organizing this celebration for many years now. In his message, Dr. Pitroda congratulat- ed the Kerala Chapter National President Joby George and Chairman Kalathil Varghese for the mega event. Pitroda also highlighted the progress that India has made in the last 70 years and urged audience members to join IOC. This year’s chief guest was State Senator John Sabatina, while State Representative MartinaWhite and City Councilman Derek Green were both guest speakers. In his speech, Sen. Sabatina said that the Republic Day celebration is the most appropriate as India is a great democratic country and he appreciates the fact that the IOC Kerala chapter took the initiative to celebrate it. Rep. White said that “Indians in the region are well respected and a law abiding community, I am happy to join your cele- brations,” while Councilman Green added that “it is good to note the Indian commu- nity is getting involved in the mainstream politics.” A cultural program organized by Geemon George included dances, live music and other varieties of entertain- ment. More than 50 children and adults per- formed on stage making it an evening to remember. The celebration ended with a Kerala style dinner with over 250 people in atten- dance including leaders of various organi- zations. By StaffWriter I ndian American sitarist, composer and educator Hasu Patel has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the United Nations for ‘Extraordinary Service to Humanity.’ Patel has been teaching sitar, tabla and vocals at Ohio’s Oberlin College for close to two decades, and continues to train stu- dents while she performs at concerts in the U.S. and abroad. Patel received her bachelor’s degree in sitar from the Faculty of Performing Arts at M.S. University inVadodara, Gujarat, India, and became a gold medalist. She went on to receive her master’s degree in sitar with distinction from Gandharv Mahavidyalaya in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India and later received a master’s degree in accountancy and financial infor- mation systems from Cleveland State University, according to her bio on her website. Patel plays sitar in a vocal style known as Gayaki Ang, where the sitar replicates the fluidity and subtle nuances of the human voice. She made her first public appearance at the age of 10 and has won many awards since. She is also the first woman to receive a music degree with a gold medal in the 75- year history of the Faculty of Performing Arts and is the only Indian musician/com- poser to be included among 25 prestigious women composers of the U.S., according to a book by Dr. Jennifer Kelly of Lafayette College in Pennsylvania titled, “In Her Own Words,” Patel’s website adds. Indian Overseas Congress Kerala Pennsylvania Chapter Celebrates India’s 70th Republic Day T Overseas Congress President lighting the lamp to start the celebration to mark the 70th anniversary of India Republic Day. Hasu Patel By StaffWriter T he India Association of Long Island (IALI) cele- brated India’s 70th Republic Day on Saturday, January 26, at the India Center Building in Hicksville, NewYork. The celebration was attended by IALI members only and included the singing of the Indian National Anthem as the Indian National Flag was hoisted. IALI members also sang patriotic songs within groups while IALI First Lady Saroj Aery gave a solo perform- ance. President Lalit Aery went over the first month of his presidency including the IALI Oath Ceremony, which took place on January 11. He also spoke for his hope, on the forums that are directed by IALI on the topics of meditation, women, kids, Sangeet and seniors citizens, and urged everyone to attend these forums. IALI will be celebrating the festival of Holi on Sunday, March 17 at the Cottilion at 12 noon. IALI Celebrates India’s 70th Republic Day Sitarist Hasu Patel Honored By U.N.