T&T Prime Minister is Guest of Honour
“Long years ago, we made a tryst with destiny and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge… At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.” Jawaharlal Nehru
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the first female Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago will be the guest of honour at the 30th India Day Parade carded to take place at Madison Avenue, New York on Sunday August 15, 2010. She will attend a Grand Gala Reception Dinner and Awards Ceremony at Royal Albert Palace in New Jersey on Monday August 16, 2010, to celebrate the occasion.
She will spend ten days in New York raising funds, attending meetings and religious services at various temples.
Trinidadian immigrants residing in New York and other states are expected to flood the parade to catch a glimpse of their new prime minister who ascended to office when the People’s Partnership Party trounced the People’s National Movement in the general election on May 26, 2010. She took over from Prime Minister Patrick Manning who suffered a humiliating defeat at the polls.
NYPD will step up police security in Manhattan to ensure an incident free parade.
Hosted by the Federation of Indian Associations for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, the parade is expected to be the biggest in its 30-year history. To mark the occasion The Empire State Building will be lit up with the three colours of India’s flag on the nights of August 14 and 15, 2010. And for the first time since the celebrations have been hosted there will be a Children Parade and Dress Competition.
Grand Marshall, Indian film actress Preity Zinta will preside over the day long activities organised to celebrate the spirit of India. She has starred in Hindi Bollywood films, as well as Telugu and Punjabi. Zinta holds a degree in criminal psychology. She made her acting debut in Dil Se in 1998 and followed up with Soldier later the same year. These performances earned her a Filmfare Best Female Debut Award. For her role in Kal Ho Naa Ho, she won the Filmfare Best Actress Award in 2003.
In addition to acting, Zinta has written a series of columns for BBC News Online South Asia and is co-owner of the Indian Premier League cricket team and Kings XI Punjab.
Seven hours of non-stop entertainment will begin with a street fair and festival at 11 a.m. at Madison Avenue from 26th to 28th Streets. The Parade of Floats will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. at Madison Avenue along 38 to 28th Streets. A Cultural Program will run from 2 to 6 p.m. at Madison Avenue on 23rd Street.
The celebrations will be carried live on channels in the USA, Canada, India and on the internet.
“FIA celebrates India Day event on a grand scale with a national fervor. It is not the personal or individual celebration of any FIA leader. It is not the celebration of marriage of my daughter. It is a national celebration of every Indian American. I beg all of you to attend the celebration and make it a grand success,” wrote event chairman Satish Gabhawala on the India Tribune website.
The following is a copy of Persad-Bissessar’s itenary for the duration of her visit.
Noon-1.30 p.m. Visit to State University of New York, Albany.
6.30 p.m. Polytechnic Institute Public Symposium, Brooklyn
7.30 p.m. Public Meeting at Calypso City, now called Maracas, Queens.
8.30 p.m. Fundraiser and dinner at Liberty Avenue, Queens.
4 p.m. Interview with India TV Network, Long Island City.
5 p.m. Visit to Shiva Temple for reception Richmond Hill, Queens
7.30 p.m. Fundraiser in Long Island at Vijay Nahata residence, Upper Brookville.
12.45 p.m. India Day Parade at Madison Avenue and 38th Street, Manhattan.
7 p.m. Ramayan in the Park at Liberty Avenue, Queens
8 p.m. Fundraiser at Lefferts Boulevard and Rockaway Boulevard, Queens
2 p.m. GOPIO Meeting at Marriot Marquis
3 p.m. Business Meeting at Marriot Marquis
6 p.m. Federation of Indian Association Dinner at Royal Albert’s Palace, New Jersey
9 p.m. to 2 a.m. TT United Cultural Association Reception at Queens Village.