The knock-on effects of the COVID in our lives, resulting in lockdowns, shutdowns, and alterations of lives;
We saw the world adapting to a whole lot of “new norms” with masks n’ social distancing being the prime vibes.
IAGB India Day, known in the community for its grand celebration with thousands in a cheering crowd!
How do we live up to that tradition this time and make the community proud?
We gotta do away with the traditional huge gathering at one centralized place,
And instead, hold virtual programs and decentralized events with grace.
And we did! IAGB presents!!! Indian Flag Raising/Hoisting 2020!
A historic “first time ever” event in MA, across n’ beyond towns plenty.
To Commemorate India’s Independence Day – a grand thought indeed!
With zest n’ zeal, we were set to proceed.
But planning around the thought? An uphill task and a mounting process!
Executing n’ achieving the plan needed to be done with finesse.
This is when I joined hands with my “partner in crime”, Jeyanthi Ghatraju, my fellow dynamic IAGB colleague.
And thus, began our journey of convincing as many towns as we can, to join the “Indian Flag Hoisting” league!
Days, weeks and months of effort, conviction relentless.
Reaching out to over 65 towns/cities in MA and beyond, calls/emails/call again/email again…times countless.
With that ‘one’ request: “Can we raise the Indian Flag in your town to commemorate India’s Independence Day?
The journey wasn’t easy peasy, it wasn’t always our way.
Tireless follow ups; hundreds of emails n’ phone calls back and forth.
Boards of Selectmen, Mayor’s offices, Town Managers – zoom sessions attending meetings back and forth.
Filling out permission forms, applications, answering questions, addressing concerns, making alterations to the plan for each city/ town.
We had to, we ought to, we did ‘em all, we had eyes on the crown!
We were on FIRE! We knew we can do it and never ceased to rest.
We wanted nothing less, only to hoist the Indian Flag with IAGB at its best!
But wait, we still didn’t cease to rest with just the raising of the flag…
We had to add flair to the event, add a swag!
Would you please write a proclamation declaring Aug. 15th as India Day?
And let’s make the Flag Raising and reading of the Proclamation an event if we may?
Our relentless hard work started shaping up, our pure intent was bursting out in a rainbow.
We were now locking in each event in each city/town and warming up for the show!
The plan was in place, but Jeyanthi and I couldn’t be everywhere.
So, it was time to call for help from our Executive team – all for one, one for all – they were ready to share the load and care.
Our EC colleagues in pairs, caught the baton as we assigned them one or two owns to execute the event in each town.
With limited number of folks: town dignitaries, residents, state reps in many…the stage was set.
Team IAGB was ready to rock n roll…be part of history as we added this stunning achievement to IAGB’s crown!
Gleam in glory, poised in pride, you bet!
Then came the days, Aug. 14th & 15th, gathering at the town commons/city centers with pride.
Town dignitaries, community leaders, state reps, a handful town residents and IAGB taking it all in stride.
Following all social distancing guidelines, low key event yet declaratory.
Aug. 15th being proclaimed as India Day, singing the 2 national anthems, raising both flags, heart-warming words of acknowledgement from town dignitaries, community leaders and state reps – what could be more confirmatory?
Our path was not smooth, but it was steady,
We knew what we wanted and how to get it, we were ready.
Passion was energy tuned into strength, as we ran this marathon in glory.
We ran it! We won it! THAT’S IAGB’S FLAG RAISING STORY.