South Asian Seniors Citizens in Chicago Jointly Celebrated the 69th Independence Day of India and
While their countries might not see eye-to-eye, the citizens of India and Pakistan decided to bury the age-
old hostilities. In a rare display of bonhomie, senior citizens of both the countries celebrated the 69th
Independence Day of India and Pakistan with Nationalistic Fervor. This worth-emulating event was
organized by the American Association of Retired Asians (AARA) and DuPage Senior Citizens Council
(DSCC) in Shahi Banquet Hall, 530 E. North Avenue, Lombard, Illinois 60148. The venue of the event,
which was adorned with Indian and Pakistani flags of all sizes, was enveloped in the festive mood. The
jubilations comprised fun events, cultural activities, a spectacular show of folklore dances, and a huge
display of homemade traditional food.
The senior citizens, accompanied by their families and friends, participated in the celebrations in full
force. A musical entertainment, with Miss Purnima Nath and Sahil prominent singers from India played
the traditional melodies and added to the mood of the participants. Every one present swayed to the
melodious Bollywood number: “Dil Diya Hai Jan Bhi Denge, Aye Watan Tere Liye” The exciting dance
performance literally set the stage afire. Not just the performers; the senior and even the super senior
citizens too gave in to the festive mood. They took the dance floor, matched the expert dancers, step for
step, and provided a great foot tapping time for one and all. The senior citizens, though some of them old
and feeble, wholeheartedly enjoyed the fun-filled activities. It was a feast to the eyes to watch their faces
glowing with happiness.
Hon’ble Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, Consul General of Pakistan, who was the Chief Guest, said that the common
culture, heritage, and language, would pave the way for further strengthening the bond of friendship
between India and Pakistan. He stated that the two countries should strive to develop multifaceted
cooperation by following the model of peaceful coexistence between USA and Canada. “If this happens,
India and Pakistan would come out as the newer centers of power at the global level”, said Mr. Tirmizi.
Hon’ble Michael Noland, Illinois State Senator, who also spoke on the occasion, said that the spirit
behind hoisting the flags of India and Pakistan, at the same venue, in a highly cordial ambience, is a
welcome proposition and should be further enriched in the future. He stated that the economies of India
and Pakistan are undergoing multi-dimensional transformation; however, the pleasant surprise is to
witness the slow and steady emergence of women leadership in all walks of life. “This would go a long
way in the emergence of both the countries as the centers of power to reckon with”, added Mr. Noland.
Mr. Talat Rashid, Planning Commissioner, Bolingbrook, who graced the occasion stated: “Merely loving
one’s home country, though important in its own right, is not enough; one should translate his love for the
country into active and committed participation in the nation-building initiatives”.
“The youth should learn from the elders the importance of patriotism and look for the opportunities to
sacrifice for the collective good of the nation”, said one of the young Indian students who accompanied
his grandfather to the function.
“Attending today’s Independence day function was a double delight as it provided a rare opportunity not
only to salute our flag but also to build the bridges of friendship with new Indian friends from across the
border’, said a young boy from Pakistan.
Earlier, Ms. Moneek Khan of DSCC, welcomed the gathering, which included the American citizens too.
Some of the eminent dignitaries who attended the function included Eira Corral, Village Clerk, Village of
Hanover Park, IL, Marylin Krolakm Executive Director of DSCC and others.
Dr. Talat Khan, President, AARA, said that growing older brings in its wake innumerable obstacles that
make daily life challenging. “AARA touches the lives of senior citizens in both their homes and in their
communities in order to ease these challenges”, she added.
She said that the mission of AARA is to facilitate access to the senior population in the South Asian
Community to the services offered by different agencies of Government and voluntary organizations in
order to meet their growing needs. She praised management of Shahi Nihari and Osmanis for their
community involvement and support to AARA.
Ms. Tasneem Matthis of AARA conducted the proceedings of the function and event was attended by 250
senior and super senior citizens.
The following citizens attended the event Masood Hussain Syed, Aziz Fatima, Ahsan Hafeez, Moon
Khan, Ghousia sultana, Chandrakumar Dutia, Khaja Afeef, Indra Makhija, Vipin and Chandra Shah,
From Ashfaq Hussain