Khushbu presented with “Honorary Victorian Indian” award
On Sunday, 13 August, the Festivals of South Asia Inc (FOSAI) and India Australia Exchange Forum (IAEF) co-hosted a joint India Day event in Preston.
Indian actress, producer and politician Khushbu Sundar was the keynote speaker at the event. The MCs for evening were gorgeous Ginny Kohli Gulati and dynamic Saksham Katyal, who were helped in stage management by Mr Aravind Putta.
The community partners for the event were Richmond Tigers FC, Australia India Business Council (AIBC—Victoria), Indian Executive Club (IEC), and Deakin University Indian Club (DUIC). The Indian Sun was the media partner.
Around 200 plus families turned up for the event. Prominent Victorian Indians such as Former Ministerial Adviser Nitin Gupta; Cr Tim Singh (City of Darebin); Daya Shetty (Liberal Party); Cr Intaj Khan (City of Wyndham); Karthik Arasu (Indian Tamil Association of Victoria) and others had joined in the celebrations.
The event started with a patriotic poem by scientist Dr Subhash Sharma, who later also recited a special poem praising “beauty” of Khushbu Sundar.
There were entertaining live music performances by Kunal Mehta, Sayeri Gupta Biswas, Chondryma Chakrobortti and others from Beyond Nirvana Music Group.
Khushbu delivered a passionate keynote speech address touching on various current issues at the end of which she was given a standing ovation. She also touched upon the issue of promoting AFL in India, being the “Honorary Member” of Richmond Tigers.
Rana Hussain attended the event representing Richmond FC. Along with Khushbu, she presented certificates to 35 “Richmond Tiger’s AFL India Ambassadors” from the Victorian Indian community.
The Indian Sun Community Awards were also presented on the night. In the Male Category—Community leader Gautam Gupta won “The Indian Sun—Person of the Year” award in the “Forty Plus” Age category; while Vijeth Shetty (IAEF/AIBC) won “The Indian Sun—Person of the Year” award in the “Under Forty” Age category.
In the Female Category there was a “tie” in both age groups. Roshni Sharma (AIBC/AFL) and Shama Bhangu (Saanjhi Awaaz Radio) jointly won “The Indian Sun—Person of the Year” award in the “Forty Plus” Age category.
Nithya Remesan (AIBC) and Priya Bedi (Lavender Foundation/IAEF) jointly won “The Indian Sun—Person of the Year” award in the “Under Forty” Age category.
Hari Yellina and Sarika Yellina presented Khushbu the award of “Honorary Victorian Indian” on behalf of FOSAI for her extensive community engagement during both her trips to Melbourne.
President of AIBC Victoria Rashi Kapoor presented the “Honorary Membership” pin to Khushbu, who was also felicitated with a traditional shawl by Aravind Putta, and Anchal Agarwal. Ashwin Bora from IAEF delivered the formal vote of thanks.
Khushbu also joined the crowd on the dance floor after the formal proceedings. She was mobbed for photographs and selfies/groupies by the crowd. She did try and oblige everyone to the best of her ability.
Kudos to the team comprising of Ginny Kohli Gulati, Dheepa Awtani, Aravind Putta, Anchal Agarwal and Saksham Katyal for putting together a highly successful event. They were helped immensely by the guidance of Nitin Gupta.
Khushbu had visited Melbourne on an invitation by Former Ministerial Adviser Nitin Gupta and AFL Adviser Darpan Mittal. Other supporters for Khushbu’s Melbourne trip include AIFI, Tax on Taurus, Seasons-5 Resorts (Point Cook), Minniti Homes, Augment Group, STORM International (Vamsi), Unite Legal (Lawyers and Consultants), D’Omkara Accountants, and significant others.
Other sponsors for the night were BYSQ, Charismatic Events, Aroma Magic, Sherry Bali—Health Lifestyle Empowerment, RavNeel, and Natya Entertainment.
Photos: Rishikeshan Pangushan