DRIVE THRU INDIA DAY PARADE 2021 on Nouveau iDEAPanorama India has been celebrating India Day for 21 years. During a Zoom meeting on July 7 hosted by IBNS Correspondent Asha Bajaj, Sumeeta Kohli, Chairperson, Panorama India, Sandeep Goel, President & Chief Executive Officer of ICICI Bank, and Victoria Clarke, Director, and CEO of Tourism Mississauga, share about India Day 2021 celebrations.
Following is the excerpt of the interview by reporter Asha Bajaj.
Asha to Sumeeta.
Would you please give us a brief background about Panorama India?
Sumeeta: A non-profit organization for the last 21 years, Panorama India’s primary goal is to celebrate India’s culture and heritage and make a beautiful mosaic called Canada. India is an unbelievable country with many cultures, backgrounds, and languages, and we all come together as proud Indians and as Indo-Canadians to celebrate India here.
The need to connect virtually with more and more last year and this year has allowed us to communicate with seniors and kids, who all perform, love our culture, and love to celebrate.
After about two and a half months of planning carefully behind the scenes, looking at all the scenarios with the safety of all as our number one priority, we are showcasing the first-ever drive-thru parade celebration on August 15.
Panorama India has been celebrating India Day for the last 21 years. So what’s new about India Day this year?
The new this year is the drive-thru parade which aims to have everybody out in their cars with kids and attend the event from the safety of your cars and see all of India in one day. It is a free event, and Panorama India will provide a web link at the end of July. We request all families to get their license plate and other information registered, and then you will get a confirmation. The link has several windows throughout the day from 11 am to 7 pm that you can pick, allowing the passengers in the cars that pass through every hour to enjoy without being rushed. This process would also facilitate us to manage the number of vehicles that go through every hour. Once you arrive on the day and time picked by you, you will see the main stage. With your cars parked in front of the stage, you will be able to see many programs.
So what is India Day without dance, singing, and culture? That is so important to know who we are. Panorama is a non-stop stage and is once again open.
There is a radio station from where you can hear all the music in your car. As you enter the drive-thru parade, you would see our partners and sponsors and then see stage performances by different organizations representing India’s states. This drive-thru experience to visit India has been made possible because of our partners and sponsors. I am proud to say that ICICI Bank is the presenting sponsor and that Tourism Mississauga is our partner, both of whom had made it possible for us to do free events.
Please throw more light on the experience of the participants be in this historic event India Day Drive-Thru Parade, on August 15, 2021?
The unique part is that you can sit in the car and see the whole of India through the drive-thru experience in one day. I do not think we have ever done it in Canada, which we aim to achieve. So we recommend the same household members and advise all to follow safety, please. And more than anyone else, our seniors and our kids would get a chance to perform.
The next question is from Asha to Sandeep Goel.
What motivated ICIC Bank to support this unique and historical event?
Sandeep: We have been associated with Panorama India for almost ten years on various occasions and are thankful for the chance to showcase us as a diamond sponsor for the event. We would showcase the ICICI Bank to the Indian community on the radio as we serve their requirements here in Canada and India.
With the trend of immigration accelerating for the past decade, we felt Mississauga is a perfect destination for this event because a large community of Indians finds Mississauga their home.
With branches and centers all across Mississauga, we are also planning a more significant expansion in Mississauga.
The next question from Asha to Victoria Clarke.
We feel honored that Tourism Mississauga is supporting the India Day Celebration. Why do you think that this event was important for Mississauga?
Victoria: We are thankful to both you for the invitation to be here today and Panorama India for inviting us to come on as a sponsor. It is our privilege and a pleasure to sponsor this event and make sure that it happens financially. As Sandeep already mentioned, Mississauga, with so many Indians who have made it their home, is an excellent destination for this event.
Events like this only happen in Mississauga when people are passionate about their culture and community. This event shows a strong representation from India, and we hope to see it even higher on future India Day celebrations.
The next question from Asha to Sumeeta.
Please tell us briefly what other experiences would be felt by people this year as part of India Day?
Sumeeta: As Panorama always does, we have multiple things happening on India Day celebrations, and we try to accommodate all the age brackets of different communities. We are keeping kids in mind; there would be a virtual art competition already gone live. The cut-off date is July 31. All the parents are requested to complete the registration for different age groups for different demographics before the cut-off date. It has limited spots again. When you register, you will get a secure link, which would enable them to come to the Saturday event with kids of the same age group. All the kids get one hour to color anything of their choice for a given theme. We will announce the winners closer to India Day.
Another big thing that we are doing on Sunday, August 8, we are doing another big thing: the virtual India Day Expo Exhibition, which provides an online marketplace for vendors from India, Canada, and some from the US to showcase their products and backgrounds. Our partners will also be there. ICICI Bank would be the hotspot. Both ICICI Bank and Tourism Mississauga would be running live webinars. These online vendor fairs enable you to chat live with the sponsors too. Due to the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses, this year, we are also showcasing them at this event. Brahmakumari would also be showcasing as she does such great things for the community. There are prizes for different vendors and sponsors while we kick off the India Day celebration then. Not everybody would attend because the limited number of cars will be complete, so festivities on August 15 will be live-streamed on different channels for the audiences to watch.
Tell us how we can find more information about all the details about India Day 2021 event?
You can go to our website www.panoramaindia.org. You can also access our social media channels. ICICI bank’s social media channels and Tourism Mississauga are also posting everything about what we are doing. We are updating as real-time as possible. We will be sharing it with you. The link, I think, is so vital to everybody and the minute the connection is alive, make sure that we share it with everybody. The actual event would occur at Paramount Fine Foods Centre, 5500 Rose Cherry Pl, Mississauga. Both Sandeep and Victoria would reveal their booths during the dive-thru.
All Images & Video credit: Panorama India.