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Over 1000 women attend festival held in their honor

Guests and team members release Sakhi- a help line for women.

Photos by Vakiti Creations

Atlanta, GA, May 25, 2017: The Indian Friends of Atlanta organized its second spectacular IFA Women’s Fest 2017 at the spacious Skyland Business Centre in Cumming, GA on Saturday May 20.

The Festival was graced by prominent community members including Consul D.V. Singh, Karen Handel (Republican candidate for the 6th congressional district’s June 20 run-off elections),  Ron Freeman (Sheriff, Forsyth County), Naheed Syed (CEO, GRMI Inc.), Deborah Lanham (VP, Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce), representatives from various Indian organizations like Telangana American Telugu Association, Gujarati Samaj, Greater Atlanta Telangana Society, Sindhi Sabha, Greater Atlanta Punjabi Society, Greater Atlanta Telugu Association, and more than a thousand women from the Indian American community.

Karen Handel with the IFA core team.

The main objective of IFA’s Women’s Fest is to celebrate and recognize the year-round contributions and accomplishments of women in the community, to recognize the prominent women leaders in Atlanta and also afford women an opportunity to meet and greet, to forge new friendships and network with each other.

For the attendees, the festival, without any entrance fees, had plenty to entertain and engage, including music, dances, fun games, seminars, speeches, awards, complimentary lunch; raffle and a riveting Fashion Show.

The esteemed guests, in their brief remarks thanked and congratulated Indian Friends of Atlanta organizers for inviting them to the impressive festival. Karen Handel exhorted women to empower themselves and to go out and vote.

Ron Freeman said the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office was hiring new recruits from the Indian-American community.

The seminars elicited valuable suggestions on various topics including Role of women in politics, registering to vote, safety & security tips for women, opportunities in IT, opportunities other than IT, etc.

IFA recognized and felicitated Veena Rao, editor of NRI Pulse Newspaper, Kamlesh Chugh, winner of the Mrs India International pageant inBangkok, Dr. Veena Rao, professor and co-director of the Cancer Biology Program in the Dept. of OB/Gyn at Morehouse College and Anjali Chhabria of TV Asia for their outstanding services to the community.

IFA has launched a new wing called IFA Sakhi- a help line for women. Its main objective is to help women, not only in times of crisis, but also to advice on choosing a career path, legal guidance, counseling on immigration matters, etc.

Deepa Bajpai Sharma coordinated various classical, fusion and folk dances performed by Atlanta’s well known dance academies to regale the attendees throughout the day.

Bollywood chart-busters added to the festive spirit. Priya Sahetia entertained the audience with innovative games. Gifts for the winners of the games were provided by Big Bangle Theory, Blossom Spa & Ruby Parlor.

The theme of the event was “Evergreen Bollywood“, the evolution of Bollywood fashion world and its impact on our social culture.  It was designed by Lakshmi Thesam and executed by Priya Ratnam & Hetal Mehta, make up supported by Kratika Jain and Monalisa Khandke.  The beautiful ladies adorned with traditional and contemporary ethnic clothing and latest fashion accessories, walked on stage with poise, grace and style as the attendees clapped, cheered and clicked their cameras. The youngsters in teens fashion show presented by IFA youth volunteers with the support of IFA team & Archana Reddy was one of the highlights of the event.  Hamsa Creations helped with costumes.

The venue was beautifully decorated by Kathy and her team.Atlanta’s well-known Vakiti Creations provided photography, videography and efficient sound system. Praveen Puram of TV5 and Mana TV and Anjali of TV Asia covered the event.

The raffle draw generated lot of excitement and included a ticket for Cancun, Mexico Getaway provided generously by Kristen from, diamond rings by Vaibhav Jewelers from India, and gift cards provided by Yes-M Systems.  Delicious food was kindly provided by Biryani Pot, Krishna Vilas, Swagat Indian Cuisine, Madras Mantra, Aachi’s and Godavari Express restaurants.

The event was spearheaded by IFA Executive Director Lakshmi Thesam and well implemented and supported by all the members of the IFA Executive Team and Board including Sreekanth Uppala, Shyam Mallavarapu, Priya Ratnam, Sunil Savili, Sairam Pamulapati, Anil Bodireddy, Deepa Bajpai Sharma, Arun Darpally, Kishan Tallapally, Srinivas Peddi, Swetha Dhawan, Abay Radhakrishnan, Sanjeev Akula, Kiran Gogineni, Manav Thaker, Hetal Mehta, Suresh Volam and Niranjan Podduturi.

The IFA team expressed special thanks to bubbly emcees Srivani Kanchibhotla and Ayshwarya Sridharan. It further thanked Bright Smiles & IGJC and all the other sponsors, participants, the fashion show team and the Skyland Business team.

“A big thank you to all the enthusiastic attendees who made it to the event despite the very hot weather and made the festival a memorable one,” said one of the organizers.

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