The India Association of Long Island and Indian American Forum hosted a Diwali celebration on Friday, Oct. 28 at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building in Mineola. Diwali, known as the ‘Festival of Lights,’ signifies the start of the New Year on the Hindu calendar. County Executive Mangano presented citations to members of the Hindu community in Nassau for their hard work and dedication.
“I am proud to join the Indian-American community in hosting tonight’s Diwali Celebration,” said County Executive Mangano. “Diwali is a time for celebration, but it is also a time for reflection—a time when we must remember that there are less fortunate people out there, and this holiday reminds us all that we should commit ourselves to helping others. I wish a very Happy Diwali and best wishes to you and your families for a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.”
The honorees from Friday’s Diwali Celebration were: Niketa Bhatia, a teacher in the Syosset Central School District who successfully petitioned the district to recognize Diwali as an official school holiday; Kawaljit Chandi, a well-respected community leader and businessman, who has been actively involved in civil, political and community issues on Long Island for the past 20 years; Jagdish K. Gupta, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.G., a committed and highly regarded physician with a history of professional achievement and humanitarian philanthropy; Gautam Sanghavi, a Certified Public Accountant, who has also served positions on the Rotary Club and India Day Parade Finance Committee; and Herman Singh, a successful mortgage broker, realtor, real estate investor, developer, builder and community activist, who founded Omni Mortgage, which became the leading South Asian Mortgage Company and is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year.
On Oct. 5, the United States Postal Service (USPS) unveiled a new postage stamp commemorating Diwali, and depicting a diya oil lamp—a lamp traditionally used in many Hindu holidays. The new stamp was announced at Nassau’s annual Diwali Celebration on Friday.