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Leading Indian Americans honored by New York City mayor

Mayor Adams in his remarks said that the Indian American community was very important to New York City.

Nov 01, 2022
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Honorees with Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rohit Aggarwala. From l. to r. M.R. Rangaswamy, Commissioner Aggarwala, Deputy Mayor Joshi, Falu Shah, Dr. Thomas Abraham and Ankur Vaidya

At a largely attended Diwali celebrations, New York City Mayor Eric Adams honored leading Indian Americans, including Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham, Indiaspora Founder M.R. Rangaswamy, Federation of Indian Associations of NY, NJ, CT (FIA) Chairman Ankur Vaidya, Grammy Award winner Falu Shah and Tulsi Mandir of Richmond Hill Queens, represented by its priest Lakra Maharaj, and Lion Romeo Hitlall of the Indo-Caribbean community. for their work in community mobilization and the common good of the society in the New York area. 

Over 1100 people attended the festive celebration with Indian food, dances of India with people dancing to the tune of Bollywood music.

Mayor Adams in his remarks said that the Indian American community was very important to New York City.

New York State Assemblywoman Jennifer Rajkumar said, “For over two decades, many of you in this room have fought to make Diwali a school holiday in New York City. I've been with you in that fight and for the first time, a New York City mayor has stepped forward to lift us up and create the Diwali holiday.”

Honorees from l. to r.: Lion Romeo Hitlall of Tulsi Mandir, FIA (NY, NJ, CT) Chairman Ankur Vaidya, GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham, Indiaspora Founder M.R. Rangaswamy and Grammy Award Winner Falu Shah
Honorees from l. to r.: Lion Romeo Hitlall of Tulsi Mandir, FIA (NY, NJ, CT) Chairman Ankur Vaidya, GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham, Indiaspora Founder M.R. Rangaswamy and Grammy Award Winner Falu Shah

“I looked at during the 70s when we saw such a large wave of those who came from India, moved to Queens, wanted to believe in American dream and you worked hard and opened small businesses, and you sent your children to school to learn different skills so they can be deputy mayors and doctors and leaders of agencies and help our city move forward, fortifying the strength of our city,” said Adams.

Mayor Adams further said, “And finally, we have to live true to what Diwali represents, since, there's too much darkness engulfing in the desire to just find places we disagree. It is time for us to live up to Diwali, to sit down and communicate, to push back against hate crimes against Sikhs, against AAPI, against those of the LGBTQ+ communities, against African Americans, against Latinos, against Irish and Jewish and Polish and all the other groups that make this city. We need to be the beacon of light that shows the country how we need to push away darkness.”

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