Hemstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin and his colleagues on the Town Board gathered with members of the Indian-American community to enjoy the Town of Hempstead’s 17th Annual India Republic Day Celebration at Town Hall. The festivities, complete with Indian food, traditional music and dancing, recognized the foundation of the Republic of India as well as local Indian-American leaders for their work supporting the religious, civic, and cultural life of Hempstead Town.
“The Indian-American community is such an intrinsic part of both the United States and Long Island,” said Supervisor Clavin. “I am happy to join with members of the community in celebrating the foundation of the Republic of India as well as the important contributions Indian-Americans make to our hometown.”
Supervisor Clavin honored two local Indian-American leaders for their work serving the community: Nachiketa Mitra and Bharti Desai. Nachiketa Mitra, a longtime devotee at the New York Kali Temple and a key member of the Mandir’s Working Committee, helped turn the Temple into a thriving, financially stable institution. Bharti Desai, a renowned artist, teacher, performer and actress, was the first female president of the Gujarati Samaj of New York and a dedicated volunteer known for teaching Indian culture to students through traditional Guajarati folk and Bollywood dances. The keynote speaker who helped recognize the honorees was Jessica Kalra, a local Indian-American attorney with a long history of public service and involvement in local charitable organizations.
“This celebration of Indian culture right here at Town Hall is a testament to the diversity found in America’s largest township, and the great multicultural communities that comprise our hometown,” said Councilman Dennis Dunne, who attended the event. “I am thankful for the contributions made by the honorees, as well as my Indian-American friends and neighbors, to Hempstead Town.”
The Tuesday, February 18th celebration was preceded by the raising of the National Flag of India over Town Hall in January by Supervisor Clavin, Town Board members and Indian-American leaders.
“The amazingly positive impact Indian-Americans have on our township cannot be understated,” Supervisor Clavin stated. “I am committed to furthering the great friendship between Hempstead Town and the Republic of India, and look forward to working with community leaders on ways we can strengthen this bond.”