By Samantha Buda and Eden Laikin
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano was joined by Legislative Presiding Officer Norma Gonzalves, in a flag hoisting ceremony to celebrate the 68th Indian Independence Day.
Also joined by Director of Business and Economic Development, Kamlesh Mehta, Mangano honored six members of the Indian-American community at last week’s event.
The annual Flag Hoisting ceremony came one week after a very well-attended Indian American parade in which County Executive Mangano and his wife Linda took part.
Mangano began by acknowledging the achievements of the Indian-American community and thanking them for their hard-work and dedication.
“The Indo-American communities have played a very important role in the growth of Nassau County,” Mangano said. “They are part of our family and have contributed tremendously through their entrepreneurship and expertise.”
Mr. Habeeb Ahmed was honored as a selfless humanitarian – well-known for performing charitable activities, fostering the ideal of community and building goodwill, understanding and respecting all cultures, religions and races.
Mr. Kanaiya Lal Lakhani, a founding member of Jain Samaj of Long Island, was honored for more than 30 years of selfless community service and contribution to save and feed voiceless animals and birds.
Honoree Mr. Rajendra Pratap Singh has been a resident of Nassau County for over 35 years. The social worker is well-known in the community for his association with many leading social and political organizations. Pratap is currently the Organizing General Secretary of Overseas Friends of Bhartiya Janta Party of the USA, the new ruling party in India.
Mr. Vijay Goswami is an administrator in the health care industry, but he is also well known for his service in multiple community organizations. He is the current treasurer of Arya SAmaj, an executive member of Indian American forum and a participant in organizing senior programs at Plainview Gurudwara Sahib.
The Apna Bazar of Hicksville, the department store of Indian traditional merchandise, was founded by Mr. Jasvinder Singh and Mr. Deepak Bhardwaj. Since the launch of the flagship megastore in 2012, it has become the symbol of diversity for the Hicksville area. The Bazar has created a major impact on the image and lifestyle of the surrounding area. Honorees Singh and Bhardwaj, are big supporters of all major Indo-American community events on Long Island.
Mr. Gurdev Singh DP is the founder and CEO of Meetu Magic Inc., a leading fashion label. He is a well-known supporter in the Indian American Communities of the tri-state area. He has generously contributed to all leading charitable organizations including Nargis Dutt Memorial Cancer Foundation.
“All of today’s honorees have contributed so much to their communities and continue to serve as role models to their friends and neighbors,” said County Executive Mangano. “Congratulations to these five inspiring individuals and the Bazar. Thank you for working day in and day out to improve the lives of Nassau’s Indian-American community and Nassau County as a whole.”
It was 69 years ago last week that India celebrated its independence from British rule. This movement is such an important part of history because it focused on civil disobedience and furthering their goals without violence.
“Today provides us with such a great opportunity to celebrate the many achievements of the Indian-American community not only here in Nassau, but across the nation,” Mangano said.