Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, Senior Councilman Anthony J. Santino and the entire town board hosted Long Island’s only India Republic Day Commemoration on February 5, 2015. This holiday marks the establishment of India as a republic and its liberation from British rule.
“The Town of Hempstead is happy to once again join with the Indian community in commemorating an historic occasion that recognizes India’s enduring commitment to democracy and freedom, the same values that Americans hold so dear,” said Murray.
“Indian Americans are a vital part of the fabric of our nation, greatly enriching us with their gifts of art, culture, cuisine, intellect, values and abiding warmth,” added Santino. “I am proud that we are able to host today’s ceremony here in an area where so many people who trace their roots to India have settled.”
For Hempstead Town’s 12th Annual India Republic Day Ceremony, Murray and Santino presented Dr. Rajiv Datta and Dr. Anila Midha, two distinguished Indian-Americans, with special awards in honor of all that they do for the community.
Dr. Anila Midha, of Hewlett, is the founder and President of South Asian American Women’s Alliance, a non-profit organization. She is also the President of the Five Towns Indian Association. A physician by profession, she has turned to the field of fashion, introducing high-end Indian fashion to American audiences.
Dr. Rajiv Datta is the department of surgery chair and director of the division of Surgical Oncology and Head and Neck Surgery and medical director of South Nassau Communities Hospital’s Gertrude & Louis Fell Cancer Center. His research has been published and is used by physicians around the world. He is a member-at-large of the faculty council at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.
Dr. Urmilesh Arya, pediatrician, fellow of the American College of Pediatrics and retired Medical Director of the Queens Bridge Family Health Center, served as keynote speaker for the historic event. The ceremony, which was co-sponsored by the Indian American Forum, also offered many cultural features including a number of traditional Indian songs and dances. Akbar Restaurant provided Indian delicacies for attendees to enjoy after the ceremony.
“America is the home of choice for many who emigrate from India, and Hempstead Town is especially blessed with a growing number of Indian American residents,” noted Murray.
“We are happy to celebrate with one of the most dramatically growing communities in the area and acknowledge how much our culture has been enriched by our Indian neighbors,” concluded Santino. “I salute the people of India and their democracy on this important day in India’s history.