LONG ISLAND, NY (TIP): The Annual Benefit Gala for the AIA Deepavali in Roslyn, Long Island drew a large number of supporters of the organization. The presence of heavyweight honorees seems to have made all the difference. The honorees included Padma Bhushan Dr. Chitranjan S Ranawat, an internally famous Orthopedic Surgeon with The Hospital for Special Surgery, New York; an eminent Interventional Cardiologist with The Mount Sinai Medical Center, Dr. Sami Sharma; and a philanthropist, social activist, community leader and a successful businessman dealing in branded fragrances Kanak Golia.
The heartthrob of young kids across the world, Neel Sethi, actor, star of Disney’s “The Jungle Book” was honored with special recognition. Speaking briefly about his role in the movie, he happily replied to questions from the audience. Many in the audience had their cellphone cameras aimed at him video-recording the interaction. He will be meeting kids at the AIAA Deepavali on October 2nd at the South Street Seaport. So, kids, get ready to meet the star.
The Association of Indians in America, NY Chapter (AIA-NY) will be celebrating its 29th Annual Deepavali Festival at the South Street Seaport in New York on October 2, a historic day being the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Indian Nation.
This event is one of the largest in the tri-state area, attracting 75,000 -100,000 people from all backgrounds and walks of life. The New York Times, once placed the number of visitors to the Deepavali mela at about 200,000 residents from all across the tri-state area.
YouTube sensation Vidya Vox will also be performing live at the mela – she sang a couple of Hindi bhajans at the fundraising gala also.
The Oct 2 event will be a full day extravaganza celebrating tradition, culture and oneness with numerous food and clothing vendors, corporate booths, a children’s area, health kiosk, performances and activities for the whole family.
This year, as the date coincides with the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, there will be a special tribute paid to Gandhiji and an Essay & Drawing Competition held for the youth to showcase the importance and meaning of Peace.
Live Fireworks from the East River illuminating the New York City skyline will serve as the Grand Finale of Diwali mela.
Sponsors this year include CheapOAir, Qatar Airways, Toyota, New York Life, Swan Club,MoneyGram, Kotak Mahindra, New York Life, HAB Bank, Navika Capital, Star Plus, Sony Entertainment, Jus Punjabi and TV Asia.