Though winter weather prompted the postponement of Hempstead Town’s India Republic Day ceremony in January, snow didn’t get in the way today as Supervisor Kate Murray and Senior Councilman Anthony J. Santino led the annual celebration of Indian American culture at Town Hall. Hempstead Town’s 11th annual celebration, co-sponsored by the India American Forum, is Long Island’s only India Republic Day ceremony. India Republic Day, observed on January 26th, marks the establishment of India as a republic and its liberation from British rule.
The event featured an impressive display of cultural dances and musical performances, appearances and speeches by distinguished guests and a cultural food reception provided through the generosity of Akbar Restaurant of Garden City.
The event was capped off by Hempstead Town’s presentation of the 2014 India Republic Day Awards. This year’s honorees were Narendra Hadpawat, M.D., and Bina Sabapathy. Hadpawat, a Five Towns resident, is a founder of one of the most successful cardiology practices on the south shore of Long Island and has been the director of Medicine and Cardiology at Peninsula Hospital for over 20 years. Bina Sabapathy, an active member of Vedic Heritage, a religious organization located in Hempstead, is treasurer of the India Association of Long Island.
“We are proud to be the only municipality on Long Island to host a celebration that marks India Republic Day,” Murray said. “As Americans, we share India’s values of democracy and independence, and we are proud to commemorate a special day for Indians around the world.”
The Town’s celebration of India Republic Day kicked off in the morning, as Murray and members of the India American Forum raised the flag of India in front of Town Hall. The main festivities commenced in the evening at Town Hall’s Nathan L.H. Bennett Pavilion.
“Indian Americans have made major contributions to our township,” Murray said. “Each year, we celebrate the achievements of Indian Americans who demonstrate leadership and community involvement. Our honorees truly are role models, and I congratulate them for their achievements.”