North America based one of the oldest and biggest nonprofit organizations, the India Association of Long Island (IALI), organized the annual 43rd gala event and proudly dedicated this year’s gala ceremony to honor the teachers of the American society. The esteemed attendees along with Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Deputy Consulate General of India in New York Shatrughna Sinha, New York State Senator Brian Benjamin, New York State Congresswoman Janifer Rajkumar, Acting Police Commissioner of Suffolk County Stuart K. Cameron, Friends for Good Health Founder Chairman Dr. Bobby K. Kalotee, Chairman & Co-Founder of The South Asian Times Kamlesh C. Mehta, Nassau County Human Rights Commissioner Zahid Syed, IDP USA president Deepak Bansal, others attended the event.
IALI secretary Kuljeet Ahluwalia started the event and a known Indo-American businessman and vice president of IALI Jasbir Jay Singh played the role of Master of ceremonies MC. In her opening remarks, IALI President welcomed all the attendees and presented the remarkable year-long activities of the organization under her leadership.
Addressing the media IALI President Shashi Malik mentioned that IALI dedicated this year’s Gala to honor the builders of our society, The Teachers. I am happy our selection committee selected the remarkable teachers, who have been honored today.
In today’s gala event eleven teachers were honored in which six of them are teaching the students of the Indo-American community in special classes run by IALI. Knitting and crochet class teacher Chander Kanta, Indian Classical music and harmonium teacher Perry Walia, Punjabi Class teacher JapNeet, Meditation teacher Rajeev Dixit, Hindi Class teacher Sadhvi Ji, and Kids Computer class teacher Shevta was the honorees.
Moreover, the five other honorees were the First African-American Female Superintendent of the East Ramapo Central School District in Spring Valley, New York, Dr. Deborah L. Wortham. Before IALI honor, Dr. Wortham was also awarded as a public figure in the top 100 Most Influential Educators in New York State 2020. Social Studies teacher with 19 years of service Ilora Majumder-Afzal was second who was honored today evening. Ms. Ilora currently serves as a high school educator in New York City. The third honoree of the evening was Jenine Joslin for her 14 years of service as a teacher. Ms. Joslin’s dedicated services as a babysitter, camp counselor, camp director, and now in the classroom helped a lot of the students to grow.
The fourth awardee was New York City educator Shakila Mumtaz-Roman. She was born and raised in Queens NY into a family of mixed heritage: Guatemalan and Pakistani. She has serviced students in grades K-12 as a general educator, a Spanish teacher, an ENL teacher, as Language Department Chair; She led local, national, and international trips with students to open their minds and build their experiences.
The fifth honoree of the evening was Music teacher Vincent Guerra. Mr. Guerra is currently teaching the students of Locust Valley Central School District Middle and High School. He has been appointed as a band director with the School District. During his 25 years with the Locust Valley Central School District, Mr. Guerra has helped to facilitate the many band programs within the music department.
Addressing the gathering, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran praised the services and dedication of IALI towards the American Society. Ms. Laura also applauds the IALI’s decision to honor the society builders.
Deputy Consulate General of India in New York Shatrughna Sinha also applauded the help of IALI and other Indo- American organizations for their financial and logistic help towards the Indian people during the pandemic. Mr. Sinha also thanked the IALI for the 43 years of promotion and prosperity of Indian culture and heritage by different humanitarian services in the United States of America.
On the occasion, Indo-American Community leader Mohinder Singh Taneja was also honored for his community work, dedication, and tireless services towards Indo-American society.
IALI thanked all the volunteers, supporters, and sponsors; especially grand sponsors of the event, John Paladini and Tahir Ahmed of King of Queens Auto Services Corp. and Dr. Jay Sarkar, for their generous donation support to make this gala event successful.