AIA, NY Chapter, hosts 34th DEEPAVALI Benefit Gala & Fashion Show


AIA will display Diwali message on Times Square billboard on November 4th from 6am to midnight

Our Bureau
New York

Association of Indians in America, New York Chapter hosted the 34th DEEPAVALI festival Annual Benefit fundraising Gala and Fashion Show on Saturday October 16, 2021, at most elegant place Douglaston Manor Golf Club. Such a classy place with great ambience attracted our friends and supporters from Long Island, Queens, NYC, NJ and Westchester area. The cocktails were set up surrounding the outdoor golf area with wonderful lighting and various food stations.

Subsequently all were taken to the Grand Hall for the evening program and were very much liked by the audience. Consisting of presidents of AIA, various community leaders of other organizations and Media personnel. President HARISH THAKKAR addressed the audience briefly highlighting AIA and its activities and NY chapter organizing Annual DEEPAVALI festival attracting a huge crowd including Indian Americans, Chinese and Hispanic population. With its pioneering efforts over the past three decades, they brought Indian culture, food and dances to the grassroot population.

With this Annual Gala fund-raising efforts AIA marches ahead for grand DEEPAVALI function in Manhattan. President Harish Thakkar also mentioned, due to Covid restrictions and kids under 14 not being vaccinated, AIA committee decided not to host the Diwali festival at South Street Seaport. Last year during Covid, AIA NY distributed groceries to needy families, lunch to NYPD and masks distribution to various hospitals and community centers in NY. This year AIA, NY Chapter sends $110,000 to India for Covid relief purposes. Honorees of very high caliber were introduced in dignified manner.

Dr. Ajey Jain, a neonatologist in Jamaica, NY introduced Dr. Umesh Gidwani Chief of Cardiac Critical Care, Mount Sinai Medical Center who is very well accomplished for his immense contributions in Critical Cardiac Care and Critical Care in general and especially during Covid Epidemic. Kamlesh Mehta, chairman of South Asian times introduced Eric Kumar, founder of Commercial Capital Funding Group, a Nationwide Commercial Lender / Broker, specializing in Business Loans, SBA Loans and Commercial Mortgages, is a Veteran US Army officer. During his 6 years of service between active and national guard, he was in combat in Desert Storm in Iraq / Kuwait and was also deployed to Kosovo and South Korea along the DMZ line with North Korea. A fashion show depicting Unity in Diversity & Indian Culture was organized at AIA NY Deepali Gala dinner. The AIA fashion extravaganza, powered by Nishi Behal, had an impressive designer from the fashion industry showcasing her finest collections.

Dr. Lopa Mishra, Professor of Medicine, Star clinical scientist and gastroenterologist who has brought great honor to our community was introduced by Dr Raj Narayan who is a renowned neurosurgeon and serves as the Chairman at Emeritus and is a Professor of Neurosurgery at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. Dr. Nirmal K. Mattoo was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award and was greatly appreciated by the audience. He got a standing ovation for his achievements. Dr. Nirmal K. Mattoo was born and educated in India, received his medical degree from the University of Delhi, completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in Nephrology in New York. He is a founding partner of Mattoo and Bhat Medical Associates, PC, one of the largest nephrology practices in New York. He is also co-founder and owner of Atlantic Dialysis Management Services, the largest private dialysis provider in New York State. He was Chief Executive Officer of Wyckoff-Heights Medical Center and co- chairman of Chief Medical Officers’ Council of the Columbia Presbyterian system. Dr. Nirmal Mattoo was introduced by Rakesh K Kaul, who is the author of the bestseller The Last Queen of Kashmir published by Harper Collins and the critically acclaimed Dawn the Warrior Princess of Kashmir published by Penguin India. A gold medalist from IIT Delhi.

Added spirit and help provided by past president’s honorable members of the community. The entire program had DJ music & good food. All this to gear up for the upcoming DEEPAVALI Diya lighting event at Times Square. AIA will display a first time Diwali message on Times Square billboard on November 4th Diwali day from 6am to midnight on the Nasdaq market site & mobile digital billboard truck will go around NYC, Queens, and Long Island. Contribution from everyone is highly appreciated by the President Harish Thakkar & AIA NY Committee.

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