Diwali Festival Lights Up The Bronx

(l-r) Bharati Kemraj, Bharati Dance Academy founder; captain Mohan, Police Service Area 8 executive officer; Chandra and Pandit Vishnu Sukul from Vishnu Mandir.
Photo by Laura Stone

Over 300 people commemorated the 21st annual Vishnu Mandir Diwali ‘Festival of Lights’ celebration on Friday, October 13 at the Sonia Sotomayor Community Center.

Deepavail or Diwali, an important and sacred time to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists around the world, gets its name from the row of clay lamps lit outside of practitioners’ homes symbolizing their inner light protecting them from spiritual darkness.

Honorees recognized for their outstanding community work, leadership and service above self included Dr. Jitendra Barmecha, St. Barnabas Hospital Information Technology and Clinical Engineering chief information officer and senior vice president; Guyanese American Law Enforcement Association; Mandeep S. Sobti, Sobtax, NY president; Detective Bureau – Brooklyn South Grand Larceny Squad police officer Annand H. Narayan,; Dr. Sheetal and Sanmeet Deo, iLoveKickboxing – The Bronx owners and Shivie Sukhdeo, Platinum Celebrations owner.

Bharati Kemraj (front, 2nd from l); captain Mohan (back, 6th from r), Chandra (front, 3rd from r) and Pandit Vishnu Sukul (front, 4th from l); Nathalia Fernandez (front, 3rd from l), Governor Cuomo’s Office Bronx regional representative; Thomas Messina (back, 3rd from r) representing Congressman Joseph Crowley and Adam Chen (back, r) representing Public Advocate Letitia James with honorees from Guyanese American Law Enforcement Association (back, c), Dr. Jitendra Barmecha (front, 2nd from r), Mandeep Sobti (back, 2nd from r), Shivie Sukhdeo (front, 2nd from l), Sanmeet Deo (front, r) and police officer Narayan (back, 4th from r).
Photo by Laura Stone

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