NEW YORK: Invoking the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio applauded the “extraordinary” contributions made by the Indian community to the U.S. city’s economic, cultural and educational fabric.
He lauded India’s contributions to the world, noting that the messages of Gandhi resonate across the world.
“We know that India has contributed so much to the world – some of the greatest speakers and some of the greatest consciences – of course, including Mahatma Gandhi, who we honor in all we do,” he said to a crowd of several hundred Indians who had gathered in Manhattan for the annual India Day Parade 2014 organized on August 17 by the Federation of Indian Associations.
He noted that Indians have contributed to the city’s education, culture, cuisine, look and life “in so many ways”.
“No community is more devoted to education than the Indian American community. And that is part of its strength,” he said.The parade is an annual fixture on the city’s social calendar and draws hundreds of people from across the tri-state area as it showcases Indian culture and heritage.
He said the parade “exemplifies” the contributions of the Indian community to the city and he is “proud” that it is one of the largest Indian independence parades in the world.
On the occasion, he presented a proclamation declaring August 17, 2014 as ‘NYC Indian Parade Day’ on behalf of all the people of New York city.
The mayor also expressed his appreciation for the Indian-Americans in his administration saying they “play a strong role in our government.”
The mayor’s administration includes Indian-origin lawyer Nisha Agarwal who serves as head of immigrant affairs.
Eminent Indian-American physician Ramanathan Raju was appointed by de Blasio as New York City’s Commissioner of Health and Hospitals Corporation, a network which has a dozen hospitals.