NEW YORK: Ranju Batra, President of Association of Indians in America-New York, has announced that State Bank of India is the new Diwali Fireworks Sponsor, starting with Diwali 2012 at the South Street Seaport.
On July 29, the AIA-NY held its Diwali Sponsor Reception and Dinner, at Utsav restaurant in Manhattan, in the presence of India’s Ambassador to the United Nations Security Council Hardeep Singh Puri, senior Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Assistant Secretary General of United Nations-Women Lakshmi Puri, New York State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, New York City Councilman Dan Halloran, AIA-NY Committee Members, important sponsors and members of the community.
Ravi Batra warmly introduced Amb. Hardeep Singh Puri as having made India proud with his distinguished service at the United Nations Security Council, and the world safer due to his chairing the SC’s Counter-Terrorism Committee, and said “All of us are more respected and stronger due to his unparrelled public service.”
Amb. Puri expressed his appreciation and support for the efforts of Ranju Batra and the Indian-American community and said “Ranju, we are proud of your hard work; keep it up. … We know you will make Diwali on October 7th even bigger and better … and congratulations on the Silver Anniversary of Diwali in New York.”
Ravi introduced Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney as a dear friend and steadfast supporter of the community. She supported two Sikhs, who wanted to serve in the armed forces with a turban, and got turban-waivers for them from then Secretary of Defense Gates. She has brought to New York the largest infrastructure project in the country, the 2nd Ave subway, and is the primary force in Congress behind Ranju’s Diwali Stamp drive.
Cong. Maloney expressed her support and said “I am working with my dear friend Ranju to get the Diwali Stamp issued by the United States Postal Service, and am always amazed at Ranju’s energy, hard work and successful efforts on behalf of the community. … She makes all of us proud to be New Yorkers. … Ranju, I’m looking forward to being with you again at Diwali…”
Ravi introduced ASG UN-Women Lakshmi Puri as the distinguished force behind gender equality at UN-Women and that her contributions will make the world better for our mothers, sisters and daughters. That womens’ rights, are human rights.
ASG Puri congratulated Ranju for reaching greater heights, and acheiving so much success in these tough economic times. “As a woman, I am very proud of my very dear friend, Ranju, and wish her even more success. … Diwali will be a great success seeing all the effort that Ranju puts in, and I congratulate the Committee… Happy anniversary!”
Ravi introduced State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson as a leader in the state, with a national reputation for standing tall on issues important to real people.
Senator Thompson said that she was happy to join other Ambassadors and elected officials in applauding Ranju’s drive and determination on behalf of the community. “Ranju, I’m proud of your leadership … your exceptional work ethic. … You make us all proud to be New Yorkers. I look forward to celebrating Diwali with you again. … I’m glad I came here, as I got invited to march at the India Day Parade.”
Ravi introduced New York City Councilman Dan Halloran as a hardworking elected official for all New Yorkers, a Republican candidate to succeed the illustrious Congressman Gary L. Ackerman, and a leader who is always there for the community.
Councilman Halloran expressed his solidarity with the Indian-American community, and said “I was there at the South Street Seaport with Ranju last Diwali, and I will be there at Diwali 2012. … I work with Ranju on community issues and thank her for her service to the community.”
Ranju Batra, in her remarks said, “AIA’s vision is to promote India and Indian culture in the United States by showing its rich culture and traditions through various events. Our sponsors’ support makes it all possible.
She said, “I warmly thank India Tourism that has brought us “!ncredible India,” Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, NY Life, McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Habib Bank, Advanced Research Foundation, King Fisher, MoneyGram, MetLife, Make my trip.com, and Con Edison, to name a few. And many thanks to our media partners: Star Plus, India Abroad, South Asian Times, Indian Express, Indian Panorama, News India, South Asian Insider, Overseas India Weekly, Caribbean News, ITV, TV Asia, Jus Panjabi, PTC Punjabi , Crossings TV, Radio Easy 96, Radio Dil Se, and Sahara One.
“It was 25 years ago, and the year was 1987: AIA-NY’s first Diwali took off at the South Street Seaport, with Air-India sponsoring the Diwali Fireworks. And, Air India has done so for a quarter of a century. So, Thank You Air India! I look forward to your continued support, albeit, in a different capacity.
Now, I am excited to announce that the State Bank of India will now be the proud sponsor of the world famous Diwali Fireworks in New York, starting with 2012! This year’s Diwali is on October 7th. By doing this, SBI takes control of a New York City landmark event: Fireworks in the East River, which are seen by millions of New Yorkers.”
She invited the Country Head of SBI, Mr. Shankaran Chandramouli, along with NY-CEO, Mr. Sujit Varma, and NY-VP, Mr. R.S. Ramesh, to come to the podium and address the assembled guests.
Mr. Chandramouli said: “We, at State Bank of India, are happy and proud to join Ranju. … We accepted Ranju Batra’s invitation to become the Diwali Fireworks sponsor, starting with the silver anniversary of Diwali in New York and wish Ranju much success.”
Sujit Varma said: “We are happy to be with Ranju and sponsor the Diwali Fireworks. … We at SBI are very impressed with what she has accomplished, and want to be with her. … We, at SBI, look forward to being the Diwali Fireworks Sponsor for the next 25 years!”
India Post News Service