ATLANTIC CITY — The city’s seventh annual India Day Parade will focus on culture, tradition and the accomplishments of local Indian youth.
The parade celebrates the anniversary of India becoming a nation and declaring the country’s independence from Britain on Aug. 15, 1947.
The parade and mela — an Indian carnival — are sponsored by the South Jersey India Association, Atlantic City and local partners. The parade will take place on the Boardwalk, from Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort to Kennedy Plaza. The first parade was held in August 2010.
“This year, we are pleased to recognize Harvey Kesselman, president of Stockton University, for his tireless efforts in raising the bar of higher education of the South Jersey community through Stockton, and his efforts in expanding the presence of Stockton in Atlantic City, which encompasses a very diverse population, including the Indian community,” said Romesh Ruthnaswamy, president of the SJIA.
The SJIA was formed by local community leaders and businessmen of Indian origin from Atlantic County and surrounding counties, driven “to enable the cross-pollination of cultures in our society and encourage participation to create a fertile environment for a better tomorrow,” according to its website.
“I am honored to be recognized by the South Jersey India Association, a group that shares Stockton’s commitment to building a community which values differences,” Kesselman said. “Doing so helps us foster appreciation and compassion for others and enriches the individual, the campus and the community at large.”
Manish Madan, assistant professor of Criminal Justice at Stockton, will represent Kesselman at the event and accept an award on his behalf.
“It is exciting to see Stockton’s involvement at the local community events,” said Madan. “I am also glad that SJIA has chosen to honor Dr. Kesselman for his commitment to diversity and education in the region.”
Ruthnaswamy, of Mays Landing, said the Indian-American community has a large presence in South Jersey, and the community has not only assimilated American values but blended its core cultural values and traditions to create a fusion of the two cultures.
The community also adds to the region’s economy, he said.
“From small-scale to large-scale business owners, hoteliers, to entrepreneurs and to academicians, the community is blessed by its growing presence representing the best of both Indian and American values,” he said
Four young adults will be recognized for their accomplishments over the past year:
• Rhea Yadav, 14, a senior at Hopewell Valley Central High School in Pennington, Mercer County
• Aditya Joshi, 18, of Egg Harbor Township, a student at Johns Hopkins University
• Shantanu Singh, 18, of Mays Landing, a 2016 graduate of the Atlantic County Special Services School District
• Mahin Master, an 11th-grade student at South Brunswick High School, dancer and founder of the Mahiti Charity Foundation, which benefits the American Cancer Society.