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Premier Mike Baird and his parliamentary colleagues send out their Diwali wishes
Respect is one of the hidden messages of Diwali, where the wider call is for spreading light over darkness. But in all aspects of Hindu culture, the love and regard for our elders is clear.
With a relatively young migrant community, the seniors who have joined their adult children here are challenged to engage themselves in meaningful activities.
The NSW Parliament’s celebration of Diwali turned out to be a wonderful occasion to honour some of our community’s elders who are contributing in their own way.
Dr Hari Harinath, Chair of the Community Relations Commission, congratulated six seniors this year for their work in fields as diverse as literature, community service, mental health, senior care, yoga etc.
NSW Premier Mike Baird presented Vimla Luthra, Dr Hemchandra Rao, Sudha Natarajan, Saroja Srinivasan, Veda Srinivasan and Damodar Sodha each with a token of appreciation.
Earlier Premier Baird addressed the 200-plus gathering in the Special Dining Room of the Parliament House and sent out Diwali wishes to the community.
“Last year’s lighting of the Opera House at Diwali, pictures of which went all over the world, was a proud moment for our government,” he noted.
India’s Consul General Sunjay Sudhir, in possibly his last public address prior to moving back to India, commented on the special joys of being able to celebrate Diwali over an entire month here in Australia, as compared to a single day in India.
Minister for Multiculturalism John Ajaka also conveyed the government’s wishes on Diwali to the Indian community in NSW.
Earlier the dignitaries were received by children from IABBV Hindi School, many of them dressed up as characters from the Ramayana.
The guests also took in a wondrous Annakut display of food offerings, prepared lovingly by BAPS volunteers for the third year in a row for the Parliament House event.
And yes, the Premier was extraordinarily generous with his time as people lined up for photographs and selfies.
More pics at facebook.com/IndianLinkAustralia