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India Republic Day celebrated in Hempstead

Hempstead Town officials hosted the ninth annual India Republic Day Ceremony on Tuesday to honor the holiday that marks the establishment of India as a republic and its liberation from British rule.

Supervisor Kate Murray and Councilman Anthony J. Santino presented Kishore Kuncham and Rizwan Qureshi, both Indian-Americans, with special awards in honor of their community work.

Tejinder Singh Bindra, chief executive of the Jeetish Group of Cos., was keynote speaker.

“America is the home of choice for many who emigrate from India, and Hempstead Town is especially blessed with a growing number of Indian American residents,” Murray said in a statement.

The ceremony, co-sponsored by the Indian American Forum, also featured a number of traditional Indian songs, dances and food.

Kuncham, of North Bellmore, is superintendent of the Freeport school district. Under his leadership, the district opened the first magnet schools on Long Island, participation in college preparation testing more than doubled and the graduation rate has increased to its highest level in years, town officials said.

Qureshi, of East Meadow, is senior executive vice president of Habib American Bank, a multistate bank with headquarters in New York. He oversees branch network operations and compliance, informational technology and human resources. Qureshi worked at Chase Manhattan Bank and was an adjunct professor at Hofstra University.

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