NRI PULSE STAFF REPORT
Columbia, SC: November 11, 2023: In a historic event, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster hosted the state’s first-ever Diwali Celebration at the Governor’s Mansion in Columbia on Thursday, November 9. The event, attended by over 200 guests, marked a significant milestone in recognizing the Indian American community’s cultural contributions to the state.
Among the distinguished attendees were the new Indian Consul General Ramesh Babu, South Carolina legislators, state agency leaders, and members of the Indian American community. The Governor honored Mr. Babu with the prestigious Sandlapper Award, a state honor reserved for recognizing extraordinary accomplishments and fostering goodwill.
During the celebration, Governor McMaster presented a proclamation declaring November 12, 2023, as Diwali – Festival of Lights Day throughout South Carolina. This proclamation reflects the state’s commitment to acknowledging the rich cultural heritage of the Indian American community.
In a statement, Governor McMaster expressed his appreciation for the Indian American community’s integral role in South Carolina’s cultural fabric. “The Indian American community is a vital part of the cultural fabric of South Carolina, and it was a pleasure to welcome the Indian Consulate General Mr. Ramesh Babu to South Carolina and celebrate Diwali at the Governor’s Mansion,” he said.
Seema Shrivastava-Patel, Chairman of the South Carolina Department Health and Environmental Control, commended Governor McMaster for hosting the state’s first Diwali celebration. “The Indian American community is thankful to Governor McMaster for hosting the first-ever Diwali celebration in South Carolina. Representation is an important part of acceptance. We are humbled by Governor McMaster’s display of our culture at his home,” she remarked.