Diwali, also known as the festival of lights was celebrated by the Havering Asian Social and Welfare Association (HASWA) at their community centre Greenfields, Kilmartin Way, Elm Park, Essex on Saturday 28th October 2017. Young and old came together for celebrations along with guests Mayor of Havering Councillor Dilip Patel with his wife Councillor Nisha Patel, Councillor Sally Miller, Rainham and Dagenham MP John Cruddas, Keith Prince AM, London Assembly Member for Havering & Redbridge and Colonel Markham Bryant DL MBE.
Sansar Singh Narwal secretary of HASWA, said “events such as the Diwali celebration promote better cultural understanding of Havering’s rich and diverse community”. Roop Johal, a member of HASWA raised awareness on the importance of BAME minorities becoming a stem cell donor as they only have 21% chance of finding donors internationally. Her daughter aged 3 is fighting leukaemia and all the money raised at HASWA’s raffle will go towards her fund. Entertainment was provided by the HASWA members, children dance groups and Veena Jain, Storm Vacademy and DJ RAVC. There was also a raffle, DJ, and authentic Indian cuisine.