Each year in the autumn, the Indian community celebrates a gazetted holiday featuring a festival of lights. The celebration can last up to five days, when people decorate their home and workplaces with electric lights or oil lamps. Also popular are bowls of water with floating candles and flowers.
The festival signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.
It’s called Diwali, which is observed throughout the Indian community in Kern County as well. And each year, the India Association of San Joaquin Valley commemorates this event in Bakersfield with a celebration, this year held on Oct. 25 at Seven Oaks Country Club.
The Bakersfield personal injury law firm Chain | Cohn | Stiles is a proud supporter of the Indian community in the San Joaquin Valley, and this year was a sponsor for the Diwali celebration, and the association’s annual directory for members.
“We support the Indian community, which for years we have been a major part of the Bakersfield community,” said CCS attorney Neil K. Gehlawat. “We had a great time celebrating Diwali with our Indian neighbors throughout Kern County.”
The India Association of San Joaquin Valley was formed in 1974, and since then has continuously grown along with the Indian community in Kern County and the San Joaquin Valley.
“Today, the association has more than 300 paid members and is involved in a wide variety of activities and cultural program, all which bring out the rich heritage of India,” wrote Shetal Mehta, president of the India Association of San Joaquin Valley, in this year’s association directory.
The Gehlawat family has been a longtime supporter of various causes throughout Kern County, including the Diwali celebration. And Dr. Dilbagh Gehlawat has been a beloved pediatrics doctor in Delano for decades.
Neil Gehlawat concentrates his practice on personal injury, and wrongful death cases. He grew up in Bakersfield and graduated from Stockdale High School, before earning his bachelor’s degree from the UC Berkeley. He then went on to obtain his law degree from The University of Texas School of Law, before returning to Bakersfield, and joining the firm in 2012.
He is fluent in Hindi and Punjabi, and regularly assists Kern County residents of Indian background with their legal needs. If you speak Hindi or Punjabi and are in an accident or are seeking workers’ compensation assistance, call Chain | Cohn | Stiles at 661-323-4000, or visit the website Chainlaw.com.
* Editor’s Note: Neil Gehlawat is no longer an attorney with Chain | Cohn | Stiles *
*NOTICE: Making a false or fraudulent Workers’ Compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in a prison or a fine of up to $150,000 or double the values of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.