Several Members Of Kerala Diaspora To Be Recognized
NEW YORK, NY (IANS) – Eight Indian Americans will be honored at an award ceremony in New York this month for achievements in their respective fields and for their service to society.
The Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center will present its 31st annual awards banquet on October 28 in Elmont.
“The Kerala Center has been honoring outstanding achievers since 1992. Every year we invite nominations, and the committee must make a unanimous choice for a candidate in a category to receive the award and this year is no different from previous years in terms of their achievements,” said Thomas Abraham, Kerala Center’s Trustee Board Chairman and Award Committee Member.
Shyam Kottilil, a virologist, and immunologist will be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for making pivotal contributions in the field of Hepatitis and HIV. He is currently the Interim Director of the Institute of Human Virology in Baltimore.
Canada-based Sajeeb Koya, the man behind the LED facade lighting that lights up the world’s tallest Burj Khalifa building in Dubai, will be honored with the Entrepreneurship Award. He hails from Thiruvananthapuram.
Lata Menon practiced as a lawyer in Kerala, Maharashtra, and Karnataka before she immigrated to Canada. In addition to her professional activities as a lawyer, Lata is an active supporter and champion of women’s equality and rights.
Lata has touched the lives of several of her clients who came to her in distress when faced with family discord, domestic violence, abuse, and family disputes, which she has influenced many of her clients to pull their lives together and persevere in the face of adversity.
Dr Anna George, President of the Indian Nurses Association of New York, and Shelby Kutty will be recognized for their contributions in the field of healthcare, while Gopala Pillai will be honored for community service. Pillai has been with the World Malayali Council since 1995 as its secretary, president, and chairman.
Jayant Kamicheril, a 2022 Sahithya Akademy award recipient, and Ajay Ghosh, Chief Editor and Co-Publisher of The Universal News Network, will also be recognized for contributions in the field of literature and media.
Kerala Center President Alex K. Esthappan said that the Center has recognized over 170 Americans hailing from Kerala in the last 31 years. Though the exact number of Keralites in the US is unknown, Thiruvananthapuram-based International Institute of Migration and Development (IIMD) reckons that there are at least 40 lakh from the community abroad, of which at least 20 percent or even higher number are now settled in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.
Kerala is officially preparing a data bank of Keralites, a move that will help the state find the number of Malayalis working abroad, especially in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.