Indian American Achievers Honored

Indian American Achievers Honored

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“This country is the greatest nation in the history of the world because
 of our diversity,” Richard Blumenthal, the senior United State
 Senator from Connecticut, told a packed audience at the 11th annual 
Gala and awards nite organized by The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin
 (GOPIO)-Connecticut Chapter in the Ballroom at The Hilton Hotel in 
Stamford, CT on Saturday, July 8th, 2017. “We have become a great nation
 because of your contributions. We have welcomed talent, energy and 
dedication. There is no greater example of this than our relationship 
with India; two great democracies on earth. Our nation faces biggest challenge to rule of law today than ever before.”

The sold out and much anticipated event 
was attended by over 250 guests from across the state of Connecticut, 
including community leaders, elected officials, and honorees and their 
families. The gala included a cocktail reception, dinner, music, live DJ
 and dances by participants, eloquent speeches, touching life-stories 
and inspiring narratives on the lives of the five distinguished 
honorees. The program was compered by Gayatri Mahesh.

Prominent among those who had attended 
and spoke at the annual gala included, Congressman Jim Himes, Stamford 
Mayor David Martin, Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, Connecticut State 
Senators Tony Hwang and Toni Boucher and CT State Assemblymen Dr. 

In her presidential address, Anita Bhat 
described the mission and vision of GOPIO-CT under her leadership. “Our 
mission at GOPIO-CT is to be active participants in the local community 
through involvement in community events and local politics, and by 
providing services to the Indian community at large here in Connecticut.
 This lofty goal of providing services and a political voice to the 
local Indian population has evolved into an exemplary community service 
organization thanks to the tremendous support of our local Indian 

Describing some of the programs GOPIO-CT
 initiates, Bhat said, GOPIO members serve in local soup kitchens, do 
walkathons to support cancer
 patients, and jointly celebrate Diwali and India’s Independence Day 
with the members of multiple Indian groups in our community. “This year 
we want to take our mission a step further and become the voice of 
Indian Americans living in Connecticut. This lofty goal is not easy to 
reach without your support. Please become a member of GOPI-CT and make 
our goals come true,” she said.

Congressman Jim Himes, who represents 
Connecticut’s 4th District in the United States House of 
Representatives, said he was delighted to be at the event to honor the 
accomplishments of so many talented individuals. Congressman Jim Himes, 
in his felicitations, “This is the largest ever dinner you I have ever 
attended of GOPIO. We are experiencing one of the backsliding moments in
 the history of the where the core strength of this nation, the 
immigrants, are being threatened. There is no bigger rebuttal than the 
people in this room. You are scientists, educators, engineers, 
entrepreneurs, community activists, philanthropists, who represent the 
success and contributions of immigrants to the country”

Riva Ganguly Das
 Consul General of India, in her address, “The Indo-US relationship has 
been strengthened by who you are; your accomplishments. Though you are 
only 1% of the US population, you have excelled in education, income 
level, economic standing and contributions to the society, you are the 
model for all other immigrant communities.” Describing the partnership 
as strategic, she pointed out to the fast growing and maturing of 
collaboration between the two nations.

Dr. Thomas Abraham, Founder President of
 GOPIO International who is also a Trustee of GOPIO-CT, chairman of the 
Awards Committee, said, “The evening is a celebration – a celebration 
not just of the accomplishments of our awardees, but also a tribute to a
 strong and vibrant Indian-American community in Connecticut.”

“You are the community. You are not part
 of the community,” Mayor David Martin told the Indian Americans. 
Pointing to the historic nature of the upcoming general elections in November, Mayor Martin urged the members to register and vote, and thus become ensure that your voices are heard.”

Mayor Harry Rilling said, “I am honored 
to be here to celebrate among friends and am thankful for the warm 
welcome the Indian community has always extended to me and my family.” 
He also congratulated GOPIO-CT for its 11 years of service and bringing 
the Indian community together.

The founder and CEO of T V Asia, H. R. 
Shah, a charismatic Indian American, who is a well-known entrepreneur, 
philanthropist and community leader who endeared himself as a close 
friend of who’s who of the world, and was honored with Padma Bhushan, 
one of the highest honors by the Indian Government, was honored by GOPIO
 for his accomplishments and contributions to the Indian American 
community. While thanking GOPIO, Shah said, “For getting success in life
 you have to have a goal, vision, and determination. Money comes later. 
You have to work hard.”

GOPIO-CT 2017 awardees, scholarship recipients with GOPIO Officials and dignitaries

Ila Paliwal was honored for her contributions in the field of Performing Arts.

Dr. Draupathi Nambudiri was honored for her accomplishments in the field of Medicine and Health Care.

Dr. Rupendra Paliwal, who was honored 
for his accomplishments in the field of Education, currently serves as 
provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Sacred Heart 

Captain Alpa Ladani, a distinguished 
20-year Veteran of the Connecticut Army National Guard, was honored for 
her services to the nation.

GOPIO-CT President’s Young Professional Achiever Award was given to Nitesh Banta.


For the third year in a row, GOPIO-CT 
Scholarship for College Tuitions were given to four young students from 
Connecticut towards their higher education. The recipients are Praneetha
 Desu (Indiana University), Vivek James (University of Pennsylvania), 
Arjun Ahuja (University of Connecticut) and Ruhi Patel (Norwalk 
Community College), GOPIO-CT Scholarship Committee consisted of Shelly 
Nichani (Chairman), Shobhna Bhatnagar and Priya Easwaran coordinated 
GOPIO-CT efforts and led the fund-raising at the event to expand the 
scholarship to other parts of Connecticut in the coming years.


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