New York, March 7 (Calcutta Tube) A total of nine awards were presented in seven categories at the seventh annual India Abroad Person of the Year Awards gala Friday. The Who’s Who of the Indian-American community attended the event, held at the National Museum of the American Indian in the magnificent Alexander Hamilton US Customs House here. Indian-American Nobel laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has been named the India Abroad Person of the Year 2009 by the ethnic weekly newspaper.
The first to be honoured was the India Abroad Young Achiever 2009, Kavya Shivashankar, winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee 2009.
The India Abroad Gopal Raju Award for Community Service 2009 went to the South Asian Council for Social Services and its Executive Director Sudha Acharya for the decade-old SACSS’s support and empowerment of South Asian immigrants in America.
Priyamvada Natarajan, professor of astronomy and physics at Yale University, was named the India Abroad Face of the Future 2009, an award which recognizes the promise of glittering future achievement.
Mathematician Manjul Bhargava, the youngest full professor at Princeton University, and the inaugural India Abroad Face of the Future 2008, was also present.
Investment banker, community leader and philanthropist Sreedhar Menon was awarded the India Abroad Award for Lifetime Service to the Community 2009.
The India Abroad Publisher’s Special Awards for Excellence were presented to National Public Radio’s Morning Edition Executive Producer Madhulika Sikka, Washington Post Managing Editor Raju Narisetti, and Otterbein College professor Abhijat Joshi, best known as the co-writer of Bollywood blockbusters ‘3 Idiots’ and ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’.
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jhumpa Lahiri’s publisher Ajai Singh ‘Sonny’ Mehta, the editor-in-chief of Alfred A Knopf, was given the India Abroad Award for Lifetime Achievement 2009.
Via a video-address, former US President Bill Clinton congratulated India Abroad on 40 years of publishing and congratulated Sonny Mehta, who published Clinton’s bestselling memoir, ‘My Life’, and all the other winners.
The awardees at a glance:
* India Abroad Person of the Year 2009: Venkatraman Ramakrishnan.
* India Abroad Award for Lifetime Achievement 2009: Sonny Mehta.
* India Abroad Publisher’s Special Awards for Excellence: Madhulika Sikka, Raju Narisetti, Abhijat Joshi.
* India Abroad Award for Lifetime Service to the Community 2009: Sreedhar Menon.
* India Abroad Face of the Future 2009: Priyamvada Natarajan.
* India Abroad Gopal Raju Award for Community Service 2009: South Asian Council for Social Services, Sudha Acharya.
* India Abroad Young Achiever 2009: Kavya Shivashankar.