At its 10th annual Hindu youth awards event, the community organization Hindus of Greater Houston, honored ten individuals for their service to the community and promoting Hindu culture.
The event, which was held via video conference was hosted by Vallabh Priti Seva Samaj (VPSS), Houston.
The awardees were nominated by various Hindu faith-based organizations.
According to a press release, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi recognized and congratulated the youth in a letter addressed to Hindus of Greater Houston (HGH). He called these awards an opportunity for the youth to further strengthen the connection with their roots.
The awards were presented by Chief Guest Consul General of India in Houston, Aseem Mahajan, who lauded the youth for displaying leadership and participation in the community.
Rashesh Dalal, VPSS trustee welcomed the virtual participants, awardees and their families.
President of HGH Thara Narasimhan presented an overview of HGH’s activities during 2020. HGH participated in 20 city and international events during the year, organized multiple food drives, and one blood drive. Narasimhan also highlighted the efforts and achievements of the youth who had been nominated by their respective organizations.
Emcee Gayathri Mullapudi introduced the awardees and invited them to say a few words about their inspiration, service and aspirations.
The awardees were Anish Nayak (Seva International), Anusha Sathyanarayan (Eternal Gandhi Museum of Houston), Nithya Ramankulangara (Sri Meenakshi Temple Society), Sandeep Prabhakar (Global Organization of Divinity), Kruthi Patel (BAPS), Vipaschit Nanda (Arya Samaj), Abhimanyu Aggarwal (Hindu Heritage Youth Camp) and Rajit Shah (Vallabh Vidya Mandir). Two special awards were presented to Namita Pallod (Sanatan Hindu Dharma) and Komal Luthra (Young Hindus of Greater Houston).
Dr. Madan Luthra was awarded the 2020 Akhil Chopra Unsung Heroes award for his selfless service especially during the country’s battle with the pandemic.
Dr. Luthra, a retired research scientist from MD Anderson, volunteers as a core lead and is one of the initiators of the Case Management division of the Family Services program of Sewa. Dr. Luthra and his team stepped in during the pandemic to help community members coping with emergencies, accidents, medical issues, death and bereavement and family disputes.
Actor Nitish Bharadwaj of the popular television serial Mahabharat also attended the event and gave a speech on the values of Hinduism. Hindus, he observed, have proved to the world that they assimilate wherever they go. “They not only introduce other cultures to India’s richness but also imbibe the positive qualities of the country they live in. NRI’s are India’s peace ambassadors,” he said.
A short cultural program by children and women formed the entertainment segment of the evening.