Indian American Forum holds annual awards gala honoring women achievers

Diya lighting ceremony with IAF Board members and Past Honorees. PHOTO: Indian American Forum

The Indian American Forum based in New York, celebrated its 13th Annual Women’s Achievements Awards Gala at Metropolitan Caterers in Long Island, the weekend of February 9, 2024.

Under the leadership of Chairperson Indu Jaiswal and Gala Chair Shammi Singh, and other members of IAF, the Gala celebrated the outstanding achievements of select women. Among those present to witness the awards were leaders of the community as well as officials of the administration.

Rhea Manjrekar, Rani Verma, Pinky Rangi, Dr Mamta Shaha, Dr Bhavani Srinivasan, Dorothy Goosby, Elaine Phillips, Neela Lockel Mukherjee, Samyukhtha Arun Kumar, Dr Mala Sachdeva, Indu Jaiswal,
Beena Kothari, Dr Bobby Kumar Kalotee, Roopam Maini Vimal Goyal, Deepak Bansal, Wioletta ,Aashmeeta Yogiraj, Chanbir Jaur Sethi. PHOTO: IAF

The honorees were presented special citations from Nassau County Executive Bruce A. Blakeman’s office, Certificates of Recognition from The Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer S. Desena, and Town Clerk Ragini Srivastava’s office, Town of Hempstead Donald X. Clavin’s office, Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino and Office of The Nassau County’s Comptroller Elaine Phillips’ office, the press release from IAF said.

Town of Hempstead Deputy Supervisor Dorothy Goosby. PHOTO: IAF
Indu Jaiswal, chair IAF, and founder of IAF Dr Bobby Kumar Kalotee. PHOTO: IAF
Nassau County Comptroller Elaine Phillips. PHOTO: IAF

Dr. Bobby Kalotee, founder of IAF, welcomed several officials including North Hempstead Town Supervisor Hon. Jennifer S. Desena, Town of Hempstead Deputy Supervisor Hon. Dorothy L. Goosby, and Nassau County Comptroller Elaine Phillips.

The American and Indian national anthems jumpstarted the event, a welcome from hosts Roopam Maini and Chanbir Kaur.

Singer Sunita Sadhnani and DJ Parminder brought people to the dance floor.

Vimal Goyal, Nassau County Legislator Rosemarie Walker, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer DeSena, Rajan Rangi, Dr Bobby Kalotee, Dr Bhupendra R Patel. PHOTO: IAF

Several distinguished political and community leaders, IAF Board of Trustees, Members, Volunteers, supporters and audience applauded the distinguished accomplishments of women honorees.

Several Board of Trustees and community leaders present at the event included Dr Urmilesh Arya, Dr Bhupendra Patel, Beena Kothari, Flora Parekh, president of Gift of Life USA,  Dr. Pallavi Manvar Singh, Dr. Sunil Mehra (AAPI), Pradip Tandon (President IALI), Dr. Jagdish Gupta President (AIA), Vijay Goswamy, Anju Sharma, Dr. Purnaprasad, Dr. Prachi Dua and many other leaders of organizations.

Aashmeeta Yogiraj emceed the event with hosts Indu Jaiswal, Roopam Maini and Chanbir Kaur. The vote of thanks was delivered by Beena Kothari, Viola and Flora Parekh.

List of Awardees:

Dr. Bhavani Srinivasan, MD DCH MPH practices Pediatrics, Public Health and Acupuncture in Long Island, New York, is chair of Women’s Affairs for AAPI QLI for many years, conducts free public health educational programs in Nassau County, including an annual Mental Health Symposium and Annual Breast Cancer Awareness seminar. She holds several core community leadership positions not limited to: President Grant Medical College Alumni USA Inc., Regional Director Mid-Atlantic region AAPI, Chair Publications AAPI, Vice Chair Asian American Advisory Committee Nassau County and Advisory committee Hindu Temple Flushing NY.

Dr. Mala Sachdeva – Professor of Medicine at Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and academic nephrologists, an educator, and part of the full time faculty at theDivision of Kidney Diseases and Hypertension in Great Neck, New York, North well Health System. Currently she has been elected as President Elect in 2024 and then will serve as President (2025-2026) for Women In Nephrology Organization, a national organization advocating and mentoring women and men in developing exciting careers in the field of renal disease.

Neela Mukherjee Lockel – President and Chief Executive Officer at EAC Network. She has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross on Long Island since 2016, where she oversaw Red Cross activities across Nassau County and Suffolk Counties, and sat on the Regional Leadership Team of Greater New York. She facilitated the Regional Board Diversity Committee, was a member of the Advanced Public Affairs Training Team and the American Red Cross LEAD, an internal leadership development program. She has deployed to Red Cross disaster responses for Hurricanes Matthew(2016) and Florence (2018) and the California Wildfires (2017), and sat as the Interim Regional CEO for the Maine Region, to lead the team through a merger into the Northern New England Region.

Dr. Mamta Shaha – President of North Shore Rotary Club. She is a Board-Certified Pediatrician and an Assistant Professor of pediatrics at New York University. She is also a Board-certified Ophthalmologist from Bombay University. She is actively involved with JAINA (Federation of Jain Association in North America) and has served as JAINA North East Vice president for two years and served as a director of the Jain Center of America NY for 4 years. She currently chairs two committees in JAINA: As a Chairperson of the JAINA Media Committee, she produced and directed the weekly Jain TV show “Mangalam” for 10 years.

Samyukhtha Arun Kumar – Golfer and youth leader and inspiring next generation athlete.

Late Sharan Premi – Life Time Achievement Award. Mr. and Mrs. Premi helped the community whenever there was a need, and even housed people who had nowhere to go. Mrs. Premi helped new immigrants with Housing, providing shelter and guided them in the new environment for several years. Their House was known as Mini Punjab.



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