The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin-NJ hosted its Community Recognition Awards and India Independence Day celebration Aug. 15, 2020, on a virtual platform attended by invited guests, public officials, community leaders, GOPIO members and awardees from various fields.
Consul General of India in New York, Radhir Kumar Jaiswal was the chief guest and New Jersey State Assemblyman Raj Mukherji was the guest of honor for this event.
Consul General Jaiswal, extending congratulations to the Indian diaspora on Independence Day, said watching both U.S. and Indian flags displayed and national anthems sung was a true celebration of democracy in this country. The Indian flag hoisting at Times Square was a proud moment for all Indians, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on the achievements, aspirations, and future of a new India, was inspiring, he added and promised to work closely with the diaspora.
The GOPIO International Chair Dr. Thomas Abraham noted India’s progress in last seven decades and Indian-American contributions to health care, hospitality, IT, science and education fields and now politics with people in all positions, local to national.
State Assemblyman Mukherji congratulated GOPIO adding he was proud of Indian Americans in New Jersey, and also of the candidate of Indian descent as a Vice-President this November. He recognized the work of Indian-origin physicians and other health care workers, small businesses to include hotels and restaurants and their contributions during the pandemic. He welcomed CG Jaiswal and expressed his support and appreciated what the CG’s office had contributed in last few months during the pandemic.
Dr. Tushar Patel, President of GOPIO, Central Jersey welcomed all and provided history of GOPIO and described central jersey activities in last 12 years. He read the letter from NJ State Senator Vin Gopal, who was not able to attend. He thanked all executive members for their support in last two years and also announced new Executive Team for the next two years term which includes Kunal Mehta-President, Vijay Garg-Executive Vice-President, Nishith Mehta-Vice-President, Amit Kucheriya-Secretary and Kunal Gupta as Treasurer.
The Executive Committee attended the event at IndusTV in Princeton, New Jersey but all others attended via virtual platform which was broadcast live on IndusTV platform on social media.
National anthems of the U.S. and India were sung, and choreographed patriotic dance performances were given by dancers of Nrityakala Dance Academy
Newly elected President Kunal Mehta promised his commitment to bring various programs and activities to keep GOPIO-NJ in a positive direction.
Eight accomplished individuals in various fields and professionals were awarded with 2020 Community Recognition Award:
Falguni Shah for her contributions in performing arts. Shah is a Grammy nominated singer and songwriter; Varsha Singh was honored with an award for her contributions in health care field., having dedicated her time and service in providing stroke education and information in the communities throughout the New Jersey for the past 10 years; Revathi Kulkarni Roy was honored as global achiever and women empowerment. She pioneered Asia’s first ever women’s cab service and now runs an all women logistic company “Hey DeeDee” where the riders and drivers are all women. She was on the list of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in business in 2019; Raman Kapur was honored in business entrepreneurship award. He is an entrepreneur, investor, advisor and mentor to many CEOs and working with youth, women and minority entrepreneurs through his TiE New Jersey organization; Devendra Singh was honored for his community service. He is the founder and president of Hindi USA which was created in 2001 to promote learning Hindi language for younger generation.
Three other individuals were honored due to their continued efforts and dedication in service during the pandemic– Neel Shah provided business, tax and other investment opportunities to families by conducting weekly educational webinars; Sudharani Kankanala raised more than $100,000 during her involvement with Rotary Club; and Arvind Patel, owner of Rajbhog Foods which delivered 14 tons of food which is nearly 27,000 pounds in meals during the pandemic to more than 30 hospitals, medical centers, universities and law enforcement agencies in New York and New Jersey.