Kerala Center to honor eight at annual banquet

Recognizes leaders in fields of social service.

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: Eight Indian Americans will be honored by the Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center (IAKCCC) for contributions they have made to the advancements of their respective fields of work.

The eight being honored, all of whom are from Kerala originally, are (in alphabetical order):

  • Jose Maliekal – the dean of the School of Science and Mathematics at the State University of New York’s (SUNY) College at Brockport
  • Joseph Mathew  — the founder and principal of Gurukulam, an Indian school of culture, language, and arts (the school itself is a co-recipient)
  • Raghu Menon – head of Business Development at Linde Industrial Gas for north and south America
  • Madhevan Padmanabhan – adjunct professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute for Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and a technical advisor at Alden Research Laboratory
  • Aney Paul – pediatric nurse practitioner and legislator for Rockland County, New York
  • Mariam Paul – the director of nursing at Isabella Geriatric Care for Nursing in New York City
  • Arun Seraphin – the principal assistant director for national security and international affairs at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Freemu Varghese – a nephrologist and former president of the Association of Kerala Medical Graduates

The event will take place on November 9 at Leonard’s, an upscale restaurant in the Great Neck area of Long Island, New York. The chief guest at the banquet will be Vijay K. Nambiar, the Under-Secretary General and special advisor to UN Secretary-General on Myanmar. A Kerala native himself, he has been with the United Nations in various positions for over ten years, and was previously an Ambassador for India in several countries, such as Algeria, Afghanistan, Malaysia, China, and Pakistan.

Thomas Abraham, a board member and trustee at the IAKCCC, lauded the selection committee’s unanimous selections for this year’s honorees, saying that this year’s recipients are “no different from previous years in terms of their achievements.”

The IAKCCC was established in 1990 as a non-profit organization, and then inaugurated in 1993 as a civic center for Malayali Americans. It engages actively with communities around the US “to provide opportunities for learning through educational sessions on contemporary, civic, economic, political, social, and cultural issues affecting the lives of Kerala community in the United States of America.”  Its president is currently E.M. Stephen.

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