GOPIO-CT honors five Indian Americans at 11th annual gala

Senator Richard Blumenthal attended the event

The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) on Saturday held its 11th annual gala in Hilton Hotel, Stamford, CT, and honored five distinguished Indian American achievers.

Entrepreneur H R Shah, singer Ila Paliwal, US National Guard veteran Alpa Ladani, medicine, and healthcare expert Dr Draupathi Nambudiri and scholar Rupendra Paliwal were honored for their achievements in respective fields, Times of India reported.

Padma Shri awardee H R Shah is a well-known entrepreneur, philanthropist, and community leader. He is the chairman and CEO of TV Asia and is also the first NRI to own a chain store business anywhere in the world. Gujarat-born Shah, who is serving as the chairman of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan USA, is the recipient of the 2005 Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Ila Paliwal is a classically trained Indian vocalist, based in New York and Greenwich, CT. She has performed all over the world and holds MA degrees in Fine Arts, Hindustani classical vocal music from Agra University and Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad respectively. She also received a BA in Mandarin from Language and Culture Institute, Beijing, China. Paliwal released an album NAVARATNA and a video, HOLI, celebrating the Indian ancient phrase Vasudev Kutumbakam in 2015.

Alpa Ladani of Boston was the highest ranking Indian American female officer who served in Afghanistan. She also served the US Army in Iraq, Germany, and Bahrain in a number of different capacities. Ladani, who was born in Upleta, Gujarat, is the recipient of Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO medal, and Iraq Campaign medal with 2 campaign stars among many other honors in her career started at an age of 17.

Dr Draupathi E Nambudiri is a psychiatrist at the Stamford Hospital and serves as the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Stamford and also a clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College. The Kerala-born Nambudiri has practicing experience of 36 years and is a graduate of Government T D Medical College, Alappuzha, Kerala.

Dr Rupendra Paliwal is the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT. He was an officer with National Stock Exchange of India and is a member of the American Finance Association, Financial Management Association International and the Eastern Finance Association. Paliwal holds a Ph D in Finance from the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree in Finance from the ICFAI Business School in India.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, Consul General of India Riva Ganguly Das, GOPIO-CT president Anita Bhat were among other dignitaries who attended the event.

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