Five Indian Americans honored with Pravasi Bharatiya Samman

Sudhakar Jonnalagadda and Mukesh Aghi
Sudhakar Jonnalagadda (left) and Mukesh Aghi

Recognized for outstanding achievements from promoting Indian culture to community service.

The Federation of Indian Associations of New York, New Jersey & Connecticut (FIA-Tristate) and four individual Indian Americans have been conferred 2021 Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA), the highest honor for overseas Indians.

The awards were conferred by Indian President Ram Nath Kovind as part of the 16th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention held virtually on Jan 9.

The theme of the convention, aimed at encouraging Indian diaspora to be part of socio-economic development in India, was “Contributing to Aatmanirbhar Bharat.”

The awardees represent the vibrant excellence achieved by our diaspora in various fields, a media release said. Several countries have been represented for the first time among the awardees.

Dr. Mukesh Aghi, one of the awardees and President & CEO of US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, delivered the acceptance speech on behalf of the awardees.

READ: Philanthropist Dr. Kiran Patel, IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath among 4 Indian American recipients of Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (January 23, 2019)

Four individual Indian American award winners were Arvind Phukan, for environment technology, Nilu Gupta for promoting Indian culture, Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda for medicine and Dr. Aghi for business.

“We are very proud, humbled and thankful to be the recipient of the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman,” said FIA-Tristate president Anil Bansal. “It is the recognition of hard and selfless work of so many people in the FIA family.”

“This award is for the exceptional and meritorious contribution to India, the Indians for social and humanitarian causes.  We at FIA have been totally dedicated to serving the interest of India and Indian diaspora in the USA.”

“It is truly a moment of pride for FIA and for me to witness this prestigious recognition bestowed upon FIA,”  said chairman Ankur Vaidya. “I take this opportunity to thank the founders and patriarchs, some of them are on our board who dedicated a lifetime in serving the community through the organization.”

READ: Dr. Sampat Shivangi, Dr. Bharat Barai, Dr. Mahesh Mehta among 30 recipients of the 2017 Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (January 9, 2017)

The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) of the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut is one of the largest umbrella organizations in the Indian community, representing over one million strong and vibrant Asian-Indians. Established in the year 1970, the FIA has emerged as an effective mouthpiece and mobilizer for the community.

Jonnalagadda, President of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), said, “In recognizing me, the government has recognized all the medical professionals who have been in the forefront fighting Covid, including those who have laid their lives at the services of treating patients infected with the deadly virus.

“This award will strengthen the medical fraternity to recommit our efforts, skills and talents for the greater good of humanity. Congratulations to all of my co-awardees.”

Jonnalagadda assumed office as the 37th AAPI President last July  with a commitment to “make AAPI stronger, more vibrant, united, transparent, politically engaged, ensuring active participation of young physicians, increasing membership, and enabling that AAPI’s voice is heard in the corridors of power” .

AAPI is the largest ethnic medical organization in the US, representing the interests of the over 100,000 physicians and fellows of Indian origin.


Satya Nadella, Dr. Kamlesh Lulla, Dr. Nandini Tandon among 15 Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awardees for 2015 (January 8, 2015)

Parthasarathy Pillai, Renu Khator receive the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas award (January 10, 2014)


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