GOPIO has selected seven to receive community service awards at the annual banquet to be held on Jan. 6th. The senior most Indian Administrative officer, Shnipping Secretary and former MOIA Secretary K. Mohandas will be recognbized for his services to the Indian Diaspora community. This year's award recipients are as follows:
Faisal Kottikollon (Bahrain) - Entrepreneur/industrialist. Founder President/CEO of Emirates Techno Casting synergy comprising of several successful companies. A visionary industrialist and philanthropist, a man widely respected for his business acumen and compassion for the underprivileged. As the founder-chairman of the UAE-based KEF Holdings, he has scripted a phenomenal success story that continues to inspire many entrepreneurs. Many years of service in practicing corporate social responsibility as well as setting up the Shabana & Faizal Foundation charity organization directing funds and support for the betterment of deprived people.
Raghunath Manet (France) - Prominent exemplary classic Indian dancer and teacher with exemplary contribution to social and humanitarian activities that include active collaboration with UNESCO for promotion of art and Indian culture worldwide. Pro bono community volunteer service as teacher of vocal, instrumental, Ayurveda, yoga and classic dance at his own institution. Offering basic education, training facilities, shelter & access to art & culture, including handicrafts, to particularly the disabled, blind persons and kids and disadvantaged persons through his own school based in Pondicherry. Participating in voluntary activities for AIDS/SIDACTION. Funding for Reconstruction of Historical sites and Temples in South India by performing Freely.eg. "The famous Temple of Tanjore".
Prof. Ved Prakash Nanda (USA) - Director of the International Legal Studies Program at the University of Denver and an internationally renowned jurist. He was also the former president of the World Jurist Association and President of the World Association of Law Professors. Prof. Nanda is the recipient of the 2004 Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award; the 1997 United Nations Association Human Rights Award; and the 1990 World Legal Scholar award. He has authored or co-authored 22 books in international law and is widely published in law journals, magazines and newspapers. He has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor and Scholar at a number of universities in the United States and abroad. One of the founding team setting up GOPIO International for the cause of protecting and furthering the human rights of PIOs; a professional of excellence and dedication to community service. A staunch supporter of forging better bilateral ties and understanding between India and US and India and many other countries.
Photo from top left clockwise - Faisal Kottikollon, Raghunath Manet, Prof. Ved P. Nanda, Hendry Vikramasinghe, Datuk A. Vaithilingam, Dr. Ajeet Singhvi and
Dr. Rami Ranger
Dr. Rami Ranger
Dr. Rami RangerDr. Rami Ranger, MBE (UK) - A very successful businessman with recognition from Her Majesty the Queen five times, four times for business (Sun Mark Ltd) and once personally for community service. This year the company was added to the Sunday Times most profitable 100 companies in Britain in their "Profit Track 100". He also devotes his time to benefit society by launching ground breaking initiatives designed to strengthen social cohesion in Britain. He has created hundreds of jobs for fellow Indians and he also raises funds for worthy projects in India. He encourages the British Indian community to become more publically and politically spirited in Britain. In addition, he has also helped 5 fellow Indians to become Members of Parliament in Britain to safeguard India's interest.
Ajeet Singhvi, MD (USA) - Immediate Past President of American Association of Physicians of India Origin (AAPI), the largest organized association of PIOs and NRIs in the US. Worked for over 30 years towards better understanding between people of Indian and United States. Prominent physician with faculty appointment at Loma Linda University Medical Center, a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology and the American Gastroenterological Association. He served as the Chief of Staff at Hemet Valley Medical Center from 2000 to 2004, and was also on the Hemet Hospital Foundation Board. He is presently serving on the Board of Riverside County Medical Association. He has been working closely with community leaders to address issues of mutual interest, especially the first ever "Health India Think Tank". Worked closely with community leaders to address issues of disease prevention and health promotion amongst Indo-Americans.
Datuk A. Vaithilingam (Malaysia) - A dedicated national leader of NGOs for social service and community development in Malaysia; recognized as a righteous spokesperson for the advancement of inter-faith advocacy and its role in fostering harmony within the multi-religious communities of Malaysia. At the forefront in initiating and implementing community development and social welfare programs in for in Malaysia. He has helmed various leadership roles of Malaysia Hindu Sangam that is Malaysia's national representative organization of the 1.8 million Hindus in the country. He served as the President of the Malaysia Hindu Sangam for over 12 years until his retirement in 2009. He has also been a key founder member of the Malaysian AIDS Council, as well as the Malaysian Consultative Council for Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism & Taosim (MCCBCHST).
Hendry H Wickramasinghe (Sri Lanka) - Secretary/Consultant at Office of Hon. M.P. Praba Ganesan. Participated in the peace process activities in Sri Lanka at the grass root level, representing Indian origin Tamils. An ardent activist in promoting the Indian origin upcountry Tamils rights in socio-cultural and political spheres and facilitating higher studies of upcountry Tamil students. Made significant contribution in the service of preservation and betterment in temples in Colombo. Actively campaigning for the civil rights of Indian origin Tamils in Sri Lanka whom were disenfranchised in 1948. Participated with Ministers and Members of Parliament in seminars and study tours on the Federal System in most of the European countries since the year 2000. Many years in support of the community in both public and social service, as well as your exemplary achievements and your commitment to human rights.
SPECIAL AWARD - Hon. K. Mohandas (India)