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Congressional Award Gala honors prominent Indians

Congressional Award Gala honors prominent Indians
November 16
06:52 2017

Dr Deepak Kant Vyas and Dr Bharat Barai, two of the awardees

CHICAGO: A good number of Indians including the Gandhi Statue fame Dr Deepak Kant Vyas, Oncologist Dr Bharat Barai and Eye surgeon Dr Srisram Sonty were honored at a glittering Congressional Award Gala recently held in Chicagoland.

The Multi-Ethnic Advisory Task Force [MEATF] of US Congressman Danny Davis [D-7thDist.] held its glittering Congressional 7th Annual Award Gala -known more popularly as Community Oscar – at the Meadows Convention Center in Rolling Meadows, a Chicago suburb, with a heavy presence of elected officials, community leaders, awardees and invited guests.

The theme of the gala was “Congressional Salute to our Community Heroes” and it was replete with ethnic music, dances and a large culinary ethnic feast. Congressman Davis recognized individuals who made significant contributions to the society in charitable, educational, medicine, academic, public service leadership and business fields.

Some of the prominent recipients of the awards included Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle receiving Woman of the Year award; Dr Deepak Kant Vyas Light of the Year Award; Dr. Bharat Barai Man of the Year award; Reza Deghati National Geographic Photo-Journalist from Paris, France the International Photographer of the Year award and Dr. Sriram & Dr. Sarada Sonty Lifetime Achievement award, and Obasa Golden Eagle Award to Lagos State Assembly Speaker from Nigeria. The Danny Davis Peace Award was presented to Dr. Clyde Rivers while the Founder President, iChange Nations, California Edward M Brotonel received the Veteran of the Year Award.

Dr Vijay Prabhakar, Founder Chair MEATF (left) and Kishor Mehta (extreme right) with Danny Davis and awardees

The other awardees were: Physician of The Year Dr Raja Rajan Gopaldas; Outstanding Child of the Year Master Zohair Ahmed; Outstanding Child of the Year Master Samuel Yousefzai; Student of the Year Miss Nikita Basu; Youth of the Year(F) : Aishwarya Katiki; Youth of the Year (M) : Syed Moiz Ali; Community Activist of the Year Ms Michelle Lura White; Inter Faith Leader of The Year Sohail Bakhsh; Humanitarian of the Year Dr Kirit Patari; Filmmaker of the Year Parthiban Shanmugam; Rising Star of the Year Rep Christian L Mitchell; Journalist of The Year Isaac Lewis; Organization of the Year Women Association Forum; Architect of the Year Raffi Arzoumanian; Distinguished Leadership Award Dr Chowdury Jampala; Style Icon (Female) of the Year:Hema Potla; Style Icon (Male) of the Year : Albert Memi; Sportsperson of The Year Ms. Dorothy Gators; Digital Marketing Professional of the Year Thomas Varghese; Media Person of the Year Biju Zachariah; Businessperson of the Year : Dr Chirinjeev Kathuria; Corporator of the Year Ram Talluri; Dentist of the Year : Dr. Amit Kumar; Community Leadership Award Very Rev Father Bogdan Kalynyuk; Mother of the Year Mrs Prema Chokkalingam; Father of the Year Babu Verma; Community Service Award (M) Sadruddin Noorani; Community Service Award (F): Amy Moy-Ng; Entrepreneur of the Year: Iman Bambooyani; Golden Eagle Award Michael Strotter and International Man of the Year S. V. Anchan , CEO SafeSea Group, New Jersey.

Congressman Davis said MEATF has become a movement with the goal of promoting, protecting, and empowering minorities under the Chairmanship of Kishor Mehta. He said that he was proud to be associated with this 7 Star Community Oscars which was inclusive of all and truly represented the diversity.

Kishor Mehta, Chairman MEATF, welcoming the guests, described it as an organization committed to bringing under one united umbrella the people of African American, Hispanic, Asian and Middle Eastern origin.

He expressed his gratitude for Rep Davis and Dr Vijay Prabhakar for their excellent leadership and said that Rep. Davis has established a unique way of communicating and interacting by setting up advisory task force – to address the wide spectrum of ethnic issues and concerns related to public policy
Congressman Danny Davis recognized and presented Congressional citations to international dignitaries who had specially flown down to attend the Gala: A Krishna Mohan, Vice President, National Human Rights Council of India, Captain Arun K Chakrabortty, Kargil War Hero and National Convener, National Human Rights Council of India and MP from Ghana, Samuel Nartey George.

Congressman Danny Davis with guests and awardees

Dr. Vijay G Prabhakar, Founder-Chair of MEATF, gave an in-depth historical overview of the organization and how it has evolved over the last seven years gathering momentum and significance every year. He described the awards gala as an enduring symbol of unity and empowerment of the burgeoning ethnic communities and thanked Clarence Beal, Dr. Sowell and Gerard Moore and Congressman Davis for his devotion to uplift the ethnic community and the awardees for their role in shaping American society.

The elegant evening gala was beautifully interspersed with colorful ethnic dance presentations. The Latin American singer Samantha Cortez awesome rendition of the popular song: “How Great Thou Art “, got a standing ovation. Hollywood singer and songwriter Hadiya Nelson Moorer sang the American National Anthem in the beginning

Congressman Danny Davis in his Closing Remarks said that he was overwhelmed by the support of all his constituents especially from the ethnic communities from 24 different countries present at the Gala. He pointed out that the record turnout at this event has encouraged him to continue serving the 7th Congressional district for many more years to come and that he has no plans to retire. Davis paid a special tribute to Dr Vijay Prabhakar, Founder of the MEATF Force, for his great role in establishing the Task Force and nurturing it over the years.

Keerthi Kumar Ravoori & SurendraUllal

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