15 NRIs recieve ‘Pravasi Bhartiya Samman’ awards  


Microsoft  CEO  Satyanarayan Nadella  and Guyana President  Donald Rabindernauth Ramaotar  are among 15 prominent NRIs who received ‘Pravasi Bhartiya Samman’ award for their contribution in various fields on the concluding day of Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas convention on January 9.

The awards were presented by Vice-President Hamid Ansari at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar.

“The President is pleased to award ‘Pravasi Bhartiya Samman’ to President of Guyana Donald Rabindernauth Ramaotar, Satyanarayn Nadella, Dr Rajaram Sanjaya, Kanwaljit Singh Bakhshi, Rajmal Parakh, Duraikannu Karunakaran, Essop Goolam Pahad, Shah Bharatkumar Jayantilal, Ashraf Palarkunnummal,  Mahendra Nanji Mehta, Mala Mehta, Senator Lisa Singh, Professor Nathu Ram Puri, Dr Lulla Kamlesh and Dr Nandini Tandon,” a release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs said.

Donald Rabindernauth Ramaotar has been awarded for his work for the Indian diaspora in Guyana.

Rajaram Sanjaya, an India-born Mexico scientist, is winner of the ‘2014 World Food Prize’ for developing 480 wheat varieties that have been released in 51 countries.

Kanwaljit Singh Bakhshi is an MP from New Zealand and is also known for work he had done for the Indian diaspora.

Essop Goolam Pahad, a South African politician, was Minister in the Presidency from 1999 to September 2008 in South Africa.

Mahendra Nanji Mehta, a Uganda-based businessman of Indian roots, and professor  Nathuram Poori  of Purico Group  are also chosen for their contribution to Indian diaspora.

Lord Raj Lumba, a philanthropist and founder of clothing company,  Rinku Group  and a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords has also been named for the honour.

Kamlesh Lulla, chief scientist for Earth observation in the Human Exploration Science Office at the Johnson Space Centre at NASA, has been named for the award for his exceptional service to the space science.

Mala Mehta got the award for her contribution to Hindi language. She established an ‘Indo- Australian Bal Bharatiya Vidyalaya’ in Thornleigh suburb in Sydney and since then she has been pursuing the growth of Hindi in Australia.

Senator Lisa Singh was awarded on the basis of exceptional and meritorious public service as a person of Indian heritage in fostering friendly relations between India and Australia.

Nandini Tandon has been given awards for her work in life sciences and Healthcare and IT in USA and India along with other emerging markets.

Ansari congratulated the awardees and said India is grateful for their contributions to society.

Terming then “deserving recipients of this recognition”, he said: “Through their exemplary work, they have also proved to be outstanding envoys of peace, friendship and cooperation between India and countries of their residence.”

Ansari said that overseas Indians are “in virtually every country and region of the world”, and recited an Urdu phrase to describe their ubiquitous presence: “Jidhar dekhta hoon faqat tu hi tu hai (wherever I look I see only you)”.

He said the overseas Indians, ranging from blue collars workers to doctors, engineers, IT professionals and business persons, have multiple identities but “a common denominator is their emotional bond to India, and to its cultural legacy.



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