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Ellis Island Medal of Honor


                     KV Kumar, Meera Gandhi, Chad Gehani among 6 Indian Americans awarded Ellis Island Medal of Honor

New York, May 20, 2015
NRIpress-Club/New York-B.singh/Gary Singh

Six NRIs (Non-Resident–Indians) including five Indian-Americans and one  British-Indian were among nearly 100 individuals who received prestigious 2015 Ellis Island Medal of Honor from National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations for their contributions and service to the United States.

The National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) is a not-for-profit organization founded by William D. Fugazy, Sr. in 1984 with a mission to celebrate the diversity of the American people and to raise awareness and funds for the restoration and maintenance of Ellis Island. Since its founding, NECO's mission has grown to include the sponsorship of humanitarian and educational initiatives.

Since the Medal was founded in 1986, previous recipients of the award include six presidents of the United States, Hillary Clinton, Muhammad Ali, Barbara Walters and Quincy Jones. Honorees “embody the spirit of America in their celebration of patriotism, tolerance, brotherhood and diversity,” according to a release from NECO

NRIs, Indian-Americans who won the prestigious award were:

  1. K.V. Kumar from Anaheim, California: “I have dedicated over a third of my life to serving the community as a volunteer, starting with taking care of my grandparents at an early age to helping the senior citizens of Washington, DC area in the late sixties then turned to helping the needy individuals, NGO's, small businesses, entrepreneurs and other worthy causes,”  Kumar told NRIpress's semior representative this week. “ I have been actively in the business world for over three decades and have been a staunch advocate of small and minority owned businesses.”

    Read More about Kumar…..Click here


  2. Meera Gandhi, founder of The Giving Back Foundation - Meera Gandhi is a humanitarian, mother and businesswoman who was born in Mumbai, India. Meera is CEO and Founder of The Giving Back Foundation, which she created in 2010 as a catalyst to aid women and children. She released her book "Giving Back" in 2012. The Giving Back Foundation’s mission is education to empower and uplift young people, with a goal to alleviate poverty, illness and suffering, and to support the arts through philanthropy. Its headquarter is  in New York and operations in London, Hong Kong and New Delhi
  1. Rahul M. Jindal, MD, PhD, MBA is currently a Staff Transplant Surgeon at the Walter National Military Medical Center and Professor of Surgery and Global Health at Unif Services University of Health Sciences, Bethesda.
  • Rahul M. Jindal, MD, PhD, MBA is a Staff Transplant Surgeon at the Walter National Military Medical Center.
  • He is Professor of Surgery and Global Health at Unif Services University of Health Sciences, Bethesda.
  • The Governor of Maryland appointed Dr Jindal as Commissioner, Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism, Maryland (2 Dr. Jindal was also appointed as Commissioner to the Human Rights Commission, Montgomery County, Maryland (2014).
  • Dr. Jindal recently received the Leadership Award by the “International Leadership Foundation”, Washington, DC, 2 He also received the Outstanding American by choice award by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, 2013.
  • Dr. Jindal was awarded the Fulbright-Nehru

Distinguished Chair to carry out research and teaching in India (2015-6) and is the recipient of the Ellis Island Meda Honor for 2015.

4. Dr. Chad P Gehani, well Known Dentist in NRI Community

  • October 21, 2014, NRI Dr. Chad Gehani endodontist appointed Trustee, American Dental Association in New York City.
  • As a member of the ADA Board, Gehani will play a major role in the organization’s objective of being America’s leading advocate for oral health.
  • Gehani has served as President of the New York State Dental Association (2011-2012), the Queens County Dental Society (2003), the International College of Dentists – New York Section (2012) and the Indian Dental Association, U.S.A. (1985-1986).
  • He has served as Chair of the Department of Endodontics at Flushing Hospital Medical Center from 1987 to the present, and is an Associate Clinical Professor at Collage of Dentistry, New York University.
  • Gehani has received include the New York State Dental Foundation’s Award of Excellence in Community Service (2006), the Emil Lentchner Distinguished Service Award from the Queens County Dental Society (2013) and he was honored by the President of the Dominican Republic (2003).
  • Gehani has also earned fellowships with the Pierre Fauchard Academy, International College of Dentists and American College of Dentists.
  1. Mona Sinha,  Board Member, Women Moving Millions and  Founder, Asian Women’s Leadership University

Mona Sinha is both a founding member and chairperson of the Asian Women’s Leadership University, Malaysia. She is also a trustee of both Smith College and All Souls School, serves on the Board of Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School. She became investment banker at Morgan Stanley, followed by a marketing career at P&G and Unilever, during which she helped restructure the Asia Pacific operations of Elizabeth Arden. She is on the advisory council of the American Museum of Natural History. She holds a BA (economics, art history) magna cum laude from Smith College where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa; and an MBA in finance and marketing (Beta Gamma Sigma) from Columbia University. Most recently, during her stint in Hong Kong (2008-2011) she was an advisor to Impact Investment Exchange (2010-2013), the first social stock exchange being established in Singapore, and a Former Board member of Impact Investment Shujog, (2009-2013) the non-profit arm that works with social enterprises

  1. UK: Baroness Sandip Verma — a member of the House of Lords and former junior minister at the Department of Energy and Climate Change in the United Kingdom
  • Baroness Verma was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Development on 13 May 2015. She is a Conservative member of the House of Lords.
  • Baroness Verma was born in Amritsar, Punjab, India, and moved to the UK with her parents when she was 1 year old in 1960. She lives in Leicester with her husband and has a daughter and a son.
  • Baroness started her first business at the age of 19 in high fashion, supplying high street multiples. In 2000 she changed her business to the service sector.