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FOSAAC celebrates 61st Independence Day


Los Angeles, Sep. 08, 2008
Ramesh/ Gary Singh

In honor of India's 61st Independence Day, Friends of South Asian American Communities in California was held its Fifth Annual gala dinner Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel (Los Angeles), California on Sep. 06, 2008 from 5pm to 11.30pm.

"To bring together all South Asians in the USA" is the theme of the Friends of South Asian American Communities. The goal was to unite the various member organizations, as well as co-ordinate the cultural, educational, social, economic, and community affairs of South Asians in America.

This year, The Friends of South Asian American Communities have come up with a special annual awards at a glittering banquet

                                                                                                                             Sponsors of the Award

  1. Mahatma Gandhi Award for Outstanding Contribution to Society--------------Dr. Prem Reddy
  2. Mother Teresa Award for service to the Needy--------------------------------Hamilton Brewart-
  3. Kalpna Chawla Award for Outstanding Woman------------------------------- Gurbax Bhasin
  4. Dhirubhai Ambani Award for Outstanding Entrepreneur-----------------------Shiv Grewal
  5. Rajiv Gandhi Award for Outstanding Proactive Leadership--------------------Dave Katragadda
  6. Sir C V Raman Award for Outstanding Contribution to Science---------------Chandra Sekhar V R
  7. Raj Kapoor Award for Outstanding achievement in Films, --------------------Sangeeta Kaul
  8. Rabindranath Tagore Award for Outstanding Teenager of the year,----------Mr. Ragu Sada
  9. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Award for Outstanding Leadership.----------------B. U. Patel
  10. Lok Manya Bal Gangadhar Tilak Award for Outstanding Interrity----------Dr. anil Shah
  11. Dr Zakir Hussein Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts -----------Anne Tahim
  12. Dalip Singh Saund Award--Outstanding Political contribution to Indo-american society----Ratan Joea
  13. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Award- for Outstanding Patriotism,------------------------Jagan Yelisetti
  14. Conjee Rustumjee Cohoujee Bey Award- outstanding youth of the year-----------------Nataraj Reddy
  15. Chatrapati Shivaji Award--Military Valor in US Military----------------------------------Mr. Chitranjan Roy
  16. R. D. Burman Award---Outstanding Contribution to Music-------------------------------Jimmy Sandhu

MANEKA GANDHI (Member of Parliament, India) - Award for Outstanding Woman of the Year: Maneka Gandhi, Member of Parliament in India, an ardent animal rights activist and famous environmentalist. She has been a Minister in four governments, and has authored a number of books in the areas of etymology and animal welfare. Maneka Gandhi is a member of the Nehru-Gandhi Family. She created the Department for Animal Welfare and played a historic role in the Indian pension reforms effort, through the early phase of ` Project OASIS'. She is former chairwoman of the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA). She started the organization " People for Animals" in 1992 and it is the largest organization for animal rights/welfare in India

IMRAN KHAN (Cricketer & Philanthropist, Pakistan) - Award for Humanitarian of the Year: Chairman of Pakistan's Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice), a world renowned philanthropist, a legendary sportsman (cricket captain of the Pakistan team that won the 1992 World Cup) and Chancellor of the Bradford University in UK, Imran Khan is on a mission to bring democracy to Pakistan by establishing the rule of law by restoring the independence of judiciary. Apart from his political work, Imran Khan is also working to improve social conditions of the people of Pakistan through his philanthropic work. He established the biggest charitable foundation in Pakistan called The Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center (SKMT), the first and only cancer hospital of international standards in Pakistan, dedicated to providing first-class treatment of cancer to all its patients, irrespective of their ability to pay. It is a top class cancer hospital and research center, and the only one in the world that treats 70% of its patients free of cost. SKMT was also awarded the Excellence Award by the WHO in 2005.

ANNE ARCHER (Hollywood Actress, Fatal Attraction Fame) - Award for Outstanding Contribution to Society: Nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and the British (BAFTA) Academy Award for her in "Fatal Attraction," Anne Archer has won a Golden Globe for her poignant performance in "Short Cuts" and is well-known for playing Harrison Ford's on-screen wife, Cathy, in "Patriot Games" and "Clear and Present Danger." In 2006 she founded Artists for Human Rights (AFHR), a non-profit organization which raises awareness of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through a multitude of artistic campaigns and international partnerships thus increasing responsibility, peace and tolerance around the world.

NANCY CARTWRIGHT (Hollywood Actress, Simpsons Fame) - Award for Humanitarian of the Year: Emmy Award-winning actress Nancy Cartwright best known as the voice of spike-headed underachiever Bart Simpson in THE SIMPSONS, but also gives voice to Ralph Wiggum, Nelson Muntz, and various others in the town of Springfield. She has portrayed memorable roles in numerous television series and movies, including "Cheers," "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," "Twilight Zone-The Movie" and "Godzilla." Cartwright actively supports many nonprofit organizations that help children, including Famous Fone Friends, Make-a-Wish Foundation, The Way to Happiness Foundation, PALS (Police Activities League Supporters) and World Literacy Crusade. She is the Honorary Mayor of the North San Fernando Valley and actively participates in her local community. She is co-founder of Happy House, a non-profit organization dedicated to Building Better Families. She is a member of Women in Film, ASIFA, Women in Animation and The Chouinard Foundation.

JATIN PANDIT (Music Director, India) - Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music: Jatin is the prolific significant half of India's most creative music directing duo Jatin-Lalit. Best known for his work in popular films like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Hum Tum and Fanaa, Jatin has composed music for more than 100 films in various Indian languages for close to 20 years. From the beginning, there has been a distinct, almost over-whelming influence of the R D Burman school on the work of Jatin. His film Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge has been the longest running film in the history of motion pictures in the world. Jatin has also been a popular judge and mentor in hit musical talent shows like " Sa Re Ga Ma Pa - The Musical Challenge", "Star Voice of India", "Waar Parivar" and "Jhoom India". During these shows, his fans got an opportunity to see and learn his honest behavior and modest conduct.

DR. A. R. JHA - Award for Outstanding Contribution to Science: Dr. A.R. Jha is a Senior Consulting Scientist with a PhD in Electronics from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. Since 1960, he has worked in the capacity of a Sr. Research and Development engineer in US reputed defense companies such as General Electric, Raytheon and Lockheed Missile and Space. Dr. Jha started his own company known Jha Technical Consulting services in 1992, which is providing consulting services in high technology systems and sensors, namely, radars for fighter/bombers, lasers for tracking long range missiles in space, solid stateRF/microwave/mm-wave/infrared components for offensive and defensive systems, electro-optics/photonics devices, MEMS devices, printed circuit antennas, IR countermeasures, IR detectors/focal planar arrays and drone/UAV electronics. Dr. Jha has presented about 80 technical papers (including ten invited ones) in various International conferences. He has published TEN high technology books on various topics and has been granted US Patents.

DR. DINESH KESKAR - Award for Outstanding Integrity: Dr. Dinesh Keskar holds the dual positions of senior vice president of Sales and president of Boeing Aircraft Trading. He is responsible for sales efforts in India and Nepal, including oversight of the Boeing India office and leads the team responsible for marketing all types of Boeing aircrafts to customers worldwide. Previously, as president of Boeing India, he was responsible for the company's sales and marketing, airline support & industrial partnership activities in India. Dr. Keskar was also director of International Sales where he managed all of Boeing's airplane sales and marketing activities in India, and was responsible for managing relationships with government operated Air India and Indian Airlines, related civil aviation government offices and new India-based private airlines. Dr. Keskar is a board member for U.S.-India Business Council and has been an active member of Indian community organizations. In Sept 2006, he received the Outstanding Achievement award from the American Society of Engineers of Indian Origin.

DR. SANAT KAUL - Award for Outstanding Contribution to Science: Dr. Sanat Kaul is an advisor to the Indian Association of Tour Operators, Pragaty47 and Braj Foundation. He is also member of the board of directors of Noida Toll Bridge Company and Chairman of International Foundation for Aviation and Development. He was former Chairman and Managing Director of Delhi Tourism & Transportation Corporation. He has been instrumental in Promotion of tourism and culture in Delhi, nationally & internationally, development of tourism infrastructure and new adventure sports facilities. Dr. Kaul has held positions of Joint Secretary in Ministry of Civil Aviation, Joint Secretary in Ministry of Home Affairs and Deputy Secretary/Under Secretary in Department of Economic Affairs in Ministry of Finance in the Government of India.

RAMALINGAM JAYAKUMAR - Award for Outstanding Contribution to Arts: Ramalingam Jayakumar has been a renowned astrologer in India. He is committed to serve the under privilege section of the Indian community. Through his profession he has motivated thousands of rich people for last twelve years to help in education materials, providing drinking water facilities and clothes for the poor people. His submission is that we in the world must take responsibility of other brothers and sisters living in our world - this is what humanity is all about.

MATTHEW DABABNEH - Award for Outstanding Youth of the Year: Matthew Dababneh is the Senior District Advisor to Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) and oversees the Congressman's field and communication efforts. Matthew has also worked on numerous campaigns, including the 2004 Presidential Election and 2006 gubernatorial race in California. Matthew recently served as Senator Hillary Clinton's Presidential Campaign State Labor Director for Nevada. Currently, Matthew also serves as Advisory Board Member for The Phoenix House Drug Rehabilitation Academy in Los Angeles and The Help Group, the nation's premier Autism and Spectrum Disorder research center.Throughout Matthew's career in government and politics he has worked closely with the South Asian American Community, championing a number of issues and causes of great concern. Matthew has received numerous honors form City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles and State of California for his work in the community.

CAPTAIN ASHWIN MADIA - Award for Valor in US Military : Captain Ashwin Madia (US Marine Corps) was born in Boston, MA and grew up in Plymouth, MN. He Studied for his BA at the University of Minnesota and obtained his JD from New York University Law School. Service to his country drew him to the Marine Corps where he rose to the rank of Captain. While serving in Iraq he worked as a Marine Corps Officer helping to rebuild the New Iraqi Legal System. After returning from Iraq, he joined a legal firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, LLP. With Service to his country always on his mind he has taken a leave of absence from this law firm to campaign full-time as a candidate of the US Congress.Captain Ashiwn Madia is running for the Cogresstional seat vacated by the retirement of Congressman Jim Ramstad from Congressional District 3 in Minnesota. His powerful message of hope and change inspired a broad-based coalition of veterans, labor union members and loyal democrats from across the district.

ARUN BHAN - Award for Outstanding Patriotism: Mr. Arun Bhan is involved in several industries such as pharmaceutical, real estate, electronics and in the hospitality industry. He has been a Director, Investor, Advisor Board Memeber and Associate to companies such as Bal Pharma Limited, ATF Satyasager Developers Private Limited, World Portfolio Leasing and Finance Limited, Gemini Hitech SDN BHD, Urbantec Investment Inc., and many others. Mr. Bhan also Consults on International projects and has advised the Governments of Ireland and India on Aviation matters.

Dr. P.S. RANA - Award for Outstanding Proactive Leadership: Dr. P.S. Rana (born on October 9, 1946 in Delhi, India) has 35 years of varied experience in conceptualization, planning, designing, appraising, financing and implementation of housing and infrastructure projects all over the country. He has initiated a number of policy changes for promotion of mass housing, rental housing and in-situ urbanization to eliminate homelessness and slums. He has been generating out-of the-box innovative ideas and providing effective results in the housing and infrastructure sector.

MIKE HONDA (Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee)- Outstanding Political Contribution to Indo-American Society: Mike Honda has represented the 15th Congressional District of California in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2001. In the U.S. House of Representatives and serves on the Appropriations Committee, with postings on that body's Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education , Commerce, Justice, and Science , and Legislative Branch Subcommittees. As an appropriator, Mike will focus on directing funding to address such fundamental needs as: Access to affordable healthcare; worker training; port and border security; adequate law enforcement to keep our streets and neighborhoods safe; health care for our veterans; recovery from natural disasters and education. Mike is serving his second term as Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus , coordinating with his colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucuses to champion the causes of under-represented communities by promoting social justice, racial tolerance, and civil rights. In February 2005, Mike was elected as Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee. In his role as DNC Vice-Chair, Mike works closely with DNC Chair Howard Dean to rejuvenate the Party's grassroots efforts and to incorporate new and emerging constituencies into the Party's agenda.




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