Ohio’s well-known Indian community leader Nirmal Sinha was inducted into the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame on October 15. As a representative of the Asian Indian community, Nirmal has held many important positions and received national recognition for his civil rights contribution. Serving as President and Trustee of the Federation of Asian Indian Associations (FIA) of Central Ohio, President of the Asian Indian American Business Group (AIABG) and a member of the Asian Indian Alliance of Ohio, Sinha has helped Ohio grow in its diversity and acceptance of the Asian Indian Community.
Sinha’s commitment to improving relationships among all races and nationalities is also evidenced in his work with the Muslim and Sikh communities following the attacks of September 11, 2001. He provided invaluable service in alleviating the fears and improving relations during that time of uncertainty and unrest.
Sinha’s work has extended beyond Ohio to the national and international stage. In order to promote trade and international relations of Ohio, Sinha regularly hosts business leaders and diplomatic delegates from various countries such as Russia, China, South Africa and India. He accompanied Governor Voinovich and President Clinton during their visits to India for promoting international trade and cultural relations.
As Commissioner of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission from 1991 through 2006, Sinha developed programs to welcome new immigrants to the U.S. and created outreach programs for various ethnic groups including Asian and Hispanic communities.
1n 2003, Mr. Sinha received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor which recognizes American citizens who celebrate their history, traditions and values of their ancestry while exemplifying the values of the American way of life. In 2007, President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam presented Pravasi Bharatiya Samman to Mr. Sinha for his contribution to the global Indian Diaspora. As one supporter said, “Mr. Sinha approaches every challenge with empathy, reason, passion and dignity.”