(Edison, New Jersey: April 7th, 2018) Ajay Ghosh, the Chief Editor of www.theunn.com (The Universal News Network) has been chosen to receive NAMAM Excellence Award 2018 for his contributions to the media world. Born and educated in India, Ajay Ghosh,
Other winners of the award include, a community activist & leader, a successful businessman, an industrialist, a scientist, a renowned musician, two young genius children, and an organ donor, who have made it to The NAMAM Excellence Award 2018 winners list. The most awaited “Namam Excellence Award 2018” will be held at Royal Albert Palace, Edison, New Jersey on April 28th, 2018 at 5 pm, Madhavan Nair, Founder and Secretary General of North American Malayalees and Associated Members (NAMAM, announced here. “An unforgettable evening as we honor extraordinarily accomplished individuals, who have made valuable contributions to the Indian-American community with the NAMAM Excellence Awards,” Nair added.
Ajay Ghosh, the Chief Editor of Universal News Network and The Asian Era, came to the United States to pursue higher studies in Journalism in 1997 at Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI. In India, Ajay had earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Delhi University, and had worked as a freelance writer on social issues for numerous publications on in Delhi, including the Times of India, The Hindu and the Pioneer, and had served as the Editor of The Voice Delhi.
After graduating from Marquette University, his life as a professional journalist began in the summer of 1999 in New York City. Starting as a reporter for India Post, he worked as the New York Bureau Chief of Indian Reporter and World News from 2000 to 2005. From 2002 to 2008, Ajay worked as the Executive Editor of NRI Today, a monthly magazine, published from New York. He was instrumental in launching The Asian Era, a colorful magazine published from New York and worked as the Chief Editor from 1999 to 2015, and has rejoined The publication recently and is serving as the Editor in Chief. He had worked for about two years as the New York Bureau Chief of India Tribune, a weekly newspaper, published from Chicago.
Since early 2014, he served as the Bureau Chief of The Indian Express, North American Editions. In 2014, he along with Dr. Joseph Chalil launched The Universal News Network, an online publication (www.theunn.com) and continues to serve as the Chief Editor of the web-portal. In 2010, Ajay was appointed as the Media Consultant of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI, the largest ethnic association representing over 100,000 physicians of Indian origin in the United States. In 2012, he was awarded the Best Journalist by AAPI at its annual convention in San Antonio, Texas.
With the objective of bringing together the journalists of Indian origin scattered across the United States, Ajay along with his friends/colleagues in the media, was instrumental in forming Indo-American Press Club, and had served as the founder President of Indo-American Press Club in the year 2012-13.
Enthurai, a non-profit organization in the US, serving the people in the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu, India. He had raised funds after the Tsunami struck the region in 2005 and most recently, he had raised over half a million Rupees to benefit the families who had lost their primary family members in the Cyclone Ockhi in Southern parts of India.
In addition, Ajay taught Social Work Seminar and guided students at the Graduate School of Social Work at Fordham University in New York City since 2006. He has worked as the Administrator of the Mental Health Clinic at Saint Dominic’s Home, Bronx, New York from 1999 to 2014. He worked as the Treatment Coordinator at Saint Vincent’s Hospital’s Westport Campus, which serves patients with mental health issues, and had a brief stint as a Senior Social Worker at Children’s Village that serves children and families for over 150 years. At present, he works as a Primary Clinician at Yale New Haven Hospital, srving patients with behavioral health issues.
Ajay Ghosh is married to Mini, his closest friend and wife for nearly two decades and the couple are blessed with three beautiful daughters, Archana, Navya, and Ahana. The Ajay Family lives in Trumbull, Connecticut.
The world renowned community leader and activist, Dr. Thomas Abraham; Dr. Babu Stephan, the CEO of DC Healthcare Inc and the president of SM Reality LLC; T. S. Nandakumar, a well known and versatile Carnatic music percussionist; Ramadas Pillai, President/CTO of Nuphoton Technologies, Inc; Rekha Nair, who has been an advocate for organ donation; Tiara Thankam Abraham, a 12-year-old soprano prodigy and a child genius; and, Ajay Ghosh, an accomplished journalist, are the winners of the NAMAM Excellence Award 2018.
Dr. Babu Stephan
Dr. Babu Stephan, a winner of the NAMAM 2018 award, is the CEO of DC Healthcare Inc and the president of SM Reality LLC. He was the president of Indian cultural coordination committee ( ICCC) for two years. He was a contributing Member of the Unites States Congressional Advisory Board and had served a two year term as the Regional VP of the Federation of Indians in America (FIA). He was also the President of Association of Indians in America (AIA) and is the present chairman of Indo-American Press Club (IAPC).
A founding member of Kairali television, a leading channel with an impressive viewership around the world, Dr. Stephan is the publisher of two newspapers, ‘Express India’ and ‘India this Week’, in the metropolitan DC area for the local Indian communities are part of his media engagement. He was the founding producer of ’Darshan Television’ in Washington DC. He is a balanced player in US political system and has successfully hosted multiple fundraisers to candidates across three decades in Washington, DC and was part of the Washington DC Mayor’s business delegation to China. A resident of Washington DC, Dr. Stephan lives with his family, wife Gracy Stephan, daughter, Sindu Stephan, son-in-law, Jimmy George and three delightfully sweet and talented grandkids, Shriya, Pavit, and Tejas.
Dr. Thomas Abraham
The world renowned community leader and activist, Dr. Thomas Abraham has been the founder president of many Indian community institutions in the USA including the Federation of Indian American Associations (FIA) which does the largest Indian Day Parade outside India in New York, the National Federation of Indian American Associations and the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO). He also served as the Co-Chair to institute Jagdish Bhagwati Chair for Indian Political Economy at Columbia University and helped to initiate groups such as the Indian American Kerala Center, South Asian Council for Social Services (SACSS) and National Indian American Association for Senior Citizens. An alumni of Malaviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT) and Columbia University.
By profession, Dr. Abraham is a nanotechnologist and serves as president of Stamford based Innovative Research and Products, Inc., Stamford, CT, a technology and market research firm. For his dedicated community service, Dr. Abraham has been recognized with Bharatvanshi Gaurav Award by former Vice President of India Bhairon Singh Sekhawat, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by President of India, Life Time Achievement and Service Award from India Abroad and Outstanding Alumnus Award from MNIT. Currently, Dr. Abraham serves as the Chairman of GOPIO International and as Board Member of SACSS, The Kerala Center and American Society of Engineers of Indian Origin (ASEI).
Dr. Ramadas Pillai
Dr. Ramadas Pillai, another awardee this year, is the President/CTO of Nuphoton Technologies, Inc., in California and VinVish Technologies in Technopark. Nuphoton Technologies as well as VinVish are hardware companies, making Optical Fiber Amplifiers and Transmitters for Communications and sensing for terrestrial, undersea and space applications. He is s a laser scientist and entrepreneur for the past 20 years.
Pillai is the past president of KHNA (2007-2009). Nuphoton Technologies, Inc., and is a pioneer in fiber lasers and fiber amplifiers with applications covering industrial, defense, aerospace, biomedical, telecommunications and research areas. The company is in operation since 1996 using proprietary, leading edge technologies for the design and manufacture of high performance fiber lasers, EDFA’s and broadband ASE sources. The company’s customer base is spread over a large cross section that includes universities & national laboratories to Fortune 500 companies. Hailing from Muhamma, in Alappuzha, Ramadas did his MTech from IIT Delhi and Ph.D. from University of Southern California
NAMAM Excellence award for 2018, based on outstanding contributions to the society and humanitarian services is being given to Rekha Nair, who has been an advocate for organ donation. In July 2017, she donated one of her kidneys to a young woman who she barely knew at the time. This selfless act saved a life. She works as a Senior Data Analyst at CVR Housing, White Plains, NY. She is also very eloquent and talented as a singer, dancer, choreographer and Program Manager in MAZHAVIL FM.
Born in the melting pot of the world, New York, Rekha’s parents immigrated to the US from Kerala decades ago. She gives credit to her parents for raising and helping her to be what she is today. She considers it a blessing to be part of the great US nation, and she is grateful that this country has abundantly received people from so many different countries and making them an opportunity to survive, to thrive, to live, and to be happy!
In early January 2017, when she came to know that Deepti, living in New Jersy, was on peritoneal dialysis and was in need of a kidney transplant, and was she needed a donor, not knowing much about transplant, she casually texted her telling her she was willing to test and see if she could donate her kidney to her. Rekha followed this up later on , and completed the application to be a donor to this woman, whom she had met barely once at a party in New Jersey. Luckily ofr her, after tests, it was found that she was perfect match to donate her own kidney.
“That is when actual reality had kicked in me,” Rekha says. “I really had to make a decision. I told my husband about this. He gave me the freedom to decide whatever I wanted. Before I went for all this testing, all I told Deepti was that “If my kidney matches, I will give you. Don’t worry!” And, it was a very difficult decision. But Rekha kept her word. On July 11th 2017, “one of my kidneys was transplanted into Deepti at St. Barnabas Hospital in New Jersey.” Rekha is proud that with her sacrifice, another life has been saved. “I believe we can all do the same thing, if you have the heart for it,” Rekha says, who has now become a champion of organ donation.
T. S. Nandakumar
T.S. Nandakumar, a well known and versatile Carnatic music percussionist, is another awardee this year. He is primarily adept in playing the Mridangam. The son of Shri Balakrishna Panicker and Shrimati Saraswati, he comes from the family of the well known nadaswaram duo, the Ambalapuzha Brothers. A child prodigy, Nandakumar had only talent with which he conquered the world of music with his beats on the mridangam. He learnt mridangam under the guidance of Shri Kaithavana Madhavdas in the gurukula samprada tradition and acquired proficiency as Laya Vidwan.
Nandakumar developed a strong interest in music when he was four years old. He gained a reputation as an accompanist to some well-known names in Carnatic music such as Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, M. D. Ramanathan, S. Ramanathan, R. K. Srikantan, V. Dakshinamoorthy, Bhimsen Joshi, M. Balamuralikrishna, T. N. Krishnan, L. Subramaniam, N. Ramani, K. J. Yesudas, N. Rajam, T. K. Govinda Rao, Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, T. V. Gopalakrishnan and several others. He has taken up his life mission to perpetuate Indian ancient art form and has dedicated himself in teaching the same to hundreds of students worldwide.He was quoted as “Guru of all musical things”, “King of percussion in suburbs” and “The Master Of Rhythm” by The Times of India.
Nandakumar has been awarded with numerous prestigious awards. He received the LifeTime Achievement Award from Shanti Foundation, Chennai; he was honored by the Cleveland Tyagaraja group with the ‘Best Teacher Award’; and the Bharat Ratna M. S. Subbulakshmi Best Teacher Award from the Shanmukhananda Fine Arts and Sangeetha Sabha, Mumbai .He was also felicitated and honored by Shri R. K. Laxman the cartoonist. Pittsburgh University in America conducts special classes in percussive arts for which they have enlisted Nandakumar. A renowned music teacher, around the world, he is well known for conducting 24 hours nonstop Akanda Seva Bhajan with his students in Mumbai for the tsunami-affected victims of India.
Tanishq Mathew Abraham
Child Genius Tanishq Mathew Abraham is a 14-year-old senior (4th year) completing his biomedical engineering degree at Univ. Of California, Davis. He will be the youngest engineer to graduate in June 2018. Tanishq made international headlines when he graduated from high-school at 10-years-old and later at 11-years-old when he graduated with triple Associate Degrees from American River College. He again made headlines after he was accepted with to two universities, UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz with the prestigious Regents Scholarship to continue his undergrad degree.
Tanishq first started his on-campus college classes at 7-years-old. Due to his passion for astronomy, along with the support of his astronomy professor, he co-founded the Astronomy & Physics club at American River College at 8-years-old. He became the founding Vice President of the club and held that position for 2 years when he would help starting new projects, research, recruiting new members and creating and maintaining social media sites. Meanwhile at home, he would spend countless hours, volunteering for a citizen scientist project helping astronomers look through hundreds of NASA images for exoplanets (planets that are outside our solar system), solar storms and supernova. While going through hundreds of images, he discovered, an exoplanet, two solar storms and a supernova at 8-years-old. He presented his findings, verified by other citizen scientists, at a talk for his college astronomy club.
Tiara Thankam Abraham
Tiara Thankam Abraham is a 12-year-old soprano prodigy and a child genius. She is a homeschooled student who studies high school and college level material. At 11-years-old, she wrote the SATs for the first time and scored 95th percentile among the 7th graders. Due to her good score at 11, she became part of the Duke University’s Talent Identification Program (TIP) which allows students like Tiara to advance their love for learning. With a determination to score well, she prepared for the SAT in a month while helping her mom who was caring for Tiara’s granddad at the hospital. After getting back late from the hospital, the 11-year-old would sit up as late as 1:00 am to keep up with her SAT preparation, much to the disapproval of her mom.
Tiara started her first on-campus college classes at 7-years-old. She has taken campus college courses in foreign languages (French, German, Italian, and Spanish), voice and music theory classes and finished about 30 college semester units. She became a member of the high IQ society, MENSA, at 4-years-old.
Due to her inborn talent and passion for singing and math, she is planning to pursue a music (in vocal performance) and math major as her college degree. Tiara has won 1st place at several vocal competitions. She had the honor of performing twice as a soloist at the famous Carnegie Hall, NYC when she was 9 and 10 years old respectively. She also released her debut album “Winter Nightingale” when she was 10. Her album with 9 songs covers different genres in 6 Romance languages
NAMAM is an Indian cultural organization that was formed in the United States in 2010. Under the strong and inspiring leadership of Madhavan B. Nair, the founder of NAMAM, a team of enthusiastic people with unswerving dedication has transformed the organization into a platform for families to come together and experience a wonderful sense of belonging and oneness.
NAMAM functions as a juncture of like-minded individuals across the community to engage in social and cultural activities. NAMAM has been reaching out to the community with varied cultural programs, social gatherings and humanitarian aid efforts. “It is our priority to pass a deep awareness about our rich heritage, unique customs and eclectic culture of Kerala to the younger generation in the USA, so that they can appreciate and take pride in their genealogy. We welcome you to join our organization and participate in our community outreach activities,” Madhavan Nair says.