AIA-NY honors 5 extraordinary individuals at its annual gala

Featured & Cover AIA NY honors 5 extraordinary individuals at its annual gala

US Senate Majority Leader Hon. Chuck Schumer was the Chief Guest of Honor

Great Neck, NY: The Association of Indians in America (AIA) NY chapter held its Annual Gala under the leadership of Dr. Jagdish K. Gupta to raise funds for the 37th Deepavali Fest slated for October 6, 2024, and for the ‘AIA-Educational Project,’ to empower Indian-American students in need to achieve their educational potential and dreams.

AIA-NY President Dr. Jagdish Gupta giving his address.

The Gala was attended by 200 distinguished members of the community, including past presidents and members of the Advisory Board of Trustees of AIA. It was held on June 2, 2024, at the redesigned Crystal Ballroom of Leonard’s Palazzo Exquisite Banquet Hall in Great Neck.

Honorable Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was the Chief Guest of Honor. In his remarks, he highlighted his visit to India, the importance of strong India-US ties, and praised Indian leaders, culture, traditions, and the community’s contributions to education and healthcare. He emphasized the strong maritime defense ties between the two countries in the Indian Ocean. He also applauded Indian physicians and parents for their commitment to education, drawing parallels with the Jewish community. His remarks received multiple rounds of applause and ended with a standing ovation.

AiA 2
(From left) Mrs. Meena Gupta, Dr. Gupta, Senator Chuck Schumer, Honorees Mr. Naveen Shah, Dr. Raman Sharma, Prof. S.N. Sridhar, Dr. Vishal Kapur and Dr. Rekha Bhandari.

New York State Assemblyman David Weprin from District 24 was an honored guest. He has been a staunch supporter of the AIA-NY, helping to secure Alternate Day Parking suspension on Diwali each year and advocating for Diwali as a school holiday in New York City. He expressed his pride in supporting the Indian community and emphasized the importance of cultural recognition in fostering a diverse and inclusive society.

In keeping with the theme of Women’s Empowerment, Dr. Rekha Bhandari, Chief Medical Officer for the MedElite Group/Allure Group/Vis-à-vis Health, was honored with the ‘Excellence in Healthcare Award’ for her innovative contributions to healthcare. In her acceptance speech, she expressed her hope to inspire women in healthcare. She stated, “I am humbled and honored to receive this award from one of the oldest ethnic organizations. I hope my journey serves as a trailblazer for other women to follow and get inspired in the healthcare field.”

Dr. Sumita Sengupta (Gala Co-chair), Assemblyman David Weprin, Dr. Raman Sharma, President Dr. Jagdish Gupta, and Chairman of Board Dr. Samin Sharma.

Mr. Naveen C. Shah, CEO of Navika Group of Companies and Blue-Sky Hospitality Solutions, received the ‘Entrepreneur Par Excellence Award’ for his success in building a multibillion-dollar conglomerate and his philanthropic efforts supporting numerous nonprofit organizations. In his speech, Mr. Shah paid tribute to all the AIA founders, past presidents, Board of Trustees, advisors, and current officers for their dedication and relentless efforts in supporting Indians in America. He remarked, “Our unity and support has been pivotal in promoting Indian culture and heritage in the USA.”

Dr. S.N. Sridhar, Distinguished Professor of Linguistics and India Studies at Stony Brook University, was recognized for ‘Excellence in Literature, Linguistics & founding India Studies at Stony Brook University.’ His significant contributions to bilingualism and multilingualism studies and co-editing the book ‘Ananya: A Portrait of India’ were highlighted. He shared insights into his research and its impact on promoting cultural understanding.

Vote of Thanks from the Executive Committee group actively involved with Gala Celebrations.

Dr. Vishal Kapur and Dr. Raman Sharma from Mount Sinai Health System were also honored. Dr. Kapur received the ‘Excellence in Cardiology-Vascular & Endovascular Medicine’ award, while Dr. Sharma was presented with the ‘Special Young Physician Award for Excellence in Endovascular Intervention’. Dr. Kapur spoke about the advancements in endovascular treatments at Mount Sinai and the importance of innovation in patient care. Dr. Sharma highlighted the significance of his work in saving limbs from ischemia in diabetics and preventing strokes in patients with carotid artery blockages.

Senator Schumer and Honorees – Dr. Vishal Kapur with his family, Dr. Raman Sharma & Mrs. Clara Sharma, Mr. Naveen Shah & Mrs. Rajshree Shah.

The evening began with a social networking hour featuring cocktails and Indian hors d’oeuvres, followed by entertainment including live performances by Ms. Tanmayee Mohapatra and Ms. Jagabattula Maheshwari. Mrs. Beena Kothari, Vice President and Gala Chair, welcomed guests and introduced Dr. Jagdish Gupta, who spoke about the significance of Deepavali Celebrations and the importance of supporting educational excellence in the Indian-American community.

Dr. Samin Sharma, Chairman of the AIA Board of Trustees, highlighted the achievements of Indian Americans in healthcare and corporate America.

(from left) Mrs. Meena Gupta greeting Senator Schumer, Beena Kothari – Gala Chair, AIA-NY President Dr. Jagdish Gupta, and Mr. Naveen Shah-Honoree.

Citations for AIA-NY  and the honorees were received from various dignitaries, including the Indian Consulate, Congressman Tom Suozzi, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, and New York State Senator Kevin Thomas.

Dr. Gupta thanked all the sponsors and partners, including Fareportal – CheapOair, Mount Sinai Hospital, Northwell Health System, Mattoo Center for India Studies, Brooklyn Hospital Center, Navika Group of Companies, Blue-Sky Hospitality Solutions, Parker Jewish Institute, CenterLight Healthcare, and media partners.

The event concluded with a sumptuous dinner, dancing, and entertainment.

AIA is one of the oldest ethnic organizations representing the Indian community in America. It aims to promote cultural understanding, assimilation, and recognition of Indian traditions and heritage in the United States.

Contact: Dr. Jagdish K Gupta, email: [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Related Stories