At Indian American Impact Summit, Kamala Harris Calls On South Asians To “Continue To Lead With Conviction, Continue To Strive To Do The Impossible”

Vice President Kamala Harris praised Indian-Americans for providing leadership in the country and engaging political system at the Indian American Impact Project summit and gala held at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Indian American Impact Project hosted a first of its kind ‘Dream with Ambition’ summit and gala with a call by Vice President Kamala Harris to “continue to lead with conviction, continue to strive to do the impossible.”

The event, which began May 18, 2022, was attended by more than 300 prominent community members including celebrities, politicians, philanthropists and organizers in a first-of-its- kind event by Impact during AAPI Heritage Month, a press release from Impact said.

In her pre-recorded speech played on May 18, Harris recalled her mother’s work in cancer research and how she and her sister were taught to “Dream with Ambition,” by their mother.

“Every day, in communities across our nation, you are advancing equality, opportunity and justice. You are inspiring the next generation of leaders, and in particular — the next generation of South Asian leaders,” Harris lauded the attendees.

“Today my message to you is this — let us always remember, what brought us to this moment and continue to dream with ambition, continue to lead with conviction, continue to strive to do the impossible. Because you, and we all, are standing on the shoulders of so many who came before, and living their dreams. Our nation is counting on you, on Impact, and all of us to lead us forward,” Harris said.

Besides Harris, all four Indian American US House members Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Ami Bera as also celebrities, politicians, philanthropists and organizers attended.

The ‘Dream with Ambition’ summit was a successful educational experience for the guests as they explored the policy & advocacy and constituency subtopics of their choice, according to the release.

The event, it said, is Impact’s latest push to energize and prepare the largest growing voting bloc in the country — South Asians — to integrate into their communities with knowledge on running for office, combating misinformation, mobilizing locally and all the tools with which to lead.

“As you all know, when my mother was 19, she came to the United States from India to become a breast cancer researcher,” Harris, the first Indian American and first African American vice president recalled.

“She raised my sister and me to believe that we could be anything and do anything, if we set our minds to it. She taught us to ‘Dream with Ambition’ and so many of you gathered here today have something special in common. You see what can be unburdened by what has been.”

“Every day, in communities across our nation, you are advancing equality, opportunity and justice. You are inspiring the next generation of leaders, and in particular — the next generation of South Asian leaders,” Harris said.

“Today my message to you is this — let us always remember, what brought us to this moment and continue to dream with ambition, continue to lead with conviction, continue to strive to do the impossible.”

“Because you, and we all, are standing on the shoulders of so many who came before, and living their dreams,” Harris said. “Our nation is counting on you, on Impact, and all of us to lead us forward.”

“Historically, South Asians have been overlooked, underestimated, and underrepresented politically,” said Indian American Impact executive-director Neil Makhija.

“But after witnessing so many community members and future leaders come together this week, it is clear that is a thing of the past,” he said. “At Impact, it is crucial for us to empower young South Asians to mobilize their friends and families to get involved in the political process.”

“As the fastest growing voting bloc in the country, we have strength in numbers and the future of the Democratic party needs to be reflective of the communities they serve.”

“The significance of this event was made possible by our extensive panel of guest speakers and attendees,” Makhija said. “Countless voices this week proved that our community is stronger when we collaborate and celebrate our intersectionality. It’s incredibly encouraging to imagine the possibilities for our collective futures.”

Policy sessions during the Summit including the Climate Crisis, Healthcare Access and Equity, Civil Rights and Voting Rights, and Educational Equity.

After lunch, sessions on women leaders, running for office, combating misinformation, youth leaders mobilizing the pan-South Asian community,

Organizers said in a press release that the event is Impact’s latest push to energize and prepare the largest growing voting bloc in the country — South Asians—and to raise awareness on how to join the political system.

Neil Makhija, executive director of Indian-American Impact contended that historically, South Asians had been overlooked, underestimated, and underrepresented politically, “But after witnessing so many community members and future leaders come together this week, it is clear that is a thing of the past.”

The Summit, he noted was significant because of the high profile lineup of speakers and attendees.

“Countless voices this week proved that our community is stronger when we collaborate and celebrate our intersectionality. It’s incredibly encouraging to imagine the possibilities for our collective futures,” Makhija said.

“Thank you to the Indian American Impact Project for inviting me to take part in their panel discussion on the importance of representation and public service, as well as the pressing issues that our country faces today,” Rep. Krishnamoorthi tweeted May 18.

IAPC Organizes Induction Of The New BOD And National EC And Awards Ceremony At Indian Consulate In New York

The Indo-American Press Club, the largest organization of Indian descent journalists and media persons working across North America, organized the swearing-in ceremony and inauguration of new office bearers on Saturday, May 21st during a solemn induction ceremony, organized at the Indian Consulate in New York.

Kamlesh C. Mehta was administered the oath of office as the Chairman of the IAPC Board of Directors by Ambassador Randhir Jaiswal, Consul General of India in New York, while Ginson Zachariah, Founding Chairman of IAPC administered the oath to IAPC’s new President Aashmeeta Yogiraj, while IAPC General Secretary CG Daniel and several others were given the oath virtually.

Four distinguished and accomplished community leaders/professionals were honored with the Lifetime Achievement Awards for their accomplishments and contributions to the larger society.

Ambassador Randhir Jaiswal, Consul General, was the chief guest, while New York Mayor De Blasio was the Special Guest of Honor during the ceremony. Mayor De Blasio presented award to Pamela Kwatra, a trailblazer and the only Indian American woman recipient of the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor award in 2008, Pam Kwatra. She has a proud record of civic-social and professional accomplishments and recognition.

Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, the only 4th Woman elected to be the President of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin in its nearly four decades-long history was honored fgor her visionary leadership of AAPI benefitting AAPI members and the larger societies in India and the United States.

Dr. Thomas Abraham, who has been honored with the Bharatvanshi Gaurav Award of Anthar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad and Pravasi Bharatiya Samman for his services to the NRI/PIO communities for the last 49 years since he moved to New York as a graduate student at Columbia University, was another awardee whom IAPC honored today.

The other honoree whom IAPC recognized today was Sudhir M. Parikh, M.D., a physician by profession and currently the Chairman and Publisher of Parikh Worldwide Media Inc., the largest Indian-American publishing group in the United States, and Chairman of ITV Gold, a 24×7 TV news channel, and is one of the most honored Indian Americans with Padma Shri and Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Special Recognition at the event was given to: Ambassador Randhir Jaiswal, Consul General of India in New York for his vision, dedication and community service; Mayor Bill De Blasio, Former Mayor Of New York City, for Excellence in Public Service and Leadership; Dr. Prabhakar Kore, Member of Parliament, India, for his distinguished services in Education and Public Services; and Kevin Thomas, New York State Senator For excellence in Community Service and leadership.

In his address, while highlighting the many recent initiatives of the Government of India to lead India to prosperity and strength, Ambassador Jaiswal praised IAPC for its “significant contribution to promoting India-US friendship and the welfare of Indian diaspora in the United States. It has brought together people from the diaspora media fraternity under a cohesive umbrella so that the voice of the community could be heard in a meaningful manner.

We look forward to their continued support to bring developments from India to the readers in the US and carry all the excitement from the United States to the people of India. I invite Indo American Press Club to join hands with us in celebrating India@75, our Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. I wish the Club steady growth, progress and success,” he said.

Former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, while congratulating Pam Kwatra on receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award, described her as a trailblazing businesswoman, a community leader, and a political force with executive chops. No wonder she worked with elan on important projects in my administration on my request.

I also came to know that her involvement with the community spans across culture, art & literature – preserving and promoting abroad the rich and varied culture of India.” While extending his greetings to IAPC, the Mayor said, “Congratulations are due to IAPC for doing a good job, to Kamlesh Mehta, its new Board Chairman, new committee members and all the honorees. We will continue to support this media organization.”

In his acceptance speech, Kamlesh Mehta said,  “These are unprecedented times for journalists and the media, when many have sacrificed their lives in the pandemic. At IAPC, we salute these brave men and women who risk their lives to bring to the world accurate reporting and being an effective voice of the media world.

IAPC envisages its vision through collective efforts and advocacy activities through its nearly one thousand members across the US and Canada, by being a link between the media fraternity and the world at large. We will work together with dedication to enhance the working conditions of our journalists, exchanging ideas and offering educational and training opportunities to our members, aspiring young journalists and media professionals around the globe.”

In her presidential address, Aashmeeta Yogiraj, Director – Programming & Marketing, JUS Broadcasting Corporation said, “I t is said that the media is the fourth pillar of democracy. Never was that statement truer than in the times we live in now. While media as an entity has certainly evolved to fit modern times, its invaluable service to society persists. As a member of the media, it is my honor to serve as President of the Indo-American Press Club. I look forward to furthering the principles of democracy alongside the rest of the IAPC leadership and team.” By becoming a member IAPC , she said,  You gain “access to a unique professional network, exclusive events with high-profile global influencers, cutting-edge Newswire services and an opportunity to network with others in the media industry.”

Ginsmon Zachariah, Founding Chair of IAPC BOD said, “Our homeland India is known to have a vibrant, active and free media, which plays a very vital role in the functioning and growth of the largest democracy in the world. And we recognize that as members of the media we have an important role to play in our adopted land. We are aware of our call to be a source of effective communication around the world. We as members of the media realize that we have a role to play in shaping our world to be a just and equitable place where everyone enjoys freedom and liberty.”

Providing the background to the formation of IAPC, Akay Ghosh, Founding President of IAPC  said, “We as individuals and corporations that represent the media world, consisting of print, visual, electronic and online, realize that we have a greater role to play. We have been working in this field for decades and often stand alone in a large media world. As individual members of the media, our voice is often drowned in the very large world of multi-media. We lack a collective voice to raise our voice, to pool our talents together and work as a cohesive group to reflect and respond to the challenges of the modern world. IAPC was  (IAPC), formed to fill this vacuum, and is committed to strive to be a common platform to raise the voice and explore the possibilities of helping shape the world to be a world that is fair, just and equitable for today and future generations.”

Eric Kumar, a major supporter to IAPC introduced Mayor Bill DeBlasio. In his address, he mentioned how closely Mayor Bill DeBlasio worked with the Indian American communities and made a law to support Ethnic Media. Famous Punjabi Singer Malkit Singh could not attend the event for delays in flight, he sent his gratitude for honoring him and best complements to IAPC for continued success.

The induction ceremony was attended by elite members and community leaders, including, Padma Shri Dr. Nori, Kenny Desai of FIA,  Girish Patel of BAPS, Girish Shah of Jain Samaj, Babu Stephen, former Chairman of IAPC, Shashi Malik of Long Island Association. Harish Thakkar of the American Indian Association, Ravi Bhooplapur of Xavier University,  Dr. Neeta Jain, Nilima Madan, Darshan Singh Bagga, Arvind Vora of Shanti Fund,  and Vipul Dev, the Consular  at CGI.

Parveen Chopra, past president of IAPC welcomed the audience. A souvenir with colorfully designed pages, depicting the history and objectives of IAPV, edited by Parveen Chopra and Dr. Mathew Joys was released.

A visual presentation of the Nine Years of IAPC history beautifully presented by Dr. Mathew Joys, IAPC BOD member from Las Vegas and Shan Justus from Texas provided a glimpse of the trajectory of IAPC’s growth since its inception in 2013. The closing ceremony included scintillating dances traditional folk dances and fast moving Bollywood dances by The Arya School of Dance and was followed by a sumptuous dinner. The hybrid event was also streamed simultaneously on social media platforms and watched live on YouTube by several members and supporters of IAPC.

Dr. Joseph M. Chalil Donates $100,000 In Honor of, Rev. Dr. Mathew M. Chalil to Nova Southeastern University in Support of International Medical Students

Dr. Joseph M. Chalil, a Best-Selling Author and the Chief Medical Officer of Novo Integrated Sciences, Inc., has donated $100,000 towards establishing a Scholarship Fund in honor of his mentor and uncle, Reverend Dr. Mathew Chalil, a Catholic Priest, based in Kerala, India. The scholarship fund donated to the prestigious Nova Southeastern University will help needy and deserving international medical students at the University.

“Congratulations Fr. Mathew Chalil for being inducted into Nova Southeastern University Cornerstone society today,” a statement issued by the University stated. “We have created a scholarship fund of 1 Lakh Dollars (77 Lakhs Indian Rupees). The $100,000 scholarship will be earmarked for international medical students at NSU MD with significant financial needs.”

Rev. Dr. Mathew M. Chalil, CMI, MSc, Ph.D. is a Catholic Priest belonging to the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI), who dedicated his life to education and the environment. Rev. Chalil completed his Master’s Degree in Mathematics from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Chennai) and his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Perdue University in 1982. He returned to India and was appointed as the Professor of Mathematics at Devagiri College, India, and had served as its Principal until 1994. He was appointed as the CMI General Councilor for Education in 1996 and he oversaw all the CMI Provinces in South India, as well as the CMI Activities and Personals in the USA, Canada, and South America.  CMI Congregation owns and manages hundreds of schools, over 30 higher education institutions, and one deemed University in India.

In addition, Rev. Chalil held several additional positions, including as Vice-Chancellor of Dharma Deepti University and as the Registrar of Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram.  His research interest was using mathematical formulas in solving environmental pollution issues. He was a World Health Organization consultant and an advisor to the Government of India and the Kingdom of the United Arab Emirates.

Publisher of The Universal News Network (www.theunn.com), Dr. Chalil is a veteran of the U.S. Navy Medical Corps. Board-certified in healthcare management, Dr. Chalil has been awarded a Fellowship by the American College of Healthcare Executives, an international professional society of more than 40,000 healthcare executives who lead hospitals, healthcare systems, and other healthcare organizations. Dr. Chalil has held roles of increasing responsibility at DBV Technologies, Boehringer Ingelheim, Abbott Laboratories, and Hoffmann-La Roche.

Additionally, Dr. Chalil is the former Chairman of the Indo-American Press Club. He is an expert in U.S. healthcare policy and a strong advocate for patient-centered care. A strong proponent of providing healthcare access to everyone, Dr. Chalil’s new book, Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic: Envisioning a Better World by Transforming the Future of Healthcare, is on Amazon’s Best Sellers List.

Describing these as critical times, Dr. Chalil, endowed with the vision to support noble causes, believes that “Medical Education is most needed, especially as the world is continuing to be under the impact of the Covid Pandemic. Health care professionals dedicate their lives to the greater well-being of human beings. Supporting the upcoming generations of Medical students in their mission to help people live healthier lives is very fulfilling.”

Dr. Swati Kulkarni, Consulate General of India in Atlanta, while praising Dr. Chalil’s generosity and contribution to support the needy medical students at the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine (NSU MD), said, “Dr. Joseph Chalil, one of the distinguished Indian American, has attained significant goals in his career and has been at the forefront of helping the needy, especially students. India has a large number of bright students pursuing higher studies in the United States.

Dr. Chalil has donated generously to help these International Indian students at Nova Southeastern University in fulfilling their mission to be the healers of the world. I am certain that Dr. Chalil shall also extend similar monetary help to Medical Colleges in India and brighten the future of aspiring students studying there.  May the generosity of Dr. Chalil inspire many more successful Indian Americans to come forward and donate towards the education of students who seek knowledge and skills at the universities in India and abroad.”

The CORNERSTONE SOCIETY at Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine
Nova Southeastern University was developed to recognize and pay tribute to individuals, foundations, and corporations whose cumulative commitments to NSU MD reach $100,000 by the time the Charter Class graduates. NSU MD is one of approximately 155 M.D. degree-granting institutions in the U.S. The college received Preliminary Accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) on October 10, 2017, to become the eighth M.D.-degree medical school in Florida and the only one in Broward County.

Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, President Of AAPI Presented With The Lifetime Achievement Award By IAPC

Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, President Of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award during a solemn awards ceremony jointly organized by The Consulate General of India in New York and The Indo-American Press Club (IAPC), the largest organization of Indian descent journalists operating in North America , at the Indian Consulate, New York, NY on Saturday, May 21st, 2022.

Ambassador Randhir Jaiswal, Consul General of India, who was the chief guest presented the award at the Grand Ballroom of the Consulate in New York, which was attended by several community leaders, elected officials, diplomats, media personnel and professionals.

Other awardees who were honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award included:  Dr. Thomas Abraham, Dr. Sudhir Parikh, and Pamela Kwatra. The event, which was attended by several dignitaries, including former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; Dr. Prabhakar Kore, Member of Parliament, India;  Kevin Thomas, New York State Senator; and several other elected officials.

The awards ceremony was part of the Induction Ceremony of IAPC’s new office bearers, including Chairman Kamlesh C Mehta and Secretary Ajay Ghosh of IAPC Board of Directors, and members of the IAPC National Executive Committee led by President Aashmeeta Yogiraj and General Secretary CG Daniel.

Dr. Anupama Gotimukula is the only 4th Woman elected to be the President of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin in its nearly four decades-long history.

A resident of San Antonio, TX, Dr. Gotimukula  is a board-certified Pediatric Anesthesiologist, practicing since 2007, and is affiliated with Christus Santa Rosa, Baptist and Methodist Healthcare systems in San Antonio.

In her acceptance Speech, Dr. Gotimukula shared with the audience about the many initiatives AAPI has taken up during the past one year. Under her dynamic and inspiring leadership, “AAPI has grown and reached new heights. The Global Healthcare Summit in Hyderabad, held under challenging Covid situations has been historic in nature. The Blood Donation Drive in 75 Cities across the US commemorating the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence has been highly praised by all,” she said.

Her goals on “Prevention is better than Cure” are resonating in India through the “Adopt a Village” preventive healthcare screening initiative of non communicable diseases. A report from AAPI was submitted to the Indian Government to establish the “Indian Preventive Health Task Force “ to help frame screening guidelines for all non communicable diseases like Diabetes, Hypertension, cancer screening etc., sje said.

Under her leadership, several new programs have been initiated, benefiting AAPI members and the larger communities in the United States and India. Dr. Gotimukula urged the media to focus on the many positive things that are happening around the world, rather than focus on negativity that destroys human freedom, liberty and unity.

The closing ceremony included scintillating dances traditional folk dances and fast moving Bollywood dances by The Arya School of Dance and was followed by a sumptuous dinner. The hybrid event was also streamed simultaneously on social media platforms.

WHO Honors 1 Million ASHA Volunteers

India’s one million all-women ASHA volunteers were honored by the World Health Organization on Sunday, May 21st for their “crucial role” in providing direct access to healthcare facilities in rural areas and their indefatigable efforts to rein in the coronavirus pandemic in the country. They were praised for their contributions in providing basic health care services to the rural population of India.

WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced the group of over a million government volunteers, as one of the six recipients of the World Health Organization Director-General’s Global Health Leaders Awards recognizing their outstanding contributions to advancing global health, demonstrated leadership and commitment to regional health issues.

Dr Tedros decides on the awardees for the World Health Organisation Director-General’s Global Health Leaders Awards. The ceremony for the awards, which were established in 2019, was part of the live-streamed high-level opening session of the 75th World Health Assembly.

“Among the honorees is ASHA, which means hope in Hindi. The more than 1 million female volunteers in India were honored for their crucial role in linking the community with the health system, to ensure those living in rural poverty get access to primary health care services, as shown throughout the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said. PM Modi also hailed the selfless service of the Asha Volunteers and congratulated them as their efforts were recognized by WHO.

Accredited Social Health Activists — or ASHA volunteers — are Indian government’s affiliated health-care workers who are the first point of contact in rural India. Most of them gained spotlight during the peak of the pandemic in India for conducting door-to-door checks to trace coronavirus patients. ASHA – means ‘hope’ in Hindi. These health workers provide maternal care & immunization for children against vaccine-preventable diseases; community health care; treatment for hypertension & tuberculosis & core areas of health promotion for nutrition, sanitation & healthy living.