Indian Overseas Congress Vice Chair George Abraham, one of the founders of the Congress organization in America a quarter of a century ago, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Rahul Gandhi in a rare honor.
The event was the IOC reception of Rahul Gandhi at the Terrace on Park in Queens, New York, on June 3, ahead of his public meeting on June 4. To everyone’s surprise, IOC Global Chair Sam Pitroda announced the honor and invited Rahul Gandhi to present the plaque that lauded his vision and commitment to the organization.
The 300-plus party supporters in the audience greeted it with thunderous applause. It was a proud moment for Abraham, who started his association with the Congress Party during his school days. He worked in ‘All Kerala Balajana Sakhyam’ (a youth organization) and became the state treasurer. Later he worked in the Kerala Students Union (KSU) before moving to the U.S.
He has completed 55 years in the U.S. and kept his Indian citizenship. In the U.S., too, he held the ideals of the Congress Party in his heart. Congress leaders who visited the U.S. were always welcomed by him and received his hospitality. It was in the late 90s that he, along with a few others from Kerala, came forward with the idea of setting up an organization to support the party. During a visit of former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in 1988, the former Kerala chief minister, an organization called ‘Indian Overseas Congress’ was launched. It is to be noted that the first planning meeting for the organization was held at his house in New York. Later, it grew to become a national organization known as INOC. Sonia Gandhi, former AICC President, inaugurated the organization upon her visit to the U.S. on June 25, 2001. Upon the creation of an Overseas Congress Department under AICC and the assumption of Chairmanship by Mr. Sam Pitroda, the organization’s name was reverted to IOC.
The award was a befitting recognition for a person for his vision, dedication, and hard work. His wife, Lona Abraham, too, worked side by side with him for the organization.
Mr. Abraham retired as a Chief technology officer at the United Nations.