Indian American Kerala Cultural And Civic Center Announces Award Winners For 2023

The Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center will honor eight Indian Americans for their outstanding achievements in their field of specialization and for their service to the society at its 31st Annual Awards Banquet to be held on October 28, 2023. Government officials and leaders from the USA and India are expected to attend this prestigious event.

“The Kerala Center has been honoring outstanding achievers since 1992. Every year we invite nominations and the committee has to make a unanimous choice for a candidate in a category to receive the award and this year is no different from previous years in terms of their achievements,” said Dr. Thomas Abraham, Kerala Center’s Trustee Board Chairman and Award Committee Member.

“Kerala Center is very happy to honor American Malayalees who excel in their professions and who work for social progress — their examples should be an inspiration for others,” said Dr. Madhu Bhaskaran, Chairman of the Board and Award Committee. This year’s honorees include: Dr. Shyam Kottilil (Baltimore, MD) – Life Time Achievement Award; Sajeeb Koya (Pickering, Ontario, Canada) – Entrepreneurship; Dr. Anna George (Long Island, NY) – Nursing; Shelby Kutty (Baltimore, MD) – Medicine; Ajay Ghosh (Trumbull, CT) – Media and Journalism; Lata Menon (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada) – Legal Services; Jayant Kamicheril (Reading, PA) – Pravasi Malayalam Literature; and Gopala Pillai (Dallas, Texas) – Community Service.

The awardees will be honored at the Kerala Center’s 31st Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, October 28, 2023 at 5:30 pm at the Kerala Center, 1824 Fairfax St., Elmont, New York. There will be variety entertainment programs and a fabulous dinner for the evening. Dr. Madhu Bhaskaran was the Award Committee Chairman and the other members were Dr. Thomas Abraham, Daisy P. Stephen and Varkey Abraham. Kerala Center President Alex K. Esthappan said that the Center has recognized over 170 American Malayalees in the last 31 years and it is great to see that they have continued to rise further in their careers and serve the society. All are invited to join this Annual Award Banquet honoring the awardees.

Please contact the Kerala Center to reserve your seats at: 516-358-2000 or at email: [email protected].     Please contact: Alex Esthappan, President at 516 503 9387, Thambi Thalappillil, Executive Director at 516 5519868, Raju Thomas, General Secretary at 516 434 0669.

Dr. Shyam Kottilil – Life Time Achievement Award

Dr. Shyam Kottilil is a world renowned virologist and immunologist who has made pivotal contributions in the field of Hepatitis and HIV. He is currently the Interim Director of the Institute of Human Virology in Baltimore, MD, the first and foremost Virology Institute in the world. Dr. Kottilil has had an illustrious career with over 350 major publications, as well as awards and accolades from premier societies in Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Hepatology and the National Institutes of Health.

Sajeeb Koya – Entrepreneurship

Sajeeb Koya, a North American Malayali, is the man behind the LED Façade lighting that lights up Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Sajeeb and his team are proud to be part of this project which owns 2 Guinness World Records. His company 3S International Inc., which has its headquarters at Pickering (Ontario, Canda), has executed  numerous vibrant Architectural and Media Façade LED projects all over the world. People just see lights as utilitarian, whereas Sajeeb sees multitude of colors, shades, movements, and blends the beauty of light with technology.

Sajeeb Koya hailing from Trivandrum, is an Electrical Engineer graduated in 1987 from CET Trivandrum. He has held key positions with several Multi Nationals before starting his own business in Canada in 2001. He lives with his family at Pickering, Ontario, Canada. He is very active since childhood in the fields of photography, music and acting. He is currently involved in key positions with several community & charity organizations.

Dr. Anna George – for Nursing

Dr. Anna George is the current President of the Indian Nurses Association of New York (INANY). She is a Nurse, a nurse practitioner, human rights advocate, and a social activist. She works at Molloy University as an Associate Professor, teaching the Nurse Practitioner Track and as a Nurse Practitioner at Northwell Health.

Dr. Shelby Kutty – Medicine

Dr. Shelby Kutty is a physician scientist and academic leader, serving as the Helen B. Taussig endowed professor and director of pediatric and congenital cardiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He also chairs the analytic intelligence program at Johns Hopkins. One of the world’s preeminent experts on multimodality cardiovascular imaging with over 400 peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Kutty is passionate about patient outcomes and evidence-based assessment of new technologies.

Ajay Ghosh – Media and Journalism

Ajay Ghosh is the Chief Editor and Co-Publisher of The Universal News Network (www/ He serves as the Media Coordinator for the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and ITServe Alliance. Ajay was the founding President of the Indo-American Press Club and is its Secretary, Board of Directors. Prior to coming to the United States, Ajay was the Chief Editor of The Voice Delhi and contributed articles to several national publications in India. In the United States, starting his journalistic career as a reporter in 1999 for India Post, he had worked as the New York Bureau Chief of Indian Reporter and World News, and worked as the New York Bureau Chief of India Tribune, a weekly newspaper published from Chicago. Ajay served as the Executive Editor of NRI Today and was the Bureau Chief of The Indian Express, North American Editions. Ajay has a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI and a Social Work Degree (MSW) from Delhi University.

Lata Menon, Esq. – Legal Services

An accomplished Barrister and Solicitor and active community member, Lata Menon has become a recognized name in the legal community in Ontario, as well as the Indian states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Kerala, where she practiced as a lawyer before immigrating to Canada. In addition to her professional activities as a lawyer, Lata devotes her time to the community at large and has become an active supporter and champion of women’s equality and rights. She is actively engaged in several social and community programs in her capacity as a Founder, Board Member, Secretary, Legal Advisor, and many other positions. As a professional, Lata has touched the lives of several of her clients who came to her in distress when faced with family discord, domestic violence, abuse, and family disputes, which she has influenced many of her clients to pull their lives together and persevere in the face of adversity. Lata’s achievements and success makes her a true leader, mentor, formidable force, influence, and inspiration to many.

Jayant Kamicheril – Pravasi Malayalam Literature

Jayant Kamicheril is a recipient of Kerala Sahithya Academy award for 2022 for his book “Oru Kumarakom Karantay Kuruthamketta Likhithangal”. He won LANA Award in 2019 for his book: Kumarakathu Oru Pesaha. His essays and stories in English and Malayalam have been published in N. America and India. He lives in Reading, PA with wife Anita Namboodiri and they have two daughters – Aloka and Shreela.

Gopala Pillai –Community Service

Gopala Pillai has served as the President and Board Member of several organizations in CultureTexas and Detroit, and has been with the World Malayali Council from1995 as its Secretary, President and Chairman. Through these organizations he has been able to provide many services for the good of society. His life’s work reflects his unwavering commitment to both the local community in the USA and the betterment of the less privileged in Kerala, India. He has degrees in Economics, Journalism, and Computer Science, pursuing a successful career in Information Technology in the USA since 1975.

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