US senator to be honoured as Friend of India


Washington: A leading Indian community organisation will honour a US senator as a Friend of India with five outstanding achievers of the Indian American community at its annual awards banquet in Stamford Saturday.

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The Connecticut chapter of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) has selected senior Democratic senator from Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, for the “Friend of India” award.

Blumenthal serves on several important Senate committees including armed services, commerce, judiciary, veterans’ affairs and science and transportation.

“With increasing US-India cooperation in Defence, Commerce and Science & Technology, Senator Blumenthal helps to improved bilateral relations between the two countries,” GOPIO said.

Five Indian Americans to be honoured for their achievements in profession and community service are: Prof. Akhil Reed Amar, Dr. Vinod Srihari, Nisha Arora, Dr. George Joseph and Moh Sharma.

Amar, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, is being recognized for his achievement and contribution to Arts and Letters.

Author of several books, his work has won awards from both the American Bar Association and the Federalist Society.

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2008 received the DeVane Medal – Yale’s highest award for teaching excellence.

Srihari, Yale faculty member and Associate Director of Yale’s Psychiatry Residency Training Programme, is being recognized for his achievement and contribution in Medicine.

His clinical work and research has been focused on the care of individuals with schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses.

Since 2006 he has served as the founding director of an Early Intervention service for adolescents and young adults with psychotic disorders at the Connecticut Mental Health Centre in New Haven.

Arora, Co-founder of Indian Community Centre (ICC) of Greenwich will be honoured for Community Service and Promotion of Indian Arts and Culture.

ICC promotes Indian arts and culture in the Lower Fairfield and Westchester areas. Its programmes include visual and performing arts, culinary experiences and a speaker series highlighting Indian-American leaders.

Joseph, Deputy Director of the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Centre for International and Area Studies at Yale University, is being honoured for his contribution to International Relations and Connecting India to the USA.

He also supports Yale’s engagement, strategy, and visibility in South Asia. Since 2007, Joseph has devoted significant time and energy to advancing the Yale India Initiative and the India-Yale Parliamentary Leadership Programme that over seven editions engaged more than eighty Indian parliamentarians.

GOPIO-Connecticut President’s Young Achiever Award went to Moh Sharma who serves as a Policy Advisor for the House Democratic Caucus.

Earlier, Moh had worked for several government agencies and public institutions as well as served in several non-profit and advocacy groups. (IANS)