CERRITOS, CA - Nithya Menon and Shivana Anand, both of Irvine, won the Top Heritage Award for high school and middle school academic categories respectively at the 30th annual Indian American Heritage Foundation (IAHF) awards function held on April 10, at the Sheraton Hotel, here. In a glittering...
Consul General of India, San Francisco Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok who was the chief guest speaking to the gathering empathized the importance of education and preserving the cultural heritage of India and applauded IAHF for the great work it is doing in promoting this. He also donated $20,000 to the IAHF from the leftover Parvasi Diwas funds. The CGI took the opportunity to talk about the petition regarding the California Department of Education’s move to make changes in textbooks by replacing ‘India’ with South East Asia. He urged all present to support the petition as it is important for all Indian- Americans.
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Cerritos Mayor Pro Tem, Naresh Solanki and Artesia Mayor Pro Tem Ali S Taj were the guests of honor. Sanchez spoke about the importance of education and culture and about her long time association with the Indian-American community. She thanked all the organizers and the students for the tremendous work they put in.
Inder Singh, the main organizer, in welcoming the attendees, appreciated the support by the sponsors who provided necessary funding for the continuity of the awards program. He also thanked the judges who undertook the grueling task of evaluating the applicants, and praised his “working crew” — team of volunteers — who worked hard to make the event a success. He said, “An individual, howsoever brilliant, intelligent and smart, would find it difficult, if not impossible to match the collaborative efforts of an effective team,” adding that he was blessed with a team which has been providing selfless service for the cause of youth.
The IAHF has been recognizing the achievements of youth, graduating from high and middle schools in Southern California for the past 30 years. The Foundation started with just five scholarship awards in 1987 and now gives 24 scholarships annually.
The other awardees were: Academic awards for high school- Nithya Menon, Tejal Gala, Vikas Munu Kutta, Vibha Vijayakumar, Kanhai Shah , Chirag Bisht , Kriti Kumar, Ashwath Manivannan,Varun Mandi , Megan Phansalkar.
Visual & Performing Arts: Vikas Munu Kutta.
Community Service: Kriti Kumar, Navya Katragadda.
Math, Science & Technology: Tejal Gala,Varun Mandi.
Sports: Deeksha Chaturvedi, Kanhai Shah.
Academic awards for middle school: Shivana Anand , Sreekar Kasturi ,Rishi Shah , Abhinav Ganguly, Ria Arora. Visual & Performing Arts: Calvin Coolidge, Sreekar Kasturi and Shivana Anand.