BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Snehal Chitalia and Anmol Kaur, won top Heritage Awards in high and middle school academic categories at the 29th annual Indian American Heritage Foundation (IAHF) awards function held on April 19, at Spice Affair Banquet Hall here. The Foundation organizes this...
The afternoon festivities began with a cultural program by a select few of the winners which demonstrated that apart from academics they were talented in the arts such as dance and performing on various musical instruments and vocals. Hansika performed a classical dance, Cynthia gave a flute recital while Hasini sang a classical song. Srijan gave a violin recital, Anjali sang a song and Hansika impressed the audience with her classical singing. Devika sang an upbeat Bollywood song to conclude the entertainment program. Dilip Butani and Navin Gupta managed the stage and emceed the cultural extravaganza.
Coming to the crux of the event, it was time to present the much awaited awards. Anmol Kaur, Orange County resident, was the middle school winner of the highest academic award. Kaur won the top award of $600 as well as the IAHF revolving trophy. This award was founded in memory of Dr. Awtar Singh by his niece, Sonia Batra, who presented the award and trophy to the winner.
Reacting to the award, Kaur said being successful means, “Achieving what goals you have established for yourself.”
The winner of the highest academic award among the high school students was Snehal Chitalia, resident of Orange County. Chitalia won $2000 as well as the Profiles in Excellence revolving trophy. This scholarship has been introduced by Sanjiv and Rajesh Chopra, in remembrance of their parents Sarla and Kishan Gopal Chopra. Ashok Madan and his wife Manju presented the revolving trophy “Profiles in Excellence”instituted in memory of Ashok’s parents, Thakar Singh and Shanti Rani Madan.
On receiving the award Chitalia said, “Success is all about doing something that will make me happy.”
The second place winner in the high school category was Shreya Ramayya of Rancho Palos Verde while the third place winner was Keshav Tedimeti of San Diego. The next seven winners were Devika Chandramohan of Ventura County, Devshi Mehrotra of Irvine, Sumant Iyer of Thousand Oaks, Ami Thakrar of Santa Barbara, Mukund Iyer of Cerritos, Rakshith Mandayam of Irvine and Raj Chaklashiya of Mira Loma.
The second place winner in the middle school category was Anjali Thakrar while the third place winner was Srijan Satpathy. The fourth and fifth awards went to Cynthia Sridhar and Sindhu Srivats respectively. Anjali Thakrar and Hansika Sundaresan won the Visual and Performing Arts awards instituted in honor of “Teachers, parents and family.”
Top awardee Snehal Chitalia also won the Outstanding Achievement Award in sports instituted by Jack Khangura in memory of his wife Rajinder Khangura and received revolving trophy in sports instituted by Dr. M.C. Gupta of Corona in memory of his father RBL Gupta. Outstanding Achievement Award and revolving trophy in community service instituted by Dr. Rajesh Kadakia in memory of Maniben Manilal Kadakia was given to Mukund Iyer. Shreya Ramayya, second place winner in Academic category, won the Outstanding Achievement Award and revolving trophy in Math, Science and Technology instituted by Dr. Mani Bhaumik in recognition of the “most important numeral ZERO invented in India.”Hasini Sundaresan won the Outstanding Achievement Award and revolving trophy in Visual & Performing Arts.
Inder Singh, Foundation president thanked all the sponsors who provided necessary funding for the continuity of the awards program. He particularly thanked the judges who undertook the grueling task of evaluating the applicants. He praised his “working Crew” — team of volunteers — who have been working 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 and he is blessed with a team which has been providing selfless service for the cause of our youth.” His team included Abdulgani Shaikh, Ashok Madan, Deepi Singh, Kewal Kanda, V.J. Singh, Dilip Butani, Ajmer Singh, Aparna Hande, Amrit Bhandari, Navin Gupta, Smita Das, Vasu Pawar, Rajinder Dhunna and Ramesh Bhatt. The annual event was made possible with the support of some well meaning community members including Sanjiv & Renu Chopra, Dr. M.L. Bhaumik, Uma & Avadesh Agarwal, BU Patel, Sonia Batra, Ashok & Manju Madan, VJ&Simi Singh, Dr. C. R. Viswanathan, Jagdish Khangura, Dr. Rajesh Kadakia, Dr. Satinder–Ranjit Bhatia,Satpal Jandial, and Ravi Grewal. Five donors, Dr. M.C & Usha Gupta, Harbhajan Singh Samra, Munish Makkar, Cerritos City Councilmember Naresh Solanki and State Bank of India (Woodland Hills) supported the event. All the sponsors and donors were introduced through a Power Point presentation by Simi Singh and Ranjit Bhatia. Some of the sponsors who attended the event and presented awards included Avadhesh & Uma Agarwal, Dr. Satinder & Ranjit Bhatia, Ashok & Manju Madan, Sonia Batra, Satpal Jandial, Simi Singh, Harbhajan Samra, and Satishan of State Bank of India.