6 members of Kerala diaspora to be honored in NY

NEW YORK: Six Indian-American Malayalees will be honored in New York for their outstanding achievements in their field of specialization and for their service to the society by a community organisation, which represents the Kerala diaspora.

The Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center will present its 30th Annual Awards Banquet on October 22 in Elmont, which will be attended by India’s Consul General Randhir Jaiswal and New York Senators Kevin Thomas and Anna Kaplan.

Javad Hassan, Chairman of NeST Group, will be awarded for corporate leadership. He has been striving to bring premier US universities to the Indian shores, so that Indian companies could gain from a global standard of education.

Thomas Joy, Suffolk County police officer will be awarded for Public Service. Joy was honored in 2020 by the India Association of Long Island for his service to the community during Covid-19 pandemic.

In the Performing Arts category, Bindiya Sabarinath, founder of Mayura School of Arts, has been named.

Sabarinath, trained in Bharatnatyam, Mohiniyattam and Kuchipudi, is an alumni of Kalakshetra Chennai, and has been making principal styles of Indian Dance accessible to US residents.

She received a Presidential Award for representing Mohiniyattam from Kerala on Republic Day in 1998, and has dedicated herself to teaching and performing Indian Classical Dance for the past twenty years.

Bindiya established the Mayura school of Arts in 2000 in the US. She has over 1,000 students and many branches in the New York and New Jersey area, according to her website. Silvester Noronha, who will be awarded under the Applied Science category, hails from Kollam district in Kerala. He is currently a visiting faculty of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

He was among a team of scientists from MIT who jointly invented a large high-temperature superconducting electromagnet, a step towards realizing the dream of the much-awaited nuclear power fusion meant for revolutionizing the world’s energy sector.

P.T. Paulose has been recognised for contributions to Pravasi Malayalam Literature, and Jose Kaniyaly, Executive Editor and Partner of Kerala Express weekly newspaper, for his contributions to Malayalam Media and Journalism.

“Kerala Center has been honoring outstanding achievers since 1991. 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,” Thomas Abraham, Kerala Center’s Trustee Board Chairman and Award Committee Member, said in a press release.

Though the exact number of Keralites in the US is unknown, Thiruvananthapuram-based International Institute of Migration and Development (IIMD) reckons that there are at least 40 lakh Keralites abroad, of which at least 20 per cent or even higher number are now settled in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

Kerala is officially preparing a data bank of Keralites, a move that will help the state find the number of Malayalis working abroad, especially in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.