Desi Talk – that’s all you need to know 4 COVER STORY January 15, 2021 FIA Receives Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award T he Federation of Indian Asso- ciations of NewYork, New Jersey & Connecticut(FIA-Tristate),was bestowed the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman on the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) held on Jan. 9, 2021. The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award is the highest honor conferred on a non- resident Indian, Person of Indian Origin; or an organization or institution estab- lished and run by non-resident Indians or Persons of Indian Origin, who have made a significant contribution in further a better understanding of India abroad, and support for India’s causes and concerns in a tangible way, through community work abroad, welfare of local Indian community, philanthropic and charitable work, etc. During the PBD convention, select eminent Indian diaspora members are awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards in the presence of the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind. Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, past-pres- ident and current trustee and senior advi- sor of FIA, received the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award in 2006 from then Presi- dent of India Abdul Kalam Azad. Member of FIA Board of Trustees Srujal Parikh, and past-president of FIA Alok Kumar also received an appreciation in 2021 from Consul General of India in New York Randhir Jaiswal for their community service. The16th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Jan. 9 in New Delhi. The theme of the convention, aimed at encouraging the Indian diaspora to be part of the socio-economic development in India, and entitled, “Contributing to Aat- manirbhar Bharat.” “We are very proud, humbled and thankful to be the recipient of the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman,” President of FIA Anil Bansal said. “It is the recognition of hard and selfless work of so many people in the FIA family. This award is for the exceptional and meritorious contribution to India, the Indians for social and humanitarian causes. We at FIA have been totally dedicated to serving the interest of India and Indian diaspora in the USA. I have no doubt that under the new leadership of Ankur Vaidya, we will expand our footprint and activities immensely in future. This award certainly gives us the encouragement and incentive to reach for the stars. Thanks India, our motherland, and Jai Hind.” “It is truly a moment of pride for FIA and for me to witness this prestigious recogni- tion bestowed upon FIA,” Chairman Ankur Vaidya said. “I take this opportunity to thank the founders and patriarchs, some of them are on our board, who dedicated a lifetime in serving the community through the organization and when told of the news had tears of joy,” Vaidya said, adding, “The timing has a cryptic hint in it having lost Ramesh Patel to COVID when we had already rolled our sleeves to prepare for the golden jubilee grandeur celebration. We still continued and faced the worst times in history, we managed with the motivated team and Ramesh Patel’s spirit and soul to show us light and inspiration, the magic worked. I know he would be ecstatic,” Vaidya added. Photo:Mohammed Jaffer /SnapsIndia Photos:courtesyFIA - Continued On Page 5 The tristate organization was recognized for its service to the community By a StaffWriter On Jan. 9, 2021, coinciding with the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas being held in India in a virtual format, Srujal Parikh, a member of the Board of Trustees of FIA, and Alok Kumar, past president of FIA, received an appreciation at the Indian Consulate in New York City. Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh receiving the Bharatiya Samman Award in 2006, from India’s President Abdul Kalam Azad, in New Delhi during Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.