FIA Board of Trustee member Srujal Parikh and past president Alok Kumar have been recognized by the Government of India with an award in observation of Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD), Jan. 9. The award was presented at a ceremony held at the Consulate General of India in New York on January 9, 2021.
Parikh and Kumar were honored with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award for their leadership and contributions to community service, as well as being a friend of the Consulate.
Since 2003, the Government of India has been celebrating Pravasi Bharatiya Divas on Jan. 9 to recognize the contribution of the overseas Indian community toward the development of India as well as their contributions to their adopted country. The day commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to Ahmedabad on Jan. 9, 2015.
This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual celebration was held on a small scale in New Delhi where the Federation of Indian Associations of New York, New Jersey & Connecticut (FIA-Tristate) received the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by the Government of India. The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award is the highest honor conferred on a non-resident Indian, Person of Indian Origin; or an organization or institution established and run by non-resident Indians or Persons of Indian Origin, who have made significant contribution in better understanding of India abroad, support India’s causes and concerns in a tangible way, community work abroad, welfare of local Indian community, philanthropic and charitable work, etc.
“It’s great honor to receive this prestigious recognition along with my fraternity brother Alok Kumar,” Parikh said. Noting that the award is in recognition of their “community service with partnership with the Consulate,” Parikh converted his gratitude to Consul General of India in New York, Randhir Jaiswal; Deputy Consul General, Shatrughna Sinha, as well as Mr. Vijay Krishna, “for this recognition.” Parikh also thanked FIA Chairman Ankur Vaidya for “trusting me and inspiring me for community work,” the FIA family, as well as his wife and his family for their support.
Parikh began his journey with the FIA 12 years ago as a volunteer. He was elected the president in 2018. Under his leadership, the organization celebrated the 72nd Independence Day of India. The theme of the parade that year was “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam –World is one family.” Parikh says his journey with FIA for the last 12 years, “from a volunteer to a member of the Board of Trustees,” has been a great one, “bringing great memories.” He says he is “proud to be part of an amazing team of FIA. Looking forward to the next challenge and working for the community to bring the FIA to the next level.
“It is an amazing experience when an organization gets recognized and at the same time a member of the organization also gets recognized,” said Kumar. “Thank you Hon. Consul General Shri Randhir Jaiswal and DCG Shri Shatrughna Sinha. A sincere thanks to all the community members who never forget his/her origin Who always cherish their origin and keep always motherland in heart. God bless America and Vande mataram.”
Kumar is the Managing Director and founding partner of United Business Solutions, Inc. (UBSols Inc), a prominent New Jersey-based IT Consulting firm. He currently resides in Old Bridge, NJ with his wife Mona, and their daughter, Garima. An entrepreneur by profession and a community servant by heart, Kumar has been involved and associated with various social organizations in New Jersey such as the Federation of Indian Associations (NY, NJ & CT), where he served as its president in 2019 and is currently an executive member of FIA and the Bihar Jharkhand Association of North America(BJANA). Previously, he has also held various executive positions at the Indian Business Association (IBA), South Asian Community Outreach (SACO). He holds a master’s degree in Computer Science.
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