3 UAE-based Indians honoured at NRI meet


3 UAE-based Indians honoured at NRI meet
Dr Zulekha Daud

Dubai - The award is the highest honour given to Indians living abroad.

by Dhanusha Gokulan

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Published: Wed 23 Jan 2019, 9:07 PM

Last updated: Thu 24 Jan 2019, 9:23 AM

Three UAE-based non-resident Indians (NRIs) were awarded the prestigious 'Pravasi Bharatiya Samman' from India President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday.

They were among the 28 personalities and two organisations in the Indian diaspora that were honoured for their contributions and achievements in various fields.

The award is the highest honour given to Indians living abroad. Indian businessman Surender Singh Kandhari, chairman of Al Dobowi Group and head of the Sikh Gurudwara in Dubai; Dr Zulekha Daud, founder and chairperson of Zulekha Healthcare Group; and social worker Girish Pant bagged the awards at the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) convention in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

This year, India's Ministry of External Affairs announced that it had decided to honour over 30 Indians living abroad. Speaking to Khaleej Times from India, Girish Pant said: "It is a great honour to be conferred this award. I am very happy, emotional and surprised."

He added: "I am very grateful to the people of the UAE, and the Indian Consulate in Dubai."

In a previous interview with Khaleej Times, Indian Consul-General Vipul said: "Usually, two people are awarded the Samman every year. The awards were given to Vasu Shroff and the Indian Social Centre Abu Dhabi last year; and in the year before that, the awards were bagged by Bharatbhai Shah and Ashraf."

Pant said: "This year, there have been three people who received the award, proving how NRIs have contributed to the UAE."

Dr Zulekha is the first Indian lady medical professional and entrepreneur in the UAE who tirelessly worked for the welfare of UAE nationals and expats. Kandhari, on the other hand, is renowned for his philanthropy, contributing nearly $20 million to build the first official Sikh temple in the Middle East in Jebel Ali Village.

According to a list provided by the external affairs ministry, the awards were conferred in the fields of social, community and public service; business management; entrepreneurship; chartered accountancy; training and simulation; science; medical science; engineering; technology; architecture; academics; arts, and diplomacy.

Other winners

> Social service - Nihal Singh Agar (Australia)

> Community service - Indian Community Association of Egypt, Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha and Swami Saradaprabhananda (South Africa)

> Public service - Himanshu Gulati (Member of Parliament in Norway), Shamim Parkar Khan

> Business - Ramesh Chotai (Canada), Amit Waikar (China), Bitthal Das Maheswari (Italy), Bhavdeep Singh Dhillon (New Zealand), Vinodan Verambally Thazhikuniyil (Oman)

> Business management - Banwarilal Satya Narayan Goenka

> Chartered accountancy - Rajesh Chaplot (Uganda)

> Entrepreneurship - Jagdeshwar Rao Maddukuri (Poland)

> Training and simulation - Purnendu Chandra Tiwary (Qatar)

> Medical science - Guna Sekhar Muppuri (Jamaica), Prakash Madhavdas Heda (US)

> Science - Rajendra Kumar Joshi ?(Switzerland), Chandrashekhar Mishra (US)

> Civil engineering - Rajinder Nath Khazanchi (Bhutan)

> Structural engineering - Gitesh Jayantilal Desai (US)

> Technology - P.V. Sambasiva Rao (Kenya)

> Architecture - Rajpal Tyagi (Kuwait)

> Academics and arts - ?Malini Ranganathan (France), Gita Gopinath (US)

> Diplomacy - Anil Sookal (South Africa)


Dhanusha Gokulan
Dhanusha Gokulan

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