December 2015 \ Diaspora News \ Engaging the Diaspora
India Empire Awards Celebrating India in Beverley Hills

  • (LEFT TO RIGHT) Mr Navneeet Chugh (MC), Dr Harvinder S Sahota, Ms Manjusha Kulkarni, Mr Subba Rao, Mr K K Anand, Ms Apra Bhandari, Mr Ashok Madan, Mr Venu Sarakki, Mr Sayantan Chakravarty (Editor, India Empire Publications)

Seven prominent members of the Indian diaspora in Southern California were honoured and recognized at the India Empire Awards held at a Beverly Hills restaurant on Friday, November 13, 2015. Also receiving an award was Mr K K Anand of Anand Law Practice, New Delhi for accomplishments in legal services.

Mr Sayantan Chakravarty, Editor and Publisher of the monthly print and electronic magazine India Empire ( said that the awards were instituted to recognize and celebrate the success of India’s diaspora in the West Coast of the USA. Previously similar awards have been held in New Delhi to honour and recognize diaspora figures from all over the world.

A prominent five member committee was set up in Southern California to recommend names of awardees, which were finally accepted by the magazine’s editorial team in New Delhi. The award function was conducted with a combination of flair and humour by Mr Navneet S Chugh, eminent Attorney and Law and Certified Public Accountant.

The citations for the awardees are as follows:

Ms Apra Bhandari (Excellence in Communication in Media) graduated in Communications and Media from Cornell University and was selected as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Cornellians. Today Ms Bhandari owns the Adaa Indian and Bollywood Dance Academy, an award-winning dance school in the Orange County. She has worked as an Unit Production Manager with Warner Brothers Production during the making of “Chandni Chowk to China.” She acted as the lead actress in the Indian film Shambhu, as a supporting actress in the Indian film, Chand Sa Roshan Chehra, and in various international television commercials including those for UNICEF, Cadbury and Bank of Baroda. She has been a Production Intern with the NBC and a Reporter with TV Asia in Edison.