Subject: INDIA EMPIRE Honours and Celebrates the Success of 16 Overseas Indians

The INDIA EMPIRE monthly magazine held the NRI Awards Night at Hotel Ramada Plaza, New Delhi on January 10, 2010. This was the very first awards by the magazine. They will be held each year on January 10. The NRI Awards 2010 theme read “In recognition of Excellence, Purpose and Achievement in the Overseas Indian Community.” Sixteen distinguished Overseas Indians from 11 countries received the Awards. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Dr Lenny Saith, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister in Trinidad and Tobago. He also acts as Prime Minister of his country in the absence of the substantive holder of the post.

The chief guest on the occasion was Mr Vayalar Ravi, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs responsible for framing policies for over 25 million members of the Indian Diaspora. Mr Ravi hailed the success, vision and enterprising spirit of the Indian Diaspora, in general and the Awardees in particular. He said the Awards presented by the magazine would inspire the diaspora world over. He encouraged the diaspora to be a part of India’s growth story, indicating that areas such as infrastructure, rural development, healthcare and education were important for growth and urged the diaspora to be partners in these areas. Mr Ravi presented the awards.

Mrs Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Delhi, was also present. She welcomed the diaspora to the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in October 2010 in New Delhi and said that it was important that the diaspora took back good memories of Delhi, the capital city of the largest democracy in the world. She said that every effort had been made to make Delhi one of the greenest capital cities in the world.

The international print magazine writes on NRI and PIOs and related issues. The magazine completed 5 years in September 2009. The publication believes that it is the right time that the Indian diaspora is recognized by way of Awards through a free, frank and fearless medium, independent of the Government.

In his acceptance speech, Dr Saith commended the efforts of the magazine in recognizing eminent members of the diaspora, and said such efforts would go a long way in motivating Overseas Indians for whom India was a second home. Mr Logie Naidoo, the Deputy Mayor of Durban, termed the Awards as prestigious and said he rated them second only to the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards given by the Government of India. He said that the quality of the people awarded made it clear that only the best had been selected for the awards from across the world. His views were seconded by Mr Krishnamurthy Kumar from UAE and several others.

Mr Sayantan Chakravarty, the magazine’s Editor and Publisher, announced that the objective of the NRI Awards was to recognize the wealth of Indian talent overseas, to make the awards world class, institutionalize them, and to ensure that the awards functions are held every year, in India on January 10, and also other parts of the world. “As India engages with its diaspora, it is important that those outstanding men and women who make a difference to India’s image overseas are recognized,” Mr Chakravarty noted.

"Four of our Awardees have also received the Government’s Pravasi Samman Awards in 2008 and 2010," he added. They are Dr Lenny Saith (2010), Dr Mani Bhaumik (2010), Dr Ajit Swaran Singh (2008) and Mr Krishnamurthy Kumar (2008). The criteria to choose awardees for the NRI Awards would be merit and reputation. The magazine received nominations from world over on its website. Nominations for the next awards will be open on line on from January 17, 2010. The final selection will be vetted by top NRI associations in different countries and the Indian Media. Any person who qualifies as a Non-Resident Indian or a Person of Indian Origin and / or is an Overseas Citizen of India is eligible to be nominated for the Awards.

The Awardees List and Citation on each Awardee (enclosed):

Ms Nishma Gosrani from the U.K. (Most Promising Overseas Indian Female), Mr Jean Regis Ramsamy from ReUnion Islands (Most Promising Overseas Indian Male), Mr Logie Naidoo from South Africa (Community Service in African Region), Mr Mahyendrah Utchanah from Mauritius (Community Service from Africa and Indian Ocean Region), Judge Ajit Swaran Singh from New Zealand (Community Services in Asia Pacific Region), Mr Krishnamurthy Kumar from the U.A.E. (Community Services in the GCC), Mr Harmohan Walia from Australia (Community Dato’ Professor Joseph Adaikalam from Malaysia (Business Leadership in South Asia and Far East Region), Dr Rami Ranger from the U.K. (Business Leadership in U.K. and Europe), H.E. Mookhesswur Choonee from Mauritius (Cultural Leadership), H.E. Pundit Maniedeo Persad from Trinidad and Tobago (Excellence in Diplomacy), Mrs Leela Gujadhur Sarup from Mauritius (Academic Leadership), Dr Samir Shah from USA (Excellence in Software and IT), Dr Mani Bhaumik from USA (Excellence in Sciences), Dr Ruby Dhalla from Canada (Political Leadership), Dr Lenny Saith from Trinidad and Tobago (Lifetime Achievement).

Nominations for the the INDIA EMPIRE NRI AWARDS 2011 will be opened up on from January 17, 2010. Nominations may be completed in all respects, and filed online on the Nomination website on

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