US Senator Honoured as 'Friend of India'

New York, May 6 (IANS) The Connecticut unit of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) has honoured a US senator, a corporate CEO and a young paediatric diabetes practitioner for their achievements and contributions to the community.

The three, Senator Chris Dodd, Dinesh Paliwal, chairman, CEO and president of Harman International and Neesha Ramchandani, pediatric nurse coordinator at Maimonides were honoured Sunday at a function at the Italian Centre in Stamford.

Connecticut Senator Dodd, Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and Co-chairman of the Senate India Caucus, was honoured with a "Friend of India" award in recognition of his leadership in advancing economic and political cooperation between India and the United States, and his years of support to the Indian-American community.

Dodd thanked the organization for this gesture and said, "It's great to be a friend of GOPIO Connecticut and India."

"Americans of Indian descent have become part of the rich fabric of Connecticut and the United States and their contributions to our economy and our culture can be seen all across our state and our country," said Dodd.

"India is a trusted friend to America and an important ally in addressing the global challenges that both our countries face," he said.

The 2010 "Indian-American Achiever Award" went to Paliwal for business building and turnaround successes at Harman and ABB.

Since taking over at Harman he has been driving innovation and breakthrough technologies, expanding the company's footprint in emerging markets, and dramatically improving its cost structure. He has lived and worked in six countries on four continents.

Rajat Gupta, Senior Partner Emeritus at McKinsey & Company who introduced Paliwal, called him a "builder of businesses and teams, a person with great personal qualities, and I am honored to be his friend."

The "Young Person of the Year Award" went to Neesha Ramchandani, a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Certified Diabetes Educator. She is coordinator of the pediatric diabetes programme at Maimonides Medical Centre in Brooklyn, New York.

While the majority of her time is spent doing clinical work and diabetes education, she has been doing innovative research in pediatric diabetes technology and has presented her research all over the US, Europe and South Africa.

Indian Consul General in New York, Prabhu Dayal, lauded the "contributions of the Indian-American community to the United States as well as to India."


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