Indian American physician, publisher and philanthropist Dr Sudhir M Parikh received the prestigious Padma Shri Award from President Pratibha Patil at a glittering ceremony held at the Ashoka Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.The ceremony, which saw a veritable who's who of Indian entrepreneurs, academics, entertainers and sportspersons on whom the Government had bestowed with the annual "Padma" Awards - the highest civilian honor given away each year as part of the Republic Day honors list.
The New Jersey-based Dr. Parikh was one among six distinguished Indian Americans who were bestowed the Padma Award as part of the 60th Republic Day Honors List. The latest award makes Dr. Parikh the sole Indian American recipient of three coveted awards - the Ellis Island Medal, the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman and the Padma Shri.
While the Ellis Island Medal is conferred on US Immigrants for their lifetime contribution to community service, the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman is an honor given by the Indian Government to select NRIs for their individual accomplishments and contributions to their home country. The Padma Shri is awarded to distinguished Indians and people of Indian origin in recognition to their contributions in areas related to arts, education, industry, literature, science, sports, social services and public life.
After receiving the award, Dr. Parikh expressed honor and gratitude to the government of Indiaand said that it was now his responsibility to live up to the honor. "I recognize the responsibility this award brings with it and I take this opportunity to re-dedicate myself to the tasks that I had set out to achieve like enhancing Indo-US relations and contributing to improving the quality of life to people on either side of the Atlantic."
Dr. Parikh, who is a noted physician and an acclaimed authority in the field of allergy, asthma and immunology, is also the chairman and publisher of New York-based Parikh Worldwide Media, Inc., which publishes three periodicals - News India Times, Desi Talk and The Indian American.
Apart from medical practice and publishing, Dr. Parikh is actively involved in a number of charitable causes in the U.S.and in India. He was recently in New Delhito attend the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, where he was invited to speak about philanthropy as part of the PBD lecture series.
A particular focus of Dr. Parikh's community service has been to promote second generation of Indian Americans in the American political process with the view to ensuring strong U.S.-India relations for generations to come.