In other notable mentions, Srinivas Pentyala was awarded the “Pride of India” Gold Award by NRI Institute (Non-Resident Indian Institute), an international organization that encourages interactions between prominent Indians who live outside of India and those who reside in India. The Pride of India awards are given to outstanding nonresident Indians for their contribution towards socioeconomic development of India and also the country of their adoption. Pentyala received the award for his contributions in teaching and bringing awareness to science, research and education. He is a faculty member at the School of Medicine, SUNY Medical Center, Stony Brook, NY. He received the award along with 26 other recipients at a ceremony in London this summer.


In Potomac, Md., the non-profit organization Upakar, conferred awards on three outstanding Indian-Americans. Vanita Gupta will be the 2004 Upakar Community Ambassador. She is assistant counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in New York and was responsible recently for a major civil rights victory gaining freedom for 35 wrongfully convicted African-Americans in Tulia, Texas.


Priti Desai of East Carolina received a special Upakar Community Service Award for her contributions to child wellness in the United States and worldwide.

Anisha Gupta, a high school junior from Cupertino, Calif. was recognized for her dedicated volunteer service helping the homeless.

By recognizing these outstanding individuals as an inspiration to their peers and the rest of the community, Upakar aims to foster and further excellence and support within the Indian-American community.