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Anjlie Gupta Wins Top India Heritage Award

Los Angeles, May 04, 2010
Inder Singh

Anjlie Gupta of Gretchen Whitney High School was declared the top winner in the high school category of India Heritage Award 2010.  She was presented a check of $2000 and a revolving trophy in a glittering ceremony at Crystal Ballroom, Golden Sails Hotel, Long Beach.

The award for the first place winner in high school category has been instituted by Sanjiv Chopra in memory of his father Kishan Gopal Chopra while the revolving trophy “Profiles in Excellence” has been instituted by Ashok Madan & family in memory of Ashok’s parents, Thakar Singh and Shanti Rani Madan. In the middle school category, Preetam Soundararajan took the top award and revolving trophy. 

The second place winner in high school category was Ketaki Panse of Hemet who got $1000 while the third place winner, Viraj Panchal got a check of $750 and the next five winners, Samvit Ramadurgam, Akshay Sharma, Priya Patel, Arshya Gurbani, and Sumit Mitra, each got $500 as the cash award.

The second place winner, Viraj Panchal   also won the Outstanding Achievement Award in Visual & Performing Arts and was presented with a check and revolving trophy instituted by Kumar Jawa of India Sweets and Spices, in memory of his father, Jiwan Dass Jawa. Sumit Mitra won the Outstanding Achievement Award in Math, Science and Technology instituted by Dr. Mani Bhaumik in recognition of the “most important numeral ZERO invented in India”, Priya Patel won top award in Community Service and got cash award and revolving trophy instituted by Dr. Rajesh Kadakia in memory of Maniben Manilal Kadakia, and Sumit Misra won the Outstanding Achievement Award in Sports instituted by Jack Khangura in memory of his wife Rajinder Khangura. Sumit  also received revolving trophy for excellence in sports instituted by Dr. M.C. Gupta of Corona in memory of his father Shri RBL Gupta. Dr. Mani Bhaumik and Dr. Rajesh Kadakia were personally present to give the award and trophy to the winners.

In the junior high school category, Preetam Soundararajan  got $500 cash award and “Founders” revolving trophy instituted by Dr. Awtar Singh, philanthropist and  businessman,  in memory of his late wife, Teji A Singh. Dr. Singh personally presented the award and trophy to the winner.

The second place winner was Anubhav Basuk while the third place winner was Aashray Harishankar. The fourth and fifth place winners were Priya Kumar  and Apporva Panse respectively. Anubhav  Basuk also won the Visual and Performing Arts award instituted by Mollie Rachna Singh in honor of  “Teachers, parents and family.”

Other sponsors who came to attend the annual event and to present awards and encourage the young winners included Prof. Viswantathan, formerly chairman of California statewide academic senate of UC system, Harbhajan Samra, who was given the title of “King of Okra” in the US by the New York Times and businessman Avadesh Agarwal and his wife Uma. Mayor of Cypress, Dr. Prakash Narain complimented the winners for their achievements and presented awards to some of the winners.

 The keynote speaker was Dr. Paul Jhin, CEO, Information and Technology Corps with initiative to provide 500,000 Computers for 10,000 Schools for 33,000,000 Students in 60 Countries. He was formerly  Director of Peace Corps’ Special Initiatives. During 1983-1990, he served as Assistant Superintendent for Educational Technology in the District of Columbia Public School system and prior to that, as  the Director of Special Projects at the U.S. Department of Education. He was an excellent speaker and stressed the importance of becoming high achievers. His speech was very motivational and the audience frequently interrupted with claps during his speech. He complimented the winners for their well earned recognition.

The Indian American Heritage Foundation has been recognizing the achievements of Indian Youth, graduating from High and Middle Schools in Southern California for the last 23 years. The Foundation is the leading Indian American organization in the USA to publicly recognize, reward and celebrate excellence of the community’s best and brightest graduating students in Southern California.

The Foundation started with eight scholarship awards and now eighteen scholarships are given -- eight academic excellence awards ranging from $2000 to $500 in the high school category, five ranging from $500 to $100 in the junior high/middle school category, four of $500 each for Outstanding Achievement Awards in math and science, sports, community service, visual and performing arts in high school category and one of $250 in visual and performing arts for the middle school category.

To qualify for the awards, the applicants needed to have a GPA equal to B or higher, have at least one parent of Indian origin, and be a graduate from a Southern California school. For high school category, GPA and SAT were evaluated at 70 percent while extra-curricular activities and quiz on India and Indian Americans were each evaluated at 15 percent. There were four applicants with over 2300 SAT score out of 2400. Ketaki Panse and Shaun Mehra had 2400 each, Anjalie had 2390 while Samvit Ramadurgam had 2300. Anjalie was the first in many years to get the perfect score in the quiz which was based on the Foundation material on India and Indian Americans supplied to all applicants. In the Middle school category, Approva Panse had Star Test score of 1145 out of 1200, a remarkable achievement.

The annual event has been made possible with the committed support of some well meaning people from the community including Ashok & Manju Madan, Dr.Awtar Singh, Dr. M.C & Usha Gupta, VJ & Simi Singh, Dr. C. R. Viswanathan,  Harbhajan Singh Samra,  Jagdish Khangura,  Kumar Jawa of India Sweets & Spices, Dr. M.L. Bhaumik, Mollie Rachna Singh, Dr. Rajesh Kadakia,  Sanjiv & Renu Chopra, Dr. Satinder–Ranjit Bhatia, and State Bank of India. This year, Hamilton Brewart and Uma-Avadesh Agarwal also became co-sponsors and supported the event. All the sponsors were introduced through a Power Point presentation by Sampurna Dube.

In the entertainment program, applicants Kiran Athreya, Anubhav Basak, Arshya Gurbani, Viraj Panchal and Preethi Seshadri gave excellent performances. Sumit Misra, winner of Sports award brought his Bhangra team and gave an outstanding performance.  Avtar Chadda, Sunny Singh and Protibha of LA Sargam enthralled the audience by singing in Rafi Mohammed’s voice.  DJ Karan Chadda provided appropriate music when the winners came to the stage to receive the check from the sponsors.

Inder Singh, Foundation president thanked all the sponsors who provided necessary funding for the continuity of the awards program. He particularly thanked the panel of judges who undertook the grueling task of evaluating the applicants. He praised his “working Crew” -- team of volunteers -- who have been working hard to make the event a success.

He said, “An individual, howsoever brilliant, intelligent and smart, would find it difficult, if not impossible to match the collaborative efforts of an effective team and he is blessed with a team which has been providing selfless service for the cause of our youth.” His team included Abdulgani Shaikh, Ashok Madan,  Deepi Singh, Dr. Mallappa Yerasi, Ajoy Dube,  Kewal Kanda,  Amrit Bhandari, Dilip Butani, and Ajmer Singh. The program was started on time and finished on time, a record for an Indian program. … Contact:  Indian American Heritage Foundation, 3818 Gleneagles Dr.  Tarzana, CA 91356,   818 708-3885.


India Heritage Awards Winners  2010

HIGH School Category 

  1.      Anjlie Gupta  
  2.      Ketaki Panse
  3.      Viraj Panchal  
  4.      Samvit Ramadurgam  
  5.      Akshay Sharma 
  6.      Priya Patel 
  7.      Arshya Gurbani
  8.      Sumit Mitra 


Visual & Performing Arts

Viraj Panchal  

Community Service

Priya Patel 

Math, Science & Technology

Sumit Mitra 


Sumit Misra 


Middle School Category

1. Preetam Soundararajan 

2. Anubhav Basak

3. Aashray Harishankar

4. Priya Kumar 

5. Apporva Panse


Visual & Performing Arts

Anubhav  Basak



Indian American Heritage Foundation