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New York, Nov 01, 2021 A.Gary Singh/

The Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center  will honor eight Indian American Malayalees for their outstanding achievements in their field of specialization or for their service to the society at its 29th Annual Awards Banquet to be held on November 13, 2021. The chief guest is Dr. Arun Jeph, India’s Deputy Consul General in New York. NY senators Kevin Thomas and Todd Kaminsky, Hempstead Town Supervisor, Don Clavin and Consul for Community Affairs, A. K. Vijayakrishnan, will be the honored guests.

“Kerala Center has been honoring outstanding achievers since 1991 and every year we invite nominations and the committee has to make a unanimous choice for a candidate in a category to receive the award and this year is no different from previous years in terms of their achievements,” said Dr. Thomas Abraham, Kerala Center’s Trustee Board Chairman and Award Committee Member.

“Kerala Center is very happy to honor American Malayalees who reached high levels in their professions and who work for social progress -- their examples should be an inspiration for others,” said Dr. Madhu Bhaskaran, Award Committee Chairman.

This year’s honorees include: Dr. George M. Abraham, the President of the American College of Physicians, who is also the keynote speaker, for his outstanding achievements in Medicine and Professional Services, Mayor Robin J. Elackatt, mayor of City of Missouri City, Texas, for notable achievements in Political Process; Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil, the Republican nominee for NYC Public Advocate, for notable contributions in Public Service; Mrs. Chandrika Kurup, the director of Noopura Indian Classical Dance School, New York, for contributions and achievements in Performing Arts; Mrs. Mary Philip, RN, MSA, who was a Lieutenant in the Indian Defense Force and a past president of the Indian Nurses Association of NY, for notable contribution in Nursing and Community Service; Mrs. Nandini Nair, partner and co-chair of the Immigration and Naturalization practice group at Greenspoon Marder LLP, for notable services and achievements in Legal Services; Dr. Sabu Varghese and Dr. Blessy Mary Joseph, practicing physicians in New York, Special Award for notable services during the Pandemic in 2020 and 2021.



Kerala Center 2021 Awardees: Top row from l. to r. Dr. George M. Abraham, Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil,
Mayor Robin Elackatt, Mrs. Nandini Nair, Esq.; Bottom row from l. to r., Mrs. Chandrika Kurup,
Mrs. Mary Philip, RN, MSA, Dr. Blessy Mary Joseph and Dr. Sabu Varghese

 The awardees will be honored at the Kerala Center's 29th Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, November 13, 2021, starting at 6.00 p.m. at the Kerala Center, 1824 Fairfax St., Elmont, New York. Program includes entertainment by Noopura Indian Classical Dance School, New York.

Dr. Madhu Bhaskaran (Chairman), Dr. Thomas Abraham, Ms. Daisy P. Stephen and Dr. Marilyn George were the Award Committee members:

Kerala Center President Alex K. Esthappan said that the Center has recognized over 160 American Malayalees in the last 29 years and it is great to see that they have continued to rise further in their careers and serve the society. Kerala Center invites everyone to join this Annual Award Banquet honoring the awardees. Please contact the Kerala Center to reserve your seats at: 516-358-2000 or at email: One can buy banquet tickets at

 The Kerala Center, located at Elmont (Long Island, New York), is an IRS Tax-Exempt 501 (c) (3) organization serving the Keralites and the Indian American community in the tri-state New York area. It was inaugurated in 1993. Kerala Center’s awards are the most prestigious among Indian American Malayalees.

 Please contact for more info.: Alex Esthappan, President at 516 503 9387, Thambi Thalappillil, Executive Director at 516 5519868, Jimmy John, General Secretary at 516 9748116. 



Dr. George M. Abraham – Outstanding Achievements in Medicine and Professional Services

Dr. George M. Abraham is the President of the American College of Physicians (the largest internal medicine organization in the world with 161,000 members in 145 countries). He is a Prfessor of Medicine at the Univ. Mass Medical School, Chief of Medicine at St. Vincent Hospital, Worcester, MA and Adjunct Professor at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. He has authored over 100 publications, abstracts and book chapters, and is an invited speaker at national and international meetings.  He is a graduate of Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.


Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil – Notable Contributions in Public Service

Dr. Devi Nampiaparampil is the Republican nominee for NYC Public Advocate. Dr. Devi is a practicing physician in pain medicine, a scientist and a small business owner. She is a SAG-AFTRA member who played a doctor on General Hospital before becoming a doctor in real life. Dr. Devi did her residency and fellowship training at Harvard Medical School and is currently an Associate Professor at NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Devi spent several years at the Veterans Affairs Hospitals treating combat veterans. She has treated patients throughout the COVID pandemic-- even at the height of it. Dr. Devi has also been a medical news contributor for Fox 5 New York and done hundreds of on-air interviews for Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and other national networks.


Mayor Robin Elackatt – Notable achievements in Political Process

Mayor Robin J. Elackatt was sworn in as the 12th Mayor of City of Missouri City, Texas in December 2020. Mayor Elackatt’s public services started by serving on the city’s Parks & Recreation Board from 2007-2009 and as (District C) Council member from 2009-2015.  Holding MBA and MHA degrees, he served as the Healthcare Administrator of one of the largest Healthcare systems in Houston for over 24 years.

 Nandini Nair – Notable services and Achievements in Legal Services

Nandini P. Nair is a partner and co-chair of the Immigration and Naturalization practice group and serves on the Management Committee at Greenspoon Marder LLP. Ms. Nair focuses her practice on the analysis and processing of U.S. visas, employment-based and family-based applications, naturalization applications and other immigration benefits. She is regularly called upon to speak on immigration issues, and has been quoted in various publications including the New York Times, CNN, and Bloomberg Law, among many others. Additionally, Ms. Nair was featured on TV Asia’s weekly series, “Bridge to Immigration”, which she co-wrote, and is ranked among the “Top Lawyers in New Jersey Immigration” by Chambers & Partners.


Chandrika Kurup – Contributions and Achievements in Performing Arts

Chandrika Kurup, the director of Noopura Indian Classical Dance School started her dance career under the guidance of late Kalamandalam Kalyanikutti Amma, a pioneer in Mohiniyattam. Later she was introduced to other dance styles like Bharatanattyam, Kuchipuddi and Odissi. Ever since starting her school in New York in 1989, she has continued to teach these various forms of Indian Classical dance thereby passing along our rich, unique and valuable art, culture and history to our youngsters and she has trained more than 2000 students by now.


Mary Philip, RN, MSA, CNOR – Notable Contributions in Nursing and Community Service

Mrs. Philip's nursing career in America spans over 30 years.  It began in India as a nurse in the Indian Defense Force.  During her time there, she reached the rank of Lieutenant.  Since then, she has held several different positions in the nursing field, including at the clinical, educational, and administrative levels.  As a past President of the Indian Nurses Association of NY, she helped our nurses with various educational and professional opportunities, including scholarships and academic financial support to nursing students in India.  Mrs. Philip has contributed her skills to serve not only the Malayalee community, but also the local and national community at large by working as an executive member of several local and national associations.


 Dr. Sabu Varghese and Dr. Blessy Mary Joseph – Special Award for Notable services during the Pandemic in 2020 and 2021

Dr. Sabu Varghese, MD, is a graduate of a medical school under Kerala university. He did residency at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. Currently, he is teaching and attending at Brookdale University Hospital and is doing his private practice at Wholesome Medical PC (former Queens Nassau Cardiology). He has affiliations with Northwell Systems and Catholic Hospital Systems. During the Pandemic, Dr. Varghese went out of his way to treat his patients.


Dr. Blessy Mary Joseph, MD, is a graduate of Manipal University Medical School. She did residency at Brookdale University Medical Center and is currently doing private practice at Wholesome Medical PC (former Queens Nassau Cardiology). She has affiliations with Northwell Systems and Catholic Hospital Systems. During the Pandemic, Dr. Blessy Joseph went out of her way to treat her patients.