Young Achievers Award of the Indo-American Society
Many Indians particularly from Mumbai have made their mark in Unites States of America. As a result the Indo-American society based in Mumbai has remained a very active organization and it is very efficiently run by various enthusiastic people, particularly, its current President, Mr.S. Ramadorai and Vice President Mr. Arun Vakil. One of the important program that they organize annually is ‘Young Achievers Award’ to be given to any young person and honoring him for his outstanding achievements. This award has become very prestigious and honorable.
the year 2002, the Indo-American Society selected Lt. Nawang Kapadia for the
first posthumous award for the young achiever on the award night on December 15th
2002 at Hotel Oberoi poolside in Mumbai. It also happened to be, by coincidence
the 25th birthday of Lt. Nawang Kapadia.
was a glittering function with leading names from advertising and film-world
present. At first, we as a family felt little hesitant to participate in such a
joyous and glamorous function that Bipasha Basu, Raveena Tandon of the film fame
and many other leading models of Mumbai, sportsmen like Harsh and Ashok Mankad,
etc. would be present. But as we entered the hall there was a warm reception in
the presence of US Consulate General, Mr. Angus Simmons and his wife.
the usual fanfare, various awards were given. When we went up to receive the
award for Lt. Nawang Kapadia, there was a pin-drop silence and everyone listened
with rapt attention, as I spoke, briefly regarding the bravery of Lt. Nawang,
the role of Indian army in Kashmir and about the brave Gorkha soldiers of the
audience of glitterati celebrities listened with rapt attention. In fact I
thanked the organizers that even in midst of such fanfare and glittering
function a brave solider of Indian army was remembered and the city of Mumbai,
through Indo-American Society was honouring him. There was thunderous applause
as the award was given and I dare say that everyone in the audience, even from
the glamorous world certainly received some
knowledge about the role of the Indian army that day. In fact, my statement,
that we are able to enjoy this lovely function near Oberoi poolside in such
esteemed company, only because our soldiers are sitting on the border and
guarding us. Otherwise this curse of terrorism and enemy would have reached
right till our shores.
were many who came to talk to us regarding soldiers, Kashmir, borders and about
Nawang. It was as if this world was thirsty for such knowledge and the minute
they had the opportunity, they started grabbing it with both hands.
we went down, Geeta who was with Lt. Katiyar, a friend of Nawang, saw the famous
film actress Raveena Tandon going into a coffee shop. Wanting to take an
autograph of hers, they approached her. She instantly recognized Geeta walking
towards her, got up and came rushing and said ‘Yes Ma’m, can I do something
for you?’ she said very warmly, and Geeta said smilingly, “ Lt. Katiyar
wants an autograph”. She said “That’s all, tell me what I can do for the
army, what I can do for the country and people like you”. She exchanged
telephone numbers and later phoned our family to inquire about things to be
same time we had a letter from Maj. Gen. Randhir Singh, GOC of 25 Infantry
Division and one of the Godfathers of Nawang. It read that in Rajouri district
(which he commanded) many people were displaced due to shelling in the border
areas and with approaching winter their plight was rather sorry. They needed
warm clothes and blankets and can the warm city of Mumbai help them ?
organized this through Indo-American Society and 9 members of the Society
including Pradeep Madhavji, their past President, donated many woollen clothes
to be sent to Rajouri. The other friends who’s donated woollens were Ms.
Sumanta Batra, Mr. Ishan Raina, Dr. S. K. and Mrs. Laila Punshi, Mrs. Pahlaj
Bajaj, Mr. A. V. Chotai, Ms. Statira Ranina, Ms. Uma Nevalia, Mrs. Manjari
Raikar, Ms. Suchitra Narayan, P. K. Gazdar and Mrs. Nerissa D’souza.
These clothes were collected by jawans deputed by Gen. Randhir Sinh and
were distributed to various needy families at Rajouri.
little incident and event certainly went on to show that people want to know
about Kashmir and the army, they want to help and if approached correctly, then
memories of soldiers like Lt. Nawang Kapadia, can certainly act as catalyst to
promote nationalism and understanding about our army.