Hindus of Greater Houston Present 2015 Hindu Youth Awards

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Vyas Ramankulangara, Sriharsha Kethireddipalli, Karuna Kankani, Acharya Gaurang Nanavaty, Jyothi Asokan, Ankit Bhatia and Bharat Pallod. Photos: Jayesh Mistry

By Anant Desai

HOUSTON: Six young Hindu’s received 2015 Annual Hindu Youth Award from Hindu’s of Greater Houston.  This year’s gala was hosted by Chinmaya Mission Houston on April 11.  Next year’s awards will be hosted by Sri Meenakshi Temple.

Hindu Youth Award recipients were Sriharsha Kethireddipalli, of Chinmaya Mission, Houston, Vyas Ramankulangara, of Vedic Heritage School at Sri Meenakshi Temple , Karuna Kankani, of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Ankit Bhatla of Arya Samaj of Greater Houston, Jyothi Asokan, of Kerala Hindu Society and Sri Guruvayurappan Temple and Bharat Pallod, of Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America.

Nominations were given for Hindu youth (ages 16 to 30) who provide service to the society and had the potential to become leaders. The HGH Board of Directors selected the winners.

Sriharsha Kethireddipalli is a senior at Stephen F. Austin High School. He will attend the University of Texas in Business Honors. At CMH Harsha volunteers for children’s activities, family camps and gardening.

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Chinmaya Mission Bala vihar choir students performing a selection of bhajans.

Vyas Raman Kulangara, is in 10th grade. He volunteers in a range of Meenaskhi Temple activities including the Vedic Heritage School and the Janmashtami program.

Karuna Kankani is a senior at Seven Lakes High School. She is involved with Future Business Leaders of America. She has established Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh chapters across Greater Houston Area. Karuna is a youth counselor for HSS training camps and a Certified yoga teacher.

Ankit Bhatla of Arya Samaj of Greater Houston is a Structural Engineer working for WorleyParsons.  Ankit serves as a Teacher and Audio-visual coordinator for Arya Samaj.  He is a lead volunteers’ coordinator for Magic Bus.

Jyothi Asokan is a senior at the University of Houston studying Nutrition. She works at Kroger Pharmacy. She volunteers on her Temple’s youth committee and HGH activities including Janmashtami and Sewa Gala. Jyothi dances with Infused Performing Arts group.

Bharat Pallod is a senior Financial Analyst at iHeartMedia, Inc. He graduated in 2012 with a BBA from UT Austin where he was core member of Hindu Students Association. He attended HSS shakha for 12 years. He works for Hindu Heritage Youth Camp as Camp Director. He works for the Hindu American Foundation on global human rights.

Acharya Sri Gaurang Nanavaty of Chinmaya Mission urged the winners not to give up their faith to achieve progress. Progress can be achieved without rejecting the past. Youth must learn the scriptures and do Karma Yoga (selfless service). He challenged HGH to organize the youth to help the seniors.

Amit K. Mishra, Communications Director, Hindu Swaymasevak Sangh, was the guest speaker. Mature Hindu community can offer the universal message of Vedanta to benefit the community at large.

Asit R. Shah, a senior at the University of Houston, member of the Board of Regents of the UH System, was the keynote speaker. What you do with what you have is more important than where you stand, Shah said.

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HGH President Anshuman Desai giving plaque
to Host org Chinmaya Mission Jay Deshmukh.

Anshuman Desai, President, HGH, emphasized the need to unite all Hindu organizations under HGH to get one united voice for Hindu’s.

Vijay Pallod, director on the HGH board, said that HGH works to receive positive coverage for Hindu causes. HGH is planning an International Yoga Day later this year. Rapidly growing HGH needs a full-time executive director.

Jugal Malani, president of India House and a member of the HGH advisory board, appealed for generous donations to the HGH.

Earlier, Chinamaya Mission Balavihar Choir gave a presentation.

Shobha Ravishankar presented the CMH Balavihar program from KG to High School, based on age-appropriate Hindu scriptures.

The program was organized by Sanjay Jain and Richa Dixit and emceed by Dr. Anand Naik.