Home » Community » 7 Receive Hindu Youth Award – 2017 presented by Hindus of Greater Houston

7 Receive Hindu Youth Award – 2017 presented by Hindus of Greater Houston

Hindu Youth Awards 2017 awardees from left to right: Mukund Nair, Harsh Mehta, Siddhant Ahuja, Govinda Ramirez, Shial Gajjar ,Nikita Zamwar and Haripriya Sundaramurthy.

Hindu Youth Awards 2017 awardees from left to right: Mukund Nair, Harsh Mehta, Siddhant Ahuja, Govinda Ramirez, Shial Gajjar ,Nikita Zamwar and Haripriya Sundaramurthy.

by Manu Shah
Seven youngsters used their public moment to share their pursuit of their Hindu identity and reconcile their dual heritage in a country that is culturally so different from their roots.
They were the 7 awardees at the Hindu Youth Awards 2017 event held on April 22nd – an annual event that honors Hindu youth between 16-30 years who demonstrate academic excellence, community service, inspire social change and serve as role models.
The event which was co-hosted by Hindus of Greater Houston (HGH) and BAPS was well attended by over 400 people and represented by a large number of Hindu organizations.
Keynote Speaker Pujya Kaivalyamurti Swami, a BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha Swami who took the path of renunciation after completing his High School in Dallas, Texas set the tone for the evening with an inspiring message for the Hindu youth of today.
Acknowledging the many challenges that youngsters face in terms of “trying to be cool and blending in” he warned that, in the process of doing this, it is easy to forget our ethics and values and end up as “people pleasers.” He encouraged the gathering to overcome this identity crisis, follow their dharma, embrace their culture, practice purity of diet, and be a proud practicing Hindu.

Board Members of Hindus of Greater Houston from left to right: Vijay Pallod, Sharad Amin, Girish Naik (back) Partha Krishnaswamy(President), Bhagwan Bhutada, Vinod Mantri,Swapan Dhairyawan,Tupil Narasiman,Sanjay Jain(Treasurer), Sanjay Jajoo,Thara Narasimhan (Secretary), Bhawna Luthra, Richa Dixit (Secretary)

Board Members of Hindus of Greater Houston from left to right: Vijay Pallod, Sharad Amin, Girish Naik (back) Partha Krishnaswamy(President), Bhagwan Bhutada, Vinod Mantri,Swapan Dhairyawan,Tupil Narasiman,Sanjay Jain(Treasurer), Sanjay Jajoo,Thara Narasimhan (Secretary), Bhawna Luthra, Richa Dixit (Secretary)

Swamiji also shared a relevant piece of advice for students: join social events but do not be “pressurized to be part of a culture that is not yours.”
The awardees who earned a spot in this year’s list of winners were Haripriya Sundaramurthy, Shail Gajjar, Govinda Pramodini Devi dasi (Ramirez), Mukund Nair, Nikita Zamwar, Siddhant Ahuja and Harsh Mehta
HGH Board of Director Thara Narasimham did the honors of introducing the second Keynote Speaker of the evening – Suhag Shukla, Executive Director and Legal Counsel and a co-founder of the Hindu American Foundation.
In her address, Suhag Shukla highlighted the three core principles of Dharma – ahimsa (non-violence), bhamacharya (living in moderation), and satya (truth) and asserted that they can serve as a valuable guide in making the right decisions.
She also reflected on her initial struggles to understand Dharma but gradually came to the realization that she can be “a proud Hindu and a proud American.” The youth, she continued, will be taking life changing decisions and these are “important opportunities” to make the right choices. She concluded by stating that they could “simply live a life or live a higher life” and hoped they would choose the latter of the two.

Ashwin Dave BAPS Mandir representative passing on the Baton to Goara Klein and Dr. Hansa Medley of ISKCON Mandir.

Ashwin Dave BAPS Mandir representative passing on the Baton to Goara Klein and Dr. Hansa Medley of ISKCON Mandir.

Cheif Guest Pujya Kaivalyamurti Swami

Cheif Guest Pujya Kaivalyamurti Swami

Key Note speaker Suhag Shukla

Key Note speaker Suhag Shukla

In a brief address, HGH President Partha Krishnaswamy outlined the ways in which HGH strives to bring Hindus together: through the celebration of Hindu festivals, a bi annual Hindu Leaders Meet, honoring the youth and collaborating with and supporting other organizations.
Emcees Jignesh Patel, Ekta Thakkar and Richa Dixit kept things moving briskly through the evening which was interspersed with beautifully sung bhajans by the students of Swaminarayan Sanstha. In his vote of thanks, Event Chair Vinod Mantri thanked BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir for their unstinting “support in planning, hosting and guidance in organizing this event.”
Board of Director Vijay Pallod invited ISKCON leaders Dr. Hansa Medley and Goara Klein to take up the baton in hosting the 2018 Hindu Youth Awards.


More news

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *