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17 Jan 2017
Pravasi Bharatiya Sanman Award for Antwerp Indian Association Received by Mehul Kothari

The Antwerp Indian Association, Belgium (AIA) was honoured with a Pravasi Bhartiya Sanman Award for its Community Service during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas celebrations held on January 9 at Bengaluru. Mehul A. Kothari, chairman of the AIA received the award on behalf of the organisation at the hands of the Honorable President Shri Pranab Mukherjee.

This is the highest honour conferred on NRIs (for individuals, institutions or associations) by the Government of India. 

The association was honoured for its outstanding achievement in the field of Community Service and in recognition of its valuable contribution in promoting the honour and prestige of India and in fostering the interests of Overseas Indians.

The AIA is a cultural association with about 550 families of Indian origin as its members, incuding people from different parts of the country. For many years now it has been conducting activities for the Indian diaspora in Belgium.

Annual events include various sports tournaments (Antwerp Indian Premier League, Antwerp Badminton League, Bowling, Double wicket cricket tournament, etc) as well as celebrations of different Indian festivals, with the Diwali party being the biggest event of the year. 

The AIA has also organised the International Yoga Day function (an initiative launched by the Honorable PM) and observes certain other important days such as Gandhi Jayanti.

The Community Service category of awards was instituted this year. Nearly 200 nominations were received across all categories. The Jury-cum-Awards Committee, chaired by Hon’ble Vice-President drew up the final list of 30 winners who received the awards at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas this year.

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