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Dr. Indrakrishnan receives TAP award; donates award money to widows and orphans of Sri Lanka War

Cover photo: Dr. Indrakrishnan (left) receiving the TAP award from FeTNA president Dr. Bala Swaminathan. Photo by Thiyagu.

Atlanta, GA, July 10, 2023: Dr Indran B. Indrakrishnan, a gastroenterologist from Atlanta received the prestigious TAP (Tamil American Pioneer) award for 2023 from FeTNA (Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America) at the SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center in Sacramento, California on July 1, 2023, during the association’s colorful  36th annual convention.

FeTNA is an umbrella organization of all the Tamil Sangams that function within the North American Continent. Its vibrant annual convention, traditionally held around the July 4th holiday season, is the largest Tamil-speaking people’s gathering held in the world outside India and is attended by several thousands of Tamils including dozens of celebrities, with a vast diverse cultural, arts, literature, science, finance, educational, entrepreneurship and political backgrounds from all over the globe.

Tamils from the South Asian region (India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore etc.) immigrated to the US starting from the mid-19th century. Tamils have contributed to the growth of the US and in turn, have grown as a community.

Based on the data collected from the census, there are about one million Tamil Americans living in the US.

One of FeTNA’s objectives is to cultivate, promote, foster, and develop the advancement of Tamil culture and Tamil Professionals through educational and charitable activities. Numerous Tamil luminaries have excelled in their fields and FeTNA has founded a platform for Tamil youth to learn from and interact with these luminaries.

TAP award recipient Dr. Indrakrishnan with Greater Atlanta Tamil Sangam Members. Photo by Ezhil Ramarajan.

FeTNA has been felicitating eminent Tamil American professionals and providing an opportunity for young Tamils to get inspired.   FeTNA established Tamil American Pioneer (TAP) Awards to recognize exceptional professional achievement among Tamil Americans in North America.  The TAP awards have been bestowed on people who are passionate trailblazers in their careers and are paving the way for the next generation.

This year, the FeTNA TAP awards committee and the president Dr. Bala Swaminathan honored  Dr. Indrakrishnan with the TAP award for 2023.

Dr Indrakrishnan, an adjunct professor of Medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine has his own Gastroenterology private practice in Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia. He sits on the Georgia Board of Healthcare Workforce which oversees Georgia’s rural health services. He is one of the directors of Rainbow Village, a not-for-profit organization in Gwinnett County caring for homeless mothers with children. He is on the Advisory Boards of Meals by Grace /Fill ministries in Georgia, a not-for-profit organization which feeds the hungry children in Georgia and Third Eye Dancers, another Georgia non- profit 501-3 (c) organization that raises fund for underprivileged children in GA and around the world through cultural dance programs. He is a Past Governor, Georgia Chapter, American Tamil Medical Association, Past   President, the Georgia Association of Physicians of Indian Heritage, Past President of Georgia Gastroenterological & Endoscopy Society and Past Board of Trustees, the American Tamil Medical Association. He has Served on the National Affairs and International Relations Committees of American College of Gastroenterology and the American College of Physicians’ Health & Public Policy committee.

 Dr. Indrakrishnan has received numerous awards and recognitions from healthcare and not-for-profit organizations and the Georgia State Assembly. The latest one was the lifetime achievement award in July 2022 from Thamizhar Thahaval, the oldest Tamil Magazine of Canada along with the Tamils Information Center of Canada.  

Previously, Dr. Indrakrishnan received the Person of the Year award from the Greater Atlanta Tamil Sangam, the largest Tamil Sangam in the USA, for his exceptional community services and philanthropic activities towards Tamils & other ethnic minorities.  The Georgia State Assembly honored him by passing a resolution declaring February 14th, 2018, as Dr Indrakrishnan Day in Georgia for his relentless service to the community, making him the first Tamil American, the first physician, and the first American of Asian descent to receive such an honor. The Georgia Senate also passed a resolution recognizing Dr. Indrakrishnan’s exceptional contributions to the treatment and raising of colon cancer awareness and leadership. In 2018, the sitting Governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal presented Dr Indrakrishnan with an official commendation on his birthday for his work in the medical field, making him the first physician first Tamil American and the first American of Asian descent to receive such a recognition. Georgia Asian Times Magazine honored and awarded him as one of the 25 most Influential Asian Americans in Georgia in 2016 & again 2018.  Through Dr Indrakrishnan’s persuasion, the Georgia state assembly passed a resolution on January 14th as Tamil Thai Pongal in Georgia in 2018 and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp declared a proclamation April 14th as Tamil New Year in Georgia.

The TAP award comes with a cash reward of $1000.00 and Dr Indrakrishnan donated the entire amount to NOW WOW (New Opportunities for Wounded, Widowed, and Orphans of War), a 501(c)3 registered charity in the US, that serves war-torn and severely impoverished villages in Sri Lanka through an array of education and employment projects. Their mission aims to create projects that empower these war-torn communities to become self-sustainable. As most of the communities are largely farming villages, the employment opportunities have targeted providing assistance to individuals who have become wounded in the war and are disabled. Food insecurity was worsened by the recent economic crisis and its most recent focus has been on providing nutritional support for families and villages in addition to agriculture sustainability projects to provide future self-sustainability. 

Suba Suntharalingam, the president of NOW WOW Charity, in a released statement thanked Dr Indrakrishnan for donating the award money to the charity and said that the money would be utilized to provide clean drinking water to the people in the war-torn village areas of Sri Lanka.

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