FeTNA TAP(Tamil American Pioneer) Awards 2023 - ATM Nominee

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. He was nominated by Thangamani Paulchamy (Founder, Atlanta Tamil Mandram).

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.

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.

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, Atlanta Tamil Mandram (ATM) Founder Thangamani Paulchamy who served as a FeTNA Treasurer for 4 years and Joint Secretary as 2 years nominated Dr. Indran B. Indrakrishnan as per the FeTNA nomination process and FeTNA TAP awards committee selected the Dr. Indran B. Indrakrishnan. 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.  

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. Dr. Indrakrishnan and Atlanta Tamil Mandram (ATM) members met the Governor and got the proclamation April 14th, 2023, as Tamil New Year in GA.

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 helping 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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