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Congrats, Mala Mehta!

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The Sydney-based Hindi language campaigner Mala Mehta has won this year’s Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (Overseas Indian Honour).

She was one of 15 diaspora members who were conferred the award by the Vice President of India Hamid Ansari.
The highest honour conferred on overseas Indians, the award is presented by the Government of India annually as part of the Overseas Indian Conference in early January. The event was held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, this year.
The other recipients this year were Guyanese President Donald Rabindernauth Ramaotar; Kamaljeet Bakshi from New Zealand; Ashraf Palarakunnummal and Bharatkumar Jayantilal Shah from UAE; Essop Esoop Goolam from South Africa; Rajmal M. Parakh from Oman; Justice Doraikannu Karunakaran from Seychelles; Sanjaya Rajaram from Mexico; Lord Raj Loomba and Nathu Ram Puri from Britain; Mahendra Nanji Mehta from Uganda and Nandini Tandon and Kamlesh Lulla from the US.
Also from Australia, last year’s winner Lisa Singh accepted her award this year.
Mala Mehta is a well-loved personality in Sydney’s Indian community. As founder of the Indo Australian Bal Bharatiya Vidyalaya, Mala has campaigned hard for the inclusion of Hindi in the Australian school curriculum. Several hundred students at her Sydney-based school learn the Hindi language on the weekends, starting from age five and many continue up to the Year 12 level.
Mala has also been responsible for taking to primary schools across the Sydney region, an awareness of India and its culture as part of the “India Calling” program.
The Hindi School’s logo, Hum Honge Kamyaab (We Shall Overcome) has indeed stood in good stead for Mala in her nearly 30-year crusade for Hindi.
Our heartiest congratulations, Mala.

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