ICA Honorees List

ICA Honorees List 1995 – 2016

  • 1995 Suhas and Jayashree Patil
  • 1996 Prabhu and Poonam Goel
  • 1997 Chandi Prasad Bhatt, Dr. Ravi Chopra, Dr. Jyoti Lulla
  • 1998 Shyamala Hiremath, Prof. P.K. Mehta
  • 1999 Dr. Parmeswara Rao and Ms. Manuela Albuqueque
  • 2000 Dr. Sudarshan and Chitra Divakaruni
  • 2001 Dr S.N Subbarao, Mrs. Sushma Iyengar
  • 2002 Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan
  • 2004 Dr. Mallika Sarabhai
  • 2005 Dr. Sandeep Pandey
  • 2006 Mr. Arvind Kejriwal and Dr. Larry Brilliant
[/one_half] [one_half_last]
  • 2007 Mr. D. R. Mehta, Mrs. Inderjeet Khurana, Global Fund for Women
  • 2008 Madhu Kishwar, Manushi, Mr. Nipun Mehta
  • 2009 Mr. S. R. Hiremath, Dr. Nilima Sabarwal, InSPIRE
  • 2010 Dr. Kiran Bedi,  Dr. Rajiv Shah
  • 2011 Mr. Anna Hazare, Mr. Prashant Bhushan, Dr. Paul Polak
  • 2012 Mr. Srikanth Nadhamuni
  • 2013 Ms. Neelima Mishra, Ms. Melinda Kramer
  • 2014 Mrs. Reema Nanavaty, Dr. Vivek Murthy
  • 2015 Drs. Prakash and Mandakini Amte, Prof. Tom Kailath
  • 2016 Mr. Anshoo Gupta, Mr. Adhik Kadam, Radha and Dipak Basu

1995 Honorees – Dr. Suhas Patil and Mrs. Jayashree Patil 

Dr. Suhas Patil is an entrepreneur and philanthropist. He founded Cirrus Logic, a fabless semiconductor company, taking it public.  He and Mrs. Jayashree Patil have been active in supporting community activities both in India and in the United States.

Patil co-founded the global not for profit organization, the TiE – The IndUS Entrepreneurs in 1992, together with successful entrepreneurs and businessmen of Indian origin in Silicon Valley for nurturing and mentoring entrepreneurs and young companies, serving as TiE’s first president. As a gift to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Patil awarded $1.5 million for the construction of the Suhas and Jayashree Patil Conference Center at the MIT Stata Center. He also served on the boards of The Tech Museum and the World Affairs Council of Northern California.

1996 Honorees – Dr. Prabhu Goel and Mrs. Poonam Goel

Dr. Prabhu Goel and Mrs. Poonam Goel started the Foundation for Excellence (FFE), to benefit bright students who could not afford a quality education in India. FFE has become one of the largest scholarship donors in India.

Prabhu is an  entrepreneur[1] and philanthropist, and is one of the largest contributors to his alma mater, Indian Institute of technology, Kanpur.  He has set up “Poonam and Prabhu Goel Chair” at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Kanpur in the area of Internet Space,[and the “Prabhu Goel Research Centre For Computer & Internet Security”. He was a founding member of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneur) the largest organization of entrepreneurs in the world, with chapters in 42 countries.



1997 Honorees – Sri Chandi Prasad Bhatt, Dr. Ravi Chopra, Dr. Jyoti Lulla

[Sri Chandi Prasad Bhatt Chipko Movement to save the forests]
Chandi Prasad Bhatt, a 1992 winner of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership, is from a small village in Chamoli District, Uttarkhand. Chandi Prasad Bhatt became one of the few villagers to complete the high school diploma. He became interested in the non-violence movement of Gandhi and joined Vinoba Bhave’s Bhoodan (Gift of Land) movement.

Bhatt-ji is best known as the father of Chipko Andolan known as “Hug the Trees Movement” in the west. Chipko is one of the few environmental struggles that has a large number of village women participating in, and indeed leading, the movement. His concern for the environment was initiated when he participated in rescue operations after landslides and flooding on the Alaknanda river. He analyzed the mishaps and concluded, with his colleagues of Dasholi Society for Village Self Rule (DGSM), that these damages were linked to previous deforestation in Uttarkhand.

His struggle to save the environment and access to forest produce by the tribal people included reforms of the existing forest policy; planting appropriate trees by villagers, often with the participation of the forestry department; seedling nurseries managed by villagers; and environment conservation camps in most of the villages Uttarkhand. He also works on the issues concerning big irrigation and hydroelectric projects in the sensitive of the Himalayas.

“Forest dwellers cannot be prohibited by law from satisfying their basic needs from the forests … unless we framework in which forests and people can live together, one or the other will be destroyed”, he said at an conference in Kenya.

Dr. Ravi Chopra, Founder, People’s Science Institute
Dr. Ravi Chopra is the founder of People’s Science Institute, Uttar Pradesh. After completing his doctorate in Material Science from Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey, he moved to India and plunged into the task of nation building.

Under his leadership, a team of young scientists and social workers have come together and experimented with innovative strategies to address the issues of environmental degradation, droughts and other disasters. They. have successfully integrated traditional practices and scientific technology to develop a unique watershed approach as an alternative to big dams.

Dr. Chopra firmly believes in harnessing peoples’ initiative and participation for sustainable development. He is actively involved in Nayi Azadi Andolan, which is based on the principle of ‘From Self Transformation to Global Transformation.

Dr. Jyoti Lulla 


Dr. Jyoti (Sulochina) Lulla, a medical doctor from the San Francisco bay Area has been the Project Leader and Camp Director for the Gandhi Youth Camp since 1986. Her dedicated service has benefited hundreds of young men and women over the past decades.  She has also helped the work of Dr. S. N. Subbarao  (the founder and leader of Gandhi Camp) by raising funds for His National Youth Project in India.



1998 Honorees – Prof. P.K. Mehta, Ms. Shyamala Hiremath

Prof. P.K. Mehta

Dr. P. Kumar Mehta, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley, has been an inspiration to a whole generation of Indian activists, since 1965 when he started the Front for Rapid Economic Advancement (FREA). In 1968, Dr. Mehta with others started Indians for Collective Action (lCA), with chapters nationwide, serving development projects in India. Dr. Mehta developed techniques of energy saving and waste material utilization in the manufacture of cement. For this work he received many patents and awards, including the Wason Medal of Research in 1988. In 1993, Dr. Mehta was honored with the Chancellor’s citation for his work as Director of Education Abroad Program at U.C. Berkeley.

In 1996, Prof. Mehta started the Himalaya Foundation, dedicated to sustainable development in India. On his retirement from U C Berkeley in 1993, after 30 years of teaching and research in concrete technology, he was awarded the Berkeley Citation – the highest campus honor for contributions to his field and to the University. In 2006, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Coal Combustion Products Partnership in recognition of his outstanding research for decades on the use of fly ash in structural concrete. He was also elected an Honorary Member of the American Concrete Institute. He is a member of the ACI Board Advisory Committee on Sustainable Development.

Mrs. Shyamala Hiremath, a native of Chicago, moved to India with her husband S.R. Hiremath in 1979 and began a comprehensive program of rural development. Since 1984, she has been directing the work of India Development Service (IDS, India) in Karnataka, which supports over a hundred villages in the areas of education, health, rural industries, wasteland and watershed development, community organizing and micro-credit. During the past two decades, Shyamala and her team of eighty workers have made a real difference in the lives of people in Karnataka. After two decades of living and working in the villages of India, she has not looked back on her decision to serve the people in her adopted homeland.


1999 Honorees – Dr. Parmeswara Rao and Ms. Manuela Albuqueque

Dr. Bhagavatula Venkata Parameswara Rao, the moving spirit behind the trust, had been involved in rural development well before that since 1967.

After getting a Ph.D. in nuclear sciences from the USA in 1967, Dr. B.V.Parameswara Rao returned to his native village Dimili, with the sole objective of doing something for the people of his village. Armed with enthusiasm and energy as his only strengths and undaunted by the obstacles ahead, Dr. Parameswara Rao started his missionary work by first motivating the villagers in and around Dimili to build a high school for children. After getting well designed spacious building built for the school, formally on people’s contribution and making it the state’s best run school for a decade, he applied himself with missionary zeal towards the vision of a prosperous and all round flourishing rural India.

Since then his pioneering and trend-setting experiments have won him and his colleagues world wide recognition. His services were sought as Consultant by the World Bank and as a member of various missions of Government of India including National Literacy Mission, National Waste Land Development Board, All India Khadi and Village Industries Board and National Institute of Rural Development. Since its inception, BCT has come a long way in its experiments in different aspects of development work and has been recognized as one of those few organizations that are effective at the grass root level in villages covered by them. The many important visitors to BCT include the governors of the state, ministers, world bank teams, heads of public undertaking and other distinguished professionals and intellectuals.

Ms. Manuela Albuqueque

Ms. Albuquerque served as the Berkeley City Attorney for twenty-two years – the longest tenure of any city attorney in Berkeley’s history, garnering numerous awards for her outstanding work. She advised the Berkeley City Council, Housing Authority, City Manager and staff, and over forty, nine-member City boards and commissions, while also litigating cases at every level of state and federal courts. She personally litigated some of Berkeley’s most significant cases and filed amicus briefs on behalf of cities and counties in many important cases. In 2007, Albuquerque received the California Lawyer of the Year award in the landmark civil rights decision of Evans v. City of Berkeley 38 Cal.4th 1 (2006) – the California Supreme Court found that Berkeley’s non-discrimination condition on Marina berthing subsidies did not violate the subsidy recipient’s freedom of expression. The same year, Ms. Albuquerque also won the Top Women Litigator’s award for her skilled advocacy in the Evans case. In 2004, Albuquerque won a landmark decision, RUI One Corporation v. City of Berkeley 371 F.3d 1137 (9th Circuit 2004) in which the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit upheld Berkeley’s Living Wage ordinance governing large businesses at the Berkeley Marina, concluding that the ordinance neither constituted an unconstitutional impairment of the plaintiff restaurant’s ground lease with the City nor denied it equal protection. In 2005, Ms. Albuquerque was named the Public Lawyer of the Year by the California State Bar’s Public Law Section for her many years writing papers on public lawyer ethics, including coauthoring the city attorneys ethics guide entitled “Practicing Ethics” and the city attorney guidelines, “Ethical Principles.” Ms. Albuquerque served as President of the City Attorneys’ Department of the League of California Cities, from 1994 to 1995 and was a member of the League Board of Directors representing city attorneys from 2003 to 2005. She has also been a member of many important city attorney committees and task forces grappling with urgent and complex issues facing cities.

2000 Dr. H. Sudarshan and Ms. Chitra Divakaruni

Dr. Hanumappa Sudarshan is an Indian social worker and tribal rights activist. He is well known for his contributions to the upliftment of the forest dwelling tribes (mainly Soligas) in Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka. He is an Ashoka fellow, a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, the Padma Shri Award, and Mother Teresa Award for Social Justice. Instead of pursuing a medical practice in the cities, he decided to work with tribal communities and in 1980, he started the Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra for the integrated development of the tribals in the Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka.[2] He is also the founder and Honorary Secretary of the Karuna Trust, which is dedicated to rural development in the states of Karnataka and Arunachal Pradesh. He claims inspiration from the man-making and nation-building ideals of Swami Vivekananda. He advocates Gandhian ideals for rural development.


Ms. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is a co-founder and former president of Maitri, a helpline founded in 1991 for South Asian women dealing with domestic abuse. Divakaruni serves on its advisory board and on the advisory board of a similar organisation in Houston, Daya. She also serves on the emeritus board of Pratham Houston, a non-profit organisation working to bring literacy to disadvantaged Indian children.  is an Indian-American author, poet, and the Betty and Gene McDavid Professor of Writing at the University of Houston Creative Writing Program.

Her short story collection, Arranged Marriage won an American Book Award in 1995, and two of her novels (The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart) as well as a short story The Word Love were adapted into films. Mistress of Spices was short-listed for the Orange Prize. Currently, Sister of My Heart, Oleander Girl, Palace of Illusions, and One Amazing Thing have all been optioned to be made into movies or TV serials.

Divakaruni’s works are largely set in India and the United States, and often focus on the experiences of South Asian immigrants. She writes for children as well as adults and has published novels in multiple genres, including realistic fiction, historical fiction, magical realism, myth and fantasy.

2001 Dr S.N. Subbarao, Ms. Sushma Iyengar

Dr. Subba Rao, “Lifetime Worker” of the Gandhi Peace Foundation, joined the freedom struggle as a schoolboy, through the Quit India movement.Since then he has dedicated his life to inspiring youth to participate in the process of nation building. He believes in creating youth-oriented programs that cut across political and religious barriers to promote national integration. He leads youth camps in India and the United States, including the Gandhi Youth Camp in California. Dr. Subba Rao has also been instrumental in organizing the surrender of hundreds of dacoits in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, and has been instrumental in rehabilitating the dacoits’ families.



Ms. Sushma Iyengar

Ms. Sushma Iyengar, chairperson of Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan, Gujarat, passionately believes in the power of rural communities to organize themselves against a “dependency mentality.” Since 1989, She has been working ‘with women’s’ collectives in 160 villages on handicrafts, micro-credit, environment, legal aid, health, and education. In 1998!,. Sushma helped create Abhiyan, a network of 21 N GOs, which collaborate on disaster mitigation and drought proofing work. Following the earthquake, Sushma showed exemplary leadership in supporting villagers retake control of their lives and livelihoods, in contrast to the usual charity approach to relief Sushma’s recurrent theme of empowering villages has found resonance with many of her supporters, including American India Foundation (AlF) chaired by former President Clinton.

2002 Honoree – Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan

Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, physician by training and former member of the Indian Administrative Service  is the founder of Lok Satta Party,and is also the founder and General Secretary of Foundation for Democratic Reforms, an independent public-policy think-tank and research-resource centre.[3]

A former Indian public administrator, well known for his role in electoral reforms and the Right to Information (RTI) act. He has also written columns in Indian newspapers, such as Times of IndiaThe Economic TimesFinancial ExpressThe Hindu and Eenadu, and hosted television shows covering elections and politics such as “Pratidhwani“.

Narayana’s experience in the government convinced him that the faulty governance process is the biggest hurdle in India’s path of progress and Indians achieving greater success. What India needs today is a fundamental change in the rules of the game and not a periodic change of players. In order to translate his vision into practical reality, he resigned from the I.A.S in 1996 so that he could work on the grassroots movement for good governance.[5][6] Narayan talked about the efficacy of reforms in the governance and Economy of Andhra Pradesh among several other issues on various platforms in educational and political institutes. He emphasizes that democracy is for the people, of the people and by the people.

2004 Honoree – Dr. Mallika Sarabhai

Dr. Mallika Sarabhai is one of India’s leading choreographers and dancers, a PhD in organisational behavior, has been the co-director of the prestigious arts institution, Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, for several decades.

She is a social activist and champion for humanrights and the economically and socially disadvataged people.  As an activist for societal education and women’s empowerment, Mallika has been using her work for social change. In 1989 she created the first of her hard-hitting solo theatrical works, Shakti: The Power of Women. Since then Mallika has created numerous stage productions which have raised awareness, highlighted crucial issues and advocated change, several of which productions have toured internationally as well as throughout India.

2005 Honoree –Sandeep Pandey, Founder, Asha for Education

In 1995, Sandeep Pandey quit his job at the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur, and plunged into working for Asha — an education program for underprivileged children. His years of dedication brought him the Ramon Magsaysay Award— the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize.  At 37, he was the youngest Indian to have been conferred with the award. The award committee’s citation, drawing parallels between Pandey and Gandhi himself, ends with these words – “the board of trustees recognizes the empowering example of his commitment to the transformation of India’s marginalized poor.” It was in the summer of 1991 that Pandey, along with two other friends, founded Asha for Education during his student days at the University of California, Berkeley. Today, the organization has 35 chapters in India, USA and several other countries. Sandeep Pandey devotes his energies entirely to his activist causes, including communal harmony. At the Asha ashram near Lucknow, he has created a learning environment where students live and study among working communities of artisans and learn trades in addition to their R’s. The ashram works to overcome caste barriers that dalits face, publicizes official corruption in the local areas, and develops appropriate technologies for the rural region. ICA helped Sandeep start Asha, and has helped support many of his numerous endeavors in India, including India Pakistan Peace March.

2006 Honorees –  Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, Dr. Larry Brilliant

Mr. Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal, an alumnus of IIT (BT/ME/89/IITKGP), who founded the Indian NGO Parivartan that is fighting corruption in India (http://www.parivartan.com/Home.asp), has been given the award for his contribution to the landmark Right To Information law in India and for “activating the right to information movement at the grassroots”. The nationwide law is aimed at increasing transparency in public life and helping curb corruption. Mr Kejriwal, a former tax officer, has also led an anti-graft campaign in the capital, Delhi. He reminds Indians that “the boons of collective action, such as the honest delivery of services, have already been paid for through taxes.”  In March 2006, Arvind received the Satyendra K. Dubey Memorial Award, instituted by IIT Kanpur for displaying highest professional integrity for upholding human values. He was one of two prominent South Asians who were awarded this year’s prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award.

Dr. Larry Brilliant

Dr. Lawrence (Larry) Brilliant, a medical doctor, epidemiologist, technologist, activist, and author is being recognized for his contributions to international health and in starting the  Seva Foundation whose projects in India and other countries have given back sight to more than 2 million blind people through surgery, self sufficient eye care systems, and low cost manufacturing of intraocular lenses. Dr. Brilliant lived in India for ten years, first at a Himalayan monastery studying with Neem Karoli Baba, and later as a diplomat working for the United Nations. He was one of the leaders of the successful World Health Organization (WHO) smallpox eradication program. Larry, a technology patent holder, has been CEO of two public companies and other venture backed start ups. He spent the first half of 2005 as a volunteer helping out in the tsunami in Sri Lanka and working in India with WHO in the campaign to eradicate polio. In 2005 he was awarded the TED Prize. As his prize nominator summed up, “‘Dr. Brilliant’ is a name to live up to, and he has.” In February 2006, Google appointed him as the Executive Director of Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google.

2007 Honorees – Mr. D. R. Mehta, Mrs. Inderjeet Khurana, and Global Fund for Women – Ms. Kavita Ramdas

Mr. D. R. Mehta is the founder of the Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) or   Jaipur Foot Factory that invented and provides the Jaipur Foot, a low cost prosthetic, cosmetically and functionally close to the human limb, to millions of poor disabled people.

The main objective of the BMVSS is the physical, economic and social rehabilitation of physically challenged, particularly the resource-less, enabling them to regain their mobility, self-respect and human dignity.


Mrs. Inderjeet Khurana

Mrs. Inderjit Khurana, the Founder and Director Ruchika Social Service Organization (RSSO), Orissa was also featured on “Meet the New Heroes” program of PBS for her work on “Train Platform Schools”.   Mrs. Khurana was an Ashoka fellow and the recipient of the 2004 National Award for Child Welfare and the 2006 Henry Derozio Award, founded Ruchika Social Service Organization (RSSO) in 1985. Ruchika operates more than a hundred schools and two phone help lines, a shelter for homeless children, a water and sanitation program, and an AIDS awareness program. For many decades, Ruchika has been helping the poorest, most vulnerable children who live and work on station platforms, based in Orissa, and was recently a finalist for the prestigious 2007 World’s Children’s Prize.  RSSO believes that every child has a right to education, and has dedicated itself to the ideal that “if a child cannot come to school, then the school must come to the child.” RSSO serves over 4,500  marginalized street and slum children in Bhubaneswar, Orissa.


 Global Fund for Women – Ms. Kavita Ramdas 

The Global Fund for Women http://www.globalfundforwomen.org/ situated in San Francisco is the world’s largest foundation solely dedicated to women’s human rights. It advocates for and defends women’s human rights by making grants to support women’s groups around the world including India. The GFW believes that women should have a full range of choices, and that women themselves know best how to determine their needs and propose solutions for lasting change that is reflected in a flexible, respectful and responsive style of grant making. The Global Fund makes grants to seed, strengthen and link women’s rights groups based outside the United States working to address human rights issues. Since 1987 GFW has awarded over $58 million to more than 3,450 organizations in 166 countries.  Kavita Ramdas will be accepting the award on behalf of GFW.



2008 Honorees Ms. Madhu Kishwar, Mr. Nipun Mehta 

Madhu Purnima Kishwar is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in Delhi. She is also the Founder President of Manushi Sangathan, an organisation committed to strengthening democratic rights and women’s rights in India. She is the founder editor of Manushi – A Journal About Women and Society, which has been published continuously since 1978. A recent focus of her work has been on the unfair laws and regulations governing the livelihoods of urban self-employed poor–street vendors and cycle rickshaw pullers.



Nipun Mehta founded Charityfocus in 1999, an incubator of charitable giving and service projects, based on strong values and principles that emerged from Nipun’s experiments in the joy of giving.  Charityfocus principles are to do small things, and be all volunteer run. In 2001, Nipun left his job as a software engineer to devote full time to being the change he wished to see in the world. In 2005, Nipun embarked on a 1000 km journey on foot through India, living on a dollar a day. He is a leading voice for the power of “social capital” and has inspired hundreds of young people in making our world a better place



2009 – Mr. S. R. Hiremath, Dr. Nilima Sabarwal, InSPIRE 

Mr. S.R.Hiremath is the founder of Samaj Parivartan Samuday (SPS), Dharwad (Karnataka, India) and of IDS. He is a leading advocate for the empowerment of rural poor, self rule, and community control over natural resources. He has lead people’s movements along Gandhian lines, including protection of Tungbhadra river from industrial pollution, protection of forest and other common lands, and Save the Western Ghats March, leading to a people-centric National Forest Policy.




Dr. Nilima Sabharwal founded Home of Hope, a US based charitable organization, that serves over 2000 orphaned and disadvantaged children, helping them become productive citizens. Home of Hope gives financial support to projects all over India, and has also adopted a Project in Berkeley California. Dr. Sabharwal was recently recognized by Chief Minister Sheila Dixit of Delhi for her work in Udyan Ghar, New Delhi.



InSPIRE, India Summer Program Inspiring Reflective Exploration aims at educating and engaging young generation of USA, mainly with South Asian roots, in community development and exposing them to Indian culture. With initial focus on health, environment, education, community development, women empowerment and e-Governance, InSPIRE is working with ICA to help young volunteers engage in social service work in India. Receiving the award on behalf of InSPIRE were Mr. Raj Kanani and Ms. Asha Patel.

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