Ahmedabad, Sep 18 (UNI) Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams will be conferred with the 'Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Vishwa Pratibha Award' by Vishwa Gujarati Samaj (VGS) on September 21.
Sunita Williams, whose parents belong to a small village Zulasan in Mehsana district, will receive the award from Gujarat Governor Nawal Kishore Sharma at a special function to be held at the Rajpath Club here.
Ms Williams is arriving in Gujarat for a week-long visit on September 20.
The award consists of Rs 250,000 cash, a citation and memento, VGS President Krishnakant Vakharia said here today.
Mr Vakharia said, ''Since the inception of this annual award in year 2001, this is the first instance that it is being conferred to a non-resident of India for excellent service to human kind and society.'' She is also being considered for the 'The Daughter of the Soil' award, he informed.
VGS confers awards to world renowned persons without discrimination of caste, creed, religion or gender, he added.
The VGS President said the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has been invited to attend the function but the confirmation is yet to be announced by the Gujarat Government.
When asked about the controversy between the ruling BJP Government and the opposition Congress over welcoming the US astronaut, Mr Vakharia refused to comment saying his organisation is non-political and above such things.