Ahmedabad/ Jhulasan (Gujarat), Sept 22: Indian-origin American astronaut Sunita Williams was conferred with the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Vishwa Pratibha Award by World Gujarati Society on Friday.
Williams is the first non-resident to receive the award. She was presented with the award by Gujarat Governor Naval Kishore Sharma.
The award hat includes a prize money of Rs 250,000, was collected by Williams's father, Dipak Pandya, who subsequently pledged it for a charity.
Williams, benefiting from her vision of earthly affairs from a heavenly perspective, has been championing the cause of the global citizen.
"I feel that this principle has guided me throughout my career as I had never thought of myself having limitations, just like the boundaries. There are really no boundaries and limitations. They are primarily in your mind. And, I hope, that message rings clearly for all young people in the audience," she said.
Williams also interacted with school students at her father's ancestral village, Jhulasan in Gujarat"s Mehsana District.
Williams and her father met students of different schools, including those at the Keval Gyan Mandir, an institution where her father had studied.
Narrating her space experience, Williams encouraged students to cross artificial barriers and preserve humanity.
"The borders that we see on the map are just on the map, they are not realistic. We have one world, one continent, or many continents; and all people are just one people. I hope you can keep that throughout your lives and your tolerance for all humanity is very high," she said.
The students presented a cultural programme on the occasion.
Williams is in India for the first time after her successful expedition aboard space shuttle “Discovery".