New York, Mar 25: Six Indian-Americans have been declared winners of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. The Indians were-- Manav Bhatnagar, Sudeb Dalai, Sushma Gandhi, Sandeep Kishore, Krishnan Subrahmanian and Vijay Yanamadala. There were 30 winners of the honour which included a Pakistani-American Noorain Khan.
According to a statement issued by the New York-based fellowship foundation, a New American is an individual who is a resident alien (green-card holder) or a naturalised citizen. The fellowship is open to individuals who retain loyalty and a sense of commitment to the country of their origin as well as to the US, and will continue to regard the US as their principal residence and focus of national identity.
One of the Indian-Americans-- Manav Bhatnagar-- is a second-year student at Yale University. In high school, he worked with Tibetan refugees in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. He spends his college summers in Kashmir with a human rights organisation and continues to work on Kashmir-related human rights issues. Manav intends to use his education in the service of the US government in a legal or policymaking capacity.
Sudeb Dalai is a medical student at Stanford University, where he is completing his MSc and is a Howard Hughes research fellow. His current research investigates viral evolution, pathogenesis, and drug resistance in HIV-1 subtype C in sub-Saharan Africa. Born in Missouri, he helped found a non-profit organisation in Massachusetts that collected unexpired AIDS drugs and donated them to Dr Paul Farmer's HIV Equity Initiative in Haiti.
Sushma Gandhi is in her second year at Harvard Law School. She focussed her legal interests on economic security issues for people and communities, working currently on the threat of foreclosures resulting from subprime loans. Sushma aspires to start her own socially minded private bank ''that is committed to political advocacy and focussed on providing credit in distressed urban centres and credit-needy countries.'' Sandeep Kishore is a third-year MD/PhD candidate at the Weill Cornell/ Rockefeller/Sloan Kettering Tri-Institutional program. To combat the rise in heart disease globally, he worked with the Dean of Weill Cornell, public health officials, and a fellow classmate to petition successfully the World Health Organisation to include a generic version of US blockbuster cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) on the WHO's Essential Medicines List, enabling mass drug donation by UN organisations and philanthropic foundations to 156 national governments.
Indian-American Krishnan Subrahmanian is currently Border State Director of Obama for America, supplementing field efforts for the presidential campaign. He founded and directed the Cambridge Student Partnership, a student organisation that connected needy Cambridge and Boston residents to community resources available to serve them.
He was awarded a year-long Richardson Fellowship in Public Affairs, which he used to initiate a camp in southern Africa for orphans and children suffering from HIV/AIDS.
Vijay Yanamadala is a first-year student at Harvard Medical School. His long term goal is to pursue a career in academic medicine, allowing him to combine his passion for research, teaching, and clinical care. ''Physician-scientists are in a particularly important position at the crux between science and society,'' the Texas-born Indian said.