Eight Indian-Americans are among the recipients of this year's Ellis Island Medal of Honour presented to more than 100 immigrants for their community service.
Peter Bheddah, Ravishankar Bhooplapur, Dr Sanjiv Chopra, Dr Leena N Doshi, Dr Surendra V Jain, Hasu P Shah, Rajendra Singh and Dr John P Thomas were the eight felicitated with the medal at a ceremony on the island in New York.
Instituted in 1986 by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations to recognize the contributions made by immigrants, the medals are named after Ellis Island, the gateway through which more than 12 million early immigrants passed.
Beddah, who immigrated from Kutch, Gujarat, in 1960, has been helping the less fortunate through the Indian Association of Long Island and the Interfaith Nutrition Network since 1994.
Bhooplapur is President of Xavier University School of Medicine and Founder and Chairman of Gift of Life. He contributes to several humanitarian causes.
Chopra, a professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a senior consultant at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston, is the author of five books, including "The Ten Tenets of Leadership."
Mumbai-born Doshi with a medical degree from Bombay University started a radiology practice in 1985 after completing her residency in radiology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. Her family runs a number of radiology centres in New York and Florida.
Jain is founding partner and chief medical officer of Buena Park, California-based Apple Care Medical Management LLC, a medical management services organization that manages Apple Care Medical Group and Apple Care Hospitalists Group.
Shah is founder of the Philadelphia-based Hersha Hospitality Trust, a co-founder and current president of the India Heritage Research Foundation and a founder of Hindu American Religious Institute.
Singh is chairman and CEO of Telcom Ventures and plays a leading role in the development and deployment of emerging wireless technologies.
Kerala-born Thomas is the founder of Operation HOPE (Healing Outreach to People Everywhere). A general surgeon in Lubbock, Texas, he has done volunteer work in India, Bolivia, Kenya, Haiti, Honduras, and Iraq.