KOA Organizational Structure and Objectives

KOA Program Objectives Director In Charge Members
International Outreach Program
  • To outreach with overseas community organizations working on preservation of heritage and culture and see if KOA can collaborate to have more tangible outcomes.
  • To create an electronic database of community members living overseas
Sanjay Dhar Chair – Mr. Hira Fotedar
National Outreach Program
  • To outreach with various Indian and American social organizations in US .
  • Create awareness about our community in exile at various Indian events.
Sanjay Dhar Chair – Mr. Jeevan Zutshi
India Outreach Program
  • Partner with various social community organizations in India on preservation of our culture and heritage.
  • Evaluate some programs where in KOA can collaborate for tangible outcome.
Sanjay Dhar Chair- Mr. Rakesh Kaul
Health Professionals
  • Create a database of community health care professionals in USA.
  • Identify key projects that could benefit our community and KOA in long run.
Dr. Nirmala Mitra Chair – Dr. Nirmal MattooCo Chair – Dr. Sunny Kaul
Academics (Professors, Scientists)
  • Create a database of community Professors, Teachers, Scientists, Engineers.
  • Identify key projects that could benefit our community Youth and KOA in long run.
  • Networking with KOA Youth
Mrs. Veena KaulZone 5 Director Chair – Dr. Mohan SapruNB : Will also act as member of screening committee for KOA achievement awards with Prof. Hira Kaul
Entrepreneur, Office Executives, Business Executives
  • Create a database of community Entrepreneurs, Office Executives, Business Exec
  • Initiate Youth workshop for Entrepreneurship in USA.
  • Identify key projects that could benefit our community and KOA in long run.
Dr. Amrit NehruMr. Suresh Sus Chair – Mr. Rattan KhosaCo Chair – Dr. Inder Kaul
Transformation
  • To lead a renaissance in Kashmir’s Dharmic civilization’s cultural assets.
  • To identify and pursue key projects in preservation of our culture and heritage.
Mrs. Rajni KoulMrs. Arti Kaul Chair – Mr. Rabinder KoulCo Chair – Mr. Vijay Dhar
Global Magazine
  • To promote literary work, creative write ups from community authors.
  • Explore the possibility of KOA Magazine (digital/ print).
Mr. Naveen DharMr. Rahul Tikoo Chair – Mr. Maharaj Kaul
KOA Camps
  • To identify if the camps could be held in regions having large community residents.
  • To explore how to make camps more purposeful.
Dr. Nirmala Mitra Chair – Mr. Umesh KaulCo Chair – Dr. Mohan BhanMember – Mr. Ravi RainaMember – Mr. Rajneesh Raina
National Coordinators for Membership Drive To coordinate with BoD’s, Chapter Presidents and other zonal members to maximize membership and to come out with novel ideas to increase membership. Mrs. Veena KaulMrs. Rajni Koul Mrs Neerja Kaul SadhuMrs Pushpa Dhar
National Coordinator and 4 Regional coordinators to establish KOA – Youth
  • To establish KOA Youth with their Zonal Director’s, Chapter Presidents.
  • To identify key initiatives that youth would like to undertake.
  • Create a database of youth with the help of youth representatives at zonal and chapter levels.
  • To identify need for regional youth camps.
Mrs. Rajni KoulMr. Naveen Dhar National Coordinator – Mr. Anil KachrooRegional Coordinators:Mr. Surinder DharMrs. Shivani Dhar

Ms. Minal Awasthi

Mr. Akshay Ganju

KOA Legal
  • To evaluate and advise if the KOA programs meet legal requirement.
  • To provide legal assistance to Board and Executive.
  • Will be a member of BLRC in addition to three appointed officers.
None – This will be independent Chair – Mr. Amit Khardori
KOA IT Cell
  • Will act as a webmaster for KOA websites.
  • Will create a database of life members and annual members.
  • Will make our IT services more member friendly.
Mr. Naveen DharMr. Rahul Tikoo Mr. Sunil FotedarMr. Anil Kachroo
KOA Media
  • Advertise KOA programs.
  • Will help evolve KOA fund raising initiatives.
  • Conduct teleconference calls for KOA as and when needed.
Mr. Suresh Sus Chair – Mr. Pradumon Tikoo
KOA Programs To assist in the Sponsor a Child Program and Educational Assistance Program and also create guidelines for operations of these programs Mr. Suresh SusDr. Amrit NehruMr. Rahul Tikoo Mr. Pran Kaul (SAC)Dr. Tej Nath Kaul (EAP)
US College Bound Scholarship Program Zone 5 Director Dr. Hira Kaul
KOA Medical Funds Mrs. Arti KaulDr. Nirmala Mitra Dr. Chand Bhan

Akshay Ganju

Akshay Ganju, son of Dr. Ramesh and Neeru Ganju, was born in Srinagar, Kashmir. He came to Houston, TX when he was six months old and completed high school in Brookline, MA. Akshay graduated from Harvard College in June 2008, with a degree in Social Studies. He focused on the intersection of social theory, philosophy, health policy, and epistemology, authoring a thesis on the role of social and power dynamics in the creation and definition of medical knowledge. After graduation, he worked as an Associate Consultant at Bain and Company in the Los Angeles office for two years. He is currently a final year M.D. candidate at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. He plans on pursuing a career in Emergency Medicine, perhaps with a focus on international health or medical education.

Akshay has participated in various KOA activities throughout his life and written articles about Kashmir including “The Post-Militancy Political Economy of JandK” that is on the KOA website. He was a recipient of a KOA Scholarship in 2004.

In high school, Akshay was the president of the Student Council of his high school. While in college he coached his former high school mock trial team, and worked as a director in various Model United Nations conferences, where he oversaw teams of six assistant directors in organizing and creating materials for the conferences as well as running committees. In medical school Akshay has been elected the Medical Education Representative of his class, with responsibilities that include evaluation of every school course for issues and improvements, serving on various administrative committees including the overall Committee of Medical Education and dean search committees, and chairing committees charged with oversight of the medical school reaccreditation process and medical student education.


Hira Fotedar

Hira Fotedar, a native of Kashmir, India, came to the University of Washington to obtain his MS and PhD in Metallurgical Engineering in 1966. At the same time that he began his studies, Tom Stoebe started as a professor in Materials Science and Engineering. Hira became Tom’s first student and helped Tom develop the laboratory infrastructure to support his research.

After receiving his degrees, Hira joined Imperial College in London, England, as a post-doctoral research fellow. He then worked at the Instituto de Pesquisas Energia Nuclear at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, followed by 28 years with the Eaton Corporation, before founding his own consulting firm. He credits his time at the UW and with Professor Stoebe for much of his success in life and always wanted to give back in some way.

By making a gift to the endowed fellowship fund established by Professor Stoebe, Hira was able to honor his mentor, teacher and advisor. He also served as chair of the Stoebe campaign to bolster fundraising efforts. His gift and leadership combined with support from other alumni to the Stoebe fellowship has helped many aspiring UW materials science students. When Hira saw the impact the Stoebe Fellowship Fund had on student’s lives, he was inspired to establish his own endowed graduate fellowship.


Inder Kaul, MD, MPH
President of Product Development and Chief Medical Officer

Asahi Kasei Pharma America

Inder Kaul, MD, MPH, currently is the President Product Development and Chief Medical Officer at Asahi Kasei Pharma America where he serves as the principal medical leader and spokesperson for the company with the Board of Directors, regulatory agencies worldwide, KOLs, clinical investigators, licensors, licensees, strategic alliances, business partners, advisors and consultants, investors, members of the media and other third parties. He provides the strategic and tactical leadership in all facets of the ART-123 development including the Program Advisory Board (PAB), the Data Monitoring Committee (DMC), scientific awareness/conference strategy, a broad based publication planning and product life cycle management.

Dr. Kaul has over two decades of progressive experience with small to large size companies in the product development programs of drugs, biologics and devices. He has extensive clinical experience in patient management including acute care, evaluation and testing, and has succeeded in bringing multiple new chemical entities for diseases with no treatment on to the worldwide markets.

Dr. Kaul holds a M.D. in Anesthesiology and a M.P.H. in Epidemiology/Biostatistics from Harvard School of Public Health.

Inder Kaul has been a past Vice President of KOA under two regimes and is a past director of KOA Zone 2.


Jeevan Zutshi

Jeevan worked as an Engineer since 1972 in private and public sector; taught Civil Engineering at San Jose State University for a short time and is in his own business.

He is owner of a real estate brokerage company specializing in residential and commercial real estate. He also owns Argus Consulting Services to serve the high technology sector in the areas of software development providing finest professionals in Engineering and Business.

He got involved with KOA in 1985 as a founding President of California chapter, was elected to the board three times for a two year term, serving as the Vice-President till 1992. He was the founding member of IAKF and convener in California from the day the KP’s had to flee their homes for their lives. He convened several international symposia, briefings at the state department and dedicated past three decades to improve the Indo-US relations.

He was the first to see the importance of KOA becoming a member of other organizations like FIA of Northern California in 1986 to educate fellow Indians about KP culture, later their exodus and thereafter, continued to build relations with major national organizations in support of the KP victims of terrorism.

He is very involved on non-profit Boards and other Community Development Projects nationally. He is the founder of a non-profit organization named Indo-American Community Federation (IACF-USA) which celebrates its signature event “The Unity Dinner”, to promote understanding and harmony amongst diverse community. He is the Founding chapter President of Global organization of the people of Indian origin (GOPIO- Silicon valley) and now serves as the Area coordinator of western region. He also serves on GOPIO Health Council. He is the founding member of Indian American Friendship council (IAFC) and National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA).

He is on the Advisory Board of Transportation Improvement authorities (ACTA) and served as California State Speaker’s appointee for two 4 year terms, overseeing the legislative highway projects of the California Department of transportation (CALTRANS).

He was appointed by Board of Supervisors to perform an Availability Study to analyze the Alameda County’s use of local, small emerging, minority and women business enterprises on County construction, architecture and engineering, professional services, and goods and other services contracts. He was assisted by an eleven-member Community Task Force members conducting outreach to the County’s ethnic businesses.

He served on the BOD of Tri-City Homeless coalition now known as Adobe, Fremont Chamber of Commerce and is currently on the board of Ohlone community college. Jeevan is also a prominent member of the Rotary club.

He was one amongst a group of 33 well-heeled Indo-American immigrants at the White House in year 2000 to voice their views on the Presidential trip to South Asia at the invitation of the Clinton administration. He received “Hind Rattan award” at 19th international congress of NRIs on January 25, 2000 at Hotel Intercontinental, New Delhi for promoting Indo-US relations. He was honored by California legislature in year 2004 in a ceremony on the Capitol Hill for being a pioneer to lead Indo-American community positively in assimilating in mainstream culture. He was recognized by the California Chinese community for providing leadership to promote diversity in year 2005, and was honored by the Chamber of Commerce for promoting emerging markets in 2006. He was also appointed by California Attorney General to serve on his Civil Rights’ Commission on Hate Crime to improve the reporting of hate crimes and hate incidents occurring in schools and improve the reporting of hate crimes and hate incidents by law enforcement agencies.

He received the HRC award from City of Fremont very recently for promoting cultural awareness, harmony to unite diverse communities.

He has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Regional Engineering College, Kashmir, India. He received his Masters’ degree in Civil Engineering from San Jose State University, California. He is licensed in the State of California as an Engineering and Building contractor since 1996, Life Insurance Broker since 1983 and Real Estate Broker since year 2001. He is an expert in both residential and commercial Real Estate and property management.

Jeevan is the author of a non-fiction The Last Smile – A Fathers love story which was released on December 4, 2009 in Fremont Main Library. The book is about a journey of hope.

The book was selected to be made into a feature film which is in the making!

Jeevan Zutshi is on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.


Mohan Krishan Bhan

Dr. Mohan Krishan Bhan, Ph.D. is the son of Shri Autar Krishan Bhan and Smt. Ratna Bhan. He is the Grandson of Pt. Mahadev Joo Bhan and Great Grand Son of Pt. Kashi Nath Bhan from BanaMohalla, Srinagar. His Great Grandfather was Treasurer of JandK State during the Maharaja Hari Singh’s Regime. His mother comes from Kaul family from Maharajganj, Srinagar.

Dr. Bhan is born and brought up in Delhi. He is married to Mrs. Sunita Bhan (Maiden Name: Gurtoo from Naisarak, Srinagar) and together they have Kunal Krishan Bhan (21Years) and Retesh Bhan (18 years) as their two sons. He has been living in Cupertino, California since 1995. He has held KOA-Zone9 Chapter President position from 2003-2005. He has been always actively involved in the community in organizing cultural functions.

Dr. Mohan Bhan has received his Ph.D. in Physics from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. He has been awarded various advanced research fellowships to work at European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of Alabama in Huntsville, and Iowa State University. He has done projects with NASA, Huntsville and participated in Space Research Program. He is an author of 18 US patents and 25 research and popular publications. His personal hobbies include playing musical instrument, acting, cooking, Vedic Astrology, Vedanta Science, traveling and working on occult science.

Dr. Mohan Bhan is the innovator and business operations professional from Solar, Semiconductor and CleanTech Industries and brings a proven >25 years of experience. Dr. Mohan Bhan has recently joined Optical Associates as Vice President and Head of Solar Test Products Division. He has recently led technology development of third generation, thin film solar cells on solar brush platform as, Chief Technology Officer, at Bloo Solar where he successfully developed world’s highest efficient 3D based solar cells. Previously, he worked as Vice President of Engineering, at Moser Baer Solar Limited where he successfully commissioned and managed the operation of Applied Materials 40MW “SunFab” Turnkey line for the production of large area amorphous silicon based thin film photovoltaic modules. He brings an extensive technical background on Semiconductor process development and has done a lot of innovative work that go in the processing of IC devices. He has also worked at Applied Materials Inc. for 13 years where he held various technical, marketing and business management positions.

He is currently working on the development of fundamental and new concepts / laws of physics pertaining to the origin of this universe and relationship to Supreme Consciousness.


Dr. Mohan Sapru

Dr. Mohan Sapru is a Neuroscientist by training who began his research journey with a Gold Medalist Master’s degree in Biochemistry. He followed it with obtaining doctorate in Molecular Neuroscience, and postdoctoral training from the University of California, San Francisco and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Thereafter, Dr. Sapru joined the Northwestern University, Chicago as a faculty member to pursue cutting-edge research in the field of Molecular Neuroscience. Major focus of his research concerns developing novel gene therapy-based molecular therapeutics for Parkinson’s disease and related Neurodegenerative disorders. While continuing his Neuroscience research endeavors, he has recently moved to Washington DC to take up additional role as a Federal Neuroscientist-Regulator to facilitate FDA’s mission of regulating development of high quality drugs for Neurological and Psychiatric diseases by pharmaceutical industries. He has several publications in prestigious peer-reviewed journals, and often gives lectures as invited speaker and expert panel member in various international conferences. Dr. Sapru has recently been awarded two consecutive awards i.e., US Patent Inventor Award 2013, and European Patent Award, for engineering highly selective and novel gene therapy for genetic form of Parkinson’s disease. When not doing Science, Dr. Sapru pursues his interest in Vedantic philosophy and stays active as an executive board member and fund-raiser coordinator in a non-profit charitable organization.


Nirja K Sadhu

Nirja K Sadhu lives in Pennington, NJ with her husband Ashim and two kids, Anu and Aditya. She is a home maker for now.
Last few years she has been associated with Rainawari Action Forum, a group of volunteers who are working towards restoration of temples in Srinagar, Kashmir. As a team they were able to stop an illegal sale of the Vaital Bhairav temple Premises at Rainawari. They have been successful in getting the state Govt. of J & K to approve some funds for restoring the temple. Work is in progress to get it started as soon as possible.
The KP community in USA has also contributed to the Fund Raising on a personal level.


Nirmal K. Mattoo, M.D.

Dr. Mattoo was born and educated in India.He received his M.D. degree from the University of Delhi in 1968.He completed his residency training in internal medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and completed his fellowship in nephrology at Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens, New York. Dr. Mattoo is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and Nephrology.Dr. Mattoo is the former Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Director of Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.Prior to that leadership position, he has served as Chief of Nephrology and President of the Medical Staff.Dr. Mattoo is published in nephrology and has been an active teacher in the Hospital”s residency programs.Dr. Mattoo is a founding partner in Mattoo and Bhat Medical Associates, PC, one of the largest group practices in New York City devoted exclusively to nephrology practice.Dr. Mattoo is deeply involved in the Indian community in the U.S.He has been president of the American Association of Indians in America.In 1998, he co-edited Ananya, a collection of essays on Indian culture and contributions published on the 50th Anniversary of Indian Independence. The book was critically well-received and widely distributed throughout the country.Dr. Mattoo is also President of the India Center at Stony Brook University in Long Island.


Pradumon Tickoo

Pradumon Tickoo was born and raised in District Anantnag, Kashmir. Before moving to USA about 12 years ago, he lived in Delhi for about six years right after exile form Kashmir. Pradumon and his wife Anita got associated with KOA in 1998 and have served the community at the gross root levels. He served as KOA Chapter President (Michigan) for two years in 2003 and 2004 and as KOA Director (Zone-8) for four years (2005 to 2008). Pradumon, along his wife Anita and two kids Shivam and Simran, currently live in Grand Rapids Michigan. Pradumon works for Rockwell Automation as branch services manager in Grand Rapids MI.
Pradumon’s plans for our community in the US are aligned with the KOA mission, which is to promote Kashmir Pandit ethnic and socio cultural heritage. His endeavor will be to make KOA the premier Kashmiri Pandit (KP) institution catering to our spiritual, cultural, humanitarian, economical and educational needs. He sees KOA as a medium of social evolution to address the new realities and challenges that our community faces.
Pradumon’s dream is to see KOA becoming a very well knit, loving, caring and sharing KP organization in U.S. and abroad; an energized community where there is love, mutual trust, respect and tolerance for each other; its members preserving and following our religious traditions; and cultural and social customs and have a pride of belonging.
In unity is our strength. His appeal to the members is to unite and renew their support for KOA. On this date, He would like to invite every single Kashmiri Pandit living in the U.S. to come forward and strengthen the community by joining KOA as we move forward.


Pushpa Dhar

Pushpa Dhar, daughter of late Dr. S. L. and Madhumati Shishoo, was born in Srinagar and spent most of her childhood between Jammu and Srinagar. She has participated in a variety of roles as a loyal member of KOA for over 25 years. She has a Masters in Political Science, is married and has a grown up daughter. Currently she spends most of her time with multiple social service organizations, coordinates various cultural/social events and teaches yoga to disabled children.


Rabinder Kumar Koul

Rabinder Kumar Koul was born in Shrinagar, Kashmir India. He is married to Rajni Koul, and they have a son Aditya Koul. His family belongs to Dattatreya of Atreya Pravra and Atreya Gana aula/Abheda Shiva tradition. He has a Ph.D in Theoretical Physics from Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY; His interests are in Indian History, Darshana Shastra, Sanskrit, Mathematics, and Physics.

Rabinder is involved in all things related to Bharata – President FACT, WBF Executive Board, Member KOA, IAKF; with Social and political issues connected with India and Dharma.


Rajneesh Raina

Rajneesh Raina has been in US from the last 16 years and lives in Pleasanton,CA with his two sons Rohan, Rithvik wife Rajashri and his parents.

Rajneesh was born and brought up in Srinagar and witnessed KP exodus first hand in 1990. This led to more resolve of maintaining his roots and culture. He graduated from BITS Pilani and has been actively volunteering in Bay Area KOA functions. He enjoys his passion of playing cricket and flying small engine planes.


Rakesh K. Kaul

Rakesh K. Kaul is a Senior Advisor and Board Member of Life Line screening (www.llsa.com) a leading, consumer direct, wellness and prevention company. He is a Board member of Income Discovery (www.Incomediscovery.com). He is Chairman of Spherenomics LLC which since 2001 has focused on Cross Border Business Ventures in a principal capacity including serving on the Boards of Estee Advisors (www.EsteeAdvisors.com ) and Chairman of Estee Capital LLC, a US based Fund.

He has served as Senior Advisor to The Carlyle Group (www.Carlyle.com $ 180 B) Consumer and Retail Group from 2007 to 2010. He has served as Senior Advisor and Board Member of Oriental Trading Co. (www.orientaltrading.com ) a $600MM direct/ecommerce marketer of Educational and Party Goods Supplies 2007 to 2011.

He served as the President and Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors for Hanover Direct, Inc. ($ 600MM) in Weehawken, New Jersey, from March 1996 to December 2000.

Starting in 1992, Rakesh served as Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, and Member of the Board of Directors for Fingerhut Companies ($ 2 B) in Minneapolis. In 1994, Rakesh was promoted to Vice Chairman and promoted again in 1995 to Chief Operating Officer where he served until March 1996. He was the founder of Metris Credit Card companies which generated a Market cap of $1.6 B.

From 1987 to 1992, Rakesh held senior management positions with Shaklee Corporation ($ 700MM) in San Francisco. He served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Finance/Chief Financial Officer and was a Board Member.

During 1976 to 1987, Rakesh was with Beatrice/Hunt-Wesson, Inc. ($ 2.5B), as Director for Corporate Development and Planning as well as serving in various financial positions.

Rakesh received his undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi, India. He received his M.S. from Brown University and was awarded his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. He has a CPA from the State of California.

His community service involvement has included memberships on corporate Boards such as Smith & Hawken, I Behavior and community Boards including the Bay Area United Way, and the Direct Selling Association. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Ordway Music Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was a Trustee of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco as also a Board member of the Direct Marketing Association Finance Committee. He was an Executive VP and Board Member of the Association for Corporate Growth. He was a founding contributor to the Chair of India Studies at Berkeley and CASI at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a President’s Circle Member of the Asia Society, New York, a Charter member of TIE and the US Group. He served as Board member of the Dwight Englewood School and served as Co Head of their Major Gifts Campaign. He is active in supporting refugees in the state of Kashmir India and was Co Chairman of The Arts of Kashmir Exhibition 2007 at the Asia Society. He is the Co-Chair for the IIT Delhi Excellence Foundation in North America and served on the steering committee of the iit2011 conference in New York. He was a key driver in the $ 5MM Endowment campaign for the Mattoo Center of India Studies at SUNY Stonybrook in 2013.

Speaking engagements have included Direct Marketing Idea Exchange, October 19 2011 on Mobile Health, Merrill Lynch Seminar December 12th 2009 on Emerging Markets M&A; The Financial Times and Merger Market, October 30th 2008, Speaker and Judge for Annual Private Equity and merger awards; Global Mid Market M&A, October 23 2008 Speaker; The Economist, India Business Roundtable October 17 2007.


Rattan Khosa

Rattan Khosa, ’79, came to the US from India with eight dollars in his pockets. After earning a masters degree in structural engineering, gaining 11 years of experience in sales and management in the construction supply industry and an MBA from Chicago Booth, he founded AMSYSCO in the basement of his home in 1981.

A small group of Booth students from the Family Business Group had the opportunity to meet this outstanding entrepreneur at his company in Romeoville on Friday, February 27th. After a tour of the manufacturing facilities and the engineering office of the specialty steel producer, the students had a lively discussion with Mr. Khosa on his experiences as an entrepreneur and a family business owner. Mr. Khosa’s wife is the head accountant at AMSYSCO, and as he puts it, “no one else could do that job”. Five years ago, his son Neel – also a Booth alum – joined the company to support his parents and eventually followed his father as the company’s CEO.

The group benefited a lot from hearing the perspective of a business owner first hand and was amazed by the openness of Mr. Khosa on very personal topics like the family-business relationship. Mr. Khosa also gave insights for upcoming entrepreneurs, when he said: “The MBA didn’t make me smart. I rather was desperate, blind and full of hope. And fortunately, I didn’t know at the time that only 5% of new businesses survive the first five years. If I had known, I would probably be back in India today.”


Sunil Fotedar

Sunil Fotedar’s association with KOA has been since 1990-91. He was Houston chapter president for KOA in 1991, and its national president in 2007-2008. He developed first websites for KOA – koausa.org and kashmir-information.com (1996-2001), and contributed to the development of several community fora, especially KOA-sponsored KPnet – a forum that allowed KPs worldwide to stay connected – long before e-groups such as yahoogroups, googlegroups, and facebook groups came into existence.

Sunil has been interacting with several India-based KP associations in Jammu, Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata over past several years. He is director and webmaster of Satisar Foundation, Jammu – a socio-cultural organization of KPs (www.satisar.org) since 2003 . He has created a variety of community websites, the first Kashmiri Pandit to create what has been referred to as Virtual Sharda Peeth – a Repository of a Kashmiri Pandit’s culture, heritage, religious practices, language, music, history and political literature. For a complete list of Websites, visit http://ikashmir.net

To recognize for his efforts, Sunil was presented with Special Zaan Award by the Kashmiri Pandit Association, Mumbai. He was featured as an Indomitable Personality in The Sharada Tarangini, Vol. 1, No. 3, March/April-June 2004 issue, the Official Newsletter of Kashmiri Sewak Samaj, Faridabad. He was also presented KOA Plaque for Internet Activities (1997), first of its kind given to any volunteer.


Sunny Kaul

I was born in 1975 in Srinagar, India to VijayLaxmi and Surender Kaul, residents of Syed Ali Akbar locality. Like many KPs at that time, my parents moved out of the Valley seeking better opportunities. Ultimately, we settled down in Chennai – then known as Madras – due to the excellent educational and cultural climate. Inspired by my father’s work in the pharmaceutical industry, I completed my MBBS at the Madras Medical College in 1999 and then moved to the US, with $ 2000 and a lot of ambition, but little else. I completed my medical residency in Cincinnati, a cardiology fellowship in North Carolina and then worked in Des Moines, Iowa before making it to St Paul, Minnesota in 2009. I work full-time as a general cardiologist with a special interest in cardiomyopathies – rare conditions of the heart muscle. When not working, I enjoy traveling, especially to warmer places such as South America, and trying out new restaurants. I am a Life Member of KOA but have previously restricted myself to humble charitable contributions. I am honored to be considered for this position, and while I lack experience or extensive connections within the KP community, I am willing to give it my best. I would like to be involved in promoting awareness of the high incidence of heart disease and diabetes in the South Asian immigrant population.


Surinder Dhar

Surinder Dhar was born and brought up in a saintly Kashmiri Pundit family in Srinagar, Kashmir. He was perusing his doctorate degree in Physics in Regional Engineering Collage, Srinagar when the wave of terror unfolded in Kashmir and like rest of Kashmiri Pundits was part of the mass exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from J&K. After spending about six months in organizing Kashmir migrants like him in Jammu and Delhi, he went back to work but was closely associated with Kashmiri Pundit cause through Kashmir Sahayak Samiti, Chandigarh and All India Kashmiri Samaj (AIKS), Delhi. He is a life member of both these organizations.

Surinder, along his wife Sanjana and two kids Sheen and Shubham are residents of Atlanta, Georgia since 2002 where he is active member of the local KOA Chapter.

Since coming to Atlanta, he have been active in propagating and preserving our Hindu culture and heritage mainly through Shiv Mandir of Atlanta where he served as President for three terms and started “Bagavad Gita Lessons for young adults”.

Surinder is also member of the Governing Council of World Hindu Council of America (VHPA) where he is part of the public and media relations team. He also runs one of two Bal Vihar Hindi Schools (www.balvihar.org) in Cobb county Atlanta.


Vijay Dhar

Vijay Dhar was born at Vicharnag (a suburb of Srinagar) and grew up in Balgarden Srinagar. In Srinagar he studied at D.A.V. School and Amar Singh College and went on to Delhi University and IIT Delhi with Masters in Semiconductor Technology (1978). He has been in Semiconductor industry for 35 years 14 of which were in India. Migrated to US in 1993 and working at Intel Corporation in the Bay Area for last 20 years. he is married to Rajni Dhar who is also from Srinagar and they have a daughter Priyanka, who is doing MD while also being an accomplished artist and a son who is a Software Developer in San Francisco.

He became active in KP community affairs in 1990 in response to exodus of KPs and devoted significant energy to their immediate resettlement in Chandigarh where he took change of the census work and supported one of the refugee camps. After his migartion to USA in 1993 he became Bay Area local chapter president for KOA in 1996. He enhanced the networking of KPs in the Bay Area and went on to serve as Director Zone 9 and served as Vice President of KOA for 3 years. In 2009 he visited Kashmir and took keen interest in supporting KPs who are still left in the villages of Kashmir and also supported local efforts for revival of KP heritage. He proposed to KOA in 2010 to form of a fund for this purpose and as its Project Director he drove the fund raising and disbursement of those funds as per the decisions of KOA BoD. He has made four visits to Kashmir from 2009 t0 2013 and has stayed in touch with KPs in far flung areas of Kashmir during this period.


Minal Awasthi : Regional youth coordinator

Minal is daughter of Ms. Daisy Parimoo and lives in Northern California. She graduated from University of California, San Diego in Neuroscience and is currently looking to get into marketing and business workforce. She has interest in getting involved with community work especially in outreach to youth.


Mr. Ravi Raina – Member KOA Camp Committee

Ravi Raina lives in suburbs of Houston with his wife Anjali. He is actively involved with community work in Texas and adjoining states. He is incharge of TKB which organizes annual Shivratri camp in Texas. he brings enormous experience in organizing camps. Besides he is also involved in organizing local picnics and community get together.

 

 


Mr. Maharaj Kaul – Chair, KOA Intellectual Forum

Maharaj Kaul, who was born in the beautiful Vale of Kashmir in northern India,is an engineer by profession. He has written many articles and poems that have been published in periodicals in the U.S. and India. His main interests are in science and philosophy. He has been involved with KOA at multiple levels.

 

 


Umesh Kaul – Chair – KOA Camps

Umesh Kaul lives in Edison, NJ. He has been a KOA volunteer for several years in organizing KOA camps and zonal functions. Umesh has also served as the KOA Director for Zone 3.

 

 

 


Shivani Dhar – Regional Coordinator to establish KOA – Youth

Shivani Dhar is married to Ishet Dhar, and they live in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. Shivani has keen interest in volunteering for the community, and volunteers for the community functions in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.