‘People look up to him’
Three well-known community leaders, all winners of
India Abroad Awards for Community Service, salute Sambhu Banik.
Sambhu did outstanding work with the community long, long, before I even became active.
He was a strong voice in the community, particularly in the Washington area and in the
He was the guy who helped the community in
other aspects, including charity.
He definitely deserves this award.
I always take his guidance; he has always been
a mentor to me.
When I needed help, he was always there.
He gets along with everybody and is always
available whenever anyone needs help.
He has been working in this area for so long.
He started at an early stage when it was not in
fashion for people to work for the community in
We have very high regard for him because he
has sacrificed a lot to do this work.
People look up to him. Nobody had done what
he was doing when he started, so everybody in
the community respected him for that.
Any time, anyone, had any function in the
Washington/Maryland area, anything that happened in the community, it involved him.
I have attended so many events in
Washington, and I cannot dream of an event
not involving Sambhu Banik.
I am proud to have his friendship. He is a
wonderful human being.
It is long overdue for him to get this award.
It’s absolutely wonderful news to me.
the first people who went to help the victims who
suffered psychological problems due to this terrible
tragedy. He too suffered from health problems
because he was there.
He is a community worker who went beyond the
call of duty to serve the public.
He helped me to have effective White House rela-
tionships and Congressional contacts. As a result,
I have always thought about him for this Award.
He is perfect for it.
I congratulate India Abroad for recognizing
Sambhu Banik for his service.
— Dr Joy Cherian, winner of the first India
Abroad Award for Lifetime Service to the
— Swadesh Chatterjee, winner of the India
Abroad Community Leader of the Year Award
Dr Banik has been one of the most active community activists and leaders from the Washington, DC
area since the 1970s.
He started the India Cultural Coordination
He supported community activities through sever-
al organizations including the Indian American
I have known Dr Banik since 1979 when he
organized a meeting of community leaders in
Washington, DC to discuss the first national con-
vention of Indian Americans to be held in New York
He is always receptive to new ideas and has provided leadership not only to bring all community
groups together in the DC area, but also motivated
our community to be involved in the political
He had made substantial contributions on the
issues of Indian-American families as well on the
mental health issues of our community.
He has been a pillar of the growing Indian community
in the United States and truly deserves this Award.
COURTESY: SAMBHU BANIK
Sambhu Banik has been involved in the early days of the Indian-American Forum for
Political Education, the first Indian-American political organization mooted by
Dr Joy Cherian; the National Federation of Indian American Associations
put together by Dr Thomas Abraham, and the US-India Friendship Council
constituted by Swadesh Chatterjee.
He has always been very dedicated to providing services to not only the Indian-American
community, but to the general public.
When I was president of the Indian American
Forum for Political Education, Dr Banik was
one of the founding members who helped form the idea
that there was a need for the Indian-American community
to move into the mainstream and make connections with
the White House, Capitol Hill, different government agencies.
He also provided his services as a psychologist outside
the United States to help people in India and other places
who have mental health problems.
— Dr Thomas Abraham, winner of the India Abroad
Award for Lifetime Service to the Community, 2011
Interviews: Chaya Babu
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