Four Indian-Americans, including top US attorney Preet Bharara, are among 38 distinguished personalities who have been honoured with this year's prestigious "Great Immigrants: The Pride of America" award.
Among other Indians honoured with the top annual award by the prestigious New York-based Carnegie Corporation are Rakesh Khurana, Dean of Harvard College and Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership and Development; Madhulika Sikka vice president, executive editor, Mic and Abraham Verghese, eminent physician, professor and author.
"Only America welcomes, every day, populations of people like me and my parents -- people who ate biryani before they ate burgers, who learned cricket before they learned baseball," Bharara told PTI.
"There is still something called the American dream, and I have dreamt it; I have lived it; and I hope I never awaken from it. I am deeply proud of both my Indian heritage and my American roots, and I am more than honoured to be named a Great Immigrant," Bharara said.
The immigrants have been honoured for their "vital" contributions to the fabric of the nation and the strength of its democracy.
"Geography is destiny. It was in coming to America, in that change in geography that I found my voice and purpose," Verghese said.
"I am humbled and honoured to be included in this list of people who represent the promise of the immigrant experience. America has been good to me and I am proud to call myself an American immigrant," said Sikka.
The Carnegie Corporation will celebrate 38 "distinguished group of immigrants and their accomplishments" on the occasion of America's Independence Day on Saturday with a full-page colour public service ad in The New York Times, a dedicated multimedia website with an archive of honorees, shareable videos, podcasts and interactive quizzes.
The corporation would also honour new and aspiring citizens on a tribute website.
The 38 immigrants honoured this year come from more than 30 countries around the world and represent leadership in a wide range of professions.
Other notable honorees include Nobel Prize-winning Biochemist of Israeli origin Arieh Warshel, German-origin Nobel Prize-winning Neuroscientist Thomas Sudhof, Pakistani-American immigration attorney Rabia Chaudry, Colombian-origin actress Sofia Vergara among others.
"Our founder, Andrew Carnegie, came to this country as the son of impoverished immigrants and grew up to become one of the greatest contributors to American industry and philanthropy," said Vartan Gregorian, president of the corporation.
"His devotion to US democracy stemmed from his conviction that the new infusion of talent that immigrants bring to our country keeps American society vibrant," he said.
Photograph: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff.com