Indianapolis Hyderabad Sister City Committee President, Raju Chinthala was surprised on November 14th with the Indiana Sagamore of the Wabash award, one of the state’s highest civil honors. On Saturday, November 14th at the Diwali Gala hosted by the India Association of Indianapolis, President Raju Chinthala was presented the Sagamore of the Wabash award by Diego Morales on behalf of Governor Mike Pence. The Sagamore of the Wabash award is a high civilian honor granted only by the governor. Diego Morales was very instrumental in submitting Raju Chinthala’s name to the Governor’s office to receive this award.The award is bestowed upon citizens who contribute greatly to the state of Indiana. The Sagamore of the Wabash is one of the state’s highest individual recognitions. The term “sagamore” was used by the Native Americans in the northeastern United States to describe a great man-or woman-among the tribe to whom the chief would look for wisdom, guidance and advice. Similarly, the Sagamore of the Wabash is given to those who have rendered distinguished service to the state and contributed greatly to Hoosiers statewide.“Raju Chinthala is a man of character and integrity, and his career and service demonstrates his longstanding commitment to and vision for improved relations with India and Indiana,” said Governor Mike Pence. “I am proud to recognize Raju Chinthala with a Sagamore of the Wabash to thank him for his continued hard work, dedication, and extensive service to our state.” After receiving the award, Raju thanked the full-house audience saying “I would like to express my deepest gratitude and sincere thanks, to God, to my parents who are watching this from heaven, to my sisters, to my brother, to my three glorious sons, and my beautiful wife, to my close friends, I would not be standing here without you. I thank each and every one of you for your support.” Raju also said “I would like to offer my sincerest gratitude to Governor Mike Pence and especially my good friend Diego Morales, Special Assistant to Governor Mike Pence for presenting this award. I accept it with deep gratitude and affection. I have no words to express my gratitude to citizens of State of Indiana. It is a wonderful place to live, work and raise family; where we welcome all.” Raju is proud to be part of “building a strong bridge between Indiana and India” with the help of many elected, business and community leaders. Raju was very honored and humbled to receive such a high honor. “It has been my pleasure to serve for so many years with such wonderful people in the State of Indiana. I am truly honored by this award.” Many elected officials were present at the event including Congressman Todd Rokita and Mayor Gregory A. Ballard, City of Indianapolis, State Rep. Donna Schaibley, State Rep. Christina Hale, City County Council President Maggie Lewis, Councilor Vop Osil, Deepender Singh Hooda, Member of Parliament, Haryana and many others.
ABOUT SAGAMORE OF THE WABASH AWARD:
The Sagamore of the Wabash award was created during the term of Governor Ralph Gates, who served from 1945 to 1949. Governor Gates was to attend a tristate meeting in Louisville with officials from the states of Ohio and Kentucky. Aides to the governor discovered that the governor of Kentucky was preparing a Kentucky Colonel certificates for Governor Gates and Senator Robert A. Taft, who to represent the State of Ohio. The Hoosiers decided that Indiana should have an appropriate award to present in return. The term “sagamore” was used by the American Indian Tribes of the northeastern United States to describe a lesser chief or a great man among the tribe to whom the true chief would look for wisdom and advice. Each governor since Gates has presented the certificates in their own way. It has been said that one governor even resorted to wearing full Indian headdress as he read the scrolls. The award is highest honor, which the Governor of Indiana bestows. It is a personal tribute usually given to those who have rendered a distinguished service to the state or to the governor. Among these who have received Sagamores have been astronauts, presidents, ambassadors, artists, musicians, politicians, and ordinary citizens who have contributed greatly to our Hoosier heritage. It should be noted that the Sagamores have been conferred upon both men and women. There is no record of the total number which have been presented, as each governor has kept his own roll; just as each has reserved the right to personally select the recipients.
ABOUT INDIANAPOLIS HYDERABAD SISTER CITY COMMITTEE (IHSCC):
In 2010, City of Indianapolis and City of Hyderabad entered into a Sister City Pact. This was done with the understanding that the two cities will collaborate in the areas of economic, social, cultural and educational development. In order to facilitate this partnership, a delegation led by City of Indianapolis Mayor, Greg Ballard visited Hyderabad during the month of April 2010 and signed an MOU with Hyderabad Mayor Ms. Karthika Reddy on April 27th, 2010 and they both successfully spelled a beginning to a long term bilateral relationship between these two cities.In order to strengthen the relationship between these two cities, Mayor Ballard appointed Mr. Raju Chinthala as the President of Hyderabad Sister City Committee which is part of Indianapolis Sister Cities International (ISCI). Goal of IHSCC is to promote socio-economical and bi-lateral relationships between the two Cities. This partnership is expected to create a strong social, cultural, educational and economic relationship between these two cities. Sister City Committee continues to partner with various not-for-profit organizations such as Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, International Center of Indianapolis and other regional and local organization such as India Association of Indianapolis (IAI) to leverage our relationships through coalitions and collaborative opportunities. Over the past 5 years, IHSCC has overseen and organized several delegation visits to Indiana to promote socio and economical relationships.
ABOUT RAJU CHINTHALA:
An emissary with a vision. An Ambassador of Indian Community in Indiana. Raju is a Speech Language Pathologist, Entrepreneur and Community Leader. Raju has over 20 years of health care experience in skilled nursing homes and is certified by the American Speech Language Hearing Association. He is an active community leader, having served in many leadership positions in business, political and cultural organizations.
– President, Indianapolis – Hyderabad Sister City Committee
– Chairman, US India Political Action Committee, Indiana Chapter
– Founder & President, Asian American Indiana Political Action Committee
– Member, Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Human Relations, City of Carmel
– Member, Indiana State Board of Speech Pathologists & Audiologists
– Spokesperson, India Association of Indianapolis
– Past Chair & Board Member at India Association of Indianapolis
– Past Chair & Board Member Asian Services of Indiana
– Past VP & Board Member, World Trade Club of Indiana
– Past President of the Greater Indianapolis Telugu Association
– Past Board Member, North American Telugu Association
Raju also served as Vice President of Marion county Convention & Recreation Authorities, Board Member at Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (GIPC), Nationalities Council of Indiana, Asian Services of Indiana, Nationalities Council of Indiana, Asian Services of Indiana, Indianapolis Department of Public Safety Board and Regional Health Equity Council, Region V, the Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He is a committee member of the Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity Awards. Holding a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University and a Masters Degree in Speech and Hearing from All India Institute of Speech & Hearing, Mysore, India, he has garnered several awards. Born and raised in Nalgonda district, Telangana, India, Raju moved to the US in 1994 and currently resides in Carmel, Indiana with wife Dr. Prasanna Chinthala and son Anoop Chinthala. His personal interests include photography, fitness, reading, networking and being a gadget fanatic.