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March 12, 2013 > Jeevan Zutshi receives Intercultural Service Award

Jeevan Zutshi receives Intercultural Service Award

Submitted By Human Relations Commission

This year the Fremont Human Relations Commission has selected Mr. Jeevan Zutshi to be the recipient of the commission's Intercultural Service Award. Zutshi, born and raised in Kashmir, India, is no stranger to political and social unrest. Growing up as a Hindu in an area of India which was predominantly Muslim at a time when there was much conflict between India and Pakistan, may have contributed to Zutshi developing a deep understanding and respect for people from all cultures and religious backgrounds.

Clearly, this early experience increased his desire to advocate for social justice and human rights, at an international level as well as here locally in the Fremont community. In 2000, Zutshi was one of 33 Indo-Americans invited to visit the White House and voice their views on an upcoming visit that President Clinton was making to South Asia. Zutshi focused his views on human rights issues in Kashmir. Now, he is the Director of National Federation of Indian Associations (NFIA) and has initiated the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (Silicon Valley Chapter) in 2006, which promotes human rights around the globe.

More locally, in 2004 Zutshi received an award from California legislature for being a pioneer in promoting assimilation of Indo-Americans in mainstream America and in 2011 he received the "Unity Award" from the California Legislature for fostering understanding and promoting human rights for all citizens. He was appointed by California's Attorney General to serve on his Civil Rights Commission on Hate Crimes to improve the reporting of hate crimes and hate incidents occurring throughout California.

Zutshi is perhaps most recognized locally for the creation of the Indo-American Community Federation, which annually celebrates its signature event, the "Unity Dinner," to promote understanding and human rights in the aftermath of 9/11. The dinner brings together the diverse groups, which add to the richness of our community, to promote communication, interaction, and understanding.

Zutshi is supported in all his work by his lovely wife Usha, has also served on numerous non-profit boards and currently is a member of the Ohlone Community College Foundation.

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