On Oct. 20, President Barack Obama presented the 2011 Presidential Citizen’s Medals to 13 people — thousands of nominations were sent in. The medal is one of the highest honors a civilian can receive.
Among those honored was Vijaya Emani, who died in 2009. Her children, Sujata and Nirmala, accepted on their mother’s behalf.
Emani was from Cleveland, and there, spoke out against domestic abuse, something not often discussed in the Indian American community. Among her many notable achievements, she helped establish the India Cultural Garden in the area and worked to get a statue of Gandhi erected at the garden. (end)