Indian Family honoured with US flag flown over US Capitol

Congressman George Holding expressed his care in a unique manner when he got the US flag to fly over the US Capitol in remembrance of Indian born businessman Vimal Kolappa’s mother, Vimala Padmanabhan Kolappa, who died in India on February 26.

By   |  Chitti Babu Pacharu  |  Published: 4th May 2017  3:29 pm
Vimal Kolappa with the flag.

Hyderabad: A rare thing happened in in the United States for the Indian community recently.

Congressman George Holding, known for his caring nature to all his constituents including Indian constituents, expressed his care in a unique manner when he got the US flag to fly over the US Capitol in remembrance of Indian born businessman Vimal Kolappa’s mother, Vimala Padmanabhan Kolappa, who died in India on February 26.

US Capitol
Vimal Kolappa’s mother Vimala Padmanabhan Kolappa.

“It is a great honour. It is one of the greatest honors to the Indian community,” Kolappa said. Kolappa has been a North Carolina resident for nearly three decades – his children attended Beaufort County schools; he and his wife, Dr. Kalavathi Kolappa, live in Cypress Landing.

Owner of East Coast Hospitality LLC, Kolappa currently owns and operates 16 franchise hotels, employs around 300-400 people and is constructing eight more hotels.

Holding, Kolappa says, has been very instrumental in helping the Indian community and making inroads with doing business with India.

US Capitol
Vimal Kolappa with his family.

“He has always been very helpful not only to the Indian community, but for all of his constituents,” Kolappa said.

The two had become friends over the last eight years, and at the news of Kolappa’s mother’s demise, Holding requested a flag be flown in her honour, courtesy of the Capitol Flag Program. Each flag is issued a certificate stating when the flag was flown over the Capitol and the name of the group or individual for which it was flown. With Kolappa’s flag also came a note of condolence from Holding.

US Capitol
Vimal Kolappa with George Holding.

It was a first, Kolappa said, for him, for North Carolina’s Indian community and for the nation’s Indian population.

“It was a surprise — a total surprise to me. I was very touched and surprised, which makes me to serve more for this greatest country and the people,” he said.

Kolappa and his family are the epitome of the American Dream, fulfilled at least in part by the tolerance and kindness experienced by them in America Journey. Same is the case with his family Kalavathi Kolappa is outpatient director with Vidant Behavioral Health; daughter Kavitha is a psychiatry postdoctoral fellow working at Harvard Medical School; son Kamal is a cardiologist in North Carolina, Kolappa wants to give back to this community and he does his best to collaborate with Congressman George Holding.