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ICC Newsletter

December 2011

Volume 7.0

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India Community Center of Austin

Message from the 2011 ICC Board

Namaste, Austin! Season’s Greetings to everyone! Can you believe that 2011 is drawing to a close? It’s hard to fathom that another year has passed by and just around the bend lies 2012. What are some of your New Year’s resolutions? But, as they say, a New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other! - Abdul, Harshita, Mary, Radhika, Raga, Ruhi, Salil, Sohail, and Sridhar


Each month, Parichay turns the spotlight on Indian community organizations or non-profits that enrich Austin with their presence.


Your ONE changes the lives of MANY!

Twenty years ago, Association for India's Development (AID) embarked on a remarkable journey – walking on roads less travelled and reaching out to the marginalized, which are central to the processes of change. Our mission is to facilitate a life of dignity and self-reliance for all in India. Today, AID has over 40 chapters and more than a thousand volunteers all around the world. AID Austin was started in 1997 by graduate students at The University of Texas. We have supported over 75 projects through the years and are currently working with nine project partners in India. Recently, AID received the Times of India Social Impact Award for 'Global Contribution to India' through our entire range of projects and activities; the honor was presented by India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. AID is a registered 501c(3) non-profit organization with tax ID 04-3652609 and all donations in the US are tax deductible. For more information, visit or email


Each month, Parichay turns the spotlight on Indian community organizations or non-profits that enrich Austin with their presence.

“An Hour of Your Time … Hope for a Lifetime” ASHA FOR EDUCATION Every year, people from around the world symbolically donate one or more hours’ worth of their salary towards the projects featured in the Work-An-Hour campaign by Asha for Education. Asha for Education is a 501(c) organization that focuses primarily on education in India with the belief that education is a critical requisite for socio-economic change. We collaborate with several non-governmental and governmental organizations in India to empower individuals and provide them with access to education, health care, equal opportunity, social justice, and more. This year’s campaign features 20 projects that serve the most vulnerable sections of India, including orphaned girls, tribal women, disabled children, and children of landless laborers, sex workers, and slum dwellers. The Work-AnHour campaign goes a long way towards raising much-needed funds for these deserving projects.

Your local Austin chapter of Asha for Education has selected Khushboo Welfare Society ( for this year's Work-an-Hour Campaign. Asha Austin has been working with Khushboo since October 2008. Located in Gurgaon, Khushboo is a holistic center that serves the needs of infants, children, and adolescents with mental and multiple disabilities. The institution has four main divisions: Sparsh (early intervention and rehabilitation for children aged 0-6 years), Blessings (academic school division for children aged 6-16 years), Samarth (vocational training division for adolescents and youth aged 16-30+ years), and Samvedan (a center for children with profound mental and multiple disabilities). Your donation will go towards supporting salaries of six special educators, affiliated with the Blessings school division of Khushboo.


Christmas Christmas is both a religious and cultural holiday. For billions of Christians around the world, it is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, born in a lowly manger and visited by shepherds and kings from afar. As a cultural (and retail) holiday, Christmas lights, trees, cards, and gifts are the main focus, and Santa Claus has taken center stage. For all, Christmas is a joyful time to spend with family and friends. Everyone enjoys singing carols, putting up the tree, and exchanging gifts. Christmas signifies love, kindness, joy and happiness.

Hanukkah Hannukkah is Jewish holiday that is observed to celebrate the victory of the Jewish Maccabees’ military over the Greek-Syrians. The holiday usually falls in the Jewish month of Kislev in December and extends for a period of eight days. To mark this holiday, for each of eight nights one light is lit on a menorah (a special candelabrum with nine branches) along with one additional light (a shamash) that is lit every day. Families get together to feast and play games. After the menorah-lighting, a traditional meal is served. Recently, some families also exchange gifts, a tradition that evolved from the giving of money to children.

Announcement Glitzy Events is proud to bring to you all a New Year's Eve formal dinner-and-dance evening of fun as we bring in the New Year 2012 at Marriott Round Rock. Seating is limited, so we suggest that you get your tickets ASAP. Get your friends and families together for a night of good food, great music, and unlimited fun! For tickets and additional information, call Cheryl 512-293-8786 or Pearl 512-789-1010, or email

Sambandha Relationship Q&A Jasbina Ahluwalia is an Indian-American Attorney-turned-Entrepreneur, Relationship Expert, Radio Show Host, Matchmaker / Dating Coach. She is the Founder of Intersections Match, the only Elite National Personalized Matchmaking & Dating Coaching Firm in the country for South Asian Singles. Jasbina is also the host of Intersections Talk Radio, a monthly holistic lifestyle show featuring conversations with published authors/experts on relationships and health and wellness. For more information, please visit Feel free to submit a question to be considered for this column to Jasbina directly at

Q: Online dating—To upload one’s picture or not? A: One of my suggestions to commitment-minded men and women ready to prioritize meeting a partner is to be as proactive as possible in the relationship arena of their lives by aligning their actions with their goals. In my opinion, online dating is a great avenue to meet people—if you’re willing to put the time and effort into doing so effectively. Since a significant number of men and women will entirely disregard online profiles posted without pictures, one limits oneself substantially by choosing not to post a picture online. When I’m working with our dating-coaching clients on their online profiles and communications, one of the first things I do is to ensure that the picture(s) the client posts online is (are) a recent and accurate representation of the best version of their authentic self. Selecting the right pictures warrants due consideration: while you certainly want to put your best foot forward and make a great first impression with your online pictures, in doing so, you do not want to sabotage your first in-person encounters by setting the bar unrealistically high. What makes you uncomfortable about the idea of posting a picture online? Some of our matchmaking clients are too high-profile in their industries to be comfortable posting pictures of themselves online. While I can certainly appreciate that (and that is one of the reasons for our customized services), such a situation precludes those clients from being ideal candidates for online dating. If there is anything about you physically which makes you less than confident (your hairstyle, crooked and/or stained teeth, those couple of extra pounds, etc.), consider taking care of it before going online so you can put your most confident self forward. While it is important that the motivation to make changes to your physical self be internally motivated, such changes can prove to be personally empowering. Assuming you are comfortable with your physical presence, what else may be holding you back? Perhaps, just as in other aspects of dating, you need to push the boundaries of your comfort zone. Best wishes!

ICC Austin Newsletter December 2011  
ICC Austin Newsletter December 2011  

India Community Center of Austin