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Indo American News • Friday, August 06 , 2010

Online Edition: www.indoamerican-news.com

Friday, August 06 2010 | Vol. 29, No. 32

Indo American News

$1 Circulation Verified by

Shankar Ehsan Loy to Perform in Houston Friday, August 6

READ US ONLINE at www.indoamerican-news.com Published weekly from Houston, TX

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this week Inside A Year of Milestones, Celebrations, for Kohinoor Diamonds

Story on Pg 3

JVB Preksha Conducts Meditation Story on Pg 4 Workshop

Story on Pg 6

Kids R Kids North Sugar Land Wins iSmart School Award Independence Day Flag Hoisting on August 15

Details on Pg 11

Sadhvi Ritambhara Devi on USA - Canada Tour

AR RAHMAN IN HOUSTON

Maestro A R Rahman will visit Houston and Dallas this weekend to meet with media and principle sponsors and tweak their enthusiasm and energy for his rescheduled Jai Ho Concert

The most popular and critically acclaimed music directors of Bollywood comes to Houston on August 6, 8:30pm at Berry Center along with Pakistani singer Shafaqat Amanat Ali, Richa Sharma, Mahalaxmi Iyer and others to perform in one of the most entertaining concerts of the year.

VPss 25-year celebration of life, spirituality

community and about HOUSTON: Culminating 450 people attended. a nine-day long celebration Every evening from of the 25th anniversary of 6:30 to 9:30 pm, the the Vallabh Priti Seva SamVallabh Hall was full aj, a Chappan Bhog was perof vaishnavs and others formed on Saturday, July 31 who watched cultural at the temple premises on the programs based on Lord city’s southwest. The events, Krishna and Pusti Marg which actually started on performed by the youngFriday, July 23 also comsters of VPSS. Theswere memorated the fifth year of followed by discourses the Texas Nathdwara, the by the Acharyas. The new temple, and also honyoung and talented Achaored eleven Hindu activists. rya PP Shri 108 GoswaThe celebrations were mi Vrajraj Kumar, stood blessed by the four VPSS out as he captivated the acharyas who came to Housaudience. ton — Param Pujya Shri The event on Friday, Indira Betijee Mahodaya, July 30, hailed the work Param Pujya Shri Nikunjlata of the Hindu leaders enBetijee Mahodaya, Param dorsed by VPSS which Pujya Shri Drumilkumar pledged to work with Mahodayshri and Param Puother Hindus across the jya Shri Vrajrajkumar MaU.S. to strengthen Hindu hodayshri. The entire temple was deco- From left: Sarla Patel;President of VPSS, Goswami Vrajraj Kumar, Indira Betiji, unity and harmony with the mainstream. Nearly rated festively with garlands, Dhrumilbava, Nikunjlatabetiji 700 people attended the edge lighting, paintings and showered rose petals and roses on lamps while a Haveli Sangeet was program that was emceed by Phalflags. A 90-minute long proces- the dignitaries and their disciples. played. sion with hundreds of devotees The procession ended in front of The next day, the VPSS conduct- guni Kikani and Rasesh Dalal and joined the Shobha Yatra with the the temple and the Acharyas were ed its first ever Health Fair where included a darshan and dinner. Suresh Patel, one of the founderfour Acharyas riding in horse car- escorted in where they proclaimed medical professionals belonging riages. The climax came when a the beginning of Chhappan Bhog to the temple and other supporters continued on page 4 helicopter hovered overheads and celebration by lighting ceremonial provided valuable checkups to the

‘outstanding young Houstonian’ Story on Pg 12

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HOUSTON: Since 1932 the Houston Junior Chamber (Houston Jaycees) and the Houston Junior Chamber Foundation have recognized the outstanding young men and women of Houston for their accomplishments and contributions to the Houston community. For the year 2010, Sanjay Ramabhadran will be honored as one of Five Outstanding Young Houstonians. Houstonians who have received this recognition include President George H.W. Bush (Senior), Howard Hughes, and Dr. Denton Cooley. Sanjay Ramabhadran (Ram), PE serves as Vice President at CP&Y, a Texas based infrastructure and environmental consulting firm. tions he serves in the community. Sanjay has played a key role in promoting the political awareness and participation of the Indo-American community. He has a Master’s degree in Civil (Environmental) Engineering from Texas A&M

First look at the new 10 rupee Indian coin This new Indian coin has been approved by the Indian government as a new symbol for Indian Rupee and this is the newest look of Rs. 10 coin.The Indian rupee symbol is a mix of the Devanagri ‘’Ra’’ and Roman ‘’R’’, and becomes the fifth currency in the world to have such a distinct identity. This new Indian rupee symbol is designed by IIT post-

Sanjay Ramabhadran

University and an undergraduate degree from BITS-Pilani, India. He is now involved in “Renew Houston” an organization dedicated to providing a funding source for world class infrastructure to promote Houston as a business destination. Sanjay is married to Vidya and the couple has two sons, Vedanth and Saarang.

graduate D Uday Kumar and has been approved by the Union Cabinet. The new Indian rupee will now join the elite club of US dollar, British pound-sterling, Euro and Japanese Yen to have its own symbol.

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Indo American News • Friday, August 06 , 2010

Online Edition: www.indoamerican-news.com

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A year of milestones, celebrations, for Kohinoor diamonds The Mountain of Light gleams brighter than ever in Little India

By Kalyani Giri HOUSTON: The luster cast by the opulent chandeliers at the Sugar Land Marriott at Town Square were evocative of the magical gems vying for covetous attention at the Kohinoor Diamonds’ Hillcroft showroom. Also favoring the jeweled tones of the evening were the platinum-hued overlays on the tables that found echo in the silvery fabric swathing the chairs, while bowls of roses and softly glowing candles reposing on beds of sea glass made for tasteful centerpieces. The elegant ballroom was a regal venue for a dual celebration in a landmark year; the 5th anniversary of Kohinoor Diamonds, and more significantly, the 25th wedding anniversary of Kohinoor’s proud founders/owners, Neelofer and Altaf Ali. Hardly coincidental, as the Kohinoor showroom was Altaf Ali’s gift to his wife Neelofer a short five years ago. It was undoubtedly a leap of faith and an unwavering confidence in her abilities that has seen the store endure beyond a rugged economy to have fast become a household name and the diamond destination for aficionados of precious stones and high-end jewelry. The celebratory event, skillfully planned and executed by the couple’s daughters Sophia and Aleya, drew about 150 of the Ali family’s close friends and family who gathered to help commemorate the milestone occasion. “I owe a debt of gratitude to our loyal patrons and friends who have helped make Kohinoor so successful. I feel such immense pride in our showroom,” confided Neelofer. “More than anything,

Altaf and Neelofer Ali (Center) with their two daughters Sophia (left) and Aleya Ali

I want to thank Altaf for being the most supportive and wonderful husband in the world! I have reigned like a queen for the past 25 years of our marriage and our love grows stronger every year. I’m the luckiest woman! And a very proud mother,” she added emotionally. Kohinoor Diamonds, spanning 5000 sq. feet, is home to the works of some of the most imaginative jewelry designers of international repute; sharing glass-banked cases are the creations of Luca Carati, exclusive pieces from the Breanna Collection, the Diana Classics, Triton, Claude Thibaudeau, Fendi, and Hollywood’s LeVian, to name a few. For the discerning shopper, the store’s staff has a collective indepth knowledge culled over forty years, and is intuitive to a customer’s individual taste. With clarity, cut, color, and carat at its optimum at Kohinoor (meaning Mountain of Light), the store has a wide range of classic and contemporary, tradi-

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timeless pieces of wearable art, coveted and popular among those planning on tying the knot. All the rage presently and making for energetic conversation pieces at parties citywide are the Polki diamonds, which are crafted into natural settings with an antique burnish and selling avidly to the fashion-conscious. From custom made pieces, to pendants, necklace sets, earrings, bracelets, designer watches, the store truly has something for everyone. As a live band played popular songs, guests were treated to a slide presentation showing the evolution of the Ali family over the past 25 years. The courtship

parents and invited them to cut the anniversary cake. “I remember that I helped when you started Kohinoor five years ago and it is amazing to see how much it’s grown. I know that it will continue to prosper. You are terrific parents and I wish you many more years of joy together,” said Sophia. Her sister Aleya was equally complimentary. “I am so proud of your success with Kohinoor – you’ve put in such wonderful effort. Many good wishes for the future, and happy anniversary,” Aleya added. Urmila and Bharat Shah were at Kohinoor Diamonds from its inception and are more than valued employees. Rather, the Ali family has embraced them as their very own. “Neelofer, Altaf, and the girls treat me like a mother. The respect they give me - that in my life is a great gift,” said 71 yr. old Urmila Shah,who is universally and affectionately known as Baa. “Today I bless them as my own son and daughter and wish them many, many years of happy married life,” she added, as she proudly mingled with guests at the party at the Marriott. She gifted gatherContinued on page 12

Customers at Kohinoor Diamonds with Neelofer Ali and Urmila Shah (Baa)

tional and playful styles, to please all ages and jewelry palates. The showroom carries confections fashioned of white, yellow, and rose colored gold. The Diana collection of exclusive bridal engagement and wedding rings are

days, Neelofer as a young mother, birthday parties and family holidays, bore testimony to the family’s happiness and connectedness. Serving as an articulate Mistress of Ceremonies for the event, 20 yr. old Sophia Ali congratulated her

Indo-American News (ISSN 887-5936) is published weekly on every Friday (for a subscription price of $30 per year) by Indo-American News Inc., 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, Texas 77036, Tel: 713-789-6397, Fax: 713-789-6399, Email: indoamericannews@ yahoo.com. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Indo-American News, 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, Texas 77036. If you receive your paper more than 4 days after the Dateline, please file a complaint with your post office or call the USPS Consumer Affairs Office at 713-226-3442

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Indo American News • Friday, August 06 , 2010

JVB Preksha Conducts Meditation Workshop HOUSTON: JVB Preksha Meditation Center, Houston conducted a two day Preksha Meditation workshop on July, 31 & August 1 at the Preksha Dhyan Meditation Hall at its facilities on Schiller Rd. The workshop was attended by about 25 people.

Pranayam sessions. Dr. Ajay Jain was at hand for a talk wherein he discussed the functions of the various body organs, and common ailments of each of the organs. He also answered participant questions regarding general health and fitness.

ment of one’s personality. Started in 1970, Preksha Meditation is the result of the untiring efforts of Ganadhipati Tulsi and Acharya Mahapragya. Preksha Meditation is for everyone, irrespective of his or her race, religion, language, color, gender and belief.

Meditation Workshop attendees at the JVB Preksha Meditation Center

Samaniji’s Akshay Pragya Ji & Vinay Pragya Ji conducted the workshop which included lectures by Samaniji’s & Mahendra muni ji on Preksha Meditation techniques. Some of the topics covered in the talks were – ‘Internal Trip through your Body’, ‘Perception of your Body’, ‘How to start the inner journey & ‘Know your Inner World’. All the lectures were followed by meditation sessions that were designed to be practical applications of each of the lecture contents. Workshops were conducted from 9am – 4pm with participants under a pledge of complete silence, had multiple breaks and included lunch and snacks. Sessions on both days began with morning Yoga &

Participants enjoyed the proJVB Preksha Meditation Center gram content & arrangements, and is home to a specially designed especially appreciated Samanijis Preksha Dhyan ‘Pyramid’ Mediin-depth knowledge of the top- tation Hall and is located at 14102 ics covered, and most pledged to Schiller Rd, Houston, TX 77082. become regular practitioners of For more information visit Preksha Meditation, resolving to www.JVBHouston.org or call come back for future sessions. 281.596.9642. Preksha Meditation is the practice of purifying our emotions, consciousness and realizing our own self. MediaWriters are requested to limit their words to tion augurs attitudinal change, 500 The deadline for advertising and articles behavioral modi- is 5 pm on Tuesday of each week. For more fication and inte- information, Call 713-789-6397 or email us at: grated develop- indoamericannews@yahoo.com

Writers ... Take NOTICE

Online Edition: www.indoamerican-news.com

Indian Export Delegation Traveling to Houston Seeking Business Opportunities HOUSTON: A delegation of companies belonging to one of the oldest and most prominent business organizations in India is traveling to Houston, seeking opportunities to expand their product lines and form strategic partnerships with U.S. companies. The 11 firms – members of the Chemical and Allied Export Promotion Council of India (www. capexil.com) represent companies that export wood, plywood and related products. The IndoAmerican Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH) is sponsoring the visit by the delegation. The goal of the delegation is to seek business opportunities in the U.S. market for the delegates, export products, promote bilateral trade between the U.S. and India, form joint ventures, appoint selling agents and establish branch offices in the U.S. Representatives will present information about their companies at an event scheduled for Monday, August 30, from 8:30-10am, at the Westin Galleria’s Royal Suite, 5060 West Alabama, Houston, Texas 77056. Admission to the program is free for members of the IACCGH, Greater Houston Partnership, area chambers of commerce and economic development agencies. RSVP’s are required by August 25 and may be made by

emailing at mailto:rsvp@iaccgh. com or rsvp@iaccgh.com. A short profile of the company is required at the time of registration. Opportunities to network oneon-one with the delegation will be held from 10am-1pm. Advance registration for this individual networking event is required and may be made by visiting www.roivision.com/CAPEXIL/houston/index.html. The deadline to RSVP for the one-on-one event is also August 25. “We are pleased to host members of CAPEXIL in Houston,” said Jagdip Ahluwalia, IACCGH executive director. “We believe there are unlimited opportunities to develop long-lasting mutual business relationships between companies in the two countries.” “The CAPEXIL Trade Mission to Houston is focused on building new business ties between our Indian exporters and potential partners and importers in the U.S. market,” noted B.H. Patel, chairman of CAPEXIL and leader of the U.S. trade mission. “Our delegation looks forward to meeting many members of the Houston business community to pursue topics of mutual benefit.” For more information about the event, call IACCGH at 713-6247131 or visit the website at www. iaccgh.com.

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Indo American News • Friday, August 06 , 2010

A Celebration, 25 Years in the Making, of Life and Spirituality continued from page

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members of VPSS and a trustee of Texas Nathdwara, welcomed the honorees and praised their untiring efforts in inculcating Hindu values in our children, spreading awareness and educating the mainstream community about Hindu philosophy and religion, taking up Hindu causes and fighting discrimination and bias. He stressed the fact that VPSS devotees were Hindus first and Pushti Margiya second. “Their presence among us is more relevant because each one of them believes and advocates that we are Hindus first and then Pushti Margiya Vaishnavs.” He said. “Those who were here yesterday heard Pujya Indira Betijee loud and clear - that different paths of worship that we follow are like branches of a tree and that tree is Hinduism. We may follow the teachings of any of our recognized Jagadgurus and accept any one of their theories regarding relation between God and us, we are always conscious of the fact that the foundation of our personal beliefs are world renowned scriptures such as the Vedas, the Upnishads, the Gita and Shrimad Bhagwat. In the end these scriptures are the basis for Hindu Unity at home and

From left: Vijay Pallod (Hindus of Greater Houston), Ramesh Shah (Ekal Vidyalaya), Neelkanth Patel (BAPS), Swatantra Jain (Preksha Meditation Center), Goswami Vrajraj Kumar, Beth Kulkarni ( Hindu Temple of Woodlands), Padmakanth Khambati (Sanatan Hindu Center & Voice of Hinduism Radio Program) , Shyam Sunder Das (Hare Krishna Dham) and Dr. G.S. Gopalkrishna (MTS) were honored as Best Hindu Leaders in Houston. Not in the picture: Darshanaben Nanavati (Chinmaya Mission) Photo: Krishna Giri

around the world.” Patel said the idea of recognizing Hindu activists was wholeheartedly supported by the committee that worked out the details of the Chhappan Bhog celebrations. “When our ambassador and trustee of VPSS Rasesh Dalal presented the idea to our Board of Trustees,

it was unanimously approved. Our Vallabh Kul Acharyas also encouraged and blessed the idea,” he said. “The second purpose is to reemphasize the need for Hindu Unity,” Patel said. “We need to support organizations like the Hindu American Foundation that

represents all Hindus and tries to educate American legislators, and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad which spreads Hindu values and strives to preserve Hindu heritage. As a matter of fact we all should pledge to contribute 1% of our annual takings to a common fund to support such organizations. We also need

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to stop criticizing construction of Hindu temples. If we did not have this temple, we would not be meeting here or conducting our religious, educational, cultural, social and charitable activities or providing knowledge of Hinduism to the future of tomorrow, our children.” This was followed by the introduction of the Hindu leaders who were honored: Darshanaben and Gaurang Nanavati acharya of Chinmaya Mission Houston; Padmakant Khambati of Sanatan Hindu Center and Voice of Hinduism radio program; Ramesh Shah of Ekal Vidyalaya; Vijay Pallod of Hindus of Greater Houston; Swatantra Jain of Preksha Meditation Center; Shyam Sundar Das of Hare Krishna Dham; Beth Kulkarni of the Hindu Temple of the Woodlands; Neelkanth Patel of BAPS; G.S. Gopalkrishna of Sri Meenakshi Temple and Acharya Dr. Prem Chand Shridhar of Arya Samaj of Greater Houston. Each received a shawl and a gift bag from the acharyas on stage. Gaurang Nanavati said that instead of worrying about the future of Hindus in America or whether our children will remain in the

Indo American News • Friday, august 06 , 2010 • Online Edition: www.indoamerican-news.com

continued on page

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Indo American News • Friday, August 06 , 2010

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Kids r Kids north sugar s land wins w ismart is smart s school Award

AUSTIN: On July 30, Kids R Kids North Sugarland located on Hwy 6 and West Airport received the first national iSmart School Award in Austin by Assistant to the President of Kids R Kids International Glen Sloan for utilizing technology tools to enhance student learning. Kids R Kids North Sugar Land is

Sue said that when Lonnie encountered the 60 inch wide smart screen, “He was like a kid in a candy store.” The screen responds to almost any touch, ranging from hands to tennis balls and uses real pictures in its over 1100 enriching learning activities. The board’s activities cover areas of study like literacy, math, science and social studies and have three levels in each activity, allowing students to be continuously challenged in their learning experience. “I love playing on the Smart Board,” says Kalel Patel a kindergartener at Kids R Kids. The new Smart Board based learning will be coordinated by Mr. Hughe, who has a Master’s Degree in Education. “The kids are very intuitive with Owner Lonnie Hutson and Glen Sloan, Kids R Kids Internathe Smart Board,” he tional, Inc. Assistant to the President said proudly. Ms. the first Kids R Kids school to receive the Thibodeaux, one of the kindergarten teachiSmart School Award for incorporating the ers says, “It’s an incredibly valuable reTeachSmart® Learning System as part of source for creating engaging learning expetheir student curriculum and the only pri- riences.” Kids R Kids North Sugar Land is vate pre-school in Fort Bend that uses the the only Kids R Kids in Houston to have the TeachSmart tools for ages 3- 5 year olds. TeachSmart® technology. Technology is now an integral part of life For more information, visit them at 11118 and Kids R Kids Sugar Land owners Lon- S. Highway 6, (West Airport) Sugar Land, nie and Sue Hutson fully understand this. TX, 77498 or call 281-575-0011.

VPss 25-year y celebration year

continued frpm page

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Hindu fold or not, we must just do our duty today. “Teach our children about Hinduism, our culture, our scriptures and our values. The future will take care of itself”, he said. In this regard, he congratulated VPSS on starting Vallabh Vidya Mandir where children learn the tenets of Hinduism. Vijay Pallod is one of the earliest volunteers with the Hindus of Greater Houston in which he is still active. He also offers his services, especially in media relations, to many Hindu temples and organizations and yoga groups in the Greater Houston area and nationally. Pallod, who spoke in Hindi and English, said, “I am especially glad to be here today because Sri Nathji is my family deity (ishta devata). I will continue to volunteer for VPSS and the Hindu community with the blessings of the elders. I will continue to serve through my tan, man dhan (body, mind and money).”

Beth Kulkarni praised the proposed seniors housing complex initiated by VPSS. “By recognizing me and my fellow honorees tonight, you are encouraging others to become more involved in community service; if your actions and ours encourage others to perform more service, we are pleased,” she said. Dr G. S. Gopalakrishna said, “My involvement in Hindu temple’s in America began when my eldest daughter told me that ‘everyone goes to church on Sunday.’ She made me realize the importance of temples as centers of tradition and culture and that doing pujas alone at home did not provide this sense of community.” The VPSS is located at 11715 Bellfort Village Dr, Houston, TX 77031; www. vpsshaveli.org

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Asha for Education at Chevron Houston Marathon 2010-2011

Indo American News • Friday, August 06 , 2010

HOUSTON: Do you agree that EDUCA- teachers, SACSAS has ensured that about TION forms one of the important founda- 300 children from the low income families tions in every human beings life? That ED- of this district are going to school, enjoyUCATION brings good job prospects to an ing their time there and getting an educaindividual? Do you know that nearly 20% tion. SUKRUPA is focused on providing of children in India 6-14 years old have no children from the slums in Bangalore a complete value education. BUILD ensures access to primary education? One of the main reasons for wide-spread that the children working in brick kilns in illiteracy in India is poverty. When a fam- Chennai have the opportunity of continuily doesn’t have enough money for food ing their education and Project NELSON or shelter, it is tough to imagine that they provides non conventional ICT based eduwill have the luxury to send their children to school. However, without education there is little chance that their circumstances will become better. Asha for Education is working towards breaking this circle by providing underprivileged children access to basic education. Asha volunteers cheering and encouraging runners in the 2010 Asha’s growing Chevron Houston Marathon. presence and efforts, which are primarily supported by do- cational access as bridge course for higher nations and fundraisers, is benefitting sev- education to rural children in the Cuddalore eral hundreds of children all over India but area. All Asha projects are driven by the inithe goal is to reach many thousands more tiatives and the dedication of hundreds of and support projects in every district of In- volunteers and have zero overheads making it possible to channel funds directly to the dia. For the second consecutive year, Asha projects. If running a marathon, half-marathon or for Education has been selected as an official charity for the 2010-2011 “Run for a 5K is something you or someone you know Reason” Chevron Houston Marathon. Last are considering, then run as part of Team year, through the efforts of 40 Asha runners, Asha. The registration for the Chevron numerous sponsors and volunteers, $20,000 Houston Marathon began July 27 and the were raised to fund educational projects Marathon will be run on Sunday, January 30, 2011. supported by Asha Houston. In addition, the Sidewalk squad organized To help children get their needed education, you can Train, Run and Educate with by the Marathon is an excellent opportunity Asha Houston. Running for Team Asha, for businesses/companies to get involved the marathon training program of Asha, is a with ASHA as an official charity. The Sidefun experience. You will make new friends walk Squad program allows companies in the Houston area, get in excellent shape, to donate $5000, $7500, or $10,000 to an and help make a difference in lives of un- official charity in return for their visibility at the marathon. Since the marathon is exderprivileged children in India! Currently, projects supported by Asha pected to have over 200,000 live spectators Houston include: SACSAS (Save Children, and 1,000,000 television viewers, it is not Save Society) in Manipur, SUKRUPA in only a good opportunity for publicity, but Bangalore, BUILD in Chennai and Project- contributions are also tax deductible. NELSON in Cuddalore. Project SACSAS For more information and to register has been instrumental in providing early education to the children living in remote for Chevron Houston Marathon with Asha Houston, visit www.ashanet.org/houston/ areas of Bishnupur district in Manipur. By involving the villagers in building of events/marathon or email houston@ashaschools, and recruiting qualified locals as net.org.

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stoRy of MahatMa Gandhi gandhi Invites u untouchable Family to Ashram

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Gandhi Jayanti 2010 Celebration as 1000 Lights for Peace 5 pm: Sunday, October 3, 2010,at Miller Outdoor Theatre To register for “Walk For Peace” at Gandhi Jayanti celebrations, visit www.gandhilibrary.org.

Gandhi went to Rajkot and Por Porbandar to meet his relatives and then went on to Shantiniketan. There Gandhi met poet laureate Rabindranath Tagore for the first time, as well as C. F. Andrews. Andrews, who came to India as an Anglican priest in 1904, was one of the very few people respect respected both within Indian nationalist circles and official British ones. A close friend of Gandhi, Tagore and other eminent Indians of the time, Andrews never ceased to champion the Indian cause for independence and, in a broader sense, the cause of all downtrodden peoples against oppression. Now read on. During his short stay at Santiniketan Gandhi heard the sad news that Gokhale had passed away. He immediately left for Poona, C. F. Andrews accompanying him as far as Burdwan. “Do you think,” Andrews asked Gandhi, “that a time will come for satyagraha in India? If so, how soon will it be?” “It is difficult to say,” replied Gandhi. “For one year I am to do nothing. Gokhale made me promise that I would travel in India for one year to gain experience, and that I would express no opinion until I had finished this period of probation. So I do not think there will be any occasion for satyagraha for five years.” After attending the shraddha ceremonies of Gokhale, Gandhi met the leaders of the Servants of India Society. Out of respect for Gokhale he would have joined the Society, but there was opposition from a certain sections of the members. Gandhi visited Rangoon, in Burma, for a short period and on his return he went to Hardwar during the time of the Kumbha Mela. About 1.7 million people attended the mela. Volunteer corps from different organizations had gone to Hardwar to be of service to the big crowds that were flowing in. Gandhi was invited to go there with the Phoenix party with the Phoenix party to help the volunteers. The Phoenix group went there and Gandhi joined them. Gandhi was pained at the many happenings and shortcomings at the great religious fair. There was corruption, there was cheating and many other unsocial activities. Scant care was taken about sanitary arrangements. All this made Gandhi, feel very sad. He thought a great deal about the problem of how to improve the Indian character. In May 1915 an ashram was established in a village near Ahmedabad. The city was an ancient centre of handloom weaving and Gandhi thought the place was suited for the revival of the cottage industry of hand-spinning. Gandhi named the new institution Satyagraha Ashram. “Our creed is devotion to truth,

“And then Gandhi came. He was like a powerful current of fresh air that made us stretch ourselves and take deep breaths, like a beam of light that pierced the darkness and removed the scales from our eyes, like a whirlwind that upset many things, but most of all the working of people’s minds.��� — Jawaharlal Nehru

and our business is the search for and insistence on truth,” he said. A simple uniform style of clothing was worn by all who were there. They took their food together in a common kitchen and strove to live as one family. Gandhi told the members: “If you want to serve the people, it is essential to observe the vows of truth, ahimsa, celibacy, non-stealing, non-possession, and control of the palate.” One day Gandhi said to members of the ashram, “I have received an applicaiton from an untouchable family who want to join us here. I am replyuing to them that they are welcome.” This created quite a stir. An untouchable family in our midst!! Even Kasturbai had her misgivings. Gandhi’s mind was made up, however, and there could be no objection from anyone in the ashram. But the patrons of the ashram did not like the idea and they stopped funding the ashram. The ashram was suddenly faced with an acute financial crisis, but help came unexpectedly. A rich man came to the ashram and gave Gandhi Rs. 13,000 and urged him to continue running the ashram. In February 1916, Gandhi was invited to speak at the laying of the foundation-stone of the Banaras Hindu University. The Viceroy and many of the most important people of India were there. Gandhi, clad in a Kathiawadi long coat and a turban, rose to speak. The police arrangements, and also the pomp and luxury around him, hurt him deeply. Turning to the audience he said, “I want to think audibly and speak without reserve. His first words froze the audience. “It is a matter of deep humiliation and shame for us,” he said, “that I am compelled this evening under the shadow of this great college, in this sacred city, to address my countrymen

in a language that is foreign to me.” It was a bombshell. Nobody had ever dared to speak against the English language. The British officers, then friends, and the important Indians who had gathered there were seething in anger. But Gandhi went on, “His Highness the Maharaja who presided yesterday over our deliberations spoke about the poverty of India. But what did we witness? A most gorgeous show, an exhibition of jewellery... There is no salvation for India unless you strip yourselves of this jewellery and hold it in trust for your countrymen in India.” Gandhi gave a long speech, covering many topics. His speech was full of outspoken criticism. Mrs. Annie Besant, who was one of the organizers of the function, was horrified and urged Gandhi to sit down. But Gandhi went on. Some people went red with rage, but others listened to Gandhi with great interest. “Here at last is a man telling the truth,” they thought. “He is the man to raise India from the mire.” They applauded him and shouted joyfully. Gandhi turned to them and said, “No amount of speeches will ever make us fit for self-government. It is only our conduct that will make us deserve it. Gandhi told them that they should all be the kind of people able to take up the work of self selfgovernment. Finally, Gandhi, the man who three times had supported the British in their war efforts, said, “If I found it necessary for the salvation of India that the English should retire, that they should be driven out, I would not hesitate to declare that they would have to go, and I hope I would be prepared to die in defence of that belief.” The people were amazed at Gandhi’s frankness. It was Gandhi’s first great political speech in India. Years later, Jawaharlal Nehru described what the coming of Gandhi meant to the Indian people. He said, “We seemed to be helpless in the grip of some allpowerful monster; our limbs were paralysed, our minds deadened. What could we do? How could we pull India out of this quagmire of poverty and defeatism which sucked her in... “And then Gandhi came. He was like a powerful current of fresh air that made us stretch ourselves and take deep breaths, like a beam of light that pierced the darkness and removed the scales from our eyes, like a whirlwind that upset many things, but most of all the working of people’s minds.’ Several conferences demanding home rule were held in India during the latter half of 1916. They marked a new wave of political life under the leadership of Tilak, Mrs. Besant, and Jinnah. — To be Continued

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cry America to Host multiple m events in Houston e HOUSTON: CRY (Child Rights & You) is an organization that was formed in order to provide every child in India their fundamental and human rights to education and a better life. We at CRY America – Houston Action Center are looking forward to continuing our mission to empower children, through a series of events this summer and fall. The first event is a DJ event, “Groove,” with DJ Samia, the first South Asian female DJ in Houston has been organized by Dharam Bali. The intent of the event is to spread awareness about the organization, while enabling people to have fun and consider the opportunities of volunteering with CRY. The DJ event is set to take place Saturday, August 14th at Avant Garden at 411 Westheimer (MidTown area), from 8:30pm-1:30am. There is a cover charge of $10 which will go to benefit the CRY cause. Our second event is the CRY Walkathon on October 16 where

people can come out to walk, run and show their support for millions of impoverished children. Aashish Malhotra and Swati Sachdev are coordinating the walkathon and invite like minded people to come

forward and help with the effort. We really thrive off of our volunteers and appreciate the support of our many members of the community and the media. We hope to see you all there for our events! Please continue to support CRY America and please stand up for what is right and stand up for child rights. Come by and join us on for both the events. We look forward to seeing you there! There is so much more still to

be done. To ensure all children receive their basic rights to an education, health care, protection from exploitation and abuse and the freedom to follow their dreams, we seek your partnership. Possible partnership options: 1. Permit CRY America to appeal to the members of your association 2. Promote CRY America during events organized by your association. CRY America literature could be on display and handed out to all visitors / participants in the events and/ or you could allow us to make a short presentation on our organization during the event. 3. Organize, with CRY America, a co-branded event to spread awareness and raise funds for underprivileged children. 4. Adopt a CRY America project in India or in the USA. For more details, visit www.cryamerica.org . To volunteer, email at Houston@cryamerica.org or dharambali@yahoo.com.Follow us on Facebook: CRY America – Houston Action Center.

l can Begin at 60, It is All in y life your Hands! By S. ramachandran CHENNAI (Hindu): Many people feel unhappy, health-wise and security-wise, after 60 years of age owing to the diminishing importance given to them and their opinion. But it need not be so, if only we understand the basic prinprin ciples of life and follow them scruscru pulously. Here are ten mantras to age gracefully and make life after retirement pleasant. 1. Never say ‘I am aged’: There are three ages, chronologchronolog ical, biological, and psychopsycho logical. The first is calculated based on our date of birth; the second is determined by the health conditions and the third is how old you feel you are. While we don’t have control over the first, we can take care of our health with good diet, exercise and a cheerful attitude. A positive attitude and optimistic thinking can reverse the third age. 2. Health is wealth: If you really love your kith and kin, taking care of your health should be your priority. Thus, you will not be a burden to them. Have an annual health check-up and take the prescribed medicines regularly. Do take health insurance cover. 3. Money is important: Money is essential for meeting the basic necessities of life, keeping good health and earning family respect and security. Don’t spend beyond your means even for your children. You have lived for them

all through and it is time you enjoyed a harmonious life with your spouse. If your children are grateful and they take care of you, you are blessed. But never take it for granted. 4. Relaxation and recreation: The most relaxing and recreatrecreat ing forces are a healthy religious attitude, good sleep, music and

l a u g h t e r. Have faith in God, learn to sleep well, love good music and see the funny side of life. 5. Time is precious: It is almost like holding a horse’s reins. When they are in your hands, you can control them. Imagine that everyday you are born again. Yesterday is a cancelled cheque. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is ready cash, use it profitably. Live

this moment. 6. Change is the only permanent thing: We should accept change — it is inevitable. The only way to make sense out of change is to join the dance. Change has brought about many pleasant things. We should be happy that our children are blessed. 7. Enlightened selfishness: All of us are basically selfish. WhatWhat ever we do, we expect something in return. We should definitely be grateful to those who stood by us. But our focus should be on the inin ternal satisfaction and happiness we derive by doing good to othoth ers, without expecting anything in return. 8. Forget and forgive: Don’t be bothered too much about othoth ers’ mistakes. We are not spiritual enough to show our other cheek when we are slapped in one. But for the sake of our own health and happiness, let us forgive and forfor get them. Otherwise, we will be only increasing our BP. 9. Everything has a purpose: Take life as it comes. Accept yourself as you are and also accept others for what they are. Everybody is unique and right in his own way. 10. Overcome the fear of death: We all know that one day we have to leave this world. Still we are afraid of death. We think that our spouse and children will be unable to withstand our loss. But the truth is no one is going to die for you; they may be depressed for some time. Time heals everything and they will carry on.

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INDIA IN PICS

Commuters walk on the Howrah Bridge as ‘Chakka Jam’ protest against price hike called by the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) led to disruption in the public transport system in Kolkata

DOYEN O F Malayala MALAYALAM J OURNAL Manoram IS being tak a en out by chief editor K.M M: office in . Kottayam relatives from th Mathew’s body e newsp aper’s

Sachin Tendulkar pratices bowling during of the third and final Test match between Lanka in Colombo. Tendulkar became the Test cricketer, after taking field for his

the first day India and Sri most-capped 169th match

FREEDOM TAKES WINGS: A thread-maker prepares coloured threads for flying kites in Jammu. The demand for threads rises in August as people prepare to celebrate India’s Independence Day

OF WHAT’S LEFT: India’s neighbor, Pakistan People carry their belongings after heavy floods destroyed their homes in Nowshera

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Ashes of early Aussie Immigrant to return with Kapil dev’s Help

SYDNEY: The sometimes“It’s fantastic being here so sig- Uppal said. strained relationship between Aus- nificant to our family. I think this “A few months ago family memtralia and India will take a positive will be the start of many visits by bers told us there was a lot of meturn this weekdia interest in the vilend in southlage and we later learnt west Victoria, about the story of great with internationuncle and his ashes. al focus on the “It was because of his repatriation of a savings he sent to India former hawker’s the rest of his family’s ashes.Sixty-three poverty was lifted.” years after imTomorrow Mr Uppal migrant Pooran will accompany Kapil Singh died in Dev to the WarrnamWarrnambool a bool cemetery with team of Indian a Sikh priest for a community repceremony to retrieve resentatives led Pooran’s ashes. by cricketing They will fly out of great Kapil Dev Australia on Monday will retrieve the to visit the village and ashes to be taken then on to the Sikh to the River Ganholy place of Haridwar ges. In the throng Avis Quarrell displays a necklace, given to her mother to cast the ashes onto is Singh’s great- by Indian hawker Pooran Singh, to Pooran’s great- the Ganges, fulfilling nephew Harmel nephew Harmel Uppal. Pooran’s will. Uppal, who “Preparations at the arrived in the village have already started. It Indian people here.” south-west yesterday overawed by Uppal is a 47-year-old father will be an important occasion,” the significance of the weekend. of two who works in the clothing Uppal said. Yesterday’s introducHis interview yesterday with The industry in the UK, a far cry from tion to the hawker’s adopted home Standard was a taste of the media the rural village of Uppal Bhopa in district brought Uppal in touch frenzy that will follow him as he India where his father and Pooran with local historian Avis Quarrell, accompanies his now-famous rel- were raised. “I first heard about who showed him a shell necklace ative’s ashes. him when I was about five or six Pooran gave to her mother when “It’s hard to explain the emo- and remember being told he moved she was 17. “Pooran was a fantastic tions,” Uppal said. to Australia when he was young,” man who was friends with many,” she said. Uppal also inspected the hawker’s horsedrawn wagon, which was donated to Flagstaff Hill by the Moore family.

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ranji nagaswami: new york’s First ever chief Investment Adviser WASHINGTON (TOI): Concerned over New York’s spiralling pension costs, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has tapped Ranji Nagaswami, an Indian American finance expert, as the city’s first ever chief investment adviser. Nagaswami will be the “fulltime, central advisor to the Mayor’s trustees on the five New York City retirement system boards and the New York City Deferred Compensation Plan Board”, the mayor’s office said on Monday. “We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Ranji’s deep experience, talent and record of success in managing major investments across assets classes agree to be our Chief Investment Advisor,” said Bloomberg. “The cost to City taxpayers of the pension systems is growing at an astronomical rate, from $1.1 billion in 2001 to an expected $7.6 billion this year, which is more than 10 percent of the entire city budget,” he added. “We will continue to pursue the reforms desperately needed in Albany to reduce the unmanageable costs of pension benefits, while at the same time working to ensure we are getting best possible returns on pension fund investments

and looking at every option.” India-born Nagaswami came to the US in 1984 to attend business school at Yale University. She most recently worked at AllianceBernstein, where she was chief investment officer, overseeing $100 billion in assets and management. After 10 years at the company she left the job in February 2009. Nagaswami lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, so the administration secured a waiver that will enable her to work for the city. Bloomberg has repeatedly pointed to mounting pension costs as a financial drain on the city. In a radio address on Friday, he noted that the city’s pension contributions have grown from $1.1 billion when he took of office to $7.6 billion this fiscal year. Nagaswami’s experience is limited to the private sector, but she told the Wall Street Journal her clients were almost all public pension funds and central banks. “Governments have been my most important clients in my 23plus years” in the workforce, she said. “My job is to work with the mayor’s trustees,” she said. “It is a very, very important role for the mayor to shape the policy decisions that are made within these funds.”

independence day flag hoisting HOUSTON: The Flag Hoisting ceremony on India’s 64th Independence Day will be held on Sunday, 15 August at 10 am at the Consul General’s Residence (5634 Briar Drive, Houston, Tx – 77056). Consul General Sanjiv Arora will read President of India’s message on this occasion. Refreshments will be served. Indian nationals and friends of India are cordially invited to the function. Participants are requested to assemble at Consul General’s Residence by 9:45 AM. Kindly bring a photo ID.

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sadhvi ritambhara devi’s usA- canada tour HOUSTON: One of the most respected Indian spiritual figures, Sadhvi Ritambhara Devi (Didi Maa), is visiting USA and Canada from July 29 to September 20 for spiritual discourses. Sadhviji is highly revered for her powerful spiritual renditions and humanitarian work in East and West. During this visit, Sadhviji will be visiting Boston, New Jersey, Washington, Seattle, St. Jose, LA, Las Vegas, Orlando, Dallas and Houston. Sadhviji will be in Houston/ Dallas area from August 11-17 to deliver discourses on spiritual subjects and create awareness about Vatsalya Gram. In Houston, there will be a three day Ram Katha from August 13-15 at 6:30 pm at Radha Krishna Temple and a lecture on Hindu Unity on August 12 at 6:30 pm at India House. This program is jointly sponsored by Hindus of Greater Houston. Sadhviji is a founder of Vatsalya Gram, a socio-educational project of Param Shakti Peeth, an Indiabased non profit organization. Param Shakti Peeth is currently mentoring Vatsayla Gram in Vrindavan near Mathura, UP and in Omkareshwara (Indore) located on the banks of river Narmada, MP. This haven for destitute women and children set up takes care of 500 plus children and women with Vatsalya (affection) of an extended family at each Vatsalya Gram. Vatsalya Gram in Himachala Pradesh under construction and in Gujarat 60 kms from Ahmedabad

a parcel of 55 acres of land is acquired for Vatsalya Gram. There will be more Vatsalya Grams in different regions of India so that there would be homes and families for the destitute women who in turn will nurture and shower motherly love and build emotional bonds with the children entrusted to their care and these women will have a secure home, a life’s purpose and an opportunity to claim a family of their very own, while children would cease to be Anath (orphans)

any more.” As Sanjay Gupta, known affectionately as Bhaiyya, put it, “it is the only facility in the world where orphaned children and destitute women of all ages are given homes so they may live like families and form everlasting bonds as parents and siblings.” A chartered accountant by profession, Sanjay gave up his lucrative practice to be part of Shakti Peeth and now of Vatsayal Gram. While many children are fortunate to have been amongst the most divine relationship; some are bereft of the same, living a life of an outcast. It was the conviction of Poojya Didi Maa Sadhvi Ritambharaji to serve the cause of children by providing them what they are deprived of. To her, serving children is worshipping the God Himself as children are His nearest expression. In her ideas, securing future of every child is synonymous to securing India’s future and that is the mission of Vatsalya Gram. For more information visit www. vatsalyagram.org

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A year of milestones, celebrations, for Kohinoor diamonds Continued from Page 3

ees with silver dollars as a token of her blessings and love for the Ali’s. Friends and patrons of the Ali family spoke glowingly of their warmth and hospitality. Dinesh Shah, a close friend of the Ali family, confided that he knew Altaf Ali for over 20 years. “We first came in contact through our business as developers. My respect for him has grown over the years and I am happy to share his success story this evening,” said Shah. Before the couple of the evening took to the floor for their first dance, Altaf Ali thanked guests (some who had come into town especially for the event) for their good wishes. He made some jokes in the Gujarati language that had attendees laughing. Then he turned his attention to Neelofer and said:

“I’ve never said this before. But the past 25 years – I’ve never been able to acknowledge how appreciative I am of the effort you’ve put in to make our lives so successful. I wasn’t programmed to say I love you, never bought you flowers, or even a card. Tonight, I am ready to say that I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you, to grow old with you,” said Altaf. Coming from a very private man, it was arguably one of the most unexpectedly romantic and vulnerable speeches of the evening. An excellent dinner catered by the hotel, and dancing, rounded off a memorable and heartwarming event. For more information about Kohinoor Diamonds, visit www. kohinoordiamonds.net or visit the showroom at 5901 Hillcroft Street Houston, TX 77036. (713) 334-8700

Author Chitra Divakaruni will be on PBS (channel 8) in Houston, doing a show on the importance and wonders of poetry, titled The Greatest Poems of all time, with the host Patricia Gras on Living Smart, on Friday, August 6th at 10pm. They will read and discuss some of the world’s greatest & most inspirational poems, including work by Tagore, Neruda, Rumi and Gibran. The purpose of the show is to demystify poetry and demonstrate how deeply it speaks to the soul, and how important it is to include it in our lives. The show is appropriate for older children as well as adults.

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Shri Ram Katha Spiritual Discourses by Amritvani

Param Pujya Sadhvi Ritambhara Devi (Didi Maa) In co-operation with the Hindus of Greater Houston and Param Shakti Peeth of America

For More Information, Call:

Friday Aug 13, from 6 pm - 9 pm • Saturday from 4 pm - 7 pm and Sunday Aug 15, 10 am to 12.30 pm

Bhagwan Bhutada 832-236-6147 Dilip and Kusum Mehta 281-491-7299 Pradip Raol 832-771-5557 Girish Naik 281-851-6866

For Aarthi & Sponsorship Call: Jyoti Vyas at 281-495-1856

(followed by Mahaprasad everyday)

Param Pujya Didi Maa,

Founder, Vatsalya Gram

Program to be held at India House, August 12, Thursday • Hindu Unity • 7PM - 8:30 PM

Shri. Radha Krishna Temple,11625 Beechnut, Houston, TX 77072 (Located between Boone & Kirkwood)

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IA News © 2010 A.R.R

Everyone is invited to receive Didi Maa’s blessings


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Did you Know? In almost every Indian home a lamp is lit daily before the altar of the Lord. In some houses it is lit at dawn, in some, twice a day – at dawn and dusk and in a few it is maintained continuously - Akhanda Deepa. All auspicious functions commence with the lighting of the lamp, which is often maintained right through the occasion. Light symbolizes knowledge, and darkness - ignorance. The Lord is the “Knowledge Principle” (Chaitanya) who is the source, the enlivener and the illuminator of all knowledge. Hence light is worshiped as the Lord himself. Knowledge removes ignorance just as

light removes darkness. Also knowledge is a lasting inner wealth by which all outer achievement can be accomplished. Hence we light the lamp to bow down to knowledge as the greatest of all forms of wealth. Why not light a bulb or tube light? That too would remove darkness. But the traditional oil lamp has a further spiritual significance. The oil or ghee in

ReliGion

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why do we light a lamp? the lamp symbolizes our vaasanas or negative tendencies and the wick, the ego. When lit by spiritual knowledge, the vaasanas get slowly exhausted and the ego too finally perishes. The flame of a lamp always burns upwards. Similarly we should acquire such knowledge as to take us towards higher ideals. Whilst lighting the lamp we thus pray: Deepajyothi parabrahma Deepa sarva tamopahaha Deepena saadhyate saram Sandhyaa deepo namostute I prostrate to the dawn/dusk lamp; whose light is the Knowledge Principle (the Supreme Lord), which removes the darkness of ignorance and by which all can be achieved in life.

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Mumbai Girl Swims to Glory in US NEWPORT, Vermont: The ‘Little Mermaid’ in the world of swimming has done it again! The only Indian and youngest in the competition, 11-year-old Swapnali Yadav, won the 10-mile course for female youth (under-18) at the prestigious Kingdom Aquafest that was held on the shores of Lake Memphremagog, in the heart of Northeast Kingdom, Newport, Vermont, USA on Saturday, July 24. Taking to the waters in near-perfect conditions at Prouty Beach, Swapnali completed the swim in an impressive time of 6 hours, Eleven-year-old Swapnali Yadav has added 23 minutes, 13 seconds at another feather to her cap by winning the the same point. under-18 10-mile course Kingdom Aquafest Swapnali, of Bombay open swimming competition held on the Cambridge High School, shores of Lake Memphremagog at Newport Amboli, Andheri (West), Vermont in the right frame of mind. I had no was invited by the United States Master Swimmers (USMS). problems with a good support staff The swim was approved by USA alongside that included my father GoSwimming and world ruling body pal and mother Sailee. I felt confident at the start and was truly delighted at FINA. She added the Kingdom Aquaf- finishing first,” said Swapnali. “Once again, it was a rich experiest effort to the outstanding performances as the youngest-ever in ence. Most of the swimmers were top the world in the 2007 Open World class. Some were Channel swimmers Swimming Marathon and the 30km and former Olympians,” Swapnali Messinikos Gulf Swim in 2008- revealed. Swapnali featured in a competition 09, both in Greece, and the 2009 Bermuda Round the Sound Open with an age spread of seven to 68 Swimathon, to announce her arrival years. Her support staff followed her in a kayak and provided nutrition, in international swimming. “The weather was good and I was continued on page 16

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Good Doctors

A report published in the August issue of Health Affairs magazine reveals that patients of doctors who went to medical schools outside the U.S. had a 9% lower death rate than those whose doctors trained within the U.S. That is indeed good news that confirms the competency of doctors from outside the U.S. such as South Asia. In a parallel trend, UK patients are said to be suffering due to the influx of eastern European doctors as a result of an EU open door policy and wish that they were being treated from doctors from India and Pakistan. As you know, South Asian doctors have long suffered discriminatory treatment from the UK government and the medical establishment. Pramod Kulkarni

Sorry Sport If India was hoping to prove something to the world by winning its bid for the Commonwealth Games, then the run-up to the games is showing up their organizers in a shockingly perverse light. The organizing committee, especially its chairman, seems to be hell-bent on putting out to the world a rather shameful mix of corruption, brazenness and inefficiency as the characteristic Indian way of meeting a happy challenge. A concerted effort at appearing disgraceful seems to be the only form of concerted effort the games have inspired in the organizers. First, the corruption — and in the highest places. It looks as if the people working most hard in the last couple of months before the games are going to be the Central Vigilance Commission, the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate. After all, India’s rank in the international corruption-perception index is 84, an honour it shares with El Salvador, Panama, Guatemala and Thailand. Interestingly, this is a perception index, and the Commonwealth Games are unlikely to make the world perceive India in a kinder light. Then, the inefficiency. Every realistic inspection of the state of the art in Delhi has resulted in public expressions of deep alarm at the spectacular unreadiness evident everywhere. Unmet deadlines, leaks, overflows, collapse, casualties, lack of coordination, compromised standards: the list is endless. Finally, the callousness. To spruce the city up for the world’s gaze, offending human elements — beggars, slum or pavement dwellers, hawkers, rickshaw-pullers — are hastily being moved out of sight without proper rehabilitation schemes in place for them. To enable desperate last-minute construction (the inevitable result of sloth and bad planning higher up), labourers are being hired without proper wages and protection. There has been a significant number of accidents, many of them fatal, among the poorest of these workers, now working round the clock to make up for their employers’ lack of organization, discipline and scruple. A senior sports official has invoked the typical Indian wedding to explain his optimism about the games in the face of all this: there will be confusion till the last minute, but everything will go off smoothly at the end. The world is not amused so far, neither is the Indian taxpayer. Calcutta Telegraph

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India’s Rainbow People By Gopalkrishna Gandhi A friend from Delhi, on a rare visit to Chennai, was calling and we were engaged in pleasant talk when the doorbell rang. Two selfassured women in silk stood at the entrance with long sheets of paper in their hands. “We are from the census department,” they said in a mix of excellent Tamil and effective enough English. “Can we ask some questions?” I was torn. Here we were, my caller and I, having a much longed-for chat on nothing and everything over steaming coffee, and here were two enumerators on serious professional duty. I could either ask my friend to forgive the intrusion or ask the counttakers to return later. I chose to let my friend bear the interruption. “Name, sir?” I spelt it out for them, apologising for its length. “How many in the family, sir?” “Just my wife and I.” “Your Mrs’ name, sir?” “She is out at the moment,” I said, giving my wife’s name. “Father’s name?” I spelt it out again. “Do you not want my mother’s name?” I asked, “that is equally or even more important”. “Yes, sir, we want that also.” There was no need to spell that one. Who does not know ‘Lakshmi’? “Sir,” she then asked in Tamil, “you have a car?” “Ille,” I replied. “Two-wheeler?” “Ille”. “Bicycle?” “Ille, it is many years since I cycled”. “Okay, sir,” she said reassuringly and moved on with the questionnaire. “Profession?” “Pensioner”. This was noted in a small square on the sheet. “Department?” No wonder, I thought, our Upanishads have a Prasnopanishad, the Upanishad of Questions but no Uttaropanishad giving us the answers. “Retired from the IAS”.

The ‘mix’ is not just of castes. There are the offspring of parents from different religious backgrounds, Hindunon-Hindu Scheduled Tribe and even of different nationalities, half-Indian and half-European or halfJapanese, or half-American. Where do all these rainbow people fit? Further questions followed about my “academic qualifications”. Whether this millionth respondent is literate, a school-finalist, graduate and so on would be an understandable Census curiosity. But the subjects of his under-graduate and post-graduate study? Surely, that is a redundancy? Reminding myself that the enumerator was only asking what she had been told to ask, I volunteered: “English Literature”. The session went on for a while but the ‘question of questions’ did not come. From the moment the queries began I was expecting the big question about my caste to be posed and readying myself for a likely answer. But no, nothing was asked. Being the child of a mixed caste marriage, I was unsure as to what, if anything at all, I should say if asked “Are you SC, OBC…?” The question did not come. Returning to my friend with admiration for the gargantuan exercise that the Census of India is but also relief at the ending of the questionand-answer session, I told him about the missing question. “That issue has been frozen for now,” he reminded me. Would the caste query have taken us back to what we had ceased to think about? But then, who are the ‘we’ we are talking about? ‘Out there’ in the villages, caste has not been forgotten. And so… Besides, censuses are not just about fixing numbers. They are tools to

shape policy, and who can deny that social backwardness in India must be weighed against numbers if it is to be tackled? Predictable thoughts, these were, and they proceeded on predictable lines. The mixed-caste puzzle did not, however, leave my thoughts. The ‘mix’ is not just of castes. There are the offspring of parents from different religious backgrounds, Hindu-Muslim, Hindu-Christian, Hindu-Sikh, Hindu-Jaina, Hindu-Parsi, Hindunon-Hindu Scheduled Tribe and even of different nationalities, half-Indian and half-European or half-Japanese, or half-American (though not, it must be said, so many half-Indian and halfAfrican). Where do all these rainbow people fit? Does the architecture of caste have a home, a room, even a verandah for them? Probably there is a Shastraic text somewhere which accommodates them. I am not aware of one. I spoke some days later about this to a valued friend, the distinguished social anthropologist, Professor Andre Beteille. “Tell me,” I asked, “if the question about my caste had been posed to me, what should I have said to the two enumerators?” “You could of course have declined to respond to that question,” he replied, “but if you wanted to respond, you would’ve had to say that as your father was a bania and your mother a brahmin, the Dharmashastra of Manu makes you a…” Professor Beteille, whose mother was a Bengali Brahmin and his father French, then said, “you see in Manu’s scheme, I would be a…” Traditional rules of marriage in India, Professor Beteille has explained elsewhere, are changing and the sanctions behind the concepts of ‘anuloma’ and ‘pratiloma’ are now virtually obsolete. The younger generation in Hindu society is unlikely to have even heard of the phrases. But by custom an ‘upper caste’ Indian can marry and have children from a woman of a ‘lower’ caste without jeopardising caste. Not so, if the reverse happens. ‘Out there’, where Manu speaks and

Founder: Dr. K.L. Sindwani Editor: Pramod Kulkarni Business Manager: Jawahar Malhotra Marketing Manager: Krishna Giri Community Reporter: Kalyani Giri Community Editor: Manasi Gokhale Administrative Manager: Vanshika Vipin Marketing & Food Reporter: Jacob David Production Manager: Hussain Mandviwala correspondents Chicago: Nand Kapoor ®All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the written consent of the publisher. The deadline for advertising and articles is 5 pm on Monday of each week. Please include self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of all unsolicited material. Published at 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, Texas 77036. Tel: 713-789-NEWS or 6397 Fax: 713-789-6399, email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com, website: indoamerican-news.com

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35 Years of Glorious Service, Back to Motherland clear and his vision is set - to help eradicate poverty from India, one neighborhood at a time. Manav Sadhana helps educate kids in the slums, provide vocational training to women in villages and also provides microfinance lending to

ter education among the poorest of kids; Akshay Patra who provides midday meals to children at his life in Houston having come schools and villages. here in 1975. Now he has plans to Atul Kothari says, “I will miss return back to Ahmedabad, India each person I know here in Housfor his retirment years. He has no ton. All my well-known friends plans to retire out of doing social here are like family to me, work, what he has I will miss them. They done and the counthave shown great love less recognitions and support throughout he achieved from all my years here. I wish the Houston comthem and their families munity. He is the well and keep them in founder of the Mamy prayers. There are no hatma Gandhi liwords enough to express brary here in Housmy gratitude to all here. ton. He is glad that But I would love to go the library will be back to India and pay my now run by the able dues to my motherland.” team put together Atul Kothari is happy by Dr. Manishwani who will continue Atul Kothari and his wife Rita Kothari are excited to be going back that the Gandhi Celebrations will go on as to promote the eter- to India, their motherland planned from Sept 27th nal values of truth, - Oct 3rd. Jim McIngvale non-violence, love and service farmers and entrepreneurs in In- will be the keynote speaker. Conthat was taught by Gandhi. A champion follower of Ma- dia who cannot afford the high sul General Sanjay Arora will grace the occasion. Atul Kothari hatma Gandhi, the father of India, interest rates of greedy lenders. Atul and Rita Kothari plan to vis- feels sad that he will not be here Atul Kothari has plans to work for Manav Sadhana, a Gandhi Ash- it Houston once a year. He plans to celebrate this special occasion ram in Ahmedabad. His goals are to help raise funds for charitable during this time. He wishes evevents to help Pratham who fos- eryone in Houston well. By Jacob David

Atul Kothari, CPA, has lived all

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India’s Rainbow People

the laws are undecided or unverifiable, custom prevails and khap panchayats are called upon to turn the greys of life into the black or white of social authority. Caste identities with their not-so-subtle gender axis, entrench male superiority in the name of caste. Those from a ‘clear’ caste line will, therefore, wrestle and enjoy wrestling with the issue of whether the caste question in Census 2011 is a progressive or a regressive step. They will know the answer they are

entitled to give. But for one of mixed parentage I have in mind, the issue becomes more complicated. It is not about answering or not answering the controversial question. It is about finding the right answer, even if to keep it to oneself. It is also about positioning oneself in India’s malefemale discourse. Is that a serious enough issue? After all how many children of such mixed marriages would there be in our country? Several million, I should imagine. ‘Several’ is no quantification. The truth can drown in that

description, like the man who sank in the swimming pool’s deep end because he went by its average depth. To find out with any accuracy, the size of India’s ‘mixed-parentage’ puzzle in a post-Manu sense, however, the question: “Would you like to mention your caste status… SC, OBC...” would have to be accompanied by a sub-question: “or TC…?” Trans-caste, trans-community, trans-creed, trans-creation? HT Gopalkrishna Gandhi is a former administrator, diplomat and governor.

Swapnali Yadav Wins US Swim Meet

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water and direction during the swim. The Kingdom Aquafest was blessed with greatness, with a world class challenge to many that included [English] Channel and double Channel crossers, former US Olympic [ Images ] team members and speedsters of all stripes. “Swapnali led an astonishing group of youngsters taking on the full gamut of distances this year,” said Phil White, meet director and Chairman of the Board of Indoor Recreation of Orleans County (IROC). “In establishing our rules for the Kingdom Aquafest we have tried to be fair to all and maintain consistency with several of our primary goals. This event provided a world class challenge to many upper level and competitive marathon open water swimmers. This event was a fun and well-supported experience for the participants and an inspiration for many to push themselves just a little bit farther with their training and conditioning,” White added.

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‘I Would Give my Right Hand for 2 Meals a Day’

KOLKATA: Sombhu Das, 11, dreams a modest dream -- that of owning a grocery shop some day. Which is why he is honing his skill as an errand-boy at a grocer’s in south Kolkata. Though he has to put in 8-10 hours of hard work a day, he doesn’t crib at all. Rather, he is grateful to his employer for giving him Rs 400 per month. The shop owner also takes care of his daily needs and lets him sleep at his residence at night. “The money that he pays me is not much but it is of great help to me and my family,” he said. “I have asked my mother to set aside my ‘salary’ so that we can use it for my sister’s wedding. She is 14 and we plan to marry her off in a few years.” Sambhu studied till Class III and was ‘an above average student’. However, acute poverty following his father’s untimely death forced him to give up studies and take up this job. At this early age, Sombhu has learnt to take the daily toil in his stride. He always carries a smile on his lips. Reason? “When I am dead tired, I motivate myself to dream. I goad my inner self to fantasise that I am the owner of this shop -- I think of all the

Sombhu Das. | Photo: Dipak Chakraborty

nice things under the sun. That has a magic effect. It not only rejuvenates me but also helps me slog without feeling exhausted,” philosophises young Sombhu. His mother and sister work as housemaids in the locality and his elder brother is a mason. His youngest sister is only 8 and she mostly stays at home. “She has been in and out of school quite a few times. Nothing is more valuable in this world than food and all the five of us would give our right hands for two square meals a day. I know we should go to school but then how can we study with hunger

gnawing at our entrails,” asks the 11-year-old. “I often overhear our customers discussing that the poor get government assistance in foreign countries. They also talk about India competing with the West on various issues. But I am sure poverty can’t be one of them. Else, why are we leading such pathetic lives?” Child labor is a dagger through India’s soul. The country has the dubious distinction of being home to the largest child labour force in the world, with an estimated 30 per cent of the world’s working kids living in India.

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Senior Citizens Program Collaborates with Shakti Mandir and Sewa-USA to Help Distressed Bhutanese Seniors

By Surya Jilludimudi and Raj Razdan

ATLANTA: Senior Citizens Program (SCP), Shakti Mandir and SEWA International USA (SEWA) independently organize numerous events to make a positive difference in our communities. Recently they hosted a Senior Citizen event at the Shakti Mandir in south Atlanta on July 18, 2010 to honor the Bhutanese Seniors to help benefit the Bhutanese community who had to leave Bhutan in distress and sought refuge in Georgia a few years back. A Challenging time for the Bhutanese migrants: The population of Bhutan has two communities of Drukpas and Lhotshampas. In 1985, as the domicile controversy gained notoriety with crisis proportion in Bhutan, the Bhutanese government began to expel ethnic Nepalese-Bhutanese and the Lhotshampas from Bhutan. For more than 15 years they lamented in UN refugee camps in Nepal. Resettlement camps/relief projects also emerged in Australia, Canada, and Europe.Due to the generosity and the openness of USA, the Bhutanese refugees were also allowed to migrate here, mainly Georgia. Currently there are 30,000 refugees in the USA, expected to double by 2012, according to a SEWA- USA report. SEWA USA playing an active role in Bhutanese relief: Rallying for the relief efforts for the Bhutanese, SEWA USA has worked since 2006 to help rehabilitate the Bhutanese ref-

ugees in the spirit of Mahatma Gan- ous spiritual songs (Keerthans and highlight of the event was the Bazaar warm reception and the hospitality dhi’s famous quote, “Be the change Bhajans) with the backdrop of beauti- organized by the Senior Citizens to for over 250 participants was sucyou wish to see in the world.” Like fully ordained deities. All the seniors benefit the Bhutanese with clothes, cessfully executed.” acknowledged any ethnic migration, household goods and jubilant Raj Razdan, Exec. Director the Bhutanese underother basic necessities of the SCP. went cultural and menin their time of need. “This joint effort showcased how tal shock and struggled The clothing dona- individuals can and should join hands withoutadequatefunds tions were largely due to give back to their communities in to survive. to the combined effort the spirit of service and commitment Bhutanese migrants of the Sindhi Sabha for creating a positive change in have miles to go before of Atlanta, numerous the lives of a struggling Bhutanese they can overcome the families and individu- refugee community in the USA. Such cultural and economic als Asha Advani and missions provide noble and selfless constraints. These Meenakshi Bhatia, and service opportunities for various Inchallenges cannot be many other anonymous dian American organizations across totally addressed by donors from Georgia. Georgia to engage in collective public the well-meaning govBeautiful, expensive service activities,” Razdan added. ernment alone but by a Saris. Even a computer The reporters Surya Jilludimudi concerted effort by the was donated by Girish and email Atlanta@sewausa.org) diverse communities, Modi-a senior himself. and Raj Razdan (email rrazd01@ towards the education, A Senior Citizen event at the Shakti Mandir in south Atlanta on July Yeoman sewa (ser- yahoo.com) serve as Volunteer of housing, transporta- 18, 2010 was held to honor the Bhutanese Seniors to help benefit vice): SEWA International USA and Execution and employment the Bhutanese community who had to leave Bhutan in distress “Volunteerism and tive Director of the Senior Citizens needs of the Bhuta- and sought refuge in Georgia Philanthropy was at Program respectively. nese migrants,” said its best considering the Swadesh Khatoch of SEWA USA. participated in chanting of spiritual The Bhutanese migrant commu- songs led by melodious community nity have started adjusting to their activist (and attorney) Neera Bahl new land of shelter, called America. who was accompanied by social Their children have started going to worker Sunny Thakker on the drums Schaumberg: Pratham Chicago Gala 2010 will be held at India House, school and endeavoring to be part of (Dholak). Schaumburg on Sunday, September 19.  Padma Shri Anupam Kher, the cultural tapestry of the USA. The spiritual program was folacclaimed Indian actor along with Dr. Madhav Chavan, co-founder of Shakti Mandir, co-host of the lowed by a sumptuous lunch for the Pratham will be keynote speakers at the event. A private reception to Senior/Bhutanese July event: 250 seniors. The food was facilitated greet and meet Anupam Kher as well as Madhav Chavan will be held This Senior Citizen event to benefit by volunteers Ashwin Patel, Bhiku preceding the gala for business and individual sponsors. Tarana Kathak Bhutanese Refugee cause was held Patel and other members of the Shakti Dance Academy will present several Bollywood and Kathak dances to at their Temple in Lake City near Mandir team. Arranging the vans for entertain the guests at the gala event. Jonesboro. transportation of the seniors were by For more information about the event visit Chicago.PrathamUSA.org The program commenced with the Bobby Patel of Shakti Mandir and or contact Dr. Raj Rajaram, President, Pratham Chicago at : Chicago@ prayer song (Aarthi), by the priest of SEWA-USA officials. PrathamUSA.org. the Shakti Mandir followed by variBazaar for charity drive: T h e

Pratham Chicago to Hold Gala at Local India House

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US Congress Honors Dr. Sudhir Parikh WASHINGTON D.C. (PTI): Eminent Indian American physician and philanthropist Dr Sudhir Parikh, who was awarded with the prestigious Padma Shri this year, has been recognized in the US Congress for his extraordinary contribution. “I applaud Dr Parikh’s achievements and dedication and recognize his work as it serves as an inspiration to us all,” influential US Congressman Frank Pallone said in his remarks in the US House of Representatives. “Madam Speaker, please join me in leading this body in acknowledgement of the extraordinary contributions of Dr Sudhir Parikh. He is a greatly valued citizen of the state of New Jersey, and I am honoured to recognize him today,” Pallone said. A nationally acclaimed and respected allergist and immunologist, Dr Parikh, the Congressman said has used his time, money and influence to advance the goals of the Indian American and Indian communities. \With the Padma Shri award, Dr Parikh becomes the only Indian American to receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honour, the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, the Congressman said. The Ellis Island Medal is the highest civilian honour presented to a US immigrant for community and social service. The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award is the highest honour the Government of India presents to nonresidents.

Dr. Sudhir Parikh (left) with Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ).

“Publisher of Parikh Worldwide Media, the largest Indian American publishing group in the US, Dr Parikh’s priority is to use the media to empower second-generation Indians assimilating to American society,” Pallone said. “His work with the media has a dual purpose: to expose mainstream America to the accomplishments and quality of the Indian American community and to encourage young people to pursue the American Dream,” the New Jersey Congressman said in his remarks. Pallone said

Dr Parikh has also helped construct an influential Indian American lobbying force in Washington, arranged several high-level meetings between US and Indian lawmakers and secured critical votes on multiple Indian issues. “Dr Parikh has worked closely with members of both houses of Congress and the Administration to develop a close, strategic relationship between US and India,” Pallone said. The New Jersey Congressman in his remarks in the House of Representative said, under his guidance, the Friends of India Caucus was created in the Senate.

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Prof. Kulkarni Receives Extraordinary Service Award

DENVER: In a recent announcement Dr. Steven Jordan, President, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Denver, Colorado declared that “Extraordinary Service to the College Award for 2010” is conferred upon Prof. Kishore G. Kulkarni, Professor of Economics and the Chief Editor, Indian Journal of Economics and Business (www.ijeb.com). “This honor speaks highly of the quality of your continued commitment to Metro State and the admirable level of exceptional service you have demonstrated over the years”, writes President Jordan. Prof. Kulkarni has published roughly 100 journal articles and 8 books. Some of his books are used as textbooks in Macroeconomics, International Economics and Monetary Economics in universities and colleges in India and in the USA, one was even used at Harvard University. Over 3 decades of academic life Prof. Kulkarni has delivered numerous lectures in Indian educational institutions as well as in US universities. As a recipient of several other awards such as Golden Key International Honor Society’s Outstanding Teacher (2001), Outstanding Researcher (1997), and Faculty Senate’s Distinguished Service to the College (2004), Prof. Kulkarni is a well known economist of international repute. He was born in Pune, In-

Prof. Kishore Kulkarni, is a Professor of Economics at Metropolitan State College of Denver and the Chief Editor, Indian Journal of Economics and Business

dia, and migrated to USA in 1976. He holds the First Rank in merit amongst economics majors for B.A. (1974) from University of Pune, and he completed M.A. and Ph.D. (1982) from University of Pittsburgh, PA. Besides being a full time professor, and a worldwide traveler, Dr. Kulkarni spends time on the tennis court. He has won several local and state tennis championships and is a current member of 4.5 (rating) USTA tennis leagues. He lives in Denver with his wife of 30 years, Jayashree, who is an Accounting Instructor at the Metropolitan State College of Denver and their two daughters Lina and Aditi.

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