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Indo American News • Friday, August 20 , 2010

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Friday, August 20 , 2010

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STOCKS • FINANCE • SOUTH ASIAN MARKETS • TECHNOLOGY

Microlender, 1st to List in India, Trades Higher By Vikas Bajaj MUMBAI (NYT) : The first microfinance company to sell stock to the public in India got a strong endorsement from investors on Monday when its shares closed up 10.5 percent on the first day of trading. The strong showing for the company, SKS Microfinance, is expected to encourage other lenders to the poor to prepare initial public offerings, analysts said. The offering is also likely to stoke an already fierce debate about whether microfinance companies, many of which like SKS started as nonprofit organizations, should earn

substantial profits by making highinterest loans to the poor. SKS, which makes loans to women in rural India, raised more than $350 million in its public offering, one of the most successful in the country this year. It sold 16.8 million shares at 985 rupees ($21) earlier this month; the shares closed Monday at 1,088.65 rupees on the National Stock Exchange of India. “There was a lot of demand for the stock because of its novelty value,” said Pankaj Agarwal, an analyst at the securities firm Execution Noble. “There is no doubt about it: the suc-

cess of this I.P.O. will bring more I.P.O.’s.” Analysts say a handful of fastgrowing Indian microfinance companies like Spandana Sphoorty Financial and Share Microfin could quickly follow SKS in selling shares to the public. Globally, SKS is one of five microfinance companies and banks to have publicly listed shares. The other four are Bank Rykat of Indonesia, BRAC Bank of Bangladesh, Compartamos Banco of Mexico and Equity Bank of Kenya. continued on page

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SKS Microfinance lends to rural women, like this bangle vendor, to help them earn money.

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Indo American News • Friday, August 20 , 2010

Microlender, 1st to List in India, Trades Higher continued from page

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India has been a particularly fertile ground for microfinance loans because its formal banking system does not reach much of its population. A study a few years ago found that just 40 percent of the country’s households have a bank or postal savings account. Furthermore, Indian banking rules require that 40 percent of every bank’s loan portfolio be in “priority sectors” — a requirement that banks can meet in part by lending money to and buying loans from microfinance companies like SKS. That has made it relatively easy for Indian microfinance companies to raise the money they need to make loans. SKS, which became a for-profit company in 2003, has grown at an incredible pace since 2006. As of March, it had $634 million in loans outstanding, up from $306 million just 12 months earlier. Moreover, the

company said less than 1 percent of its loans were delinquent. Several prominent investors like Vinod Khosla, George Soros and Sequoia Ventures have invested in SKS over the years, attracted by its mission of eradicating poverty in India, strong growth and enviable profit margins 18 percent in its last fiscal year. But the lender has also been dogged by controversy, including questions about how the two nonprofit groups that provided money to help establish the for-profit SKS would spend the wealth that they earned from shares they sold in the public offering and shares they still own. Agarwal and other analysts are also concerned about how well SKS and other microfinance companies will maintain their low delinquency rates and high growth rates. Some analysts and researchers worry that intense competition among lenders could lead to substantially higher defaults.

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KV Kamath Likely to Succeed Infosys’ Murthy as Chairman BANGALORE (Economic Times): KV Kamath, the man who transformed ICICI from a stodgy, old-school bank into an aggressive and nimble-footed lender, is being considered for the post of chairman at Infosys Technologies, India’s software bellwether. Though Infosys’ board nominations committee has not taken any final decision, Mr Kamath’s business credentials, wide-ranging contacts, name recognition, and troubleshooting expertise have propelled him ahead of others, people close to the development said. Kamath, 62, is a member of the Infosys nominations committee. Last year, he helped ICICI Bank manage a successful leadership transition, passing on the baton to Chanda Kochhar before stepping down as CEO in May. Narayana Murthy,

who will retire from Infosys in August next year, and other Infy founders hold Kamath in high regard. When contacted by ET on Sunday, Cornell University professor Jeffrey Sean Lehman, who along with Kamath, and HDFC Standard Life CEO, Deepak M Satwalekar, is responsible for finding Murthy’s replacement, declined to share any specific details.

But he said it’s technically feasible for one of the nominations committee members to be considered for the chairman’s post. “You may be rest assured that Infosys is taking the selection of the next Chair with great seriousness,” said Lehman, the committee chairman. “I trust you will understand that we do not respond to speculation about who that person might be. We will make a decision and we will make a public announcement with appropriate lead time before Mr Murthy steps down,” he added. Satwalekar added, “There is no firming up as of now. It would not be accurate to say that he has been chosen.” ET has learnt that the announcement is expected later year. Detailed emails sent to Murthy and Kamath remained unanswered until Sunday evening. Kamath could not be reached on his cell phone either.

Government Panel Says No to Vedanta’s Orissa Project NEW DELHI (IANS): A government panel on Monday said Vedanta Resources’ bauxite mining in Orissa’s Niyamgiri hills could not be allowed unless the local tribal communities give their consent and village councils agree to the use of forest land for the project. The panel, investigating violations of the Forest Rights Act and environmental norms by the mining company in the Niyamgiri hills in Kalahandi district, said that allowing mining in the area would shake the faith of tribal people. “The committee is of the firm view that allowing mining in the proposed mining lease area by depriving two primitive tribal groups -- Kutia and Dongaria Kondh -- of their rights over the proposed mining site in order to benefit a private company (Vedanta) would shake the faith of tribal people in the laws of the land,” said the four-member panel, headed by National Advisory Council member N C Saxena. The committee said that since Vedanta has repeatedly violated the law, allowing it further access to the proposed mining area at the

cost of the rights of the tribes will have serious consequences for the security and well-being of the entire country. The tribals, who hold the hills sacred, have been opposing the project and due to the controversy, some of the investors of Vedanta have even withdrawn their shares. The environment ministry will now have to take a call on the fate of the project. Environment and forest ministerJairam Ramesh on Saturday said the government would not tolerate any violation of the Forest Act by any corporate and would decide the future of the Vedanta project after the panel submitted its report. Britain-based Vedanta Alumina, part of the Anil Agarwal-promoted Vedanta Resources Plc, has built an alumina refinery at an investment of $800 million at the foot of the hills, where production has already started. The firm, which is currently sourcing bauxite from other states at market rates, said mining permission in the hills was essential for it to reduce the cost of production.

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Pranab Hopeful of Further MakeMyt MakeMyt trip rip Agency Soars in Market Debut Decline in Inflationar Rate

Union Finance Minister addresses the press in New Delhi.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee expressed confidence that inflation would come down further even as the rate of price rise after a gap of five months came down in single digit at 9.97 per cent in July. “Of course, it will moderate,” he told reporters, when asked about the possibility of inflation sliding further in coming months. “Policy rates had some impact (on sliding inflation) but there are also base factors,” Mukher Mukherjee said expressing satisfaction over declining inflation. The Minister attributed slide in inflation of food items to seasonal factors “particularly in respect of some food items like fruits, vegetables and milk”. After remaining in double

digits since February, the wholesale price-based inflation fell to single digit at 9.97 per cent in July, owing to decline in prices of certain food and non-food items. The inflation was at 10.55 per cent in June, while for May it was revised upwards to 11.14 per cent from the provisional number of 10.16 per cent. Inflation entered the double digits in February when it climbed to 10.06 per cent, as per the final figures. Inflation has become a political sensitive issue with the Opposition raising in within and outside Parliament. Led by NDA, the opposition parties organised an all India strike on July 5 to protest against rising inflation and the hike in prices of petroleum products.

NEW YORK (Time): Shares of Indian travel agency MakeMyTrip Ltd. soared as much as 80 percent in their market debut on the Nasdaq exchange, even as the broader markets declined. It could be the best first-day performance for an IPO this year. Financial advisory firm Financial Engines Inc., which so far has posted the top first-day return, closed up nearly 44 percent in its debut in mid-March. MakeMyTrip Ltd. began as a website in the U.S., mainly serving Indian expats wanting to travel to India. In 2005, it began operations in India, offering airline tickets as well as hotel bookings, bus tickets and other services to the country’s fast growing demographic of middle-class consumers. MakeMyTrip cites data from consultancy firm McKinsey saying that the Indian middle class is expected to grow from 50 million people in 2005 to 583 million people in 2025. India has a much smaller segment of its population on the Internet than the U.S. does, and the company says its revenue will rise as increasingly wealthy Indians get online.

The company’s revenue grew throughout the recession. In the year ended March 31, 1.6 million domestic air ticket transactions were booked

through MakeMyTrip’s website in India, up from 1.2 million in the previous 12 months. But some analysts expressed sur surprise at MakeMyTrip’s performance Thursday, saying the company has never posted an annual operating profit and faces competition from Indian versions of big travel sites such as Expedia Inc. and Travelocity. MakeMyTrip plans to use proceeds

for acquisitions, new investments in technology and for working capital. The company raised $70 million by pricing 5 million shares for $14 each, the high end of its expected $12-$14 range. In midday trading, shares gained $10.30, or 74 percent, to $24.30 on the Nasdaq, having risen as high as $25.16 earlier in the session. Another Thursday IPO debut, real estate software company RealPage Inc., also jumped $3.05, or 28 percent, to $14.05. Meanwhile, broader markets dipped further after big losses on Wednesday, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 dropping 0.4 percent. It’s a good sign for companies wanting to raise funds through the IPO market. Many companies have postponed their offerings because of weak demand from investors wary of the stock market, or had to cut the prices on shares steeply to get to mar market. RealPage, for example, priced shares at $11 apiece, significantly below expectations. It had hoped shares would fetch $13 to $15 each.

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Indo American News • Friday, August 20 , 2010

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Ready, Aim, Shoot.......Click!

Since his days in IIT Delhi, Navyug Mohnot has been a passionate photographer and designer. Today, despite his busy schedule as CEO of IT consultancy QAI, he manages to find time to engage in his pursuits. Himanshu Kakkar caught up with him recently. By HimansHu H kakkar (Outlook) For Navyug Mohnot, the world is truly flat. The CEO of IT consultancy firm QAI (Quality Assurance Institute) is a design, photography and architecture fanatic, and loves to capture the third dimension of space with his lens, “reducing it to flat geometry, proportion, and abstraction”. Mohnot points at a picture of a hotel roof in Oman: “The idea behind my photographs is to remove the context and perspective. I click only a beautiful part of it and not the whole. Now it’s just form and proportion. It’s like an abstract painting—you interpret it the way you want to.” Then he moves to a series of photographs showing the London Eye. “Everyone shows the London Eye full circle. I went away from it to a garden, which had sculptors, and shot it from there.” The QAI chief says his passion for photography and design began dur during his IIT-Delhi days. He avers that life on campus was the most “awesome” experience he has ever had. Not because of the classroom, teachers, or the text books but because “everyone totally leaves you alone. Nobody cares or asks. That gives you space to do your own thing”. The conducive environment was just what he needed to cultivate his photography and design skills. In the years that followed, the wall shelves of his hostel room would be adorned with trophies. Mohnot’s greatest moment came during the screening of a 22-minute audio-visual he made at the inauguration of ‘Rendezvous’, IIT-Delhi’s annual festival. It was titled 80205, after the roll number of the protagonist in the film, and, through a series of photographs, depicted the transformation of a typical IITian during his five-year stint at IIT. At A Crossroads When he passed out of IIT in 1985, Mohnot was faced with a dilemma: he had to choose between pursuing a PhD in management from Rochester University in the US or take up

“ The beauty of the work at QAI is that I get to travel a lot. I go and stay in the coolest hotel in a city and photograph stuff.” photography and design. Eventually, he decided to keep “design, photography and art as a hobby and pursue his profession for bread and butter.” And so, he joined Rochester University, where he started conducting research for his professor, earning $10 an hour for his trouble. Somewhere down the line, Mohnot came across a write-up on QAI, a company in the area of process improvement and quality management. “That was the a-ha moment for me,” says Mohnot. The visionary in him sensed a huge opportunity in India. “There was no proper software industry in India at the time, with only two or three companies around. But India could be big in software and to be big, you need quality.”And so, in 1988, having decided to leave his Ph.D at the Rochester University, he approached Bill

software industry to help it grow. QAI started providing process improvement and quality management consulting services even before India had an IT industry to speak of. In the years that followed, it would make the PCMM framework, which focuses on three points—people, processes and technology—famous. Organisations looking to build their reputation for quality used it to take their performance up several notches. “QAI played a huge role in India to bring awareness around quality, which has been the bedrock of the IT industry’s growth in India,” says Mohnot proudly. Over the years, the company grew along with the IT industry. But the defining moment for Mohnot came in 2008. “Bill Perry (who was in his 70s) Perry, the founder of QAI, with a simple, self-drafted MoU, seeking an alliance. Perry, who was clueless about India at that time, liked his audacious proposal and asked him to represent QAI in India. Mohnot recollects, “I bor borrowed money from my sister in the US and bought an Apple Laser 2E printer to take back to India. I sold the printer for Rs 97,800 in India and this became the capital for the start-up.” After representing the company in India for five years, he set up the Indian unit of QAI, in 1993, as a joint venture with the QAI, USA. Mohnot draws parallels with the California Gold Rush. “Everyone ran after the gold. But there was one company which said: we’ll supply the pots and pans—that was QAI.” The company’s business model revolved around providing training, consultancy, methodology and tools to the

called me and said he was consider considering retirement and spending more time on the golfing greens.” Mohnot spotted a huge opportunity. With the backing of BTS Investment Advisor, a Swiss tech fund, he bought the company for under $15 million in 2008, according to reports. Today, he has taken it places. QAI has now offices in Malasiya, Singapore and China, besides USA, UK and India. Design Freak “My passion is design thinking. Photography, architecture, corporate communication and brand identity all

emanate from it,” asserts Mohnot. He is involved in designing everything, from his house, to a QAI brochure, to the company’s Delhi and Bangalore offices. “A CEO should be effecting multi-lakh deals with clients and not drawing graphics for them, but that’s what I do,” he says with a laugh. Noni Sehmbi, a graphic designer at QAI, agrees. “He’s our unofficial Art Director. From office interiors to planning great conferences to serious corporate communications, he is there.” Sehmbi says that every input from Mohnot, be it a little detail in a brochure, a small colour change in a report make a big difference to a design. Despite his busy schedule, Mohnot finds time for his pastimes. “I truly believe that you will always have the time if you want to do something.” However, he isn’t interested in walking away from everything to take up his hobbies full-time. He loves his job and the travel that’s involved, which lets him indulge in his passions. “The beauty of the work at QAI is that I get to travel a lot. I have a rule: I go and stay in the coolest hotel in a city and photograph stuff.” Be it Las Vegas, Dubai, Bali or Shanghai, he has captured the ar architectural style of the best buildings in the city and flattened it. For him, there’s no line between life and work. It’s been a seamless journey all the way. Mohnot uses an example from his routine to describe his philosophy. “I always reach the airport 90 minutes early for a domestic flight and three hours early for an international one because I don’t want to be seated in the middle and window seats, I need the aisle seat.” Looking at this writer’s quizzical expression, he explains: “In life, too, you need to be sitting on the aisle seat so you can get up, walk and do whatever you want to.” Mohnot doesn’t let life pass by. He makes it happen.

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Indo American News • Friday, August 20 , 2010

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Give Yourself an ‘A’ Today! It Makes a Difference

Rewarding other people – and yourself - in advance can indeed make a big difference. By Prakash Iyer SOMETHING a seemingly ordinary event can hold valuable life lessons for us all. Like it happened at a lunch I had with a friend some years ago. As I recall it, the food was good, and the conversation delightful. But what made the lunch unforgettable was something else altogether. As we entered the restaurant and sat down at our table, my host reached for his wallet. He pulled out a hundred rupee note and handed it to the waiter – who accepted it with a big smile. Now it wasn’t the size of the tip that

surprised me. It was the timing. For the first time, I saw someone tipping for service even before we had ordered our meal. Needless to say, we got treated like royalty that afternoon. The service was quick, the waiter seemed to be hovering around us, and the huge smile never left his face. And as we walked out after an enjoyable meal, I was left wondering: Why don’t we all tip before a meal? If you think about it, maybe there’s a lesson in that for all of us that goes beyond tipping. Rewarding other

people – and yourself - in advance can indeed make a difference. A big difference. So what really happened at the restaurant that day? By paying the tip upfront, my friend was telling the waiter, “I know you’ll do a terrific job of looking after us!” And the waiter was probably telling himself “Wow! He trusts me to look after him well. I must do all I can to live up to his expectations.” And throughout the afternoon, we expected great service – and got it! Unfortunately, most of us are brought up on a diet of conditional

love and recognition. ‘If you come first in class then you’ll get a wrist watch.’ Since only one kid can come first, that leaves the rest of us feeling inferior, unsure about ourselves. And yes, having no idea what time it is! Now imagine what might have happened if your father gave you a watch at the start of the term – and said he knew you were a bright kid – and expected you to do well. You would walk around knowing that someone really smart (your father!) thinks you are bright. And you’d do all you could to live up to his expectations. Would that ensure you come first in class? No, not quite. But would it make you do your best and perform to your potential? You bet! And that’s really what life is all about. There’s a prestigious college of music in the UK that attracts the brightest talents from all over the world. The teachers faced a problem: although the students were all extremely gifted, several of them were becoming nervous after entering college. The students were anxious: Will I finish at the bottom of my class? Am I good enough? And the creative spark required for their musical talent to flower often went missing. So here’s what the college did. Every student was told upfront that he or she would get an ‘A’ at the end of the year. What the students had to do was write a letter – dated the following year – explaining why they had ‘earned’ the A grade. What they had

Prakash Iyer is MD, Kimberly-Clark and Executive Coach

learnt, what they had achieved, and how they had become better people. And bingo! Soon after, the students were going through college with less stress – and becoming far better musicians. They were living up to their A grades! Here’s a good exercise to try: Award yourself ‘employee of the year’ or ‘student of the year’ today. Write down what the company CEO or college Principal would be saying about you at the end of the year. All the great things he’d be saying about you. Do that. And you’ll soon find yourself doing the things you’ve written down! Rest assured, you’ll have a terrific year! Musicians and waiters – and you and I - we are all just the same. Tip upfront. Give yourself an ‘A’ today. And let the magic begin!

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Indo American News • Friday, August 20 , 2010

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Indo American News

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South Asia News of the Diaspora

Where Do We Stand After 63 Years of Independence?

Thoughts of some eminent personalities about what they thought was the one best, and the one worst, moment in the 63 years of our tumultuous democracy… Rahul Bajaj, Industrialist The Emergency, its peaceful rejection by the electorate and transfer of power to electoral victors, to my mind, represents the worst and best

ultimately led to the assassination of Indira Gandhi and the subsequent violence have left festering wounds. Those were the tragic years. Unnecessarily, sentiments were raked up, leading to the assassination of Mrs. Gandhi. They forgot that Punjab was an integral part of India and people there could never have been separated. Still an attempt was made, leading to violent incidents. Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister, Delhi: The liberation of East Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh exemplifies Indian democracy at its best. There was a lot of euphoria and a huge measure of pride. It would go down in history as a major conquest, a record 90,000 plus soldiers from the other side surrendered. And yet India not only treated them well but also proved that it had no intention of holding on to the territory in Bangladesh. We stepped out immediately.The problem in Punjab which

Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chair Chairman Aditya Birla Group Way back in 1947, India’s independence was greeted with enormous scepticism, given the country’s total inexperience in running a democratic republic. Also India’s mindboggling diversity both, linguistic and religious seemed to raise the hurdle rate of success. To me, the high watermark of India’s democracy, then, is in the institutions and mechanisms that have made democracy a reality at the ground level. The Election Commission of India (ECI), constituted in 1950, has

enabled the process of elections, the lifeblood of democracy, to be autonomous from the government of the day. Under the stewardship of the ECI, India has had 15 general elections. The election process has been strengthened considerably over the years, and the election mandates enjoy an extremely high degree of legitimacy. Today, the triumph of India’s democratic processes have won acclaim the world over.

of Indian democracy. It meant that we still valued freedom and would brook no interference with it. At its worst it meant that it was possible for those in power to act arbitrarily, muzzle the judiciary and the press and make the bureaucracy supine. At its best was the resistance to it and the spirited fight in the 1977 elections which rejuvenated democracy in our country.

Girish Karnad, Playwright and writer It is always easier to think of the failings of a democracy... Assassination of Gandhi and the pulling down of the Babri Masjid spring to mind immediately. It is harder to name big and dramatic events that show our democracy’s strengths. They are usually small incidents here and there. I suppose that is how democracies are made. One event I can think of is Sonia Gandhi refusing to become the prime minister of the country. In a sense it saved the democratic state for us.

Sharmila Tagore, Actor and MP The Best :A Functional Democracy and the Independence of the Election Commission: For a nation pulling in different directions, to have crores faithfully exercising their franchise despite politicians failing them is probably our greatest achievement. The credit goes to the Election Commission, probably the one government agency which has managed to stay free of political influence by and large. The Representation of Women at the Panchayat Level: Though the Representation of Women in Par Parliament is yet to become law, at the panchayat level women have begun to exercise political power that would have been unimaginable even a decade ago. The Right to Information Act: For a nation where disclosure of government information is governed by a law enacted during the British rule, the Official Secrets Act of 1889 as amended in 1923, the RTI is nothing less than a revolution. It is a landmark legislation that for once truly empowers the common man. The Worst: The Emergency: Probably the one defining moment of our polity. The Emergency brought to light the worst in our political class, burying once and for all the idealism of Independence. The Demolition of the Babri Masjid: What the Emergency did to our political fibre, the Babri demolition did to our image as a secular, peace-loving nation. That something as grotesque as this could happen, ostensibly to right a 500-year-old wrong, remains India’s eternal shame. Still an Unequal Society: It is close to forty years since we first heard the slogan ‘garibi hatao’, we have seen the green and the white revolutions, yet we have starvation deaths, farmers committing suicide, mothers selling off children in exchange for a bowl of rice. According to the Planning Commission, 27.5% of the population was living below the poverty line in 2004–2005. And what we do is debate whether people who have the purchasing power of more than Rs. 560 p.m. in urban areas and Rs. 368 p.m. in rural areas are above the poverty line. Rampant corruption at all levels, the insidious influence of caste, faulty planning priorities, all contribute to a situation where our development programmes remain only on paper. B.B. Bhattacharya, Vice Chancellor, JNU, Delhi The strongest point of Indian democracy is that it is continuing uninterrupted since Independence. Regular parliamentary elections in a country of one billion plus people with extreme poverty and backwardness divided by religion, language, caste and regionalism is itself a unique feature unparalleled in the history of mankind. Unfortunately, however, the pillars of democracy in India have begun to shake. The toler tolerance of crime, communalism, corruption and casteism could eventually lead to a loss of trust in democracy in India. INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, AuguSt 20 , 2010 • ONLINE EDI EDIt tION: t ION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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Indo American News • Friday, August 20 , 2010

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Li f e & s t y l e

Indo American News • Friday, August 20 , 2010

It Was a Sparkling Day

A fun-filled event that had many people smiling. “I have never had so much fun,” said a beaming six-yearold Geetha, who is an HIV positive child. Like her, many HIV positive children had a day out.

MUNCH TO WIN: Let the race begin. Photo: K.R. Deepak

CHENNAI (Hindu): For the 50 children of Francois-Xavier Bagnoud India (FXB) Suraksha, it was one of the best days of their lives. “I have never had so much fun,” said a beaming six-year-old Geetha, who is an HIV positive child. Like her, many HIV positive children had a day out at Vaisakhi Jala Udyanam at a programme organised by Spark, an organisation of students from Gayatri Vidya Parishad, recently. Several events like drawing competition, dancing, singing, musical chair, spoon race and biscuit race were held for the children as part of the social activities conducted by Spark. The 24 core team members

cheered the bunch of kids who enjoyed themselves during the day-long event. Accompanied by their parents, the little ones took part in the events with enthusiasm. It was an emotional moment for many of the parents, who captured the event on camera. The event was organised with the support of sub-juniors of GVP College, Razzmatazz and FXB India Suraksha. Spark, a group started by the final year students of GVP, conducts similar activities every month. The members believe that it gives a sense of purpose to them and also immense satisfaction to spend time with the less privileged section of the society.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, august 20 , 2010 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

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Indo American News • Friday, August 20 , 2010

in d ia

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How the West Was Won: Among First Immigrants to America

Manhattan. With a By Ashish Kumar Sen reputation for conPicking peaches sounds verting obsolete like an idyllic activity, but commercial buildit wasn’t for Kash Gill. The ings into residenson of a bus mechanic from tial ones, Malhotra village Lakshian in Punjab, bagged the Federal he grew up in an America Archive building where great dreams colproject in downlided with hard realities. His town Manhattan, father, who like so many turning it into a other eager Indians went to much-sought-after the United States in 1967 apartment buildin search of a better life, ing. His firm has drove a tractor at an orchard won prominent dein Yuba City, California. sign awards. His mother picked peaches. J o s e p h By the time he was seven, Melookaran, the Gill was picking them too. son of a farmer in Back then, farm labourers the small town of earned around $7 for a bin Koratty in Thrissur of peaches and the Gills district in Kerala, usually managed five to six came after workbins a day. “As I walked up ing back home as a and down the ladder pickchartered accouning peaches, a 50-pound tant at a multinabag strapped around my tional firm, but his neck in the middle of a hot beginnings were afternoon, I would push not much easier. myself to fill more bins beHis Indian expericause that meant a few more ence dismissed by dollars,” he recalls. That American employperseverance perhaps exers, he took up the plains why Gill was sworn in as the first Indian-Amer- A life ripe as peaches Didar Singh Bains with his daughter in their home in Yuba City, California first job offered: of a shoe salesman. ican mayor of Yuba City in (left). Reluctant American Architect Avinash Malhotra and wife on a holiday in the ’60s. Fearing his father’s November 2009. wrath, he didn’t tell Perseverance, and educahim about it. But tion, he says. “I knew eduAmerican farm owners. “Farming is Whenever architecture student Avication was going to be my way out, in our genes. They hired the Punjabis nash Malhotra, who came in 1966, later, he did get a job at an accountor else I would be doing hard labour first,” Bains says, with more than a bought an electrical appliance, he ing firm, and rose steadily thereafter. for the rest of my life,” says Gill. After hint of pride in his voice. and his wife made graduating from Yuba Community Not all stories are as inspirational, certain it was dual College, he got a degree in agricultur- but there’s little doubt that the restless, voltage so that they al business from California State Uni- mobile Indians of the ’60s, ’70s and could use it when versity at Chico, and another graduate ’80s, bearing the brunt of racism in they returned to Indegree later. Changing tracks, he America, have come a long way— dia. But fate kept went into banking and finance, and and are reaping the benefits. “Today, them in America. is now a senior vice-president at the Indian-Americans are seen as the Malhotra’s father Butte Community Bank. When he’s ‘premium minority’,” says Prakash fell ill on a visit to not in office, Gill swaps his suit and Khatri, who served as the US’s first the US and he was tie for a pair of jeans and shirt and can ombudsman for Citizenship and Im- forced to stay on for be found on his farm where he grows, migration Services in the department treatment. yes peaches, along with prunes and of homeland security, formed during After working walnuts. “Farming,” he explains, “is George W. Bush’s administration. at an architecture in my blood.” His own family is a much travelled firm in New York, It is in Didar Singh Bains’s blood one, moving to the US from Lusaka, he won a full-tutoo. Like Gill’s, his is not the oft-heard Zambia, in 1976, but originally from ition scholarship story of brilliant Indian IT profes- Navsari town in Gujarat, where Kha- to Columbia Unisionals striking gold in America, but tri’s father worked for a bus company versity’s graduate an earlier one of children of peasant and his mother was a weaver. In school of archistock making a place for themselves the US, his parents bought a small tecture. But since in a new land with little else than grit. motel in Daytona Beach, Florida. A Malhotra had arBains spent his early years helping teenaged Khatri helped his family rived with just $22, his brother farm in their Punjab vil- sweep rooms, paint, do laundry and he had to earn a lage, Nangal Khurd. In 1958, at the even clean toilets. But the aftermath living as well. So age of 19, he moved to the US. He of the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-81 he took up a partstills remembers the date on which made life particularly tough—they time job as a draftshe got his US visa: March 13. But faced angry taunts because Ameri- man, and drove a little did he know then that it would cans couldn’t distinguish between cab on weekends. be his ticket to prosperity. Today, Iranians and Indians. “Our cars were “It was necessary California-based Bains is the wealthi- scratched up with the words ‘Go to keep our son in est peach farmer in North America. Home’,” recalls Khatri. It was this nursery school, and He, his wife Santi Kaur and their experience that convinced him to go was a great experichildren own vast tracts of farmland to law school and stand up for the ence, besides,” he on which they grow peaches, prunes, rights of others. In 1984, at the age of explains. Today, almonds and walnuts. A meteoric rise 22, he became the youngest attorney those days are just a for a one-time farm labourer who admitted to the Florida bar, and cur- nostalgic memory put in 10-12-hour days for a paltry rently serves as president and CEO of for Malhotra, who 70 cents an hour—driving tractors, KPK Global Solutions, a DC-based heads a team of arirrigating fields and pruning trees. consulting firm on immigration. chitects and designIndian immigrants like him had to Some others came only to pick up ers at his own firm, compete with Americans, Mexicans degrees and leave, and then found Avinash K. Maland Japanese for agricultural jobs, their lives taking uncharted paths. hotra Architects, in but they quickly earned the respect of

By 1994, Melookaran was able to set up MA Chartered, which provides information technology consulting and network security and configuration solutions. His firm has operations in multiple states, and also an office in India. The crowning moment came when the one-time shoe-seller found himself appointed, by the Bush administration, to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders. Many of these successful IndianAmericans have looked back, even as they have gone forward. Melookaran supports charities in Kerala that mentor young orphans. On a recent visit to his family’s dilapidated home in Navsari, Khatri was moved by the realisation of what his dad, Ishverlal Khatri, had accomplished in a few decades. “Instead of crying about his situation, he went forward and changed the life of not just an entire family, but a community too, because many others followed in those footsteps.” Malhotra, meanwhile, is making plans to return to India, in a new manifestation of his restless energy and drive. Bains, who sponsored close to 1,000 people from his village and neighbouring areas to settle in the US, is clear that making it to America was his lucky break, and if he were to be born again, he has no doubts about where he would want to be: “I hope it is in the United States,” he says. But with Indian genes, clearly.

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FOOD Business

Bharti Wal-Mart Opens Third Wholesale Store in Punjab, Selling Food and Goods JALANDHAR: (IF) Bharti Wal-Mart, the 50:50 joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Walmart Stores Inc has recently opened its third BestPrice Modern Wholesale cash andcarry store in Punjab at Jalandhar. The opening ceremony was attended by Sardar Sukhbir Singh Badal, Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab. Spread over 63,000 square feet, the store at Jalandhar will stock over 5,400 items, including a wide range of fresh, frozen and chilled foods, fruits and vegetables, dry groceries, personal and home care, hotel and restaurant supplies, clothing, office supplies and other general merchandise items, which are available at competitive wholesale prices, allowing retailers and business owners to lower their cost of operations. Speaking at the ocassion, Rajan Bharti Mittal, chairman, Bharti Wal-Mart said, “We are delighted at the launch of our third BestPrice Modern Wholesale cash and-carry store. This launch underlines our commitment to contribute to the economic growth of Punjab by offering a wide range of quality products to kirana stores,

retail chains and other institutions at the lowest prices as well as creating sourcing linkages with farmers and small manufacturers. The Best Price Modern Wholesale and Bharti Retail’s easyday stores across the state are also providing employment opportunities to thousands of youth and women in this emerging sector.” Raj Jain, MD and CEO, Bharti Wal-Mart Pvt Ltd said, “It gives us immense pleasure to launch our third store within four months of unveiling our second store in Zirakpur. Bharti Wal-Mart has invested close to USD 25 Million in Punjab. We will continue to offer quality products as best prices, particularly to institutions and SMEs, including kirana stores. We will also work closely with farmers to improve the quality of their yield and increase their remunerations. We are also committed to building a strong and efficient supply chain that would benefit the consumer as we save people money so they can live better. We believe that this process can be strengthened and hastened if we were also allowed to invest in front-end retailing and are optimistic that the government, equally committed to working for the benefits of the farmer and consumer, will open up foreign direct investment for multi-brand retailing.”

Jubilant FoodWorks Invests Rs. 5-6 Crore in Sri Lanka in Food Franchise Stores

Jubilant FoodWorks Limited (JFL) is planning to invest Rs.5-6 crore in setting up a 100 per cent subsidiary in Sri Lanka by the end of the current fiscal. The move follows the decision of its sub-franchisee in Sri Lanka to shut the five stores it operated. “Sri Lanka is a viable market for us. The country’s economy is growing and we are upbeat about the market. As our Sri Lankan franchisee has decided to shut down the stores, we have an opportunity to venture directly into Sri Lanka,” said Ajay Kaul, CEO, Jubilant FoodWorks Limited. The company, Kaul said, was also planning to expand in Bangladesh. “The first store in Bangladesh will roll out in the next fiscal,” he added. On the company’s plans to bring more interna-

Indo American News • Friday, August 20 , 2010

Sales Confidence for Sale

No matter what you do for a living— you’re in sales. We’re all in sales—all the time. Everything is a sales pitch. When you give your opinion on a conference call, you’re selling an idea. When you negotiate breakfast options with your kids, you’re selling a product. Heck, when you update Twitter you’re selling yourself. Growing your business is a constant sales pitch. You have to seem larger and more experienced than you are. You have to take jobs that will stretch and force your company to grow. You have to stick your neck out. You have to say “sure we can do that” first and then check with the powers that be to make sure that you can.Selling yourself is the exact same game. What’s for sale is YOU. If you want someone to take a leap of faith on you, you must act larger, more passionate and more experienced than you feel. And it’s not easy to do. Most of us feel awkward when we put ourselves out there. You know exactly what I’m talking about. When you stick your neck out (and they say yes), you’re afraid they will fi nd out that you’re really not all that you claim to be. That anxious feeling is the psychological hot button of sales. It’s there and always will be. And just like that gene that made you lactose intolerant, it’s not going anywhere. So you have to learn how to deal with it. I’m feeling it right now. I’m up for a big television gig. It is way outside my comfort zone. Sure, I’m a CNBC contributor and I host a syndicated radio show, but this job is with a major TV network—as a host. I’ve never actually hosted a major television show. And that’s where I feel like a fraud when I say, “Take a leap of faith! Pick Me!”

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Do I think I can do it? You bet I do. I think I’d knock it out of the park. But I’ve got to sell myself first and deal with the fraud factor later. I can’t walk into the casting and say, “Just so we’re all clear, I’ve never really done this before, and I have my doubts, and I just wanted to share my insecurities with you in case I don’t measure up once you pick me.” And neither can you. They are hiring me for my confidence. So I’ve got to promise that I can do something before I know that I can. And in this economy, what people want most from you is confidence. It’s easy to lack confidence right now. You are probably busy telling yourself, “No one is buying in this economy.” You may even be worried about your company’s viability or your own job security. This makes selling even tougher. The anxiousness that comes with selling in an economy like this is simply that same old fraud factor at work. You will always feel awkward when you are uncertain about how things will turn out. Always. The first step to selling yourself— to selling confidence—is recognizing that the pit in your stomach isn’t the economy. It’s the fear of putting yourself out there. It just so happens you are putting yourself out there at a time when the economy isn’t doing so great.The truth is, people are buying in this economy. They are buying products, services and solutions. And they are buying from people with confidence. So ditch the economy as your excuse. And pick up the phone. You may feel awkward at first, but trust me. The person on the other end of the line wants exactly what you’ve got: a huge jolt of confidence.

tional brands to India, Kaul said, “We are in discussion with a handful of brands. In fact, to bring more international brands in the country, we changed our name from Domino’s Pizza India Limited to Jubilant FoodWorks Limited early this year... we have also gone public.” Domino’s will open 70 new stores in India this fiscal. JFL is primarily a food-service company and currently operates Domino’s Pizza outlets in India. Incorporated in 1995, the company focusses on the home delivery and takeaway business model. JFL has a master franchise agreement with Domino’s Pizza International, which provides it with the exclusive right to develop and operate Domino’s Pizza delivery stores and the associated trademarks in the operation of stores in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, AUGUST 20 , 2010 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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Indo American News • Friday, August 20 , 2010

entertainment

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Aamir Khan’s Peepli Live: “As Good As Jaane Bhi De Yaaro”

By Mayank Shankar

MUMBAI (HT): It appears a scene straight out of an Indian version of Yes Minister. The agricultural minister (Naseeruddin Shah) in the room is one of those suave, telegenic politician faces we’re used to watching endlessly gab on late night news debates. His young colleague, a bureaucrat, is quick to figure the embarrassing enormity of a small situation at hand: it’s the story of one farmer attempting suicide that every news channel has played up across netnon-hero Hiralal, the works. farmer under fatal debt. The minister, forced His village in fictional to intervene, asks for Mukhya Pradesh makes that farmer to be passed for thousands of such on an Indira Awas, or a across India where life’s ‘Jawahar Rozgar’, or an cheap; time’s still; air, ‘Annapoorna’…. Naah! inescapably dull. It’s Each of those government the sort of place where grants, the IAS officer tells Reviews suggest that Peepli is as good a black comedy people simply live off him, concern the home- as Jaane bhi de Yaaro, released in 1983. Right: Director the motto, ‘I am, where less, the unemployed, the Anusha Rizvi (center) with actors Onkar Das (left) and I am’; suitably divide the starving… He says, “Cen- Aamir Khan. day between ganja, other tral government schemes simple English, a tube-well. idleness, and I guess, the don’t cover farmers who are still Jawahar, Indira, Lal Bahadur, these wait for the monsoons. Life reveals alive. They only cover those dead!” are of course gift vouchers for In- itself to them completely, for good, Earlier, when the local MLA had dia’s political class that counts its better or worse. The acceptance is heard of the same story building up personal worth in public patronage, complete. Natha’s eyes, already dead, into something big, he’d ordered his not public service. Everybody rightly show no signs of curiosity. minions to deliver to the dying man’s loves a good drought. One, obscure The firm test of a film set around the house a “Lal Bahadur”. It means in Natha, by the way, is that John Doe, everyman is when you just can’t tell if

those before you on screen aren’t the people they’re meant to be. Lovers of Italian neo-realism, for instance, were deeply upset to learn that the cast of Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali had actually comprised auditioned per performers. Like that dying old woman in Pather Panchali, the dowdy village grandmother in this film almost jolts you up for how ‘unreally’ real she is. I’m absolutely certain you’ve met the numbed Natha before. His ecstatic brother (Raghuveer Yadav, one of India’s most under-rated actors) tells him: “Na marneka handpump, marneka soch! (Hand-pump for staying alive, imagine gifts of death!).” The brothers have reasons to feel lucky. They’re currently under national spotlight. Television only goes where some research or ratings

point them to, news merely being a function of the lowest common denominator’s pleasure. Peepli just happens to be a village that falls under a constituency up for a byelection. The opposition would like Natha dead. The government in power would prefer him alive. Both seek mileage from this rare event, while various TV stations and their ambitious reporters break each other’s heads over broken news. The satire is irresistible; the subtext, compelling. And yet neither shows itself up in anyformofself-seriousness. The comic writing (Anusha Rizvi) is immaculately inspired. India’s mass media, whether in the ridiculousness of Hindi television, or even excitable super-stars of English news, leave little scope for parody. The risk involves spoofing a spoof itself. Journalists, and why, their consumers as well, will instantly recognise dark truths in these intended laughs. Sometimes facts are almost as outrageous as limits of fiction. This makes the film then the most intelligent and humorous Indian commentary in long. It is the only true black comedy in Hindi to appear in 27 years. If you’re wondering what happened in 1983, well, two journalists and a Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. Peepli’s right up there! I don’t know a better compliment to pay.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, AUGUST 20 , 2010 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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PaKistan

More that 62 Dead in Karachi Political Violence, Deepening Fears of Instability in Country Grow KARACHI (TOI): More than six to seven trucks parked under a bridge tions in the city were still closed on a dozen more people were killed were also burnt,” Karachi police chief Wednesday morning. “The situation is not good. I will overnight in Pakistan’s Karachi, Waseem Ahmed told Reuters. Hospital sources and officials said a to- wait for a few hours to see how it deepening fears of instability in the over- goes and if other people in the market commercial hub after the killing of tal of at least 12 people were killed over a member of the dominant political night in shootings as the violence grip- also open shops, then I will as well,” said Muhammad Jawaid, party in the city. standing outside his closed Sixty-two bakery. people have Trading was once again been killed since dull at the Karachi Stock Monday, police Exchange, which closed and officials an hour early on Tuesday said, following amid security concerns. the assassination The main index was, howof Raza Haider, ever, up 0.69 percent by a lawmaker in 11:55 a.m. (0655 GMT). the Muttahida “The attendance in the Quami Movemarket is still very thin and ment (MQM). the turnover is likely to be The government low again today as people blamed TaliPhoto: Shakil Adil are still scared,” said Asad ban insurgents, ofand the banned This bus was set on fire by protestors after the killing of Iqbal, chief investment of militant group the leader of Mutahida Quami movement in Pakistan last ficer at Faysal Asset Management Ltd. Sipah-e-Sahaba week Karachi has a long hisPakistan (SSP), tory of ethnic, religious and sectarian ping the city since Haider was gunned for his killing. Some analysts said violence down along with his bodyguard while violence. It was a main target of al could ultimately hurt the already attending a funeral escalated. More Qaeda-linked militants after the Sept. struggling economy. Karachi is than 150 were wounded. The MQM has 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, when Pakistan joined the US-led home to the country’s main port, called for three days of mourning. forEarly on Wednesday, unknown peo- campaign against militancy, and for the central bank and the stock exchange. Those concerns are ple set fire to several mobile phone eigners were attacked in the city sevfuelled by the flight of Taliban shops in a main market in the city of 18 eral times. Including the killings this militants to Karachi, a teeming city million people. Police said more than 50 week, officials say at least 214 people that is easy to hide in, after army of of- vehicles have been burnt while dozens have been killed in targeted attacks fensives against their strongholds of shops torched since Haider’s slaying. since the start of the year, although Dozens of people have been arrested on analysts and political parties say the in the northwest. “Four people were shot dead in charges of violence, they said. Fearing number is likely much higher. one incident late last night, while more violence, most shops and fuel sta-

Indo American News • Friday, August 20 , 2010

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Pakistan to Get UN World Aid for Millons of Flood Victims

KARACHI - The scale and cost of the flooding disaster in Pakistan, rated by as the the worst devastation he has ever seen, look set to worsen even fur further. More heavy rain is forecast for the Punjab and a fresh flood wave is head south down the Indus River.

The UN will allocate a further US$10 million from its Central Emergency Response Fund, bringing its contribution to $27 million since the crisis began. India has of offered $5 million in aid to Pakistan for relief efforts.

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Indo American News • Friday, August 20 , 2010

FOOD challenge

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Aarti Sequeira Wins “Next Food Network Star”, Hosts Indian-Inspired Cooking Show LOS ANGELES: After 10 weeks of heated culinary competition jam-packed with 18 intense challenges, Los Angeles food blogger

Aarti Sequeira won The Next Food Network Star as revealed during the season six finale last night. Born in Bombay, India, and raised

in Dubai, UAE, Aarti’s culinary inspiration stems from her cultural background, family recipes, and never-ending food experiments. Aarti will now host her very own Food Network show, Aarti Party, set to premiere this Sunday, August 22nd at 12pm ET/PT. She will share approachable and delicious ways to enhance American favorites with simple but unique Indian influences. Whether she’s sprucing up everyday pulled pork sandwiches and perfectly roasted chicken or taking classic bread pudding and basic red lentils to new heights, Aarti cleverly combines the familiar with the exotic to create mouthwatering meals. No matter the occasion, Aarti Party promises great food and endless fun for home cooks everywhere. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit: www.foodnetwork. com/aartiparty. “Aarti has that all-too-rare combination we seek in our stars: a passionate food expert who is warm, radiant, fun, and relatable,” said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Programming & Production, Food Network. “Aarti also brings a new world of flavors to Food Network and is perfectly suited for viewers seeking new inspirations.” Born in Bombay, India and raised in Dubai, UAE, Aarti’s lifelong appreciation for food began at a young age. Growing up in a traditional Indian Catholic fam-

ily, Aarti spent Fridays dining on fish and Sundays at church. Her fondest food memories include her father’s weekly trips to the mar market for fresh fish and produce, her mother’s daily recipe creations, and even pretending to host her own cooking show – an unexpected glimpse into her future as a Food Network star. After work working as a producer at CNN and completing several freelance gigs in the entertainment industry, the Northwestern University journal journal-

ism graduate trained at The New School of Cooking in Culver City, California and earned her professional cooking certificate in 2007. She further explored her culinary calling by starting a blog and online cooking-variety show called, “Aarti Paarti” in 2008. Aarti and her husband, Brendan, currently live in Los Angeles. Her parents and youngest sister live in Bangalore, India, and her middle sister lives in Phoenix.

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Indo American News • Friday, August 20 , 2010

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Italy’s Ferrero to Set Up a $125 Million Twenty-Day Mysore Racing 2nd Chocolate Confectionary in India Season Starts on August 19

NEW DELHI (ET): Ferrero, the $8- bn Italian confectionery giant, has firmed up plans for a new production facility in Maharashtra with an investment of over $125 mn to whip up some of its popular brands that include Rocher and Kinder. “The company’s new facility will be located near the existing plant at Baramati, near Pune. Ferrero has already invested over $75 mn in India so far,” said Diljeet Titus, an advisor to the Italian company in India. “The new production facility will be established by the end of 2011,” Titus, also the founder and managing partner of leading corporate law firm Titus and Co, told mediapersons. Apart from Ferrero Rocher, the Italian firm owns several popular chocolate brands like Ferrero Rondnoir, Ferrero Raffaello and Ferrero Giotto. Among them, Rocher, the crispy, yet creamy chocolate with a hazelnut-centre wrapped in a gold

foil, is the most popular. “The idea is to tickle the palate of Indians with tasty offerings that go beyond the popular Ferrero Rocher. The location of the plant is also suited well to source most of the

material locally,” Titus said. Ferrero -- which has also started targeting children in India with Kinder Surprise, that combines a chocolate egg, a surprise filling and a toy -- runs its existing unit through a 100-percent subsidiary, Imsofer Manufacturing, that started production two years ago.

“In just second year of operation the company’s annual turnover has risen to over $170 mn. It is evident there is a huge potential demand in India for hi-end chocolates and confectionery,” said Titus, also a top officer-bearer with Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. According to him, sending a packaged box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates is also becoming commonplace on festivals and occasions such as Diwali, Eid and Christmas, or even along with a wedding invitation or birthday card. Globally, the familyowned group is headed by its chief executives Pietro and Giovanni Ferrero and operates through 38 trading companies, 18 factories and around 21,500 employees. The 60-year-old group’s other popular brands include Nutella chocolatehazelnut spread, Tic Tac mint pellets, Kinder Bueno wafer chocolate bar and Mon Cheri dark chocolate with liqueur and cherry.

RELIGIOUS SERVICES RELIGIOUS SERVICES Durga Bari Society 832-347-4003

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Hindu Worship Society Temple

Priest – “Bhibhdutt Mishra Ji”. Open for Darshan all days, except Thursday, from 8am -10am & 5pm - 8pm. Sunday 11:30am to 1:30pm – Regular Puja, Religious discourses and Prasad. Website www.hwst.org

MYSORE (SS) :A total stake money of Rs 4.6 crore will beoffered for the 20-day Mysore races that commenced August 19. Newly elected Mysore race club Chairman Mr Chanduranga Kantharaj Urs told reporters for Derby and other classic races, the stake money has been increased and the winner would earnRs 37 lakh. The stake money for both 1000 and 2000 Guineas races was also being increased from Rs 10 lakh to 20 lakh, and for Mysore million from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. More then 700 horses were expected to participate in the season and trainers of Bangalore and Mysore, apart from outstation trainers will be racing their wards. He said the betting terminals have been upgraded with new software. Thermal printers and scanners had been installed to increase the speed of totalisator transactions. Fifteen new betting terminals have been added to cater to more punters.

He announced that the grand stand had been renovated to ensure that punters had comfortable seating and viewing arragments. The following are the important classic races days during the season. The Mysore Million (Grade III) -August 20, the Karnataka Race Horse

Owners‘ Association Mysore 1000 Guineas 2010 September 10, Maharaja’s Gold Cup-September 17, F K Irani Memorial Gold Cup-September 23, Fernhill’s Palace Mysore 2000 Guineas 2010- October 1, Chief Minister’s Gold Cup Sepember 24, The Mysore Dasara Sprint Championships- October 8 Govern’s Gold CupOctober15, Daisy Appoo Cup October14 and the Poonawalla Mysore Derby 2010 (Grade-I) October 24 the last day.

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Satsang & spiritual discourses, Sun: 10.30 am.-12.30pm. with simultaneous prog. of Hindi, Sanskrit and Moral science for kids, dance classes for children and adults every Fri:8 pm, www.shrikripalukunj.org

Shri Radha Krishna Four artis daily: 6:30am , 12 noon, 7pm & 9pm. Tuesday & Saturday 7:10pm. Sunday Bhajan and Kritan at 6pm. Maha Arti 7pm, More information www.srkt.org Located at 11625 BeechTemple nut Houston, TX 77072. 281-933-8100

Please note: The above section for Religious Services has been provided as a free service for many years. We are now updating this section to make it informative for our readers. To help provide this service on an ongoing weekly basis, we are making these listings available for a nominal annual charge. Give prominence to your religious services with a special block ad for an annual cost of only $150. That is only $2.88 per week. Thank you for your ongoing support. Regular business card size $30 / week.

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Indo American News • Friday, August 20 , 2010

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Indian Government Plans to Reintroduce Cheetah in India

By Proloy Bagchi

RAJASTHAN: (NV) After prolonged deliberations Government of India has decided to reintroduce the Cheetah in the country. As many as eighteen cheetahs will be sourced from Africa and will be introduced into three sites, viz. KunoPalpur Wildlife Sanctuary, Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary (both in Madhya Pradesh) and Shahgarh landscape near the international border in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. A project costing $ 65 million has been formulated and is likely to be implemented within three years. Each of the three sites will be allocated $ 22 million for preparation and restoration. Presumably each site will get three pairs of imported cheetahs which will be nurtured and encouraged to breed under the super supervision of wildlife experts. The decision was taken on the basis of the recommendations of wildlife experts, national and international, who met at Gajner in Rajasthan in September 2009. The rationale be-

hind the decision was restoration of India’s natural heritage for “ethical and ecological” reasons. In the words attributed to Jairam Ramesh, the Indian Minister for Forests & Environment, “It is important to bring back cheetah, as it will restore grasslands of India. The way tiger restores for forest ecosystem, snow leopard restores mountain ecosystem, Gangetic dolphin restores waters in the rivers, (the) same way cheetah will restore grasslands of the country.” (For a long time it has been felt that the Indian grasslands have been degrading because of over-grazing by antelopes and, of course, livestock.) Moreover, revival of the cheetah will bestow on India the distinction of being the only country with six of the eight big cats – a classification that is not quite scientific but is informally used to distinguish the larger felid species from smaller ones. With the exception of cougar and jaguar, the country will host the cheetah along with other big cats – lions, tigers, leopards, snow leopards and clouded leopards. Once upon a time India used to host cheetahs – a name that has been derived from the Sanskrit word “chitrakaya” meaning speckled – in great numbers. Emperor Akbar is reported to have maintained a stable of them in scores, tamed and trained for hunting

antelopes. Even in the British colonial days these were kept in captivity and were mainly used for hunting, thus gaining another name – Hunting Leopards. Over time, however, the animals were mercilessly hunted down – like lions and tigers. Besides, the loss and degradation of their habitat contributed to their complete elimination from India by the middle of the last century. Extinction of the species in India made it lose the “Indian” prefix. The Asiatic Cheetah (sub species: Acinonyx Jubatus Venaticus) ear earlier used to be largely known as “Indian Cheetah”. Currently, however, it has lost even its “Asiatic” prefix as it is mainly concentrated in Iran and, hence, is commonly known as “Iranian Cheetah”. Once roaming over the wilds of a huge range, from Middle East to the entire Indian subcontinent, the (Asiatic) Cheetah is now mostly confined to Iran in its Kavir desert region. There have been some stray sightings in Balochistan and Sindh provinces of Pakistan. According to researchers, not more than 100 Asiatic cheetahs are now estimated to be around, 70-odd of

which are in Iran. Reports had earlier appeared about India’s keenness to relocate a few Iranian cheetahs in reserves that are found suitable for them. Perhaps, it was felt that belonging to the same sub-species, the Iranian cheetahs will have a greater chance of survival in Indian conditions. It seems, the idea had to be abandoned because the Iranian cheetahs are critically endangered and withdrawal of even a few from the acutely limited stock would threaten the survival of the species. No wonder, the country pitched on procuring them from Africa where most of the game parks – and there are surfeit of them mostly located South of Sahara – have cheetahs in good numbers. Considered endangered, the African cheetah’s population is currently estimated to be around 12000 – enough for India to try and have eighteen of them relocated from there. Namibia is currently hotspot for the Cheetah as the efforts made by Cheetah Conservation Fund are increasingly proving to be successful. Nonetheless, as cheetahs in Namibia are reported to be sharing their habitat with farmers, man-animal conflicts are frequent leading to frequent kills. It has been estimated that all the three sites taken together have the potential to host 160 cheetahs, with

Kuno-Palpur having the maximum potential – of hosting 70 cheetahs. Realisation of the potential will, however, depend on how well the sites are managed and made conducive to the animal’s proliferation. There have, however, been reservations about the whole process. Firstly, of course, misgivings are always there about introduction of an alien species, an effort which not only is dicey, it also can cause all kinds of complications. Besides, the Indian record of wildlife conservation is not quite enviable. The country’s “Big Five” are under serious threat. The Asiatic Lion, numbering around 350, is concentrated in one sanctuary and cohabits with humans and their livestock. One single mishap could wipe off the entire species. Tigers, at the last count, were a precarious 1411 in number. Eleven adults have been lost in the first five months of 2010 along with a few cubs. The elephants are under threat from poachers, villagers and vehicles, including railway trains. The rhinos are vulnerable and are still under threat from poachers who are keen on their horn – supposedly an aphrodisiac. Leopards are being lost virtually at the rate of one every day. A cat comparable to cheetah, though belonging to genus “panthera”, has not been cared for so far, with no conservation policy for it yet in place. Its shrinking prey-base and habitat is driving it towards human settlements resulting in conflicts in which it invariably loses. Prerna Singh Bindra, a well-known naturalist, author and columnist, feels that the way the leopards are being killed it could well beat the tiger in the race to extinction. In the first 50 days of 2010 India lost as many as 60 leopards – more than one a day. Worse, both the states, viz. Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, in the sanctuaries of which cheetahs are to be relocated, have had indifferent record of providing protection to big cats. Rajasthan had its debacle in Sariska Tiger Reserve as did the Madhya Pradesh wildlife administration had its own in Panna Reserve. In both the reserves, immensely popular as they were, tiger became extinct despite the local Reserve administration’s claims of their presence. The record of the forest departments of various states in conservation of wildlife, therefore, is nothing to write home about. In this scenario one views the decision to introduce African Cheetah in Indian grasslands with trepidation. Relocation per se may not be a problem as Indian wildlifers have acquired some expertise, having relocated a number of tigers to Sariska and Panna Tiger Reserves and some rhinos from Kaziranga National Park to a neighbouring game park. After relocation the cheetahs may be nursed well enough and may even proliferate. But, what eventually

would be vital is how the animals are monitored for their wellbeing and provided the necessary protection, particularly from poachers. Generally weak and, one dare say, even callous, the foresters’ lackadaisical attitude, corruption, turf wars, inadequate and ill-trained forest staff are the bane of Indian game parks, protected areas

and other forests. One can only hope that the foresters will shake off their lethargy and pull themselves up by their boot-straps to face the challenge of reviving the cheetah in the country where once it chased chinkaras and blackbucks with considerable freedom.

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BIA Expansion Underway BENGALURU: ((DHN DHN)) The BanDHN galore International Airport Limited (BIAL) announced that it plans to invest an additional Rs 977.90 crore for the expansion of the Bengaluru International Airport at Devanahalli in two phases. The move comes in the backdrop of the Joint Legislature Committee pointing out several inadequacies in the airport. In its report, the committee made serveral scathing observations,

to build a Terminal Two in the longrun with the provision to expand it to 36 million passengers a year in due course, the proposal of which is with the State Government. Infrastructure: Airside infrastructure would also be strengthened simultaneously to cater to the increased passenger volumes as part of the expansion programme. The airport premises will be spruced up, with a revamped landscaping improving

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa said it is long awaited and he is happy that the Bangalore Airport expansion is underway

underlining that the space available for commercial purposes at the airport was more than that of the space available for public/travellers . It had also made negative observations regarding the number of boarding gates, aero bridges, toilet facilities and the VIP lounge space available. The management has decided to add new facilities that would address the issues, while also expanding the airport as planned earlier. According to the proposed expansion plan, Terminal One at the airport which is about 71,000 square metres will be expanded by another 50,000 square metres, to accommodate about 17 million passengers a year against 9-12 million passengers currently. It is learnt that the BIAL Board of Directors has proposed it to the government, and once approved by the latter, will take the proposal to the Civil Aviation ministry. The management is also planning

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Cairn to Sell Indian Oil Assets to Vedanta On completing the purchase, Ve- growth and an expanding population LONDON : (GN) GN) Shareholders in GN Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy are danta said Cairn India, which is the are all pushing up demand. Vedanta is under pressure over its set for a windfall after the oil and gas country’s fourth biggest oil and gas exploration and production company company, had the potential to almost expansion plans, however. double current production to about It has been forced to defend its huagreed to sell off assets in India. man rights record over Vedanta Resources, plans to build a bauxite a London-listed minmine in India’s Orissa ing firm, will pay up to state and an Indian £6.1bn to acquire a stake government panel has of between 51 and 60% now said that it should in Cairn India following not be given permisa deal negotiated in just sion to mine there. three weeks. Meanwhile, some In exchange for the huge analysts have quessum, Vedanta’s billionaire tioned whether Vefounder Anil Agarwal danta, which is folgains a foothold in India’s lowing BHP Billiton’s oil reserves and exposure footsteps in diversifyto a market where deing from mining to mand is set to rise. oil, has the expertise “The proposed acquisition significantly enhanc- Vedanta Resources plans to spend up to $9.6 billion required to make the es Vedanta’s position as a clinching control of Cairn India, giving billionaire mining most of Cairn India’s natural resources cham- magnate Anil Agarwal a slice of India’s oil reserves and resources. Shares in both Cairn pion in India,” Mr Agar Agar- exposure to surging demand. and Vedanta, the latter wal said. of which suffered a heavy fall on the For Cairn, the sale frees up cash 240,000 barrels of oil per day. That equates to around a quarter of FTSE last week, have risen on news to return to shareholders and to fund further exploration in Greenland, India’s output, and puts Vedanta in a of the deal. which is understood to be its next position to supply oil in an market where industrialization, economic big project.

the visual experience from the Inter Interchange on the National Highway 7 right up to the Terminal building. Briefing reporters, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said: “I am happy that the GVK Group, which has recently acquired 29 per cent equity in BIAL is actively pursuing the expansion of the airport. I am told that an investment of nearly Rs 977.90 crore is planned in two phases.” Congratulating G V Krishna Reddy and G V Sanjay Reddy for becoming the Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, respectively, Yeddyurappa said the government hopes the expansion will be completed in 18 months as expected. He also thanked the new management for giving due consideration to the sentiments expressed by the Legislature Committee and taking steps to add new facilities besides providing more space for the travellers including the VIPs.

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Bonus-Point Win for India vs. Sri Lanka

DAMBULLA (Cricinfo): India’s bowlers and Virender Sehwag led the recovery from a dispiriting defeat against New Zealand, helping their team overpower Sri Lanka and secure a bonus point to leave each of the three sides with a win at the end of the first round of matches. MS Dhoni’s luckless run at the toss continued, but Kumar Sangakkara’s decision to bat gave India first use of favour favourable conditions on a breezy, over overcast Dambulla day and their bowlers cashed in. Sehwag then followed up with a steady innings that released the pressure created by early wickets and steered India to what was, in the end, a comfortable win. The ease with which India completed their win was in contrast to the struggle at the start of the innings, when batsmen found it difficult to negotiate the swing and movement their own seamers had troubled the hosts with. Dinesh Karthik’s edginess at the crease gradually developed into visible frustration and the one delivery he could have dispatched with ease, he slashed straight to third man. India’s two competitors for a middle-order slot, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, followed in successive overs and it appeared the Sri Lankan seamers had set up a low-scoring thriller. The wickets falling at the other end prompted Sehwag to restrain himself, except against a couple of free-hits. He reserved punishment for deliver deliveries that were over pitched or wide. Those were a rarity, though, and it was not until the sixth over that he cracked Kulasekara for his first boundary. There was greater reliance on timing and using the pace of the seamers than on raw power: Sehwag’s boundaries down the ground were firm pushes and not flowing drives, and the areas through point and midwicket were pierced with consistency by his favoured cuts and stylish whips. Sehwag’s recovery effort was supported by Suresh Raina in a halfcentury stand that infused the innings with fluency. Raina nudged the ball around, and gave the more assured Sehwag a fair share of the strike, before a rush of blood drove him to pull straight to deep square leg with the score on 91. A flurry of boundaries from Sehwag’s blade, however, crushed any Sri Lankan hopes. Again, it was the loose deliveries that were punished

Pak Bolsters Middle Order

Virender Sehwag celebrates his fifty, Sri Lanka v India, tri-series, 3rd ODI, Dambulla.

and the momentum had swung India’s way. Suraj Randiv dropped short and was slashed for successive fours, and Mathews doled out long hops, one of which was smashed over the ropes. India were coasting towards victory and Sehwag towards his century, but the end was not without drama. With Sehwag on 99 and India requiring a run for a win, Randiv overstepped by a massive margin, depriving Sehwag of a century even though he was thumped over the long-off boundary. The ending was as dramatic as the start of the game, when Praveen Kumar castled Upul Tharanga with an outswinger off the first ball of the day. The challenge was thrown at Sri Lanka under cloudy skies and the batsmen struggled against the swing and deviation off the pitch. Mahela Jayawardene showed glimpses of his solidity during his brief stay but was trapped in front by a Praveen delivery that moved back in late. Extra pace accounted for Sangakkara, who top-edged a pull to be caught in the deep. The assurance that featured prominently in his knocks during the Test series was absent during Samaraweera’s stay; the seamers had him hopping around until he almost contrived to spoon a short-of-a-length delivery to short midwicket. Tillakaratne Dilshan was not comfortable at the crease, but countered the swing better than the rest, whipping Praveen’s inswingers through square leg and then latching on anything short, scoring three boundaries

Shiv Sagar

off the pull. He settled in and was at greater ease once the left-arm spin of Pragyan Ojha was introduced, making room to cut from the stumps and maintain a steady flow of runs with Angelo Mathews. But Dilshan succumbed to temptation when the ball was tossed up, and top-edged a slogsweep to scupper a recovery he had initiated. Ravindra Jadeja bowled a nagging line and had Sri Lanka in fur further trouble, dismissing Mathews and Chamara Kapugedera with straighter ones. Though the tail, led by Randiv, resisted, it proved inadequate in the wake of Sehwag’s response.

Apology to Sehwag DAMBULLA: Sri Lanka Cricket and offspinner Suraj Randiv have both apologised to Virender Sehwag for denying him a one-day century after a deliberate no-ball from Randiv ended the match and left the India opener stranded on 99, despite him hitting the delivery for six. SLC has also asked for an enquiry in to the incident. Sehwag went on to criticise Randiv’s actions in the post match press conference, and SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga called India manager Ranjib Biswal this morning to apologise. “Today in the morning, Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga called me up expressing his regret about yesterday’s no-ball incident. He expressed his regret officially and asked me to convey it to the Indian team, particularly to Sehwag.

LONDON: Pakistan have made four changes - two of them enforced - to the team that played in last week’s defeat against England at Edgbaston. Two middle-order batsmen, Shoaib Malik and Umar Amin, have been dropped to make way for Mohammad Yousuf and Yasir Hameed, while the injured pair of Zulqarnain Haider and Umar Gul have been replaced by the squad’s senior wicketkeeper, Kamran Akmal, and the debutant left-arm seamer, Wahab Riaz, respectively. While Salman Butt, Pakistan’s captain, had confirmed during his after afternoon press conference that Yousuf and Kamran were in line for recalls, he had been cagey about revealing any further news. “We could make six changes because we have six sitting outside, but we will make only the ones required,” he told reporters. Later in the evening, however, dur during the selection meeting, it was decided that the right-handed Hameed, the reserve batsman, would come into the side as an opener. One of the two left-handers, Butt and Imran Farhat, will shift down to three, with Butt arguably the likelier given that he is both the captain and struggling for form at the top of the order, with just 16 runs coming from four innings in the first two Tests. “Hameed is an experienced batsman. We just wanted to test the two youngsters [Azhar Ali and Umar Amin] because they have scored well in domestic cricket over the last two years,” a senior official told Cricinfo. Hameed, primarily an opener, returns to the Test arena after a long gap of three years. His last outing

was against India in Bangalore at the end of a series in which he logged 158 runs at 26.33 without registering a half-century. But he has an aggressive streak which, if he clicks, can release the pressure of the new ball. At New Road over the weekend he opened with Azhar Ali in the rain-abandoned match against Worcestershire and played a few good strokes in his 27, but generally seemed a little distracted before chasing a wide delivery and edging it to the slips. Though it might seem to be a dicey move to include Hameed, the team management had been left with little alternative after a summer of constant batting failures. The former captain Malik was especially disappointing as he failed to lead by example and a sum of 89 runs in the three Tests in the summer did not give any confidence to the tour selectors to retain him. Amin, who made his debut at Lord’s against Australia in July, showed enthusiasm but was initially defeated by a series of unplayable deliveries, but later he failed to apply himself. On the bowling front Riaz was preferred over the right-armer Tanvir Ahmed because of the prevailing overcast conditions. Riaz, lanky and tall, has enough pace to make the ball bounce and move, something he showed in the practice match against Leicestershire last month. “Both are good bowlers - one is very good newball bowler and the other is very good with the old ball,” Butt said earlier in the day. Pakistan 1 Yasir Hameed, 2 Imran Farhat, 3 Salman Butt (capt), 4 Azhar Ali, 5 Mohammad Yousuf, 6 Umar Akmal, 7 Kamran Akmal (wk), 8 Mohammad Amir, 9 Wahab Riaz, 10

Mohammad Yousuf returns to bolster Pakistan’s middle-order

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