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Friday, August 19 2011 | Vol. 30, No. 33

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Anna to Fast for 14 Days Supporters of anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare wave Indian flags outside Tihar Jail in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh lashed out at Hazare Wednesday, accusing the fasting activist of trying to circumvent democracy by demanding Parliament pass a reform bill he supports.

Police arrested Hazare on Tuesday to scuttle his plans to hold a public fast. After rounds of talks between Anna Hazare, his team and Delhi Police, an agreement was finally reached on Wednesday night. Anna Hazare has accepted Delhi Police’s proposal of 14-day fast in Ramlila Ground. Story on Page 24

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A Tenth Anniversary Among Friends, Their Helpers and the Helped

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By JAWAhAr mALhOTrA HOUSTON: Many people in the large private dining room of Maggiano’s on Post Oak still remembered that night almost five years ago when a tropical storm dumped enough water on Clear Lake to flood the side streets that led to the clubhouse by the bay. It still didn’t deter supporters to come out and attend the fundraiser for Friends Helping Friends (which started in 2001 in the Clear Lake area) in the cramped four rooms, two of which were packed with donated silent auction items while a boombox played music and the speaker’s voices carried into the first room only. It was a bit surreal, to be sure, but fast forward and the FHF have not only grown in numbers, becoming probably the only charity (it received its certification in August 2002) with an equal mix of desi and mainstream supporters, but also in the appeal which is spreading to an ever growing outreach and still has many of the same Board of Directors. Dr. Anju Syal, a new Board Director since only January, goes through ten case studies each month to review for healthcare support. “And that’s just me,” Syal said, “there’s plenty more that are already weeded through and others who review lots more cases.” This year, as in the past three years, FHF once again held its annual fundraiser at Maggiano’s to a packed hall of about 200 who were

Above: The Board of Directors of Friends Helping Friends being introduced by the President Toni Masone at the fundraiser held last Sunday, August 14 at Maggiano’s on Post Oak. Right top: Dimple Ahluwalia, Michael Lobo, Shobha Wenger and Panna Bhatia at the registration table. Right bottom: Dev and Jasdeep Lamba, a friend and Deepti and Deepak Sharma at the social hour. Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

treated to a sit-down three-course Italian meal with huge platters placed on each table to share. But they dispensed with the entertainment of last year (New York based Japanese-Indian comedian Daniel Matthew) and brought in a middleaged trio who played blues, New Orleans jazz and lounge music in one corner and the silent auction was trimmed down to seven pieces in another room. Still a total of 15 items were vigorously auctioned off live by Sarita Singh and FHF President Toni Masone and husband Bill. All told, the fundraiser brought in around $35,000 to support the FHF work that FHF

does,which it has does consistently and increasingly from the simple event in 2001 to help a neighbor in financial distress over an experimental treatment for a medical condition that Dimple Ahluwalia (since then a Board member) needed that triggered the formation of band of people into the group that now bears its name. That night Panna Bhatia, Shobha Wenger and Dr. Neera Bhutani pledged to help Ahluwalia out and started FHF. FHF is made up of 13 women and a lone man, Michael Lobo, the Treasurer and the Board picks a president through rotation. The

longevity of the Board, and its ability to rein in costs while attracting other professionals (often women) to help with medical cases and events indicates that the mission of FHF to provide the needy with medical care, financial assistance and support for funeral and last ar-

rangements is working. There is ample proof that FHF does its outreach well. Dr. Falanda Lamar, with the 4 C’s Clinic described some of the cases that were taken care of from a hearing aid for a woman to colonoscopies, MRIs CONTINUED ON PAGE

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yldP opens Up young eyes to a world of Possibilities By JAWAhAr mALhOTrA HOUSTON: It was a graduation ceremony with flair. Instead of marching up to a stage in a gown and mortarboard hat to receive a certificate, these graduates walked up to the podium in dark suits and dresses and quite literally spoke their minds. Or more appropriately, spoke about their experience and mental evolution over the past ten months as they had their eyes opened to how leaders think and operate in the real world. “I had my doubts about this program,” said Avichal Gulati about the Youth Leadership Development Program in front of a crowd of eager organizers, parents, relatives and well wishers, “about how it would help me grow, but the first session erased all of that. I learnt Life lessons and that we are not alone in making a difference.” And then he went on to make a long but stirring speech about his experience, hopes and desires. He was not alone in these sentiments, as one after the other, each of the 22 high school students stood at the lectern to share their feelings over having participated in the latest YLDP session of the bringing real world decision making to bright young minds. Each of the teenagers had gone through one session a month that took them to visit influential people and hear from them what it took to run their organizations. The YLDP paved the way for this unbridled access to the hallways of power, varying it as the Board of Directors of this fledging, four-year old, volunteer organization made inroads of their own with key people in industry, government and entertainment who agreed to participate in the program. And for the first time, the YLDP held its own graduation program at India House rather than at the annual ICC organized IFest (to be held this coming Saturday, August 20). The featured speaker was Indian Consul General Sanjiv Arora, but as he could not attend, the Vice-Consul Anil Matta (who brought burfi to congratulate the kids, an Indian tradition) stood in and reminded the students to cherish their Indian heritage and values and sang two shlokas in Sanskrit, which he also translated into English. YLDP Community Liason Sangeeta Pasrija welcomed the about 80 guests to the casual ceremony held this past Sunday afternoon, August 14 and included appetizers and a buffet lunch from Madras Pavilion Sugar Land. “We usually have the students visit Transtar (the agency that overviews the operations of the tollroads, highways and Metro lines in Harris County) and hear from County Commissioner’s Court Judge Ed Emmett, Indo American News (ISSN 887-5936) is published weekly every Friday (for a subscription of $30 per year) by IndoAmerican News Inc., 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036, tel: 713-789-6397, fax:713-789-6399, email: Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Indo American News, 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036

milestone in the development of these teens, both a celebration of their achievement as well as a final exam of their own making. Each came forward to explain how the program had expanded their minds, enriched their perspective and given them an added direction for the satisfying their inner self, as in the case of Ishan Prakash who was so touched by the experience at the Lighthouse for the Blind that he worked with blind people in India during a visit to see grandmother and ended up setting a non-profit there, named Shanti in her honor, to continue the work. As YLDP Selection Committee chair Nimmi Vale, called out each student, they were given their awards – a certificate, a small gift and a $100 check – by Matta and

winners of the yldP Awards

Above: The graduating class of 2011 at the ceremony at India House this past Sunday, August 14. Below: The Board of the YLDP with Directors of the other organizations which have helped it through the first three years.

Sandhya Rao at the Lighthouse for the Blind and the Houston Food Bank,” Pasrija told me later, “and add other field trips every year.” This year the students got a chance to visit the with Congressman Al Green, Vinmar International CEO Vijay Goradia, the Indian Art Gallery at the MFHA with Martha Blackwater and Nidhika Mehta and the University of Houston India Graduate Students Association. The students meet and hear from the leaders over a 4-hour session then break up into smaller groups of 4 or 5 and given 20 minutes to huddle over responses to several questions that are posed to them by the YLDP project manager, Sushma Bhan. Each student is then asked to present their response to the rest of the class, with one summing up the group’s conclusions. After the classroom and field sessions, YLDP Internship Chair Veena Ponaganta arranged for unpaid summer internships of up to 160

hours with one of the firms for each student. Ashok Garg, a tireless community activist who is also on the Board of the IACCGH, Club 24 and a Rotary Club, worked hard with the YLDP through each session and used his influence to help place the kids into several internships. “It really challenges them to think things through, to reason and then to articulate their thoughts,” said Nat Krishnamurthy who has been a keen supporter of the YLDP’s efforts and who, along with his wife Leela, has participated in one manner or the other in a dozen community organizations in the three decades they have been in the Bayou City. “It is truly remarkable to see these kids blossom,” Murthy added with a twinkle in his eye, “to see how they were at the start and then grow.” He also gave credit to an ardent community supporter, Biki Mohindra for conceiving the concept for the YLDP. And in that sense, this graduation was

Active Participation Archana Bhat , William B. Travis HS Best Dressed for Success (man) Avichal Gulati, Westside HS Best Dressed for Success (woman) Sarita Sampath, Cypress Falls HS Social Networking Neerja Agarwal, L.V. Hightower HS Most Volunteer Hours Aditya Srivatsan, Stephen F. Austin HS Best Service Project Akil Chittalaru, Klein Oaks HS Presentation Skills Nishil Shah, William B. Travis HS Best Class Session Article Ishan Prakash, Village School Best Service Essay Rupal Mehta, Bellaire HS Promptness in Writing Sriharish Vanagavolu, Academy of Science & Technology Team Player Alissya Arya, Seven Lakes HS Team Player Sai C Goola, Debakey HS for Health

a representative of each of the five older and larger community groups, which have helped the YLDP to take off. The other YLDP Directors, Finance Chair Kalpu Patel, Planning Chair Arun Naik and Media and Publicity Chair Minal Vardrajan made sure that the function which was held at India House this past Sunday, August 14 went off smoothly. But these were teenagers after all and they not only brought a fresh perspective, commitment, respect and appreciation in their well thought out deliveries but added a sense of humor pitching one-liners in their CONTINUED ON PAGE


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The 2011 metlife south Asian spelling Bee champion Announced

Narahari Bharadwaj of Plano, TX, correctly spelled the word ‘schindylesis’ during the 2011 South Asian Spelling Bee Finals to clinch the title of National Champion. During the event on August 12, which was taped live for broadcast on Sony Entertainment Television, Narahari Bharadwaj along with 19 other finalists competed for the title. Stuti Mishra from West Melbourne, FL was the first runner-up and Chetan Reddy from Plano, TX was the second runner-up. Twenty top spellers from the 10 regional centers gathered at the Rutgers College Auditorium to battle it out for the title of champion and a $10,000 prize. It took spelling words like logaoedic, justaucorps and phthirophagous for the winner to emerge. The event was organized by leading South Asian advertising firm, Touchdown Media Inc. and sponsored by MetLife, a leading provider of insurance, employee benefits and other financial services. Sony Entertainment Television is the exclusive rights holder and will be broadcasting the event across the globe in over 119 countries. “Its heartwarming to see such talent year after year. Heartiest congratulations to Narahari and all the spellers”, says Rahul Walia, CEO, Touchdown Media Inc. and founder of the South Asian Spelling Bee. He also adds “This is a great platform that helps children show-

(From L to R) Rahul Walia, Founder of the South Asian Spelling Bee; MetLife brand icon Snoopy with National Champion Narahari Bharadwaj; John Derbick, Assistant Vice President of Advertising and Brand Management at MetLife & Laurel Daring, Assistant Vice President of Marketing at MetLife.

case their talent, hone their skill and inculcate a sense of discipline and discipline that will help in their overall development. I urge parents to take advantage of this unique contest next year.” The special guest at the Finals was Sukanya Roy, 2010 South Asian Spelling Bee runner-up and 2011 Scripps National Champion, who helped co-host a portion of the event. Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula also graced the event with his presence and shared his words of encouragement with the spellers and parents. The champion received a $10,000 grand prize from MetLife

along with the South Asian Spelling Bee trophy. “MetLife congratulates all of the families who participated in the 2011 South Asian Spelling Bee,” says Laurel Daring, assistant vice president of Marketing at MetLife. “It was an honor to serve as the title sponsor for the third year, and to help families enjoy a fun event while learning how to cover the rising costs education.” The event was open to children up to 14 years of age and was held in 10 regional centers across the United States. These areas included, New Jersey, DC Metro area, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, New York, Boston, Los Angeles and the

Bay Area. The contest was conducted in written and oral format at the regional levels which served as the elimination as well as selection process for the finalists. Jaideep Janakiram, Head – North America, SET Asia commented, “Over the past four years, South Asian Spelling Bee has been consistently making a positive impact amongst the youth across the US. Sony Entertainment Television Asia is pleased to have been associated with this initiative from the beginning and to be able to broadcast this exciting event to all its viewers around the globe.” After registering their child online at, parents brought them to the designated center and a 25 word written test was administered. Children had to spell 15 or more words correctly to qualify for the afternoon oral round and from there the top three were awarded prize money and the top two qualified for the Finals. From each of these centers, the finalists along with a parent were invited on an all expenses paid trip to the finals in NJ. Overall about 550 children registered to spell amongst all the centers. The contest will be conducted annually in the June and July months and the 2012 schedule will be announced in October this year. For more information and to keep abreast with the upcoming events, log onto

About MetLife: MetLife is a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), the leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers in over 60 countries. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, please visit About Sony Entertainment Television: Since its launch on the Indian subcontinent in 1995, Sony Entertainment Television (SET) has enjoyed rapid success, leading to the establishment of European, North American and African feeds known as SET Asia. SET and SET Asia are now available in over 150 countries. About Touchdown Media Inc.: Touchdown Media Inc., is a specialized South Asian advertising and promotions firm based in New Jersey. Now in its 8th successful year, Touchdown has helped clients - both mainstream and otherwise, to reach out to the lucrative South Asian market, Touchdown Media represents more than 25 years of collective experience in this niche market. As a full service ad firm, Touchdown has helped many clients achieve their media and marketing goals within the South Asian Diaspora in the US.

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Life and Soul Health Fair Draws Overwhelming Response from Community MANVEL, TX: The first Life and Soul Health Fair, organized by Global Organization for Divinity (G.O.D.) on Saturday, August 13, at Namadwaar Prayer House in Manvel, TX drew an overwhelming response from the local community. Over 175 people from Brazoria, Harris and Fort Bend counties – well over the expected number – attended the fair to benefit from the completely free health screenings that were offered. Honorable Mayor Delores Martin of Manvel and Honorable Mayor Tom Reid of Pearland were both there early to kick off the event, present “Thank You” mementos and certificates to the sponsors and participating physicians, and appreciate their selfless service to the community. The health screenings offered were Blood Sugar (sponsored By Liberty Medical), Cholesterol (Kroger Pharmacy), Body Mass Index and Blood Pressure (My Nurse Home Care), Vision screening (Dr. Ghanshyam Patel, Dr. Seema Nanda and students from University of Houston), EKG (Sai Primary Care), Lung Function test & Pulse Oximetry (Alvin Community College), Bone Density (Walgreens Pharmacy) and Carotid Doppler & ABI (Alvin Community College). The participants could also sign up for a Mammogram by ‘The Rose’ of Houston which will be done at a later date in a mobile clinic in the neighboring area. Physicians who were available onsite for consultation included Dr. Hema

Salvady – Rheumatologist, Dr. Jyothi Rao – Gastroenterologist, Dr. Bommanna – Allergy specialist and Dr. Lekshmi Nair – Family Practice. Several free giveaways, including helmets (sponsored by Texas Medical Association), raffle prizes (by Quiznos and Liberty Medical) and vegetarian food samples (by The Barbed Rose restaurant) were also available at the fair. Snacks and beverages (sponsored by Sanofi and the Sleep Center of Kirby) were available in the testing area for the participants. Other event sponsors included Geo-Grafx, Speech and Voice Care Center of Houston, Third Coast Terminals and Randalls Food store. Volunteers from G.O.D., Sai Primary Care Clinic, Alvin Community College, Girling Home Health, Sleep Center of Kirby, University of Houston – Clearlake and Glenda Dawson High School worked together to ensure that the event was conducted smoothly. G.O.D. is a public benefit organization that works towards universal harmony through inner transformation. The organization’s work is based on the fact that “divinity” is nothing but the truest form

From top: Volunteer helping a 95 year old lady; Kids with new helmets; Blood Sugar testing; Jeevan Nair, Dr. Lekshmi Nair, Manvel Mayor Delores Martin, Pearland Mayor, Tom Reid and Dr. Hema Salvady

of love in the soul, and this love blossoms as inner transformation takes place. This love manifests itself outside first as love for family and children, but when it expands, it manifests itself as care and concern for the society. That was what “Life and Soul” was all about – care for the lives of every soul in the community. Apart from running the Namadwaar Prayer House, where prayers with the Divine Name are performed every day for the benefit of the world as well as for specific individual requests, G.O.D. USA conducts several community-service oriented activities including fostering education and culture, inculcating values and principles in youth, and organizing food, clothing and supplies drives and health camps. For more information about Global Organization for Divinity or Namadwaar Prayer House, or to place a prayer request, call 281402-6585 or email at or visit

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Indo American News • Friday, Aug 19, 2011


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Unique camp by Interfaith ministries of Greater Houston

By ShIVEn dAnAyAK HOUSTON: During July 19- July 22, 2011, a unique camp was held by Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston in the Baha’i Center located in Downtown Houston. About 7 different religions and more sub-religions were represented in this camp. Four youths, Ayush Sharma, Nikhil Jaiswal, Vinayak Shukla and myself, Shiven Danayak were sponsored by Hindus of Greater Houston, represented the Hindu Dharma.

places of worship. Not only were there religion based activities, but there were also volunteering and leadership activities. We went to volunteer at “Bread of Life” to help numerous homeless people in Downtown Houston. One very important activity was to create a 30 second PSA to help the society realize the changes that need to be made in order to establish a peaceful society. We were divided into three groups, each of which was given

Nikhil Jaiswal Shiven Danayak Ayush Sharma and Vinayak Shukla at the Interfaith Camp


All four of us have been closely associated with Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh and have been attending Shakha since our childhood. This Camp focused on interfaith dialogue, community service, and leadership development. Throughout the course of this camp, we were educated about the beliefs of major world religions and were introduced to other minority religions as well. We had an opportunity to learn about Zoroastrian and Baha’i faiths - their customs, traditions, and most importantly their beliefs in God. As we did not know much about these religions previously, we were very curious. We thoroughly enjoyed their lectures and the information given by them. Speakers from Buddhist faith also educated us on their beliefs and customs. We found their explanation about the art of Zen and meditation very enlightening. On the following days, we learnt about Islam and Judaism and visited a mosque and a synagogue, their respective

a topic. During the three days, we were given some time to discuss in our groups how and what to present in the video. On the last day we were scheduled to film the PSA in a professional studio. Afterwards, it would be shown on the news and the viewers would vote which group had the best PSA. I found the camp very educational and informative and had cleared many doubts and misunderstandings about other religions. Our belief that with healthy communication and the goal of serving the needy, all faith can come together, know each other while maintaining their own beliefs was further confirmed. However, there was little representation and explanation of Hinduism. In the future years, it would be great to have a Hindu representative who could educate others about Hindu philosophy and life style. Shiven Danayak is in 10 th grade and attends High Tower High School.


Writers are requested to limit their words to 500 The deadline for advertising and articles is 5 pm on Tuesday of each week. For more information, Call 713-789- NEWS

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A Tenth Anniversary Among Friends, Their Helpers and the Helped



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and lots of other work, citing Dr. Bhutani, another Board member for her unswerving pro-bono work. Just as at last year’s fundraiser, this year three people who FHF helped came forward to speak of their situations and how FHF helped them. Galvestonian Louis Negrini’s wife needed aid for a colonoscopy and when he was found to have severe problems with his teeth, FHF helped him with the dental and orthopedic work too. Carmen Zamora, who is uninsured, spoke in halting Spanish-accented English of the help FHF gave her for a problem with her shoulder. Sapna Aurora, a single mom, needed help for her 9-year old paraplegic daughter and described how FHF has supported for over five years. Past-President Bhatia and Masone were brief in their introductions, knowing that most people in the room knew enough already of their organization, instead focusing on the fundraiser. “Open your heart, open your wallet or what else you can open,”

Clockwise from above left: Galvestonian Louis Negrini, Sapna Aurora and Carmen Zamora spoke of the help that FHF has rendered them to overcome their health i s s u e s ; D r. F a l a n d a Lamar with the 4 C’s Clinic spoke of the FHF’s outreach efforts. Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

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quipped Masone to titters. She mentioned that Steven Jones, CEO of Clear Lake Regional Hospital had expressed interest in being of help to the cases that FHF brings in. “All of you are Friends Helping Friends,” Masone exclaimed to wrap up the basic concept. For more information on Friends Helping Friends, call Panna Bhatia at 281-300-6146 or Toni Masone at 832647-7779.

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samskriti Presents Purusha!

For the 1st time in Houston – a rare combination of a history-making photo exhibit & a spectacular dance performance by an all-male ensemble!

HOUSTON: For all lovers of classical Indian dance – performers, students and connoisseurs, PURUSHA is a must-see event! It is the brain-child of Ashish Khokar, the ace creative director of dance projects & festivals, dance historian, scholar critic and editor of the exclusive dance magazine, attenDance. This unique show focuses on the male dancer. Pairing a staged dance program with an amazing exhibit of a rare collection of photographs, letters, documents and other interesting artifacts, Khokar has devised a great way to engage, entertain and educate patrons of the arts, particularly Indian classical dance. Hot on the heels of the dance company’s much acclaimed launch of this show in both New Delhi and Bangalore, and numerous rave reviews of the showing of PURUSHA in over a dozen cities in India, the dance troupe has embarked upon a select Fall 2011 performance tour here in the United States and Houston is fortunate to have been included in this itinerary. Aficionados of Indian dance must not miss this rare opportunity to enjoy meeting Ashish Khokar and the renowned dancers of his troupe. How often does one get such a rare two-in-one experience – an excellent dance performance together with a journey into the glorious historic past of dance? The event begins with the screening of the documentary “Century of Indian Dance”, a film by Ashish Khokar on 100 years of archived dance films. Following this the all-male dance company will showcase three major styles of Indian classical dance – Kathak, Bharatanatyam and Odissi in short but succinct pieces highlighting the intrinsic aspects that set Indian classical forms apart from all other dance forms of the world – namely the complex and intricate rhythmic sequences and the myriad nuances of facial expressions. The performance concludes in a spectacular

Ashish Khokar

crescendo of all three art forms. Ashish Khokar has devised the format and conducts the evening with concise introductions and contextualization. The whole show is of 90 minutes’ duration and features specially selected artists of the highest caliber – Mohan Kalvakalva and Tushar Bhat (Kathak), Seshadri Iyengar (Bharatanatyam) and Lingraj Pradhan (Odissi) – all of them consummate artists with a long and illustrious professional dance career. Ashish Khokar was dance critic of the Times of India, India’s largest circulated English daily, for 20 years in Delhi and Bangalore. For the last decade, he has been busy editing and publishing dance

books. He has authored over 35 books on Indian dance and culture and is recognized internationally as a knowledgeable dance historian. The Khokar family is noted for their vast collections of archived dance history in the forms of photographs, documents, films and other related dance artifacts. Ashish’s father, the late Mohan Khokar, was Secretary of the Sangeet Natak Akademi for many years, and his mother, Padma Shri M. K. Saroja, is a brilliant Bharatanatyam dancer who was a child prodigy and who had even performed with the legendary Ram Gopal. Ashish himself has studied both Kathak and Bharatanatyam for many years. The rare photo exhibition and PURUSHA will take place on Sunday, September 4, at the Kaplan Theater, Jewish Community Center, 5601 S. Braeswood, Houston, TX 77096. The exhibit will be open at 2pm and the performance will commence at 4pm. For more information visit www. or call 281265-ARTS, 979-240-9496 or 832 -275-9656. Tickets: Donor, $20 & $12 This program has been made possible by a grant from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.

See News Happening? Call 713-789-NEWS correction to oral History Project Article In the story “In Their Own Words: A History of Desis in the Bayou City” run on Friday, August 5, we inadvertently stated that Dr. Raj Bhalla was the President of India House and is 81 years old, whereas he is actually

President of the India Culture Center and is 80 years old. In this story, we also stated that Dr. Paul Mehta is 75 years old when he is actually 73 years old. We regret the error and inconvenience.

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ramesh Anand Appointed as Planning and Zoning commissioner

of Maharashtrians living in North America held July 21-24. Among Karkhanis’ achievements include helping form the first Marathi Mandal organization in New York 40 years ago. After moving to the Houston to spend his retirement years with his children and their families, Karkhanis launched an annual literary magazine in “Dada” Karkhanis was presented with a Lifetime AchieveMarathi. Most recently, ment Award at the BMM convention of Maharashtrians living in North America held in Chicago Karkhanis published a collection of literary CHICAGO: Friendswood resident Diwakar “Dada” Karkhanis was presented with a essays penned by Marathi NRIs in North Lifetime Achievement Award at the BMM America and “Simran”, a collection of let(Bruhan Maharashtra Mandal) convention ters written to his granddaughter.

Independence day Flag Hoisting at India House

HOUSTON: On August 15, members of the Indo-American and Houston community at large met at India House for a flag hoisting ceremony marking India’s 64th Independence Day. Present were India House Executive Committee members Jiten Agarwal, Sam Merchant, Deviprasad Rungta, and Paul Madan. Also present were Board members Rakesh Agrawal, Virendra Mathur, Durga Agrawal, and Dr. Vishnu Gupta. Josh Daniels, representing Congressman Pete Olson from the 22nd District and Dr. Suresh Khator, Professor and Associate Dean from the University of Houston also attended. India House marked Independence Day as it prepares to host former Indian President, Dr. Abdul Kalam at the India House on Sunday, August 21.

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speeches. To start off, Rupal Mehta and Sanjana Palla sang the national anthems of the US and India. And after the ceremony, several of the students cut loose to show there other sides, the ones that could dance, tell jokes, sing and play the table and other instruments of the small stage in the main hall of India House. “Believe in yourself. Dream big and remember that the whole community is behind you,” wrapped up Bhan, who has been one of the main stalwarts of the program and has coaxed her employer Shell Oil to donate $5,000 each year to support it. She advised the teens to remember the CAR model: C for capacity for thinking, innovativeness; A for achievement, set lofty goals and R for the most important quality - relationships with colleagues and friends. “Be an authentic leader,” she continued, “show admirable ethics, integrity, values and character.” The Youth Leadership Development Program is accepting applications for its next session. Call Sushma Bhan at 713-6799104 or Sangeeta Pasrija at 713-780-3086 for details.

dada Karkhanis Presented with Bmm lifetime Achievement Award

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all the duties and responsibilities that accompany that position,” said Ramesh. Ramesh Anand also serves on Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s Office of Interna-

tional Trade & Development for South Asia. He is the President of one of the first Indo American initiatives for animal welfare, IPAWS Houston (Indo-American Pet & Animal Welfare Society of Greater Houston) He is a Trustee of India Culture Center of Greater Houston and a member of the Board of Directors of APAHA. He has recently served as the President of the Indo American Political Action Committee, Vice Chair of India House, Board member of DAYA and as a member of the Grand Jury for Fort Bend County. Professionally, Ramesh Anand is the President of a global staffing company, American Personnel Resources LLC which caters to hiring of professionals for clients across the world.

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MISSOURI CITY: By unanimous vote, City of Missouri City Council recently appointed Ramesh Anand to a City Planning and Zoning Commissioner. after a vacancy created by the resignation of Commissioner Chris Connolly. This Commission is the final authority on applications concerning the subdivision of land, and makes recommendations to City Council regarding applications for amendments to the zoning map and zoning ordinance. This commission also serves as the Advisory Committee for the North East Oyster Creek Subwatershed. “I consider it an honor that the mayor and council of the City of Missouri City have appointed me to the Planning and Zoning Commission. I am very excited to assume


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Janmashtami celebration Upcoming in Houston on August 27

HOUSTON: The Hindus of Greater Houston (HGH) brings the festival of Janmashtami- the birth of Lord Krishna in all its grandeur, joy and celebration at George R. Brown Convention Center (Hall D1). The 22nd year celebration will be held on August 27 from 6:30 pm to midnight. This event, believed to be the largest in North America with an estimated attendance of over 5,000 people, is free and open to all, thanks to generous donors from the community. The special features of the festival this year are “Water Rangoli”,“Flower Holi” and a tableau that will be unique and will be presented in Houston for the first time. “Water Rangoli” - Usually Rangoli designs are made on floors during Hindu festivals as sacred welcoming areas for the Hindu deities. This year’s special feature is designed exclusively by Sangeeta Bhutada which will be a 20-foot floating rangoli. “Flower Holi”- Usually Holi is celebrated with colors but this year, the Janmashtami 2011 will feature Holi with half million rose petals. “Jhankis” is a tableau, depicting the different stages of Lord Krishna’s childhood. A remarkable exhibit specially made for the occasion will be on display. An exhibition on Hindu Culture

and Dharmic Tradition of Bharat will also be a part of the Janmashtami celebration. The exhibition, hosted by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, contains 30 posters explaining rich heritage of India with its philosophy and contributions in various aspects of science, technology, yoga, Ayurveda etc. Supriya Aggrawal, University of Houston Chapter President of Hindu Students Association observes, “Every year, this phenomenal celebration of Janmashtami starts off the Fall Semester for the youth of the greater Houston area. All dressed up in our beautiful and traditional Indian clothes, come together to celebrate the birth of Krishna and dance the night away to melodious hymns with Garba and Dandia Raas. Everyone is pumped to experience this new attraction and cannot wait until August 27th rolls around!” Richa Dixit, the event coordinator for Volunteers and Booth registration says, “It feels good to be part of such a mega event that brings all the Hindus together. Bring all your friends who have not seen this event before, for an exciting eve-

ning to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna with many fun activities, cultural program and added attractions.” Vatsakumar, long time resident and community leader remarks “ Hindus of Houston are celebrating Janmashtami for over two decades showing the many facets of Krishna’s life and the Houston Hindu community has very actively supported this festival. Let us join hands one more time, to make this year’s Janmashtami, a blissful experience for all.” Visitors will be greeted at the entrance with Hindu traditional welcome with Tilak(Sindhur) anointed on the forehead, cultural program that will include the costume contest for children dressed up to portray characters from Krishna’s life, six dance schools with special

dance performances, presentation of the “Akhil Chopra Award” to an unsung hero, playing of Matki representing the childhood pranks of Lord Krishna and ever-popular Garbha dance followed by Dandiya Raas, a dance in which visitors of all ages and backgrounds will dance to the melodious music and drum beats, beginning at 10pm. The event will not be complete without food as food booths will provide vegetarian food, not to mention the typical Indian paan. At the stroke of midnight Aarti will take place signifying the birth of Lord Krishna. Although the event is free for all as always, donations are welcome. For more information, visit or call Partha at 713-962-8523 or Girish Naik at 281-851-6866.

HGH Committee Members

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Then There Were Three

By Anuradha Raman CHANDIGARH (Outlook) That was the Union health minister blaming power outages for India’s burgeoning population. To be charitable to Ghulam Nabi Azad, the comment still puts the onus on the state for providing power so that couples stay glued to their TV sets. But the health minister’s solution still revived memories of coercive state intervention, like the ’70s forced sterilisation programme. Now, the ministry of health and family welfare has hit upon another incursive programme to contain the population. It wants to target pregnant women with more than two children, and take away entitlements that accrue to them. In a recent affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court, the ministry has submitted that it intends to provide cash assistance to pregnant women of age 19 and above for up to two live births. The submission is being read by many as a scheme firm up the two-child norm in the country by targeting the poor and the most vulnerable section of society—women in the BPL category. Understandably, the ministry’s move has been greeted by protests from several quarters. It’s seen as an attack on poor women who often have no choice over

Why Less for More • The ministry of health and family welfare wants to target poor, pregnant women with more than two children, take away entitlements and benefits • Critics say the two-child norm will severely restrict the number of beneficiaries of the Janani Suraksha Yojana scheme. The scheme, launched in 2005, has been a great success. • India has committed to a target-free approach at the UN conference on population and development platform • Maternal mortality ratio is now 254/1,00,000 live births, infant mortality rate 53/1,000 live births

how many children they conceive. And by the government’s own admission, the scheme launched for poor pregnant women, namely the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), has been a success. So why lessen its width and scope? The programme, with an annual budget of Rs 1,200 crore, is not exactly a drain on the country’s reserves. Also, world over, with the exception of China, coercive methods of controlling population have been shunned. (Currently, India, with a population of 1.21 billion, is next only to China, with its 1.35 billionplus people.) Also, India has committed itself to a target-free approach as far as its population is concerned at the UN International Conference on Population and Development Platform of Action. But first, some facts. India has the dubious distinction of having the largest number of child/maternal deaths in the world. Over the past decade, maternal mortality—the number of women dying during childbirth—has seen a decline.

Poor, pregnant with third child? Even the state’s giving up on you.

Born to run Mothers and babies at a Punjab village healthcare centre

“This is just cruelty... the Centre will be responsible for every child and mother who dies as a result of this.” The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is currently at 254/1,00,000 live births, with the infant mortality rate (IMR) at 53/1,000 live births. However, the rate of decline is not sufficient to achieve the MMR target of under 100/1,00,000 live births and an IMR of less than 30/1,000 live births by the Eleventh Plan end. For a country that never tires of boasting about its economic growth, this was an ugly reality that had to be confronted. To address this problem, in 2005 the UPA government launched the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). Its major objective was to provide accessible, affordable quality healthcare to the country’s vulnerable population. And the JSY was seen as key to achieve this. According to a ministry official, if the two-child norm comes through, 60 per cent of the targeted women will be excluded. “Besides, it is women with more than two children who are vulnerable. The proposal might actually lead to women staying away from institutional care,” he says. Incidentally, one of the JSY’s immediate objectives was to promote universal access to institutional deliveries by providing a financial package to the pregnant woman. Home deliveries also got a financial package, but a smaller one. The rationale is to push institutional deliveries since it helps the pregnant woman get the best medical care through a team of skilled birth attendants which would improve her chances of a safe delivery. All women who deliver at a health facility are eligible for a cash transfer of Rs 1,400. The amount is given at or immediately after the delivery to help cover expenses—drugs, supplies, transport, food and costs, such as paying an accompanying attendant. Women delivering at home are eligible for Rs 500. That the scheme was successful is evident from the fact that from 2,00,000 beneficiaries in ’06, the numbers rose to over one crore in 2010 and continues to rise. Which is why the ministry’s move has

baffled many. According to Sejal Dand, advisor to the office of the commissioner of food security, “the move smacks of wilful neglect by the government and targets the most vulnerable section of the population”. Adds senior lawyer Colin Gonsalves, “This is nothing but cruelty on the part of the Centre. It will be responsible for every mother and child who dies as a result of this act.” Incidentally, linked to this scheme is another one launched by the women and child department a few months ago. The Indira Gandhi Matritva Suraksha Yojana provides for a cash transfer of Rs 4,500

for every institutional delivery but it also excludes women below 19 and those who have more than two children. Shree Ranjan, joint secretary, ministry of health and family welfare, though, denies any ill intent: “We are not penalising those with more children. We want to provide an enabling environment for pregnant women by providing them with social security. Besides, the law states that no woman below 18 can marry and the scheme cannot go contrary to the law.” While that may be the case, social realities are far removed from government schemes. The National Family Health Survey shows that the average marriage age hovers around 17.2 and almost 26 per cent of women in the reproductive age group get married by the age of 15 and have delivered two children by 19. State counsel Mohan Parasara says “the scheme is sought to be delinked only in high-performance states and not in the entire country”, adding that the arguments against miss the reality which is to “enforce institutional delivery”. The Tata Institute of Social Sciences, in a presentation, mentions how exclusions end up hurting the very group for which enabling schemes are targeted and stresses that coercion is not the solution: “It only alienates more people from seeking state support and democratic possibilities...and further demonstrates the abdication of the state’s responsibility”. That the UPA is anti-poor is evident in the manner the Right to Food is being contested. That it is also anti-women is only now coming into the open.

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Sugar Land Madras Pavilion celebrating its 9th Anniversary


Dosa Month Special

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Author chitra divakaruni’s one Amazing Thing selected for one Book, one city reading Initiative

By KALyAnI GIrI HOUSTON: A book by bestselling local author of international acclaim, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, has been selected as the opus of choice for the One Book, One City Gulf Coast Reads literacy program started collaboratively by libraries and literacy organizations in the Greater Houston area. One Amazing Thing, a riveting book that relates how a group of culturally diverse people reacts when placed in almost unbearable situation of psychological and emotional adversity, also describes how they pull together and pass long hours sharing personal stories which they had never told anyone before. The book was chosen because it celebrates the individual being in all its uniqueness, yet demonstrates so eloquently and poignantly how with a little understanding, the great divides disappear and all are one – just human beings in this journey of life. Divakaruni’s book marks the pilot of the program created by Gulf Coast Reads to ignite the imaginations of readers and bring

the community together in the joy of reading as well as to promote the power of literacy. The program will kick off on Saturday, August 27 at 12.00pm at the Houston Public Library’s Central Library, 500 McKinney, with a festive day full of colorful entertainment and activities for the entire family. The event is free and open to the public. Divakaruni lives in Houston and currently teaches advanced classes in the nationally ranked Creative Writing program at the University of Houston. Several of her works have also been translated into 20 languages, including Dutch, Hebrew and Japanese. Two of her books, “The Mistress of Spices” and “Sister of My Heart,” were made into movies by filmmakers Gurinder Chadha and Paul Berges. Other books by her include Arranged Marriage, Vine of Desire, Sister of My Heart, and Palace of Illusions that describes the Indian epic The Mahabharat from the perspective of its fiery protagonist, Panchali. Divakaruni also writes books for children. The Houston Public Library, Fort Bend County Libraries, Harris County Public Library, and Montgomery County Memorial Library are presenting the educational and fun citywide reading initiative in partnership. The goal of Gulf Coast Reads: On the Same Page is to cultivate a culture of reading in Houston by encouraging people to come together in libraries, bookstores, community centers, homes, churches, schools and parks to discuss the book. This program will take place Saturday, August 27 through Friday, September 30, 2011. Additional program partners include: Bellaire Public Library, Blue Willow Bookshop, Brazoria Public Library System, Brazos Bookstore, Houston Community College, and Houston Great Books Council.

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Indian American surgeon Hails obama’s Healthcare reform Plans

WASHINGTON (SI): Hailing Barack Obama’s healthcare reform plan, an Indian-American cardiac surgeon has said future business strategies of the industry would be best served if aligned with US President’s proposal. “For future business strategies within industry to be successfully implemented , vision would be best served if aligned with President Barack Obama Healthcare Reform Plans,” said Dr Mukesh Hariawala in his address to the World Health Congress in Boston recently. Boston-based Cardiac Surgeon and healthcare economist, Dr Hariawala was chairman of the Academic Leaders Track of the Congress, the first Indian American to occupy this responsibility. Hariawala said that rising healthcare costs is a major obstacle to the American

economy. “American society will see an accelerated change in the healthcare marketplace with a larger focus on preventive care as opposed to specialized care. This will herald cost containment by reducing expensive investigations, hospital admissions and therapeutic procedures. “This change will bring increased growth and revenue opportunities for the Primary Care and Family Physicians,” he said. Dr Hariawala said for healthcare reform to be successful, insurance Reform should be mandated to accommodate the uninsured, underinsured and baby boomers inclusive of the ones diagnosed with preexisting conditions. “It is a fundamental societal responsibility to provide care to all its citizens,” he argued.

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BollywoodSho ws4U Brings EXPLOSION 2009 to Houston HOUSTON: Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi Chauhan and Hard to make a stunning Kaur are set the Explosions eventappearance in Bollywood Shows organized by 4 by Moid Khan. The U conducted event is set to be held at the Reliant Arena on August 7, 2009. Moid Khan informed that Houston residents have been waiting for a long time to see the live performance of Sonu Nigam. Bollywoodshows4u is bringing the perform-

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making Houstonians dreams organizing “Explosion come true, by 2009” Concert. “Explosion 2009 will Houston residents be giving a night non-stop session of long rocking Bollywood melodies, promising one of the most memorable musical treats like never witnessed before. For tickets log on to www.bollywoo or call 281-2354711.

Houston. The Foundation could not have chosen to raise awarenessa better topic among IndoB P Americans in Houston K HOUSTON: If there’s Indian studies programs.about its one recent movie that has Prior to the discussion of polarized opinions the film, Parul about India, it Fernandes is lionaire. The movieSlumdog Mil- explained and Krishna Vavilala has all the elthat the Foundation ements of entertainmen is currently conducting t designed to glue you to Hindi Level I and Level your seat – shock, II courses as awe, amusement, well as love and inspiration. disgust, true Jainism classes on Hinduism, and the Anthropolog Some people have seen movie y of India. The Foundation several times, received has also each time moved to tears and joy. support from There are a few Indian government’s Ministry others, however, of Overwho could not seas Indians to get past the slum fund a Chair for kid’s jump into Indian studies at the UH. blinding of a child. cesspool or the An 11-minute clip More than 120 people Millionaire, edited of Slumdog with probably 200 opinions mar, was screened by Anil Kuabout the movie assembled at a the discussion. The to stimulate town clip included held at India House hall meeting scenes depicting negative last Sunday afternoon. aspects of India such as religious The town hall mony, child prostitution, disharmeeting was organized by the and police brutality. These Foundation for scenes were India Studies at followed by uplifting the University of scenes in

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Hss celebrates Universal oneness day HOUSTON: Hindu Swayamsevak

Sangh, USA Inc. (“HSS”), Houston chapter marked the traditional Raksha Bandhan festival with event at Sugarland City Hall. Uniquely interpreting the festival as “Universal Oneness Day,” HSS observed Raksha Bandhan by reaching out to Hon. Mayor of Sugarland Mr. James Thompson, tying the traditional rakhi, and extending greetings highlighting the Hindu belief of the oneness of all humanity. This meeting was lasted for 30 minutes during which, organizers from HSS had an opportunity to present information about its regular centers for children and adult alike providing activities stimulating intellect, fitness and social service within the local community. The program started with HSS Houston Chapter president Mr. Subhash Gupta introducing himself and other team members to the Mayor. Later Mr. Gupta explained HSS goals, principles, background, its work and the purpose of Raksha Bandhan. It was emphasized that on the basis of the great principles of Hindu Dharma, HSS is building a volunteer force that can help the society and humanity at large. Khyati Vaidya, Chapter Youth coordinator, explained the significance of the Raksha Bandhan to Mayor. Harish ji Jajoo also shared his views on Raksha Bandhan. His wife, Shahshi Jajoo was also present at the occasion. Later a Rakhi was tied on the Mayor’s wrist by Ms Hejal Soni and to Mr. Harish Jajoo, the City Council

City Council member Harish Jajoo, Sugar Land Mayor James Thompson and HSS president Shubhash Gupta with the Proclamation

Member by Sarika Adi. Acknowledging HSS work and efforts, Mayor then presented Proclamation to offer his best wishes for glorious Raksha Bandhan celebratition. In his short speech , Mayor appreciated the universal value of bonding and protecting one another which Raksha Bandhan puts forward. Shekhar Agrawal, HSS Representative Hejal Soni tying active social worker, and MS Rakhi to Sugarland Mayor James Jajoo were also present at the Thompson. Also seen are Council celebration. Member Harish Jajoo and his wife, HSS has celebrated Raksha Shashi Jajoo Bandhan as Universal Oneness Day since 2004, broadening the and the Guru Vandana teacher apscope of the traditional holiday from preciation event. With over 150 branches nationthe family to the community with the simple idea that each person should wide, HSS has conducted weekly love and protect all others. Along classes focusing on values education, with Universal Oneness Day, HSS character development, and leaderhas developed other unique outreach ship training for Hindu-Americans efforts such as the Surya Namaskar since 1978. For more information, Yogathon during Makar Sankranti visit

Indo American News • Friday, Aug 19, 2011


sunil Pai : a Profile of academic excellence

By jAy KABAd HOUSTON: A few days ago the headline on page one in Houston’s leading newspaper read “Aggies to desert the big 12 and move to the SEC”. We see similar headlines all the time (including the headlines for the hot dog eating competition!). There is hardly a mention of the achievements of young scientists and engineers. It is commendable that Indian newspapers such as this publication as well as others have highlighted achievements by Indian students. Little publicity for example was given by Houston’s papers to the finalists of the Intel National Science Competition (formerly called the Westinghouse competition). Among this elite group of scholars was Houston’s own Sunil Pai, who was one of 40 selected nationwide for this remarkable honor. He was one of only three scholars selected from Texas. Among so many of Sunil’s accolades, the notable ones are: Regional Finalist Siemens Competition (Math/Science/Technology) 2009, National Semifinalist - Siemens Competition (Math/Science/Technology) 2010, International Finalist - Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2010, National Finalist - Intel Science Talent Search Competition 2011 and 2011 Davidson Fellow - Prodigious achievement in the filed of Science. Among all the above, the Intel STS competition is the highest honor for a high school senior in science and math in the USA. He

was invited to Washington DC for the finals which included meeting with President Obama in the White House. The Intel STS (originally called the Westinghouse Competition) has been going on for the past 70 years. Now, Sunil has joined a very special group of 2800 talented young individuals, 7 of whom have won the Nobel Prize in the past. In addition, only 77 kids from all of Texas have achieved this honor in past 70 years. In the picture with President Obama, Sunil is in the top row to the far right. SunilwhograduatedfromKinkaid High School also participated in many extracurricular activities. He is the son of proud parents Raj and Sujatha Pai. He had admissions to MIT, Stanford, Princeton, Rice, Yale and Caltech. Sunil will be attending Stanford University this fall pursuing a degree in Biological Engineering.

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Wrongful Arrest

In arresting Gandhian social activist Anna Hazare even before he started his second protest fast for a strong Lokpal Bill, the UPA government has isolated itself. Having been denied permission for the protest in the national capital, Hazare had made it clear that he was willing to defy the prohibition orders and court arrest. By arresting him and his aides under preventive detention rules, the government has not only played into the hands of the civil society activists but also irked the common man, disgusted with perceived government apathy towards widespread graft. Whether the government likes it or not the arrest of an elderly activist who takes Mahatma Gandhi as his model and has appropriated many of the symbols of nationalism, preceded by barely credible attacks on his probity, is going to play badly. Given the public mood, it is little surprise that the action against Hazare and his supporters - more than 1,000 people were detained - is being construed as an attack on civil liberties. Protests by political parties are far uglier in comparison to the ones planned or executed by Hazare. Further, the Congress left no stone unturned to criticise the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh for cracking down on a farmers’ protest led by its leader. Yet, Hazare and his aides are deemed a threat to law and order. The failure to understand popular sentiment will cost considerable goodwill to the government. While aspects of Hazare’s Jan Lokpal draft are problematic - it would create an all-powerful ombudsman akin to a supercop - the government has done itself no favors by introducing in Parliament a toothless Lokpal Bill. Had the latter used its parleys with the Hazare group to produce a strong legislation with adequate safeguards, it would have taken the wind out of the sails of the civil society movement. But the government’s version, while conferring immunity on most people within the administration, leaves whistleblowers exposed and vulnerable. In its present form, it will do very little in terms of addressing the systemic weaknesses that make graft a cause for concern. The opposition parties also deserve their share of blame for failing to properly debate the Lokpal issue in Parliament. They have reduced it to the issue of whether the prime minister should fall within the jurisdiction of the proposed ombudsman, when the common man is more concerned with day-to-day corruption. With the government now stonewalling meaningful action against graft and muzzling those questioning its sincerity, it rightly stands accused of high-handedness and moral bankruptcy. Times of India

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Defiance Against Riotous Mobs


By Aseem Kulkarni What began as a simple non-violent protest against the London Metropolitan Police, turned into five days of violent and destructive riots that spread throughout England. Through this course of chaos and savagery, the British South Asian community has shown nothing less than bravery and valor in defending their local businesses and communities. In Southall, only 15 minutes from the London Burrough of Ealing, where large-scale rioting took place, the situation was no different. On a typical evening, most stores would never close earlier than 7 pm, but now trade came to a stop. The pavement, normally thronged with pedestrians, saw only a tiny fraction of the town’s population out and about and the traffic gridlock to which most residents are accustomed was absent. Yet a sense of Southall’s unmistakable personality was in the air. The few people around were generally moving in a single direction – to the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara. At this temple, a massing of Southall’s Sikh community acted as sentries to protect against any rioting threat that dared make its presence felt.

The atmosphere is one of defiance in the face of crisis and reminiscent of the Sikhs defending Punjab itself. The community protected Southall using para, a rotation-based system that originated in Indian villages. Assembled largely by word of mouth after a meeting of local religious leaders, the group of both young and old stood at an estimated 300, with an additional 700 expected throughout Tuesday night. Cups of tea and food were handed out to prepare for an inevitable all-nighter. “We haven’t got any real external support from the police as this was organized within the community, but we’d be surprised if any of the rioters came here”, says Tejpal Singh, an architect and adviser at the gurdwara.

“We’re in an iconic location of Southall and we’re here to show that we will not take this.” Coming together on Monday night, the group first responded to reports of an attack on a temple on nearby Uxbridge Road. “Many of the temples, mosques and gurdwaras here house money donations, so they were a target,” says Mr Singh. He describes how the community planned to protect Southall using para, a rotationbased system that originated in Indian villages. Jaspal Singh, a retired teacher of 48, believes this community effort exceeds the police’s influence in the area. “It doesn’t feel like they are doing too much to help. The shops on Ealing Broadway should not have been made to shut down early as it gives the impression that the rioters have won by bringing the country to a standstill.” The atmosphere is one of defiance in the face of crisis and reminiscent of the Sikhs defending the Punjab itself. Men dressed in traditional garb carry the kirpan, a ceremonial Sikh sword, while leading chants and there was no apparent fear among the crowd as the night began to fall. Financial Times

IndoAmerican News Founder: Dr. K.L. Sindwani Editor: Pramod Kulkarni Business Manager: Jawahar Malhotra Managing Partner: Krishna Giri Community Reporter: Kalyani Giri Community Editor: Manasi Gokhale Administrative Manager: Vanshika Vipin Business & Recreation: Jacob David Graphic Design: Saqib Rana correspondents Chicago: Nand Kapoor, UK: Aseem Kulkarni New Delhi: Raj Kanwar ®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:, website:

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rohit nandan appointed air india chief By VinAy KumAr NEW DELHI (Hindu): Air India got a new chairman-cum-managing director as the government on Friday formally notified the appointment of Rohit Nandan, a U.P. cadre IAS officer of 1982 batch, to head the ailing national carrier. Nandan, a joint secretary in the Civil Aviation Ministry, replaces Arvind Jadhav, a senior IAS officer, who has been given marching orders and repatriated to his parent cadre in Karnataka. Jadhav’s three-year term was to end in May 2012 but his failure on all parameters and lacklustre performance only hurried his exit from the airline which finds itself sunken in huge financial losses. “My first priority will be to work on Air India’s turnaround and cut financial losses. Second will to be raise employees’ morale at all levels and third to upgrade service quality to match up to the expectations of travelling public. It is too early for me to give any timeline,” Mr. Nandan who took over charge as AI chief said in his preliminary observations. His appointment asAir India CMD is also for three years. He is the third CMD of Air India in as many years. On a day when the government came in for flak in the Lok Sabha on Air India’s fragile financial health, Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi,

The new CMD of Air India Rohit Nandan addresses the media after assuming office in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: Ramesh Sharma

who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Parliament House, said that three new directors would be inducted in the Air India Board very soon for the Personnel, Marketing and Finance departments. “We cannot wait for long and Air India has its own problems,” he told journalists outside Parliament House earlier in the day. Ravi said that a full-fledged board would be constituted, adding that everything would be streamlined in the carrier which has been bogged down by mismanagement, loss of market share, huge losses and lack of motivation and confidence among its employees. “Definitely we will do everything possible, look into every aspect... and

we will revive Air India as fast as we can,” Ravi said. The government also plans to soon bring eminent persons from financial and hospitality sectors to serve as independent directors on the AI board as former FICCI official and present West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra and vice-chairman of the Mahindra Group Anand Mahindra had quit as independent directors in the board. Asked when the turnaround and the financial restructuring plans would be fully in place, Ravi said the Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, was looking into it and would meet on August 17. He also ruled out privatisation saying the government and the Prime Minister himself have taken so many initiatives. “The message to the company is — no privatisation,” he added. As of today, Air India’s debt stands at Rs. 42,570 crore and losses are to the tune of Rs. 22,000 crore. It needs equity support of nearly Rs. 43,000 crore till 2021 and an immediate equity infusion of Rs. 6,600 crore. Over the past year, the government has injected an equity of Rs. 3,200 crore. The airline is finding it difficult to pay salaries to its employees and also pay its dues to the oil companies for the aviation fuel.


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Indian navy captures Hijacked Vessel off mumbai coast

MUMBAI (TOI): The Indian Navy has captured a hijacked Iranian flagged vessel off the Mumbai coast following intelligence inputs that it may be carrying arms, ammunition and contraband, officials said on Monday. The ill-fated vessel ‘Nafis-I’ was intercepted on Sunday and all persons on board have been detained, they said, adding it is not yet clear as to how many of them were pirates and crew members. Two AK -47 rifles and a pistol concealed in an empty fuel tank of the ship have been found, they said. Following intelligence inputs, the vessel was located by a naval maritime reconnaissance aircraft on August 12 in the high seas after

with two helicopters and 24 marine commandos, the officials said. The vessel was intercepted approximately 170 nautical miles, off west Mumbai after the Navy launched its operations. The vessel is being towed to Porbandar, where the people on board will be handed over to the police, officials said. The statements of those Navy captures hijacked vessel ‘Nafis-I’ onboard have revealed that the vessel had left which it was kept under continuous from Chah Bahar in Iran surveillance. and had travelled to an undisclosed Subsequently, INS Mysore, a location in July after which it was guided missile destroyer, was sent intercepted by the Navy in the Arato intercept the hijacked vessel along bian waters, they said.

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Butterflies for Brunch

Mumbai’s khau galis have become collateral damage. And the city is all the poorer for it. By smruTi KOPPiKAr (Outlook) If the next time you saunter down to the Cross Maidan ‘khau gali’ (food alley) in Mumbai and begin to wonder whether you didn’t remember it to have been a great deal more congested, know that you are not alone in perceiving thus. Vendors say footfalls in the gali have fallen since the July 13 serial blasts when two of three bombs went off in similar khau galis at Zaveri Bazaar and Opera House. Straddled on either side by Mumbai’s major railway hubs—Churchgate and Chhattrapati Shivaji Terminus—the Cross Maidan khau gali attracts office-goers, college students, chauffeurs and peons from the bustling business districts nearby. The lane, barely 100 metres long with a variety of food stalls, juice stalls and ‘xerox’ outlets, would normally take up to a minute to negotiate from one end to the other as rows upon rows of people line up for their daily snack, lunch and in-betweens. Now, on most

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deals are not struck on pavements anymore, food vendors are not allowed, this place isn’t the same anymore,” says Mohanbhai Pudlawala, whose pudla (a Gujarati snack) shop is one of the few eateries left in the lane. Adds Hasmukhbhai, a Zaveri Bazaar regular: “Food vendors are not to blame. It’s the illegal parking that’s to blame, but the police have driven away everyone.” Adds A.M. Shetty, owner of Bengal Foods: “Food is an Mumbai’s food integral part of how we do business lifelines, the khau here”. Similarly, the Opera House galis, are now security khau gali exists only in memory of nightmares as city those who frequented it. “The place police clamp down has been sanitised and cleaned up, no one is allowed any activity,” says after the July 13 blasts Hardik Hundiya, a diamond trader and publisher of a trade magazine. This is also the fate of Dalal Street of Mumbai, typifying the city’s attitude to food: stand, eat and scoot. and Nathalal Doshi Marg, two small At night, some khau gali vendors lanes with old-world buildings that put out bright red or beige chairs and lead to the Bombay Stock Exchange, stools that give Mumbai aficionados targeted in the 1993 blasts. “The nightmares. Take khau galis away lanes are barricaded out except for the pedestrians. We do some dhanda on the side streets but you can’t call it a khau gali now,” says Thankappan, a sandwich stall owner. “People come because they have to eat, but the fear is always there.” In the khau galis of south Mumbai, particularly those serving business and commercial hubs, the fear of imminent attack is palpable. For displaced vendors, like Ashok Paswan who used to make and sell samosas for 30 years in the Zaveri Bazaar khau gali, the anxiety is about feedThinning herd Patrons take in a bite at the Cross Maidan khau gali ing his family. The mood is less sombre days, there is ample room to walk— from the city and Mumbai would be in khau galis across the suburbs. Here, even during peak hours. poorer by one defining factor. But the buzz and bustle has not taken the “It’s not that people have stopped their character is changing as the city hit south Mumbai has. People drop eating,” says Ganesh Shetty, pro- learns and re-learns to live with blasts. by with the same ease and regularity. prietor of Sai Shabri sandwich stall, Some galis simply shut down, others Cars still line up at the Shivaji Park “More people are sending for parcels change their very nature—food stalls khau gali late into the night, college these days. I guess it’s a safer way and vendors are still around but the students and executives still wait to eat.” Changes like these, though comfort and camaraderie are now their turn at the Juhu gali, families marginal, are perceptible—as much subdued. “Earlier, we had a group still step out for an after-dinner snack in the hawa-pani of the place as in that used to meet every afternoon for or kulfi at Malad and Kandivli. And the decreasing number of ‘dine-in’ a fruit-snack here. Now, we do it about it is business as usual for the galis on customers. The bonhomie is strained, once a week and that too after much Mohammed Ali Road. With the peak festive season comhumour is dark, casual conversations deliberation,” says Abhay Kapoor, invariably centre on explosions and an executive at Lenin pav bhaji stall, ing up, impromptu khau galis sprout up across the city—near Ganpati attacks. And there are other chang- Cross Maidan. es: large garbage containers have Khau galis, unfortunately, have be- pandals, Navratri garba-dandiya venbeen done away with, leftovers and come a security nightmare after the ues, at masjids for Id and so on. The garbage are collected by individual Zaveri Bazaar gali took its third hit Mumbai Police’s request to festival vendors in small see-through plastic in 18 years and security at the Opera organisers to “tone down celebrabags, civic garbage vans come thrice House one was breached on July tions” has been met with stubborn a day, cooks and helpers at food stalls 13. Each time in the past, food and refusals. Then, they pressured civic have been instructed to keep a close business returned to Zaveri Bazaar. authorities into carrying out a drive eye on customers, vendors are con- This time around, the gali is devoid against illegal hawkers, especially sciously looking out for suspicious of food vendors and customers. Also street food vendors. “We had meetbags and packages that have been left missing from the frame are the rows ings with the police, their only point is unattended, a couple of policemen in of two-wheelers parked at the edges to remove illegal vendors and opaque mufti drop by for their ‘rounds’ and of pavements and used as make-shift garbage cans, as if those are the only police patrol vans are more visible. tables by vendors and customers. Lo- reasons for a blast,” laughs Ganesh Khau galis dot the city, from the cal traders say the business in Zaveri Shetty. Already, khau galis—at least commercial and business hubs in Bazaar has declined by about 50 to those in the south—are exhibiting an the south to residential localities in 60 per cent. This coupled with police atypical nervousness. As Mumbai’s the suburbs. The municipal corpo- crackdowns on food vendors has perennial foodie Kunal Vijayakar ration estimates there may be 140 called curtains on the bazaar’s famous puts it: “Blasts happen, but we cannot trade the charm of khau galis for authorised and unauthorised khau khau gali. galis in all. Some are famed for their “People don’t come for business, anything”. fare, others frequented for their mix of convenience, dependability and affordability. They rival a restaurant for sheer variety though they take a beating on the hygiene aspect. Often, these galis are the first markers of changing tastes and mixing cuisines. Khau galis, like the suburban railway system, are the food lifelines

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LPS Convention in New Orleans Makes History

NEW ORLEANS, LA: The Leuva Patidar Samaj of USA (LPS) held its 8th National Convention & Trade Show at the Marriot Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana “Celebrating the Strength Between Leuva Generations.” Convention Chair and incoming President Hasubhai Patel of Houston stated, “regardless of an economic turmoil an overwhelming 2500 plus attendees of all age groups and the largest Leuva Youth turnout in history were gathered to preserve the Leuva Culture”. “It is important to utilize youth energy for social & economic development and for spiritual enlightment”, he added. The convention theme “Celebrating the Strengths between Leuva Generations” was the core agenda which included prominent speakers such as Jeffrey Armstrong, an award winning author of numerous books on Vedic knowledge; Hemant Patel the Chairman of AAHOA; Holiness Pujya Swamiji Chidanand Saraswatiji, one of India’s most revered saints and Swamiji Narayancharandas, president of Swaminarayan International Mission, U.S.A. The agenda of the convention was to promote the LPS heritage and cultural values to the youth in the community and energize the already existing efforts to inspire a better way of life through humanitarian culture of love, service, purity, discipline, and dedication. In addition to the speakers, the agenda appealed to an array of diver-

sified age groups including youth, women & senior citizens where seminars were filled to capacity with many having standing room only. This provided a great opportunity to network, experience and learn about strengthening and preserving the culture. Also on the second day of the convention, a medical camp was organized with the help of volunteers, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical personnel. Furthermore, entertainment for the reception night included a DAIRO, the 2nd night followed by a cultural variety program performed by fellow LPS of USA members & Raas Gharba Program by Raas Ramza T, on the last night which was the Gala night there was entertainment by Bollywood singers, plus a special appearance by “Abha, a TV serial actress of “Yahaan Mein Ghar Ghar Kheli” . The Gala opening night started with a standing ovation for President

Bharat “Bobby” Newman who gave a heartfelt and outstanding speech on his dedication, his travel to 22 plus regional’s to promote LPS of USA, and his main goal to pass on the colorful culture and rich heritage from generation to generation. Most importantly, the success of this convention would not have been possible without the gracious, hard working, & dedicated Louisiana Leuva Patidar members who proved this to be a much unified Leuva community. Hands down they came in groups of dozens to take on every aspect of the convention execution with a smile on their face each day and world class hospitality. The members of the Leuva Patidar community migrated to the United States beginning in the early 1940s. There are over 40,000 families of Leuva Patidar’s throughout the United States. The majority of the members are multiple hotel and motel owners with both franchised and independent properties. A major characteristic of LPS members is to preserve family values and heritage. This is the primary reason that our conventions attract families from all over the United States. New Orleans has always attracted a large number of attendees due to the city’s reputation as a tourist destination, the central location of the city and because several major airlines operates through it. For more information, visit www. or email

Indo American News • Friday, Aug 19, 2011


George R. Willy Named to Board of Directors of TiE Houston

SUGAR LAND, Texas (August 11, 2011) – George R. Willy , founder and principal attorney of the immigration law firm George R. Willy P.C. in Sugar Land, Texas, was recently named to the Board of Directors of The Indus Entrepreneurs’ Houston Chapter. He is a charter member with the organization that promotes entrepreneurship. The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), was founded in 1992 in Silicon Valley by a group of successful entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and senior professionals with roots in the Indus region. There are currently 13,000 members, including over 2,500 charter members in 56 chapters across 13 countries. TiE’s mission is to foster entrepreneurship globally through mentoring, networking, and education. Dedicated to the virtuous cycle of wealth creation and giving back to the community, TiE’s focus is on generating and nurturing our next generation of entrepreneurs. For more information on TiE Houston, please visit them online at “I am honored to be named to the Board of Directors of this exceptional organization,” said George Willy on his recent appointment. He continued, ”TiE has been recognized globally for its efforts to assist entrepreneurs move through start-ups all the way

to large corporations. With the rise of the Indian commerce and trade, TiE’s role in assisting new and veteran entrepreneurs has become even more relevant.” George R. Willy P.C. is a fullservice immigration law firm with over 25 years of experience in every aspect of business immigration, family-based immigration and immigration-related litigation. The firm is based in Sugar Land , Texas with an office in Atlanta , Georgia , a relationship with a prestigious law firm in Canada and a presence in Hyderabad , India . For more information about George R. Willy P.C. or to schedule an interview with George R. Willy, contact Marketing Manager Jodi Jablonski at 281-690-5110 or via email at

Sanjay Ramabhadran Honored as Outstanding Young Texan

HOUSTON: Since 1950, the Texas Jaycees have annually selected and honored Five Outstanding Young Texans. The awardees “exemplify the best attributes of the nation’s young people” and have made exemplary/innovative contributions to their field of work and/or volunteer service. For 2011, Sanjay Ramabhadran was honored as one of Five Outstanding Young Texans, joining an impressive list of past recipients who were received this award prior to turning 40. He was selected as one of Five Outstanding Young Houstonians in 2010, the 78th year of the award. Many of the former recepients have gone on to greater achievement and recognition, including, the 41st President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush; Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott; Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe; world renowned heart surgeon Dr. Denton Cooley; athletic stars Warren Moon, Martina Navaratilova, and Earl Campbell; musicians Larry Gatlin and Van Cliburn; astronaut Col. Ed White III; and journalists Neal Spelce and Bill Moyers. FOYT is also part of the international program Ten Outstanding Young Persons, held annually at the Junior Chamber International (JCI) World Congress. Winners of FOYT also have the opportunity to be named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans at the national level. In 2010, Sanjay was selected as an ASIA 21 Young Leader to repre-

sent the United States at the Global Young Leaders Summit (Asia 21) in Indonesia featuring emerging and dynamic young leaders from some 30 countries and economies in the Asia-Pacific region. The summit was designed to bring together young leaders to develop relationships, trust, and mutual understanding, collaborative approaches and responsible leadership in addressing “Unity in Diversity – Responsible Leadership in the Asia-Pacific.” Sanjay has, and continues to play, a leadership role in several local organizations. His civic involvement has included serving on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of LEADERSHIP HOUSTON; President of the 96 year-old HESS Club; Chairperson of the Mayor’s International Trade & Development Council (South Asia), City of Houston – Building & Standards Commission; host of the public policy radio talk show “Insights”; HCEC – Governmental Affairs Committee; Greater Houston Partnership’s Public Safety Committee; Past-President of the Indo-American Political Action Committee and Board of Directors of the Indo-American Charity Foundation and the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce. He has facilitated and coordinated high-level in bound trade delegations to Houston, represented the region on out-bound trade delegations and been an invited speaker to a US-India Infrastructure Summit in New Delhi.

Sanjay has successfully moderated Mayoral debates in Houston and Sugar Land and has played a key role in promoting the political awareness and participation of the IndoAmerican community. He is a fine example of how an immigrant can contribute to society through active civic engagement. Be it Houston’s Adopt a Village program helping re-build villages after the earthquake in India, post–Tsunami/Hurricane relief efforts or kindling the philanthropic spirit of the Indo American community to benefit those in need in Houston, he has demonstrated that community service is a key ingredient in his life. Sanjay serves as Vice-President at CP&Y, a Texas based infrastructure and environmental consulting firm. He manages the firm’s Houston office and is Deputy Director of a Corporate Division that focuses on water infrastructure. Previously, he was Principal-In-Charge with a $1 billion global consulting firm, where he managed a business practice for Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. He has provided planning, program management and engineering services to the Industrial and Governmental market sectors for 16 years. Sanjay has a Master’s degree in Civil (Environmental) Engineering from Texas A&M University and an undergraduate degree from BITSPilani, India. Sanjay and his wife, Vidya reside in Houston with their two sons.

Vidya & Sanjay Ramabhadran at the Five Outstanding Young Texans Awards Ceremony

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Indo American News • Friday, Aug 19, 2011

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Swami Mukundananda Leads the “The Path to God Realization”

HOUSTON: Swami Mukundananda, a well renowned saint from Vrindavan, U.P, India makes a much awaited return to Texas as part of his enlightening tour across USA. He has pioneered the ground breaking, “Jagadguru Kripaluji Yog” – a holistic system of Yoga that incorporates physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual health of humankind. The highly educated spiritual leader’s teaching is scientifically explained as “the spiritual art of managing the mind”. He brings a powerful combination of yoga, meditation and spiritual wellness to the fore through a series of discourses and practical training sessions. Swamiji teaches the true philosophy of God realization by practice of sincere devotion as per the Vedas, Upanishads and other sacred texts. In order to achieve this goal, a healthy body and mind is absolutely essential. His programs imbibe the age old traditions of Yoga, Meditation & Pranayam to purify the body, and Divine knowledge to cleanse the mind, leading to the true upliftment of the soul. Jagadguru Kripaluji Yog has organized a series of Yoga, Meditation, and spiritual discourses in more than 27 cities across USA this summer. Led by Swami Mukundananda, these programs kicked off in April 2011 at Irving, TX and have enthralled audiences all over the country. After a whirlwind tour of 13 states, Swamiji will be in Sugar Land and Houston in late August for his hugely popular series of Yoga, Meditation and lecture programs. Speaking at the hugely successful program in California this summer, Laura Fine remarks, “Swami Mukundananda is continually inspiring. I love the yoga as it takes me deep inward and prepares my body to be able to relax into a devotional stillness where I can focus deeply inward and absorb the chanting and philosophy

that follows. I can’t wait to return for more.” Swami Mukundananda’s sessions have drawn ever increasing crowds year after year. The list of cities he has visited has steadily increased from 10 in 2009 to over 25 in 2011. Swamiji has also pioneered a special educational program for children, Bal-Mukund, aimed at developing moral and spiritual values in youngsters. The program helps nurture a child’s personality by strengthening their basic character and providing a stronger platform to face the challenges of the modern world. His awe inspiring talk on “Wellness for Life” at Oracle HQ in Redwood Shores in late April 2011 was an instant hit with the audience, who learnt about new ways of understanding the quest for happiness in an increasingly stress filled environment. Not to be left out, it was Google’s turn to invite Swamiji at their Headquarters in CA in May 2011 to hear his masterly

lecture. During his tour of USA in 2010, Swamiji was the guest speaker at the prestigious Princeton University, New Jersey, Kellogg’s School of Management, IL, University of Illinois, Chicago and Northeastern Illinois University. What has inspired and impressed people across the table is his simple but highly effective logical explanation about human values and their inner quest for happiness. People have been touched by his very presence and his scholarly wisdom. His humble and approachable nature has appealed to people from all walks of life. Kelly Carrasquillo, (CT) says, “Brought to tears when witnessing the devotion and harmony Swamiji brought out in everyone. Regardless of religious background Swamiji’s lectures got to the core principle of each faith.” Uplifting! Excellent! is what people who have been touched by the words of wisdom and the personality of Swami Mukundananda have been saying. In every city of his visit, a week-long program with Yoga sessions in the mornings and/or evenings is organized. The first part of the session focuses on Yoga & Meditation. The second session focuses on devotional chantings and spiritual discourses to purify the mind. Swamiji was recently invited to the Hindsdale Community Center, IL for a workshop on “Stress Management in the 21st Century”. A huge hit with the audience for the highly practical techniques to counter mental stress, the participants were highly appreciative of the values and the learning they were exposed to in such a short timeframe. Swami Mukundananda’s programs in Sugar Land and Houston, TX start on the 21st of Aug and will run till the 1st of Sep, 2011. The

program will include yoga, meditation, spiritual discourses and chantings. Program admission is free. Program details can be viewed at: http:// His East Coast, West Coast and Central Tour was a huge success followed by a spiritual retreat in Fresno, CA on Memorial Day weekend, and in Danbury, CT during the 1st week of July. The testimonials of attendees showed how the 2 day retreat changed their lives and they will continue to attend it every year. Many are now planning to attend the final retreat at Trinity, TX on Labor Day weekend. Many participants and devotees feel enlivened by Swamiji’s life transforming techniques. Swamiji has made a tremendous impact on thousands of people who came to see and hear him speak at the various venues across the country. Swami Mukundananda received his degrees in Engineering and Management from two world famous institutes in India- Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) respectively. However, the call of God was so strong that a short while after landing a top corporate job, he renounced his professional career to take sanyas, in the quest for God-realization. Since the last two decades, Swamiji has been travelling far and wide in various states of India and also in Nepal, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, USA, and Europe, awakening hundreds of thousands of seekers. About Jagadguru Kripaluji Yog (JKY) JKY is a non-profit organization dedicated to the spiritual, mental and physical wellness of Humankind, through true Yoga and Spirituality. For more information, visit http://www.jkyog. org/2011or email or call 323-286-0452

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McDonald’s and Southern News Group Organize Education Workshop for Asians

Southern News Group and home of ITV International Television 55.5 is proud to be partnering with McDonald’s Corporation to present the first in a series of Education Workshops designed to support the effective pursuit of higher education by Asian Americans. The first event will be held on Saturday, August 27, 2011, at the Chinese Culture Center located at 10303 West Office Dr., Houston,TX 77042 from 10am until 4pm. Wells Fargo Bank is also one of the sponsors for this event. Keynote Speakers for the event include Dr. Ping Sun, Rice University professor and Kathy Wong, from McDonald’s Speakers series, a RMHC/ASIA Scholarship Recipient. Professor Sun is a trustee of Texas Children’s Hospital, a board member of the Asia Society (Houston). Kathy Wong is a rising sophomore at Harvard University who will graduate in 2014. She is planning on concentrating in Molecular and Cellular Biology. The 2011 McDonald’s Education Workshop will include educational activities that will involve the student and also their parents. Career workshops in Engineering, Medical, Pharmacy, business……etc. as well as others on “How to prepare for SAT, ACT”, “What to include in College Application Essay” “College

application and Financial Aid”…etc. will be presented. The workshops for parents will include “Helping Children Make a Right Choice of College Major and Career Path” “ College Funding” “Gifted and Talents” ….. There will be three key activities at McDonald’s booth. All the McDonald’s activities are free, fun-filled and educational. 1. Photo kiosk Event participant will have an opportunity to capture himself/herself a moment of accomplishment. Event participant will have his/her headshot taken, then composed into one of three pre-determined roles (horse rider, TV news reporter, and bullet dance teacher). Consumers can retrieve their own photos free on in 48 hours. 2.Wheel of Education Wheel of Education is an innovative virtual spin wheel for consumers to know more about RMHC/ASIA scholarship in a fun and entertaining way. 3. Meet at our Place Video A pre-produced Video featuring Michelle Wie, LPGA champion and

Yul Kwon, winner of Survivor, Cook Islands. Event attendees can take their headshots and customize the videos by uploading their pictures and see themselves to celebrate a special moment with Michelle and Yul. The video can be downloaded and sharable to friends and families. McDonald’s will also provide 300 Fruit and Walnut salad in the morning, first come, first serve. At McDonald’s booth, McDonald’s Arch Cards pre-loaded with $5 or beour-guest cards will be awarded to activity participants. Special gifts will be presented to the first 100 guests who participate in McDonald’s activities at the McDonald’s booth. Speaking about the importance of this event to the community, Southern News Group Chairman Wea H. Lee said that, “We feel that partnering with McDonald’s in this effort will be very important to the young people in the Houston area who will be able to attend this series of special education events and be able to make the important choices and decisions that can impact the rest of their lives.” Free scholarships will be given away on spot provided by Southern News Group. To register, email or call 281-9838160. August 27, 2011 Saturday 9:30am to 4pm. Location: Chinese Culture Center – 10303 Westoffice Dr. Houston, TX, 77042, Free Admission

Indo American News • Friday, Aug 19, 2011

Fix it with Lemons!


Searching for a solution for that annoying dandruff problem, yellowing nails or blackheads? Looking for a natural skin cleanser and a marvellous hair conditioner? Rummage in your fridge for lemony globules of health for quick beauty fix-its! By Chandana Banerjee of lime juice with ½ cup raw honey Lime juice for your skin and ¾ cup olive oil. Wet your hair - For an overall skincare treat- and then comb this mixture through ment, mix about half-cup of lemon your hair. Cover your head with a juice to your bathwater and soak in shower cap and shampoo and rinse it for 15-20 minutes. after half-and-hour. - To say goodbye to those black- “Make this hair rinse with the heads, run some lemon juice over juice extracted from two lemons the affected area before you and some water for oily pop into bed. Rinse your hair. Wash your hair with face first thing in the this lemony rinse to remorning with cool duce the greasiness,” water and repeat this advises Sunaina home remedy till the Rao. blackheads disap- Mix 3 tablepear. spoons of lime - “If you’ve got juice with an egg dry skin, make a white and apply nourishing mask this on your scalp by mixing equal parts to deal with danof olive oil, lemon juice and druff. Wash after an honey, and apply this over the dry hour. Repeat this for a month for skin. Rinse with warm water after best results. 10 minutes,” says Sunaina Rao, a Lemon juice for nail care: For beauty therapist, who runs her own shiny and strong fingernails, soak beauty salon. them in lime juice for ten minutes, - To exfoliate those dead skin and then brush with a nail brush calls, slice a lemon into half and dip dipped in a solution of ½ warm it into some sugar crystals. Rub this water and 1/3 white vinegar. Finally, over your face. Alternatively, mix rinse with warm water. lemon juice, a little water and sugar Body detox treatment: Finally, to and rub your face with this mixture flush out toxins from your body, mix to exfoliate dead skin cells. some fresh lime juice with a spoonLemon juice for hair ful of honey in warm water and - To make your very own hair drink this first thing in the morning. conditioner to add life to dull and Drink this every morning for best damaged hair, mix 3 tablespoons effects. - Femina

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Pearland Youth Fighting Childhood Obesity in Community Alliance for a Healthier Generation Selects Anita Rao, 15, for 2011-2012 Youth Advisory Board

NEW YORK: With a passion to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic by inspiring her friends, school, and community to live healthier lives Anita Rao, 15 of Pearland, Texas, along with 19 outstanding young people, has been selected to serve on the 2011-2012 Youth Advisory Board for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an organization founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation Youth Advisory Board is one of the only youthled advisory groups in the country focused on childhood obesity issues. The 20 youth leaders play an integral role in advising and providing a youth perspective to the organization as the Alliance strives to encourage young people across the nation to make healthy choices. Board members also serve as national spokespeople for the Alliance speaking at local and national events, interviewing with journalists and healtheducation experts, engaging with community leaders, and addressing their peers. “Empowering youth to raise their voices and inspire their families, schools and communities to be healthier is a key strategy in our effort to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic,” says Ginny Ehrlich, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “The Alliance for a Healthier Generation is committed to elevating youth leaders and working alongside them to ensure their generation will live long, healthy lives.” In addition to their role as advisors and spokespeople for the organization, a cornerstone of the

Anita Rao Anita is a student at Glenda Dawson High School and is passionate about the issue of poor sleep hygiene in teens and its impact on their health

Youth Advisory Board is their commitment to service-learning. Each board member is responsible for initiating healthy changes in their own neighborhoods and school districts by engaging in service-learning programs in their communities. “Today’s youth just don’t seem to have the time to lead a healthy lifestyle while balancing all their academic, extra-curricular, and social obligations. This lack of time can make it difficult to stick to an exercise routine and eating well,” says Anita. “I want to continue the great work that the Youth Advisory Board has done to date, and use many of the tools that have been developed to spread the message of healthy.”

Anita is a student at Glenda Dawson High School. She is passionate about the issue of poor sleep hygiene in teens and its impact on their health. Anita first became aware of the issue while conducting award-winning science fair projects for her school. Taking the results of her project as a call to action, Anita founded Project SIESTA (Students Involved in the Education about Sleep hygiene for Teen Adolescents) in 2009 to educate adolescents about the importance of sleep hygiene. She presented her results at the CHEST Conference in Vancouver, Canada. Then inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama, Anita started Choose Health in 2010, an acronym for Childhood Obesity Overcome by Sleep Education, Healthy Eating, and Aerobically Loving The Heart. The 2011-2012 Board members were selected because of their commitment to leading the way in their hometowns and amongst their peers in spreading the word about the importance of healthy living. They will work with the Alliance to encourage kids across the country to take charge of their health, motivating all youth to make healthy behavior changes and to become leaders and advocates for healthy eating and physical activity. “I want kids to know you don’t have to be an athlete to be healthy—anyone can do it,” says returning board member Madeline Cumbey,10, of Fort Wayne, Indiana. “By serving on the Alliance’s Youth Advisory Board, I’m able to teach other kids about the importance of making healthy decisions and make sure adults know how important it is to involve youth in decisions

made about their health.” Youth leaders, parents, school administrators, teachers and community members all play an important role in inspiring kids to live healthier lives. Visit www.healthiergeneration. org to learn more about the work of the Alliance’s Youth Advisory Board and how anyone can get involved. About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation The Alliance for a Healthier Generation works to address one of the nation’s leading public health threats – childhood obesity. The goal of the Alliance is to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015, and to empower kids nationwide to make healthy lifestyle choices. Founded in 2005 by the American Heart Association and William J. Clinton Foundation, the Alliance works to positively affect the places that can make a difference to a child’s health: homes, schools, doctor’s offices and communities. Houston Desis along with AAPI and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation have organized an event “Choose Health with AAPI” on Saturday, August 20 at 7am . This event is being coordinated with the celebration of India’s Independence Day celebrations in the Houston area. The event starts at the Gandhi Statue in Hermann Park at 7 am with a 3K/5K walk. Water and refreshments will be served to the attendees. Anita Rao can be reached at 713-515-9785 or via email me at

Anna Agrees to 14 Day Fast at Ramlila Maidan

NEW DELHI (HT): After rounds of talks between Anna Hazare, his team and Delhi Police, an agreement was finally reached on Wednesday night. Kiran Bedi through micro blogging site Twitter informed that Anna Hazare has accepted Delhi Police’s proposal of 14-day fast in Ramlila Ground. Earlier, although Delhi Police negotiators were willing to accept five of Hazare’s six demands, he refused to budge from Tihar Jail until the authorities accepted his sixth condition — that his fast be allowed for 30 days instead of the seven that the police were willing to permit. Police negotiators and Hazare and his associates, who negotiated inside the prison premises, came to an agreement on several issues. They agreed that the fast venue would be the spacious Ramlila Grounds and that there would be no ceiling on the number of protesters. They also agreed that loudspeakers would be used at the venue and that Hazare would be examined by government as well as private

doctors. “We have relaxed the contentious restrictions and offered them an alternative venue,” said Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat. “They (Team Anna) will be able to accommodate more people, more vehicles and also use loudspeakers…their fast can be carried on

for at least seven days which can be extended on a day-to-day basis,” said a senior police officer. Hazare’s associate and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi said, “Annaji is not coming out of jail as yet. We are asking the police to allow us an agitation for 30 days at the Ramlila Maidan but they have not agreed.” The Congress core committee, which met in the morning, decided that Hazare be allowed to go ahead with his protest plans. “The decision to arrest was an administrative decision but the decision to release him was a political one,”

home minister P Chidambaram said in the Lok Sabha. The assessment of the Congress leadership is that trying to regulate the agitation was turning out to be counterproductive as only emotions, not substantive issues, are guiding the popular mood. “Let the issue play out. If they gather so much public support and we lose the next elections, then so be it,” a senior Congress functionary said.

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find ways to expand your business and other fair means of earning money. Leasing, taxes and funding may draw your attention. In short, this week may open up many new avenues for you. When it comes to taking crucial decisions, rely on your near and dear ones. They will always show you the right direction. All in all, you will sail through all the ups and downs in this week. SCORPIO Oct 24 - Nov 22: You are likely to be the shining star this week, on the personal front as well as the professional front. You feel revitalized and complacent in body and mind. Your ability to concentrate and focus is great. Opportunities may give you a chance to display your intellectual skills may come your way. Grab them all! Besides work, your home, kids, family and harmonious home front may become your priority. You have the privilege of both, wisdom and material gains, a rare combination to be blessed with! You silently thank your stars for guiding you to the path of spirituality. SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 22: A tactful and diplomatic way to get work done will score points for you. And the efforts put in by you too will not go unnoticed. On the personal front, your charming ways are likely to make you popular among friends and peers. You will be the life and soul of every party and gathering. You are in a mood to give your home and office a makeover, and this mood can burn a hole in your pocket. Though financially sound, you may show keen interest in making wise investments. Ask for more and your prayers will be answered, Amen! CAPRICORN Dec 23 - Jan 20: There may be umpteen obstacles that may try to distract your mind. But, you are likely to overcome and get back to work with a confident and pragmatic approach. You will be determined and will march toward your goals. You may have to make compromises and adjustments in your personal life. However, medical expenses and ailments can shelve your ambitious plans for the time being. But, nothing that you cannot handle! A shopping spree or gathering with family and friends may rejuvenate you. Slow and steady, you are on a mission and will stop for nothing less than the best. AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19: You will be building castles in the air, but to no avail, and you may soon return to the world of reality. Work pressure may mount, both on the personal and professional front. Decentralizing your work may make the situation better. Your cards depict involvement in financial matters, legal issues and settlements. Thus, keep a watch on your coffers, as expenses are likely to go up. This phase may be a testing period, just keep your calm. With strong will and determination, you will achieve all that you have wished for. Only remember to go the extra mile. PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20: What a refreshing week it was! As you prepare yourself for new challenges, with renewed zest, the memories of the week gone by still linger on your mind. You will not go overboard with expansion and financial plans. Last week’s break was a happy realization for you, bringing you closer to your loved ones. Having realized the importance of loved ones in your life, you make a resolution - you will not compromise on your family life for the sake of work. Blooming of romantic relationships is on the cards for you.

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ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20: This week may seem like an ‘action replay’ of the last month. You are still relishing the fruits of your outstanding performance and unbelievable achievements at work. On the personal front things are definitely looking up. You will take your relationships to a new level altogether. Your social life this week will take a new direction. You will involve your near and dear ones in all the fun and frolic. Beware of ego and envy as it will spoil the fun of togetherness. TAURUS Apr 21 - May 21 Festivities, family and friends, fashion and food, and a lot more is coming up for you this week. You turn into a party animal, wining, dining and having a rare old time with friends. Your mood is upbeat and you want to give your house and office a makeover. You will need to make financial arrangements, you will be able to manage it gracefully. You emit a lot of positive energy, creating a distinct aura around yourself. If life was a fashion show, you would have been the show stopper this week. GEMINI May 22 - Jun 21: After a joyful weekend you are back to the daily humdrum. A feeling of contentment and satisfaction will surround you throughout. Your responses will be prompt and will bag you compliments on the professional and personal front. You will willingly execute your responsibilities. You want some change and to fulfil this desire you will give your home a makeover. Your expenses will rise as you buy new stuff for your home. This week, you will be captivated by spirituality, and similar metaphysical subjects. CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 23: You are likely to get a double dose of excitement this week Travel and Love. You successfully balance them, they will add the much needed zest in your life. Partnerships and collaborations are the crux of the week. Business travel may yield fruitful results. People around you are likely to be charmed by your compassion, warmth and kindness. You need to keep an eye on your coffers. Loosening the purse strings may cost you heavily. But as you are in a Taurus phase, nothing may stop you from doing what you want LEO July 24 - Aug 23:Lions’ world revolves around the ‘M’ letter this week. Money. Funds, loans, rents, buying, borrowing and selling will keep you busy. You will be happy, as it may give you a sense of financial security. An exotic vacation may add to the pleasure. Adventure sports or jungle trekking will prove to be exciting and rejuvenating. You will be left with beautiful memories. VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23: This week comes in as a whiff of fresh air! It’s time to say goodbye to all your worries. You have been slogging out for months together, finally you may get some time to relax. On the personal front after falling in love, it’s now time to rise in love. Your romantic relationship may give a new meaning to your life. You may even go overboard in love and may have to face dire consequences, especially if you are married. This is a phase where you need to have a firm control over your emotions LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 23: Mixing business with pleasure may put you in a fix this week. It may lead to situations you would be better off without. At work, you may

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August 19 Pages 1-26  

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