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Friday, April 06, 2018 • Vol. 37, No. 13

Indo American News READ US ONLINE at www.indoamerican-news.com | Published weekly from Houston, Texas. USA 7457 Harwin Dr, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036 • PH: 713 789 6397 • Fax: 713 789 6399 • indoamericannews@yahoo.com

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April 06, 2018


Friday, April 06, 2018 | Vol. 37, No. 13

Indo American erican News


www.indoamerican-news.com Published weekly from Houston, TX

7457 Harwin Dr, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036 713.789.NEWS (6397) • Fax: 713.789.6399 indoamericannews@yahoo.com


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From left: Jugal Malani, Anjali & Hari Agrawal, Sushila & Dr. Durga Agrawal, Congressman Kevin Brady, Angela & Chowdary Yalamanchili, Bal & Rita Sareen, and Nalini & Dr. Virendra Mathur at the 15th Annual India House Gala, on Saturday, March 24 at Sugar Land Marriott Town Square.

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April 06, 2018

The Rapture of Ram-Sita Vivah Among the Devotees BY NAGEHWARA BARATAM


The Holy week of Ramnavami (the birth of Lord Ram) culminated with a weekend long ceremony that was organized by the Shri Sita Ram Foundation at its worship hall at 1200 Blalock. The celebration began with a 25hour unbroken marathon recitation of the Ramayana by teams of 10 to 15 people, to the accompaniment of a dholuk (two-sided long drum) and harmonium and ended with a bhog (concluding prayers). The chanting began on Saturday, March 31 at 10am and concluded on Sunday, April 1 at 10am. The entire function was conducted by Hanuman Swami along with another priest from the Sri Rama Jaya Niketan temple of Katy.

Almost 300 people came to see the concluding spectacle of a RamSita vivah (marriage), the second year the SSRF has organized the event. The two deities were taken outside to the parking lot for the wedding ceremony to begin. During the kalyana (wedding), the devotees were divided into two groups. The group of baratis (groom’s processioners) accompanying Lord Rama represented Ayodhya dwellers and the other group accompanying Sita’s represented her Janakpuri family. It was a joyous event where every devotee became a member of the divine grace family and became a participant in the kalyana mahotsavam (wedding function) as if they are really from Ayodhya and Janakpuri. On reaching Janakpuri, where Sita was waiting, her parents Janak Maharaj along with his wife Sunaina Devi joyfully received the baraat and exchanged sweets. As a part of kalyana, Hanuman Swami performed rituals like Vishwaksena pooja, Raksha bandan, Maha Sankalpam followed by kanyadan. Janak’s wife Sunaina also showed the congregation the precious clothes and jewellery she gave to Sita. At the Shubh


Burst Water Pipe Floods IAN’s Office

The worship hall of the Shri Sita Ram Foundation during the concluding ceremonies of the Ram-Sita Vivah last Sunday, April 1

muhurtha, Sri Ram Chandra tied the sacred knot to Sita, during continuous chanting of Vedic verses. It was a delightful moment where everyone danced blissfully, and sang bhajans under a shower of rose and flower petals with joyous shouts of Jai Sia Ram. For the devotees, it felt like they were indeed witnessing the wedding of Shri Ram and Sita in Janakpuri. It was marked by great festivity, dance, singing and revelry with large artificial colored roses tossed around the hall between the seated devotees in an expression of gaiety. After the celebrations, the devotees were treated to a large vivah bhojan (wedding feast) held in an enclosed white tent in the parking lot. Another Kalyanam is planned

on Saturday, April 7, at La Hacienda,12503 Telge Road, Cypress, Texas, 77429; starting at 10 am. Shri Sita Ram Foundation holds many such events during the year, notably the annual Ram Leela and the Diwali Dussehra Festival at Skeeters Stadium, which will be on October 20 this year. For more information visit www.ShriSitaRam.org or email at info@ShriSitaRam.org Sri Rama Jaya Niketan is planning to build the Sri Hanuman Temple along with Sri Ram Parivar in Katy with Hanuman Swami as the Head priest. He was also instrumental in establishing the Ashtalakshmi Temple on Synott Road in Houston.

HOUSTON: Indo-American News suffered its second traumatic

experience with water within 7 months when a water pipe in the restroom burst and flooded three floors of its office building on Harwin Drive. There was standing water on three floors and water cascading down to IAN’s second floor office space, damaging computers, equipment, furniture, walls and carpeting. The water damage forced IAN to evacuate its office until repairs have been completed. Meanwhile IAN has been working from a makeshift arrangement but still we were forced to cancel our printing last week but are back out in the newsstands and online this week. In its 37 year history, Indo American News has not been able to go to press only once before after Hurricane Harvey last August due to unavoidable circumstances from flooding in the metropolitan area. During other huge rain events when flooding inundated the city, IAN has always found a way to go to print and distribute the paper. IAN sent out a Facebook alert to the community and many people responded with encouragement. We appreciate the outpouring of support of our advertisers and readers during this difficult period. We appreciate your trust and will be here to continue our community work for many more years.



COMMUNITY Second Tax Education Seminar Hosted By IACCGH April 06, 2018

IACCGH President Swapan Dhairyawan

Photos: Parikshit Patel

CPA Mahesh Desai


ICHMOND: The Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH) is hosting a series of tax seminars at various centers in the city to educate the community on the sweeping tax changes in 2018 as well as Overseas Bank reporting and Harvey affected Business Relief measures. The second Tax seminar was held on Saturday, March 31, at Vadtal Dham in Aliana, Richmond and attracted young professionals and business owners who wanted to update themselves on the recently legislated 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. The event commenced with a welcome address by Virendra Amin. He explained the center’s activities and briefly outlined the recent outreach efforts by the organization. He also commended the Chamber for their leadership in being the voice of the Indo American business community and the Speakers for volunteering their time on a weekend. IACCGH Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia highlighted the Chamber’s 18 year old evolution, involvement and mission in promoting Houston’s economy. He also urged the young professionals in the room to become engaged in community efforts. CPA Mahesh Desai presented the Foreign Bank account reporting and compliance relevance post the signing of the Intra governmental treaties between the US and India as well as the Amnesty scheme and the importance of foreign assets reporting. Chamber President Swapan Dhairyawan, a leading CPA himself, went over the Tax Cuts and the new legislation which would affect the 2018 Tax Year filers. He drew attention to the business cuts and individual tax cuts that have been instituted in simple layman terms which helped the audience understand its provisions in a clear and concise manner. He also dwelt on charitable contributions and its relevancy in giving and taking advantage of itemized filing. An interactive and lively Q&A followed after which the vote of thanks was made by Madanmohan Patel. He thanked the Chamber and the CPAs for addressing prominent tax changes during the crucial tax season to assist the community. The next Chamber initiative is the Business Investment Conference to be held in League City on April 18. Please visit www. iaccgh.com for additional information and schedule of activities. Disclaimer: The IACCGH tax seminar is for advisory purposes only INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, APRIL 06, 2018 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM



LAND: America is truly a land of diversity and presently there are at least three generations of Indo-Americans living in Houston. India House Houston, a non-profit organization, continues to embark on their mission to unite cultures, create bridges and serve the community by bringing resources, education, services and Indian culture to Houstonians. On Saturday, March 24, India House celebrated its 15th Annual Gala at Sugar Land Marriott Town Square. Guests at first walked into the ‘need of the hour’- the social hour which eased everyone out. It was a well-planned section of the event, taking place in a separate room, where mouth-watering appetizers and drinks were served. The icing on the cake was some live music being played by Anis Chandani, from the Sa Re Ga Ma fame. He mesmerized the audience with his magnificent flute. The gala commenced at 7:45 pm at the main hall with the American National Anthem, followed by the Indian National Anthem, sung by Apurva Ghosh and Prasun Kolhe. The audience got into the groove and to build up the tempo the talented Rashi Vats of Fox 26 joined in as the Emcee. Jugal Malani, the President of India House, gave the introductory welcome note. Mentioning about the successful completion of a decade of India House, he gladly shared insights that occurred through the year. In his note he mentioned, “India House has become an important institution in the cultural mosaic of the Greater Houston area and with its growth we will continue to serve and benefit the community by means of its various programs and services”. His glaring speech was followed by powerful video messages in support of India House from the Governor of Texas- Greg Abbott, Senator John Cornyn and Congressman Pete Olson. Soon after, Col. Vipin Kumar, Executive Director of India House, recognized the Board of Directors,

April 06, 2018


India House Continues to Embark on its Mission By Serving & Benefiting the Community

From left: Congressman Al Green, Dr. Durga Agrawal, and Congressman Kevin Brady. Photos: Bijay Dixit

Council members, volunteers and staff. He mentioned about the programs and activities of India House and introduced the guests to a short video that depicted a brief history of India House and its programs and activities. This video gave the audiences a perspective of their mission and vision. Next up on stage was the Consul General of India, Dr. Anupam Ray, who was introduced by the Gala co-chair and India House Trustee Bal Sareen. Dr. Ray mentioned, “India House is the pillar of Indian presence in Houston, making it the foundation of Indian community here. The Indian Consulate has always been supported by it and I thank India House for everything that they do”. The audience gave him a huge round of applause. The next gentleman to be up on the stage was the eagerly awaited keynote speaker Congressman Kevin Brady, who was introduced by India House Trustee, Dr. Durga Agrawal. Congressman Kevin Brady has been an ardent supporter of India House since the very beginning and he was also present at the India House ground breaking ceremony. He chairs the House Ways & Means committee, which is the most powerful committee

Indo American News (ISSN 887-5936) is published weekly every Friday (for a subscription of $40 per year) by IndoAmerican News Inc., 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036., tel: 713-789-6397, fax:713-789-6399, email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Indo American News,7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036


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Rashi Vats of Fox 26, Emcee

in Congress that envelopes all tax matters, social security, Medicare, trade, energy, health care and welfare. He has major legislative accomplishments and accolades to his credit. He mentioned, “There are few times when Republicans and democrats come together in support of a common thing and India is one factor that brings both Republicans & Democrats in congress together”. He applauded the Indian community in their leading roles in the education, healthcare, business sectors and left with the audiences smiling. While his speech was still sinking in, all the major donors of the India House were requested to come up on stage in order to be felicitated with a golden shawl. It was indeed a day for felicitations as the next remarkable episode was about a lifetime achievement award, which was announced by the trustee of India House, Dr. Virendra Mathur who was the recipient of the last year’s lifetime award. India House presented it this year to Dr. Durga & Mrs. Sushila Agrawal. Dr. Durga Agrawal is the Founder, President and CEO of Piping Technology & Products, Inc. He is the first major donor, founding president and the current trustee of

Consul General of India, Dr. Anupam Ray

Col. Vipin Kumar, Executive Director of India House

Apurva Ghosh and Prasun Kolhe

India House. He mentioned that his wife has been a phenomenal support in his life and career, serving as a strong pillar of support in his achievements and success. He stated, “I am thankful for this award and I would like to contribute it and the success of India House to the entire team of India House. I request the new generation to get involved and contribute to India House.” The zest and enthusiasm of the entire team at India House, to have the younger generation participate is what drives their mission to success. Some of the guests and attendees at the gala included Congressman Al Green, Jay Guerrero- Rep Senator John Cornyn, Neeta Sane- HCC trustee District VII, and several prominent and noteworthy Indians. The guests were thoroughly entertained by Anis Chandani, Payel Mitra, Dipayan Bhattacharya and Serene Kaggal and the fusion of live singing and flute left the audiences captivated. An interesting piece of this gala was the auction of necklace that was donated by Karat 22. The guests were then treated to palatable dinner with delectable desserts catered by Bombay Brasserie. The magnificence and artistic beauty of the event is credited to

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Touch of Elegance. While they ensured the event decoration was awe-inspiring, Darshak Thacker from Krishna Sounds Production entertained with his unique and professional styling of sound, lights, projector, and live feed. Bijay Dixit was the official photographer on board who did magic with his lens. The entire event was gracefully carried on successfully. The esteemed trustees of India House include Bal Sareen, Brij Agrawal, Chowdary Yalamanchili, Dr. Durga Agrawal, Gopal Savjani, Hari Agrawal, Jugal Malani, and Dr. Virendra Mathur. Their executive committee is- Jugal Malani- President, Anil Aggarwal- VP Finance, Manu GuptaSecretary, Swapnil Agarwal- Joint Secretary, Mohit Agrawal- VP Operations, Vikie Agrawal- Treasurer, Rajinder Soni- Joint Treasurer, Sam Merchant- Council Chair, Dr. Manish Rungta- Immediate Past President, and Col. Vipin KumarExecutive Director. For further details contact India House at 713-929-1900, email at vipin@indiahouseinc.org or visit www.indiahouseinc.org

For photo collage, see pages 14-15



April 06, 2018

IAPAC & SIMA Honor Mayor Sylvester Turner at a Luncheon BY VANSHIKA VIPIN VARMA


Small Independent Motel Owners Association (SIMA) and the dynamic Indo-American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) organized a luncheon on Monday, March 19, to Honor Houston’s Mayor, Sylvester Turner. Held at the India House, the event embraced collaborated efforts between SIMA and IAPAC. Their synergies manifested the previous success stories of events done in partnership. Some of their innumerable philanthropy acts include the efforts taken to reinforce Houston and neighboring areas post the devastating Hurricane Harvey. While IAPAC had coordinated relief efforts for the Harvey victims through Sewa International, SIMA had donated to Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, and welcomed the displaced victims into their lodging facilities, providing them with free guest rooms and meals. And all these humanitarian acts were carried out while dealing with the damages themselves. The event guests included Deputy Indian Consul General Surendra Adhana, City Council Member At large Position 1 Himesh

Hasu Patel

Mayor Sylvester Turner with IAPAC & SIMA Board members.

Gandhi, and candidates running for political offices like Sri Kulkarni, Meghan Scoggins, and Juli Mathew. The emcee for the event, Sanjay Ramabhadran opened the event and welcomed these guests. Referring to the strong Indo-American population of about 180,000 in the greater Houston area, he aptly labeled four organizations as the four pillars of the Indian community in Houston. These appreciable organizations were categorized under Business, Culture, Charity and Politically Engaged and the organizations that were recognized under these genres were Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston, India Culture Center, Indo American Charity Foundation and IAPAC respectively. Sanjay mentioned that these four pillars have a common home, which is India House. He also recognized various

Photos: Bijay Dixit

other leaders present at the event, such as the Presidents and Board members from various Indo American Organizations. Gitesh Desai, President of Sewa International and the former president of IAPAC, followed as the next speaker. He passionately shared his views about IAPAC and stated that ever since its inception in 1995, IAPAC has been the political voice of the Indo American community in the greater Houston area. He acknowledged Jagat Kamdar, one of the founders of IAPAC who was present at the event. Gitesh’s enthusiasm was evident when he mentioned that IAPAC promotes and increases political awareness in our community and encourages IndoAmericans to become citizens and vote. He also stated that IAPAC encourages and facilitates public forum debates with political

candidates so that the Indo-American community’s concerns can be heard, and the updates of legislative changes are updated to the community by the IAPAC, which in turn facilitates a better understanding between USA and India as local members of the House of Representatives and Senate visit India. The next speaker on stage was Hasu Patel, President of IAPAC & SIMA. He recognized and thanked the sponsors- Curve Hospitality, Builder’s Direct Depot, Tara Energy, Murray Insurance & Financial, Amin Realty INC and Southwestern National Bank. He also recognized the SIMA board members and shared some insights about SIMA. Expressing his views he mentioned that SIMA was formed in 1992 by a small group of hoteliers form Gujarat, India, and as on date the organization represents more than 200 properties. He shared that SIMA provides its members with adequate resources, education, and training on the best practices for operating their businesses. Their aim is to impart education by hosting educational seminars within the city of Houston, between Houston Police department and local management district, acting as a liaison between the hotel and motel owner, informing members about the policy changes that effect the hospitality industry, encouraging members to get involved in the political process at the city, county and state level, to coordinate efforts by SIMA members for providing a disaster relief support. He also shared some remarkable insights on the way SIMA participated and contributed to the relief efforts of Hurricane Katrina, IKE and



April 06, 2018





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Harvey, the motel fire on Southwest freeway, memorial flood, tax day flood and many others, by providing free lodging and donating $151,000 to the Mayor’s Hurricane Harvey relief fund. Mayor Sylvester Turner, the keynote speaker, thanked the entire community for being a big support. He stated, “I look up to the Indo-American Community for the tremendous support they have manifested. I thank SIMA for providing all the help they could during hurricane Harvey, and to the entire Indo American community for donating hundreds of thousands of dollars”. Referring to Indo-American as the most diverse community, he expressed that it is important to have an inclusive approach where people from diverse backgrounds should be on the boards and committees. He exclaimed that he would like more people to come forward and be a part of the phenomenal and exceptional community. Applauding the work of IAPAC he asserted


that they have made it to being a part of the political discussion. To reaffirm this he shared that he is scheduled to go to India in October-November with a delegation. He also spoke about the Metro and the Airport expansion plans. In his closing remarks he mentioned that a lot of exciting things were lined up in our city and that he is excited to work with the Indo-American community. The enthusiastic crowd gave him a thundering ovation. His wonderful remarks were followed by quick Q&A session, where some of the community issues were raised and heard and the Mayor answered them all with a smile on his face. The afternoon came to a delightful end with the Mayor being presented with a recognition plaque by the IAPAC & SIMA Board Members. Scrumptious cuisine awaited the guests and they enjoyed a hearty lunch catered by Bombay Brasserie, and Darshak Thacker of Krishna Sounds arranged the sound for the event.

April 06, 2018


Kusum Sharma Opens 6th Dance Studio in Houston


Kusum Sharma’s Shri Natraj School of Dance is a premium Indian Dance School that has been teaching Indian classical and folk dance in Houston since 2005. The School currently has locations in Sugar Land, Bellaire, Pearland, Cypress & Houston and now opening it’s 6th location at the West Oak Mall located at Hwy 6 & Westheimer. The new school which opened on April 1, will offer Bharatnatyam, Kathak., Bollywood classes & Private classes as well. Registration is now open and interested students can register at www.shrinatraj.com. Shri Natraj School has over 100 students and 6 teachers who passionately provide Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Bollywood, Bhangra and other folk dance classes throughout Houston. Founder of the school

Kusum Sharma is well known in Houston Indian community having pioneered the annual Ramleela show in Houston since 2005. She has also performed with Houston Grand Opera and been judge for several dance programs. Kusum’s passion in dance made her leave her IT job in 2005 to start her own dance school and through it support several non-profit organizations by doing cultural programs for their fund raisers.

Shri Natraj Dance school annual recital is scheduled for May 13, and interested prospective students and/or parents can attend by sending request to Kusum@ shrinatraj.com Shri Natraj School of Dance signature event Ramleela 2018 is on Sunday October 7. More details available at www.ramleelahouston.org


10 April 06, 2018


Hindus of Greater Houston Recognizes Young Hindu Leaders

From left: Dr. Hansa Medley, Swami Rtatdvaja, Kiran Bhutada, Jugal Malani, Gregerty Haan, Subhash Gupta, Joseph Emmett, Swapnil Agarwal, Sushma Mahajan. Photos: Bijay Dixit Videographer: Namananda Das



On March 3, Hindus of Greater Houston hosted their 8th Annual Hindu Youth Awards Fundraising Gala at ISKCON Houston. The event packed with large number of youth attendees from prominent temples and organizations was chaired by Bhawna Luthra, accompanied by emcees Ratish Pillai, Komal Luthra, and Richa Dixit. Host ISKCON of Houston presented three beautiful cultural programs and also catered a delicious Satvik dinner through their Govinda’s Vegetarian Cuisine. After the traditional lamp lighting, the event commenced with prayer in silence as an Anjali for the Shankarachayra of Kanchi kamakoti Peetam “Swamy Jayendra Saraswati” who attained Siddhi on Tuesday Feb 27, 2018. The seven outstanding young individuals who received the awards this year were Neelam Bhatt from BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, Akash Dhingra from VHP of America, Arun Dev Kumar from Sewa International, Ayush Sharma from HSS, Jiger Patel from ISKCON of Houston, Eesha Gulati from Arya Samaj and Adhi Gopal from Meenakshi Temple Society. Award winners were given the opportunity to share their personal experiences in developing into young service-oriented leaders in the Houston community. Awardee Akash Dhingra shared some inspiring words said “Look up at the sky, explore your dreams, and discover who you are”, while Eesha Gulati another awardee beautifully recited a Sanskrit shloka which meant “those who serve and bow to the elders are blessed with growth in four areas of life- longevity, fame, wisdom, and power” Three special guests graced the occasion with their remarkable motivational speeches. HH Rtadhvaja Swami, who travels to inspire the youth, stressed on the importance of service and referred to it as “the future hope for society and progress in spiritual and material life.” He emphasized that “Humans are meant to understand our eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord and that can be done through the service attitude.” His elaborated a couple of abbreviations; GPA (God Point Average) is determined by one’s Hindu Dharma and service and GPS (God Positioning System) understanding our position in relationship to God. CONTINUED ON PAGE 11



April 06, 2018

Hindus of Greater Houston


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Certified Public Accountant 14340 Torrey Chase Blvd. | Suite 110 | Houston, Texas 77014 (281) 583-2993 | (281) 580-8700 | Fax(281) 580-7550 www.sulhancpa.com | pradeep@sulhancpa.com From left: Vinod Mantri, Gopal Agarwal, Vijay Pallod, Ramesh Bhutada, Swapan Dhairyawan, Thara Narasimhan, Mark Ram, Devendra Mahajan, Sharad Amin, Bhagawan Bhutada, Partha Krishnaswamy, Bhawna Luthra, Girish Naik and Komal Luthra.

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Dr. Hansa Medley, Swapnil Agarwal, Adhi Gopal, Arun Dev Kumar, Eesha Gulati, Akash Dhingra, Jiger Patel, and Ayush Sharma.

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Youth picture with Swami Rtatdvaja and Swapnil Agarwal.

Have you planned for your future? People don’t plan to Fail, They Fail to Plan ISKCON youth singing shlokas

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10 Swapnil Agarwal, an enviably young and successful entrepreneur and the Founder & CEO of Nitya Capital in Houston, shared how Hinduism provided him with a sense of identity when he came to the USA from India at the age of 15. Growing up, he had many questions about Hinduism, and while he is still finding answers and learning, he narrated one that he learnt - “Karma”, which is doing good deeds without expecting results, and explained how he applies it to his business venture. He also emphasized the importance of being self-aware of the reasons for doing community service. Deputy Consul General of Houston Surendra Adhana, elaborated on the importance of having stability in one’s dreams to attain Sankalp. He also explained how Sankalp becomes Siddhi with hard work and perseverance. Joseph Emmett, a HGH Board of Advisor, commending the

youth for all their accomplishments says “Congratulations to the remarkable honorees at this year’s youth awards put on by Hindus of Greater Houston! It was inspiring to hear their dedication to this profound tradition and lifestyle. HGH is doing a great job in maintaining this great Vedic culture in a world that sorely needs its viewpoint. Hari Om!” Nikhil Jaiswal, a previous Hindu Youth Award winner and an attendee this year described his experience saying “This year, the Hindu Youth Awards was a combination of jubilance, introspection, and inspiration for youth and adults around the community. From camp coordinators, to Hindi teachers, to full time volunteers, to immigrants helping in Harvey, the award recipients portrayed the vast contributions in which Hindu Youth are making a difference in - culture, education, disaster relief, etc.” Girish Naik, Past President

of Hindus of Greater Houston announced that the Janmashtami celebrations, a signature event of HGH will be celebrated on 25Th August at the George Brown Convention Center. The event ended with Dr. Hansa medley passing the baton to Girish Naik for the next year’s Hindu Youth Award event. Hindus of Greater Houston is proud to host this event every year to honor youth for their great accomplishments.

To plan your future, contact:

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12 April 06, 2018


an explosion of colors, energy, and triumphs of Good over Evil presented by Masala Radio, Texans Energy and Karya Property Management on Saturday March 24, 125PM at the brand-new Crown Festival Park at Sugar Land, featuring UK South Asian pop sensation Zack Knight. On this beautifully overcast morning, ABC News ventured out at 10 AM for a live interview of Event Director Sandhya Thakkar, little aware that event managers and volunteers would shower the reporter with colored powder. It was a positive omen foreshadowing a hugely successful event as the Masala Radio crew, key Sponsors, and leading Community organizations Gujarati Samaj of Houston, India Culture Center, and Hindus of Greater Houston triumphed over many, many challenges to bring our ancient culture, traditions, and sheer joy to thousands at this 11th annual Festival of Colors. South Asian families, and an unprecedented number of mainstream families and youths of every color flocked to the oversized park. Onsite free parking, free kids rides, and eight shades of colored powder were just the appetizers. Texans Energy’s Javed & Nisha Megani, personally supervised distribution of non-stop free bottled water while adding surprise free caricature artist drawings. Mukesh & Smita Chawla were first in line and quipped, “I love that there is always so many new things going on at Houston Holi that we feel a part of one big family.” Next door, Swapnil Agrawal’s Karya Property team gave away free balloon animals and exciting picture ops on the Sholay-styled motorcycle side car. Deepika Agarwal announced on stage in pure “shudh” Hindi, “Holi mein, hum subh ek ho


Go Go Go… Go Pagal, Holi Hai!!

entrance while Dholi Toki Singh and DJ Zee kept the stage alive for five hours with Zee’s version of BDM – Bollywood Dance Music. The highlight of the day was Zack Knight. And what timing – appearing live in Houston just weeks after his “Bom Diggy” graduated from South Asian pop hit to Bollywood Blockbuster featured as the opening song in “Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety.” Fans were almost uncontrollable as he sang his own hits like “Nakhare” and “Bombae” and then rendered his take on “Tum Hi Ho.” Infused Performing Arts dancers further heightened the frenzy of Zack’s finale BOM DIGGY performance. By 2PM the park was packed, and guests steadily lined up at the mouth watering Indian Street Foods booths led by Sugar Land newbies Honest Indian Restaurant, Biryani Bistro and Nirmanz Food Boutique. Nirman Shah said “I happily ran out of all my food by 3PM.” Gayatri Bhavan fulfilled the never-ending quest for dosas, introducing their lovely Chocolate Dosa creation. New to Katy, Tandoori Grill, along with Biryani N Grill lined up a tantalizing assortment of vegetarian grill items, followed by stalwarts Mirch Masala and Bollywood Chaat. Kwality Ice Cream catered to every sweet tooth with a fusion of ice creams, golas, faloodas and the classic kulfis. Masala Radio thanks the dream team Masala Entertainment crew led by the invincible Rinku, new but extremely capable Bhavisha, youth leader Sonali, wiz designer Carlos, multi-talented Dha-

kai nafrat ko mitate hai, ek dosoron ko pyar karthe hai, ek rang ho ke…” (“At Holi, we all come together to destroy hate, and love one another in a unity of color.”) Leading Radio Jockey Preanka Desai masterfully hosted the first half of Holi, including some crazy contests for hundreds of free Go PAGAL T-shirts by platinum sponsor Gulshan Enterprises and printed

by PMGOA.Crowds divided in two for impromptu Tug of War, catching flying Frisbees and beach balls by Prompt Mortgage and Realty, Cricket Wireless, My Tax Filer, Medinet and George Willy PC and Toro Imports. Arshad Ramji of Ramji Law Group sent t-shirts flying by way of cricket bat followed by a rain of Britannia Cookies by Deep Food’s Umang Mehta. Over 300 budding Bollywood and Indian Folk dance students rocked the stage from Steps for Dancing with Dolly, Arya Dance Academy Houston, Arya Dance Academy Louisiana, Bollywood Dancing Stars, US Desi Gals, USDG Lil Rockstars, Khushboo Dance Class, Prathima Dance School and finale by Infused Performing Arts. The second half was energized by Henna Shah, a one-woman-show, pumping the DJ Spin Offs with “Go…Go…Go Pagal” and singing hits like “Havana.” Shilpi Paul further hyped up the color rave with Bollywood hits including “Balam Pichkari,” “Tattad Tattad” and “Lets Nacho.” DJ Spinoffs featured DJ Nish, DJ Geo, and DJ Tamim and finale DJ Zee. Dholi Rax livened the

val, and steadfast setup team of Ruchir, Ninad, and Aditi, and the amazing Radio Jockey stage management crew Preanka, Rajoo, Dilip, Ina and Amit. They also thank Gaurav, Meedu, Jesus and Nand for spectacular photo-video coverage, and exceptional extended event crew - Krupa, Sunny, Vinay, Ankit, Lauhael and newbie’s Kajal and Sampurna, and radio jockeys who put their hearts into promoting Holi: Priya, Pankti, and Swati. Special thanks for the warm welcome by City of Sugarland’s Destination Manager Jessica and Parks and Rec Management Kimberly and Teresa, as well as the multiple department heads of Police, Fire, Environmental Protection, Building Permit, and Health for last minute accommodations and making Houston Holi as safe as it was fun. But nothing would be possible without the grace of Lord Krishna who directed it all.

For photo collage, see Back Page



April 06, 2018

Bring Learning Outside of the Classroom This Spring

HOUSTON: After a long winter of glanc-

ing outside to see if the sun has decided to make an appearance, spring is finally here! While everyone is excited to get outside and enjoy warm weather, school isn’t over yet, and it’s important that your children don’t get distracted as we close out the year. However, there are many ways that you can bring valuable lessons outside, allowing students both enjoy the nice weather and continue their education. Best in Class Education Center, which helps K-12 students succeed academically through customized educational programs, shared a few ideas for how to create teachable moments outside the classroom to boost excitement for education.

Best in Class Education is targeting the addition of 20 more units in 2018. The state of Texas has been identified as a key state for growth. The current team behind Best in Class is looking for passionate and dedicated individuals to join this premier franchise family and ensure our youth will excel academically. For more information about Best in Class services for your student, or about current franchising opportunities, visit https://www.bestinclasseducation.com or call toll free at 1-888-683-8108.

Use Chalk for Math Problems: Sidewalk chalk is a go-to activity for kids when the weather starts to warm up, so why not utilize this same activity with learning? Once your children come home from school, instead of letting them sit in front of the TV, maybe offer to play outside with them and write a few math problems on your sidewalk for them to solve. Story Time Outside: What is better than sitting outside under the sun or next to a campfire during a warm spring evening? Take advantage of this time outside and bring a story to read to your children—or better yet, let them read to each other. Build a Garden: Everyone knows that April showers bring May flowers. Urge your children to watch this with their own eyes. Let them help you plant your flowers in the front or backyard and learn how to care for the plants and watch them grow. They can start to learn different treatments for different types of flowers and monitor the time in the sun or amount of water needed for each different plant. Go on a Scavenger Hunt: There are many things to learn within the great outdoors that your children will find very exciting. Organize a scavenger hunt for them at a local forest preserve, a local park, or even your backyard. Teach them what types of leaves are from different trees, different birds and their calls, or even different species of bugs and small animals. Create an Obstacle Course Outside: After school, children usually have an excessive amount of energy. It is very important to find different ways that they can let this energy out to maintain concentration throughout the day. Set up an obstacle course for them to go through once they get home from school, and then have a healthy snack ready once it’s completed. While they are eating, you can discuss the importance of physical activity and eating healthily at this point in their life and moving forward. To help your students exceed their academics goals, Best in Class Education Center offers a variety of customized, supplemental enrichment courses and tutoring options to ensure your students are equipped with the tools they need this school year . Best in Class also offers summer camps and enrichment classes during the summer. INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, APRIL 06, 2018 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


14 April 06, 2018


April 06, 2018



16 April 06, 2018

COMMUNITY Rama Navami Celebrations at Sri Meenakshi Temple BY BHARGAVI GOLLA

the Kalyana mandapam to witness the celestial wedding. Many devotees sponsored silk cloths for deities, silver kireetams for Rama parivar, gold jewelry for lord, annadhanam and sweets. Sheila Sriram from RAC committee elaborated the significance of each step. Kalyana Mandapam echoed with Vedic hymns by priests and devotees. The devotees enjoyed a mellifluous and soulful rendering of live music commensurate with the sacred marriage celebrations, by Praveena Gautham on vocal accompanied by young Kishore Iyer on the violin and Vishal Setlur on the Mridangam. Priests Sridharan Raghavan, Pavan Kumar Sri Bhashyam, Sriman Narayana and Sri Parthasarathy performed the authentic divine kalyanam after the initial rituals including Sankalpam, Vishwaksena Pooja (Obstacle removal) and Punyahavachanam (Purify the space ritualistically). This was followed by Raksha Sutram, a wristband that attests to the resolve of the devotees to perform the holy wedding, Yegnopaveetha dharanam (thread of sacrifice), Paada prakshalanam (cleansing Lord’s feet), Mangalashtakam prayer addressing all the Gods, sages, beings, places and sacred waters, kanya dhanam (offering of the bride to the groom), Jeelakarra bellam (a paste made of cumin and jaggery was put on the


Sri Meenakshi Temple celebrated Sri Rama Navami with grandeur, gaiety, devotion and religious fervor on Sunday, March 25. Sita Rama Kalyanam this year is more special for two reasons. We celebrated on the same day as Sri Rama Navami and this year is Vilambi Nama Samvatsaram, which is a birth year of Lord Sri Rama. Sri Rama was the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the list of Dasa Avatars. He was the eldest son of King Dasaratha and queen Kausalya. Sri Rama was born on the ninth (Navami) lunar day of sukla paksha in Chaitra Masam. Sri Rama had three brothers Bharatha,Lakshmana and Sathrughna and two sons Lava and Kusa who were bought up in Valmiki Ashram. It is said that Lord Sri Rama ruled this world for 11,000 years. Bhaktha Ramadas at the Sita Ramachandraswamy temple in Bhadrachalam started the tradition of celebrating Sita Rama Kalyanam for Sri Rama Navami. Sri Rama’s die hard follower Bhakta Ramadas was jailed for performing the deities’ wedding with government funds some 400 years ago. However, the deity came to the rescue of his disciple and the government later made the celebration a state event. The state

government representatives present ‘Pattu Vasthralu’ and ‘Mutyala Talambralu’ to the temple for Sita Rama Kalyanam even today. In Hindu religion we have the tradition of celebrating divine weddings. Lord’s Kalyanam is performed to bring the happiness and peace around the world. Of all the divine weddings, the most celebrated one is Sri Sita Rama kalyanam — the celestial wedding of Lord Rama, with Seetha Devi. The style of the kalyanam as described in ancient Hindu writings is used as the baseline for Hindu marriages today. Although, this wedding took place ages ago, it is remembered fondly and songs like Sita Kalyana Vaibhogame are sung even to this day and age during Hindu Wedding ceremonies. Devotees gathered at the Ganesh temple with colorful trays of bakshanams, fruits and flowers. Women clad in traditional attire

have begun preparing Talambralu with rice, turmeric, and other ingredients for the celestial wedding of the deities. Rama parivar (Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and devotee Hanuman) utsava murthis were adorned in silk clothes and glittering jewelry were brought in a seer varisai procession to the kalyana mandapam with Nadaswaram music and devotees chanting Bhajans. MTS chair Padmini Ranganathan welcomed the devotees and made announce-ment of the upcoming events Holi on April 8th, Walkathon on April 15th and Mahotsavam from April 20th to 29th. Pidi Su-tral (offering of colored rice) was performed to deities by several ladies while singing ‘Seetha kalyana vaibhogam, Rama kalyana vaibhogam’ song. Panakam (sweet drink with jaggery and other ingredients) was offered to devotees as they entered


heads of the deities) and Mangalaya Dharanam. The priests then followed it up with the homam (holy fire ceremony), akstharaponam (sacred Talambralu showered on the deities) and mangala Aarathi. The Utsava Murthis were taken in a procession on the silver chariot to the main temple while the devotees chanting Bhajans for the final Aarathi. The Divine wedding concluded with a sumptuous feast, organized by Food committee and served by volunteers. Bhargavi Golla and Rani Chilukuri were the event coordinators of this successful event. Secretary Ram Reddy thanked the priests, staff, coordinators, devotees, sponsors and volunteers.

A brief video of the event can be found at: https://youtu.be/ nuoc4ff8BwU


April 06, 2018


Sita Rama Kalyanam Brings Divine Joy to Chinmaya Prabha eagerly gathering an hour before the event. The Saumyakasi Sivalaya courtyard was transformed into a giant wedding hall in Janakapuri, with a shining wedding mandap at its focus. There was an excitement of being at a wedding, one of divine royalty, yet there was inner serenity of being at a spiritual event. The event began with kids and women dancing to bring the bridegroom, Rama’s utsava murti, from the gates. Every aspect of the ceremony was projected on a big screen to enable all the hundreds who were seated in the courtyard to witness and enjoy the entire proceedings. All the Bala Vihar children were given the pride of place to watch the Kalyanam since it portrayed Hindu culture at its festive best. As Rama was ushered with petals,


HOUSTON: Rama Navami, the

day Bhagavan Rama incarnated on earth, is a day of great joy. This year, the auspicious occasion of Chaitra Masa Shukla Paksha Navami was celebrated on March 25. Conducting Sita Rama Kalyana Mahotsava on Rama Navami, Chinmaya Mission Houston (CMH) highlighted the great Agamika tradition of the divine wedding ceremony echoing the famous celebrations in South India, particularly in Bhadrachalam, Telangana. Celebrating Sita Rama Kalyanam is a tradition where the utsava murti of Lord Rama and Sita Devi are brought forth in a procession and their marriage is performed as between a bride and bridegroom. Since Lord Rama represents Knowledge and Mother Sita personifies Devotion, this union symbolizes the secret to the most fulfilling way of life. Thus, through the holy ceremony of Sita Rama Kalyanam, the blessings of the divine couple are invoked for the welfare of the world. CMH began preparations for this most significant event from weeks before, with multitudes of volunteers who poured their hearts and efforts to set the stage for the festivities. On Sunday, March 25, the excitement started building up early with many

Acharya Gaurang Nanavaty amidst the procession bringing Bhagwan Ram to the Mandap

Brni. Shweta Chaitanya leading Maa Sita procession


Acharya Gaurang Nanavaty performing Aarti under the guidance of Priest Sri Ganesh Sathyanarayana. Photos: Jayesh Mistry, Rajesh Thatte and Nilesh Shah.


18 April 06, 2018

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY Why South Must Aid the North

The Great Indian Rope Trick


he world needs something to hold up its pants and salwars, it must be acknowledged. We have the belt, that pins one’s pants to one’s waist with martial severity. The belt is tether, an imposition of order on one’s midriff and it travels through its own loops till it finds an appropriate slot, into which it enters and remains till such time as the trousers do. Clothes ties our bodies in the name of draping them, and belts in turn tie up the clothes. Belts can be loosened; they are flexible, but not fluid. They are cruel too, in that they provide a means of measuring one’s material progress by way of waistline. The nada is an elegant design solution to the challenge posed by our bodies; solving the problem by not acknowledging it. It is an instrument that gives its users total control. It sets no standards whatsoever and allows for no measurement. Made for stomachs that expand with caprice, it is all accommodating and all forgiving. it belongs to a world where human imperfection is accepted as a fact of life, and by design no comment is made on this. The nada is supremely context-sensitive and infinitely adaptable. The variability of circumstance is mirrored in its design- it fulfills a core desire of ours- to ‘adjust’, and does so without reserve. The body is allowed to become whatever it chooses to be. In this it is a counterpoint to everything else that is tailoredin most of our other clothes, the body is measured and the attire is made to fit it. In this mental model, the fact that our bodies are open systems whose function it is to change is blithely ignored. We design clothes for bodies, not people, and the nada begs to disagree. It is an illustration of the power of the simplest solutions, that use very little resource, but provide sophisticated function. Once one gets past the somewhat cumbersome installation, it is for most part easy to fasten, requires no effort to untie, cheap and easily replaced. It has its flaws--for one, it occasionally disappears within the folds of the pyjama, and needs to be fished out using an extremely complicated instrument featuring the wrong end of a used toothbrush. The knot sometimes hardens into stubborn denial and needs to be disentangled using a mysterious combination of force and tact that most mothers seemed to have mastered. In the Indian cultural imagination, the nada occupies a place of some significance. It is largely an object of derision, as testified to by Shakti Kapoor in a typical 80s film. With its faithful companion, the dhari-waali (striped) underwear, the long nada was vaguely lewd and largely ridiculous. The tyranny of fitted clothes, that respect neither a full stomach, nor the passing of time is something we take for granted today. We grow out of clothes regrettably frequently, and think that this is normal. Try growing out of a nada. -Santosh Desai in Times of India



he discontent of the southern states shows no signs of abating. On Friday, Kerala finance minister Thomas Isaac added his voice to the chorus of southern dissent about the terms of reference (ToR) of the 15th Finance Commission. Using 2011 census data instead of 1971 census data to decide the allocation of tax revenue to states could lead to a major disruption of southern finances, according to him, since southern states have been more successful in bringing down population growth rates after 1971. It is understated criticism compared to his peers, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam working president Stalin and Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah. Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu has summed up the southern perspective best. The change in census data, he has argued, is a betrayal: “Southern states contribute maximum tax revenues to the centre, but the latter is diverting the money to the development of northern states.” The debate is not just about the distribution of tax revenues but goes to the heart of how one looks at joint responsibilities in any political project such as the Indian nation state. It is a given in any complicated political system that one area will support another. For example, what if the same logic is used by the richer districts or metropolitan areas to argue against transfer of resources to the poorer parts of states? Or from the cities to the villages? And what if a mineral-rich state such as Bihar were to argue that the more developed states of today grew at its cost during the planning era because of the freight equalization scheme that demolished its comparative advantage in metals production? The members of the constituent assembly agreed to compromise on the fiscal autonomy of the states because the individual citizen rather than the state is the locus of development. This would be possible only if the centre has the authority to pool revenue, and redistribute it as needed. Krishna

Sinha, then prime minister of Bihar, the fourth richest province when India became independent, noted that it was the “duty of the centre to give greater assistance to the poorer provinces” in order to bring them on par with the richer provinces. Fiscal transfers are hardwired into every complex federal political system. This has been a guiding principle of every Finance Commission since. There are good reasons for it. The Finance Commission is often portrayed as having to choose between equity and efficiency, but this is a misrepresentation. The two are complementary.Astate that is starved of fiscal resources will be unable to invest in public goods required to close the income gap with other states, thus further increasing the divergence between states. This undercuts the political logic of the Indian Union; having the most populous areas of the country fall further behind is simply not politically sustainable. This is not to argue for stasis on the part of the Finance Commission. In this particular instance, the southern states are correct that using 2011 data is a bad idea — but not for the reasons they have given. It is, in fact, a poor idea to give any weightage to population at all, as critics have pointed out over the years. It is a clumsy proxy by which to gauge a state’s fiscal needs. A balance between more granular criteria — development indicators, fiscal discipline, fiscal disabilities such as per capita income distance — is essential. It seemed till recently that successive Finance Commissions were


CHICAGO: NAND KAPOOR INDIA: ASEEM KULKARNI ®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 4 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: 713-789-6397 email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com, website: www.indoamerican-news.com


moving in this direction. Till the 7th Finance Commission, population was given 80-90% weightage in deciding allocation of income tax. This fell sharply to 22.5% in the 8th Finance Commission and as low as 10% by the 11th Finance Commission. The slow creep to 25% and higher from the 12th Finance Commission has been retrograde. The population criterion must be done away with entirely. The development needs of an area are not necessarily captured in its population statistics. The northern states are currently deeply dependent on central transfers because of their weak tax bases. The goods and services tax (GST) could help them since it is levied on consumption rather than production. There are always good reasons to ask whether liberal central transfers reduce the incentive of their state governments to invest in economic growth. It is a very complicated political economy question, but the answer is not cutting their federal support but pushing them to adopt policies for more rapid economic growth as well as population control. This is not something that can happen overnight, but the example of how a state such as Rajasthan has broken out of the old Bimaru trap shows that it is not impossible. Southern states will continue to assist the North in the foreseeable future. This is as it must be. The political idea of a country with as many centrifugal forces as India should not be held hostage to regional grandstanding. -Live Mint


April 06, 2018


Reconnect with Fond African Roots … and Ride the Nile Rapids

Munir Ibrahim shared accounts of his return visit to Uganda where he was born, after 45 years.


HOUSTON: Nostalgic is probably

not the word to use when reconnecting with your roots after almost half a century, but it does convey the sense of attachment that you feel – and certainly sadness for having been forced out – for a pristine place that which your family called home. Such were the emotions that Munir Ibrahim shared as he the spoke about his first trip back to Uganda after his family was forced out in 1972 by the dictator and President-for-life Idi Amin Dada. Ibrahim described how his entire extended family had to leave all their possessions and businesses and relocate: those with British passports to the UK and his parents and their three kids – Munir, Azmina and Faiza - who had Ugandan passports to a refugee camp in Italy. “We stayed there for three months

Atul Vir, the co-founder of the Connoisseurs Club, introduced the speaker Munir Ibrahim at the dinner social held at Nirvana restaurant in early March.

until a church organization in Ohio sponsored us to come and resettle there, he said. The family lived in Louisville, Ohio, midway between Akron and Canton, for almost ten years before moving to Houston in 1982. Ibrahim has since built up a successful real-estate business in the Bayou City. So it was with much excitement that he visited Uganda again with his mom and two grown sons and it was a pilgrimage of sorts, revisiting the town (Jinja) where he was born and the nearby town (Iganga) where he was raised. Along the way, they visited many of the places where his grandfather and father had their farflung business ventures – from a ferry boat to cattle ranches, transportation and commercial warehouses – and where they were born. Ibrahim’s grandmothers on both sides came from India. Ibrahim ran through a series of

slides about his three-week long trip to Uganda, including a visit to the Bwindi National Park where they sat close to gorillas and the Murchison Falls National Park, where the Nile River is the narrowest. A little further up, close to Jinga, he and his sons went white-water rafting in the Nile. The creed of the Connoisseurs Club is to share experiences with each other that can expand the knowledge and enrichen the outlook of its members. The 5 year-old social group ties each event with a chance to learn something new from a member’s experience and the other constant is that each member brings a bottle of their favorite – or unusual – bottle of Scotch whisky to sample, and a dish for snacks or dinner that follows. This evening, on March 3, the event was held at Nirvana restaurant on the westside which also served a sitdown dinner.

Sita Rama Kalyanam Brings Divine Joy to Chinmaya Prabha CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17 Sri Ganesh Satyanarayana officiated as the main Priest for the Kalyanam assisted by Priest Raghuram Bhatt. The procession to bring Maa Sita to the wedding mandap was led in by Brni. Shweta Chaitanya. As the Bhajan team added melodious music to the atmosphere, the steps of the wedding ceremony, complete with Mangala Sutra dharana transported all to Mithila. Acarya Gaurang Nanavaty, lovingly known as “Uncle,” performed all the ceremonies as the hundreds assembled watched in rapt attention. Even the weather participated gently, as a gentle breeze blew and the Houston skies balanced clouds and sunshine. CMH followed even the minutest detail of tradition as all devotees were served water, flavored majjige (buttermilk), lemonade, and sweets after the divine wedding. As the event came to a close, everyone had a special darshan and all were treated to a sumptuous mahaprasadam. Sri Rama is the ideal representation of Dharma, and Rama Navami along with Sita Rama Kalyanam offers an

awe-inspiring opportunity for all to reflect within and attempt to live His ideal traits. CMH’s strong traditional connection, being rooted in Swami Chinmayananda’s deep scriptural insights coupled with Karma yoga transformed a traditional event into a memorable spiritual journey filled with joy, also guiding one to focus on the inward expedition. Wisdom of the ages, blended with

practical application and fused with fun is the norm at Chinmaya Mission Houston, located at Chinmaya Prabha, 10353, Synott Road, Sugar Land, TX-77498. For more information, visit www. chinmayahouston.org or call Jay Deshmukh 832 541 0059.



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20 April 06, 2018 CRY America’s Selects Houston for its Annual Volunteer Conference

CRY America volunteers in Houston during the 2017 CRY gala.


OUSTON: CRY, Child Rights & You America Inc, a non-profit that works towards ensuring underprivileged children their basic rights, will host their Annual CRY America Volunteer Conference in Houston on April 7 & April 8 at the Four Points by Sheraton Energy Corridor Hotel owned by Juuhi and Prakash Ahuja. It will be attended by volunteers, Action Center leaders and staff including Patrick Bocco and Lipika Sharma and board members from all parts of the US and India. It will be an opportunity for volunteers to share about their activities from the past year and discuss their plans for the upcoming year. National plans and reviews will be highlighted by CRY India’s CEO Puja Marwaha and CRY America’s President Shefali

Sunderlal. Action Centers and volunteers will be recognized for their accomplishments and presented with appreciation awards. Participants will attend informational workshops on all aspects of CRY America such as the grant process, projects, resource generation, and information technology. Attendees will get to know each other better by participating in bonding activities and a fun Saturday night outing! CRY America works with grassroot Projects, communities and local government agencies to ensure children have quality education, health care and are protected from child labor, child marriage and gender discrimination. CRY’s child rights model has stood the test of time and

Photo: Murali Santhana

delivers impact that brings lasting change in the lives of the communities and the children it serves. CRY is well known for its professional project planning, monitoring and selection process in the field. CRY America has been able to impact the lives of 695,077 children living across 3,350 villages and slums through support to 73 Projects. Thank you for supporting CRY America. For more information about the conference and CRY America, contact the Houston Action Center Lead Dina Patel at 832-515-3103 or Advisory Board member Dharam Bali at 832-341-1142 or support@ cryamerica.org or visit http://www. america.cry.org.


IACF Invites You to Join and Say “I Walk – I Care”

SUGAR LAND: The Indo-Ameri-

can Charity Foundation (IACF) will have its signature Walk-a-Thon: “I Walk- I Care” at Lost Creek Park in Sugar Land on April 7 at 7:30 a.m. Joining IACF are the Indian Doctor’s Association (IDA) and the Indian Doctor’s Charity Clinic (IDCC) in a combined effort to raise health awareness and funds to support the IDCC which provides free medical services to the uninsured and underprivileged communities in Houston and benefits the numerous other charities that IACF supports. Registration for the walk is free and open to all online at www.iacfhouston.com. Details about the walk and sponsorship are also available on the IACF website. To become a sponsor, please email IACF President, Mahesh Wadhwa at iacfpresident@ gmail.com or call Mousumi Banerjee at 832-841-5727.


Participants will be provided with breakfast and beverages at the end of the walk. IACF is a non-profit (501c) organization in Houston recognized for his charitable services in the areas of health, education, and human services in the Greater Houston Area. Driven by its motto “We live here, we give here,” the organization commemorates 30 years this year and will continue to expand its scope of activities to serve the communities here. During hurricane Harvey, IACF members volunteered at various centers and raised funds at its Annual gala making a donation of $200,000 to the Houston Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. To learn more about IACF and to become a volunteer, visit www. iacfhouston.com.

April 06, 2018



22 April 06, 2018


Protect Your Skin and the Environment

Southwestern National Bank Scholarship 2018 $1,000 Scholarship Awards

About The Southwestern Na-


You’re heading out—but did you

remember your sunscreen? And did you remember to check the label on that sunscreen? Turns out a common sunscreen ingredient has been implicated in the destruction of coral reefs around the world. As you’re gearing up for your ride, you’ll be sure to slather on your sunscreen, right? Protecting ourselves from the sun’s damaging rays is as important as protecting our noggins from the damaging effects of a fall from the saddle. But did you know that the kind of sunscreen you use can also have damaging effects on our environment? Narrowing down the culprit There is growing concern that our sunscreens may be contributing to the destruction of coral reefs around the world. Oxybenzone, an ingredient in sunscreen that blocks ultraviolet rays, is one factor linked to their destruction, says a study published in the

journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. Even a very small amount can damage DNA in mature and larval coral organisms and threaten or even kill coral reefs. Oxybenzone is categorized as a photo-toxicant, meaning it becomes more harmful in bright light, typical of tropical environments. The chemical also speeds up coral bleaching, a process that happens when corals reject miniscule algae living in their tissues that give them their vibrant colour, leaving them white instead. How big a problem is it? Almost 6,000 tons of sunscreen bombard coral reefs each year, according to the US National Park Service. Omri Bronstein, a researcher at Tel Aviv University and study author, says that it only takes a concentration of 62 parts per trillion, or the equivalent of one drop of water in six and a half Olympic-size swimming pools for enough toxicity to occur to cause damage to fragile coral reefs. And, approximately 25 percent of the sunscreen you apply is washed off 20

minutes after you get into the water. It’s important to note that swimming in the ocean isn’t the only way chemicals can infiltrate waterways. The waste water from bathroom showers eventually makes its way into the world’s oceans, making the results that much more detrimental. An easy solution When it comes to finding a way to protect our skin from both the sun’s harmful rays and protect fragile ocean life, the answer’s simple: switch to a mineral sunscreen containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Norah Covington, CEO and founder of a natural skin care company, says these ingredients both mirror and reflect rays away from the skin and are environmentally friendly. Long-sleeve shirts, rash guards, and scuba suits are also good alternatives to protect against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. And using sunscreen only on neck, face, feet, and backs of your hands can cut sunscreen levels in ocean water by up to 90 percent. -alive.com

tional Bank Scholarship Program Southwestern National Bank Scholarship Program is funded by Southwestern National Bank (Member FDIC) to recognize and assist outstanding high school graduates reduce the financial burden for college. Southwestern National Bank Scholars are selected on the basis of their financial need, academic achievement, and community involvement. Each year a total of $5,000.00 will be awarded to five selected scholars. Each scholar will be awarded $1,000.00. Eligibility 1. Demonstrates financial need for college tuition, book & supplies and expenses 2. U.S. high school graduating seniors 3. Has a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (un-weighted) 4. Will enroll in an accredited U.S. college full-time for the entire academic year 2018/2019

Documents Required (To be considered, all of the following documents must be submitted)

1. A completed Southwestern National Bank Scholarship Application Form 2. An official high school transcript 3. Copies of the most recent document(s) demonstrating the financial need (Family’s 1040 Federal Income Tax Return Form, qualification for School Free/Re-


duced Lunch Program, etc.) 4. Two letters of recommendation from a teacher, counselor, and/ or other advisors 5. A two-page typed essay stating why you should be awarded a scholarship. Please include: • Financial need for this scholarship for educational purposes • Personal and academic achievements. Give specific examples. • Academic plans and career goals. Give specific examples. • Past and current involvement, as well as future plans, towards making a difference in your community

Application Process & Award Announcement

Please send your application package to Southwestern National Bank, Attention Scholarship Program-Ling Chuang, 6901 Corporate Drive, Houston, Texas 77036. Applications and all supporting documents must be received by April 30, 2018 for application to be considered. 3. An interview may be part of the application process for all semi-finalists. 4. Scholarships for the 2018 Scholarship program will be announced by mail in May 2018. Please Contact Us For scholarship application and information, please contact the Scholarship Coordinator by e-mail at ling.chuang@swnbk. com MEMBER FDIC

April 06, 2018


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24 April 06, 2018



Mama’s Punjabi Recipes

Besan aur Olive Oil Pooda (Chickpea Flour & Olive Oil Pancakes)

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esan (made from roasted Bengal gram or chickpeas) is a flour that is commonly used all over India to make pakoras or fried fritters, one of the most favorite and easy to make snacks found at almost every Indian street corner halwai or vendor. The flour, when mixed with spices and water becomes a batter which coats vegetables fried to make hot pakoras, a popular Indian comfort food. Besan is certainly tastier than tempura or flour based batter used to fry chicken and is used in making boondi, laddu, papad, dhokla and many of the spicy snacks. In the Punjab, popular dishes using besan are kaddi and besan di sabzi or gutte and pooda is another quick dish which resembles a flour pancake, except it is salty and spicy and is often eaten with hot tea during the rainy Monsoon season. Besan has some medicinal properties too since it has a high proportion of carbohydrates but no gluten and is also high in protein, magnesium (47%), phosphorus (45%) and potassium (18%) which makes it suitable for those trying to lose weight. Besan pooda is given as a home remedy to people to help reduce their blood sugar levels. Some Indian women use besan as a facial exfoliant and to eliminate acne; it can help reduce cholesterol and lower diabetes; it is a great source of fiber and helps the digestive system. Besan contains lots of linoleic and oleic acids as well as many vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, folate, and beta-carotene and has many other medicinal benefits. A form of besan made of garbanzo beans is also used in other cuisines in Southern Europe. It is a popular street food called farinata in Italy, fainâ in Genoa, and as socca or cade in France. It is used to make panelle, a fritter in Sicily. And in Spain, it is an ingredient for tortillitas de camarones. They make similar

dishes in Greece, Cyprus, Morocco and Algeria. This non-traditional pooda recipe borrows from the French socca by adding olive oil and cooking it in a frying pan to mimic a pizza shape. Mixed with Indian spices, the olive oil gives the pooda a soft texture and the results are surprisingly good. An example of fusion Punjabi food!! Ingredients: • 1 cup besan (chickpea flour) – makes 2 8-inch round poode • 1 medium pyaaz (onion) – peeled and chopped • 1 cup garam pani (warm water) • 4 tbsp olive oil • 1 tsp of vegetable for coating the pan for each pooda • Spices (to taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper). If desired, add ajwain (bishop’s weed, caraway, carom seeds, or thymol seeds) for a slightly bitter taste. Directions: 1. Chop the onions and set aside. 2. Mix the chickpea flour, olive oil and water together; then add the onions and spices and beat the mixture till it becomes a paste: it should not be too thin else the pooda will not cook and will remain wet inside. Let it sit for 2 hours or overnight.

3. For each pooda, heat the vegetable oil on a high flame on a wide frying pan. Pour in n mixture so that it spreads it to the edges of the frying pan. 4. Turn the heat to low so that the pooda does not burn or turn brown. When tiny holes start to form on the surface, check to see in the bottom side is cooked. If so, use a spatula and flip the pooda over. 5. Cook the other side till the pooda is not moist, again on low heat, but do not let it cook too long or become brown. 6. Place the pooda on a plate and serve with mint chutney or ketchup. Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the oldfashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur, India (since renamed Faisalabad) before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her late-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share her delectable Punjabi vegetarian recipes for future generations.




u are like most pe ople, you have prob water into your ce ably accidentally go ll phone one time tten or the other and w do when there was orried no plenty of small busin sound or you couldn’t make any calls what to . Th es and their cost rang ses that provide a service to restore your ere are es from $60 and up cellphone . But there is anothe r method that you should try before go repair center. Usin ga in dislodge some mol hair dryer to blow out the moisture g to the ecules deeper into m ay only the a natural desiccant because it has been cellphone’s circuitry. Rice is dried out thorough is sold, consequent ly be ly cellphone off, place it will absorb moisture very easily. So fore it it inside the bag of ric , turn the cover it with rice an e d seal the bag. Leav and make sure to completely e the cellphone in ov then check it in th em erni been absorbed and orning. Chances are that the moisture ght and the cellphone will will have work again!

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April 06, 2018



Baaghi 2: The Tiger Shroff Film has More Fight than Bite When Tiger Shroff stands,

arms akimbo, pectorals gleaming, eyes glaring, beautifully chiseled jawline straining, we can believe that his enemies—be they a muscle-bound duo or countless machine-gun rattling baddies— will drop like flies around him. And they do, in droves: this is a promise both the film and the hero keep. When Tiger is on the move, kicking, jumping, punching, wielding guns and knives and bombs, Baaghi 2 delivers. It falters when it dives into ‘emotion’, trying to get our Army jawan hero in touch with his softer side. The love story is saggy. The pretty Patani, who debuted with sparkle in M S Dhoni, comes off insipid and out of her depth here. The trouble with a full-on masala film going in search of a plot is evident in the way the film unspools. The bare bones are borrowed from Telugu thriller Kshanam,

but the fillings are all strictly Bollywood: the attempt to create difference gets diluted. After a while, inevitably, all the bang-bang starts feeling familiar, whether it is happening on the streets of Goa, where much of the film is set, or in

Rangasthalam Box Office: Ram Charan Film Mints Rs 102 Crore in 4 Days


ollywood star Ram Charan’s new film Rangasthalam has earned more than Rs 100 crore worldwide within four days of its release. The film debuted at the box office last Friday by collecting a gross of Rs 46 crore from domestic and international markets. And it kept the cash registers ringing through its opening weekend. As of Sunday, the total three-day collection of the film was pegged at Rs 88 crore. Going by the box office numbers provided by the filmmakers, the film has made Rs 14 crore worldwide on Monday taking its four-day business to Rs 102 crore. Of which the distributors’ share is said to be Rs 63 crore. Rangasthalam is going

strong in the international markets, especially in the United States, where it premiered on Thursday. By Sunday, the Ram Charan starrer had grossed the $2 million mark at the US box office. “It’s #Rangasthalam wave in USA… The Telugu film made a royal entry into the $ 2 million Club on Sun and is in no mood to slow down… While the final numbers will be updated later, what’s noteworthy is that it reached the magical figure in its opening weekend itself!(sic),” tweeted trade analyst Taran Adarsh. The producers of Rangasthalam held a special event for the media on Monday in Hyderabad, in order to thank everyone for the support. They also said soon they will be holding a grand event to celebrate the success of the film. Rangasthalam is written and directed by Sukumar and has Samantha Akkineni, Anasuya Bharadwaj, Aadhi Pinisetty, -indianexpress.com

some jungles, location unspecified, where the long-drawn climax takes place. Tiger is cleverly surrounded by a splendid supporting cast. There’s the fully-in-the-groove Manoj Bajpayee as a sardonic cop; Randeep Hooda as the reefer-

smoking hippie undercover agent; and Deepak Dobriyal as a shadybut-good-hearted car dealer with a side business in powder. They lift the film every time they come on, knowing their place in the pantheon (the hero is on top,

everyone else is below, waiting for their dialogue), and shining nevertheless. You wish they had more to do, even Prateik Babbar who returns to the screen after a long gap, and tries too hard for menace as a drug-addled crazy. You wish that this was a real ensemble cast, with equitable sharing rights, because then it would be so much more interesting. We are left with the invincible hero in the snaky villain’s den, battling one man after another, scything through one attack after another, in his latest desi-Rambo turn. Finally, it all comes down to Tiger, and he burns bright only up to a point. An even bigger sin is in the way the film tries to re-jig Madhuri Dixit’s iconic “Ek Do Teen”: Jacqueline Fernandez, an efficient bumper-and-grinder left to herself, comes on, and our eyes glaze over. -indianexpress.com

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan: I’ve Been Approached for the Remake of Woh Kaun Thi? and Raat Aur Din


onsidering Bollywood’s recent obsession with rehashed songs and films, it was not surprising at all when KriArj Entertainment announced that they have acquired the rights to remake the Manoj Kumar starrer Woh Kaun Thi?. But when Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s name popped up for essaying Sadhana’s role in the film, things took a serious turn. Now, in an interview to DNA, Rai has confirmed that she was approached for a role in not just the remake of Woh Kaun Thi? but also Raat Aur Din. She even shared how during the shoot of Shabd, Sanjay Dutt had said that he would have loved it if Aishwarya played the part of Nargis in the film. She remarked, “I’ve been approached for the remake of Raat Aur Din, which is a great opportuni-

ty, and what’s funny is while filming Shabd, Sanju sir (Sanjay Dutt) said he’d have loved for me to play the part, and I was very touched. We’re still working out the details. I’ve also been approached for a remake of Woh Kaun Thi?” Aishwarya is currently busy shooting for KriArj’s Fanne Khan. Directed by Atul Manjrekar, Fanne Khan also stars Anil Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao in pivotal roles. It is an official remake of the Oscar-nominated Belgian 2000 film Everybody’s Famous! In the first look picture revealed by the film’s team, Aishwarya sported a burgundy mane and looked every bit the diva that she is. The film also stars Divya Dutta and Karan Singh Chhabra in supporting roles. Fanne Khan will hit the theatres on July 13, 2018. -indianexpress.com


Happy Birthday


April 07, 1942

Jaya Bachchan April 09, 1948

Ayesha Takia April 10, 1986

26 April 06, 2018 IPL 2018: All You Need to Know about the 8 Franchises BYTOI STAFF

MUMBAI: The 11th season of the

Indian Premier League (IPL) gets underway this weekend, with eight franchises competing for the coveted title from April 7-May 31 across nine cities. This season sees the return of two franchises -- Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals -- after the two served two-year suspensions for the 2013 spot-fixing scandal. Ahead of IPL 11’s opening game between defending champions Mumbai Indians and two-time winners CSK in Mumbai on Saturday, here’s a lowdown on the eight franchises. MUMBAI INDIANS Captain: Rohit Sharma With two T20I centuries and three ODI double-centuries, this is a batsman worth his salt and then some when it comes to limited-overs cricket. As always, it will fall on Rohit to bat Mumbai Indians through the innings. Strengths: The bowling. In Jasprit Bumrah, Pat Cummins, Mustafizur Rahman, Mitchell McClenaghan, Hardik and Krunal Pandya the team has a very balanced attack. Weaknesses: Not enough international quality in the batting. Evin Lewis and JP Duminy are not good enough support for Rohit Sharma. CHENNAI SUPER KINGS Captain: MS Dhoni What else needs to be said of the man who has led India to the 50-over World Cup and World Twenty20 and CSK to two IPL and Champions League Twenty20 titles? Strengths: A very balanced batting lineup featuring Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Kedar Jadhav, Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja, with backup comprising Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu and Sam Billings. Weaknesses: The spin bowling is reliant on an ageing Harbhajan Singh and it will be tough to accommodate South African legspinner Imran Tahir given the four overseas player cap. DELHI DAREDEVILS Captain: Gautam Gambhir Gambhir, who led Kolkata Knight

Riders to two IPL titles, has returned to his first franchise as captain. He is credited with turning around KKR’s fortunes with his innovative captaincy, crucial batting and selection of certain uncapped Indian and experienced overseas players, and is the franchise’s leading run-getter with 3345 in 122 matches. Strengths: The batting. A squad featuring the batting might of Colin Munro, Glenn Maxwell, Jason Roy, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer and Gambhir, with Chris Morris down the order, gives Daredevils hope of challenging all bowling attacks. Weaknesses: Beyond Kagiso Rabada and Trent Boult - who will struggle to make the XI as a pair - the pace bowling is suspect with only Morris a certainty. Mohammed Shami is injury prone and Harshal Patel expensive. A lack of serous Indian pace off the bench is a worry. KINGS XI PUNJAB Captain: R Ashwin Though a hugely successful bowler,Ashwin has never captained in T20 cricket and thus his IPL nous - 120 wickets for CSK - will be the key. Strengths: Plenty of top order batting options in Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Karun Nair, plus too good spinners in Ashwin and Axar Patel. Weaknesses: The pace bowling. Barring the Australian Andrew Tye, there is no penetrative and bankable fast bowler. ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE Captain: Virat Kohli After missing the recent Nidahas

Trophy in Bangladesh, Kohli enters IPL 11 fresh and raring to go. First on his agenda will be to move RCB up the rankings and put behind them a dismal last season, and if he continues to bat the way he has over the last year it will spell plenty of trouble for opposing bowlers. Strengths: Kohli, AB de Villiers, Brendon McCullum and Quinton de Kock make for a superb top four. With the addition of Washington Sundar, who was Player of the Series in India’s Nidahas Trophy win, there is a very fine spin bowling partner for Yuzvendra Chahal. Weaknesses: As always, there will be focus on how the pace bowlers fare, which puts Chris Woakes, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini and Kulwant Khejroliya under the microscope. RAJASTHAN ROYALS Captain: Ajinkya Rahane Rahane has taken over the leadership following Steve Smith’s suspension, and thus the question has been raised: how will a batsman whose confidence has appeared low at international level fare when saddled with the burden of captaincy as he tries to remain relevant in India’s limitedovers plans? Strengths: Expectations will be high from a bowling group featuring Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, Ben Stokes, Joffra Archer, Ben Laughlin, Ankit Sharma and Anureet Singh. Weaknesses: Not enough international experience in the batting. Rahane, Stokes and Jos Buttler may have too much pressure on their shoulders.

KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS Captain: Dinesh Karthik In Karthik - who played India’s first T20I in 2006 - the franchise has a very smart, experience and successful figure as leader. Karthik has captained South Zone, India Under-19s, Tamil Nadu, Delhi Daredevils and India Blue and is still, at the age of 32, one of the best wicketkeeper-batsman in the country. Strengths: With Mitchell Johnson ruled out with injury, an already suspect bowling pace attack has been depleted, but in Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla KKR boast the best spin-bowling trio in the league. Weaknesses: Was spending 12.6 crore on five batsmen at January’s auction a smart move? Time will tell, but a reliance on Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill and Cameron Delport could prove costly. SUNRISERS HYDERABAD Captain: Kane Williamson A proven leader with New Zealand, Williamson was the best option SRH had once David Warner was removed from the IPL for the season. He can manage his players well, while being understated, and captaincy has not effected his batting. trengths: Despite losing Warner, SRH have very good batsmen in Williamson, Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda, Shakib Al Hasan, Alex Hales, Wriddhiman Saha and Yusuf Pathan. Weaknesses: A lack of support for the talismanic Bhuvneshwar Kumar means that Rashid Khan, the sensational Afghanistan legspinner, and Shakib have plenty to do. IPL 11 PREDICTION Mumbai Indians’ pedigree speaks for itself, but a reliance on too few players threaten to derail Mumbai Indians’ season. Mumbai can do it, but that over-dependency factor could scupper their chances. For Chennai Super Kings, putting together the core of the successful squad of seasons past could prove the smartest move the franchise owners made. Put your money on CSK going to the play-offs.



Sindhu & Srikanth Get Top Seedings for CWG

GOLD COAST: Olympic silver-

medallist PV Sindhu and World No 2 Kidambi Srikanth have been given the top billing in their respective women’s and men’s singles badminton competitions of the Commonwealth Games, starting at Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre on April 10. In the draw of 64, Sindhu will begin her quest for the gold in the second round against Falkland Islands’ Zoe Morris after both the players received byes in their respective opening rounds. The 22-year-old Indian is expected to meet 2014 Glasgow Games champion Michelle Li in the semifinals. The third seeded Canadian had beaten Sindhu in the semi-finals four years back en route the gold medal. The 2010 champion and former world No 1 Saina Nehwal has been seeded second and will start her campaign with a second-round clash against Elsie de Villiers in the other half of the draw. Ruthvika Gadde, meanwhile, has been seeded eighth and she will face the winner of the match between Ghana’s Atipaka Grace Gha and Ah Wan Juliette of Seychelles in the second round after receiving a bye in the first round. She is likely to face 2014 silver medallist Kristy Gilmour in the quarterfinals. In men’s singles, Srikanth, who clinched four Superseries titles in the last season, will open his campaign against Liam Fong of Fiji and is likely to clash with 2010 silver medallist Rajiv Ouseph in the semi-finals. The other Indian H S Prannoy, who reached the quarterfinals at the All England Championship last month, has been seeded third and will start his tournament with a second-round clash with the winner of the match between Mauritius’ Paul Christopher Jean and Seychellois Steve Malcouzane.

PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth have received top seedings in the upcoming Commonwealth games.

April 06, 2018


Ali Baba to Invest India’s Auto Sales in March Rise 12% on Strong Rural Demand SoftBank, in Paytm E-Commerce Mall Brezza and S-Cross models. NEW DELHI: India’s top car makMUMBAI: SoftBank Group is Sales of old workhorses Alto and ers reported an 11.72% growth in sales in March, boosted by strong semi-urban and rural demand. The top five passenger car makers—Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, Hyundai Motor India Ltd, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, Tata Motors Ltd, and Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd—sold 240,850 units during the month, up from 215,576 units a year ago. Auto makers in India count dispatches to dealerships as car sales. It is typically observed in March that auto firms dispatch more to their dealerships in a bid to liquidate unsold stock before closing accounts for the fiscal year. Volume growth marginally surpassed analysts’ expectations as demand from non-metro geographies rebounded strongly post the low of demonetization, an analyst said. “Since the past two to three quarters, we have seen significant traction

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, India’s largest passenger car maker, reported a 15.01% jump in sales from a year earlier to 133,481 units.

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the country’s largest passenger car maker, reported a 15.01% jump in sales from a year earlier to 133,481 units, led by growth across segments. The utility vehicle (UV) segment led the way with a 24.3% jump to 22,764; driven by sales of Vitara

coming back from the rural markets. They will continue to drive volumes ahead,” said Subrata Ray, senior vicepresident and group head (corporate sector ratings) at Icra Ltd. However, if one looks at companywise data, car sales growth has been markedly stark this month.

WagonR rose 21.1% to 37,511 units while the compact car segment comprising the Baleno, Swift and Ignis hatchbacks also boosted sales with a 13.5% rise over the year ago to 68,885 units. Maruti has sustained a positive growth trend during the month, as it has during the fiscal, on the back of well-planned model launches that helped take its market share over 50% this fiscal, said an analyst on condition of anonymity. “No other OEM (original equipment manufacturer) has been able to time and understand the Indian car buyer like Maruti has,” this analyst added. Hyundai clocked 48,009 units in sales, a 7.27% rise over the year ago, on the back of strong models such as the Verna sedan and Creta. -- Indian Express

Ambani Leads Indians in Bloomberg Billionaires Top 100 Index MUMBAI: Reliance chairman Lakshmi Mittal: At the 54th Mukesh Ambani, with a net worth of $38 billion, is Asia’s third-richest man and is ranked 19 in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index as of April 2. However, Ambani’s year-to-date return has fallen by $2.30 billion, even though he has increased his fortune by $9.3 billion from last year during the same period. Despite his ambitious Jio project making the right noises and triggering a tariff war in the world’s second-largest telecom market, the company’s debt has climbed to a 15-year high. Apart from Ambani, there are 23 Indians in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index top 500 list, with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates holding on to the top two spots. While Bezos, whose net worth is $121 billion, added $21.8 billion, Gates has seen his YTD drop by 1.5 per cent ($1.36 billion).Another in-

Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani, with a net worth of 38 billion, is Asia’s third-richest man.

teresting fact is the shift of the world’s riches from Europe – once a hotbed of billionaires -- to the US. There are only two billionaires from Europe – Amancio Ortega of Spain and Bernard Arnault of France – among world’s top 10 richest people. Here are the five Indians on

Bloomberg Billionaires top 100 index: Mukesh Ambani: Ambani, who controls 40 per cent of Reliance Industries and is owner of the world’s largest oil refining complex, is placed 19th in the index and is worth $38 billion.

spot, Lakshmi Mittal, chairman of ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steelmaker, is worth $18.5 billion Pallonji Mistry: Mistry and his family own 18.5 per cent of Tata Sons, the main holding company behind more than 100 affiliates with about $100 billion in annual revenue. Ranked 65 in the Bloomberg Billionaires top 500 index, Mistry’s net worth is $16.8 billion. Azim Premji: The chairman and largest shareholder (56 per cent) of Wipro, Azim Premji has seen his fortune grow from $14.1 billion to $16.2 billion as per April 2, 2018. Shiv Nadar: The founder of HCL, Nadar is ranked 86 in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Nadar, whose VidyaGyan chain of schools provide education to students from villages, has a total wealth of $14.5 billion, up from $13.1 billion. -- Indian Express

investing $400 million (26.05 billion Indian rupees) in India’s Paytm E-Commerce Pvt. Ltd. in a funding round that will value the online retailer at roughly $1.9 billion, a regulatory filing showed on Monday. Alibaba , an existing investor in Paytm E-Commerce, is also putting in $45 million in the round, the filing showed. SoftBank, which is among major investors in India’s fast-growing ecommerce sector and already owns a stake in Paytm’s parent, confirmed investing in Paytm Mall, the brand name under which Paytm E-Commerce operates an online market place. “We believe Paytm Mall’s offlineto-online operating model, combined with the strength of the Paytm ecosystem, is uniquely positioned to enable India’s 15 million offline retail shops to participate in India’s e-commerce boom,” SoftBank said in a statement on Monday. In a separate statement, Amit Sinha, chief operating officer of Paytm Mall said the company would deploy the latest investment from SoftBank and Alibaba to beef up its technology and build superior logistics among other things. A filing with India’s Registrar of Companies showed SoftBank units will get a 21.1 percent stake in Paytm E-Commerce after the investment which would come in four tranches. Alibaba.Com Singapore E-Commerce Pvt. Ltd, which currently owns 36.3 percent of the Indian e-retailer, will remain the single-largest shareholder of Paytm E-Commerce but with a relatively smaller stake of just over 30 percent after its latest investment is completed in four tranches.


28 April 06, 2018


Looking for Administrative Assistant Part - Time, Flexible Hours

First Ever

24 Hour

Telugu Radio in Houston

Online at www.radiohungama.net & Every Sunday 12 PM to 3 PM CST On

KCHN AM 1050 Contact: Sridhar Dadi at



• Candidate will be responsible for various administrative duties and will report to the owner of the company. Some administrative/office experience is preferred. • Excellent written & verbal communication skills. • Deadline-Oriented, Acute Vision, Handles Rejection, Team Player. • Additional qualifications: Excel, Word, InDesign, Photoshop, WordPress.

E-mail resume to : jobofficeassistant.ian2016@gmail.com


April 06, 2018



April 06, 2018


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