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Friday, December 23, 2016 | Vol. 35, No. 52

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From left: Disha Patel (Founder & CEO) & Savitha Rajan (Co-founder & President) at the Disha Think Pink Launch event at India House on Sunday, December 18

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December 23, 2016

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COMMUNITY

December 23, 2016

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Indians Celebrate 9th Hamara Desi Christmas

HOUSTON: Houston’s one and

only Indian Christmas celebration was hosted last Saturday, the December 17, at the Stafford Civic Center. As always the auditorium was packed and the audiences were treated to an awe inspiring program by the Houston Indian Fellowship. The Houston Indian Fellowship (HIF), a group of Indians from across the metropolitan Houston area, conducts an annual Christmas Celebration to share with joy and cheer the true meaning of Christmas to Houstonians from different walks of faith, religion, and social status. In addition to the Christmas event HIF conducts events such as dance competitions and painting competitions in order to bring the community together for a time of fun. They also provide free health care for the needy. The admission for the event was free, and it was followed by complimentary dinner for all the attendees. The dinner was catered by the acclaimed Annam Indian Cuisine. HIF, by hosting events like these, strives to bring Christmas cheer to people from different faiths and regions of India. The Consul General of India, Houston, Anupam Ray graced the occasion as the Chief guest of the event. His simple speech with the underlying message of uniting people of different beliefs and faith through Christmas was astounding! The boisterous MCs Chrisie and Anisha hosted this year’s event with elegance. They were engaging, entertaining, and kept the audience feeling at home. This year’s celebration included a variety of dances from different parts of India, all presented professionally to an awe inspiring audience. A shadow play was also presented retelling the birth of Jesus, and His life depicting the true meaning of Christmas. The stage was overflowing with vibrant colors as costumes from different parts of India were used for the variety of dances enriching and bringing to life our very own culture several thousand miles away. The audience was speechless, and they were glued to their seats as HIF performed these programs. Prahalad James, a member of Grace Community Church awarded the winners of the painting

competition. Tablets were given to the first prize winners in each category and the second prize winners were given a gift card. Finally, students from the Uni-

versity of Houston performed the famous Christmas number, Jingle Bell Rock, as others in the audience joined Santa and the HIF team in wishing everyone a merry

Christmas. The audience was raving about the event. “Wow! This is the best organized Desi event I have been to in the Houston area! Well orga-

nized and well catered event. The programs were crisp, clear and professional.” Reuben Joseph, one of the coordinators of the event said “We thoroughly enjoyed participating in the event this year. It’s a joy to practice hard and see that people savor and enjoy the fruit of our labor.” Deepak Israel, a member of HIF proudly stated, “This event brings an opportunity to bring our own south Asian culture to be enjoyed thousands of miles away here in Houston. More importantly it is a free event accessible for everyone so we can all share the Christmas spirit with joy!” He said to “Expect a much more culturally diverse and bigger event next year!” Dr. Robello Samuel, integral member of HIF, said “Seeing the spirit of Christmas freely shared with everyone gives me great satisfaction as that is the whole idea behind the celebration!” The sponsors for this event were Red Oaks Hospital, Annam Indian Cuisine, Confidant Realty and other individuals. The University of Houston students along with other families and friends helped behind the scenes – all of which helped make this celebration a memorable one. Houston Indian Fellowship would also like to invite anyone interested in performing or helping at the 10th annual Hamara Desi Christmas event scheduled for the 16th of December 2017 to please contact Dr. Robello Samuel at 832-275-8810 or Deepak Israel at 832-419-0967 or via email to info@hamaradesichristmas.org. You may also visit them at www. hamaradesichristmas.org

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December 23, 2016

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COMMUNITY

HOUSTON:

December 18, marked the panache launch of an organization whose mission is to save South-Asian Women’s lives from Breast Cancer by empowering them to live proactively from a young age. Disha Think Pink is the first South Asian non-profit organization to spread the message of hope and increase public awareness, prevention, early detection and optimal treatment of those dealing with Breast Cancer as well the ones at risk of developing it. Disha Think Pink’s target is to reach the 3.5 million South Asian women in the United States with unique and life-saving health programs needed to empower the future generations of women to live healthier and longer lives. Event Details: The event was held at India House, Houston, TX and it was well attended by medical professionals, Breast Cancer survivors, sponsors, supporters, friends and family. Solis Mammogram, Houston, TX and Physicians Weight Loss Clinic, Katy, TX were the partner speakers. Breast Cancer survivors, care givers and at risk patients were guest speakers. It was a very informative session about importance of prevention, early detection of Breast Cancer and also introduction to Disha Think Pink organization and its programs. Organization Details: How: It all started with a cup of coffee. Disha Patel (TNBC Survivor) and Savitha Rajan (Hormonal BC Survivor) met online. October being the Breast Cancer Awareness month, they decided to meet in person and share their journey. Why: Frustrated with Breast Cancer Awareness and sorely lacking ongoing support in South Asian communities, the two women started their quest to educate, encourage and empower South Asian women. What: They decided to establish the first South Asian Nonprofit Organization in Houston, TX with the vision of supporting South Asian women nationwide gradually. Who is at risk? 1 in 8 US women will develop Breast Cancer over

December 23, 2016

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Disha Think Pink Launches in Houston

any other support centers. We offer free services to uninsured women and low-cost services to the underserved through our unique programs. Advocacy Workshop Program • Mammogram Screening Program • Nurse Care Program • Professional Counseling Program • Women Wellness & Fitness Program • For more details on programs please visit www.dishathinkpink. org

Photos: Murali Santhana

the course of her lifetime. So it is imperative to educate and create awareness about the importance of early detection which helps decrease morbidity and mortality rates. Disha Think Pink’s Programs: Each program is designed carefully with the sensitivity of Breast Cancer patient needs. Our unique initiative for the South Asian community, along with many of our services is not available elsewhere in the health care system or at

How can you help: You can help in numerous ways: Host: You can host an advocacy program at your place of worship, workplace, community center or home. Invite the Disha Think Pink Team to deliver a 30 minute presentation about the basics of breast health, different lifetime risk levels, provide early detection and prevention strategies, and equip them with life-saving knowledge that will inspire them to take action. Donate: Your donation helps us to equip, educate and empower women to be proactive advocates for their health through our free educational programs and resources. Volunteer: We have many options for you to get involved. You can help with events, donate your services to one of our programs, help organize materials, or contribute in new and unique ways to spread the word. Donors, Partners & Sponsors: We value the partnerships formed with organizations and individuals who support our mission through financial support, pro bono services, volunteering and donated goods. Team Disha is ready to assist with your ideas to partner with us in creating various impactful campaigns that can fuel Disha Think Pink’s mission. Share, Care & Be Aware

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December 23, 2016

COMMUNITY

Advance Screening a Success: LION

HOUSTON: On Tuesday, December 13,

over 350 people arrived at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston to attend an advance screening hosted by Indo-American News of the upcoming feature film, LION, based on Saroo Brieley’s remarkable book A Long Way Home, which details his inspiring search for his family after becoming lost and separated from his older brother while at a train station at the age of five. Movie-goers were taken on an emotional journey of selfdiscovery, bravery, and love. With incomparable performances from Nicole Kidman, Dev Patel, and Sunny Pawar, LION will make you miss home. In partnership with the non-profit organization, Lion Heart, LION is helping over 80,000 lost children in India and around the world. Please visit lionmovie.com and donate to help children like Saroo. Nominated for Best Picture and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role by the Houston Film Critics Society, LION, opens Sunday, December 25 with engagements at AMC Gulfpointe 30, Edwards Marq*E Stadium 23, Landmark River Oaks Theatre, and AMC Studio 30.

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December 23, 2016

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December 23, 2016

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AMPA BAY: The Akshaya Patra Foundation USA’s Tampa Chapter raised $2.5 million to build a new kitchen in Mota Fofalia, Gujarat, at its annual benefit on Saturday, November 19. Akshaya Patra is the world’s largest NGO-run school meal program, and provides school meals to 1.6 million children in 13,210 government schools across India. Dr. Kiran Patel, a local Tampa doctor and community philanthropist, galvanized the event supporters with a $1 million pledge to build a new kitchen in Mota Fofalia, a rural village south of Vadodara. Dr. Kiran Patel, says, “The gift of education is the best that somebody can give to anyone. Imagine a holistic approach where you also provide nourishment for the needy so you are providing health and education together”. Dr. Vijay Patel, a local Tampa doctor, community philanthropist, and a member of Volunteer Committee pledged $500,000. Dr. Vijay Patel, says, “I feel pride in joining with Tampa community and Dr. Kiran Patel to take the path of Akshaya Patra and build a kitchen in Gujarat in where over 50,000 children will be fed.” Local businessman, Vijay Patel pledged $250,000 with an additional $250,000 pledged by Tampa bay community members. Akshaya Patra Director of Development, Manisha Gandhi says, “It has been a remarkable experience to develop Tampa Bay Chapter. This

COMMUNITY

Akshaya Patra Tampa Bay to Build Kitchen in Gujarat Tampa Bay community along with Philanthropists Dr. Kiran Patel, Dr. Vijay Patel and Businessman Vijay Patel pledged to raise $3.1 million”

From left: Desh Deshpande, Piyali Dutta, Manisha Gandhi, Emily Rosenbaum, Dr. Kiran Patel, Dr. Pallavi Patel and Omi Vaidya.

was only the second event but the community is very passionate and came together to fund a kitchen in Gujarat. Dr. Kiran Patel, Dr. Vijay Patel, and businessman Vijay Patel are leading the project with highest in contributions. Dr. Kiran Patel is an inspiration for many in the USA with his Philanthropic efforts. It is heartwarming personally because this kitchen will provide meals for children in my home town of Dabhoi, Gujarat also.” The Tampa Volunteer Chapter plan to raise a total of $3.1 million.

Dr. Kiran Patel, Dr. Vijay Patel, and Vijay Patel created an appeal video for the Mota Fofalia fundraiser, which can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/dStQtsTSn0E Desh Deshpande, Chairman of the Akshaya Patra Foundation USA and the event’s keynote speaker, congratulated the Tampa Chapter, saying, “The Tampa Chapter is an example of what a community can accomplish when they come together to improve the futures of children in a community a world away”.

Dr. Kaushal Chari, Chair of the Tampa Chapter, “I would like to thank Dr. Kiran Patel, Dr. Vijay Patel, Vijay Patel and the Tampa Chapter for bringing the Mota Fofalia kitchen to fruition. When completed, the Mota Fofalia will nourish the dreams of the 100,000 children the kitchen will serve every day. Their outstanding generosity and continued dedication to reaching their $3.1 million goal inspires our organization to reach greater achievements of impact and scale. For every $15 they

raise, they are providing food for education”. The 2016 Tampa Event Volunteer Committee was led by Dr. Kaushal Chari, Fazal Dasankop, Dr. Dilip Mehta, Dr. Ashok Modh, Dr. Vijay Patel, Vijaya Prakash, Dr. Raju and Anita Rao, Dr. Madhavi Sekharam and Sri Sridharan. Akshaya Patra operates 26 kitchen facilities across India. Each of the 24 centralized kitchens utilizes state-of-the-art technology to freshly prepare 100,000 hot, nutritious meals daily. Each of the kitchens follows the highest standards of hygiene and food safety, and 13 of the kitchens have received already been certified as FSMS ISO 22000:2005 compliant, which means they meet the standards of the International Food Safety Management System (FSMS). The International Organization for Standardization established the ISO 22000 certification to ensure the safety of the global food supply chain. Akshaya Patra operates three other kitchens in Gujarat in Vadodara, Ahmedabad, and Surat. These kitchens prepare meals for 407,992 children in 1,475 government schools. To support the Akshaya Patra Tampa Bay Mota Fofalia campaign, please visit: https://www. foodforeducation.org/campaign/ mota-fofalia-kitchen

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

December 23, 2016

Women Mean Business

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Shri Lakshmi Puja Hindu Wedding Markand Puja Engagement Shri Ganpati Puja Simant Laghu Rudra Vastu Shanti Mundan Sanskar Navchandi Puja Shanti Havan Shri Gayatri Havan Shri Satyanarayan Puja From left: Shell Projects and Technology CIO Amy Sulz, Wood Group CEO Michele McNichol, HMSDC President Ingrid Robinson, IACCGH President Joya Shukla Photos: Bijay Dixit

HMSDC President Ingrid Robinson

BY MANU SHAH

HOUSTON: Wood Group CEO

Michele McNichol was once told she could never lead a project because she was a woman. Ingrid Robinson was singled out of 200 applicants for the position long held by Houston’s father of Diversity - former HMSDC President Richard Huebner. These remarkable women not only beat the odds to succeed but proved that they could do so without compromising on their personal values and putting family first. At the Women Mean Business event held on December 13, at the Junior League of Houston, the two Keynote speakers shared their remarkable journey and the guideposts that guided them to a gathering of over 60 IACCGH members and guests who as President Joya Shukla remarked must be lauded for “fighting the traffic” to make it to the event. In his remarks, IACCGH Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia recognized Gitesh Desai who represented Wood Group, one of the sponsors of the 2008 Trade Mission to India led by Judge Ed Emmett. The delegation’s efforts led to Mahindra & Mahindra, the world’s largest tractor company expanding their facility in Har-

Wood Group CEO Michele McNichol

ris County creating local jobs and boosting Houston’s economy. He also acknowledged Vibhu Sharma’s role in connecting the Chamber with Michele McNichol. President Joya Shukla welcomed the gathering and thanked Shell’s senior leadership not only for sponsoring the Chamber’s events but also giving up their “personal time to coach, mentor, strategize and share ideas” for the Chamber’s continual success. The economic impact of diversity in Houston is a staggering $22.8 billion. Ingrid Robinson, President of HMSDC, an organization that provides certification for women owned enterprises shared several statistics that highlighted the phenomenal growth and leadership of firms owned by women of color over the last decade. Women, she noted, are not only leaders in Corporations but are increasingly embarking on an entrepreneurial path. Houston, she continued, is far ahead of its times and is showing “other cities the impact of encouraging diversity.” She wrapped up her talk by emphasizing that every woman who aims to be a successful entrepreneur must “set their own value, communicate that value to the world and not settle for less.” In an equally thought provoking address, Keynote Speaker and CEO of Wood Group Mustang Michele McNichol underscored the impor-

tance of “Finding Your Purpose” – a practice which involves defining your life and vision. Her advice: Look deeply into what inspires you, define your best qualities and never lose sight of personal values which can be found by “digging into your soul.” As women and “nurturers,” she continued, we tend to neglect ourselves but it is important to invest time in any activity that is energizing, which for her, was as simple “as watching the waves on the beach.” These are questions that may take a bit of “soul searching” but when applied to life’s challenging moments can help you make conscious decisions that lead to success. Shell representative and CIO Amy Suhl proposed the vote of thanks and presented plaques of appreciation to the Speakers. ( I A C C G H ’s next event – “2017 Inaugural Networking Works” will be held on January 11th at 4:00pm at the City Hall and will present the new Board led by President Allen Richards of United Airlines. For more information, please contact iaccgh. com)

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The Breakfast of Desi Champions!

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA

HOUSTON: If you have a han-

kering for the traditional style of breakfast that you would get in the Old Country on special occasions at home or down at the corner dhaba when the urge for puri, aaloo, chole and halva was just too great to pass up, look no further than a popular restaurant on the west side of town. It has been serving this dish every weekend for the past few years, without any fanfare, to hungry clients who devour it along with the other buffet options. “We’ve had these items on our menu for a long time,” said Nirvana restaurant owner Salim Ahmed one Sunday morning as he made sure that the pile of puris (deep fried flour bread) were soft and kept warm at the buffet line. “We have had them as separate items in the buffet,” he pointed out to each container. But it would take a connoisseur of North Indian food – or those from Hyderabad – to understand that the four items go together very well. Indeed, on many a

Nirvana Restaurant manager Jakir Hossain and waitress Noemi Gamez with the weekend puri, aaloo, chole and halva platter that is the Indian breakfast of Champions!!

cold winter’s day in Delhi, there are throngs of people at eateries across town warming themselves up with this tempting combination, served with hot puris coming straight from the kaddayi (wok). The puris are eaten with three

simple, but savory dishes, each with their own competing tastes. The peeled aaloo (potatoes) are smashed and cooked in a reduced semi-thick sauce; the white chole (chickpeas) are made in a reduced semi-thick brown sauce and the tinged yellow halva (thickened semolina pudding) made with some nuts and raisins is kept on the side dessert table. You have to have Ahmed to guide you to eat the four items a la mode Indien! Served together in small bowls on a plate, you can munch between them and it offers you a sweet and sour experience that brings back memories of sitting in a crowded Chandni Chowk bazaar in Old Delhi, in the warming sunlight, with the din of the city around you! The last ingredient to fill this fantasy is the hot Indian chai (tea) with plenty of warm milk, and Noemi Gamez, the waitress, brings it just in time. “I am the designated chai maker,” she says with a big smile, “and make a huge pot that is gone within two hours.” Stuffed, you realize this is the breakfast of Indian champions!

Maha Satyanarayana Puja at Meenakshi Temple

BY M. K. SRIRAM

PEARLAND:

Ardent devotees look forward to the Maha Sathyanarayana Puja at Sri Meenakshi Temple every year. This year, a record 200 families sponsored and participated in the puja conducted at the Ganesh Temple, with great enthusiasm, even though the event had been postponed by a week due to inclement weather warnings. This surge of devotion can be attributed to only the greatness of the God who is the embodiment of Truth. The word “Sathya”means “Truth”, and “Narayana” means “that which is abiding in everybody and everything”. Lord Sathyanarayana, who is none other than Lord Vishnu himself, recommends that in order to overcome difficulties and problems in this world either caused by this life or previous births, one has to begin worshipping truth. Worshipping truth means being truthful to oneself and to others. The reasons for the popularity of this puja are many. First of all, it is very simple and easy to perform, and secondly, it can be performed by anyone; young or old, man or woman, belonging to any caste or creed. It thus proves that as far as God is concerned, all are equal. It is only the sincerity, faith and devotion of the bhakta (devotee) that counts. This puja can be performed on any day and at any time, although full moon day evenings are considered more auspicious.

The temple Religious Activities Committee with its volunteers were very active planning weeks in advance which helped in executing this event so smoothly. The participant families were seated in neatly laid out rows, each of them

being provided with a picture of the Lord and puja materials such as rice, kumkum, flowers, deepam, prasadam etc. Priest Pawan Kumar led and guided the devotees

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

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COMMUNITY

Inspired by the IDCC, Teen Learns the Value of Community Service

BY MALLIKA TRIPATHY

C

LEAR LAKE: “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” Albert Schweitzer, theologian and medical-missionary As a senior at Clear Lake High School, I participate in debate, DECA, Red Cross, and many other clubs. I’ve grown up hearing about the importance of leaving your mark on the world by creating a positive environment wherever you go with a smile on your face. This belief has led me to want to create change in society to make the lives of all individuals better. One source of inspiration has been learning about the Indian Doctors Charity Clinic while my father, Dr. Ashok Tripathy, was the President of the Indian Doctors Association. I learnt that different doctors and volunteers come on Saturday mornings to provide free services to patients at the IDCC, regardless of who they are. I was impressed to hear how these dedicated doctors were helping others on the only free days they get in the week. Seeing their efforts, I

Mallika Tripathy

understood the importance of individuals in the community to help to ensure that the services can be provided, and this made me want to donate money to the IDCC. Three years ago, I started a small business with my sister making handmade beaded jewelry and sold it at different forums. We donated the money we made to various charities, including the IDCC, and other non-profit organizations. In March 2014, I organized a bake sale at my school and raised over $150 which I donated to the IDCC. I was delighted to hear the appreciation from the group, and this encouraged me further to give

back to the community I grew up in, before I embarked on to college. As President of the Youth Committee in the Indian Cultural Center of Clear Lake, I wanted to bring balance between cultural activities and community service projects done by young people. We organized various events including canned food drives, clothing drives, socials, and a car wash and raised $840.75 through the course of the year. We decided to further our community service work by donating a portion of the money to an organization that stood out in its efforts in giving back to the local Houston community. In my mind, the one that stood out above all was the Indian Doctor’s Charity Clinic because of its significance to my heritage and its core values of kindness and selfless service. At our ICCL year-end review meeting, I was proud to announce our donation of $471 to the IDCC. Nothing makes me happier than seeing smiles on people’s faces because of something that I have contributed towards. I am proud to have been able to help someone else and hope to help many more in the years to come.

Maha Satyanarayana Puja at Meenakshi Temple CONTINUED FROM PAGE

12

through the puja and was well supported by Priest Sreedharan Raghavan. The volunteers and temple silpis and staff worked tirelessly to make sure that the puja materials were distributed to more and more devotees that joined. The main highlights of the puja were the Sankalpam, Vigneshwara puja, Navagraha puja, Ashtadikpalaka puja, Abhishekam to Lord Sathyanarayana & Sri Lakshmi with individual family participation, alankaram, Ashtotharashatha Namavali archana

and upacharam. One of the most important aspects of the puja is the recital of the Sathyanarayana story. Eager volunteers lined up to read the five chapters, while all the devotees listened to it intently. There are many great lessons to be learned from the stories such as one should never forget to fulfil one’s promise, or not be ungrateful to the Lord and respect all and not feel superior and look down upon others. The Sathyanarayana puja is not complete till the final arathi, and so it was such a beautiful arathi sung to the bhajan Jai Jagdeesh Hare.

Nor it is final till the Lord’s blessing in the form of ‘prasad’ is distributed to and eaten by each and every one. Finally, the devotees were fed a sumptuous lunch by the temple, thanks to a most generous donor’s contribution. The 2016 Maha Sathyanarayana puja will certainly go down as one of the most well attended, well planned and executed and above all performed with supreme devotion. Chairman Narayanan thanked the priests, staff , all the volunteers and the event coordinators Chandrakala and Karunakar

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COMMUNITY

December 23, 2016

17

Surangan Music School Lives up to its Reputation Again

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Music School is to nourish, nurture and carry forward the rich Bengali heritage. The evening of December 4 proved that fact to a tee, when the school held their annual student appreciation day at the HDBS Sur Auditorium. The school in its 6th year under the dedicated efforts of founder director Rupa Ghosh has grown in size, maturity and professionalism. The school trains students in the classical, semi classical, Rabindra and Nazrul songs. It also takes pride in conducting periodic workshops with eminent artists from Bangladesh, India and the US and participates in several live stage shows, some in collaboration with other performing cultural organizations of the diverse, vibrant city of Houston. December 16, also being the Victory Day of Bangladesh was commemorated in the program and participants were all dressed in shades of red and green representing the Bangladeshi national flag. The evening started with a brief introduction by emcee Sanchali Basu and Rupa opened with her melodious rendition of Rabindra Sangeet “Jagate ananda jogge” and captivated the audience’s attention. 3 group songs were sung by her entire group of students and they included Rabindra Sangeet, Nazrul Sangeet and a Bangladeshi patriotic song. Each individual student namely Sarat, Tansin, Sadaf, Shyon, Naiza, Mehenaz, Joti Priya, Prithika, Sharoni, Prova Joti, Pritha, Seeryn, Mohd Ali, Aryan, Sedra, Sreya, Puja, Dona, Mukta and Fareeha then took the stage and sang beautifully with very

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little help from the Guru. They ranged in age from 4 to anywhere over 30. Each one of them had the lyrics memorized and most of them played the harmonium while they were singing. As if this was not commendable enough, there was hardly any American accent in their Bengali pronunciation. Even the non Bengali motherdaughter duos of Vanini-Sheena and Dipika-Sonia sang, “Kothao aamar” with perfect Bengali diction. A dance performance by Shawon to “Mor bhabona re” brought some variety to the evening’s show. As is the tradition, Raja Banga, director of the Prana School of Music, an eminent music school of Katy along with a few of his disciples joined in the evening’s celebrations. His students also hailed from different age groups and delighted the audience with various percussion instruments including tabla, djembe, Cajon box drum, drums and keyboard. Rupa in her inimitable style delighted the audience with a Rabindra Sangeet and 2 Nazrul songs. The

highlight of the evening was the mesmerizing renditions of Rabindra Sangeet by guest artists Kamalpriya Roy and Amit De with the impeccable accompaniment of Biplab Samaddar on the violin, Alok Roy on the mandira and Raja Banga on the tabla. Both have been trained in the traditional Rabindra Sangeet style from Santiniketan and the former is a faculty member at Kala Bhavan, HDBS. Shudhu tomar Bani sung by Kamalpriya deserves special mention. The audience wanted to hear more but the request could not be kept since the organizers were saving the best for the last. Biplab Samadder and Raja Banga drew much appreciation from the crowd with their jugalbandi on the Raga Chhhaya Nat. A vote of thanks was offered by Rupa and all guest artists were presented with uttoriyo and flowers. Appreciation certificates were handed out to students. Arrangement for snacks was made for all. Please visit www.surangan.org for further information.

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18 December 23, 2016 How Moving Money to the Bank Helps the Poor

E

ver since the high-denomination currency was withdrawn from circulation, there has been a spotlight on the possible impact of this move on the economic lives of the poor. Many economists have pointed out correctly that at least in the short run, disruption of the informal economy could impose costs on the poor. Those who support the move point out the long-term benefits to the poor which could result if the additional revenue that the government is likely to earn is transferred to them directly or indirectly. However, the first-order impact of nudging the poor to shift their savings from home to a bank account has not received much attention. Pascaline Dupas and Jonathan Robinson conducted an experiment in western Kenya where they offered access to non-interest-bearing savings accounts to a group of randomly selected self-employed women. Of course, as in any scientific investigation, they selected a control group, which did not get this access. They found that the self-employed women who were provided with access to bank accounts (treated group henceforth) used the accounts actively and consistently increased savings. No such impact was found in the group that was not given access. More importantly, they found that within a short span of four-six months, the business investment of the treated group was higher by 38-56% when compared to the control group. What is remarkable about their study is that 81% of the selected women actually opened the savings account despite the account being non-interest-bearing. The authors conjecture that women have difficulty in protecting their savings from demands placed by relatives and social contacts but, at the same time, face barriers ranging from unfamiliarity to distance in opening a bank account. Therefore, an act of nudging them to open a bank account could have dramatic real impact on future savings, investments and consumption. A number of researchers have looked at the issue of how best to nudge the poor into the formal financial system. Shawn Cole conducts experiments in India and Indonesia and finds that mere imparting of financial literacy does not lead to active participation. He notes that some sort of financial incentive for participation does help. Our own initial analysis of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana data reveals that when nudged into the formal financial system, the poor indeed transact actively. It is crucial to note that most of the experiments, although internally valid, may not be fully generalizable for other contexts. Moreover, in most cases, the beneficiaries were inducted into the system by offering positive incentives. The present situation is different. Therefore, scepticism about the applicability of these results to the present situation is not only valid but also welcome. However, the fact that experiments conducted in several parts of the world have consistently produced directionally similar results should help to assuage these concerns. If the findings of these studies play out, then there is a case to be made that formalization of the economy may lead to significantly higher benefits for the poor that are independent of likely transfers from the government due to revenue gains. -livemint.com

EDITORIAL/COMMENTARY

State Anchors Women to Help Mainstream Rural Bihar

PATNA: Things are different now.

Khatun is part of a small holder farmers’ “producer company,” managed by 1,465 women farmers. Last year, she sold nearly 30 metric tonnes of maize to the company, earning 20% more than the previous year. “We are happy with the way things are going. Our target is to procure at least 5,000 metric tonnes. Last year, we did 1,048 MT,” Khatun says. Members of the company use online trading platforms to discover fair prices for their produce. The company runs the transactions and stores the produce in a warehouse. It finances the commercial transactions of members, including credit of payment within three days of receiving crops. Khatun is one of 1.8 million women in Bihar, who are part of a larger socioeconomic change catalysed by the World Bank-supported Bihar Rural LivelihoodsProject,popularlyknown as JEEViKA. The decade-long project has seen more than 1.8 million women from rural poor households organise into nearly 150,000 self help groups, around 9,500 village organisations and 161 cluster level federations. So far, these community institutions have leveraged nearly $93 million from commercial banks while mobilising more than $23 million in their own savings. The impact has been significant. The community institutions have reached more than 400,000 farmers with a one-stop-shop for agriculture, including credit, inputs, digital agriculture extension and farmers’ field schools. They have supported many women in developing nutritious kitchen gardens at home. And an intensive behaviour change campaign on health, nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene resulted in significant behaviour changes among women and households. One key element of success is ownership and support by the government of Bihar, which views community institutions as critical for the implementation of livelihood and social welfare schemes. “Apart from financial resources, it is critical to build capacity and provide sustained handholding support to these institutions,” says Balamurugan D, chief executive officer for the

Bihar Rural Livelihood Promotion Society. JEEVIiKA-II aims to reach 4.5 million more households and make Bihar the leader in India in mobilising rural women into community institutions, which have developed more than 46,000 professionals providing high quality and intensive capacity building and support A World Bank project has supported 1.8 million women in rural Bihar to organise themselves into self-help groups and federations services to the communities. For example, banking facilitators are hired and paid by the community institutions, and facilitate financial transactions between bankers and Women in Bihar running commercial organisations like producer companies contributing to increase in agricultural productivity and realisation of better prices of their produce community members. “The poor should not be served poorly. We need the best of minds at work to tackle the challenge of rural poverty in Bihar. JEEViKA The institutional platform of empowered women is now being scaled up by the government of Bihar all over the state to cover 4.5 million more women has hired bright young professionals from best management and development institutions in the country to work with the communities,” says secretary for rural development, Bihar, Arvind Chaudhary. JEEViKA has been instrumental in bringing global expertise and solutions to issues plaguing rural Bihar. It has also built partnerships with innovators, social entrepreneurs, technical agencies and development partners through organising marketplace events like the Bihar Innovation

Forum to create an enabling environment for investment and partnership with community institutions. “The work undertaken over a decade with Bihar government and communities shows that the approach of building high quality social and human capital among the poor creates sustainable transformation of livelihoods,” says Parmesh Shah, a Bank global lead for Rural Livelihoods. “It might look difficult and messy as we engage in such endeavour. However, we need to continue engaging and investing in the process as the poor regions and geographies require the World Bank to be patient to achieve sustainable results.” A follow up project was approved by the bank’s board last month to scale up the model throughout the state. The six-year, $290 million IDA-financed ‘Bihar Transformative Development Project aims to reach 4.5 million more households, making Bihar the leading state in India in terms of mobilisation of rural women into community institutions. “The project builds on lessons from our ten-year experience of working with the government on the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Project (BRLP) and the National Rural Livelihoods Project (NRLP) across 25 districts and 179 blocks of the state. These projects confirm that strong, selfmanaged community-led approach is effective in catalyzing socio-economic changes at the grassroots, providing rural households pathways out of poverty, and stimulating the rural economy,” said Vinay Kumar Vutukuru, senior agricultural specialist and World Bank’s Task Team Leader for this project. -hindustantimes.com

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December 23, 2016

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

19


20 December 23, 2016 HINDU WORSHIP SOCIETY

ELECTIONS FOR GOVERNING BOARD & EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE - FEBRUARY /MARCH 2017 (This announcement is being made in the local news media as not all emails and/or addresses are available) Recently, Bal Sareen, HWS Temporary Board President announced that Hindu Worship Society will hold elections in FEBRUARY/MARCH 2017 for a regular Governing Board and Executive Committee to operate the HWS in accordance with the current constitution and good operating practices.based on lessons learned and input from the Temporary Board. ELECTION COMMISSIONER Usha Mehra will to insure fair elections are conducted per HWS Constitution guidelines As a first step, the Temporary Board is reaching out to all HWS devotees & well wishers to confirm their Membership Status by completing the membership verification form provided below: Hindu Worship Society - Membership Declaration Form (Self-attestation process) Name: ___________________________________________________________________ Address: _________________________________________________________________ E-mail Address: ____________________________________________________________ Phone Number: Home: ______________________ Mobile: ________________________ I am a Life Member ____ General Member ____ Since: ________________________ Signature______________________________________

Date:___________________

HWS Constitution Article 4: Membership • Membership in the society is open to any Hindu 18 years of age, the term “Hindu” shall apply to anyone who was born into the Hindu faith or who has adopted the Hindu Faith • Life membership is open to those who pay life membership fee. Life membership is not transferable • Associate or corporate membership shall be open to anyone who respects and supports the objectives. Associates and corporate members shall have no voting rights • Members who have paid annual or lifetime dues and fees shall be entitled as set forth in this constitution, to vote on the election or ratification of members of the executive committee and of the board, on the acquisition and disposition of the major assets of the society, on the merger and its principal terms and any amendment of those terms, on any resolution to dissolve the society, and on any amendments to this constitution. The voting rights shall be in effect after two months of continuous membership in good standing. • All members shall be required to abide by this constitution and to promote the welfare and the interest of the society • All members shall pay annual or lifetime dues as set by the general body at the beginning of each year the amount for life time membership may be increased but shall not be decreased. For the first year the amount due for life time membership shall be $1,000 which may be

paid over a twenty four month period. Only after the full amount has been paid shall member become a life member. • The annual membership dues shall be for January 1 through December 31. General Membership is currently $100 per year. Each Verification Form is for TWO votes (Member and Spouse) The membership verification form indicates the requirements for LIFE MEMBERS and GENERAL MEMBERS. Life members are voting members, General Members for years 2015 & 2016 are eligible to vote. Complete and return this form by any of the following methods before 8 January 2017 a. Scan and return by Email to: mnicholson@ieeinc.net b. Mail form to: Bhawani Shankar Shastri Ji, c/o Hindu Worship Society, 2223 Wirtcrest Rd, Houston, Texas 77055 c. Visit the Temple: Deposit the form in a sealed envelope in the specially marked locked box in the Temple Hall d. Forms in sealed envelopes can be handed over to Election Commissioner Usha Mehra. After the Membership verification process has been completed, Members will receive communication from the Election Commissioner providing general guidelines and seeking nominations for positions to serve the HWS of Houston. IMPORTANT NOTICE: The next GENERAL BODY MEETING will be held at HWS temple on Sunday, 8 Jan 2017 at 11am

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY Why is Christmas Day on the 25th December? Christmas is celebrated to remember the birth of of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the Son of God. The name ‘Christmas’ comes from the Mass of Christ (or Jesus). A Mass service (which is sometimes called Communion or Eucharist) is where Christians remember that Jesus died for us and then came back to life. The ‘Christ-Mass’ service was the only one that was allowed to take place after sunset (and before sunrise the next day), so people had it at Midnight! So we get the name Christ-Mass, shortened to Christmas. Christmas is now celebrated by people around the world, whether they are Christians or not. It’s a time when family and friends come together and remember the good things they have. People, and especially children, also like Christmas as it’s a time when you give and receive presents! The Date of Christmas No one knows the real birthday of Jesus! No date is given in the Bible, so why do we celebrate it on the 25th December? The early Christians certainly had many arguments as to when it should be celebrated! Also, the birth of Jesus probably didn’t happen in the year 1 but slightly earlier, somewhere between 2 BCE/BC and 7 BCE/BC (there isn’t a 0 - the years go from 1 BC/BCE to 1!). The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (he was the first Christian Roman Emperor). A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th December. There are many different traditions and theories as to why Christmas is celebrated on December 25th. A very early Christian tradition said that the day when Mary was told that she would have a very special baby, Jesus (called the Annunciation) was on March 25th - and it’s still celebrated today on the 25th March. Nine months after the 25th March is the 25th December! March 25th was also the day some early Christians thought the world had been made, and also the day that Jesus died on when he was an adult. December 25th might have also been chosen because the Winter Solstice and the ancient pagan Roman midwinter festivals called ‘Saturnalia’ and ‘Dies Natalis Solis Invicti’ took place in December around this

date - so it was a time when people already celebrated things. The Winter Solstice is the day where there is the shortest time between the sun rising and the sun setting. It happens on December 21st or 22nd. To pagans this meant that the winter was over and spring was coming and they had a festival to celebrate it and worshipped the sun for winning over the darkness of winter. In Scandinavia, and some other parts of northern Europe, the Winter Solstice is known as Yule and is where we get Yule Logs from. In Eastern Europe the mid-winter festival is called Koleda. Early Christians might have given this festival a new meaning - to celebrate the birth of the Son of God ‘the unconquered Son’! The Jewish festival of Lights, Hanukkah starts on the 25th of Kislev (the month in the Jewish calendar that occurs at about the same time as December). Hanukkah celebrates when the Jewish people were able to re-dedicate and worship in their Temple, in Jerusalem, again following many years of not being allowed to practice their religion. Jesus was a Jew, so this could be another reason that helped the early Church choose December the 25th for the date of Christmas! Christmas had also been celebrated by the early Church on January 6th, when they also celebrated the Epiphany (which means the revelation that Jesus was God’s son) and the Baptism of Jesus. Jesus’s Bap-

December 23, 2016

tism was originally seen as more important than his birth, as this was when he started his ministry. But soon people wanted a separate day to celebrate his birth. Many Orthodox and Coptic Churches still use the Julian Calendar and so celebrate Christmas on the 7th January (which is when December 25th would have been on the Julian calendar). And the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates it on the 6th January! In some part of the UK, January 6th is still called ‘Old Christmas’ as this would have been the day that Christmas would have celebrated on, if the calendar hadn’t been changed. Some people didn’t want to use the new calendar as they thought it ‘cheated’ them out of 11 days! Christians believe that Jesus is the light of the world, so the early Christians thought that this was the right time to celebrate the birth of Jesus. They also took over some of the customs from the Winter Solstice and gave them Christian meanings, like Holly, Mistletoe and even Christmas Carols! St Augustine was the person who really started Christmas in the UK by introducing Christianity in the 6th century. He came from countries that used the Roman Calendar, so western countries celebrate Christmas on the 25th December. Then people from Britain and Western Europe took Christmas on the 25th December all over the world! -whychristmas.com

21

Christmas Recipe

Candy Cane Cookies

Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Directions:

1 cup sugar 1 cup butter or margarine, softened 1/2 cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 teaspoon peppermint extract 1 egg 3 1/2 cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon red food color 2tablespoonsfinelycrushed peppermint candies 2 tablespoons sugar

1. Stir together 1 cup sugar, the butter, milk, vanilla, peppermint extract and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Divide dough in half. Stir food color into 1 half. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. 2. Heat oven to 375ºF. 3. Stir together peppermint candy and 2 tablespoon sugar; set aside. 4. For each candy cane, shape 1 rounded teaspoon dough from each half into 4-inch rope by rolling back and forth on floured surface. Place 1 red and white rope side by side; press together lightly and twist. Place on ungreased cookie sheet; curve top of cookie down to form handle of cane. 5. Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until set and very light brown. Immediately sprinkle candy mixture over cookies. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. -bettycrocker.com

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22 December 23, 2016

SUDOKU

Place a Number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. Send us the correct answer before December 27, 2016. Email us at indoamericannews@yahoo.com or mail to 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036. Send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published (for first three entrees only & 1 submission per month).

PUZZLES / RECIPES Mama’s Punjabi Recipes Narial Di Burfi (Coconut Milk Squares)

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readers, below is a reprint of Mama’s Narial di Burfi recipe, which is a tasty sweet to make especially during the merry winter holiday season. It is reprinted with some additional information and directions. Burfi (milk squares) is one of the most common and popular confections in India and is widely available all over the country, in one flavor or the other. It’s a favorite of little kids in particular as they can gobble up the burfi pieces which are cut into squares or diamond shapes. When my kids were little, they would call my younger brother burfi bhapa (burfi uncle) since he would always bring burfi when he would come to see them. That name stuck to him till the kids went through high school!! And burfi comes in all varieties too, from the plain condensed milk version to the pista (pistachio), badam (almond) or kajju (cashew). It can be plain or with a traditional coating of warak (a very fine film of real silver or gold) or these days coated with a layer of dark chocolate which young kids just adore. The old-fashioned way to make burfi in traditional halwai’s (confectioner’s) shops is to take whole milk (in India, they use water buffalo milk which is heavy with cream) and let it boil on a stove till it has evaporated down to a thickened layer called khoya. It’s a time consuming process that requires patience, the ability to stand over a hot stove for long hours and continually stir the milk so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn, and. But nowadays franchise stores are mechanized and cut down on the hard labor time by using readymade khoya. Narial (coconut) are plentiful in India, especially in the tropical coastal

regions south of Mumbai and Pondicherry, and have been used in ceremonial havans (religious rites) since time immemorial. Coconuts are versatile and are used in food to cosmetics. A 100 gm serving contains 354 calories and is high in saturated fat and carbohydrates, and coconut water contains 19 calories but no significant nutrients while coconut milk is used to produce virgin coconut oil. This recipe uses coconut flakes and is a fast way to make a tasty burfi that can match the store made ones. It is quick and easy to make - in about 30 minutes – and those who eat it will never know the difference! Ingredients: • 1 cup non-fat milk powder • 1 cup bariq narial (fine coconut flakes) • ¼ cup pani (water) • 1/2 cup bariq chinni (fine sugar) • 1 tbsp doodh (milk) – whole or non-fat per your choice • Coloring to your choice or ¼ tsp haldi (turmeric) for yellow tinge

Directions: 1. Bring the water to a boil, then add the sugar and bring to a second boil for 5 minutes. 2. Pour the coconut flakes in a bowl then slowly add the sweet boiled water and mix thoroughly. 3. Now add in the milk powder and coloring and mix thoroughly again. Knead with your hands till the mixture forms into a ball. Coat your hands with some vegetable oil so that the ball will not stick. 4. Coat a large, clean dinner plate with a thin film of vegetable oil so that the mixture will not stick. 5. Take the ball out the bowl and place on the dinner plate. 6. Use a velna (rolling pin) to spread the ball on the plate into a ½ thick flat pancake. 7. Cover with some wax paper and place the plate in the fridge for an hour. 8. Remove from fridge and then cut the pancake into 1.5 inch square or diamond shapes and serve at room temperature. 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 (since renamed Faisalabad), India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition. 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 some of her delectable recipes.

MAMA’S T IP OF THE WEEK WHEN USING

GUR (JAGGERY) BR EAK INTO LITTLE PIECES FIRST During the winter mo nths, it is very tempti snacks that fill the ho ng to make sweets and other us of tid-bits for the fam e with wonderful aromas. Also, there are plenty ily to nibble on. On e of gery) coated kharot (walnuts), badam (al these is making gur (jagmonds) or pecans, in Southern USA. a favorite But many inexperien ced cooks make the mistake of using the of gur directly into hard block the pot and stirring to ma of time and often wi ll burn the gur which ke it melts. This takes a lot be hard to scrape off will stick to the pan . Al an into small pieces wi ways first put the gur in a plastic bag an d will th a hammer and the d break it n pla up. The gur will me lt faster and your tim ce them into the pot to heat e will not be wasted.

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ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS ENTERTAINMENT:REVIEWS/NEWS

Dhaakad: Aamir Khan in a Never Seen Before Avatar

Bollywood

superstar Aamir Khan has taken to singing after a gap of 18 years. His latest song Dhaakad from his upcoming movie Dangal is out now. He earlier crooned Aati kya khandala (Ghulam, 1998). Dhaakad talks about women empowerment and the makers have dedicated it to the daughters of India. Though the song will not be in the film, still Aamir has left no stone unturned to flaunt his swag.Dressed like a rapper, the actor flaunts his dancing skills in

Dhaakad. Aamir was also on the list of singers for the song Iss deewane ladke ko from 1999 film Sarfarosh, but he also read couplets in it. He has also lent his voice for reading out few lines between songs in Fanaa (Chanda Chamke), but this is the first time after Aati kya khandala that he actor has sung an entire track. -hindustantimes.com

In RAEES Laila Main Laila: As Sunny Leone Sizzles, there is Gangster Avatar of SRK too

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aiting to see Sunny Leone in Raees? All of you would be left with just one complaint? Why is there not more of Sunny in the film! The sizzling actress is fast making a name for herself with special numbers, which add that extra commercial zing to movies and Raees will only emphasis her importance in this arena. Dancing to the tunes of the iconic ‘Laila Main Laila’ made immortal by one of India’s earliest sex symbols Zeenat Aman, Sunny lends the new version, her own stylish tadka. The song would be released in a few days but indianexpress.com got an exclusive preview of the song and we are here to tell you what to expect from the number. Get ready for a ride back to the ’80s with everything that the decade stood for. Dressed in a sexy midriff revealing chania choli,

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ever so slightly. The mood is nixed by gunshots and SRK firing away bullets. We didn’t certainly want any gun action in the midst of a SRK-Sunny item number. Sunny said that for her, being part of Shah Rukh Khan’s film was a dream come true. One of course felt more could have been done in terms of SRK and Sunny shaking a leg together. Perhaps one would get to see more in the film. -indianexpress

Sunny looks captivating enough to the average male gaze. The beauty begins her dance surrounded by a bevy of background dancers as she grooves sensually to ‘Laila Main Laila’. The step that catches attention is when she moves sideways and gets her hands to touch her back giving us a slight throwback of Aishwarya Rai’s ‘Kajra Re’. The song which has been remixed by Ram Sampath is groovy although the earthy ’80s flavour of Qurbaani has been done away with. The real high point in the song arrives when King Khan walks in with his bodybuilder like gait. Dressed in black kurta and sporting his trending glasses, Raees takes his seat catching Sunny’s attention. And long before you can blink, Sunny tries to charm the Badshah of romance. One can see the intense passion as SRK too serenades her but

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

Anil Kapoor December 24, 1956

Salman Khan December 27, 1965


24 December 23, 2016

Jadeja Seven-for Seals 4-0 Series Win BY KARTHIK KRISHNASWAMY

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HENNAI: In Mumbai, England had slipped to an innings defeat after batting first and scoring 400. In Chennai, they batted first again and scored 477. At lunch on the fifth day, they were 97 for no loss in their second innings, trailing by 185. This was a flatter pitch than Mumbai, less bouncy and a lot slower. Surely it couldn’t happen again? It did. This time, they lost by an innings and 75 runs, their punishing seven-Test tour of the subcontinent ending at 3.56pm IST, with a draw nine overs away. In Mirpur, they had lost all ten wickets in one session. Here, in less frightening conditions, they lost all ten in 48.2 overs, for the addition of 104 runs, after their openers had added 103. Ravindra Jadeja was India’s matchwinner, taking seven wickets for the first time in a Test innings and ten for the first time in a match as well as grabbing two catches, including what was surely the catch of the series. England, though, were their own worst enemy, batsman after batsman getting himself out to hasten India to a 4-0 series win. England still had six wickets in hand when the final session began, and, in Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes, batsmen at the crease with three hundreds between them in the series. But Jadeja hounded them, pounding the rough outside their off stump relentlessly. Moeen stepped out, looking to hit him off his length, and only found a leaping R Ashwin at mid-on. Stokes went on the back foot, looking to work him with the turn. The ball stopped and popped to midwicket. This was no longer an entirely flat pitch. It still wasn’t doing much for the bowlers from the Pattabiraman Gate End, but there was something in it now for those approaching from the Anna Pavilion End. England could have negotiated it if the decisions made by their top order hadn’t exposed Nos. 8 and 9 to it. Amit Mishra bowled the No. 8, Liam Dawson, with a googly as he looked to drive against the turn. Umesh Yadav had the No. 9, Adil Rashid, caught off

Ravindra Jadeja celebrates with teammates after picking Ben Stokes’ wicket, IANS Photo

the leading edge, at point, by, who else, Jadeja. Out of the attack for seven overs, Jadeja returned with 12 overs remaining. Stuart Broad saw out the first over of his spell, but could do nothing about the first ball of the second; it jumped out of the rough as he stretched out to defend, and popped up off the glove to leg slip. Three balls later, it was all over. Turn and bounce again, this time to the right-handed Jake Ball. The No. 11 poked, and Karun Nair caught the ball at slip. Broad and Ball, the Nos. 10 and 11, were the only two England batsmen dismissed while trying to defend. It was an indictment of their approach after they had made the best possible start to the fifth day, a wicketless first session. Both sides of lunch, Jadeja had threatened to dismiss Alastair Cook for the sixth time in the series. He produced a loud lbw shout with his first ball of the day, turning the ball past the inside edge when Cook, on 25, pressed forward to defend. India did well not to review umpire Marais Erasmus’ not-out decision: replays suggested the ball struck Cook in line with off stump but would probably have spun past leg stump. Then, on 47, Cook shuffled across his stumps

and missed a flick; this time India reviewed, and ball-tracking suggested the ball was turning too much to hit leg stump. Eventually, Cook’s shuffling unease about getting lbw caused him to play at a ball fired a long way down the leg side, and he effectively glanced the ball straight to leg slip. He fell one short of a half-century in his final innings of this long and difficult tour of the subcontinent, and what might possibly be his final innings as England’s captain. It was a typical innings in cussedness if not in length, taking no risks and forcing India to bowl their best balls at him even as he struggled against both Jadeja and Ashwin, who had beaten his outside edge frequently in the first hour. There was a dropped catch too, Ashwin finding dip and turn in the third over of the day to find his outside edge, but not the desired support behind the wicket, the ball bouncing off Parthiv Patel’s gloves. Keaton Jennings had played the spinners well, sweeping and reversesweeping confidently and also using his feet to try and get to the pitch and work Jadeja and Amit Mishra with the turn. This enabled him to clip both of them for fours through midwicket,

but having done this to go from 50 to 54, he stepped out again, premeditatedly, and Jadeja fired it in low and full. The ball hit Jennings on the front foot, and then bounced up into the face of his bat, and looped back for a simple return catch. Joe Root, England’s best batsman of the series, got himself out six overs later, sweeping unwisely off the line of the stumps. The ball was too full for the shot, and it sneaked under his bat and hit his front pad instead. India reviewed Simon Fry’s not-out decision - a fair call, given it wasn’t immediately apparent whether the ball had straightened enough to hit the stumps - and ball-tracking said it was hitting more than 50% of leg stump. Jonny Bairstow was next to go, perhaps unfortunate to see a perfectly acceptable flick, off a full, leg-stumpish Ishant delivery balloon into the air, the ball perhaps stopping on him. He was even more unfortunate that Jadeja was the fielder sprinting from midwicket towards the square leg boundary with his back to the pitch, looking over his shoulder to keep his eye on the ball. Perhaps no one else on the field would have been able to pull off the catch. Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

SPORTS

PV Sindhu Loses to South Korea’s Hyun in World Super Series Finals Semis

DUBAI: PV Sindhu loses to South

Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun in the BWF World Super Series Finals semi-final in Dubai on Saturday. After losing the first game 15-21, Sindhu staged a fightback to seal the second 21-18 but wasn’t able to match her opponent in the deciding third game, which she lost 15-21. Sindhu had earlier defeated Ji Hyun 11-21, 23-21, 21-19 in 84 minutes to enter the China Open final in November but was unable to beat her opponent on Saturday. Earlier in the tournament, Sindhu managed to take her revenge of the heart-breaking loss at the Rio Olympics to two-time World Champion Carolina Marin of Spain with a thrilling straight-sets victory in do-or-die women’s singles Group B contest. PV Sindhu vs Sung Ji Hyun: Match highlights, as it happened 2043 hrs IST: Sindhu’s drop from near the net is wide, and that’s another point for Hyun who now leads her Indian opponent 6-3 in the third game 2038 hrs IST: The two shuttlers all in readiness for the final, and deciding game, of the BWF World Super Series Finals 2029 hrs IST: Sindhu hits one long after being undone by a Hyun smash. The South Korean levels the scoring. 15-15 now 2020 hrs IST: Very little separates the two at the moment. They are locked at 9-9 and are fighting hard for every point on offer. Sindhu is mixing it well but Hyun is stretching the Indian with accurate drops and smashes 2008 hrs IST: PV Sindhu loses the first game of the semi-final against South Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun. After a neck-to-neck contest for about first half of the game, Hyun opened up a decent lead and sealed the contest 2115. -indianexpress.com

PV Sindhu fought back but it was not enough against South Korea’s Hyun in the semi-final.

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


December 23, 2016

Rupee Closes Near Two-week Low Against US Dollar on Grim Market Sentiment

At 2pm, rupee was trading at 67.73 per US dollar, up 0.06% from its previous close of 67.77. The currency opened at 67.81 a dollar.

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UMBAI: The Indian rupee on Monday closed two week low against the US dollar after local equity markets closed lower for the fourth consecutive sessions. The rupee closed at 67.88 per US dollar—a level last seen on 6 December, down 0.15% from its previous close of 67.77. The home currency opened at 67.81 a dollar and touched a high and a low of 67.71 and 67.88 respectively. So far this year, it has fallen 2.6%. India’s benchmark Sensex index ended at 26,374.70 points, down 0.43% or 114.86 points from its previous close. So far this year, it has risen 1%. The benchmark 10-year government bond yield closed at 6.51%, compared to Friday’s close of 6.506%. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions. So far this year, foreign instituThis week, Srikanth Meenakshi shares his views on some of the investment mistakes that many people that he interacted with tend to make. Gold jewellery as investment Gold is a useful hedge against inflation. Buying gold jewellery for investment, as many are wont to do, is not the ideal way. Making charges in gold jewellery and wastage are 10% or more, both when buying and selling. You never get the equivalent gold for your investment in jewellery. Selling is not easy as jewellers hesitate to buy ornaments manufactured by another.

tional investors have bought $4.04 billion in equities and sold $6.46 billion in debt. Fall in Asian currencies also weighted the rupee. South Korean won was down 0.27%, Singapore dollar 0.22%, Philippines peso 0.18%, Thai Baht 0.06%, Hong Kong Dollar 0.04%. However, Japanese yen was up 0.57%, China Offshore 0.3%, China renminbi 0.18% and Indonesian rupiah 0.05%. The dollar index, which measures the US currency’s strength against major currencies, was trading at 102.85, down 0.1% from its previous close of 102.95. The dollar retreated versus most major peers, as heightened geopolitical tensions over China’s seizure of a US naval drone added to reasons for traders to pull back amid the greenback’s strongest rally since 2008, Bloomberg reported. -livemint.com

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In Delhi’s Industrial Hub, Jobless Workers Sell Chicken, Wash Utensils

DELHI: The ordinarily raucous

Mayapuri Industrial Area in West Delhi, comprising 1,800 factories manufacturing everything from shoes to coolants and vehicle engines, has fallen largely silent over the last month. The only ones seeing brisk business are eight glitzy banquet halls on the Ring Road, veiling Mayapuri’s sooty factories and crumbling jhuggies. It’s to these banquet halls that Shiv Kumar, 20, has turned since the owner of a slipper manufacturing unit fired him and around 80 others after demand plummeted post the November 8 demonetisation. Kumar, who worked as a thread cutter on the finishing line at the factory, earning Rs 7,000 a month, is now employed as a “masalchi” at S K Royal Ornate Banquet hall, cleaning dirty utensils. Like Kumar, many in this industrial area have been left looking for new skills and odd jobs since shortage of currency forced down demand. “Work at the banquet hall is both good and bad. It’s good because we are fed leftovers from parties so I don’t have to worry about meals. But the timings are bad because parties go on late into the night. We come home at 4 am every day after 16 hours of work,” says Kumar. Women workers are the worst off

as they are among the first to be let off by factories as work dips, and it is not easy for them to find alternative jobs. Guddi Devi, 50, was fired from the same factory as Shiv Kumar. She had been working for seven years there, and would trim excess rubber from the soles of slippers. Three years ago, her 18-year-old son Birju too joined her at the factory. Trained to run the press which emblazons patterns on slippers, he is a “karigar (artisan)”, and due to his specific skill, is among those to have retained their job postdemonetisation. Says a stoic Guddi Devi, “Women are always assigned the basic kaam (work), like packing or cutting or trimming, but men are encouraged to hone their karigari (craft) at the machine, which makes them indispensable to the factory and ensures higher pay.”

She says that among the hundred removed from the factory, most were women. The owner retained a core group of 300 workers. At the time, Guddi Devi earned Rs 5,500 a month. Her son makes Rs 8,000. After she was laid off, Guddi Devi tried to set up a push-cart selling snacks or vegetables. But all the slots were “taken” and she gave up fearing police harassment for their weekly hafta. She knows of others who are heading home, mostly to villages in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, after the factories shut, but that isn’t an option for her. “I do not own any land. My parents and I used to work as farm labourers in our village in Uttar Pradesh till we migrated to Delhi in 1990. It has been years since I last visited relatives and I do not want to burden them,” says the 50-year-old. -indianexpress.com

To Invest in Gold, Go for Gold ETFs and Gold Bonds instead of Jewellery Bank locker charges to store jewellery add to cost of investment. Plus, you are never certain of the gold’s purity. Instead of jewellery, invest in gold via exchange traded funds (ETFs) or gold bonds. They are low-cost, highly liquid, represent 99.55 purity, and you are able to invest or sell at market price. Sovereign gold bonds issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are also great investments. Though they are not as liquid as

ETFs, you get an additional return of 2.75% per annum. Capital gains at the time of maturity of these are tax-free. Buying a house to save taxes

Tax woes disturb us no end and we are willing to do anything to save on taxes and that includes buying a house. When you buy a house merely for the sake of saving taxes, you end up with large equated monthly instalments (EMIs), which you may not be able to handle. Starting EMIs early on in your career may leave you with little savings, at a time when you are supposed to save and invest at a high rate. There are plenty of tax-saving in-

vestment products that allow you to invest, save taxes and which do not require recurring long-term commitment like EMIs. Buying a house should ideally happen after you have progressed in your career and income ladder, and know your family budget and goals and also know where you want to settle down. Until then, paying rent and claiming house rent allowance (HRA) together with tax-saving investment products are wiser options. -livemint.com

INDO-AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2016 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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