Indo-American News: August 19, 2022

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Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, August 19, 2022 • NewsAmIndoerican 2470 Dairy Ashford, Houston, TX 77077 • 713.789.NEWS (6397) • Special CommunityReportsBriefsLocalPolitics South Asians in the News Published weekly from Houston, TX W E D D I N G S , S P E C I A L E V E N T S , T E N T E D E V E N T S , O U T D O O R C O U R T Y A R D 3 3 3 0 F M 1 4 6 3 | K a t y , T X 7 7 4 9 4 | 8 3 2 . 8 5 5 . 5 5 2 0 | p a l m r o y a l v i l l a . c o m Houston Joins World in Celebration of India’s 75th I-Day: Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav Friday, August 19, 2022 | Vol. 41, No. 33 $1 Hundreds of flag-waving Indo-Americans gathered at India House for the flag hoisting on Monday, August 15. Along with the Indian flag, dignitaries hoisted the flags of the United States, the State of Texas, and India House itself. SImilar celebrations took place at Gujarati Samaj of Houston and Sewa International. SEE PAGE 2

Jugal Malani, Raj Malani, Bimala Jain and Swatantra Jain, Even the bangles match the tricolor. Photo: Vijay Pallod.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, August 19, 2022 • August 19, 20222

Houston Heat Doesn’t Faze Celebration of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’


Houston: For more than two years, we’ve been an ticipating the culmination of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. The day finally came on Monday, August 15. Hous tonians joined with enthusiasm a global audience in celebration of the 75th anniversary of India’s indepen dence, despite the sweltering August heat. Overnight, the celebration had already begun in the Eastern hemisphere. In Sydney, the opera house was lit up in the Indian tricolors before dawn. In the morn ing, the celebrations in India were focused on the capi tol New Delhi, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoisted the Indian flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort.Inhis 9th Independence Day speech, PM Modi of fered tributes to a galaxy of freedom fighters including Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Ba basaheb Ambedkar, Veer Savarkar, Bhagat Singh, and Jawaharlal Nehru among others. The Prime Minister highlighted India’s resilience de spite success and failures. In this decade of technology, PM said India has proved its mettle in the world and new opportunities are coming up for our youngsters. To realise the Amrit Kaal, we have to ensure the optimum utilisation of our human resources, he stressed. In Houston flag hoistings took place at the Indian consulate on Scotland Street, Gujarati Samaj of Hous ton, and India House. In the evening, Consul General Aseem Mahajan host ed dignitaries in the Indian community as well as local political leaders such as Fort Bend County Judge KP George and Judge Juli Mathew. Officials were on stage representing Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and Congressman Al Green. Congresswoman Sheila Jack son Lee made a personal appearance and presented a Congressional proclamation to the CG. CG Mahajan spoke about the strong bilateral relations between India, the largest democracy, and the United States, the oldest democracy. Both Houston Mayor Syl vester Turner and Congresswoman Lee recalled their trips to India.

By Pramod KulKarni

Celebrating together the 75th Independence Day, known as Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, brought great joy to Telfair Indian Senior group of Sugar Land. Sense of happiness and pride could be clearly seen on the faces of all the people (over 100) gathered in Neighbor bridge.

The morning of August 15 began with flag hoisting at the Indian Consulate on Scotland Street. PM Narendra Modi greeting the nation on August 15 from the Red Fort.

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Houston: The Akshaya Patra Houston Chapter held a Musical Concert by Sanjeeivani Bhelande and as a fund-raising event on Sat urday August 13th 2022. The hall was filled with melodious music by Sanjeevani and her orchestra for nearly three hours. This event was chaired by Mr. Ashok Shah and supported by Sanjeev Yam dagini, Samrat Bera, Roopa Gir and many others supporting the Houston Chapter. Mayur Shah was the Emcee for the evening. The event was fully sold out with more than 400 guests in at tendance. There were generous donations which resulted in having enough funds to support 7000 chil dren in India for the entire school year. Thanks to our most generous donor Mr. Janardan Thakkar who went above and beyond in support of the children being fed by Ak shaya Patra! Navin Goel a CEO of Akshaya Patra USA attended the event Akshaya Patra is a non- profit Organization who feeds millions of school children in India for more than 20 years and featured in Time Magazine, BBC World News and other social platforms. Many chil dren from the low-income families are deprived of education as the children are pushed towards tak ing up menial jobs to try and sup port the family. The main purpose of Akshaya Patra is to ensure that these kids come to school for the mid-day meal (sometimes the only meal the kids get to have in a day), attend school and learn and be come better citizens of tomorrow! Currently 1.8 million children are being fed and are learning due to the mid-day meal program and gearing up to a better world and future. Akshaya Patra’s goal now is to feed at least 5 million school children everyday by 2025. How far does your dollar go? An interesting fact: $20 feeds a child back in India for an entire year! The Houston Chapter would like to thank Sanjivani, all the people and organizations who came for ward to help support the event and all the Houstonians who came and donated towards the event and the cause!Extreme poverty frequently forces children from low-income families to drop out of school to earn money. In 2000, the Govern ment of India declared that every child in its government schools shall receive a meal as part of its plan to address classroom hunger. It launched the Midday Meal pro gram to tackle the enormous task of feeding 120 million children. Over the past 19 years, Akshaya Patra has been a proud partner with the government of India for its Mid-day Meal Program. This meal is often the only meal a child receives in the day and it serves as a critical intervention

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, August 19, 2022 • August 19, 20224 COMMUNITY

Akshaya Patra Gala Features Musical Concert by Sanjeevani Bhelande Orchestra FOR ELDERLY INDIAN LADY IN RICHMOND, TEXAS CARE GIVER WANTEDI Preference Given to Live In Caregiver. Separate Room & Board will be provided. Competitive compensation offered. Must be able to assist in daily needs, cooking and walking. For immediate response, call 832-316-3199 to address hunger and education simultaneously. This proposition directly addresses 7 UN Sustain able Development Goals (SDGs) – blueprints for peace and prosper ity.The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a secular not-for-profit organi zation that cooks, transports, and serves 1.8 million midday meals to government school children in 20,000 schools across 14 States and 2 Union Territories in India, every day. We work closely with the De partment of Food Sciences at the University of Illinois UrbanaChampaign, and The National In stitute of Health and Family Wel fare in India to design a vegetarian nutritioous menu.. If you would like to be involved, please reach out to - apusa.houston@gmail. com

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Yajnopavīta Sanskār is also known as Upanayan, Janeu and sacred thread ceremony. It is the forerunner to the Vedārambha Sanskār. After investiture with the Yajnopavīta, the child is referred to as Dwija (the twice-born) - the physical birth followed by birthing into the light of true knowledge. The Yajnopavīta (janeu) of three threads which is worn over the left shoulder, crossing the heart region and under the right arm. free with purity of the body, mind & spirit, and purity in thoughts, words & actions at-all-times. This is achievable only when we tread on the path of Dharma (righteous living). And, the foundations for righteous living are true knowl edge, truthfulness in actions and real commitment to live spiritual ity as spiritual reality in daily life.” Thus, we shall be blessed with long, happy, prosperous life full of success, physical, mental-moralspiritual strength and a radiant per sonality. The Vedārambha Sanskār is the ceremony wherein the student is initiated to study the Vedic values. The Acharyas explained the mean ing of the Gayatri mantra as well as its recognition as (i) the Guru man tra given that the child is initiated into studies by the Guru (Acharya, teacher) through this mantra and (ii) Mahāmantra given that therein, we pray for the enlightened mind. Blessed with such mind, we shall always tread on the path of truth and renounce untruth, affirm our selves in Dharma (righteous liv ing) and be assertive in our duties and responsibilities, and shun neg ligence.Theoffering of three samidhās (wood sticks) by the students into the havan kund (fire vessel) is a clarion call to the students to be like the samidhās: offered into the fire, they become fire-like (agni svarup), release energy that sus tains the fire, spread the essential oils and fragrance of the ghee and

DAV Sanskrit School: Yajnopaveeta & Vidyaarambh Sanskaars for 2022-23 Students

Houston: DAV Sanskriti School (DAVSS) marked the start of in-person classes on with the Yajnopavīta & Vedārambha Sanskārs for students joining the 2022-23 session and India’s Inde pendence Day Celebrations, after a 2-year break due to the COVID 19Teachers,pandemic.volunteers, members, parents and well-wishers joined this solemn ceremony in prayers to shower their blessings upon the students.Theprogram, co-officiated by our two Acharya Surya Nanda Ji and Acharya Bramdeo Mokoon lall Ji, respectively leading the services at ASGH and DAVSS as well as the holding of the two sanskārs, was a first in the threedecades that DAVSS has been serving the community towards connecting children to the univer sal and truly secular living values of Sanatan Dharma.

By acHarya Bramdeo

It’s a reminder to us of the three debts of gratitude: (i) Pitri rina, fulfilled by following the instruc tions and guidance of our parents, caring for them during their life time, and in turn raise our kids as good ‘humane’ beings when we enter married life; (ii) Rishi rina, fulfilled by living up to the true knowledge imparted to us by the rishis (learned sages), transmitted to us through the gurus and men tors in our life; (iii) Deva rina, which we ful fill by living life according to the edicts of the Vedas, the root scrip tures of Sanatan Dharma as well as respecting Mother nature and the laws in the Creation. The Yajnopavīta or all-sacred thread reminds us to live life medicinal herbs as micro-particles into the environment, and end as pure ashes. Likewise, a student needs to transform his/her life by applying the knowledge in daily life and spread the fragrance or aura of a noble personality wher ever he/she evolves. The Acharyas also explained the usual guidance that parents give to their children during the initiation ceremony into studies. The program culminated by a cultural program and the flag hoisting, marking the 75th anni versary of India’s Independence Day and prasad. We share below some feedback from students/parents: I enjoyed performing and learning about Yajnopavīta and Vedārambha sanskārs in the group. I also enjoyed the flag hosting ceremony for India’s In dependence Day and singing Jana Gana Mana. Nandika Maharana, 6th Grade Student, DAVSS. This event was very unique in nature and rarely done in this part of the world. My child was exposed to an ancient Vedic tra dition. Great experience and well organized. Jasbir Singh, parent, volunteer & member. Registration link for the 2022-23 2org/admissions/registration-2022-session:https://davss.aryasamajhouston.3

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, August 19, 2022 • August 19, 20226 EDUCATION

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Houston: Sewa International Houston Chapter hosted an Intern ship Gala for their “Get Inspired Houston” (GIH) and “Leadership Development through Community Engagement” (LEAD) interns on August 12 at the T.E. Harman Cen ter in Sugar Land. The event was designed to celebrate the many ac complishments of over 50 interns this summer. The interns accumu lated over 3,200 hours of service in nearly nine weeks and served at Sewa’s ASPIRE (Assuring Student Progress in Remedial Education) centers, the Houston food bank -Brighter Bites -- participated in a 5K Walk, attended leadership ses sions with prominent community members, and underwent FEMA’s CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training. After initial introductions by the program coordinator Jay Tor res, the evening’s emcee Pravdeep Banwait gave an introduction to the LEAD program and high lighted interns’ accomplishments through an eight-minute video de picting the service activities they participated in The Consul General of India in Houston, Aseem Mahajan, who was the chief guest at the event, highlighted the strong Indo-Amer ican ties, and urged the youth to keep pushing the community ser vice aspects in their lives by help ing the less fortunate. He also ex tended an invitation to all interns to explore service opportunities in India through various exchange programs sponsored by the Gov ernment of India.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, August 19, 2022 • August 19, 20228 COMMUNITY For Advertising in Indo-American News call Jawahar Malhotra @ 713-789-6397 Pradeep Sulhan, P.C. Certified Public Accountant Over 25 years of experience 14340 Torrey Chase Blvd. | Suite 110 | Houston, Texas 77014 281-583-2993 | 281-580-8700| Call Sid or Pradeep ®All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the written consent of the publisher. 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 212, Houston, Texas 77036.Tel:713-789-6397, email:, website: www. Indo American News Founder: dr. K.l. sindwani PuBlisHer: JawaHar malHotra editor: Pramod KulKarni corresPondent: sancHali Basu Sewa Interns Complete 3,200 Hours of Community Service

Keynote speaker Amit Misra, a renowned attorney, talked about serving society with “mind, body, and money”. He also spoke about India’s long independence strug gle, and asked the interns to stay grounded, never lose touch with their roots, and keep serving the community selflessly. Another guest of the evening, Liz Schuller, City of Houston “CERT” trainer, spoke to the interns about the long-term benefits of learning and knowing the importance of re acting in an emergency and being always prepared and to respond to emergencies without fear. The Deputy Consul General of India, Sandeep Chaudhary, also partici pated in the event as a guest. Sewa Houston Chapter Execu tive Director, Kavita Tewary, de scribed how many interns earned accolades while serving in Sewa’s ASPIRE program which provides academic help, tutoring, and men toring children in low-income school districts of Houston. Each participant of the LEAD program received individual certificates. Anshula Green, one of the par ents said, “I had been looking for a service opportunity for my 15-yearold son for months before finding the Sewa internship. I wanted him to experience true volunteering as it allows you to connect with the community. Sewa was able to do that for him, solidifying in him a joy in serving others and an ability to make a difference.”

Alings Chinese Bistro sponsored a sumptuous dinner for the event.

BANA Academic Fest 2022 - A Day with Academics for Grade 1-12 Kids

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By Vinay Karna EDUCATION Dr. Sharad Borle, Dr. Jaideva Go swami, and Amit Kumar. On the other hand, Art and coloring were judged by three amateur but highly artskilled ladies; Ruchi Tiwari (an accomplished young artist who has won $22000 recently in a dis tinguished art competition) and Namita Maharana.. The debate was judged by ac complished individuals namely Parul Fernandes, Shen Zhao, and RJ Shah. Spelling Bee testing for Elementary/Primary groups was coordinated by Dr. Ganesh Dasari of Spellpundit and his team of vol unteers. BANA Mock-SAT-Exam was sponsored by TestMasters. All Science and Math tests came from TMSCA. ExxonMobil was the key sponsor of this event.

Houston: At the onset of Azadi ke Amrit Mahotasav in India, and school year with No CDC guide lines around social distancing any more, BANA organized a color ful academic festival on August 6, 2022 highlighting academic past and excellence of India in general, and Bihar, in particular. Encour aging the kids to participate and bolster their presence in literacy competitions. Bihar association of North America (BANA), a 501(C) (3) non profit organization is a torch bearer in endeavoring the quest for searching the soul in the academic world. Hosting the event this year in a classroom setting at testmasters’ Gessner location, it surrounded itself with enthusiastic students and parents. Academic Fest started at 8:00 AM and concluded around 4:45 PM. Amid a lot of preparations before and behind the scene, the students started arriving at 7:30 AM greeted by Sujata Anand, Vanita Ranjan, and Tripti Jha with brown bags containing fruits and juices, and Samosa and Chai. The students were guided to the open ing ceremony. Greeted by coor dinators Vinay karna and Sumeet Anand, all students were asked to be seated in their grade sections. President Ravi Ranjan addressed them citing the colorful culture of Bihar, BANA,and the academic festival. Young and rising college freshmen Sweta Gupta, Mrigank Maharana, and Ruchi Tiwari en couraged them to the utmost vig or. At this time, class coordinators, Bidhu Prakash, Amersh Mishra, Shanth Koka, Harsh Kumar, Anil Mishra, Mrigank Maharana, Tony Jha, and Rohit Thakur led them to their respective classrooms. Many students from grade one to twelve (as of fall 2022) started their day with a full suite of tests in different classrooms. These students participated in Primary (Grade 1-3), Elementary (Grade 4-5), Middle (Grade 6-8), and High (Grade 9-12) school sections in Math, Vocabulary, Science, Art/ Coloring, and SAT Practice Test. Started on time, the contest con tinued with brisk speed and con cluded with Spelling Bee, Speech, and Debate post lunch time. The Control room led by San tosh Verma, Ravi Choudhary, and Santosh Jha and joined by Ruchi Tiwari, Sweta Gupta, Sanjay Ku mar, Abhinav Sinha, Atul Sinha coordinated all grading, logistics, and supervised all of the events. Logistics were well coordinated by Atul Sinha, Abhinav Sinha, Mridula Karna, and others. Dur ing lunch, Annapurna{sic} for the event, Rajeev Jha organized Pizza for volunteers for free and for par ents and students with donations. Speech for primary and elemen tary were judged by three distin guished members of our society:

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, August 19, 2022 • August 19, 202210 *Financial Adviser offering investment advisory services through Eagle Strategies LLC, A Registered Investment Adviser. Registered Representative offering securities through NYLIFE Securities LLC-Member FINRA/ SIPC, A Licensed insurance Agency. Agent with New York Life Insurance Company. 3200 Southwest Freeway, Suite 1900, Houston, TX 77027 (713) California961-4545Insurance License # 0F53803smru#1711530FinancialAdviser*: Eagle Strategies LLC Life Member MDRT Ph:Website:281-221-5061/713-499-7670Fax:832-201-5394www.jesalzpatel.comJesalPatelARPC,CLTC,LUTCF Have you planned for your future? People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan Mobile & BankingPersonal anytime anywhere Visit us soon at Southwestern National Bank 713-771-9700

Recent Winners Kumud Athavale, Ramana Vadrevu, Krishna R. Vudda giri, Sanchali Basu, Yudhveer Singh Bagga, Prabha Bar valia, Smayan Umesh Poojary, Ramesh Shah, Nirmala Devi Rajesh Prabhu, Vishwam Rathod, Arup Gupta, Padmanabhan Subbier, Arup Gupta, Kirit Suthar ‘Wedding Season’: Enjoyable Weekend Watch

Last Week’s Solution

What’s a feel-good rom-com if not a large scoop of delish icecream? They restore our faith in romance and the goodness of the world, while making us chuckle. Wedding Season, the newest addi tion to Netflix’s long list of romcoms, does all the above while making a strong case for following one’s heart even though that might not measure up to society’s idea of success.Setin New Jersey, this movie is as much about the insecurities and aspirations of desi parents as it’s about second-generation young Indian-Americans following their dreams and choosing to live a life they deem fit. To ward off the gos siping aunties and the constant parental pressure to going through the rigmarole of arranged mar riage, Asha (Pallavi Sharda) and Ravi (Suraj Sharma) decide to fake date each other during the series of wedding celebrations lined up for that season. One of them being her sister Priya’s with Nick, a white man who will stop at nothing till he has learnt the Indian ways — from speaking in Hindi to making aloo-gobi and praying at a temple. Given the nature of this genre, it is not surprising that the story follows a certain course – espe cially when pretense makes way for romance between Asha and Ravi — and there are familiar tropes. However, what makes its an enjoyable week end viewing is the chemistry between the lead actors, Sharda and Sharma. The character of Asha, particularly, is created with care even though the film glosses over many other aspects of the Ashanarrative.isnot a ‘simple girl at heart’, as her re sume posted by her mother on a matri monial site claims, but someone who is a workaholic and lacks kitchen skills. But while ordering sloppy burgers, she can calculate the taxes and the final amount before the bill shows it. After quitting her plum banking job, she wants to make a dif ference through mi cro-financing. The real triumph of this movie, however, is that Asha doesn’t have to encoun ter the dilemma of whether she should pursue her career or love interest. Ravi understands her professional aspira tions and is an ally who nudges her to achieve it. As they learn to trust each other, the parents too learn to respect the choices their children make even when it does not match their expectations. It’s heart-warming when Asha’s father (played by

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, August 19, 2022 • August 19, 2022 11 Solution Next Week Send us the correct answer before August 23, 2022. Email us at Please send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published. 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.

By alaKa saHani Manji) bares his heart to his daugh ter and talks about the setbacks he had faced in his career. This movie romanticises weddings as much as it allows its characters to question the traditional notions associated with it.


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