Indo-American News December 10 2021

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Friday, December 10, 2021 | Vol. 40, No. 50

Indo American News

December 10, 2021



Published weekly from Houston, TX

Special Reports Community Briefs Local Politics South Asians in the News

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AAPI Gala Raises $70K vs. Human Trafficking

‘Silver Heart Care’ Run

Akash McCraken (center) won the 10K run at the Silver Heart Care Fundraiser at Lost Creek Park, He is flanked by SHC President Raghav Singh (left) and his estatic grandmother Darlene McCracken. The host chapter AAPI-TN presented Free for Life International (FFLI) NGO with $70,000, in order to help strengthen the efforts to end human trafficking and to help continue and expand their impact in India.




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Indo-American News • Friday, december 10, 2021 •



December 10, 2021

AAPI Governing Body Gala Raises $70K to Combat Human Trafficking

Nashville: During the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) Fall Governing Body Meeting, a Fundraiser gala was held on November 20th, 2021 at Embassy Suites by Hilton in Franklin TN, Suburbs of “Music City” Nashville, TN. The host chapter- AAPI-TN presented FFLI with a fundraised $70,000, in order to help strengthen the efforts to end human trafficking and to help continue and expand their impact in India. While pointing out that Human Trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the country, reported in all 50 states of the United States of America, “we as a community have a duty to end the various forms of slav-

ery,” AAPI Tennessee Chapter President, Dr. Anuradha P. Mann said. “With the goal of supporting Nashville nonprofit FFLI (Free for Life International). FFLI works in prevention along with rescue, restoration, rehabilitation and education of trafficked victims, we are pleased to present this token of our appreciation to help support the efforts of FFLI,” she added. The opening ceremony was symbolic, especially with the recent celebration of Diwali, and tied back to the soulful mission of FFLI. Gabrielle Thompson, FFLI CEO and Executive Director and Board Member Radha Babu addressed the audience, describing the impact of fighting human trafficking in India.

The underlying theme of Diwali, celebrating Light over Darkness, Victory of Good over Evil and Knowledge over Ignorance, which has caught up the attention of people all over the world, was done as the traditional lamp was lit by AAPI-TN Executive Committee, AAPI USA President Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, Congressman Jim Cooper and Grand Sponsor Dr. Bharat Sangani. The audience was in awe of FFLI’s work and mission. In his keynote address, Congressman Jim Cooper from Nashville highlighted the numerous injustices that intersect with human trafficking and exploitation, along with the urgent need for action at the state, national, and international levels.

In her address, Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, President of national AAPI highlighted some of the major achievements of AAPI under her leadership in the past five months ever since a new executive committee assumed charge of AAPI in July this year. Evolving to meet the growing needs of its members and the larger population it is called to serve, AAPI, the largest ethnic physician organization in the United states, representing over 100,000 Indian American Physicians, has grown steadily and is recognized by the authorities, local communities and mainstream media for the many noble initiatives AAPI has led, especially during the Covid pandemic, she said.

She reminded AAPI members that, as part pf the upcoming Global Healthcare Summit, AAPI has initiated preventive healthcare screenings in 75 villages to understand the concept of preventive screenings help to diagnose any silent diseases which are causing premature deaths from Coronary heart disease and cancers like Breast cancer, cervical cancer which are preventable if diagnosed early through these annual screenings as mentioned above. During the CMEs, several important topics with recent advances were well received by the AAPI fraternity. Themes for the CMEs included: ‘Cancer therapy: Advancement as we head for a cure’ by Dr. Nishitha Reddy.

Mayor Appoints Col. Vipin to 1st Food Insecurity Board


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Houston: India House’s Executive Director, Col. Vipin Kumar (retired) was appointed as a board member for the City of Houston’s first Food Insecurity Board, approved by a unanimous vote by the Mayor and City Council. The board will be responsible for advising and making recommendations to the Mayor, Council, and Department Directors to address issues pertaining to food insecurity based on a topic assigned by the Mayor each year. Over 738,000 Houstonians have little to no access to healthy food, and 360,000 children in Harris County are experiencing food insecurity. This includes over 500,000 Houstonians living in “food deserts” with little to no access to healthy food. Because of the pandemic, the Houston Food Bank distributes 1,000,000 pounds of food per day, compared to 450,000 pounds a day before COVID-19. After Winter Storm Uri, this number spiked to 1,200,000 pounds of food per day as mass distributions took place in worship spaces, schools, and various venues throughout the city, including India House. Over the past 3 years India House has been conducting bi-monthly food distribution drives feeding over 400 families every month, around 5,000 families every year. During the COVID-19 outbreak when the world shut down, Col. Vipin shifted gears and organized and gathered the resources needed to plan and execute a safe strategy to continue feeding the community, especially when they needed it most. With his pulse on National Health Guidelines, the safety of his team, and the needs of his community, he resumed the Food Distribution program at India House in July 2020 and has continued since then. The Food Insecurity Board will consist of 19 members. Within the first two years, the Food Insecurity Board is expected to focus on key food, nutrition, and agriculture policy issues and opportunities that are affected by government and legislation; create recommended policy priorities that best suit the needs of Houston, with an emphasis on community food security; and educate the public and policymakers about food system.

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December 10, 2021


Raghav Singh’s ‘Silver Heart Care’ Holds Second Annual Charity Run

Raghav Singh (left : second from right) and (above: on top) started Silver Heart Care during the pandemic.

On December 5th at 7AM, Silver Heart Care kicked off its yearly flagship event, the second Annual Charitable Run, which included 5K and 10K runs, to further the organization’s objectives for the senior community . The event took place at Lost Creek Park in Sugar Land, Texas, with over 100 registrants and more than 80 runners. The host organization, Silver Heart Care, collaborated with several small businesses and nonprofits within the community to ensure the event’s success and inclusion.

Several state and city representatives attended the event, including State Rep. Jacey Jetton (TX26), Sugar Land Mayor Pro Tem and Council Member Jennifer Lane, Sugar Land Council Member Steward Jacobson, Council Member Suzanne Whatley, and Council Member William Ferguson. Participants, volunteers, and dignitaries kicked off the event with the National Anthem, followed by raffle prizes and refreshments after the race.

This event was a fundraiser to help the underprivileged senior community; funds will supply them with essentials, such as food, toiletries, and household items. The first year Silver Heart Care hosted a charity run, 2020, it had to manage being a new organization during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s run included nearly triple the number of participants in 2020, plus support from the local government. Silver Heart Care founder and president, Raghav Singh, a Cle-

ments High School junior, stated that both charity runs have been great ways to promote fitness, volunteerism, and bringing the community together during trying times. Raghav is a junior at Clements High School and is the founder of Silver Heart Care. He started the organization In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. He received much of his inspiration to launch Silver Heart Care from experiences he had with his grandparents. Raghav has al-

ways been passionate about service and giving back to the community, and after seeing the situation many seniors are in, he decided to launch Silver Heart Care. He currently runs many of the day-to-day activities in the organization, including planning events, managing sign-ups, coordinating with other organizations, and is responsible for the volunteer youth members. His website is Mission: To enhance the care, support, and morale of seniors in the community.

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December 10, 2021

Dr. Anil Menon Joins Astronaut Class of 2021

Houston: Indian-origin Dr Anil Menon, SpaceX’s first flight surgeon, will be among the new recruits who will report for duty in January 2022 for NASA’s 2021 Astronaut Candidate Class which will train for the agency’s future missions. Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Ukrainian and Indian immigrants, Dr Menon has a Bachelor’s Degree in Neurobiology and a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He did his Doctor of Medicine in Emergency Medicine and ten in Aerospace Medicine. Dr Menon started as a NASA flight surgeon in 2014 before moving to SpaceX in 2018 to serve as the lead flight surgeon. In an interview with, Dr. Menon, who likes to be called an aerospace medicine doctor, speaks about the future of aerospace medicine, his work at SpaceX and his love for Indian food. You were selected from over 12,000 applicants. Did this news come as a surprise to you? Dr Anil Menon: It came as a big surprise, surprises are good. You can never be too confident with 12,000 people applying for 10 jobs. There are definitely a lot of qualified people. So I was very excited, overjoyed, and happy about the opportunity. I was in California and got a call and the person started talking about the Dragon capsule because I was working at SpaceX at the time. I thought it was a business call. And halfway through it, it turned out to be a joke. The Chief of the Astronaut Office said “I’m just kidding, do you want to be an astronaut?’’ and I said, “Sign me up”.

And at that moment, my wife walked into the room and just started crying. Because she could just see the joy on my face. So it was a great moment for both of us. You were SpaceX’s first flight surgeon. Tell us about that experience. When I went to SpaceX, we worked on the Dragon capsule to get NASA astronauts up to space. And as a doctor, I would take care of them on launch. And then I would be the first person to put them in, and the first person to pull them out of the capsule. And now as a NASA astronaut candidate, I’ll have that opportunity to actually flip roles and fly

with them. On India and Indian food When people are in space, food tastes different because your nose gets stuffy because the fluid starts floating up there. So I have heard from a lot of astronauts that Indian food is their favourite food because it’s spicier. It’s a medical fact. As someone from India, I’m happy to represent the larger world. My Achan (father) is from the Malabar region and I took my wife to Kerala three years ago, we went to Cochin, Alleppey, and crossed over to Tamil Nadu. I wanted to show my wife what a fantastic place Kerala is and she loved it. Kerala has a special spot in my heart. The people are so welcoming but they are a bit amazed when they hear my accent. They are so warm and inviting. Spending time in India really helped set me up for this job, because it is those same skills that I’ll need to apply as an astronaut in the future. India is such a diverse multicultural place, every single state with a different language, different culture and there is so much history. -- Indian Express


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December 10, 2021

Houston Boy Meets Life Saving Donor

Sugar Land: On Sunday, an 11-year-old Houston boy met the man who saved his life. Rushi Gandhi’s family was brought to tears and overwhelmed with emotion when they met Dr. Ketan Bakriwala. It was a moment they said they’ll remember forever. “You’re my hero,” Nilima Gandhi said. Nilima said her son Rushi was born with a rare blood disease and had been waiting his whole life for a bone marrow match. It prohibited him from doing a lot of the things kids his age like to do. “He couldn’t play around with little kids. Like, how kids like to run around and play sports,” Nilima said. Rushi was a normal child with an abnormal childhood. “It took so many years to find a matching donor,” Nilima said. After Rushi turned 10, his family got the call they had spent their whole life waiting for. “They finally found a match for Rushi,”

Nilima said. “It’s a miracle.” The match was a man in California who was surfing the internet and saw an advertisement for Be The Match, which is a service that tests your bone marrow to see if it could help save a life. Bakriwala said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help save Rushi’s life. “It said to take the opportunity to perhaps save someone’s life,” he said. “30 million ... and one matched.” After millions of donors didn’t match Rushi, Bakriwala did. In Sugar Land on Sunday, the two families that are forever connected had a special message for anyone who sees their story: “You could be that person that the recipient is waiting for, so please go out there and register. We waited 10 years, but it took one week for my son to match that donor. So please, just like my son there are a lot of kids that are waiting,” Nilima said. -- Xavier Walton, KHOU

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December 10, 2021

Rohit Succeeds Virat as ODI Captain, Replaces Ajinkya as Test VC

Mumbai Rohit Sharma has replaced Virat Kohli as India’s ODI captain - making him the leader of both India’s white-ball sides - ahead of the South Africa tour, one where he will also take over from Ajinkya Rahane as the Test vice-captain. Rohit had earlier in November taken over as full-time T20I captain from Kohli, who had stepped down at the end India’s T20 World Cup campaign. Along with the returning Rohit, who sat out the New Zealand Test series to manage his workload, KL Rahul too returned to the squad - an 18-member outfit for the Tests; the ODI line-up will be named later - along with Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. As reported earlier by ESPNcricinfo, none of Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and Shubman Gill were considered for selection because of injuries. Jayant Yadav, who impressed during his Test comeback after four years, retained his place as the second frontline spinner behind R Ashwin. Shardul Thakur, who was given a break for the home series against New Zealand, was also back in the mix in the squad that has six fast-bowling options to go with the two main spinners. India’s middle-order bears a familiar look with all of Cheteshwar Pujara, Shreyas Iyer and Ajinkya Rahane retained from the line-up that played the Test series against New Zealand. But Jadeja’s absence has possibly opened up a spot in

the batting order, which could be filled by the returning Hanuma Vihari, with Pant, possibly, taking back the main wicketkeeper’s position from Wriddhiman Saha. Vihari, who has spent the last three weeks with the India A team in South Africa, has been in form, with three back-to-back half-centuries. He was left out of the New Zealand Tests because of the team management’s reluctance to play a sixth batter in home conditions, and now that he has been drafted in, Suryakumar Yadav has been left out.. Vihari is the only one to have been brought in from the ‘A’ squad currently on tour; other ‘A’ team members, fast bowlers Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar and Arzan Nagwaswalla, as well as left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar, will with the senior team as part of the reserve-bowling contingent.

The selectors also reposed faith in Saha as the second wicketkeeper, despite KS Bharat’s strong showing in Kanpur, where he came on a substitute for the injured Saha and effected a number of sharp dismissals.

Meanwhile, with both Rohit and Rahul back, Mayank Agarwal could move back to being the reserve opener, a slot that has seen a lot of competition of late, especially with all of Abhimanyu Easwaran, Priyank Panchal and Prithvi Shaw being among the runs on the ‘A’ tour. Agarwal finished the Mumbai Test with a Playerof-the-Match performance, leading India’s batting with 150 and 62 in India’s victory that helped them take the series. Rohit’s elevation to ODI captaincy officially brings an end to Kohli’s tenure as white-ball captain, one he took over full-time in January 2017. While his record as such makes for excellent reading of the 60 captains to lead in 50 or

more men’s ODIs, only three have a better win-loss record than Kohli - India failed to win an ICC tournament under him; they finished runners-up at the 2017 Champions Trophy and were losing semi-finalists at the 50-over World Cup in 2019. In Kohli’s only T20 World Cup as captain, last month in the UAE, India crashed out after the group stage following back-toback losses to Pakistan and New Zealand. Meanwhile, Rahane’s demotion marks quite a steep fall for him. It was only earlier this year that he led India to a historic Test series win in Australia in Kohli’s absence. Rahane was central to India’s turnaround in Melbourne, where his century helped India level the series after they were bowled out for 36 in the series opener in Adelaide.-- ESPN Cricinfo



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December 10, 2021

Have you planned for your future?

People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan

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December 10, 2021

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SUDOKU/MOVIE REVIEW 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.

December 10, 2021


‘Tadap’: Ahan’s Romance with Tired 80s Cliches

Send us the correct answer before December 16. 2021 Email us at Please send us your solved Sudoku for your name to be published.

Solution Next Week By Shubhra Gupta

Last Week’s Solution

Cast: Ahan Shetty, Tara Sutaria, Saurabh Shukla, Kumud Mishra, Sumit Gulati Director: Milan Luthria Rating: 1 star Local Mussoorie lad Ishana (Ahan Shetty) falls hard for London-returned fair maiden Ramisa (Tara Sutaria). But the path of true love is strewn with tiresome 80s cliches, bombastic dialogues and stereotyped characters, so what we get is same old same old. Many questions arise. Given that star-son launches riding on ‘ghisa-pita prem kahanis’ have been tanking continuously post Harman Baweja, why would filmmakers not think of something fresh? Is it because the star-son in question is pretty standard-procedure new hopeful? Or is it because the original Telugu ‘RX100’ became a blockbuster using these self-same elements? That Ahaan Shetty, son of Suniel, has been readied for-the-movies we are left in no doubt from the beginning: we see a bare, muscular back, a revving motorcycle, a brooding, intense look, and smoke curling from the lips. Full money shot. Then we see him use his fists. Check. And then, soft-focus romance, double check. But the plot, groan. There’s your disapproving ‘ladki-ka-baap’ (Kumud Mishra). Then there’s Ahan’s understanding dad whom

the whole town cutely calls Daddy (Saurabh Shukla). A helpful cop is called upon to fix the hot-headed laddie who refuses to take no for an answer. A few ‘fight’ scenes are bunged in, so we can see our ‘hero’ being battered and bruised but never giving up on his ‘pehla pyaar’. Even if the debutant hero wanted to come off different, the jaded plot wouldn’t have allowed it. By the time the twist — ver-

ily, yes, there’s a twist — comes along, it’s too late. By that time, we are buried under the love track, and the best friend (Sumit Gulati) track, and the action track. The two people who make the best of this mothballed ‘Tadap’ are, no, not, the lovebirds, but the two daddies, Mishra and Shukla. Meanwhile, we are left with such lines as: ‘jawaani mein FD kara lo, budhaape mein kaam ayegi’. Or -- Times of India

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‘83’ Trailer Released

Last Week’s Winners

Sanchali Basu, Krishna R. Vuddagiri, Ramana Vadrevu, Kumud Athavale

The first trailer for 83, the upcoming sports drama based on Team India’s underdog victory at the 1983 Cricket World Cup, was unveiled on Tuesday. The long-delayed project stars Ranveer Singh as former captain Kapil Dev.

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