Indo-American News: March 11, 2022

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Friday, March 11, 2022 | Vol. 41, No. 10


March 11, 2022

Indo American News


Published weekly from Houston, TX

Special Reports Community Briefs Local Politics South Asians in the News

2470 Dairy Ashford, Houston, TX 77077 • 713.789.NEWS (6397) •

Are You Ready for In-Person Holi Fest?

Amitabh, Rinku in ‘Jhund’


Lone Star Scholarship

Masala Radio 98.7 FM presents the 13th Annual HOUSTON HOLI – the Indian Festival of Colors on SAT MAR 26th 11AM – 5PM. This year’s featuring concert is Billboard Topper JAY SEAN at a new venue - the beautiful VPSS Haveli Temple Grounds at 11715 Belfort Village Drive near 59 @ West Belfort. SEE PAGE 2



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

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March 11, 2022

Masala Radio’s 13th Houston Holi Festival with Jay Sean

Houston: After what seems to have been a 2 year long winter…people are so excited to celebrate Good over Evil – the Harvest – everything that is fresh, vibrant…ALIVE! Masala Radio 98.7 FM presents the 13th Annual HOUSTON HOLI – the Indian Festival of Colors on SAT MAR 26th 11AM – 5PM. This year’s featuring concert is Billboard Topper JAY SEAN at a new venue - the beautiful VPSS Haveli Temple Grounds at 11715 Belfort Village Drive near 59 @ West Belfort. “We wanted a fresh new place close to endless concrete parking and modern building facilities in addition to vast grounds to play HOLI. The presence of the gorgeous Krishna Temple gives a spiritual vibe to the Ancient Hindu Festival (and a lot of Insta worthy temple carvings, domes, and green arches to boot!). Organizers are racing against the clock to add new special effects, color bombs, confetti cannons, giveaways, amusement rides, vegetarian street foods & food trucks. Bollywood dance performances will rock the stage from 12 – 3PM, including a Gangubai DHOLIDA

dance contest and special Infused Performing Arts presentation of PUSHPA. At 3:30 PM, there will be a Battle of the DJs. Meghani Insurance presents Jay Sean belting his much-loved hits Down, Ride It, Do You Remember, Dance with You & Nakre. In ancient Hindu texts, the cel-

ebration of HOLI came when the devote Prahlad, aided by the divine Protector VISHNU, defeats the evil Holika and her demon brother King Hiranyakashyap. Houston Holi 2022 is riding on a ton of similar faith (and prayers) to overcome all challenges and make this an epic celebration. Generous

sponsors, led by Discount Power, Nitya Capital, Pablo’s, and ZEE5 have funded an amazing Festival experience for a low entry starting at $10. Tickets on sale exclusively on Premier Sponsors include Ramji Law Firm, Bob’s Lounge, Gulshan Enterprises, Neptune Imports Fax

Deck, the B & P Team and Bay Way Cadillac the official car of Houston HOLI. Houston Holi is supported by top community organizations Gujarati Samaj of Houston, Hindus of Greater Houston, India Culture Center, International Hindi Association providing ample supply of organic colored powder & pichkaris (water guns) at nominal prices. Freebies include Free Water by Mai USA, Free 1 month ZEE5 subscription, Mango Lassi & Badam Shakes by QuickTea, and Free Chikkis & Cookies by one of India’s leading brands Deep Foods. The dress code for HOLI is ALL WHITE…so all the beautiful colors show up! Sherwin Williams will be giving away 5000 white TShirts at their booth. Free Parking & Free 3-Min Shuttle is available at METRO West Belfort Park & Ride (just a 10-minute walk to the temple). HOLI Traffic gets intense between 1PM – 3:30 PM, so please arrive early. Pic & Video Gallery, Entertainment Schedule, Parking Map & Tickets Available on HOUSTONHOLI.COM or stay tuned to Masala Radio 98.7 FM.


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March 11, 2022




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March 11, 2022

Holi: Festival of Colors -- Fun-filled Mega Charity Event Houston: Holi – Festival of colors 2022 is set to take place Sunday, March 20, 2022, from 11 AM – 4 PM in India House Grounds at 8888, West Bellfort Avenue, Houston, Texas 77031 – Award winning Bollywood celebrities with perform LIVE & host this Grand Holi, a Mega Fun-filled Charity Event to experience Color Play with organic colors, Dance, Music, Mouth-watering Food, Marketplace/Bazaar, Children’s rides and loads of fun for all age groups and backgrounds. Proceeds from this Holi Fest go for the education & healthcare of the under-privileged. Parking for the event is Free. Tickets available at JKYog. org/Houston-holi, Humtumdesi. com, Sulekha, Eventbrite. General admission is $10. Deluxe ($50) & Premium ($250) tickets also available. Details & tickets can be obtained from the event webpage or call (832) 871-2320. Holi festival celebrates the onset of spring. The festival is an atmosphere of social merriment as young and old alike are covered with colors and every corner presents a colorful sight. Everyone is happy as skin colors quickly disappear under layers of green, red, yellow and purple color powders. It is a way to renew relationships and experience unity and brotherhood. It is also a celebration of life because it is spring, and a signal for change and growth. The event features Live Music by Bollywood celebrities, Harry Anand & Shalmali Kholgade. Harry Anand is a Music Producer/ Singer/ Songwriter. He has given music to 23 Films & is also known as the REMIX KING for his remixes and is 13 Award win-

ner including 3 MTV Immies. Shalmali Kholgade is Bollywood’s Playback Singer & Filmfare Award Winner. Holi–Festival of Colors opens its doors at 11am and closes at 4pm – five full hours of celebration of culture and unity through diversity, for a noble cause. Holi Color Play is sponsored by JKYog, a non-profit organization sharing knowledge of yoga, meditation, and spirituality for the upliftment of humankind and conducting various inspiring events and classes for children, youth and adults. It was founded by Swami Mukundananda, who has an engineering degree from IIT, India and MBA from IIM, India, both world

premier educational institutions. He has been preaching for the past 30 years and has written books on Mind Management, Healthy Diets, Yoga for Body, Mind & Soul, and others.

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March 11, 2022

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March 11, 2022

Roopa Gir to Lead Indo-American Political Action Houston: The Indian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) takes great pleasure in announcing Dr. Roopa Gir as the new President of IAPAC. Roopa, who is a board member and resident of Bellaire, stepped into her new role with IAPAC on March 1, 2022. Roopa takes over the position of President from Ramesh Anand, who vigorously steered the organization to become an engaging voice for Indian Americans through tough and challenging times due to COVID-19. Roopa brings a different background to IAPAC, which has been in existence for over 25 years. She worked in the Oil & Gas Industry for over 3 decades, finishing her career as Director, Technology Watch and Scientific Advisor at Schlumberger. In 2013, Roopa took the initiative to start an educational nonprofit called iEducate, and currently serves as Chairman of this social venture in Greater Houston. iEducate works with major school districts to engage college and high school youth as co-teachers

& mentors in underserved elementary schools. Roopa is a distinguished alumnus of IIT Roorkee, one of the oldest and highly respected engineering institutions in India. She completed her PhD program at Institute Physique du Globe, University Louis Pasteur, France. Roopa has continued to sharpen her leadership and is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum (ALF), Class XLIII. She has been actively involved in

leadership positions in several community organizations, including PANIIT USA, IIT Alumni of Greater Houston (IITAGH), IITRANA, and TiE Houston. While a board member at TiE, she led the TiE Energy SIG, a new initiative to strengthen entrepreneurship in the energy sector. Roopa currently serves on the boards of iEducate, Samskriti (Society of Indian Performing Arts in Houston), AICAPD (All India Citizens’ Alliance for Progress & Development) and is a TiE Charter Member. She chaired the 75th anniversary of the UN Day Celebration on Oct 24, 2020, which was broadcast globally. “We are very fortunate to have Roopa lead IAPAC for the coming 2 years,” said Jagat Kamdar, IAPAC Chairman of the Board.


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Pearland Cricket Club to Inaugurate New Ground Pearland: The Pearland Cricket Club has announced the grand opening of two lighted cricket fields in Pearland on Sunday, March 13, according to PCC President Sam Kannappan. Consul General of India Hon Aseem Mahajan and Pearland Mayor Kevin Cole will speak at 5 pm. An entire day of festivities has been planned. Teams will begin play from 9 am Please contact Mr. Ganesh Rajamani, Secretary, PCC (832 922 0103) to get further details.

Indo American News Founder: Dr. K.L. Sindwani Publisher: Jawahar Malhotra Editor: Pramod Kulkarni Correspondent: Sanchali Basu ®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:

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March 11, 2022

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March 11, 2022

HWS Priest Pandit Rajendra Sharma, 78

Houston: Pandit Rajendra Sharma, known by most simply as “Panditji”, was the longest serving priest of the Hindu Worship Society, presiding over services and rituals for over a decade. Panditji passed away on March 1, after tackling complications due to Parkinson’s Disease for the past seven years. Sharma was born in a prominent Bhramin family in Suva, the Fiji Islands on September 7, 1944. After high school he attended the University of South Pacific. He then studied in India under Acharya Jagdish Shukla. After his marriage to Asha Defrantz, he immigrated to Houston in 1989 and two years later, he became the priest of the oldest Hindu temple in the city, the Hindu Worship Society. Sharma was very active in the community over the years. His main main focus was teaching the youth the greatness of Hindu Dharma. His work was published in magazines. He also translated Hindi documents from India for the NASA Space Center. Sharma is survived by his wife Asha, son Roopesh Sharma and wife Sanjeshna; daughter Ruhi Sharma and husband Charlie LaColla; daughter Charlotte Sneed;

grandchildren Ayana Sharma, Esha Sharma, Lily LaColla and Zara LaColla; niece Sharda Usman and husband Mohammed; sister Subita Sharma; sister Saroj Tiwari and brother Diwakar Sharma and many other family members in Canada, Fiji and Australia. 'BNJMZ 0XOFE 0QFSBUFE 4JODF


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March 11, 2022

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March 11, 2022

Wadhwanis Endow LSC Scholarship Cypress: After nearly two decades of support for the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program at Lone Star College-CyFair, Ishu and Ashok Wadhwani will now provide a financial helping hand with an endowment scholarship. The Wadhwanis, who owned two successful companies specializing in geospatial systems integration and data management services for more than 35 years, said LSC-CyFair’s GIS associate degree program has become top-notch with professors ensuring the curriculum concentrates on greater Houston’s industry requirements. “The quality of the program, and the capabilities of the graduates, have been outstanding,” said Ashok, who not only served as a member and later as chair of the GIS curriculum committee, but offered program students internships and employment. “After few years, these interns had become subject matter experts and qualified as senior GIS experts with advanced degrees.” Michael Konvicka, LSC-CyFair Professor of Geography and GIS, said the Wadhwani’s many years providing guidance, facilitating internship possibilities, and promoting the GIS degree and certificate program throughout the Houston GIS community is appreciated. LSC-CyFair’s GIS program helps prepare a skilled workforce in the GIS industry which employs analysts to technicians in government, energy, education, business sectors,

Lonestar College donors Ishu and Ashok Wadhwani

to name a few. And, according to Zippia. com, while more than 27,600 GIS technicians with a median salary of $63,200 are employed in the United States with the majority located in Houston and Atlanta, only approximately 32% of all GIS techs are women. “Women have been underrepresented in the LSC-CyFair GIS program, just as they have been underrepresented in the GIS workforce,” said Konvicka. “With the goal of increasing participation and representation of women in the GIS workforce, this scholarship will help us attract and retain talented students and help us prepare them for a rewarding career.” The first Ishu and Ashok Wadhwani Scholarship recipient will be awarded this fall. The application deadline for this new endowment, and other endowed LSCCyFair scholarships, is April 1. For information on the LSC Foundation and donor impact, go to


Thursday, March 17, 7pm

SUNDAY, APRIL 3, 10:30AM - 1PM


Holi Dhahan


Sunday, March 20,

To schedule reading, help in kitchen or sponsorship call Prem Goyal 281-300-8632 or Pandit ji 832-278-0100

Holi Festival

by Bhajan Mandali


For Event Sponsorship, call RAVI GOEL 281-235-5413 BAL SAREEN 337-540-6001 PREM GOYAL 281-300-8632 PANDIT JI 832-278-0100 ASHIMA PATEL 832-563-6689

2223 Wirtcrest Ln., Houston, TX 77055 • • Facebook: @hwstemple

FOR PUJA INFORMATION, CALL PANDIT BHAWANI SHANKAR SHASTRI 832-278-0100 Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 11, 2022 •

March 11, 2022

Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 11, 2022 •



March 11, 2022

Indo-American News • Friday, MARCH 11, 2022 •