Indo-American News: November 25, 2022

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Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, november 25, 2022 • Wife Usha Helps JD Vance Indo American News 2470 Dairy Ashford, Houston, TX 77077 • 713.789.NEWS (6397) • Special Reports Community Briefs Local Politics 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 Friday, November 25, 2022 | Vol. 41, No. 46 $1 P10 Ekal Dakshin Dhamaka P5 Big US Layoffs Badly Affecting Techies on H-1B, L-1 P2 EARLY VOTING OCT 24 - NOV 4 ELECTION DAY NOV 8 With big layoffs announced by several US companies, many Indian techies, who are on non-immigrant work permit visas, are badly hit. Many on H-1B and L-1 visas, who have been laid-off, now face the grim reality of having to leave the US even though they have lived and worked there for many years.

San FranciSco: With big layoffs announced by sev eral US companies, many Indian techies, who are on non-immigrant work permit visas, are badly hit.

Many on H-1B and L-1 visas, who have been laidoff, now face the grim reality of having to leave the US even though they have lived and worked there for many years. However, when faced with a termination notice from an employer, an Indian employee on an H-1B visa does have options to stay on in the US and look for an other job.

When H-1B employment ends, though the employee is immediately out of status; the 2017 I-140 final rule provides 60-day grace period of continued status upon cessation of employment within I-94 (arrival-departure record form) validity for a change of employer petition to be filed. Upon termination, the employer must file a withdrawal of the H-1B employment petition with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

“A person in the US in H status has a 60-day grace pe riod within H-1B I-94 validity after H-1B employment termination. After the 60-day grace period within I-94 validity the H-1 is out of status, but lawfully present. The H-1 beneficiary may remain in the US for the entire H-1B I-94 validity and be lawfully present; even after the 60-day grace period,” explains Donald E Smith, managing attorney and shareholder of the northern Cal ifornia immigration law firm Litwin & Smith.

For someone who finds a new job, the new H-1B em ployer may file a change of employer petition within the entire I-94 validity. The new employer’s petition is not subject to the H-1B cap and the employee can begin employment with a new employer upon USCIS receipt of the new employer’s H-1B change of employer peti tion.

There are thousands of Indian professionals in the US who are on H visas and have been waiting for many years on long green card queues. The situation is more flexible for them than those in H-1B status without a pending green card application. “When laid off, a per son in the US in H-1B status while their green card application is pending, may rely upon their green card employment authorisation document (EAD card) for continued employment within the US for same or simi lar employment as that sponsored,” says Smith.

On the other hand, a person in the US in H-1B sta tus, without a pending green card application, will need to seek a new H-1B employment. “Those with H-1B status may return to India to pursue other employment opportunities. A person in India with H-1B remainder time, of the six-year limit, may be petitioned by a US employer in the future not subject to the H-1B cap,” Smith adds.

These are some companies that are supporting immi grant employees after lay-offs in significant ways. “We are seeing employers give immediate notice that the H-1 employee is to take a 90-day leave of absence or furlough while continuing on payroll with an employ ment release date in 90 days for employment to cease. The 60-day grace period, within I-94 validity, is to be gin upon the release date when employment ceases,” says Smith.

H and L visa holders, who are facing job losses, may also consider establishing a US entity to provide ser vices within their expertise. “H visa holders might join together and the US entity that they form can sponsor H-1 visa holders for employment,” Smith said. -- ToI

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Many on H-1B and L-1 visas have been laidoff.
Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, november 25, 2022 • November 25, 2022 3

‘Ekal Dakshin Dhamaka’: Ekal Houston Outreach to Dakshin Bharat

HouSton: Ekal Houston chapter brought an exclusive live fundraising event - Dakshin Dhamaka - for our Telugu, Tamil, and Bol lywood music lovers in the Hous ton Metro area.

The Dakshin theme was request ed by Ekal South Indian wellwishers and patrons. The audience were entertained by the magnifi cent artists, a live band, and a deli cious dinner on Saturday, Novem ber 19, 2022. The Houston team shared Ekal inspired successes in southern India comprising women empowerment, organic farming, digital literacy, health education/ delivery in addition to child edu cation.

The event enabled Ekal to raise funds for about 225 schools in South India which can empower about 3,500 girl students and about 3,500 students. The event was held at the St. Joseph’s Hall in the Missouri City suburb. The overwhelming number of Ekal donors, patrons and well-wishers socialized over a sumptuous din ner catered by Biryani Pot.

The enthusiastic audience was entertained by four magnificent artists - two sought after singers from South India and two local artists. The artists from India were Geetha Madhuri and Sri Krishna.

Geetha Madhuri is a playback singer and voice artist with over 1800 songs to her credit in sev eral languages: Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam. She is a recipient of numerous Nandi and Filmfare awards. Sri Krishna is a Telugu playback singer, born in Hyderabad. He was the win ner of the singing competition Paadaalani Vundi hosted by S. P.

Balasubrahmanyam on Maa TV

He has also shared the stage in many live music shows with Late S.P. Balasubrahmanyam.

The local artists were Dr.Sruthi Nanduri and Srikanth Sandugu.

Sruthi is a medical student with exceptional singing talent. Sri kanth Sandugu is an accomplished singer, RJ and DJ. Both of them have performed in many shows across the USA for multiple cul tural events hosted by prestigious organizations. The singers were well supported by a live band “ M6 ‘’. The band was led by Meher Chanti from Dallas.

The ambitious post pandemic outreach effort of Ekal Vidya laya Foundation (EVF) was very well received by our South Indian communities. The EVF USA, cofounded by Mr Ramesh Shah in

2000 is headquartered in Houston with numerous regional chapters across the USA.

After the dinner, the program was kicked off by Uma DamaEkal Houston New Product lead, followed by Rajeev Aluru- Ekal Houston chapter President and handed off to the MC, Sahitya Vin jamuri, who welcomed the guests and dignitaries.

Sahitya learnt of the Ekal or ganization a few months back and was favorably inspired by its educational and community uplift ing mission in India. Her inspira tion turned into a passion to help Ekal grow its outreach, accepting to be the MC for tonight’s show and thus begin her volunteering journey with Ekal. Several of her contemporaries approached her later to inquire about how to join

the Ekal movement.

The stage was then taken over by the energy of the musicians and the singers, presenting a bou quet of new and old songs from multiple languages. The evening continued with short clips of Ekal activities in India - young girls from Telangana narrating their experiences of how Ekal school fulfilled their dreams, women en thusiastically acquiring life skills and earning power through tailor training centers, youth excited to learn computer skills through mobile computer labs (Ekal on Wheels). Each clip was preceded by short messages from Ekal vol unteers; chapter president-Rajeev Aluru, Ekal USA President- Subra Dravida.

Rajeev Aluru talked about his life’s journey and invited all at

tendees to support holistic village development through three verti cals:

Primary education through vil lage schools and E-Shiksha Health delivery using tele-medi cine and Arogya Sevika training Skills development like tailor training, vocational training and organic farming

The evening continued with more music with the singers join ing the dancing audience on the floor with on-the-spot medleys to further energize them.

Finally, the event team want to convey special “Thank You” to chief guest of the evening - San deep Chaudhary (Consul with the Consulate General of India Hous ton, Commerce and Culture port folio), Carmen Turner- tax assessor and collector Fort Bend County, Eric Fagan - Fort Bend County Sheriff, Subra Dravida- Ekal USA President, Subhash Gupta- Ekal Advisor, Yogi Patel- Ekal South west Regional President, army of volunteers, Middle School and High School youth, Ekal Houston Chapter leadership-current and past in planning the event.

Your donation will educate chil dren, empower women with tailor ing skills, nurture poshanvatika’s (organic farming) for a healthy vil lage life, will help bring the tribal youth closer to city dwellers by taking digital education to them, and much more.

We encourage you to support Ekal’s mission. You are just a click away from making that important contribution, go to https://www. and click the DONATE button on the top right of the page.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, november 25, 2022 • November 25, 2022 5 COMMUNITY
Ekal Dakshin Dhamaka volunteers. Article Credit: Naren Chavda and Rajeev Aluru- Ekal. Picture Credit: Jayaram-Collage arts photography

Among its Asian peers, India

turing value added. Government interventions specifically Make in India and the Production-Linked Incentives (PLI) scheme have

ing. Owing to these policies, along with opportunities arising from businesses looking beyond China, manufacturing GVA surge between 2020 and 2021 was 22% for India – highest among the

India has surpassed the UK and has now become the fifth-largest economy in the world. With then increasing working population and emerging job opportunities, it is rapidly becoming be the world’s

tential across manufacturing and services. This not only positively impacts the economy’s overall output but also leads to increasing opportunity, living standards and

This is especially significant as

tic consumption driven. This is why, even as opportunity costs of investing/parking money outside India are distorted in the shortterm, India’s medium to longterm potential remains extremely attractive for businesses as well as

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, november 25, 2022 • November 25, 2022 6

India Drops Covid Form

Dc: Indian Ameri cans will have one less form and re quirement to fill out when making travel plans to In dia. The self-dec laration forms for Covid vaccination that had to be filled in by incoming international passengers on the Air Suvidha portal will no longer be necessary, with im mediate effect, the Indian government has said.

The requirement of the form, which many Indian American travelers found out about the hard way –after getting to the airport – has been viewed with some irritation by passengers.

A notice from the Indian civil aviation ministry said, “In the light of sustained declining COVID-19 trajectory and significant advances being made in COVID-19 vaccination coverage both globally as well as in India, Ministry of Health & Family Wel fare has issued revised ‘Guidelines for International Arrivals”.

The ministry, however, said it was preferred that the passengers be fully vaccinated. It was also pref erable that all precautionary measures for Covid, including the use of masks and social distancing at airports, continue.

The Indian aviation ministry, however, added a statutory warning that the rule could be reinstated if the Covid situation demanded it.

The form on the aviation ministry’s Air Suvidha portal was mandatory for those traveling to India, including of course Indian Americans. In it, passen gers had to declare their vaccination status, includ ing the number of doses received and their dates.

India said the decision was taken in line with the government’s policy of a graded approach to Covid19 management.

Republican Nikki Haley Hints of a 2024 Presidential Run

LaS VegaS: Indian American Nikki Haley, the former Governor of South Carolina has once again hinted she could run for president in 2024 while delivering a speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Leadership Meeting, here.

She said, “A lot of people have asked if I’m going to run for president now that the midterms are over. I’ll look at it in a serious way and I’ll have more to say soon.”

A member of the Donald Trump ad ministration, she had made a calculated exit from his orbit, gathering the heft

of being the country’s UN Ambassador that helped pad her resume. Her political cal culation might have paid off as she has not been stained by the events of January 6.

The other thing that might have voters looking at her askance was her comments during

the recent midterms, when she told Republi cans at a rally for Herschel Walker, that the Democrat in the GA Senate race, Rev Ra phael Warnock, should be “deported.”

The media reported her as saying, “I am the daughter of Indian immigrants. They came here legally, they put in the time, they put in the price, and they are offended by what’s happening on [the southern US] border. Legal immigrants are more patri otic than the leftists these days. They knew they worked to come into America, and they love America. They want the laws followed in America, so the only person we need to make sure we deport is Warnock.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, november 25, 2022 • November 25, 2022 7 COMMUNITY

KLDP Session with Judge Ravi Sandill

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, november 25, 2022 • November 25, 2022 8 FINE ARTS
For Advertising in Indo-American News call Jawahar Malhotra @ 713-789-6397
Last Saturday, YLDP Houston had wonderful interactive session with Harris County District Civil Court Judge Ravi K. Sandill. For last 11 years, Judge Ravi K. Sandill had sessions on leadership with various topics with young leaders of YLDP and encouraging them. He also offered YLDP Students high school internships and later some of them became practicing lawyers at his court.

Since Yale, Usha Vance Has Helped J.D. Vance

coLuMbuS, oHio: In 2013, two students at Yale Law School de cided to organize a discussion group on the subject of “social de cline in white America.”

One of them was J.D. Vance, cur rently the Republican candidate in Ohio for a U.S. Senate seat.

For him, the subject matter was intensely personal: He had grown up in an economically depressed area of Ohio, and was raised in large part by his grandparents as his mother struggled with addic tion. He had lived the material.

The other student behind the project was Usha Chilukuri, the child of Indian immigrants, from an ethnically diverse San Diego suburb. For her, white social de cline may have been an intellec tual interest — but it was one with special significance. She was then Mr. Vance’s girlfriend, now his wife, known as Usha Vance.

On paper, the gregarious Mr. Vance and the reserved Ms. Chilu kuri may not have looked like a fit. But, according to contemporaries at Yale Law School, they were matched in their determination to conquer the prestigious worlds be fore them.

Ms. Vance, 36, who only selec tively comes into the spotlight on her husband’s campaign, helped shape — and actualize — Mr. Vance’s ambitions, he has said. Her husband had outgoing charm in a room, but she knew, from a lifetime of experience, how to suc ceed.

“Usha was like my Yale spirit guide,” he wrote in “Hillbilly El egy” of his wife, who was played by the glamorous actress Freida Pinto in the Netflix adaptation of the book. “She instinctively un derstood the questions I didn’t

even know to ask and she always encouraged me to seek opportuni ties that I didn’t know existed.”

Her counsel to him, he has said, continues. “I’m one of those guys who really benefits from having sort of a powerful female voice over his left shoulder saying, “Don’t do that, do that,” Mr. Vance told Megyn Kelly in a 2020 inter view on her podcast, “The Megyn Kelly Show.” For a long time, the powerful female voice in Mr. Vance’s life was his grandmother, whom he called Mamaw and wrote about in “Hillbilly Elegy.”

“Now,” he said on the podcast, “it’s Usha.”

In August, the Vances appeared together on Newsmax, the cable channel to the right of Fox News, which refused to call the 2020 presidential race for Joe Biden for more than a month after the election. Ms. Vance sat to her hus band’s left, her hand on his arm.

They were in front of a book shelf that included book club fa

Indo American News

FounDer: Dr. K.L. SinDWani

PubLiSHer: JaWaHar MaLHotra

eDitor: PraMoD KuLKarni

correSPonDent: SancHaLi baSu

vorites like “The Growing Sea son” by Sarah Frey and “Crying in H Mart,” the 2021 memoir by the Japanese Breakfast musician Michelle Zauner, alongside the libertarian classic “The Road to Serfdom.”

Ms. Vance has been preparing to succeed her whole life. She was raised in Rancho Peñasquitos, an upwardly mobile suburb of San Diego, by a mechanical engineer and a biologist. The family was part of a small, close-knit commu nity of Indian American academ ics and professionals, and their children.

“By age 5 or 6, she had assumed a leadership role,” said Vikram Rao, a close family friend of Ms. Vance’s who works in Silicon Val ley. “She decided which board games we were going to play and what the rules were going to be. She was never mean or unkind, but she was the boss.”

-- New York Times

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, november 25, 2022 • November 25, 2022 9 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.

Ethnic Media Services Highlights Minority Candidates

houston: This Mid term election cycle has seen a huge slate of mi nority candidates vying for seats all across the country and many organizations have been highlight ing their races as well as support ing them in whichever way they can. Visibility of these candidates remains a huge concern and help from these groups has played a key part of the strategy to build up diversity in elected offices nation ally.

One such group is Ethnic Media Services, a San Francisco based organization composed of well regarded journalists and activ ists all brought together with one thought in mind: “how to enhance the capacity of ethnic news outlets to inform and engage diverse au diences on broader public issues with the goal of building a more inclusive participatory democ racy”, according to their website

EMS does this outreach by con

vening roundtable briefings that bring ethnic media together; orga nizing professional training and fel lowships for ethnic media report ers; coordinating social media and marketing campaigns that enable government agencies, foundations, nonprofits and public affairs firms to customize messaging; produc ing, translating and syndicating multilingual, original news sto ries to ethnic news media partners and developing communications projects with underserved groups that deepen their engagement.

Towards that end, during these past elections, EMS organized a Zoom briefing on Thursday, Oc tober 27 from 1 to 2 pm for many ethnic media outlets in Houston to promote five minority candidates running for various offices. Each had several minutes to present their platforms and then participated in a Q&A session, What was impres sive was the passion that led these

candidates to jump into the races despite the in creased effort and stress of fundraising and meet ing voters that left little family time.

These candidates were Dr. Sule man Lalani - Democratic State Representative Candidate for Tex as House District 76; Sonia Rash - Democratic Candidate for Justice of the Peace Precinct 3, Fort Bend County; Cameron “Coach Cam” Campbell - Democratic State Rep resentative Candidate for Texas House District 132; Daniel LeeDemocratic State Representative Candidate for Texas House Dis trict 26 and Dr. Carla Wyatt - Har ris County Treasurer Candidate, Houston, Texas.

After the elections, Lalani, Rash and Wyatt were declared winners for their seats.

The meeting was moderated by EMS Executive Director Sandy Close, a veteran journalist and correspondent who has worked on stories across the world whose work has received several awards.

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, november 25, 2022 • November 25, 2022 10
Dr. Suleman Lalani Sonia Rash Cameron Campbell

‘Drishyam 2’: Not as Smooth as Last Time

Bollywood isn’t really known for pulling off suspense thrillers, cer tainly not for sustaining the steam over a sequel. But, like Drishyam in 2015, Drishyam 2 lulls you with its modest settings, simple char acters, human cops, and a family caught in events beyond its con trol, till it lands home its lesson a second time — it’s not important what’s before you; what is impor tant is what you are seeing.

And what does the world see when it looks at Vijay Salgaonkar (Ajay Devgn)? A family man and father of two, who runs a local cable service and has an obsessive love for films, or just a “chauthi (Class 4) fail”, an illiterate man who doesn’t matter. It is certainly the latter that clouded the vision of Meera Deshmukh (Tabu), the IGP of Goa, last time, causing her to lose the battle of wits with Sal gaonkar.

Drishyam 2 very deftly picks up from where these two main pro tagonists, both fierce parents, left off in Drishyam. The story is again by Jeethu Joseph, who also directed both the Malay alam versions.

With the death of Nishikant Kamat, who directed the Bollywood re make of Drishy am, the reins of Drishyam 2 have passed on to Ab hishek Pathak.

Almost all the characters from the first film make a reappear ance, and the se quel is enriched by it. They largely show the effects of the past seven years – the Salga onkars of keeping the terrible secret of a murder; and the Deshmukhs of living with the knowledge that the former got away with

killing their only son, a wayward Sam. The only one who sticks out is Shriya Saran, playing Vijay’s wife in the same perfect hair and clipped saris, with eyes unshad owed but for kajal — the sleepless nights haunted by the murder that she talks about notwithstanding.

Words that spill out here and there, nervousness that can’t be kept at bay, stray talk in the town that won’t be silenced, doubts that trail the Salgaonkars, witnesses who put two and two together from that fateful night, all inch up to Sam’s body, which remained unfound last time.

So, as the clues irrevocably point towards his family, what will Vi jay, who repeats that he can do everything and anything for them, do now?

The plan turns out to be elabo rate, and as unexpected as it was in Drishyam. However, in its ex ecution, it is not as smooth, requir ing an incredulous breach of basic protocols by police, which would lead any competent judge to throw

the case out, as well as a string of much-too-gullible people around Vijay. The remarkable change in his fortunes adds to the whiff of notoriety about him now.

The weakest link perhaps is Akshaye Khanna, as the new IG, Tarun. While Tabu brought moral authority, steely fortitude and mounting helplessness to her role in Drishyam, as a stern head of police who is also a desperate mother, Khanna is all snarky lines, glowering eyes and exaggerated mannerisms, with little at stake. Tarun is built up as this genius cop who broods long and hard at chess boards for company, but re ally only gets close to cracking the case due to a stroke of unexpected luck.

Tabu and Kapoor, as her busi nessman husband Mahesh Deshmukh, return as the grieving parents. Their roles are limited, but whenever she is there, watch ing, waiting, wincing, carrying the pain in the lines of her tired face, Tabu again owns this film. -- IE

Solution Next Week

Recent Winners

Indo-AmerIcAn news • FrIdAy, november 25, 2022 • November 25, 2022 11
Send us the correct answer before November 29, 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.
Last Week’s Solution Kumud Athavale, Ramana Vadrevu, Krishna R. Vud dagiri, Sanchali Basu, Yudhveer Singh Bagga, Taranjit Singh
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