Indo-American News May 10, 2019

Page 1

Friday, May 10, 2019 | Vol. 38, No. 14

Indo American News Published weekly from Houston, TX


Special Reports Community Briefs Local Politics South Asians in the News

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M 10, 2019

Story on page 5

13th Anniversary Philanthropy Night

Saturday, April 27, 2019 Yagnik Residence, Sugar Land, Texas

Indo-American News • Friday, MAY 10 2019 • Online Edition:

May 10, 2019


Club 24 + Celebrtaes 13 Years of Philantropy By Jawahar Malhotra Sugar Land: Over the years, the Club 24 Plus events has not been so much the program that will follow but the anticipation of the venue where it will be held. In the past few years, each of the social club’s signature philanthropy and Diwali events has been held, through a long rotation, at the homes of its members and each has been more superlative than the other, as if trying to outdo one another. This past weekend, the venue was exceptional as C24+ held its annual Philanthropy event on Saturday,April 27, where members hand out donation checks to their favorite charities. The setting was at the tastefully decorated home of Asheet and Alka Yagnik who threw open their large backyard complete with a swimming pool and

tiki-torches for the event. The social hour, dinner and check donation were held in the outdoor yard under deep blue skies with entertainment afterwards bt the very talented and skillful magician Robert Berry who made many minds spin with his disappearing card tricks and China Rings tricks. C24+ President Alpa Shah emceed the program and gave thanks to her

organizing committee and recognized her other Board members and committee chairs including long-time founding member Ashok Garg. “A few like-minded people got together in 2006 and formed a club for people who would not only like to socially connect with each other, of course before Facebook, but also make a difference in the society in whatever small way they can,” said

Alpa Shah. “Thus the idea of the Philanthropy event shaped up. And today we are gathered to celebrate this highest characteristic of humanity. Philanthropy is not about money… it is about feeling the pain of others and caring enough about their needs to help. True wealth is, good we do in this world. Charity begins at home. With that thought on mind, Club 24, encourages their members to donate

and reciprocates their effort by matching part of their donation.” Nine charities which have traditionally received the support of the C24+ members once again came to accept their checks from the donor members. The C24+ members matched a portion of each donation. Each recipient gave a short speech about their charity and its work. The nine charities that

received the checks were Interfaith Ministry’s Meals on Wheel program, Daya, Pratham, Cry, Ekal Vidyalay, Save a Mother, The Kinkaid School, the Rotary Club of Memorial Spring Branch and Ovarcome. Snacks and dinner were by Dawat Catering (whose co-owner Mahesh Shah did double duty as a member) and Bijay Dixit of Unique Photo Images.

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May 10, 2019

Hindi Poets Delight in a Robust Mother Tounge By Sarita Mehta Houston: More than 320 people were caught up for about 3 hours of roaring humor, non-stop laughter and heartwarming recitals at Hasye Kavi Sammelan “Hasya Ke Rang – Geet Gazal Ke Sang’, presented by IAH & ICC at India House Houston on Sunday, April 28. In this fun-filled evening, three great personalities; Hasye Kavi ‘Padam Shri Surender Dubey from Raipur, Hasye- Vayang Kavi ‘Dr. Praveen Shukala , & Geet- Gazal queen’Shushri Shabina Adib’ had the audience clapping and hooting with cheers and Joys on everything from politics, Bollywood, universal brotherhood and married life. Nisha Mirani, President of Indian Culture Center presided over the function. The evening began with the loud recital of “Bharata Mata Ki Jai,” by Dr. K.D. Upadhyaye,the president of IAH, who honored the guest poets one by one with shawls and mementos. Sangeeta Pasrija, the past president of IAH, and a cofounder and motivator of Hindi Hasya Kavi Samelan, invited Kiran Bhutala and Nalini Mathur for lightening Deepshikha the traditional ceremony, and gave brief introductions of all the three kavi’s. Saundharya Sohani, Secretary of International Hindi Samiti was awarded ‘ IAH Seva Award’ for his for his selfless services rendered for 8

years as member of Board of Director, IHA. By Col Raj Bhalla, a former Indian Army colonel and Board member of ICC with President of IHA& ICC. Sohani, a Maharashtrian, dedicated now to spread Hindi language, starting writing poems in Hindi. The program begin with Surendra Dubey, Indian poet and writer of comic poems, an Ayurvedic physician by profession, hails from Indian state of Chhattisgarh, has authored five books and has appeared on several stage and television shows. He was honored by Government of India, 2010 with fourth highest Indian civilian award of Padam Shri and also a recipient of Hasya Ratan Award from Kaka Hathrasi. After introducing his companions Praveen Shukala, he introduced Sushari Shabina Aadib and invited her to start. Shabina Aadib, the poetess and singer from Kanpur, (Geet and Gajal) started with her melodious and heart touching voice with ‘Saraswati Vandana Geet. Adib won everyone’s heart with her patriotic and humanitarian gazals, especially,” Andhero kii har Sazish yahaan naakaam hoo jaaye….. Duniyaan mein Mohabaat aam hoo jaye”; Her wish to spread Love in the world, touched the heart of everyone. Praveen Shukala, Ph.D. Hasye

and Vyang Kavi from Delhi, was equally amusing. Shukala, a multi talented and multidimensional performer, expert of Chit-chat, ghazals, geet, veer ras and hasya Kavita simultaneously. Besides his poetry book, ‘Kaya Karegi Hawa’, his articles, poems and satires are regularly publishing with various news papers and magazines. He held the gathering mesmerized for more than an hour. not only laughter, but he conveyed beautiful message in the end which touched everyone’s heart by reciting his poem,” Ham Bhool Gaye hainAapas kaa payaar… Mehman kaa Aadar Satkar, Joint family system, …. We need to remember the old traditions





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medicine and can work wonder in bringing normalcy back to the fragmented world. This grand session of non-stop laughter ending with the thank notes from Dr. Uppadhya, the president of IAH, who thankedAjit Patel, Charlie and missed the presence of Swapan Dharyawan, the national president IHA, and thanks the whole team and media teams. Dharshak Thacker from Krishna sounds, provided Live sound, Gautan Jani for Video recording worked with enthusiasm for such a long time. The people enjoyed the delicious snacks, pakoras and tea in the beginning of the show, provided by Bombay Bassaries.


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of brotherhood”. The grande final came with Surender Dubey, who began by poking fun at his own and Praveen Shukla’s appearance and the proceeded to regal the audience with poem after poem, He spoke,” Kalam Salamat Rahegi to Kishton mei kayon Likhun. Ladkiyon kii Ched-Chhad par( eve teasing) , Nadi Naale par ( Rivers& Streams), Ya pahadon par( Mountains), Majhabi Dangon par( religious roits), yaa Ayodiyaa kei Panno par. Poori Dharti Ram kii hai tooo kis tukadei par Ram kaa Naam Likhun. The audience was thrilled and the hall was resounding with claps. Sarita M Laughter, heBybelieves, is ehta the best




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May 10, 2019

Dear God, the Mother Earth and we [All Your Children] are Calling You

By Shobhendu Prabhakar Houston: Dear God, the mother earth and we [all your children] are calling you • Approximately every 3 minutes one person in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer. Approximately every 9 minutes, someone in the US dies from a blood cancer. • Hunger is the leading health problem among children and adults, causing approximately 45 percent of children’ deaths worldwide. • 1 in 59 children has been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the United States. •72millionchildrenareunschooled, and about 759 million adults are illiterate. • 31.1 million individuals were forced to flee their homes in 2016 due to either natural disasters or the war(s). • One billion children live in poverty, and 80 percent of people live on less than $10 a day. • 2000+ hurricane related deaths in the US from 1998-2017. • Between 1994 and 2013, 6893 natural disasters worldwide claimed 1.35 million lives. Are these numbers enough or do you need more, I asked the God? It depends, the God replied. Depends! On what, I asked? The God said, it depends on what you are trying to say or convey. I responded to the him (her) that all I am trying to say is if you are our father and mother, then why do allow these sufferings to enter in the lives of your sons and daughters. I further asked him (her), each and every parent that I know of, do everything in their powers so that their children can have the best of the best and do not suffer an ounce. Yes, not an ounce! Then, why do you do it

a bit (and at times a lot) differently? Is it worth? I continued to ask the God politely: • Why can’t all people in this world be acute illness free? • Why do some have to struggle so hard to make both ends meet? • Why does the mother earth have to suffer so many times with Tsunamis, hurricanes and earthquakes? • Why do some children haveASD, Dementia or developmental delays? Do they not deserve a fair chance of growth in life? • Why is such that when things are going well for a family, all of a sudden, a dad dies in a car accident? • Why a young kid has to wait months (sometimes years) to find a suitable match for a bone marrow? • Why at times a 70-year-old mom loses her two sons in a span of few months? • Why sometimes innocent people have to spend years in prisons just because they were not able to prove that they were not guilty? • Why and how can you allow someone to be so vulnerable that the others can take undue advantage of him (her)? Since the God was listening to myself patiently, I thought to ask him some more: • Why can’t all your children be happy? Why did you even create the word unhappiness and even worse, the feeling of it? • Why can’t each and every one of your children have equal and fair opportunities? Equal and fair in terms of health, education, and wealth. Equal and fair in terms of family, love, and affection. Caution - When I say equal and fair, I mean on a positive

side not a negative one. • Have you ever tried creating a world that only has one side in it? The world that has only: o the side of zero negativity o the side of zero hatred o the side of zero inequality o the side of zero scarcity o the side of zero acute illnesses o the side of zero animosity, and o the side of zero sorrows in it Have you tried creating that kind of the world and it failed OR did you not even try creating it? Oh no!As I was in the middle of my chat with the God, my mom shook me and woke me up. I was talking to the God in my dream. A dream! Yes, in a dream, but questions are real. Aren’t they? This time, the God listened to me patiently but did not get a chance to respond to my questions. Why? Simply because I did all the talking. How unfair, isn’t it? Well, not really! Another sleep, another dream. And yes, next time, I will let the God do most of the talking and I will pay heed to Epictetus’s saying – keep silence for the most part and speak when you must, and then briefly. Till I talk to the God next time, I would say this to him (her) – Dear God, the mother earth and we [all your children] are calling you. Your help is immediately needed. About author: Shobhendu Prabhakar is MBA [Jones Scholar] from Rice University, Houstonand M a s t e r ’s i n Engineering from BITS, Pilani, India. He lives in Houston.

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May 10, 2019

India-US Trade Bumps

New Delhi: India and US are bracing for a May deadline after which the US is likely to remove India from GSP (general system of preferences) benefits, highlighting the fact that a growing strategic relationship cannot protect a mistrust-laden trade and economic relationship. While Indian diplomats are trying to get a hostile USTR to wait out the Indian elections, US India’s 100% tarrif against Harley-Davidson imports officials have indicated that In- is a sticking points of India-US trade relations. dia could take the heat off itself to its cows which is unacceptable to Indians.) if New Delhi makes a unilateral concession, say on pork imports from the India agreed to grant market access to alfalfa hay, cherries, and pork. On the thorny issues of US or on Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Both sides agree that Prime Minister Na- medical devices, India agreed to a “trade marrendra Modi could have announced a con- gin approach” but requested the US to wait uncession on Harley-Davidson motorbikes til after the elections. New Delhi offered what when he spoke to Trump. After Trump threw is called a “mutual recognition agreement” on a public fit on this, the Indian government telecom testing. Until June, if the US has to accept a deal did offer zero tariffs on the controversial motorbikes. But by then, Harley-Davidson with India, it would have to be on the current had declared it would get out of the US, so package. Any other “concessions” or agreements would have to wait until the new govthe US side was no longer interested. But Trump remains stuck on the issue ernment comes in. Indian officials bristle at being labeled a as his remarks of last week indicate. “We have a case where a certain country, In- “tariff king”. They point to the “World Tariff dia, is charging us... what great country, Profiles 2018” which lists some of the highest great friend, Prime Minister (Narendra) tariffs by countries, where India at 150 percent Modi- charging us over 100 per cent for is eclipsed by Japan at 736 percent, S. Korea at many things”. Asking his officials to fix it, 807 percent and the US at 350 percent. Speakhe went on to say, “Will you please work ing to TOI, senior sources said, “the tradeon them? It’s the craziest thing. It’s stupid weighted average of MFN applied tariff for India at 7.6 percent is moderate compared to trade. We have so much stupid trade.” India says it has offered a “very good” Korea and Brazil among others.” They point package to the US in the past few months. to India’s development imperatives, the imporIndia simplified the certification procedure tance of balancing imports with developing its for dairy imports (the US gives animal feed own manufacturing capacity.

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Houston: Service before self. That’s what Americans hope for in elected officials. Yet, we often are left with self-serving politicians who fail to address the challenges most Americans face – issues like affordable healthcare, access to quality education and a fair criminal justice system. But those issues were the subject of discussion at She the People, a presidential forum focused on women of color, held on Wednesday, April 24 at Texas Southern University. Eight of the twenty Democratic candidates attended and answered questions from the event hosts — Aimee Allison, founder of She the People, and Joy Reid of MSNBC — and from audience members. While each candidate made compelling points, one candidate’s background stood out, particularly in an era of corrupt politics. That candidate is Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, DHawaii, the first Hindu congress member and a war veteran. “The vision that our founders had for this country of a government of, by and for the people has been lost,” Gabbard said. “As a soldier, someone who understands in a very deep and personal way what it means to put service above self, […] I will bring that to the White House to make sure that that mission – the mission of the President, of the White House, and our nation’s capital is solely focused on how we can best serve the American people.” Gabbard, 38, grew up in a multicultural household. Her father is a Catholic of Samoan and European ancestry while her mother is a practicing Hindu of German descent. This background, Gabbard said, exposed her to diverse perspectives that are needed in politics today. Gabbard began her political career at

only 21 years old, when she was elected to Hawaii’s House of Representatives. In 2003, Gabbard enlisted in the Hawaii Army National Guard, where she served for over sixteen years. Gabbard was deployed to the Middle East twice, an experience that has helped define some of her key policy stances, such as her disapproval of regime-change wars. When asked about what type of foreign policy she would embrace, Gabbard noted that the U.S. needs to stop being “the police of the world” and instead should reallocate money towards domestic policies such as providing healthcare to all. With other issues, Gabbard also espouses a domestic agenda. When asked about the Mueller Report and whether Russia poses a threat to U.S. voting rights, she recognized that any interference to voting should be taken seriously. But, rather than challenging Russia or trying to impeach Donald Trump, she pushed efforts to secure our voting process. Gabbard emphasized a bill called Securing Americas Election Act, which would require states to either use paper ballots or to have a verifiable paper backup. Gabbard introduced the legislation in 2018, but it has not moved forward. Gabbard has not made significant headway in the polls, but her supporters applaud her for speaking out on controversial topics. Vijay Pallod, a Gabbard supporter who attended She the People, said he sees Gabbard as a “unifier.” Attendee Sheetal Mhatre lauded Gabbard’s “open-mindedness, inclusivity and genuine personality.” “She’s a very upright person with high integrity,” added Jitin Agrawal. “She stands for the issues, whatever she thinks is right, irrespective of whether it falls on the conservative or liberal side. That’s why you’ll see a lot of conservatives supporting her as well.”

Indo-American News • Friday, MAY 10, 2019 • Online Edition:

May 10, 2019


Dr. H. R. Nagendra Dedicates S-VYASA’s New Houston Yoga Center By Manu Shah

Houston: On 27th April, SVYASA inaugurated its Yoga Center at the West Oaks Mall, in the presence of its Founder Dr. H. R. Nagendra, yoga teachers and students. The “phones in meditation mode” policy set the tone for the event and the Vedic chanting by Vishwarupa Nanjudappa and Srikhanta Parmeshwara further elevated the positive energy in the room. Emcee Suveena Guglani invited President of VYASA Houston Dr. Sudha Rajan to introduce the “NASA to VYASA” Chief Guest of Honor Dr. H.R. Nagendra. Dr. Nagendra is the Chancellor of t he S-VYASA deemed University in Bengaluru and the “NASA to VYASA” is a reference to his stint at NASA. The Center was formally inaugurated in the traditional Indian way with the lighting of the lamp by Dr. Nagendra and the Guests of Honor. Dressed in his signature white shirt and dhoti, Padma Shri Dr. Nagendra, fondly known as Guruji, left a promising career abroad and joined his aunt Lakshmi Amma to serve and spread the practice of yoga. He is credited with bringing a scientific research dimension to the usefulness of yoga through many publications and led the formulation of the 35 minute yoga protocol which incorporates all the four streams of yoga – Karma, Gyana, Bhakti and Hatha yoga for the International Yoga Day. In his address, Guruji spoke of

the great strides in yoga awareness and its practice, not only in India but around the world and credited this to his student - Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal interest and push in the project. Yoga, he pointed out, should not be a one day celebration but must be incorporated in the educational system to bring about a transformation in the nation. Yoga has now been made compulsory in the Teachers Training program and tremendous research is underway to understand how yoga can help in the prevention and improvement of cancer and diabetes. Based on Swami Vivekananda’s teachings, the University infrastructure and education delivery is considered on par with the IIT’s for yoga education. He also lauded the efforts of directors Vishwarupa Nanjudappa, Smitha Mallaiah and Board members Dr. Sudha Rajan, Prakash Morolia and Kirthi Jain who have been pivotal in carrying out the mission and vision of the organization. Longtime key contributors to the organization and yoga practitioners themselves, Dr. Durga and Sushila Agrawal, Ramesh and Kiran Bhutada and Jugal and Raj Malani were felicitated for their generosity. Dr. Lorenzo Cohen and Alison Jefferies were also felicitated for their support and trailblazing research work in using yoga in different cancer populations and encouraging the practice of yoga at

Indo American News Founder: Dr. K.L. Sindwani Publisher: Jawahar Malhotra Editor: Pramod Kulkarni Advertising Administrator: Sarita Mehta Correspondent: Sanchali Basu ®All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the written consent of the publisher. The 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 & fax: 713-789-6397 email:, website: www.

the MD Anderson Cancer Center. S-VYASA and MD Anderson have a MOU for yoga research for two decades. Smitha Mallaiah, Program Director proposed the formal vote of thanks. Dr. Manjunath Sharma, Director of Research, explained yoga’s benefits analyzed from studies

carried out at the S-VYASA lab at Bengaluru, India. Brain waves mapped during pranayama showed distinct structural changes such as an increased thickness of the cortex. SVYASA’s teachers also taught yoga to India’s research teams in Antarctica to weather the harsh condi-

Indo-American News • Friday, MAY 10, 2019 • Online Edition:

tions and the social isolation. On learning this, lab members of eight other countries also approached VYASA. The Institute has also been tapped by NASA to develop a yoga module for astronauts Continued on page 14


May 10, 2019

Ekal Vidalaya Fundraiser June 1 at UH Cullen Auditorium

The Ekal on Wheels mobile computer lab , shown with volunteers. Ekal Houston’s Ramesh Shah and wife Kokila are shown on extreme right

Press Release

Houston: The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation, USA is a registered, tax-exempt (501C), nonprofit service organization dedicated to bringing education and village development to rural India. Ekal is the largest grassroots, Non government organization (NGO) operating in remote and tribal villages of India. Ekal currently operates 85,000+ schools in as many villages across the entire nation educating over 2.5 million children annually, more than half of them being girls. Ekal launched special projects to further develop villages as self sustaining social and economic units: • Ekal Tailoring Centers (ETC)

India House Houston

train women to earn a living, raising their self-esteem while sewing clothes for themselves and their families. Currently, there are 15 main centers and over 70 satellite training centers. • Gramotthan Resource Centers (GRC): where, apart from skill training, the centers have demonstration units which showcase their agricultural techniques like organic farming, solar repairs etc. • IVD (Integrated Village Development) is a concept for empowering and uplifting the rural and tribal sections of the society thereby making the entire village a self sufficient unit. • The Telemedicine project, first of its kind in Ekal with support from Johns Hopkins University, is bringing expert medical advice to

the doorsteps of remote villagers in Odisha. • Ekal on Wheels (mobile computer lab), E-shiksha (which imparts digital literacy using tablets). Each van has 9 laptops to teach 18 trainees at a time. • As of 2018, Ekal also helped create 60,000 rural self-sustaining trade jobs. As part of a series of annual concerts across North America, Ekal Houston is hosting a special fundraising performance by the Saregama famed Vishwanath Batunge and group on Saturday, June 1, with dinner at 6 PM followed by entertainment at the University of Houston, Cullen Performance Hall/ Student center, 4800 Calhoun Rd, Houston TX 77024.


Beloved Community Advocate Sonal Buchar, 58, Dies Sugar Land: Sonal Bhuchar, 58, passed away peacefully in her home onApril 20, 2019 after a valiant battle with lung cancer. She was surrounded by her family. Sonal was born in Mumbai, India on June 30, 1960, to Ramesh and Manju Parekh. She earned her education and studied to practice physical therapy in Mumbai before moving to Sugar Land in 1984 with her husband, Subodh, a family medicine and pediatric physician. Sonal and her husband then lived in New York and Lubbock before returning to Sugar Land in 1992. Along with establishing her own practice, she managed her husband’s office, raised three children, and served on various charitable boards in the community. In addition, Sonal was elected and served on the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees for six years, two as president. She cited holding that office among her biggest accomplishments because it helped raise increase political and civic engagement for the Indo-American community in Fort Bend. Later, Sonal was appointed to the One Star National Service Commission Board by Governor Greg Abbott in 2014. She served in many leadership roles, and up until

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her death, was actively involved in the Child Advocates of Fort Bend board and the City of Sugar Land Board Parks, Art, Recreation, Culture, and Streetscapes (PARCS). She was a board member for the Literacy Council of Fort Bend, ACCESS Health, Sugar Land Cultural Arts, Sugar Land Heritage, the IndoAmerican Charity Foundation and the Texas Medical Association Alliance. Sonal leaves behind her husband Subodh; her eldest daughter Sunaina Likhari and son-in-law Gaurav Likhari; her son Sameer Bhuchar; her youngest daughter Supriya Bhuchar; and her grandchildren Isha and Shyam Likhari.


May 10, 2019


IACF Scholarships for 30 Outstanding FBISD and ASID Students By Shobana Muratee

SUGAR LAND – The IndoAmerican Charity Foundation (IACF) held its Annual Scholarship Awards ceremony on April 17 at the Fort Bend ISD Administration Board Room in Sugar Land. This year, IACF awarded scholarships amounting to $35,000 to a total of 30 outstanding, well deserving senior high school students from Fort Bend ISD and Alief ISD. The ceremony was held before an august audience of teachers, administrators, elected officials, community leaders, parents and IACF supporters and guests that filled the board room to its capacity. IACF has over the past three decades worked closely with the Indo American community to contribute to the betterment of Houston Metropolitan area. The foundation focuses on the needs of the society in the areas of education, family, general needy and healthcare. “We live here We give here”, is what it believes in and true to their beliefs the IACF presents scholarships to talented and deserving college-bound students, each year, after a vigorous selection process. The event was chaired by

K.P George, FBISD County Judge and co-chaired by Juli Mathew, Judge of County Court at Law Number 3. Also present were FBISD Board of Trustees Jim Rice and Dave Rosenthal, The scholarships awarded were based on selection by grade point average, SAT/ ACT scores, personal essay, recommendation letters, and need to students that had applied. An intensive process of selection was led by Scholarship Committee Chair Dr. Purvi Parikh and a team of IACF Directors: Rajesh Dikonda, Joseph Ellankil,Venkat Iyer, Shobana Muratee, Hasu Patel, Mahesh Wadhwa, and

Nanda Vura who were assisted by volunteers. The team did made a lengthy and meticulous selection and review of the 68 applicants received this year. Recipients indicated their interests that ranged from medicine, biochemistry, animal science, business, political science, public health, nutrition, engineering, liberal arts and so on. Speaking on the occasion Venkat Iyer, President of IACF said, “Education to a society is like roots to a tree, and we at IACF feel extremely honored to be a part of this process”, highlighting the importance of education in the growth of our society. Presenter Rajinder Sodhi, mentioned that IACF

started this program a few years back with a budget of $2000 and efforts were on to broaden the horizons to include other school districts from the Houston community. IACF President Elect, Joseph Ellankil offered the vote of thanks. The event was covered by Roy Photography The emcees for the evening were Nanda Vura, IACF Past President and Nini Ellankil, IACF supporter. Below is the list of the recipients. 2019 IACF Scholarship Recipients: FBISD: Vasquez, Leslie, Hasan, Isra, Momin, Insha,

Letbetter, Ryleigh, Grimaldo, Lucero, Kayembe, Naomi, Huynh, Celine, Zhao, Jack, Mandala, Mariana Miranda, Mansilla, Susana*, Lopez, Abraham, Pham, Ashley, Akparu, Chiamaka, Estrada, Abigail and Memon, Muhammedhassaan. AISD: Oladunjoye, Jeuloba Marvelous, Mahabir, Raveena, Velasquez, Miguel Angel, Cornejo, Eric, Solis, Natalie*, Hyde, Emanuella, Phi, Baohan, Onabolu, Abinibola, Al Hasan, Mohammad, CarpioPaex, Briana, Dinh, Tien, Ogiamien, Connie, Brito, April Nicole, and Mbaeri, Precious.

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Indo-American News • Friday, MAY 10, 2019 • Online Edition:


May 10, 2019

IPL 2019: Mumbai Finish on a High as Kolkata Make Way for Hyderabad MUMBAI: It was a moment when the Sunrisers Hyderabad camp would have begun booking their tickets for Vizag to play in the Eliminator against Delhi Capitals of IPL 12. Left waiting in the dugout for a few deliveries more than he would have liked as the Kolkata Knight Riders blundered by sending him at No 5 in a do-or-die game for them, Andre Russell’s agony multiplied as the first ball he faced - a short, slower bouncer from Lasith Malinga - kissed his glove before resting in ‘keeper Quinton de Kock’s hands. Russell first thought of playing a ramp shot, before changing his mind to leave it alone, but failed to get out of the way. In a second, the tournament’s most devastating batsman by a mile this time, was left devastated. While Russell’s was a freak dismissal, KKR, it can be safely said, were in ‘self-destruction’ mode in a crunch encounter against the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede on Sunday night. Making a host of strange decisions with their batting order, the Knight Riders ended with merely 133 for seven. Capitalising on their opponents’ blunders, MI rode to a thumping nine-wicket win, with skipper Rohit Sharma (55 not out, 48b, 8x4) and Suryakumar Yadav (46 not out, 27b, 5x4, 2x6) producing some attractive strokes during their unbeaten 88-run second wicket partnership. Russell’s ‘night of agony’ was complete when he went for 34 runs in 2.1 overs. Having topped the league stage with 18 points in 14 games, MI will now travel to Chennai to play the Chennai Super Kings in the first qualifier on Tuesday night, while the Sunrisers play Delhi Capitals the next day. In what was a miserable, forgettable night for them, the only bright spark for KKR was skipper Dinesh Karthik’s superb catch, which saw him running almost 15 meters behind the stumps to send back De Kock (30, 23b, 3x6, 1x4).

Earlier, after a typically powerpacked 41 (29b, 2x4, 4x6) by Chris Lynn helped them zoom off to a 49-run opening stand in 37 balls, the visitors questionably sent the out of form Robin Uthappa at No 3, with skipper Dinesh Karthik coming in at No 4. While Karthik scratched around for nine balls before being brilliantly caught by a leaping Krunal Pandya at mid-wicket off Lasith Malinga, Uthappa ate up 47 balls for his 40, which included three sixes and a four. One can now understand Russell’s outburst at Karthik. It’s hard to fathom why the captain promoted himself ahead of the explosive West Indian, while Nitish Rana, who smashed three sixes in his 13-ball 26-run cameo, batted at No 6, when he should have been playing at No. 3 instead of Uthappa. During his sedate knock, Uthappa played 25 dot balls, including a maiden over from seamer

Mitchell McClenaghan, as he kept

swishing at deliveries outside off

Indo-American News • Friday, MAY 10, 2019 • Online Edition:

stump without being even close to connecting them. To round off a night which their think-tank must answer a lot for, the Knight Riders then send Rinku Singh, whose place in the team itself is up for debate, ahead of Sunil Narine. All this meant that KKR could only gather 19 runs off the last three overs, losing three wickets, when a few useful hits from Narine would have at least helped them touch 150. MI’s bowlers, though, deserve credit for delivering the knockout blow to KKR. Enjoying his best season in a long time for MI, Malinga finished with three wickets, while the Pandya brothers continued to show their worth. Mixing up his deliveries beautifully, Hardik provided MI the breakthrough when he had the in-form Shubman Gill lbw with an incoming ball that kept a bit low, before Lynn played a poor shot off a widish delivery to give the all-rounder his second wicket. Opening the bowling, Krunal Pandya stuck to a tight line and length, strangulating the batsmen while giving away just 14 runs in four overs.


May 10, 2019

Dr. H. R. Nagendra Dedicates S-VYASA’s New Houston Yoga Center Continued from page 9 Despite a packed schedule, Dr. Nagendra took time to answer a few questions. How did your journey in yoga begin? My uncle Seshadri taught me yoga when I was nine years old and I also started memorizing the Gita but it was only after I did my Masters that the whole transformation started. We were a group of people trying to understand the purpose of life. We started studying the Upanishads, Vedanta and started the practice also. Can you tell me something about Patanjali? Patanjali is, you can say, almost an incarnation – he is the master of masters, he is everything that can be achieved by Yoga. He was a highly developed individual and brought all the yoga traditions and put it into a mathematical precise language. What we know about Patanjali and what we see is hardly

one percent of what he taught. The entire dimension of Vibhuti Pada, and Kaivalya Pada (two chapters in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra) are still not fully understood and so we are trying to do research in that direction. You once said that as a species “we’ve become gigantic on one hand and a pygmy on the other hand.” Please elaborate? Modern education makes your mind sharper, intelligent, creative but on the other hand calming, and silencing the mind is hardly taught. As a result, we’ve grown gigantic on one front and on the other side a pygmy – a big imbalance. This imbalance is the root cause for all the challenges we have. You mean like depression, anxiety, stress, addictions..? Yes. We have to bring the system back to a balance. It’s like trying to fly with one wing. That’s why yoga’s inclusion in the education system is very important. The modern education system has ruined us….

you may learn some yoga and do it for a few days but if you want to bring a transformation in society, it has to go into the education system. Patanjali says one must use the body to gain mastery over the mind? When you do the yogic postures, you must do it correctly.

The definition of an asana is “sthira sukham asanam.” You must sit quietly, calmly without movement like a statue if you are sitting or standing. Any position you do, you must become steady. That’s the first step. Then you stay for a longer time, then you should enjoy this process and this way Patanjali says the mind will get tuned

to the infinite object like the vast blue sky or the ocean – “Ananta samapatti.” This is how you use the body as a tool to gain mastery over the mind. Why is gaining mastery over the breath so powerful? The breathing, prana and mind are connected… Patanjali says you start controlling the breathing which is easier, and the mind comes under control. If the mind is very haphazard, the breathing is also very shallow, unrhythmic. Once you start making the breathing uniform and controlled, the mind will also come under control. What would you say to someone who wants to start yoga but says they have no time? Are they busier than our Indian Prime Minister? He practices for 1 1/2 hours every day without fail. The best asana? Shavasana – the corpse pose. Somebody asked me which is one practice in yoga which I want to do without fail and it will give me all the benefits and I said keep a smile on the face all the time – “santosha anutaka sukha labha.” Patanjali says if you are happy, contented and smiling - that’s the best yoga. What about surya namaskar? Surya namaskar is good, it combines all the different asanas. You can start off with 9, then increase to 27, then 108. The word “consciousness” has been cropping up more frequently. How does yoga help achieve this? Yoga’s objective is that…to reach the highest states of consciousness. Patanjali’s astanga yoga takes you to Samadhi. Samadhi takes you from this level of consciousness to a higher level and you can keep going higher. Continued on page 15



Indo-American News • Friday, MAY 10, 2019 • Online Edition:

May 10, 2019


Labor Secretary Proposes Hike in H-1B Visa Applications to Fund IT Training WASHINGTON: The Trump administration is proposing a hike in the H-1B visa application fee to increase funding for the expansion of an apprentice program, which trains American youths in technology related activities, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta told US lawmakers. Testifying before a Congressional committee on annual budget of the Department of Labor for the fiscal year 2020 beginning October 1, 2019, Acosta, however, did not give details of the proposed increase in H-1B filing fee and as to which categories of applicants it would be enforced on. But given past experience, the Indian IT companies, which account for a large number of H-1B applications, are likely to face the additional financial burden because of this proposed increase in H-1B filing fees. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China Arguing that foreigners hurt American workers by competing for jobs and driving down wag-

es, the Trump administration has tighten the noose around the H-1B visa program. “In FY 2020, the Department’s budget includes $160 million to continue our expansion of apprenticeship programs, along with a proposal to increase H-1B fee revenues to fund additional apprenticeship activities,” Acosta said in his testimony on May 2 before the Senate Appropriations Committee — Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. Acosta told lawmakers that last year the Department of Labor had launched the first-ever sectorbased apprenticeship grant funding opportunity to invest $150 million to expand apprenticeships in those in-demand industry sectors most often filled by individuals on H-1B visas, such as infor-

mation technology, health care and advanced manufacturing. This grant funding opportunity introduced an innovative approach: a 35 per cent private-sector match requirement. This brings the total investment to $202.5 million, $57.7 million coming from the private sector, he said. On July 18 last year, the Department of Labor had announced $150 million in H-1B funds to support sector-based approaches to expanding apprenticeships on a national scale in key industry sectors. The focus is on industries reliant on H-1B visas. It aims at expanding apprenticeships and increase the level of apprenticeship activity among a range of new employers within these industries, particularly small- and medium-sized businesses.

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Acosta also told lawmakers that the Labor Department has also made changes to the H-1B application forms to ensure greater transparency and better protect American workers from employers seeking to misuse the program. In fiscal 2018, the Department concluded 649 non-immigrant visa program cases and found violations in 553 of those cases. In a news story, Breitbart News said that every year, more than 100,000 foreign workers are brought to the US on the H-1B visa and are allowed to stay for up to six years. There are about 650,000 H-1B visa foreign workers in the US at any given moment. “Let’s put our citizens first and protect US workers and wages. Hard-working and highly-skilled American men and women share their stories about H-1B visa fraud and abuse,” Congressman Paul Gosar said

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“The fascinating true story of an intriguing and astonishing life. The book’s arc covers important markers of social mores, and is peopled with richly delineated characters. This is a compelling autobiography of one man’s life as well as incisive commentary on the welcome social changes ahead.” Mitra Phukan, novelist, short story writer, translator, columnist, Guwahati, India “Lohit Datta-Barua tells a personal and powerful story in these pages, carrying the reader from the dirt floors of his childhood home beside the Brahmaputra River to the triumphs and contradictions of 21st-century Houston.” Peter Slevin, journalist, author, professor Northwestern University, Chicago “A mighty river, a family mystery and true grit form the backdrop of Lohit Datta-Barua’s remarkable journey. His story invites us to look at immigrants with fresh eyes and see in them the stories of America, the possibility and profound tales of love and loss, of lands left behind, of mysteries awaiting solution. Migrations such as this defined the 20th century.” S. Mitra Kalita, a senior vice president at CNN, a Pulitzer winner, an author “A heartfelt tale of hope for orphans to overcome the scars of their loss and the possibilities for redeeming their futures.” Jawahar Malhotra, Publisher, Indo-American News

Indo-American News • Friday, MAY 10, 2019 • Online Edition:

May 10, 2019

Phase 5 of 7 Phases of India’s Election Marathon Underway New Delhi: Indian elections have long been billed as a colorful and raucous exercise in democracy. But that has changed over the years because of stricter campaign rules and spending limits, says Shivam Vij. Amid the beating of drums and shouting of slogans, hundreds of thousands of people, wearing saffron caps, cheered Prime Minister Narendra Modi as his convoy travelled seven kilometres in two hours for his road show. They wore “Modi forever” t-shirts and showered rose petals on him. Mr Modi was on his way to file

many public meetings are being organized? How many posters and banners are being put up? Writing on walls is not allowed any more because that would be defacement of public or private property; and the use of plastic buntings is discouraged because the environment matters. “Flying squads,” “static surveillance teams” and “video surveillance teams” now go around each constituency in a cat and mouse chase, taking down unauthorized posters and recording expenses that were not approved in “shadow registers”.


S-VYASA’s New Houston Yoga Center Continued from page 14 This June 21 is the 5th International Day of Yoga. What kind of meaningful change do you think this will bring about in the world? The whole approach of yoga is to change ourselves. Unless we change, the world cannot change. How do you begin your day and what is your diet like? I sleep around 10-11 pm and get up around 2-2:30 am. For three hours, I do some asanas, pranayama, meditation, cleansing, upasanas or worship of the gods. Breakfast is normally a soup and some fruits, a little idli maybe, lunch is some chappati and dinner is some milk and fruits. In the afternoon, I rest for about 30 to 60 minutes. You were Modiji’s personal yoga trainer. What kind of student was he? Very regular. When we had the class, he used to call all the cabinet ministers in Gujarat. The class started at 6 am. I would go 10 minutes earlier to prepare everything. He would come 5 minutes early. The beauty of it was that because he came 5 minutes early, all had to come early and they would not

miss a single day. His time management is fantastic. Once he decides, he will do it. He practices for 1 1/2 hours every day. Can one practice yoga by following You Tube videos? A good teacher will also tell what you should not do, that’s very important. If you do just the way you want, you will have problems. You have to follow the directions properly. We also recommend that you must do Shavasana/Corpse pose in the end so if there are any imbalances, they will get corrected. Otherwise they will aggravate. You are a pioneer of cyclic meditation – a yoga technique that involves doing the poses in a slow conscious manner. The principles are there in the Upanishads, so I developed a module from them. It helps to calm the mind, brings balance and releases the superficial and deep stresses and it can take you to a very deep level. Five most beneficial yoga poses? Every pose has benefits. Vajrasan after lunch is very helpful for digestion, shavasana, some stand-

ing poses like ardha kati chakrasan (Lateral bend pose), sarvangasana is good if you can do the sarvangasana – matsyasana (shoulder stand – fish pose) combination. Any particular direction one must face when doing yoga? It is good to face east. Your favorite book? I wrote a book on happiness called “Happiness Analysis.” In the Upanishads, it is called the Ananda Mimamsa. We all want to be happy. But what is happiness? Only when we understand, then we will become happy otherwise we go in the wrong direction. You do several things but you’re not happy. So the best thing is to understand what happiness is and practice that. I chant the verses. Three simple things we can do to harmonize our lives? Moderation in food, moderation in activity and a nice smile on the face. VYASA-Houston offers courses for yoga instructors, yoga therapists and yoga therapy for various ailments. (For more information, visit or email

Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation his nomination in Varanasi in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, seeking to become the ancient city’s representative in parliament for a second time. But an opposition leader promptly complained to the poll watchdog - the Election Commission of India - alleging that the road show had exceeded the amount of money candidates are allowed to spend on their entire campaign. That limit is seven million rupees ($100,000; £77,500). “The big festival” or the “festival of democracy” is how the Election Commission is describing India’s ongoing general election, the country’s 17th since independence. But it’s an old cliche because the so-called festive election is no longer quite so festive. With every election, the Election Commission has become stricter about how much money individual candidates spend on their campaigns. The noose has tightened so much that even if you were to look for it, you will rarely find any street-level campaigning now. The posters, wall paintings, flags and buntings, loudspeakers blaring music, and the noisy processions have all but disappeared. In 2010, then Chief Election Commissioner, SY Quraishi, created a new department to monitor expenditure and framed new rules. Since then, candidates have had to inform the commission in advance about how they will spend their money - and they have to be meticulous. How many vehicles will they use for campaigning? How

Rates for every kind of expense are fixed (six rupees to rent a plastic chair or 100 rupees per plate for a meal). There’s even a team to investigate if a newspaper article is in fact “paid news”- basically an advertisement masquerading as news - and the expense is added to the candidate’s account. This is a noble effort to make sure the election is a level playing field, and wealthier candidates don’t have an undue advantage. But seven million rupees is also too little money to campaign before 1.65 million voters - that’s the average population of a parliamentary constituency in India. To put this into perspective, consider this: It costs five rupees to send a letter by post to each voter in a constituency - that alone could cost more than eight million rupees overall. The expenditure limit was raised in 2014 and has since not even been adjusted for inflation. Noone can make a case to increase the limit because most candidates claim to have spent far less than seven million rupees. So many show artificially low figures fearing that the Election Commission will add expenses that it observed independently. In truth, it would be rare for a candidate to win a parliamentary seat without having spent several times over the official limit. As a result, all that candidates need to do, is hide their expenses from the Commission’s monitoring teams.

Houston Chapter Presents

Vishwanath Batunge

Surili Shaam Ekal Ke Naam Nayana Sarma

Jayakumar Natu

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Daxesh Patel Divyansh Bhatt

Fundraising Dinner

Complimentary Entertainment Show by Vishwanath Batunge Group Dinner: 6:00 P.M. - 7:30 P.M. (U of H Student Center) Program: 8:00 P.M. - 11:00 P.M (Cullen Performance Hall)

Tickets - VIP - $50 / General Admission - $30 Online Tickets : $5 Paid Parking

University of Houston, Cullen Performance Hall / Student Center 4800 Calhoun Rd, Houston, TX 77204 (832) 842-3100

Contact Information Kokilaben Shah - 832-443-0997 · Praveena Danda - 713-376-0534 · Urmi Desai - 832-498-7759 Shivani Shah - 908-392-3293 · Harish Gandhi - 713-858-2256 · Yogi Patel - 713-885-6241 Dharmendra Shah - 713-705-3892

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May 10, 2019




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