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Atlanta’s Premier South Asian Newspaper May 2017


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Atlanta’s Premier South Asian Newspaper May 2017

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Decatur Man Loses US Citizenship After Federal Conviction Atlanta, GA: Ismail Ali Khan has been sentenced to five years, seven months in federal prison after being convicted of conspiring to import illegally and distribute male enhancement pills that contained the drug found in Viagra, according to a press release issued by the US Department of Justice. Khan was also convicted and sentenced for falsely stating on his application to become a naturalized U.S. citizen that he had never committed a crime for which he had not been arrested. At the sentencing hearing, Judge Steve C. Jones ordered that Khan’s status as a naturalized U.S. citizen be revoked and Khan’s certificate of naturalization was declared void. Judge Jones also ordered that Khan be immediately deported to India, Khan’s native country, once he completes his prison term. This report surfaced even as the United States Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments on April 26 in the Maslenjak v. United States case to

determine if an “immaterial false statement or omission in an immigration document or status proceeding” can lead to criminal prosecution and revocation of citizenship. According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: The defendant and others imported from China male enhancement pills with names such as, “Maxman,” “Herb Viagra,” “Rock Hard Weekend,” “Stiff Nights,” “Happy Passengers,” “Hard Ten Days” “Zhen Gongfu,” and they distributed the pills throughout the United States. These pills contained the same drug that is the active ingredient in Viagra. If the pills had been properly labeled, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection would have stopped them from entering the U.S. In order to evade import restrictions, the defendant and his co-conspirators directed their suppliers to mislabel the boxes containing the pills to make it appear that the boxes contained items that can be legally im-

ported into the U.S., such as beauty products, pottery, coffee, and tea. The defendant and his co-conspirators re-

ceived the illegally imported pills at multiple addresses in the Atlanta, Georgia, area. They rented storage units at different locations where they repackaged the pills for distribution to wholesale and retail locations in the Atlanta area and throughout the U.S. In

order to evade detection by law enforcement authorities, they moved their illegal operations regularly, used aliases, false addresses, and fake business names, and misrepresented the nature of their business when renting storage units and mailboxes. On August 12, 2013, while this drug conspiracy was ongoing, Khan submitted an application to Citizenship and Immigration Services to become a naturalized United States citizen. The application included the following question: “Have you ever committed a crime for which you have not been arrested?” Khan falsely answered, “No.” On January 6, 2014, and again on March 14, 2014, Khan was interviewed by a representative of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Both times the representative asked Khan whether he had ever committed a crime for which he had not been arrested. On both occasions, Khan falsely stated that he had not. Khan became a naturalized United States citizen on March 14, 2014.

Mom Driven By Son’s Memory To Raise Funds For Cancer Research BY VEENA RAO Atlanta, GA: Before he lost his brave battle against two types of cancer in November 2016, 22-year-old Premil Patel and his mother Prina were each other’s biggest fans. “Premil taught me to find strength when faced with challenges. He was my inspiration to keep going and succeed,” says Prina. “He always told me that he couldn’t imagine life without me, but it turned out the other way around.” A graduate of University of Georgia with a double major in management and finance, Premil was popular, and loved by many. Yet, his concern was always for his single mother. “Whenever I asked him about the girls in his life, he would start talking about my life. It was pretty funny when he gave me dating advice! He told me I had always been selfless and he wanted me to live life for myself. We were friends.” The news of Premil’s illness in 2016 was devastating to Prina. He was diagnosed with acute megakaryoblastic leukemia and germ cell tumor. He spiraled downwards fast and the end came within weeks of his diagnosis. “He never left the ICU and once he was intubated, he never spoke again. I didn’t get to hear his side of the story- how he felt, what he wanted,” says Prina. “This was hard on me, but I can’t imagine how hard it was on him.”

lots of dreams.” Premil had recently started working at Deloitte with the hopes of pursuing an MBA. Prina is now driven by Premil’s memory to participate in a fundraising campaign for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man or Woman of the Year. She is part of team #oneinaPREMILlion and is working to raise as much as possible in a 10-week period. Every dollar raised counts as one vote and the candidate who gets the most votes/raises the most money is named the Man or Woman of the Year. With the funds raised, she hopes

She told him she loved him everyday. When the doctor told them of a tumor near his heart, and that Premil would get worse before he got better, he was momentarily scared. But within a few minutes, he regained his strength. “He started talking about his work and career. Even the day I took him to hospital, all he was thinking about was his work. He said he didn’t want to take the whole day off and he would go back after the check up. He was focused; he had

to support a grant for research in honor of Premil. “My goal is to raise awareness about cancer, especially AML and germ cell tumors. Cancer diagnoses can be very tough. It took 3 weeks to figure out what my son had, and even when we knew, there was almost nothing that could be done for him. Cancer is beyond devastating and affects all ages. I want to help prevent another person from suffering and prematurely passing away because we don’t yet have a cure for this horrible illness. Everyone wins when cancer loses.” “I know Premil would have wanted to do everything to prevent another person from enduring pain and suffering,” she says, of her motivation her to come out and support the fundraiser. “I am a mother trying to help other mothers.” Premil continues to drive Prina to keep going each day. “I have learned from my son to live each day as if it were your last because that’s how he lived his life. Some days are pretty hard, but my family and his friends are helping me. Premil made our family bond even stronger. For all his cousins and his fraternity brothers I became “Prina Mom”. He gave me all these kids, because he knew I couldn’t live without him.” To support Prina Patel’s fundraising efforts, please visit: pages/ga/atlanta17/ppatel

........City News ........


May 2017

Vibha’s Vibe 2017: Dancing For A Noble Cause BY SUNEETA MISHRA P.O Box 191124 Atlanta GA 31119 Tel: 404-235-4998 Email:

Atlanta, GA: Atlanta recently witnessed a unique event - an eclectic group of people dancing for the Vibha fundraiser called “Vibe 2017 - Dancing for a cause”. Vibha is a non-profit organization, which since its inception in 1991, has raised $13 million and sup-

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ported more than 250 projects in India and 10 projects in the US. With a vision to ensure that every under privileged child attains his/her right to health, education and opportunity, it has touched over 300,000 underprivileged children. It has a volunteer network of 2,200 volunteers spread across 18 action centers in cities across America and India. Vibha has several fundraising events throughout the year like the DreamMile and Vibha Cricket event that most are familiar with. This was the first time Vibha hosted a cultural fundraising event that involved the local leaders, with an intent to create more visibility for Vibha and having the patrons form a personal connection with the cause and celebrate the joy of giving with their family and friends. The event was sponsored by Basuree, Yupp TV, Futurewave and S3 catering and supported by Maison D Puranique, Meraki Makeup, CountOnUs, Bytegraph Productions, Bhushan Karnik Photography, BeTheYou and Prem’s Dance Studio. Modeled loosely on the popular TV show “Dancing with the Stars”, this black-tie dinner event aimed at raising funds for underprivileged children with the active participation of Atlanta’s community leaders and local celebrities. A team of 10 dedicated Vibha volunteers worked tirelessly over the past couple of months to conceptualize, plan and organize this event. An additional 18-member event day volunteer team executed this event to perfection. The format was simple: 11 distinguished couples, “Stars” from the Atlanta area were paired with a choreographer of their choice, to compete in a dance faceoff in front of a sold out crowd. The Stars were chosen based on nominations from the Vibha Atlanta’s volunteer team. These stars represented various professions and communities in Atlanta ranging from founders of successful companies, executives at global firms, community association leaders to trailblazers at non-profits. They were also entrusted with the task of raising funds for Vibha by influencing their friends and family to contribute for the cause. The entire experience was a culmination of over two months of intensive practice and coordination where the stars, not just rehearsed for their performances and generated funds, but they also learned about Vibha’s work through involvement in projects of their choice. While two couples actually visited the projects and met the beneficiaries in India in person during this time, others used technology like Skype and FaceTime to chat and get to know the beneficiaries and project volunteers. Social media particularly Facebook was used to make the message go viral as the participants posted preparation videos and shared messages about this unique

event. The evening started with the Basuree sponsored fashion show choreographed by Shaveta Jain of “BeTheYou”, where models sashayed on the ramp wearing contemporary Indian outfits. The display included floor length evening gowns with an Indian twist as well as contemporary stitched sarees. Emcee Neha Negandhi kept the show running smoothly introducing participants, making key announcements and facilitating the events. Amit Malik and Alpa Amin set the dance competition rolling with a foot tapping

ber with a medley that included “Banno”, “Breakup Song” and “Gerua”. Their performance had a dramatic climax with both the dancers going up on a platform and her changing into huge a bellowing orange skirt providing a stunning visual for the “Gerua” song. Their dances were choreographed by Shilpa Jadwani. Andy Leverett and Henna Bakshi’s modern number, choreographed by Amit Pawar, had oodles of funk with the couple wearing matching LED outfits that glowed in the dark. Cute and peppy, they danced to “Dil To Bachha Hai Ji”, “Mehendi Lagake Rakhna” and “Abhi To Party Shuru Hui Hai”. Kavitha Palani and Arul Murugan’s performance was marked by his spectacular entry to the dance floor on a hover board! He swiftly stepped off the board to match Kavita’s steps to “Cham Cham Cham” and “Kala Chashma”. Quite innovative and modern, the choreography was done by Shiva Turlapati.

medley of bollywood numbers that included “Aati Kya khandala” and “Balam Pichkari” with the able guidance of their choreographer Gayatri Menon of ExpressTheBeat. The next stars of the evening were Aparna Bhattacharyya and her choreographer Maria Martynova who danced to a contemporary number called “Man Ke Manjire”. A very apt choice, the dance was an inspirational ode to women. The use of bright silk fans during the dance added an element of drama to the nuanced performance. Sporting snazzy matching ice blue ensembles, Pramod & Pratima Sajja who partnered with choreographer Neeti Mehta came right after, starting with the soft and dreamy “Khuda Jaane” song and ending with the more contemporary “Nashe si Chad Gayi”. Priya & Sonica Sahetiya were up next and performed semi-classical bollywood numbers. The mother-daughter duo danced to “Deewani Mastani and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo” with the steps choreographed by Sonica herself. Graceful and in tandem with flowing ghagras, this was a real treat to watch. The fifth performance of the evening to the unexpected delight of the audience was a waltz! Gracefully performed by Sulabha, dressed in a beautiful wine red evening gown, and Abhay Paranjape to the music of Olivia Newton-John’s “Instrument of Peace”, this evoked the charm of fluid dancers in perfect sync. This piece was choreographed by Brian Dixon of Planet Ballroom. Sudhir and Payal Agarwal were the sixth dancing stars in the lineup with a bollywood remix of “Dil Kya Kare”, “Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan” and “High Heels”. Choreographed by Udita Menon of ExpressTheBeat, the performance was interspersed with some storytelling, ending with a plea for donating to Vibha. Chandrika Narayan came next, supported by her choreographers Meghna and Movina. They started with “Aja Nachle”, which saw Chandrika displaying some nimble footwork. The song swiftly melded into a Michael Jackson classic - “Black and White” where the dancers gave a fitting dance tribute to the King of Pop. Neha and Nish Parikh performed the next num-

The last performers of the evening were Shaveta and Anuj Jain who wore matching red and black outfits and danced to “Kar Gayi Chul”, “Jabse Mere Dil Ko”, “Dilliwali Girlfriend” and “Badri ki Dulhaniya”. Fast paced and playful, the dances choreographed by Uma Muralidharan were a befitting finale to the wonderful evening. After the star dances were done, the choreographers stepped in to showcase their performances and kept the rhythm going for the rest of the evening. To decide on the winners, the audience texted their favorite performer codes and the votes were counted in real time to arrive at the award winners. Pramod and Pratima Sajja won the award for the couple raising maximum funds for the event. They also won the first place for the audience choice award. The runners up award for audience choice went to Alpa Amin and Amit Malik. Representative Brenda Lopez gave away prizes to the winners. The evening also saw the release of the official Vibha song video called “One More Star”. Composed by Chandan Gokhale, and conceptualized by Vibha volunteers Vindali Vartak & Kannan Udayarajan, the heartwarming video features beautiful and poignant vignettes and underlines the value of education, truly capturing the essence of Vibha. A silent auction of items donated by patrons to generate additional funds for Vibha rounded off the pleasant evening. What resonated with the audience was watching a group of enthusiastic people who did not really have any formal training, getting out of their comfort zone and dancing for a great cause. This event alone generated close to $80,000 and will support annual education cost of educating about 3000 children in need.

May 2017

Tennessee Man Killed In Crossfire At Motel Wa s h i n g ton: (IANS) A 56-year-old Indian-American man was killed after getting caught in firing at a motel in Tennessee. Khandu Patel worked as a housekeeper at Americas Best Value Inn in Whitehaven, Memphis. He was staying there temporarily with his wife and two children. Patel was standing at the back of the motel when he was shot on Monday at 7.30 p.m. (local time), the local Fox affiliate reported. “He finished his day’s work and was out walking around the property,” Jay Patel, the victim’s nephew, told the channel. “Next thing you know he hears some gunshots flying around and one caught him in the chest.” Patel was shot in the chest and died before he was taken to the hospital. Jay said his uncle was preparing to move out of Whitehaven to the nearby Southaven in Mississippi for another job after a week. “He was ready to get out of there,” said Jay. “Just trying to put food on the table. So he had to take what he had at the time.” According to police, there were witnesses that know who killed Patel, but they were not cooperating. Memphis police said multiple suspects sped off in a new silver Nissan Altima or Maxima. The local NBC affiliate WMCA quoted police as saying that the target of the shooting was someone who was staying at the hotel. There were about 30 gun shots, an elderly lady told the network. Police have offered a reward for those providing information on Patel’s killers.

........NRI News ........


Trump’s H1-B Fallout: Infosys To Hire 10,000 US Techies Bengaluru: (IANS) Global software major Infosys said it would hire 10,000 American workers in the next two years, a move seen as a fallout of US President Donald Trump’s executive order on H1-B visas a fortnight ago. The city-based IT major also said it would set up four technology and innovation hubs across North America to focus on cutting-edge technology, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, user experience, emerging digital technologies, cloud and big data. The first hub will open in the midwestern state of Indiana in August and is expected to create 2,000 jobs by 2021 for American workers. “The hubs will have technology and innovation focused areas and serve clients in key industries such as financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, retail and energy,” said the firm in a statement here. Clients in the US contribute about 60 per cent of the company’s software export revenue per year. “We are committed to hiring 10,000 American technology workers over the next two years to help invent and deliver the digital futures for our clients in the US,” said Infosys Chief Executive Vishal Sikka in the statement. The $10.3-billion company will hire experienced professionals as well as recent graduates from major universities and local and community colleges to create talent pools for the future. “Basically, Infosys is hiring American workers to please Trump, who passed an order recently (April 19) which will force Indian IT firms to pay more salary for high-skilled employees working in the US on H-1B visas,” Head Hunters India Founder-Chairman and Managing Director K. Lakshmikanth told IANS here. Infosys Deputy Chief Operating Officer S. Ravi Kumar however said the company had been hiring in the US over the years for organic growth and create talent on campuses. “The right strategy for a company like ours is to build local talent pools and supplement them

with global talent in times of shortage. The hubs will be located where we have client clusters and good local talent is available,” he said. The decision to ramp up local hiring by Indian IT majors like Infosys, TCS and Wipro comes also in light of Trump’s order to ensure

that H-1B visas were awarded to the most skilled and highly-paid. “Infosys will take time to ramp up local hiring as it is very costly. It has to pay a minimum of $80,000 (Rs 52 lakh) per year to a skilled American techie. For the same amount, it can hire four software engineers in India for its offshore development work,” said Lakshmikanth. Currently, an Indian IT firm pays $60,00065,000 per year for techies working in the US on H-1B visas and they return after three years of onsite work. Infosys, which sends about 3,000-4,000 techies to the US every year, will get 50 per cent of the H1B visas under the new rules as part of the quota and the rest through the lottery system. “If Infosys hires about 500 Americans techies, it will result in loss of 2,000 jobs in India for offshore operations. Automation and AI (Artificial Intelligence) will reduce hiring by another

30-40 per cent,” said Lakshmikanth. Indian IT industry representative body Nasscom, however, declined to react to Infosys’ plans, saying it “doesn’t comment on company specific matters”. Observing that learning and education have been the core of what Infosys offered to clients, Sikka said they make the company a leader in times of great change. Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb said on the occasion that it was good to welcome Infosys to the state to expand its growing tech ecosystem with the addition of 2,000 jobs. “Indiana continues to put the tools in place such as the Next Level Trust Fund and incentivising direct flights that allow us to attract and retain great companies like Infosys,” he said in the statement. The Governor also said higher education institutions in Indiana were producing a world class workforce and establishing the state as the innovation hub in the Midwest. “I look forward to working with Infosys to elevate Indiana to the next level,” he added. To ensure that American workers are equipped to innovate and support clients in the digitisation of all industries, the company will institute training programmes in competencies such as user experience, cloud, artificial intelligence, big data and digital offerings as well as core technology and computer science skills. Since 2015, over 134,000 students, 2,500 teachers and 2,500 schools in America have benefited from h computer science training and classroom equipment funded by Infosys Foundation USA.

Teacher Jailed For Fraudently Hiring Indian Nationals To Teach In US Washington: (IANS) A 58-year-old IndianAmerican teacher was sentenced to 11 months in jail, which he has already served during the trial, for the wire fraud scheme involving the hiring of Indian nationals to teach in the US. George Mariadas Kurusu was sentenced on Wednesday in Alpine, California, and was ordered to pay $53,000 restitution for the wire fraud scheme, the American Bazaar online reported. Kurusu has been in federal custody since his arrest in May 2016. He pleaded guilty in January to wire fraud, fraud in foreign labor contracting, making a false statement on a visa application and tampering with a witness, victim or an informant. Kurusu admitted that from December 2012 to May 2016,

he defrauded several individuals of over $50,000 for a “visa package” provided by a company he owned which promised H-1B visas, teaching jobs,

and the maintenance of those jobs and visas for his victims. According to court records, Kurusu, a H-1B visa holder, established a separate company, Samaritan Educational Services (Samaritan), in violation of the H-1B visa rules. Kurusu, who worked as a Maths teacher at Fort Stockton High School in Fort Stockton, Texas, also lied on an application to renew his visa, according to officials. He allegedly placed advertisements via newspapers in Hyderabad, India, providing services for a fee to individuals who were seeking teaching positions in the US. Kurusu led applicants to believe that they had to go through his company in

order to both obtain a visa and a job. He acted as a middleman between the applicants, the State Department, the issuer of visas, and the Fort Stockton Independent School District (FSISD). He made the victims believe that not a single penny of the amount they pay for the visa processing went to him. On the contrary, Kurusu filed the applications for a nominal fee and routed the rest to his pocket. In order to ensure that no information on his scheme is leaked, Kurusu used to tell his victims not to mention to the State Department they enlisted the services of Samaritan. Victims were also instructed not to contact FSISD directly, but only through him. Finally, when the victims would reach US, Kurusu made them set up a bank account and an Electronic Transfer of Funds (ETF) system. Prosecutors say Kurusu took 15 per cent from victims’ paycheck and threatened deportation for those who complained.


Investment Banker Charged With Insider Trading

Washington: (IANS) An Indian-American man has been charged with insider trading here by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Avaneesh Krishnamoorthy, a Vice President in the risk management department of Nomura Securities, a New York-based investment bank, allegedly used the confidential information of a private equity firm’s acquisition to conduct insider trading, the American Bazaar online reported recently. He was charged with one count of securities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5 million. According to the SEC’s co mplaint, Krishnamoorthy made approximately $48,000 in illicit profits through insider trading. Federal prosecutors said Krishnamoorthy learned through the course of his work that the private equity firm Golden Gate Capital intended to acquire the online analytics and marketing firm Neustar. Krishnamoorthy then began trading in Neustar securities through two brokerages accounts that he allegedly kept hidden from his employer, which had been approached by Golden Gate Capital to finance the transaction, according to the report. “As alleged in our complaint, Krishnamoorthy was entrusted with confidential, market-moving information by his employer and he misused it for personal gain,” said Andrew M. Calamari, Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office. Krishnamoorthy was presented in Manhattan federal court before US Magistrate judge Kevin Nathaniel Fox on Tuesday. Acting Manhattan US Attorney Joon Kim said Krishnamoorthy was charged with violating his duty to his company and trading on insider information. “Avaneesh Krishnamoorthy allegedly exploited his access to information about a pending acquisition to purchase stock and options, making tens of thousands of dollars in illegal profit for himself,” she said. This was the first criminal insider trading case filed by Kim, who in March succeeded Indian-American Preet Bharara. Bharara was fired by new President Donald Trump as part of his administration reshuffling.

........NRI News ........

Nikki Haley, Akbaruddin Discuss India-US Cooperation United Nations: (IANS) The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, the first Indian American to hold a cabinet rank, visited India’s UN Mission recently for a wide-ranging discussion with Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin. “We shared perspectives on how India-US

can work together at the UN in line with our growing ties,” Akbaruddin told IANS after the meeting. Haley described their meeting in a tweet as “great”. “We discussed India’s economy, peacekeeping reform and the partnership between India and the US.” A US Mission statement added that they also discussed “India’s economic and anti-corruption reforms that have helped businesses and spurred growth” and “the close ties between the two countries and opportunities to further the partnership between the US and India at the UN.” Permanent Representative to the UN has a cabinet rank in the US government and Haley has emerged as a powerful and outspoken voice on foreign policy in the US, even as she deviated from some of the early positions of President Donald Trump. However, the differences have virtually disappeared as Trump moved closer to her stances due to realpolitik and Congressional pressures. For example, Trump has embraced her hardline on Russia after chemical attacks allegedly carried out by Syria.

A critic of how the UN works, Haley has been insistent on reforming it, especially the peacekeeping operations as a cut in US contributions to the world body looms. “I know for a fact that Nikki feels very, very strongly about taking on problems that really people steered away from,” Trump said on Monday during a White House lunch for Permanent Representatives of members of the Security Council. Trump thanked Haley for her “outstanding leadership” and said she was doing a “fantastic job.” It was not known if the Security Council reforms with a permanent seat for India — a priority for New Delhi — came up during the conversation with Akbaruddin. President Barack Obama has backed India’s quest, but the Trump administration has not publicly endorsed it and Haley has only said that she was open to the idea. Asked about it at a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations here in March, she admitted candidly, “First of all, I’m in learning mode. And as I look at that, I know there is conversations of reform of Security Council.” She then added: “I’m open to hearing anyone on what they have to say and looking at it and going further.” With the US contributing 28.36 per cent of the peacekeeping budget, Washington is giving priority to reforming the operations. Historically India has been the largest troopcontributor to the UN peacekeeping operations and 7,678 are serving now. India has also been advocating reforming the peacekeeping operations, especially how the mandates are set by the Security Council, often without consulting the troop-contributors. As Governor of South Carolina, Haley showed interest in India’s economy and its potential and led a trade delegation in 2014 to India seeking investments and stronger commercial ties with her state.

May 2017

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy Resigns

Washington: (IANS) Indian American Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, appointed by former President Barack Obama, stepped down after he was asked to resign by the Trump administration as part of a move to appoint new leaders in key posts. He was replaced temporarily by Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, one of the first nurses to serve as Surgeon General. She has a doctoral degree in philosophy and a master of science in nursing and health policy, the New York Times reported. Murthy will continue to serve as a member of the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service. He was confirmed as Surgeon General in December of 2014. He said in a Facebook post: “Two years and four months ago, I was honored to be sworn in as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States. For the grandson of a poor farmer from India to be asked by the President to look out for the health of an entire nation was a humbling and uniquely American story.” “I will always be grateful to our country for welcoming my immigrant family nearly 40 years ago and giving me this opportunity to serve.” The US Department of Health and Human Services already updated its official handles with the profile of Trent-Adams who has served the Public Health Services Corps for 24 years. Murthy for years made headlines for calling gun violence a public health threat. I

Thousands Join May Day Protests For Workers, Immigrants’ Rights Washington: (IANS) Thousands of Americans took to streets in major US cities such as Washington, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles to join May Day demonstrations for the rights of workers, women and immigrants. “It is not my first time to join the event. I joined because the workers of America have been giving a very rough deal for really long time. Workers need more rights, shorter work days, better safety, laws for better pay,” Treg Waahl told Xinhua news agency, referring to May Day as the International Workers Day. “You have to keep asking, keep trying,” said Waahl, who was among hundreds of people marching in the downtown of Washington DC. “I am a cabin maker, I never had an employee because I cannot afford to pay the health insurance. I cannot teach anybody what I do. I think that is really wrong.” Philips Palmer, another protester, said.

Zakiya Scott, one of the organizers, told Xinhua that the May Day demonstration was the

culmination of a series of protests starting from early April by a newly formed umbrella organization called the Majority coordinating more than 50 protest groups across some 100 US cities. Besides the traditional themes, this year’s May Day “is also being used to call attention to Trump’s job creation promises, pro-corporation

and anti-worker stances”, the organiser said, citing May Day as US President Donald Trump’s 101st day in office. At least four demonstrators were arrested on May Day in Oakland in California after they chained themselves together to block a county building in protest against Trump’s tough immigration policies. In downtown Chicago, organizers estimated an attendance of 20,000 people in the May Day rally. They carried banners and signs calling for immigrant and workers’ rights, environmental justice and a higher minimum wage. In a Los Angeles park, several thousand people chanted “love not hate” in opposition to the new administration. The White House had no immediate response to the May Day demonstrations.

........India Features ........

Professor Raghavendra Gadagkar: The World At His Doorstep Atlanta, GA: Dr. Raghavendra Gadagkar will probably be the last one to admit that his journey is about connecting the dots. Admittedly, he has had a distinguishing career with a long list of prestigious awards. But, he has remained with the Indian Institute of Science (IISC) Bangalore, since he joined the institution in1979 to do a PhD in Molecular Biology. A reversal of the brain drain that continues to plague Indian Institutions even to this day! Yet Dr Gadagkar brought the attention of the world to his doorstep. He stayed back in India, turning his hobby of observing wasps into a career, even pioneering a theory on the social behavior of insects through several decades of study of the local wasp found in South India called Ropalidia marginata. His seminal work has been an attempt to understand a complex world, of what many are dismissive about and unaware of, and bring out the interdependent nature of its existence. So is the evident excitement at IISC surrounding Dr. Gadagkar’s honor matched by the common man’s understanding about his chosen field? For a man who has spent an equal amount of time and energy communicating his work in public lectures, school visits, and talks uploaded on YouTube, the award is meaningful also because it has conferred the privilege of learning and interaction with a rich and diverse community. Dr. Gadagkar reminisces about an episode when he first as an undergraduate student had heard about the Academy of Arts and Sciences. In a rare occurrence, during his early years in college, he chanced upon a journal published by that prestigious society, in the library at Bangalore University. Perhaps it was his own youthful spirit that has encouraged him to have faith in the succeeding generations. Dr. Gadagkar says, “I believe that young people are great resources,” adding that they are much more capable given the right opportunities. He reveals that many a time PhD applicants, armed with his book ‘Survival Strategies’, a simple guide to animal behavior, claim it to be an inspiring source of knowledge. He says smiling “Be Curious. Be

Dr Raghavendra Gadagkar is well known for his work in the field of animal behavior, ecology and evolution. He was recently inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences as a foreign honorary member. His conversation with SUPRIYA D.G. were musings about a long journey. connection might cause. “There is fear” he says, “when you want to extrapolate findings from the animal world into the human world because many people have misused research and imposed their will.” “Look at nature. Don’t copy her”, he advises. But the world of insects is a rich and complex one. “We find everything here. We realize that nothing that we as humans are doing is new.” Dr Gadagkar exhorts the need to bring back reflection and introspection. This may be timely advice. Although his theory of the “assured fitness of returns” has not influenced other disciplines, particularly the social sciences, focus on care giving based on altruism and relationships that are mutually beneficial can help look at human created structures critically.

“I think the wasps hold a mirror to us and allow us to reflect on our own society.” - Dr Gadagkar in an interview with science writer Kaspar Mossman, June 24, 2009 PNAS. Rebellious. Otherwise you cannot Succeed.” This then, is a leaf out of his own life. For a man who divides his time between two seemingly disconnected and different worlds, Dr Gadagkar hints at the challenges that making a

It came as no surprise that skeptics were vocal when the Centre for Contemporary Studies was established in June 2004 on the premises of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The

Centre aimed at bringing together scholars from several disciplines to stimulate and motivate young researchers into well rounded human beings. Dr Gadagkar talks about his fascination with fiction and literature because it enables reflection. “Reflection is a great tool” according to Gadagkar because it “can enrich mere facts and information.” “Human beings construct an artificial boundary so that we don’t protest in our own minds. There is a readiness to accept something as inevitable” he adds. Today the Centre is a thriving testimonial to the Zeitgeist of our times. Allegedly, science continues to operate as a hierarchal and isolated subject. No where is it as stark as in education, where a career in science is still preferred and pure science subjects are superior to any other field. Dr. Gadagkar bemoans the fact that schools have managed to kill creativity and curiosity. “I question the artificial methods of assessment,” he replies to a query on why Mathematics is still considered as one of the most important subjects in schools. “There is a need to unify knowledge” he maintains. Dr Gadagkar claims that he likes quoting both Heraclitus and Decartes with reference to approaching Science, advising young researchers, “Let’s be modest. Let’s be cautious”. He is quick to clarify that science can only be hegemonic because it is projected as such. He believes that there is a way between how things exist in their contradictions and the hope to discover more in nature. Finally Dr Gadagkar dismisses the notion that a scientist must wear the mantle of science all the time. He equally quashes the notion that science must involve tedious experiments with the purpose of proving something. Long gone are the days when gadgets were non -existent and childhood was probably filled with idyllic curiosity, at least this is how Dr Gadagkar remembers growing up. This journey of painstaking observation and learning, partly arising out of a childhood world, reminds us that processes are important, even if they don’t always justify the means to a quantifiable end.

Visually-Challenged Business Achiever Eyes Higher Forbes Ranking Forbes has named him in the list of super achievers fromAsia under the age of 30 but visually challenged Srikanth Bolla is in no mood to celebrate. His goal is to get into the Forbes list of richest persons — and he won’t settle for anything less. Such is the determination of the 25-year-old, who was born blind and overcame all adversities to become the first international blind student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and now heads a Rs 30 crore ($4.6 million) company. Visiting manufacturing plants in different locations in Telangana and Karnataka, attending business meetings and, in between, troubleshooting over the phone, the CEO of Bollant Industries is a busy man. Equally fluent in different languages, he handles every issue with ease and shows incredible business acumen. Born in a family of farmers in Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh, life has been one long struggle for him. After passing his Class 10 exam he chose the science stream for the plus-two stage but was not permitted to write the Joint Entrance Exam for IIT-aspirants as he was blind. “I said when IIT doesn’t want me, I don’t

want IIT either. Let me find the best opportunity in the world — better than IIT. MIT being the top school in the world, I always wanted to go there and I went there,” said Srikanth, who has a B.Sc in management from MIT. “When I reach the goal of taking my company to an IPO — that is when I will celebrate. I will celebrate when the company reaches Rs 1,000 crore in valuation. Getting into the Forbes main list is my goal and that is when I will celebrate,” said the confident CEO of a packaging and paper products company which is also creating employment opportunities for the differently-abled. Srikanth is planning an IPO in two years. The company’s turnover in 2016-17 was Rs 30 crore, up from Rs 5 crore in the previous fiscal. “The company is growing at 20 percent a month since inception. This is a great joy for me because no company, including the unicorns of India, is growing at 20 percent a month.” He attributes this high growth to the company’s consistent scaling and backward integration, and an over 90 per cent market share. The company has seven manufacturing plants in

Telangana and Karnataka, employing 600 people. It recently acquired a sick paper mill in Hyderabad. Out of seven plants of the company, five were previously sick industries. “Everybody goes and sets up a new plant. It takes one or two years for them to start. We don’t do that. We go after sick industries and revive them within the span of one to two months. We

can take their assets at 25 percent of their actual value, which is why we spend less amount of capital and the topline will be high in a short time.” The company has four directors, including co-founder Swarnalatha, angel investor Ravi Mantha and tech and infra entrepreneur S. Prabhakar Reddy. Its pool of investors include top angels like Ratan Tata, Satish Reddy of Reddy Laboratories, Srini Raju of People’s Capital and Kiran Grandhi of GMR. The company has so far raised Rs 2 crore in equity and Rs 10 crore in convertible notes. “I struggled so much in my life that I don’t want the younger generation and disabled people to suffer. I always wanted to come back and do something for India. “We decided we will employ the underprivileged as the core of our workforce and empower them to be productive citizens of the country and that has been our social mission and it will be our mission for ever keeping our commercial aspect aside,” he said. Out of 600 people the company employs, 200 are disabled.



ay 29 is National 529 College Sav ings Plan Day.

Will you get the day off from work? Nope, sorry. But, it is a good time for a refresher on why you need to open a 529 Plan right now. If you already have one, good job. You’re already ahead of the game. Studies show that up to 80% of Americans are unsure what a 529 Plan is. 529 Plans come with many perks. Perks that can save you big. Perks that will allow you to keep more of your hard-earned money. Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is a 529 Plan? In a nutshell, a 529 Plan is an education tuition plan that is both tax-free on savings and investments. Unlike other savings vehicles, hello Roth IRA, 529 Plans do not have income limitations for contributors. Below I have highlight five perks of a 529 Plan. 1.Tax Benefits 529 Plan contributions can provide that muchneeded credit come tax time. In Georgia, joint filers can deduct $4,000 and single-filers can deduct $2,000 when calculating taxable income. Since each state has their own 529 Plan, the deduction amount varies state-to-state. 2. Financial Aid Savings An even larger benefit can be seen when it comes time for parents to fill out the dreaded financial aid forms for college. Knowing that all those 529 Plan contributions will help you keep more money in your pocket, might lessen the pain. Let me explain. The FAFSA and CSS Profile are both used to award financial aid to students. Each has their own formula. The one thing they have in common is that

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5 Benefits Of 529 Plans they both take a close look at your assets. The important thing to know is that parent and student assets carry a different weight. A heavier weight is placed on student assets. So what can you do? No bank accounts, stocks, or assets should be in a student’s name. 529 Plans are the one exception to this rule. Parent or student owned 529 accounts are weighted the same in these calculations. Want to know just how much more weight is applied to student-owned assets? FAFSA Families are expected to contribute 20% of all assets owned by dependent students to help pay for college. This number drops to approximately 5% when the asset is owned by the parent. CSS Profile The Profile expects an even large contribution by students. Student contributes 25% vs. Parent at 5%. Ok, let’s use some real numbers now. Student Asset: If a student has $20,000 dollars in their bank account, CSS Profile will expect them to contribute $5,000 (25%) towards the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Parent Asset: If the parents have the same $20,000 in their bank account, CSS Profile will expect them to contribute only $1,000 (5%) towards the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Big difference right! So, do you see what I am getting at here? Stash that birthday money from grandma in your 529 Plan! 529 Plans are an excellent way to save money for

May 2017 by-state. Account owners can choose from 3 to over 30 mutual fund-type investments. The account owner selects their level of risk and they are matched with a mutual fund that fits the bill. Most states have age-based funds which will allocate your fund according to when the beneficiary is expected to enter college. No investing experience is required. Auto-Investments: Account owners can set up automatic investments so they don’t have to worry about managing the account month-to-month.


COLLEGE PLANNING college without being penalized by the financial aid calculations. 3. Worry-free The question I frequently receive is: What if my child decides not to go to college? The good news is that the beneficiary on the account can be changed. The money can be transferred to a sibling. Also, if a parent decides to return to school, they can also use the money. The one criteria is that the money must be used for a qualified educational expense. 4.Options, Options, and more Options Investment Options: 529 Plan funds are professionally managed by fund managers. Each state selects their fund manager. Therefore, fund managers will vary state-

Multiple Gifts | Multiple Beneficiaries: You may own and fund unlimited 529 accounts for unlimited beneficiaries. Other individuals can contribute to your 529 accounts. 5. Estate Planning Grandparents can benefit with 529 Plans in 2 ways: A tax-free gift to grandkids: Account owners can contribute up to $14,000 ($28,000 for joint taxpayers) per beneficiary per year without triggering federal gift taxes. · Account owners are allowed to use five years of annual exclusions at once for a tax-free gift of up to $70,000 ($140,000 for joint taxpayers). Control remains with the account owner:· A 529 Plan enables grandparents to retain control over the account, the investments, and assets. ·The account owner remains in control of the funds, regardless of the age of the beneficiary. It’s your money! You can control how it is spent. About the author: Kristen Moon is an independent college counselor and founder of She specializes in Ivy League, BS/MD Programs, Gap Year, and International Students.

Life Beyond H-1B: Try L1, EB5 Visas, Experts Suggest The cap for US H-1B visas for 2018 may have been reached but immigration experts say that Indian applicants, who form the majority of the recipients of such visas, have other options as well — such as the L1 and EB5 visas. US missions across the world started accept-

that theirs is a specialty occupation. Merely obtaining a computer degree may not be enough. Meanwhile, a private member’s bill was also introduced in the US Congress by Democrat Zoe Lofgren which seeks to increase the minimum salary of H1-B visa holder to a whopping $130,000

Indian companies will now have to scout for American talent or opt for alternatives like L1B or L1A visas to send workers to the US. ing H-1B applications for fiscal 2018 from April 3. According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), it received 199,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period. On April 11, the USCIS used a computergenerated lottery to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general category cap and the 20,000 cap for those with advanced US degrees. The new Donald Trump administration has also sought to make acquiring H-1B visas tougher. The USCIS on March 31 issued a clarification that computer programmers, to be eligible under the H-1B visa norms, must prove

from the current minimum of $60,000. The bill, if passed, will impact the margins of IT companies, the biggest beneficiaries of the H1B visa program, or their clients will face higher charges for the work performed, Mark Davies, Global Chairman of Davies & Associates, LLC, which specialises in US immigration law, told IANS in an email interview. According to Abhinav Lohia, Partner and Practice Chair of India and Southeast Asia at Davies & Associates, Indian companies will now have to scout for American talent or opt for alternatives

like L1B or L1A visas to send workers to the US. L1 visas facilitate the temporary transfer of a foreign worker in the managerial, executive or specialised knowledge category to the US to continue employment with an office of the same employer. The L1 visa can help as “a lot of US companies prefer to deal with a local company or someone on the ground in the United States representing a foreign company instead of dealing directly with the foreign company”, Lohia explained. “US presence gives the US companies/ clients confidence since US courts will most probably have jurisdiction over disputes,” he added. “Also, the companies that establish a presence in the United States also register their intellectual property there, which again is viewed favourably.” Of course, the H-1B and L1 visas are for employees. If you have enough money, you can

opt for the EB5 visa, Lohia said. For an EB5 visa, the applicant needs to invest $500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) or $1,000,000 in a non-TEA and the investment should result in 10 jobs. In recent times, there has been a sharp hike in the number of Indian applicants for EB5 visas and Lohia attributed multiple reasons for this, including the fact that the US is a better country to retire in and there are more opportunities to expand business operations. According to Davies, parental gifting of the funds necessary for an EB5 application may now be the only option for Indian students seeking employment after graduation in the US. Lohia said that EB5 and L1A visas may lead to permanent residence and eventually to US citizenship faster. “It puts an end to the dependence on the employer for staying in the United States,” he said. “Upon being fired from his/her job, an H1-B visa holder may have to leave the country along with his/her family, whereas once someone gets permanent residence they are no longer dependent on others for their stay in the US as long as they are law-abiding and renew their Green Card on time.”

May 2017

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Radha Mangeshkar & Hrishikesh Ranade Take Atlantans On Musical Journey BY RAVI OZARKER Atlanta, GA: Eshana Enterprise hosted a melodious event, “Geeton ka Safar” on Saturday, April 8 in Atlanta. The show was well attended and the hall was packed with music lovers like me, even though there were three other competing musical shows inAtlanta in the same weekend, one of which happened to be at the same time as this event. Atlanta definitely seems like a music lover’s city! “Geeto Ka Safar” which means a musical journey, was a program that was led by two renowned singers, Radha Mangeshkar and Hrishikesh Ranade. Radha, an accomplished singer and composer started her musical journey at the very young age of 7. Radha is the daughter of famous singer/music composer Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar and the niece of Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosale and there simply cannot be any question about her musical talent, voice and experience. Hrishikesh Ranade is an Indian playback singer in the Marathi film industry and winner of the “Idea Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Maharashtracha Ajacha Awaaj Award”. He has sung songs in various films such as Mumbai-Pune-Mumbai, Tuzya Mazya Sansarala Aani Kay Hava, Kadhi Tu and many many more. Radha and Hrishikesh started the musical journey with old melodies of Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh. Songs such as “Kahin Door Jab Din Dhal Jaye” from the well-known movie “Anand”, “Woh chand khila” from the movie “Anari” reminded everyone of yester year’s famous pairs

of Hrishikesh who successfully drove the audience through this beautiful journey. Credit for this musical night equally goes to the trio of musicians Kedar Paranjape, Vivek Paranjape, and Vikram Bhatt who actually did the job of an orchestra of perhaps 50+ musicians. Vivek Paranjape has accompanied Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar on various international tours and continues to visit USA with other musicians. Kedar worked with Vivek on several musical tunes from different instruments like the sitar, guitar, flute and many

Raj Kapoor and Nutan. “Lag Jaa Gale” by Radha reminded the audience of the pair Sadhana and Manoj Kumar. The song was originally sung by Lata Mangeshkar in the movie “Woh Kaun Thi”. Hrishikesh sang a medley songs out of which one of the most memorable transition, was from “Yeh jo mohabbat hai” to “Kehna hai aaj tumse” a superhit classic reminding the audience about Sunil Dutt, Saira Banu and Kishore Kumar from the hit movie “Padosan”. Towards the middle of the concert, Hrishikesh changed the tone from romantic melodies to a lively more upbeat theme with the 1977 movie “Hum Kisise Kum Naheen - Bachana aye Hasino”. Any musician would appreciate the skill level

more just from their keyboards which sounded exactly like the musical instruments played in the movie songs sung by Radha and Hrishikesh. Radha’s “Tujse naaraz nahi” sounded so beautiful that the audience almost thought they were in a Lata Mangeshkar concert. She picked a unique theme for her songs, which she said is like a

“Ghost” theme”. She successfully proved that there was so much melody in these songs especially “Aaja re pardesi “ from famous movie “Madhumati” in which Dilip Kumar searches for Vyjayantimala Bali. Hrishikesh then took the audience to melodious songs of the newer generation such as “Abhi Mujh mein kahin” sung by Sonu Nigam from the well-known movie Agneepath to his own song from a super hit Marathi movie “Mumbai Pune Mumbai” which reminded audience of the stunning pair of Swapnil Joshi and Mukta Barve. A song well sung by a god gifted voice for sure with a perfect 10/10 score. Radha sang “Mehndi rang lagyo” from a Gujarati Movie and also sang some songs in Punjabi. The duo then moved on to a few ghazals and then to some great numbers like “Inhi logo ne” from famous movie “Pakeeza” to”Pinjarey wali muniya” by Hrishikesh. Towards the end of this phenomenal show the audience was clapping and dancing with every beat played, and every note that was sung. What can be more colorful than a musical journey that takes you through all the emotions of sadness, happiness, curiosity, romance and that too in different languages such as Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and Punjabi? The audience would definitely agree that this was simply an amazing show that left the audience wanting for more. A special thanks to all the volunteers, organizers, Arati Reddy of Eshana Enterprise, Mustafa Ajmeri, national promoters Mohit Chitnis and Five Dimensions, Divinity Audio Visuals for sound and Pixelcollection for photography. A truly memorable event for many attendees!


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May 2017

American India Foundation Raises $150K At Glitzy Annual Gala BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE Atlanta, GA: The American India Foundation (AIF) raised around $150,000 at its third annual gala held on April 1 at the Atlanta Athletic Club, for its Maternal and Newborn Survival Initiative, MANSI. Eminent contributors in the field of medical sciences, Dr. Pradeep K Sinha and Dr. Jay S. Yadav, MD, CEO of MiRus LLC were honored at the event. The gala featured over 200 guests, with Dr. Jeffery Koplan, VP for Global Health, Emory and Dr. Vikas Kapil, Associate Director for Science and Chief Medical Officer CDC and Prevention’s Global Health Leadership center as keynote speakers. Prominent community leaders, executives including Harsh Agadi, Consul D.V. Singh, Ambassador Charles Shapiro, Kwanza Hall, Rafi Ahmed, Bryan Landry, Amy Baxter, Sam Olens, John Eaves, Adolwa Joyce, Mary Reilly, Vincent Jing-Yen Liu, Pedro Marin, Philip Wainwright graced the event. George Franco of Fox 5 Atlanta led the pledge drive/live auction and AIF Atlanta Chapter Chair, Dr. Amitabh Sharma anchored the program. “I love India and I hate poverty. I hate poverty because it is the bane that sucks out the potential of children” said Alex counts, President and CEO of AIF. He talked about AIF’s commitment to catalyze social and economic change in India and building bridges between the US and India through high impact interventions in education, public health, livelihoods and leadership programs. Designed to reduce maternal and child mortality in rural, impoverished areas, MANSI utilizes a public-private partnership model to provide the resources and support required to empower local communities to care for their mothers and children while improving the local health system. “AIF has impacted over 3 million of India’s poor and aims to reach 5 million by 2018" he said. Venky Raghavendra, senior director of AIF detailed the working of MANSI, which provides preventative and curative care for both mothers

George Franco Amitabh Sharma. Photos by Bytegraph. and newborns all the way from the individual household to government health facilities to ensure new mothers and infants have the care they need to prepare for, survive, and thrive during and after pregnancy. Addressing global health issues, Dr. Jeffery Koplan pointed out how easy access to worldwide travel, like being able to fly across the globe in a short amount of time can also bear the side effect of carrying diseases along the way. “In 1850, it took around almost a year to get around the world. Today, you can do it well within 48 hours, which means, you are well within the incubation period for the virus/bacteria to be carried and spread across the world,” he said. Dr. Koplan highlighted the interest in global health studies among students, Emory in particular. He noted that changing health patters in India, such as increase in weight and diabetes, was one of the focal point of global health studies at Emory. He commended AIF’s work in public health adding, “Your work is extremely valuable, extremely appreciated” “AIF’s work in India is exceptional” said Dr.

Vikas Kapil. He drew focus to the fact that while significant progress has been achieved in almost eradicating polio from the world (only 37 cases last year, he said), the world and India in particular had a long way to go where public health issues are concerned. He said India leads the world in many problem areas such as road traffic injury deaths, burn injury deaths, serious birth defects, air pollution related deaths, child death under age five, among others. Expressing concern over global health security, “Outbreaks can represent risk in any country even if it is not our own. The capacity to deal with them are not great” Dr. Kapil said. Jag Sheth, Professor of Marketing at Emory University who also serves on the host committee of AIF’s Atlanta chapter outlined the achievements of honoree Dr. Jay S Yadav. Dr. Yadav is an internationally recognized interventional cardiologist and founder of many successful companies that have improved outcome for heart failure and stroke patients. He serves on the boards of the American Heart Association, TiE, Georgia Bio,

GCMI, SEMDA, Beacon College, Westminster School and The Yale School of Management. His company MiRus designs surgical products for orthopedic and spinal degeneration and deformities. Honoree Dr. Pradeep Sinha specializes in Otolaryngology and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. He works with charitable organizations Face to Face where he provides free reconstructive surgery to victims of domestic violence and Face of Honor where he provides free surgery to American military personnel who are injured in combat. Dr. Sinha serves as mentor at TiE and has done work with Clinton Global Initiative, The Atlanta Wine Auction and Akshaya Patra. Dr. Sinha extended his appreciation to AIF’s work stating “Some of the basic aspects of care related to the newborns that are considered routine are missing in the rural pockets of India. AIF is filling that gap through its public health program focused on mothers and newborns.” Live auction items included two business class tickets from Turkish airlines, seven night stay in Palm beach resort, FL, two nights at Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad, JBL By Harman Custom, A.R. Rahman Raga series headphones and cricket legends’ autographed bat. A Mexican ballet featuring elaborate costumes provided entertainment for the evening.

Funds Raised To Provide Accomodation For Kids Battling Cancer Atlanta, GA: On March 25, Access LifeAmerica organized Bollywood Beats – a musical event to promote their efforts of providing support to children and their families, who are fighting against cancer. Various local singers, musicians and dance groups participated and supported the event which was held at North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, GA. One of the biggest challenges faced by these families, is getting hygienic accommodation in Mumbai, during the treatment. These families come to Mumbai for treatment from remote parts of India and find it very expensive and strenuous to find a clean place to stay. Access Life provides temporary accommodation at their three locations in Mumbai, where these families are given home-like environment and also provided with facilities to improve the quality of life of these children by

providing practical support services, educations resources and recreational programs. Girish Nair, Gopal Nair, Parvinder Singh and Rajesh Veliyath started Access Life in 2014 with their first center at Chembur, with arrangement of

who come for treatment are battling against Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Part B Cell, Acute Leukemia and various other forms of cancer. At these three centers, families share their endurance and provide support to each other, which is what

The cost to support the stay of 1 child and family is $ 287 per month, which goes towards to lodging, transportation, food and even tickets back to their home town.Access LifeAmerica( ) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.

8 families to stay. A second center was started in the summer of 2016 at Thane, Mumbai and a third center was started in the winter of 2016 in Andheri. The Andheri center is a spacious flat, used for patients of bone-marrow transplant. Children

is needed in such situations. Yoga classes are conducted regularly, along with daily meditation. Bollywood Beats 2017 was inaugurated by Nagesh Singh, Consul General of India, Atlanta.

Access Life promotes the spirit of Pay It Forward. It is building a caring community by sharing resources.

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Rajasthan Association Of Georgia (RAJA) Celebrates Gangaur Singh from Indian Consulate, Atlanta. Kaleen Rugs, Duggar Family, Farmers Insurance, Shure Auto, Global Travels supported the event by providing sponsorship for RAJA Gangaur celebration. RAJA has taken the initiative in organizing community services and engaging school kids in various activities. A food drive was organized by RAJA to help homeless people on Gangaur. Kids were awarded with certificates for their volunteering efforts with whose efforts RAJA was able to collect around $300 during their food drive to help needy people. RAJA’s President Sudhir Agarwal and Vice Atlanta, GA: Rajasthan Association of Georgia (RAJA) celebrated its annual festival Gangaur with great pomp and show at The Atlanta Events Hall on April 1. The event was attended by more than 100 people including people visiting from Canada and India. Gangaur is one of the most important festivals celebrated in Rajasthan. Gangaur means “Gana”+”Gauri”. Gana is a synonym for Lord Shiva and Gaur stands for Gauri or Parvati who symbolizes Saubhagya.

This year Gangaur festival was celebrated with traditional Rajasthani folk songs with colorful outfits. There was cultural performance by women and kids in traditional wear. People were mesmerized by the conversation between the MCs of the event Ranjana Rathi and Payal Agarwal. “Thanks for inviting us for the event. We have not experienced such a great Indian cultural performance in Atlanta” one of the guests commented. The event was attended by prominent members from community including Consul D.V.

Konkani Association Celebrates Yugadi BY GANESH NAYAK & REKHA PRABHU Atlanta GA: The Konkani Association of Georgia (KAOG) celebrated their annual Yugadi celebration on April 22nd at Roswell Center. Yugadi is an important festival celebrated

in most parts of India with different names. As the word translates, ‘Yuga’ is Era and ‘Adi’ is the beginning, hence beginning of the New Year. It is based on the Hindu calendar, and occurs mostly in March-April. KAOG generally holds its celebration in the third Saturday of April. This year at KAOG, the festivities began with the welcome speech by president Sarita Bhat and invocation by Mihika Jalisatgi followed by a devotional song by Raghvendra Kamath. Vice President Sanjay Rao conducted a marvelous, inventive and informative game. People were invited to share their Yugadi experiences back in India, growing up, with the intent of transmitting those experiences to children who have grown up in the US. The anecdotes were related in a slideshow with attractive visuals. But that was not all - they were also requested to provide old photographs, so it extended into a game for a small pool of children, and of course for the audience. The festivities continued with an entertaining mother-daughter skit by Sushma and Lavanya

Shenoy, written by resident playwright Banur Nageshrao, whose talents are always tapped at such events. Following the skit was a game of completing half-provided Konkani proverbs conducted by Ravi Nayak, with bonus points for illustrating these ingenious sayings with examples. Three teams tied for the leading spot, and the tie-breaker didn’t happen for lack of time. No one begrudged that there was no declared winner, for it was occasion to savor the richness and depth of the Konkani language that produced these wonderful sayings. It was then time for a different kind of savoring.The celebration ended with dinner comprising traditional Konkani delicacies cooked by enthusiastic volunteers. The cuisine of the Konkan coast is among the most varied and diverse of all Indian cuisines. Much of it was on the menu, which has become an annual traditional treat that is rife with anticipation. The KAOG was formed in 2000, when a few families who have been meeting informally decided to form an association. Member events typically occur three times a year - Yugadi celebrations in March/April, a summer picnic in an outdoor setting, and Diwali celebrations in October/November. There are about 60 active families in the Atlanta metro area, and the few families strewn across Georgia enthusiastically make the trip for each of the events. 2016 was a unique and highly eventful year for, KAOG - in July, the association was host to the quadrennial North American Konkani Sammelan, which was attended by over 1400 people from all over the world, in Atlanta. After the hectic activity and excitement of 2016, it is another ‘normal’ year that the Yugadi celebrations kicked off, for a community that has become closer, having worked together closely to conduct a successful Sammelan.

President Anand Rathi provided details on the achievements of RAJA and the upcoming events for the year 2017. RAJA is organizing a Health Fair on April 15 and 22 where 12 specialists are expected to come and offer voluntary services. RAJA Annual Picnic has been finalized for July 30 at Pinckneyville Park from 10 am to 4 pm. The annual Diwali Milan will be on Nov 4 at Ashiana Restaurant. The Chairman of the Board, Aashu Rahar appreciated the contributions by the executive team, sponsors and volunteers to make the event successful.

Visitorscoverage Launches ChoiceAmerica Travel Insurance Santa Clara, CA: With the request from many customers traveling to the USA, VisitorsCoverage has introduced a brand new travel insurance product, ChoiceAmerica, that is crafted to help international travelers, especially elderly travelers such as parents and senior citizens. ChoiceAmerica offers a number

of benefits that have never before been seen with one single travel insurance policy, and that is why it is classified as a “first” in its industry. What makes ChoiceAmerica truly stand out lies within the distinguishing factors this unique plan offers that other insurance plans in the industry are unable to deliver. Though the insurance is a budget plan that offers limited coverage benefits and comes with restrictions, it provides coverage for the much-needed benefits for travelers in the international travel space. With a mission to meet the individual needs of the vast array of international travelers, VisitorsCoverage has succeeded in creating an inclusive solution with this one-of-akind policy option. Rajeev Shrivastava, CEO of says, “The ChoiceAmerica plan is one testament to VisitorsCoverage’s unwavering dedication to provide international travelers with the best possible solution fit to their needs.” Some of the unique benefits ChoiceAmerica offers include: Limited Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage: Recognizing the problem that preexisting conditions are typically not covered with any insurance plan, VisitorsCoverage designed ChoiceAmerica plan in a way that offers an optional pre-existing condition rider, which provides limited and basic coverage for eligible pre-existing conditions.

Adventure Sports & Amusement Park Coverage: Ideal for travelers taking an adventurous trip, the ChoiceAmerica plan includes adventure sports and amusement park injury coverage. Coverage in the North American continent (U.S., Canada, Mexico): ChoiceAmerica covers non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. permanent residents traveling outside of their home country to the United States,Mexico, and Canada. It is the only plan that covers this category of travelers throughout the entire NorthAmerican Continent. So, for example, if a US traveler is taking a cruise to Mexico, this is the plan that covers them. Border Security Coverage: In the case that a traveler is denied entry into the United States. Coverage for Lost Travel Documents: If a traveler experiences the misfortune of losing their passport or travel documents, ChoiceAmerica reimburses the expenses for replacements, with proper proof of loss. No other insurance plan in the industry is able to offer these different types of essential benefits one policy, but going above and beyond is nothing new for VisitorsCoverage. Creating its very own allencompassing and affordable plan is yet another showcase of the company’s commitment to meet the unique needs of all kinds of travelers. The ChoiceAmerica plan allows travelers to spend more time enjoying their experience abroad and less time stressing about medical coverage. With the security and assurance that the ChoiceAmerica plan provides, VisitorsCoverage has yet again proven to set itself apart as an insurance company focused on providing the best possible experience for international travelers all around the world. VisitorsCoverage is a one-stop resource designed to meet the travel insurance needs of international travelers across the globe. For over 10 years, VisitorsCoverage is dedicated to providing international travelers with the best and most innovated travel insurance solution, fit to their specific needs. ChoiceAmerica is underwritten by an A-rated insurer and administered by International Medical Group (IMG). IMG is an award-winning provider of global insurance benefits and assistance services.


........City News ........

May 2017

GAPI Celebrates 29th Annual Convention And Banquet With Élan BY MAHADEV DESAI Photos by ByteGraph Atlanta, GA: The Georgia Association of Physicians of Indian Heritage (GAPI) held its 29th annual convention and a glitzy banquet at the Crowne Plaza, Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia, on Saturday, April 22, 2017. The gala event was attended by over 250 guests including physicians from all over Georgia and graced by the presence of Chief Guest GA House Rep. Geoff Duncan (Cumming); MAG President Dr.Steven Walsh MD and his wife Jane Walsh Consul R. Srinivasan, among others. Just prior to the social hour at 5.00 p.m. there was a Board Meeting and followed by the well- attended medical education seminar consisting of CME and Non-CME segments: Moderated by Dr. Hemant Yagnick and Snehal Patel. Among the informative and engaging topics presented were ‘An innovative model for Student engagement in Global Health Policy’ by founder and president of AMWHO National-Neha Acharya and Founder of AMWHO, Emory Chapter, Dr. Somnath Das ;Varicose Veins-Modern Treatment and Modalities-Dr.Gautam Agarwal; Thyroid nodule and indeterminate Cytology by Dr. Snehal Patel; Coronary calcium scoring, where the stand in 2017 by Dr.Gyan Sharma; Sleep apnea-Overview & 2017 update by Dr. Bipin Patel and Dr. Dedhia MD; Investment by Vijay Patel from Merryl Lynch and Understanding the legal tools-the key to lawsuit prevention and tax reduction. The program was emceed with composure and humor by Soumil Patel. The program began with a rousing rendering of the Indian national anthem, and the US national anthem by Anukrutha Venukadasula. Following her brief introduction by Dr. Indrakrishnan, the founder/artistic director of Laasya School of Dance and music in Atlanta, Sridevi Ranjit mesmerized the attendees with her enthralling & scintillating performance of a

twice a month, on 1st and 3rd Saturdays, between 1-4 pm. He recognized all the Clinic volunteers, especially Dr. Sujatha Reddy, Dr. Jay Sampath; Vidya Kanagaraj, the backbone of the clinic for their dedicated and caring services. He appealed to the audience to volunteer at least once in a year. GAPI also coordinated with Sai Health Fair held on April 1, at the Global Mall, Norcross. Dr.Sreeni requested the audience to attend the upcoming 2017 AAPI Convention Dr. Maurya and guests with felicitated past and present GAPI officers. in Atlantic City, New Jersey from June 21-25. ideas. In addition, he spoke GAPI Clinic’s steadfast volunteer Dr. Jay Sampath extensively about looking for exhorted the audience to step up to volunteering at the ways to better involve the clinic.” What does it take to be a volunteer? It is conviccommunity to solve the is- tion. It is enough even if you take turns to volunteer for sues that surround poverty just one day. But signing up and not showing up is instead of looking for another unfair.” government program. Rep. Consul Srinivasan lauded GAPI for its outstandDuncan concluded his re- ing services in the healthcare field and for helping the marks by thanking the GAPI Consulate connect with the Indian-American commumembers for the hard work nity. Things are changing fast in India and here in the US they do in the community and and as your reach is much wider your feedback and also for the quality jobs they connectivity are much appreciated. We on our part create all across Georgia. would be ever helpful to you.” GAPI’s past President and AAPI PresidentPresident of Medical Dr.Walsh felicitates Dr. Maurya as Consul Association of Georgia Dr. Elect, Dr. Naresh Parikh requested the attendees Srinivasan looks on. Steven M Walsh spoke about to become AAPI members and also to attend the the new house bills 165 and AAPI convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Bharathanatyam Keerthanam titled ”Jaya jaya 249 introduced in the Georgia Assembly earlier June 21-25,2017.He informed the attendees about Durge” . this year, which may change the way physicians the AAPI tour to North European countries in Dr. Indrakrishnan then introduced his friend will practice in GA in the future. He appreciated July 2018 and Global Healthcare summit in Deand the chief guest of the convention, Georgia the physicians who testified, called legislature, cember 2018 in Pune, Goa and Mumbai. And to House of Representative of Cumming, Geoff and kept relation with their local legislatures. He top it all, Atlanta will be again hosting grand AAPI Duncan to the attendees. Dr. Indrakrishnan com- stressed that all physicians should become MAG Convention in Atlanta in June 2019,after 13 years GAPI’s past President and Chair, GAPI Elecmended the exceptional work done by Rep. Geoff members. tion Committee, Dr. Santanu Das congratulated Duncan on the Georgia rural Healthcare Reform Dr. Sreeni Gangasani is currently Regional act which is now being recognized nationally as a Director of AAPI South and got elected as mem- the GAPI members who in the current year, have model for rural healthcare reform. Geoff Duncan’s ber of Board of Trustees of AAPI from July 2016 made their notable mark in both State and Nakeynote speech to GAPI was centered on Georgia for three years. He is in charge of the GAPI Free tional organizations- Dr.Indrakrishnan who has being a national leader in healthcare reform by cre- clinic at the Global Mall, Norcross and informed been appointed by GA Governor Nathan Deal on ating more access to healthcare through creative

that the clinic, which opened in 2010 is now open

Continued on Pg 17…

Amritha Murali’s Splendid Performance At CAMAGA Concert PHOTO & REPORT BY GIRISH MODI Atlanta, GA: CAMAGA organized a concert of Carnatic vocalist Amritha Murali at Hindu Temple of Atlanta, Riverdale on April 9, which was attended by many connoisseurs of music. She was accompanied by R. K. Shriramkumar on the violin and K Arun Prakash on the mridangam. Amritha belongs to a family of musicians and her exceptional musical instincts have been well nurtured by her parents and she has gained much acclaim and popularity with the music fraternity as a highly talented musician of the younger generation. Amritha has had the good fortune of learning vocal music from great gurus including Late Sri K R Kedaranathan, Smt. Meera Kedaranathan, and Smt. Rama Ravi. She also trains under Smt. T.Rukmini for violin playing. Amritha is also under a fellowship granted by the Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi to learn advanced raga, tan am and pallavis. Amritha has been performing for many pres-

tigious organizations all over the country. She has been on vocal concert tours of the U.S.A and Canada. She has also been promoted to sing in the senior slot during the Music Academy’s (Chennai) December music festival. Musicians, rasikas and critics have been highly appreciative of her adherence to classical values and the aesthetic appeal of her concerts. In Amritha’s recital, the Sahana vinyasa for ‘Raghupate Rama,’ was exhilarating. Her rendition particularly brought out the sparkle and substance. It was not flat and unadorned, but richly worked out, the sancharas subtly integrated with vocal articulation. Similar was her approach to ‘Neeke Dayaraaka’ (Neelambari), the rhythm in the smooth-flowing sahitya pointing to her talent. The noble tone and niceties in gamaka brimmed with feeling, while intelligence ensured that the raga was not overstretched in repetitions or inaccuracies. Muthuswami Dikshitar’s exquisite “ Shri Kamalambikayam’’ (Tisra Triputa) was

handled. “Clear Diction, Clean lines-Amritha Murali’s musical expression reveals and underlying conviction that rings true even to a jaded listener. Her music is refreshingly honest with no pseudoiconoclastic propensities to distort the clean lines

of her straightforward presentation.” Lalitha Krishnan , The Hindu, May 2006 Amritha’s music was a showcase of truly classical music replete with aesthetic and emotional appeal. Amritha’s glistening, full-fledged Sahana remained with you long after her concert.

May 2017

Google CEO Sundar Pichai Doubles His Pay Package

New York: (IANS) Google’s India-born CEO Sundar Pichai received a stock award of $198.7 million in 2016, almost double his 2015 stock award of $99.8 million, a media report said. That brought his total compensation in 2016 to $199.7 million, almost twice the $100.6 million he earned in 2015. Pichai received a salary of $650,000 in 2016, slightly less than the $652,500 he earned in 2015, CNBC reported. Pichai’s massive pay package came even as his two bosses and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, once again drew salaries of only one dollar for their roles as CEO and President, respectively, of parent company Alphabet. But Page and Brin are each worth more than $40 billion through their stock holdings. According to the report, Pichai’s raise came during a year when Google’s sales rose 22.5 per cent and net income rose 19 per cent as it maintained its position as the top seller of internet advertising.

......... Biz Pulse ........

One Percent Indians Own 53 Percent Of Wealth: UN Report New Delhi: (IANS) Indicating that inequality in India is increasing, a UN report released here on Thursday said that the richest one percent own 53 percent of the country’s wealth. It also said that unlike other countries, devel-

opment in India is not moving across states. “In terms of wealth inequality, India is second only to Russia, where the richest 1 percent own 53 percent of the country’s wealth,” said the report ‘The Better Business, Better World’ released here in a two day event of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) focussing on how through bold innovation, businesses can create solutions and tap new opportunities found within the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the UNGC, SDGs can open at least $1 trillion of market opportunity for the private sector in India.

“This is out of a total global value of $12 trillion that could be unlocked by sustainable business models in four key areas, food and agriculture, energy, cities and health,” she said. Kingo added that over 72 million new jobs could be created in India by 2030 by adapting a sustainable business model. About addressing the disparity, the report says that to reduce the inequality, India needs a ‘different economic model’ — one that is not only lowcarbon but also recognizes poverty, inequality and lack of financial access. “As the second largest food producer in the world, India needs a more focused approach to developing and managing its agricultural sector and agri-based industrialisation,” it says. Stating that rising inequality leads to slower progress in reducing poverty, the report added that Oxfam has calculated that if India were to stop inequality from rising further, it could end extreme poverty for 90 million people as early as 2019. The UNGC also called for better infrastructure to improve access to proper medical care for India’s rural population. “On its current trajectory, India will continue to face enormous challenges in rural development, urban sustainability, national infrastructure, and improved quality of life of its citizens,” the report says.

United Airlines To Offer Up To $10,000 For Forfeiting Seat Washington: (IANS) United Airlines has said it will offer up to $10,000 to passengers who give up seats on overbooked flights. The airline said it will cut back on overbooking and develop an automated system to gauge customers’ interest in voluntary, compensated bumping at check-in. The change comes as part of a review following an inquiry set up after a passenger was dragged off a fully booked United flight this month, ABC News reported. David Dao lost two front teeth and suffered a broken nose when he was removed from the ChicagoLouisville flight to make room for crew members in the April 9 incident. The incident caused outrage and widespread condemnation of the airline. The shocking footage was shared and watched by millions online. The offer by United comes after rival Delta Air Lines Inc said it will pay as much as $9,950 compared with a previous cap of $1,350 for volunteers to get off overbooked flights. The latest incident to hit United Airlines’s reputation came when it announced an investigation into the death of a giant rabbit which was

being transported on one of its planes. The 90-cm-long bunny, called Simon, was found dead in the cargo hold when the flight arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare airport from London’s

Heathrow. The company said it was striving to become a “better, more customer-focused airline” to win back the public’s trust after a worldwide furore over Dao’s treatment. “Every customer deserves to be treated with the highest levels of service and the deepest sense of dignity and respect,” embattled CEO Oscar

Munoz said in a statement. “Two weeks ago, we failed to meet that standard. Today, we are taking concrete, meaningful action to make things right,” he added. Maximum compensation for voluntary denied boarding will be increased up to $10,000, said the airline. It said there would be no more use of law enforcement officers to remove passengers from flights unless it was a matter of safety and security. Additionally, seated passengers will not be asked to leave involuntarily and crews will be booked on flights 60 minutes before departure. An annual training would be given to staff to handle “the most difficult situations” and customers will be paid at least $1,500 on any permanently lost bags, United said. A “customer solutions team” will be established by June to provide gate agents with creative solutions. They’ll explore putting passengers and flight crews on flights to nearby airports, using other airlines or providing ground transportation.


NITI Aayog To Hand Hold Indian States On Infrastructure Projects

New Delhi: (IANS) The NITI Aayog has decided to offer support services to states in projects where they find it difficult to attract private investment. A senior NITI Aayog official told IANS that the policy think-tank would not only offer advice and guidance to the states for infrastructure projects, but would also hand-hold them in execution so as to improve the confidence of investors. At least 18 states have submitted proposals for the initiative and the NITI Aayog has so far short-listed 40 projects. “We have short-listed those projects where land is either not an issue or where most of the land has already been acquired,” the official said. He added that the Aayog would further screen the proposed projects and would eventually select 10 projects from 10 states which have the potential for Public-Private Partnership (PPP). The projects would be finalised by July after which detailed project reports would be prepared and bidding process would start. “The nation needs development and the government money is not enough to achieve that. We need private partnership and investment for that,” the official said. He said while significant work has been done in some states and some sectors when it comes to PPP mode, but others have been ignored. “If we look at states in the eastern part of India, especially the north-eastern states, little work has been done in that direction. The investors have no confidence to invest there.” “We have decided to take up those projects which have potential for partnership but where private players don’t show interest for some reason or the other,” the official said. Among the states which have pitched their projects include Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi. The proposed projects include a micro-irrigation project in Haryana and development of a road that passes through non-Naga inhabited areas in Manipur where economy often suffers due to the blockade. Delhi has proposed development of Sarai Kale Khan bus station in the city with building of a commercial space over it so that it earns revenue for the government even as a world-class bus station operates on the ground.


......... Features ........

India Can Bolster Snapchat’s Prospects As Facebook Goes After It BY NISHANT ARORA

“Like other internet giants, Facebook leverages the power of the ecosystem, same as Tencent Founded in 2004, Facebook — on track to or Alibaba in China. It’s not the battle between hit two billion active monthly users this year — is Facebook and Snapchat, rather than ecosystem now the fifth-largest US firm by market strategy vs a single-platform strategy,” Wang told capitalisation (exceeding $400 billion) and owns IANS. the world’s most popular apps: WhatsApp, According to Anoop Mishra, one of the Instagram and Messenger. nation’s leading social media experts, most of the On the other hand, popular image messaging plat- product-based companies involve their research form Snapchat’s parent company Snap Inc grew to $25 and development team to keep a close eye spebillion in market capitalization after its mega IPO in cially on the features implemented by surroundMarch. Launched in 2011, Snapchat today has a little ing chasers. over 160 million active daily users. “Features like Poke That Facebook is going (2012), Slingshot (2014), after Snapchat is not news, TECH PULSE Bolt (2014), One-Hour but the battle has now beMessages (2015), News come somewhat ugly. At its Feed-Only Posts (2016), recently-concluded F8 develQuick Updates (2016) and oper conference in San Jose Instagram Stories (2016) in the US, CEO Mark are somehow imitated, Zuckerberg launched “Camsnatched or neatly cloned era Effects Platform” to enin recent history by courage augmented reality Facebook from Snapchat,” (AR) effects — a move reMishra told IANS. ported by The New York “This could be a part Times as Facebook’s “brazen heist” over Snapchat. of their strategy to influence more and more active It is Snapchat which has popularized ani- users and keep themselves ahead of the surroundmated AR selfie masks and facial filters. ing competitors which helps them gain internet ad Facebook has also added Snapchat-style “Sto- revenue share as well,” Mishra added. ries” and camera special effects to all its core soUnfortunately, the biggest irony with online cial apps: Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and e-services is that there is hardly anything from the Instagram. offerings perspective to sustain differentiation. Facebook has also added Geostickers to “However, execution is what will matter in the Instagram, offering location-specific tags in two end. In this case, if Snapchat has a better execution, it cities (New York City and Jakarta) that users can will grow big or else Facebook could make it irrelevant paste over images. Snapchat launched Geofilters by looping in features on features,” Faisal Kawoosa, back in 2014. Principal Analyst (Telecoms) at CyberMedia Research Why does a giant need to “copy” or borrow (CMR), told IANS. features at all when it can innovate at will? Is this open “dadagiri” on the part of Facebook or “Facebook is not just learning/borrowing fea- is everything fair in love and technology? tures from Snapchat (mostly to Instagram), but it “I would like to call it a strategic ‘dadagiri’ has been borrowing features from other messaging rather than ‘open dadagiri’. Why I’m saying straapps too. For example, Facebook Messenger tegic ‘dadagiri’ is because these things not only learned a lot of features from WeChat (China) since help one gain market share but also prepare grounds last year’s F8, such as creating branded accounts for acquisition and mergers,” Mishra emphasised. and letting brands use it for customer services,” For Kawoosa, it is not about copying or Xiaofeng Wang, Senior Analyst with US-based “dadagiri” but what works best. market research firm Forrester, told IANS. “Ultimately it’s about what makes the applicaThe new group chatbot feature announced at tion more productive and meaningful, thus increasing F8 this year is also very similar to what “Line” the chances of keeping users engaged,” Kawoosa said. (Japan) has already offered. Zuckerberg even tried to acquire Snapchat It’s not unusual in the tech industry to create for $3 billion in 2013, but its co-founder Evan similar features inspired by other companies. Line and WhatsApp picked up the idea of a voice mes- Spiegel refused the offer. Now Spiegel is engaged in a different kind of battle with Facebook. saging feature from WeChat too. Spiegel, who was in the news recently for his “Legally, it’s hard to prove ‘copy’. But purported disinterest in expanding business to Facebook has been launching new features to retain user-activity and attract younger generations “poor countries” like India — something that creas Snapchat attracts the younger generation better ated an uproar in social media and was later refuted by the parent company Snap — must actuthan Facebook,” Wang noted. Originally launched by Snapchat, the “Sto- ally have a fresh look at India. There are over 200 million WhatsApp users ries” feature shows photos and videos shared in chronological order that disappear after 24 hours. in India while Facebook has nearly 166 million. Snapchat? A mere four million, according to Facebook introduced something similar in its media reports. app Instagram last August. Today, Instagram has This is where Spiegel needs to focus as the Indian over 200 million people Stories daily — more than market is among the world’s largest — and growing — even Snapchat. Today, Messenger, WhatsApp and the main when it comes to social media use. Ignoring the “rich” Facebook app have all added “Stories” feature (In millenials in the country will only harm Snapchat as Facebook will gobble them up. WhatsApp, it is called ‘Status’).

May 2017

Baahubali 2: A Fitting And Fantasy-esque Finale Film: “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion”; Director: S. S. Rajamouli; Cast: Prabhas Raju, Rana Daggubati, Ramya Krishnan, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah Bhatia, Nasser, Charandeep, Satya Raj, Prabhakar, Rakesh Varre, Rohini, Tanikella Bharani, Teja Kakumanu; Rating: ***1/2 BY TROY RIBEIRO Why did Kattapa kill Baahubali? This perennial question that haunted those who have seen “Baahubali: The Beginning” will now be rested. Director S.S. Rajamouli does answer this question and offers much more in “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion”, which is an action-packed revenge drama. For the uninitiated, Baahubali is the story of an orphan prince Amarendra Baahubali and his son Mahendra Baahubali in the Kingdom of Maheshmati. While the first edition concentrated on Amarendra being unaware of his identity, the Conclusion takes off from where the first part ended MOVIE and delves deeper into the life of Amarendra Baahubali, the father of Mahendra Baahubali the child who was dramatically saved in the opening

shots of the earlier film. Narrated in a melodramatic manner with surreal action sequences and epic battle scenes along with plenty of dilemmas and betrayals, it is Amarendra’s tale that is interestingly gripping as it answers the question of why Kattapa killed Baahubali. The final act of The Conclusion, which concentrates on Mahendra’s story seems like a rushed job. And with a run time of 167 minutes,

the film eventually seems to drag. On the performance front, with dramatic

Narrated in a melodramatic manner with surreal action sequences and epic battle scenes along with plenty of dilemmas and betrayals, it is Amarendra’s tale that is interestingly gripping as it answers the question of why Kattapa killed Baahubali.


lines and over-the-top acts, every actor performs his part earnestly. With an imposing, yet tender personality, Sathyaraj as Kattapa, the loyal warrior, is impressive. Prabhas Raju in a dual role is charming as Amarendra and sincere as Mahendra Baahubali. Rana Daggubati excels as the vicious Bhalladeva. But it is Nassar as the scheming Bijjala Deva, father of Bhalladeva, who steals the thunder from Rana. Ramya Krishnan as the Rajmata Sivagami along with Anushka Shetty as Devasena — Amarendra’s wife — offer a stimulating performance. Tamannaah Bhatia as Avantika, Mahendra’s love interest, in a miniscule role has nothing much to offer. On the technical front, like its prequel, this film too is at par with any big ticket Hollywood caper, in terms of its mounting. Visually the film is colossal and monumentally spectacular. In fact, it is a bit better than the previous edition in terms of VFX effects and sharper edits. The action sequences too are artistically and aesthetically choreographed. The music and background score by MM Kreem add to the cinematic experience. Unfortunately the dubbing in Hindi is not up to the mark. Overall, this concluding part of Baahubali will appeal to you, irrespective of whether you have seen The Beginning.

May 2017

......... Health Pulse ........


Which Foods Are Making Indian-Americans Obese? BY DR. PANCHAJANYA PAUL, MD Many first generation Indians living in the US are overweight or obese. Obesity is becoming a pandemic among Indians living abroad. Obesity is a serious health hazard and increases the risk of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, stroke, heart attack, depression, and cancer. Among Indians, when compared to our parents and grandparents, weight gain is much more in the present generation. The genes are the same. The only change is in our environment and lifestyle. When Indians move to the US, they encounter a new environment. There are more opportunities for growth and success. The Indian community, although only 1 percent of the US population, has prospered and succeeded in high paying jobs in fields like medicine, engineering , research and business. Their life span has increased as people have access to cleaner air, water, food and better medical care. The abundance of cheap food is however a mixed blessing. Although, one rarely suffers from nutritional deficiencies, obesity has increased. There are many reasons for that. First of all, our lifestyle has changed. We move and exercise much less and are more sedentary than ever. Secondly, the food we eat, even though it looks and taste the same, has changed tremendously over the years. Although too much focus is put on the fat and the calorie content of the food, they only constitute a partial picture. Here are the four important food ingredients which are of concern. Sugar: Indians are fond of eating sweets. Albeit, sugar is bad for health and causes weight gain, diabetes, tooth damage and a host of other problems. However, sugar is not the worst. Most sweets in US are made of high fructose corn syrup which is chemically processed and has deleterious

health consequences. The corn syrup is kept artificially cheaper in the US through farm subsidies. As a result, all sugary beverages high in calories like coke, cookies, candies, chocolates and cakes are cheaper and readily available. These have empty calories and last longer- both outside and inside the body. They are also cheaper than products made of cane sugar or jaggery. They are everywhere, and form an integral part of the American culture, and sweet tooth Indians find them

hard to resist. High fructose corn syrup has been directly linked to metabolic syndrome which is a condition where the blood pressure, blood sugar, blood cholesterol, blood triglycerides, and the waist circumference goes up leading directly to obesity. Hence, make every possible attempt to eliminate sugar and corn syrup from the diet. It is also the quickest way to lose weight. Wheat: Wheat is an integral part of the Indian diet. Samosa, chaat, chapatti, naan, puri, paratha are all made of wheat or wheat derived products. Wheat is also present in cereals, noodles, pasta, bagels, muffins, pancakes, waffles, donuts, pretzels, crackers. It’s hard to escape wheat in America.

Wheat was first domesticated around 8000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, and had been consumed in India for at least 3000 years. Wheat was successfully harvested, eaten and digested by our forefathers in a healthy way. Now one may ask- what’s wrong with the wheat which was good for our grandparents and great grandparents? The wheat we eat now is not the same wheat used by our grandparents. The current strain of the wheat is a product of genetic engineering. The green revolution pioneered by Norman Borlaug, who was also awarded the Nobel peace prize, began the trend of using high yielding grains, and it helped India to become self-sufficient in food. But it came with a high cost. The high yielding wheat- Triticum Aestivum, has now replaced the older sturdy ones, and are now cultivated across the world. This modern wheat, also called the common wheat, constitutes 95 percent of all wheat grown in the world. It has much higher gluten content and as a result we now see a rise of gluten sensitivity and celiac diseases. The modern wheat has less nutrients and more starch. It increases the blood sugar more rapidly. It tends to store in the body more readily and causes obesity. Also the modern wheat made by genetic engineering is too fragile to survive on its own, and requires heavy doses of pesticides and artificial fertilizers. Try to limit the amount of wheat in the diet, or replace them with oats, quinoa, and wild rice. Milk: Milk is the main source of protein in the Indian vegetarian diet. Milk and its derivatives like curd, raita, yogurt, ghee, paneer, cheese, cream, butter, and butter-milk are present in some form in most Indian meals. In the US, most cows are grown in the feed lot and are milked all year. They are fed cheap corn laced with pesticides. Cows also get hormonal injections to increase milk supply. These cows bred for milk become sick often

Continued From Pg 14... GAPI Annual Convention the GA Board for Physician Workforce; Dr.Dilip Patel, on his recognition as the ‘Psychiatrist of the year’ by GA Psychiatrist Physicians Association; Dr.Naresh Parikh, MD on his appointment as AAPI Vice President;Dr Sudhakar Jonnalagadda (AAPI Secretary). Dr. Das then announced names of the GAPI’s new Office-bearers for 2017-2018: President: Dr.Raghu Lolabhattu; President-elect:Dr.Syamala Erramilli; Secretary: Dr.Hemant Yagnick; Treasurer: Dr.Chandana Prabhudev. The outgoing Chairman, Board of Trustees,Dr.Dilip Patel announced the names of new Board of trustees including new chairman of Board of Trustees.BOT Chair: Dr.Piyush Patel;Dr.Raghu Grandhige;Dr.Asha Parikh;Dr.Manmohan Gupta;Dr.Sudha Tata; and Dr.Indrakrishnan. GAPI President Dr.Vijay Maurya said that GAPI founded in 1987 now has 1200 plus members and over 400 life members and is second biggest Chapter of AAPI. GAPI has enrolled more members recently and will continue to encourage from young generation.GAPI clinic is running smoothly but more members ought to volunteer. The regional meetings were well attended. GAPI’s website is being revamped and updated. He concluded his remarks by congratulating Dr.Naresh Parikh and Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda on their appointments as AAPI Presi-

dent-elect and Secretary respectively. Dr.Manoj Shah presented annual scholarship of $1,000 to three students:Sharvil Patel;Mallika Chauhan and Dhruv Shankar Gaur. Rev. Nancy Yancey, the founder of Rainbow village of Lawrenceville won GAPI’s Humanitarian award for 2017 on Dr. Indrakrishnan’s nomination & recommendation. The Rainbow village has an educational and holistic approach to break the cycles of homelessness, poverty and domestic violence. Rainbow Village transforms the lives of homeless families with children by providing a stable community and services that instills initiative, self-development and accountability for future generations. Ms. Eleanor Morgan, a board member who accepted the award on behalf of Rev. Nancy Yancey stated that the Rainbow Village, over the past 26 years has transitioned more than 1000 parents and children to the community as productive members and thanked GAPI for the honor and appreciated Dr. Indrakrishnan’s nomination. Georgia Indian Nurses Association (GINA) President Vidya Kanagaraj was recognized and presented with a $1,000 donation by GAPI. The incoming President Dr. Lolabhattu began his brief remarks by commending Dr. Maurya for his GAPI leadership. He also thanked young Soumil for deftly emceeing the evening’s program. Dr. Lolabhattu promised to do his best in helming

GAPI. “My goal will be to expand the membership base. We will continue our relationship with umbrella organization AAPI and our support to MAG. He reiterated Dr.Maurya’s assurance about the website and said the website will be more interactive, interesting and user-friendly. I look forward to your support and cooperation in making GAPI even stronger.” (GAPI donates to several Charitable organizations every year. Last year we gave $5000 to Lydia house in Augusta. And on behalf of GAPI, Dr.Dilip Patel, on 4th March 2017, gave a check for $10,000 to Mr. Sonny Watson, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Houston Healthcare System, in Warner Robins for providing free mammograms to the indigent patients. During and after a scrumptious dinner, Dr.Amit Chakrabarty, Sadhna Malkani, and Vignesh Balasubramaniam of Gitanjali Musical Group’s Bollywood’s old and new high- octane chart-toppers soon had the attendees on the dance-floor! The grand elegant décor, stunning lighting effects, music and sound system were by Fazal, photo and videography were provided by ByteGraph Creations. After a scrumptious dinner, Bollywood charttoppers soon had the attendees on the dance-floor! The grand elegant décor, stunning lighting effects, music and sound system, photo and videography were provided by ByteGraph Creations Prashant Kollipara and team.

and are given regular antibiotics prophylactically. These cows die much earlier. Milk from corn and other grain feed cow has a high content of omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 6 fatty acid tends to be inflammatory and also cause weight gain. On the other hand, organic milk from the grass fed cows has a higher content of omega 3 acids, vitamin D, Vitamin A and other nutrients. Omega 3 acids are anti-inflammatory and good for the brain and heart. Even though expensive, every attempt should be made to get organic grass fed milk, preferably nonhomogenized. Potato: Potatoes are nutritious food, but the way potatoes are cooked in the Indian meal causes obesity. The skin of potatoes is rich in fiber and nutrients. It is peeled off and discarded in most Indian preparation. Then the potato is boiled in water. The water soluble vitamins like B, C leaves the potato and goes into the boiling water. The water is thrown most of the time. Then the potato is over cooked or deep fried. All this process eliminates most of the nutrients, and also increases the glycemic index of potato. High glycemic index means it will raise the blood sugar rapidly, and this contributes to diabetes and obesity. Limiting potatoes in the diet and replacing them with other vegetables like carrot, beat, squash, and papaya will help lose weight. Rice: An Indian staple, rice is also genetically altered these days. But unlike wheat, rice has very low gluten content. The order of health choice for rice would be wild rice first, brown rice second and white rice, the least desirable choice. But even white rice is better than wheat, if eaten in moderation. Among grains, Quinoa is a good choice. America is a land of opportunity and abundance. With little care and effort, diet can be modified to reap health benefits. Eat right to lose fat!

Enjoy Benefits Of Pudina Pudina (mint leaves) aids in digestion, improves oral health, treats cold and more, say experts. * Mint leaves are loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients which provide relief to the stomach muscles and help in digestion. It soothes the stomach instantly and works wonders when it comes to treating tummy troubles. * The herb is a naturally soothing substance, so it can alleviate the inflammation and temperature rise that is often associated with headaches and migraines. * Improving the health of a person’s mouth is a well-known benefit of mint. Since it has germicidal qualities and quickly freshens breath, it adds to oral health by inhibiting harmful bacterial growth inside the mouth and by cleaning the tongue and teeth. * Pudina can become your go-to ingredient to treat cough and cold. * The anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties work wonders for acne-prone skin. Also, when applied topically, mint has the effect of calming and cooling the skin affected by insect bites, a rash or other reactions.

........Features ........

fatty acids), vitamins E and C, folate, magnesium, copper and potassium. Avocado consumers also had lower intakes of total carbohydrates, added sugars and sodium, compared to non-consumers. “These findings indicate incorporating avocados could be one way to meet the recommended fruit and vegetable intake and potentially improve physiologic measures,” said Nikki Ford, Hass Avocado Board Director of Nutrition in California, US. “We encourage healthcare professionals to remain committed to recommending avocados as part of an overall healthy diet,” Ford added. Eating avocados also regulated the insulin levels and reduced levels of homocysteine — associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. For the study, the team assessed a representative sample of 29,684 adults (ages 19 years and older).

- Nury Vittachi







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Want to shed those extra kilos? Try avocados, which may help lower body weight, body mass index (BMI) as well as lead to smaller waist circumference, researchers have found. The findings, published in the journal Internal Medicine Review, showed that avocado consumers were 33 per cent less likely to be overweight or obese and 32 per cent less likely to have an elevated waist circumference compared to non-consumers. On average, avocado consumers weighed 7.5 lbs less, had a mean BMI of 1 unit less and 1.2 inches smaller waist circumference compared to non-consumers. Further, avocado consumption may also lead to an overall better diet, as consumers had higher intakes of dietary fibre, total fat, good fats (monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated

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Eating Avocado May Help Lose Weight

Rules: 1.The 3 x 3 sub grids are called regions 2.Numbers already filled in the grid are called givens 3.The goal of the player is to fill the blank grids of · Every row · Every column and · Every 3 x 3 box · With the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 However: All rows and columns and regions (3 x 3) should contain numbers 1 to 9 without being repeated.

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To list your forthcoming event, please email us at with Event Listing in the subjectline.

that corrections need corrections. In May, 2015, the US broadcast news station NPR printed this: “In a previous correction on this post, we corrected something that was actually correct. So we have corrected that correction.” Canada’s Toronto Sun once misspelled the word “correction” in a one-word headline over a correction: “CORRERCTION”. The best errors conjure up interesting images. Like this one from New Yorker magazine which makes a writer seem like an ageless wizard: “Correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified the number of years E.B. White wrote for The New Yorker. It was five decades, not centuries.” Asian names often puzzle English-speaking reporters, as shown by this correction in the Auckland Star: “Mai Thai Finn is one of the students in the program and was in the centre of the photo. We incorrectly listed her name as one of the items on the menu.” In our defence, journalists work so fast that errors are inevitable. In December last year, someone at the AP newswire sent out a report on French politics that clearly wasn’t ready. “Hollande will/won’t seek re-election,” the news flash told puzzled readers. Meanwhile, one of my condescending colleagues always points out everyone else’s spelling mistakes. And probably wouldn’t like me revealing that he checks his own spelling on Google first. Heh heh heh.

SuDoku Challenge

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Hindu Temple of MAY 19-29 Atlanta Vishwa Shanti Venkateswara Ashtakshari Mahamantra Yagam & Nava Chandi Yagam Balaji Prathishtapana Rajatotsavam (Silver Jubilee) When: May 19-29 Times: See display ad in this issue Where: Hindu Temple of Atlanta, 5851 Georgia Hwy 85, Riverdale, GA 30274 Contact: 770-907-7102,,

5K Chinmaya Tej MAY 21 walkathon benefiting CORD (Chinmaya Organization for Rural Development. CORD is a 501 c 3 non-profit organization that has served the underprivileged since 1985, promoting programs like underprivileged child & adult education, medical care for the disabled & aged, women empowerment and many many more (visit The walk will start at 8 am on a beautiful scenic greenway at large pavilion. Come with your friends & family, get some exercise, browse through vendor booths, and walk for a good cause. When: Sunday, May 21 at 8 am. Where: Fowler Park, 4110 Carolene Way, Cumming, GA 30040 Website for registration: Contact:

I just spelled a word so badly that even autocorrect was like, “Sorry, man, I got nothin’”. But at least it wasn’t as bad as my friend who went on a business trip with a staff member and misspelled a postcard to his wife: “Having a lovely time, wish you were her.” The high court in Delhi a few days ago blamed “a typo” after they let a convicted murderer loose. Their judgment sentenced him to “time served” instead of the long stretch of time he should be serving. Police are looking for him, hoping no one will end up with “killed by a typo” as an epitaph. Luckily, in most cases typos (short for “typographical errors”) usually just embarrass reporters and amuse readers. Going around the Internet this month was an apology from the Morning Sentinel, an Illinois newspaper which printed an article on a church musician: “We reported that Henninger’s band mate Eric Lyday was on drugs. The story should have read that Lyday was on drums.” What a difference a letter makes. So does a comma. One of my favourite authors, Ann Patchett, wrote to the editor of the New York Times after it reviewed her book: “The review mentions topics ranging from ‘her stabilising second marriage to her beloved dog’ without benefit of comma, thus giving the impression that Sparky and I are hitched. While my love for my dog is deep, he married a dog named Maggie at Parnassus Books last summer.” Sometimes we journalists mess up so badly

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IPN: Remembering MAY 18 Dr. Narsi Narasimhan, with Philip Bolton, publisher of Global Atlanta When: Thursday, May 18 at 6:30 pm. Where: Ashiana Restaurant, Global Mall, 5675 Jimmy Carter Blvd., Norcross, GA 30071. Ticket: $10 dinner. Contact: Ravi Ponangi 404-644-7521

IFA: Women’s Fest MAY 20 This event will feature Games, Shopping, Awards, Informative Speeches, Fashion show, Fun & Music. It is a great opportunity to network with new friends and professionals from different fields in a friendly, relaxing and fun atmosphere. When: Sat May 20 from 11am - 4pm Where: Skyland Business Center, 540 Access Road, Cumming, GA 30041 Contact: 470-253-4432 email: Website:

When Righting News Reports, THE FUNNY SIDE Get It Write

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Geet-Rung School of MAY 14 Dance & Music annual show “Meera.” Kathak, folk, Bollywood. Benefits St. Jude’s. When: Sunday, May 14 at 5:30 pm. Where: Infinite Energy Theater, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, GA 30097. Tickets: $27+ Contact: Pankaj Bhargava 404-944-3456,,

BAGA: Anondo Utsav MAY 20 When: Saturday, May 20 from 11am - 9pm Where: Discovery High School, 1335 Old Norcross Road, Lawrenceville, GA 30046 Tickets: $10+, ananda-utsav_buy_2093957 Contact: Joy (404) 831 4821 for stall and participation.

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100 Years of MAY 12 Bollywood: live audiovisual musical journey w/ singers, dancers. Also exhibit of photos of locals with Bollywood celebrities. Milind Oak and his talented singers and musician team of 100 Years Of Bollywood When: Friday, May 12, 2017 at 6:30pm exhibit, 8pm program. Where: Berkmar High School, 405 Pleasant Hill Rd., Lilburn, GA 30047. Tickets: $25+. Contact: Mustafa Ajmeri 678-463-6613

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NRI Pulse Online Magazine The Complete Portal for NRIs News, Views, Blogs, Features, Perspectives, Debates, Community Profiles, Immigration, Health, Business, Youth, Fashion, Entertainment, Bollywood, Cookery, Free Classifieds and more...

May 2017

..... Tribute to Atlanta Naari .....


The Inimitable Nazeera Dawood BY DIVYA DESAI Introducing our new series, ‘Tribute to Atlanta Naari’, a photographic ode to Atlanta women. They are mothers and wives, sisters and daughters. They are successful professionals and strong role models. They lead with their hearts and give back to the community. Let us salute the ‘heroes’ of our community! Photography and Concept: Divya Desai Make up: Kripa Bhatt Hair Stylist: Tina Cash


azeera Dawood is a persistent, consis tent, inclusive, focused public health pro fessional who advocates for evidence based approaches to addressing problems and who uses the national prevention strategy model in building collaborative partnerships. She champions the messages of disease prevention and quality affordable health care using innovative approaches that engage traditional and nontraditional partnerships. Dawood received her medical doctor degree from Bangalore University in India and master’s degree in public health from the University of

North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She worked as a research project scientist /manager at Emory University for over 5 years. She served on the President’s Commission on Race and Ethnicity, Transforming the Community Project at Emory University. She is currently the Senior Policy Adviser for Chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. Nazeera is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Morehouse School of Medicine, Community Medicine department. She has done an outstanding job educating and bringing communities together to address health concerns primarily through education, policy, sys-

tems and environmental changes. During her four year tenure at Fulton County at the health department, she has built an army of committed individuals from all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds with a mission to make a measurable difference in the way health care is viewed and delivered. As a result, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded County Department of Health and Wellness a $10,000,000 three year grant. Fulton County was the only organization in Georgia to be awarded monies. Nazeera led her team and hundreds of collaborative partners in designing and implementing S.M.A.R. T initiatives that continue to make huge impacts on building policy, systems and environmental changes that address chronic diseases. The $10,000,000 CDC award provides much needed resources given the anticipate budget shortfall projected in the coming years. She is kind, caring, compassionate, and highly intelligent with a natural ability to bring people together. This is evident as in her four years as Health Promotion Division Director, built six health coalitions (Smoke Free Coalition (SFC), Diabetes Community Action Coalition (DCAC), Healthy Heart Coalition (HHC), Interfaith Coalition, Asthma Coalition and Safe Kids Coalition) representing over 450 organizations and thousands of individuals at what she calls the grass root level. Nazeera is the founder of the Health Promotion Action Coalition (HPAC) to provide leadership and support to the

six chronic disease coalitions mentioned above. In four years, she gained the respect of and was honored by political, civic and religious leaders and others throughout Fulton County. In October 2014, she was honored by the Fulton County Commission with a proclamation and October 14, 2014 was considered “ Dr. Nazeera Dawood Appreciation Day” in Fulton County. Mayors from most of the 14 Fulton County Municipalities were present at the commission meeting and took pictures with her. The recognition of a staff person with a proclamation is rare, and highlights the caliber of work that Nazeera does and the professional respect that is given her. She is a change agent in the Public Health arena. She is innovative and has a knack for choosing the right time to move initiatives forward. She is equally active in community initiatives as the current president of the South Asian Public Health Association (SAPHA). She has served as a board member of the National Asian Pacific American

Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) Atlanta Chapter & Georgia Alliance for Health Literacy. She has collaborated with several local South Asian entities to initiate projects to promote preventive health, civic engagement, youth leadership and unity. She has served two term committee member of the Health Equity and Social Justice Committee at NACCHO.


Manisha Koirala Will Soon Be 5 Years Cancer-Free Manisha Koirala, who made her debut with Subhash Ghai’s “Saudagar” informed media that she will be celebrating 5 years of her cancer-free life soon. “I will soon complete 5 years of cancerfree life, which I will be celebrating,” said Manisha at an event where she was spreading awareness about Yoga and how to fight diseases with Yoga. Manisha was reportedly diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012 and was operated immediately. After that the actress flew to New York for chemotherapy. “God has been kind to me. I had great doctors, teachers and family support, so a combination of everything worked well,” the “Ilu Ilu” girl added. The actress, who was last seen in “Chehere : A Modern Day Classic” is all excited about her role in the Sanjay Dutt biopic and hopes she does justice to the character. “The whole film is between a father and son, I have a small role and I hope I do justice to that,” said Manisha who will seen portraying the role of Snajay Dutt’s mother Nargis Dutt. The film also stars Dia Mirza, Anushka Sharma, Sonam Kapoor and Vicky Kaushal in pivotal roles.Speaking about Yoga and its importance in our daily life, the “Mann” actress said,” It’s extremely important to give your 100 per cent, be it studies, work or any profession and to achieve that solidity we need to do yoga.” Other than the biopic, Manisha will be seen in a drama film “Dear Maya”.

..... Bollywood Pulse .....

Vinod Khanna: Angry Young Man To Angry Father He came into prominence playing an angry young man in a 1970s classic and one of his last major appearances was as an angry implacable father in a 2010 blockbuster, but whatever role Vinod Khanna played — good, bad, or even supporting — he ended up making his presence felt. Can you think of any other Bollywood hero who won applause for beating up Amitabh Bachchan on screen? He entered Bollywood as a villain but his imposing height and physique, crowned with a sculpted but expressive face and discernible intensity, he was not fated to remain one for long. Given a break by Sunil Dutt in “Man ka Meet” (1968), Khanna showed his metier in 1970, playing a dedicated police officer in both “Mastana” and “Sachaa Jhuthaa”. The year 1971 was a watershed: He appeared in a dozen films, including the acclaimed “MereApne” where as Shyamu, he stood his ground against a bombastic Shatrughan Sinha, while displaying the vulnerability of the ‘angry young man’ in that pensive song, “Koi hota jisko apna...” The year also saw him in his first role as hero in “Hum Tum aur Woh” while his role as Shyamu figured as footage in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s “Guddi”, about a young girl’s infatuation with the film industry. The next role that bought him to prominence was as a military officer on the run after killing his wife’s paramour in “Achanak” (1973), one of the Bollywood adaptations of the Nanavatty case. There was no looking back. Usually cast as a police officer or a criminal, he proved he could display a softer side too as he did in “Imtihaan” (1974), playing an idealistic college professor trying to reform a group of unruly students. The song “Ruk Jaana Nahi” is again memorable. Appearing in some of the most famous

Hindi films, Khanna always left his mark whether by himself or against established or upcoming stars — Shammi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra, Shashi Kapoor, Jeetendra, Amitabh Bachchan and Feroz Khan — down to Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan. In the first part of his career, he went on to

essay some particularly memorable roles as the stern, dutiful Inspector Amar in “Amar Akbar Anthony” (1977) - where he thrashed up an irreverent Anthony, played by Amitabh but unbent towards to the end to appear as a cheery, one-man band in the climatic “Honi ko anhoni kar de”, as con-artist Ajay in “Hera Pheri” (1976), again opposite Amitabh, another Amar, but on the other side of the law; in “Qurbani” (1980) where he eventually lives up to the film’s name; as a workaholic railway engineer in “The Burning Train” (1980) and an understanding doctor in reincarnation love story “Kudrat” (1981), where he did not let Raaj Kumar and Rajesh Khanna eclipse him. Khanna, who had become a disciple of godman Rajneesh in the mid-1970s, then took a

Model Gets 3-Year Jail For Plotting Bhandarkar’s Murder Mumbai: (IANS) A Mumbai court recently sentenced model-cum-wannabe actress Preeti Jain for plotting the murder of award winning Bollywood director Madhur Bhandarkar 12 years ago. The Sessions Court, which also fined her Rs 10,000, found two other co-accused — Naresh Pardesi and Shivaram Das — guilty and awarded them three years in jail. Two more accused were acquitted. Shortly after the verdict, Jain moved an application for bail which was granted on a surety of Rs 5,000. When the matter was first highlighted in 2005, Jain had charged Bhandarkar with rape but the case was quashed by the Supreme Court in 2012 after she dropped the charges against him. Earlier, in July 2004, Jain filed a complaint

May 2017

with police alleging that Bhandarkar raped her 16 times between 1999 and 2004 on the pretext of giving her important roles in his films. The director denied the allegations.

In her statement then, Jain claimed that “we had sex 16 times and Madhur made promises of giving me a lead role in his films”. However, he didn’t cast her in any of his films.

Barely months later, police investigations revealed that Jain had hired a contract killer to eliminate Bhandarkar and was arrested. During the long trial, the court examined 51 witnesses including Bhandarkar. The prosecution said Jain had paid Rs 75,000 to contract killer Pardeshi to kill Bhandarkar. When he didn’t carry out her bidding, she demanded the money back. When mafia don Arun Gawli learnt of the plot, he alerted the police, leading to Jain’s arrest. After the verdict, Jain merely expressed “shock”. Mumbai-based Bhandarkar is a renowned director of various blockbusters like “Chandni Bar,” “Fashion”, “Traffic Signal” and “Page 3” among others.

five year break, notwithstanding he was at the peek of his career. He moved to the godman’s ashram in the US where he reportedly was also a dish-washer and gardener. He returned to Bollywood in 1987, where his career took off again. Mostly seen in action films, usually in his trademark police inspector role, he paired well with Meenakshi Seshadri in “Satyamev Jayate” and Dimple Kapadia in “Insaaf” (both 1987). But what signalled his comeback in full vigour was Feroz Khan-helmed “Dayavan” (1988) where he played a crime don and shared a sparkling chemistry with Madhuri Dixit (sharing a long kiss and the sensuous “Aaj Phir Tum Pe”). He did well with Madhuri in “Maha-Sangram” (1990) also — a film noted for Gulshan Grover in a positive role. His other notable performances included in “Chandni” (1989), “Lekin” (1990) and “Jurm” (1990). Khanna, who had only won one FilmfareAward (for best supporting actor), despite being nominated twice as best actor and once more as best supporting actor), was conferred a Lifetime Achievement award in 1999. After this, along with his flourishing political career, which saw him rise to Minister of State for External Affairs in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, his output slackened. But he never abandoned the film industry, holding his own against Salman in the “Dabangg” series. His last film was “Dilwaale”, starring Shah Rukh and Kajol, in 2015. “Ruk jaana nahi tu kahi haar ke..”

Farhan Akhtar, Adhuna Divorced

Mumbai: (IANS) Actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar and celebrity hairstylist Adhuna Bhabani, who were married for 16 years, are now divorced. Farhan, who officially announced their separation last year on social media, filed for divorce in October 2016 at the Bandra Family Court and waited for six months for the court order, said a source. Recently, they arrived at the court and their marriage ended legally with the ‘mutual’ divorce granted by the court. The former couple has two daughters Shakya and Akira. Adhuna has got their custody and Farhan will have full access to them. They got married in 2000 after dating for two years.

..... Indians of Atlanta .....

May 2017


#IndiansOfAtlanta is our attempt at building an archive of local Indian-American stories, one story at a time. Help us popularize this feature by sharing our Facebook page ( If you’d like to be featured in Indians of Atlanta, write us at editor@ with ‘Indians of Atlanta’ in the subject line.

If You Don’t Evolve, You Don’t Grow: Pramod Sajja “I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur since the age of 14. And, there couldn’t be a better place than America to fulfill my entrepreneurial dreams. This country offers opportunities to grow as a professional and as an entrepreneur, and I had the opportunity to make the best use of them. I came to US in the year 1998 on an H1B visa. The obvious choice was to get into a software job, but my long term vision was to become an entrepreneur. With help from my brother Murali Sajja, I started to pursue my vision from the time I landed in Atlanta, and the outcome is Paramount Software Solutions, Inc. I am not sure how everyone defines success, but for me, success is adding value to anything you do in life – personal or professional. When you add value to both areas of life, success comes naturally. The other key to success is to constantly evolve, based on the changes around you – if you don’t evolve, you don’t grow. My mantra to building a strong business is to create a brand first. Profit is the by product. In my 20 years at Paramount, I have seen various ups and downs in the industry and the economy. The tough times helped me learn to evolve. There are other challenges, like making choices – which is always tough for anyone- but when you learn to prioritize,

I wake up every morning with the same zeal and enthusiasm that I had during the early days of Paramount. I ensure that the Paramount family comes to work happy and leaves happy. Employee relations play a vital role in the growth of any company. Employee satisfaction is at the core of Paramount’s philosophy. What you have achieved in life is not yours alone. Like they say, it takes an entire village to raise a responsible and good citizen. Similarly, the entire community – be it the social community or the business community- plays a huge role in an entrepreneur’s success, and I wholly believe in giving back. So whether it is Vibha, SEWA, chambers of commerce, or the technical community – supporting them all is my way of giving back to the community.” – Pramod Sajja Pramod Sajja started Paramount Software in 1998, at the young age of 26, when most professionals only start thinking of a career. His understanding of the industry was a driving factor to start this venture single-handedly. Paramount today has 200 employees. making choices becomes easier. With the current changing times of businesses globally, I am sure we will face a lot of challenges again. But also, there will be opportunities to learn. My confidence and the ability to face challenges are derived from my mother who successfully managed work and home life while battling a life threatening disease. I don’t think anyone on the face of this earth could have done what my mother did for all her kids.


I Will Not Stop; I Will Not Tire: Sandhya Bhagat “In 1997, a little after I moved to the USA, I met the mother of a Tamilian friend. I could not communicate with her, except for greeting her with folded hands, because she did not speak any Hindi or English, and I did not speak any Tamil. That incident made me realize the importance of having a common language to communicate, and ignited in me the drive to promote Hindi through theater. In 2006, I presented a small skit at a function for the Senior Citizens Group in Atlanta which was well received. This led me to think of having a theater group of our own. Theater is powerful medium of self expression and life is a game of ups and downs (Dhoop & Chaoon). In the 10 years since the inception of the group, we have been able to create our own identity in our community. We have reached a stage, where, for the audition of the Bollywood movie Simran, 90 % of our members were present. I am my own inspiration. I write most of my plays/skits on subjects like social problems, communal harmony, immigration, entertainment etc, each with a powerful message. It is very challenging doing theater. It is driven by passion, and without any earnings. There are times when I wonder why I am doing this! When we have a show, for four months, this is all I do, day in and day out. Coordination can be very tiring and affect your daily routine drastically. After each show, I think this is the last one. But after a few months, I start all over again with new vigor.

Finance has always been the biggest hurdle in doing our shows. Even with a nominal ticket price of $10, not many people attend. This hurts me a lot. South Asians contribute generously to religious establishments and are always ready to pay top dollars to view performances by Bollywood artists. These people should support people like us who present healthy entertainment for everyone. We keep a donation box during the show, but it mostly remains empty. We spend our own money to do our shows. But I will not stop and I will not tire. I am a very stubborn person. We started from ground zero. With continuous hard work, we have come this far. The lines from Rabindranath Tagore’s poem keep echoing in my ears. “If no one answers your call, then walk alone, walk alone my friend”. – Sandhya Bhagat Sandhya Bhagat is the founder of Dhoop Chaaon theater group and Natkhat Rangshala, a Hindi theater school for children. She is co-founder of Hindi-Urdu Sanjhe Bol, a platform for poets of the two languages. She is also a co-founder of Dhoop-Chaaon, a Hindi short film production company which has produced two films so far- “Natkhat Rangeelay” and “Ye Aurtein bhee kya bla hain”. Bhagat is supported in her endeavors by her husband Anil Bhagat and two sons, Gandharv and Kartikay.



........ What’s Cooking? ........


Mango Pickle June is the season for pickles, because we get good mangos for pickling. I get very nostalgic BYP.S. LAKSHMI about my childhood RAO days in India, where we get so many different kinds of mangoes. I am sure you all remember many varieties of pickles and chutneys our mothers and grandmas used to make. Well, I am trying to bring you these recipes after making them myself for several years on trial and error basis. No matter what brand pickle you buy in the store they don’t taste as good as home made ones. If you spend a couple of days preparing these pickles at home successfully, you and your family, especially your mother (when you tell her about the pickle) will be very proud of your adventure.

Mix water and mustard powder in a plate and let it dry for 5 hours at room temperature or in a warm place. Cut mangoes with skin into small pieces ( half inch). Some people peel the skin. Discard the seeds. Mix mustard paste, salt, turmeric, red pepper and oil with mango pieces. Keep this in a glass bowl for two days. On the third day spread the pickle on a plate and let it dry in the sun or in the oven with pilot light on for four hours. Mix the spread twice. Keep the door open slightly for air to circulate. The next day, make popu or tadka . Add it to the pickle and mix. Put the pulihora aavakayi in a glass bottle after two hours.

½ cup sesame oil or vegetable oil ½ teaspoon methi seeds (fenugreek) ½ teaspoon red mustard seeds 1-teaspoon chana dal 1-teaspoon urad dal 2 stems washed and dried fresh curry leaves 2 pinches of hing (asafetida) (optional)

Popu Or Tadka

Note: Mango pieces stay fresh and tastes better if kept in the refrigerator.

May 2017 1/ 4 Teaspoon turmeric 2 stems of curry leaves (karivepaku) 2 Green chilies cut in to 1- inch pieces 2 Tablespoons tamarind juice 1 Tablespoon brown sugar 1 Teaspoon rice flour

Heat oil in a small pan. Add methi seeds, mustard seeds, chana dal, and urad dal until the spices become light brown. Add curry leaves and hing (if using), fry for half a minute and add the spices to mango pickle and mix.

Pumpkin Curry 1 Butter nut squash, or one Acorn squash or a quarter of Kabocha squash (available in farmer’s market) 3 Cups water 1 Teaspoon salt 1/ 2 Teaspoon turmeric (haldi) Popu (Tadaka Or Vagar) 3 Tablespoons oil 1/ 2 Teaspoon red mustard seeds 3 Dried red chilies broken into pieces 1 Tablespoon chana dal 1 Tablespoon urad dal 1/ 2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera) 1/ 4 Teaspoon hing (asafetida)

½ cup water boiled and cooled ½ cup red mustard powder 2 green mangos 2 tablespoons salt or to taste ½ teaspoon turmeric (haldi) ½ cup red ground pepper 1 Tablespoon sesame seed oil

Wash, peel, and cut squash. Scoop all the seeds and the soft fibers out. Cut into 1- inch pieces. In a fourquart saucepan cook squash pieces with 3 cups water, salt, and turmeric for three minutes and drain. Wash the pan and return to the stove. Pour oil in to the pan. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, dry chilies, chana dal, urad dal. Fry until dals become light brown. Add cumin seeds, hing. curry leaves, green chilies. Fry for a minute. Add tamarind juice, brown sugar and squash pieces. Mix carefully for a couple of minutes without breaking the squash pieces. Sprinkle rice flour and stir for a minute. Transfer to a serving dish. Note: Pumpkin curry is a must in traditional wedding banquets in India.

........ InVogue .......

The Royal Indian Heritage Jewelry BY RANI SHARMA Raneez Fine Boutique

Passion and enthusiasm for antique beads and stones has always coincided with a desire to find creative ways to use and enjoy them. I love collecting different types of beads and stones. I use them to make the royal heritage Indian collection, a revival of an an-

cient art with extraordinary craftsmanship. Traditional, funky, over-the-top- there is some serious innovation going on in Indian jewelry styles this year. Grab your necklace and convert it to a crown style tikka!

Long strings of beads look modern with solid plain gowns. Stone brooches can be used as a center piece in your beaded jewelry. There is such a wide array of beads and stones to choose from, that finding a match for your outfit is never a problem. Take a pick from pearls, rubies, emeralds, ferozas, moonga, kundan, polki, meenakari etc for your jewelry setting. Invitation jewelry, gold forming jewelry, cz jewelry, silver jewelry, antique jewelry, traditional jewelry, temple jewelry, costume jewelry, beads and other raw materials are in fashion.

For more info, call me at 404-6334966 or visit Raneez Fine Boutique in Decatur.

November 2016


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