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NRI Pulse

December 2017

Atlanta’s Premier South Asian Newspaper December 2017


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NRI Pulse

December 2017


NRI Pulse

December 2017


NRI Pulse

December 2017


NRI Pulse

December 2017

Atlanta’s Premier South Asian Newspaper December 2017


Three Georgia Residents Charged In $3.5 Mn-Fraud New York: (IANS) Four men of Indian descent have been charged in a $3.5 million-fraud in which they pretended to be tax officials and collected money by allegedly threatening over 7,300 people, a federal prosecutor has announced. Gregory J. Haanstad, the Wisconsin Eastern District prosecutor, recently said the scheme was “likely originating from India”. Moin Gohil of Dunwoody, Georgia (age: 22), was arrested by local law enforcement authorities on November 24, 2017. Pratik Patel of Hoffman Estates, Illinois (age: 26), Parvez Jiwani of Tucker, Georgia (age: 39), and Nakul Chetiwal of Dunwoody, Georgia (age: 27), were arrested on November 28, 2017 by federal law enforcement authorities. All of these arrests were based on charges of violations of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1343, 1349, 2 (Wire Fraud, Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, and Aiding and Abetting). Each of these charges carries a maximum of 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. According to the prosecutor, their fraud is known as an “IRS impersonation scheme”. Participants in the scheme based “likely in

India” call victims in the US pretending to be offiIn addition, the false IDs used by them are cials of the federal tax agency, the Internal Revenue linked to 6,530 other fraudulent transactions toService (IRS), and typically claim they owe taxes. taling $2.83 million, he added. They then threaten and intimidate the vicPatel “aided and abetted” at least one of the tims saying they would face arrest or legal action runners, he said. if they did not send money through services like They have been charged with three offenses — wire fraud (which is using electronic communication to commit fraud), conspiracy and aiding and abetting crimes. They could face a maximum prison term of 20 years and $250,000 fine for each of the crimes if found guilty. Frauds like these are widely prevalent and have tarnished the reputation of India and Indians through their calls. In November, US authorities busted an MoneyGram and Western Union or provide gift Ahmedabad-based operation which defrauded cards with cash value. residents of at least $25 million. Members based in the US, who are known Five men, who were arrested in the US, adas “runners” use fake identification to pick up the mitted their guilt in federal courts in Texas and money or the cards. Arizona and were awaiting sentencing. Haanstad said that Gohil, Chetiwal and JiIn that case, 53 people in India were also wani, who were allegedly “runners” picked up charged. The alleged mastermind of the call cen$666,537 sent from 784 victims between January tre used in the operation, Sagar “Shaggy” Thak25, 2016 and August 8, 2017. kar, had been arrested in Mumbai in April.

Couple Gifts $1 Mn To Kennedy Center For India Fund

An Indian-American couple has gifted $1 maybe there is something to tap up.” million to the Kennedy Centre for the Performing The seed money, he hoped, would inspire others’ Arts to create an India Fund for producing and gifts, particularly from his Indian-American colpresenting Indian programming through 2025. leagues on the board. The gift from entrepreneur Ranvir Trehan, “The a leading Indian-American patron of the arts, his India Fund wife Adarsh and their Trehan Foundation would will exprovide seed money for the fund. clusively “Our idea,” said Trehan, a member of the be used to Kennedy Centre’s Board of Trustees, “is that create and there is reinforced programming – that there is present more of it, both well-known artists as well as experformperimental forms, fusion forms. ing arts, “Now I see in India, there is also comedy in artistic exthe English language that is coming up and so, hibits and/

or festivals showcasing the history, traditions, literature, music, dance and/or culture of India,” said the Kennedy Centre president Deborah F. Rutter. “The intent of the India Fund is to be ‘country focused’ on India the current nation state of India and the programming is intended to utilise established and/or emerging artists, singers, musicians or other performers or performance creators who are either citizens of India or whose ancestry is from India,” he said. Noting that Indian arts are at a “very interesting phase”, India’s Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna called the Trehans’ initiative “the encouragement that we need”.

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No Change In H1B Visa System: US

Kolkata: (IANS) Amid the H1B visa row in India, the US government has said there has been no change in law regarding the H1B regime and the system continued to be as before. Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for State for South Asia Thomas Vajda said no legislation has been passed so far on the particular category of visa. "(There is) no change in the law today for H1B (visa) regime or system in the United States... President (Donald) Trump asked for review of the H1B system...but no steps have been taken. Many changes in law, so many cases, require changes of legislation. But so far no legislation has been passed on H1B. For the moment, the system remains as it has in the past," Vajda told reporters after an interactive session with members of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Following Trump's election as US president on a protectionist platform, the US has announced stricter norms for issuing the H1B and L1 visas. India's Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said in October that the issue of H1B and L1 visas, which have facilitated the entry of Indian IT professionals, has been raised strongly with Washington. Responding to a query regarding reducing pet coke imports from the US, Vajda said the US sees energy as the most potential area for increasing economic activities. "The US is committed to increase energy export and support for India's economic development," he said.


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December 2017

Close Win For GIACC In 2nd Annual Cricket Match Against BABC

BY MAHADEV DESAI Photo by Arpit Padhiar

“I am delighted to be here and sponsor this event. What better community camaraderie than cricket that unites both India and the United Atlanta, GA: The second Annual India vs Kingdom,” she said. Next to address the gathering was Future UK Cricket Cup match between the British American Business Council (BABC) and the Georgia Tech's Director Anj Balusu. For a second year in Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (GIACC) a row, Future Tech has sponsored the elegant uniwas played at Oglethorpe University’s soccer forms for the BABC team. Balusu said that Future Tech has been in Atlanta since 20 years, and supfield on Sunday November 12. The two team’s players donning official uniforms (BABC in orange color and GIACC in blue), flanked by two West Indian Umpires Oral Simpson and Conrad Rogers posed for group photographs and introductions by respective captains. Despite very cold and cloudy weather, the match began promptly at 12.30 p.m. when India’s opening pair of Rohan and Rishi walked to the crease. West Indian cricket commentator Enos Phillips (from Guyana) engaged the spectators with his fluent, crisp and oftentimes amusing ball by ball commentary. India team made a slow start but later increased the pace with a flurry of shots by Rohan Dabir who scored 22 runs off 22 balls. But runs came slowly in just ones and twos. Due to drizzle, play stopped after six overs when India were 64/1. The players and spectators used the break to enjoy snacks and hot coffee/tea. Due to weather and time constraints, it was decided to play 14 instead of 20 overs match. Rishi retired after scoring 13, and Gautam stepped in. He hit a few crisp drives but porting cricket for more than a decade now. Next, BABC Captain Carl Newton presentgot out for 19. Ketan, Tanmay, Sapan, Ashish and Jinish batted but none could score against England ed the quintessential cricket shirt for the BABC to team's bowlers Farrakh, Tom, Adeel, Andi and Gordon. Three batsmen retired. England threw away 29 runs in extras! GIACC closed its innings at 109/3. BABC opened their batting turn with JagBY JYOTHSNA HEGDE dish and Andy. The start was even slower than GIACC’s. Ramu got an early wicket of Jagdish. RoAtlanta, GA: The fundraiser “Kids Help han bowled Andy. Captain Carl got out for a naught. Kids” that started as an initiative to help TornaWickets fell at brief intervals and BABC were 50/4 do victims in Oklahoma, has turned out to be an after 8 overs. But Guy walked in and blasted a flurannual affair for the family ry of shots all over the field. He hit three huge sixes and friends of Veda Balaji. and four fours! He was severe on Gautam taking 16 The community gathered at runs off his over! There was nail-biting suspense the East Cobb Park for a 3K as BABC edged near the century mark. But Guy race on November 11, 2017 fell in the final 14th over when he was 54. BABC to support Balaji’s organizacould score only 96/7. But it was an exciting finish tion. The event raised $1000 compared to last year's match. For GIACC, Rohan to help hurricane victims took two wickets for 13 runs, and Ramu got two in Texas, Florida and Puerwickets, including Guy's for 21 runs. to Rico. All proceeds from After the match, all headed for the Hearst the event will be donated to Hall for the reception and awards ceremony. GISEWA International USA. A ACC President Mark Pierson warmly welcomed crowning moment for all her all and said it was a fantastic match to watch, dehard work, Balaji was recentspite the weather. ly honored by 21st Century The title-sponsor Atul Deshmukh of KNAV Leaders in recognition of her (Captain of GIACC), an international assurance work with Kids Help Kids. and accounting practice, thanked British Consul Along with the run, General in Atlanta, Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford for kids had organized bake gracing the reception; and BABC for being a great sales of cookies, brownies, partner. “The Consul General of India could not donuts, cupcakes, coffee, attend this time due to an unavoidable committea and a sumptuous spread ment. However, it was good to have Bikash Kuof Indian breakfast dishes. A total of 60 folks mar from the Consulate on the team!” he said. participated in the event, with Kabi Gikiri winHe then introduced Anita Ninan, Internationning the first place, Miriam Song the second, al business attorney with Arnall Golden Gregory, and Pruthvi Rajghatta the third place. LLP and also a GIACC Board member who had With a goal of $2000, kids are still aparranged for the special reception with Indian and proaching businesses to raise funds to meet British food and beverages. Ninan welcomed all their target. Balaji, currently a junior at Lassiter and said Arnall Golden Gregory has two offices high school in Marietta, conceptualized her viin Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

British Consul General Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford. BABC President Bruce Cotterman commended the organizers of the match which he said was phenomenal. “We brought the English weather with us”, he quipped. “It was a fabulous match-second year and we will be looking forward to the third year. Both teams-great job.” Cotterman presented a plaque to British Consul-General for his help and participation in the

match. Consul General Pilmore-Bedford said two years ago, he, Mark Pierson and Nagesh Singh came up with the idea of a cricket match between

BABC and GIACC. “I enjoyed the match and also to see that the British team is on an upward trajectory. We were only 13 runs away from victory. We will thrash you next year,” he said. BABC Captain Carl said that there is lot of work involved in organizing the match and he commended everyone for their help. Pierson thanked Amber Mehta, Practice Director of International Assurance and Accounting Advisory at KNAV International, and also the Treasurer of GIACC, for the proactive role he played in organizing the event; and also complimented Executive director of BABC, Lindsay for helping with the logo on BABC shirt. GIACC's Captain Atul Deshmukh praised the performance of BABC team, especially batsman Guy Pierson then recognized and thanked the two Umpires Oral Simpson and Conrad Rogers, and Commentator Enos Phillips. Tanmay helped out as a score-keeper. Media was represented by Mahadev Desai and Anjali from TVAsia. While Conrad announced the names of the Awardees, Br.Consul General Pilmore-Bedford presented the Trophies: Best Batsman: Guy Goosen Best Bowler: Ramu Man of the Match: Rohan Dabir who graciously invited Guy to join him on stage while receiving his award. Finally all cheered and clapped enthusiastically as GIACC Captain Atul Deshmukh was presented the Winning Team Trophy.

Kids Help Kids Raises $1000 To Help Hurricane Victims sion to help kids who are victims of natural disasters, while in middle school with her brother and her four other friends. “Veda Balaji, Vishruth Madhusudhan, Varsha Ramachandra, Sarayu Ramachandra, Amit

Balaji, Sanjana SridharMurthy and Dhanya Inamdhar, the founding members of this organization, are dynamic young kids who along with having fun have collected more than $10,000 from all their events. Today, the organization currently has over 20 volunteers all kids, doing community service and growing everyday with more dedicated volunteers such as Gaurav Krishnan, Urvi Gupta,

Tejas Veedhulur and many more,” said Vanishree Rao, Veda Balaji’s mother. “I think I won the award for serving my community, and also by being able to build a strong team to serve people,” said Balaji, who was one of the 2017 Georgia Youth Leadership Award winners. 21st Century Leaders is a collaboration of business and professional leaders inspiring high school students to take on leadership positions, explore career opportunities, and give back to their communities by connecting them with a diverse group of enthusiastic peers, professionals and ideas, transforming their skills, attitudes, and abilities through training and hands-on experiences. Kids Help Kids has contributed their donations to fundraising events for Oklahoma Tornado disaster in June 2013, Philippines typhoon disaster in Nov 2013, Promoting girl education in June 2014, and Chennai flood disaster in Jan 2015. “We hope our fundraising efforts help the hurricane victims. Many have lost their lives, homes and are not able to attend schools like how they did before. With our contribution, we hope to help the children who got affected. If you are a student in Marietta area and would like to join this group, please feel free to contact me. And if you are willing to donate to help us reach our goal of $2000, please contact us at,” Balaji appealed.


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

NRI Pulse

P.O. Box 191124 Atlanta GA 31119 Tel: 404-380-1031

Email: _______________________ Publisher NRI Pulse Media Inc. Editor Veena Rao Reports/Features Jyothsna Hegde Supriya D.G. Columnists/Writers Mahadev Desai Rani Sharma P.S. Lakshmi Rao Dr. Panchajanya Paul Kristen Moon Divya Desai

Dr Raktim Sen’s Album Launched With Fanfare


Atlanta, GA: Mellifluous melodies of ‘Hok Na Kotha’ mesmerized Bengali music enthusiasts at its Atlanta Launch at the Old Atlanta Recreation Center in Suwanee on November 18, 2017. The music album, laden with lyrics and compositions by Dr Raktim Sen, features eight Bengali modern songs in the popular voices of Zee SaReGaMaPa 2014 Champion Anwesha Dutta and 1st Runner-up Rik Basu. ‘Hok Na Kotha’ was released with much fanfare to a full house of supporters. The album was recorded in Kolkata, mixed/mastered in Mumbai and published by Asha Audio, the best-known music label in Kolkata, associated with the likes of Shreya Ghoshal and Shaan. Asit N Sengupta, an architect by profession with several landmarks, including CNN Center, to his credit and Ashima Das, a music connoisseur presided over ceremonial ribbon cutting. The Kolkata launch held on August 28, 2017 at the Mahanayak Uttam Kumar Manch, was a well-attended event with prominent personalities Ashok Bhadra, Indrani Halder, Bhaskar Banerjee, Tonny (Debojyoti Bose), Mahua Lahiri, Debjit Roy, Sidhu

with Latin and jazz influences offer a soulful, soothing, and satisfactory listen to any music lover. The music is available online at https:// Joining the audience on airwaves via Skype, Anwesha Dutta and Rik Basu were all praise for their composer. Incidentally ‘Hok Na Kotha’ is their first album together and Dutta’s debut album, too. “You have to own the song – Raktim uncle told me” said Dutta and she did. Her harmonious renditions are heartwarming, heartening and heartfelt. Basu is at his versatile best, his deep rich vocals perfectly balancing melodies of various genres. Man of many talents, Dr. Sen’s first composition, a Bengali modern, was published in 1982. He is a keyboard player, a published composer, lyricist, orchestral arranger, poet, playwright, short story writer and stage lighting designer. He is the Theatrical Director of Atlanta Theater Workshop, Inc where he directs plays and conducts acting workshops. He has scored theme music for NABC 2002, Festival of India, Atlanta (2003) and Ban-

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December 2017

Asit N Sengupta and Ashima Das releasing Dr Raktim Sen’s album in Atlanta. and Lognajita Chakraborty, and media representatives from The Stateman, Time and several TV channels. Dr. Sen’s manifestation of modern Bengali songs, ‘Hok Na Kotha’ is comprised of eight tracks, with two songs written by Dr. Tirthankar Dasgupta. Title song ‘Hok Na Kotha’(Let’s talk) is compelling, calming and cheerful. Dutta and Basu are at their melodious best playing off each other in their flawless renditions of contrasting versions of ‘Deep Jwale’ with Dutta in a soulful version and Rik in the electro, more upbeat version, retaining the melody intact. ‘Ogo Megh’ ‘Mahi Ve’, ‘Ogo Priya’, ‘Chaoya Paoya’, ‘Bideshi’, some

gamela 2010, theme song of BAGA. He is also the Program Director of Atlanta Indian Idol Contest. “It all started in October 2015 in Atlanta. Rik was on his first US-tour, Atlanta being the first stop. We were doing music in my home studio when he floated the idea of a music album with some of my compositions. Later in April 2016 when I was in Kolkata we put together a plan. We needed a female singer and Anwesha Dutta was our natural choice. We would rehearse during odd hours over Skype, write scores, discuss arrangements and work with our programmers, Subhodeep Sarkar and Partha Chakraborty,” said Dr. Sen,

about the origins of the album. In May 2107, Dr. Sen was in India recording vocals and acoustic instruments in Kolkata and mixing/mastering them in Mumbai. “In many ways, I felt incredibly fortunate and blessed to have the musicians and technicians work with me to give their best as well. Mahua Lahiri of Asha Audio, showed interest in publishing the album after listening to a few excerpts of the final mixes. She insisted on releasing the album during Durga Puja,” he added. Initiated to music by his mother who was a sitar player, also recognizing his father’s insistence to further education, Dr. Sen taught himself to play the harmonica and the harmonium early on. “I had an opportunity to formally learn the piano from a schoolteacher. I enrolled at the Calcutta School of Music to continue learning the piano,” recalled Dr. Sen. He turned out to be a dutiful son, mastering arts and science as an alumnus of Bengal Engineering College, Shibpur with a Masters and Ph.D. from Clemson University, SC with music albums and many other artistic talents to his credit. “Music has been my constant companion since I can remember. It has taught me to be universal. It is so abstract, yet it touches everyone,” he said. “I am a perpetual student and like to dedicate sometime every day to learning something new. Learn the science and then practice the arts. Find a good teacher to learn the science. When you practice, practice more what you don’t know well. When you perform, perform only what you know well! If you need the lyrics to sing, you are not ready. That is a sign that you need to practice more. Whether you are performing or composing, be your own critic. Don’t be fooled by the “likes” you get from your friends,” is his message for aspiring artists. Dr. Sen resides with his wife of 33 years, Munmun, who is a Special Ed teacher in Gwinnett County Public School. His son and daughter-in-law are both resident doctors. ‘A lonely cloud- it floats at ease, With the easterly breeze; Tomorrow it may drop as rain, to quench the thirst of a bird it sees,’ translates a line from ‘Hok Na Kotha’. We can only hope Dr. Sen’s thirst for the arts continues to find its rain drops of inspiration all through his artistic journey.


..... City Pulse .....

NRI Pulse

December 2017

STEM Academy Of USA: Changing The Learning Paradigm In Indian Schools Atlanta, GA: STEM Academy of USA, a US based premier organization founded by educationists Dr. Paddy Sharma and Dr. Amitabh Sharma is dedicated to changing the learning paradigm in Indian schools. The company is organizing a comprehensive STEM training program on Dec 17, 2017 for teachers in Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai kicking off their Center of Excellence as a precursor to introducing STEM pilots and regular STEM programs in Indian schools. This high profile event is likely to be inaugurated by HRD Minister Hon. Prakash Javadekar. STEM- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to learning. It is challenge based hands-on practical education which

in schools across India through their Gurgaon based Indian channel partner MPower GlobalSTEM Education where a dynamic marketing and sales team is led by V K Garg. .


STEM implementation. Over the past 4 years, critical thinking has led to STEM content development engaging subject matter experts from prestigious international universities and prime research organizations. Adequate traction has been registered in India through presentations, teacher training and establishing channel partners.

India has traditionally been a country of abundant creativity. From the invention of zero and numeral system to complex hydraulic engineering, India is credited for innumerable inventions that helped shape the world we live in today. While lately Indians have excelled in Information technology, yet the intensity of inventing talent has somehow been dormant a few couple of centuries where Indians have proved wonderful emuConcept of Grade-wise STEM modules lators yet not innovative leaders.

aligned to topics in syllabus

Subject matter experts have thus coined the safe path of connecting and relating STEM modules to specific science and math concepts in an inter-disciplinary fashion. While it is good, yet it still suffers from the versatility with which all concepts of certain grade level are purported to be explained. It depends primarily upon the exuberance and interest of one Principal or Director or even a teacher to first accept and later to find the required resources to implement STEM based curriculum. The answer lies in a structured approach to STEM as part of the regular school time table. The appropriate syllabus of each Grade level from Grade 4 thru Grade 10 is broken down into salient concepts which encompass the essence of that Grade. Then each concept has a challenge built around it. Such challenges are mapped to each concept and embody a problem and solution thereof. It is then the onus of students to first comprehend the challenge and seek to solve the problem by exercising creative talent. Class size is split into workable peer groups and carefully designed STEM tool kits assist students. aims to foster inquiring minds, logical reasoning, and collaboration skills. STEM embodies the future innovative and creative geniuses of India. It is the need of the hour and is perfectly aligned with government propagated missions like Startup India, Skilled India, Digital India, Make in India, New India. If successive US Presidents, Bush, Obama (his slogan ‘Educate to Innovate’), Trump have endorsed STEM for America’s creative uplift, India can certainly benefit from STEM based learning and generate innovative leaders. STEM Academy of USA has developed a unique implementation strategy for India. Over past several years, the company has led a pioneering effort in developing modular content along with practical tool-kits. All this in an endeavor to bring about positive transformation in Indian education landscape by introducing structured implementation of hands-on experiential STEM pedagogy for Grades 4 thru 10, knit as part of school time table and aligned to major boards that regulate primary and secondary school education in India. The company has had overwhelming response to several presentations and teacher trainings organized pan India to school owners, principals, managements, science and math teachers, students and parents. Now the company is embarking upon full-fledged STEM implementation

The secret lies in catching them young. Human brains are most fertile in the formative years. In essence, therefore, the best results accrue out of learning programs introduced at elementary, middle and high school levels.

Montessori methodology

Maria Montessori, a noted Italian physician, propounded the theory that a child has innate traits to learn from the environment and tools around him. She went on to develop a spectrum of experiential kits for mixed age groups where peer to peer learning got accentuated. STEM pedagogy is a natural corollary to Montessori’s do-it-yourself method of learning and it has proven to work towards elevating the understanding and application of knowledge. When a student explores a Math or Science concept through project based learning, it inseminates indelibly only to be gainfully applied in his future Engineering or Technological pursuit with an innovative flavor. The winning formula So, while much has been talked and heard on STEM but its application has had very limited success primarily because it is bereft and devoid of structure. STEM Academy has undertaken this onerous yet legacy creating mission to transform the education scenario by endearing structured

STEM Academy of USA - Fostering Innovative minds

STEM Academy of USA (SAUS) introduces middle and secondary school students (grades 4-10) to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by immersing them in integrated, inter-disciplinary, hands-on challenges and projects that are based on problems of our present and future world. STEM modules encourage students to invent and be inspired. STEM courses are designed to have students solve real-world problems while being aligned to CBSE/ICSE/IB syllabus. The USP is the structured manner in which STEM courses are knit as part of year long school curriculum so as not to put extra burden on teachers vested with completing prescribed syllabus. They, in fact, help students to way better understand the concepts of Math and Science thus assisting teachers to reach their goals and preparing students to become problem solvers and creative out-of-the-box thinkers to boldly and successfully face and resolve constantly emerging global challenges. The course tends to break down the barriers between subject areas that are often present in a traditional school schedule. Having mapped the 4 major syllabi in IndiaCBSE/ICSE/SSB/IB - for Grades 4 thru 10 into Math and Science modules, STEM Academy has embarked upon a structured implementation of

STEM as part of school curriculum. Each module dwells on an overarching Science and/or, Math concept and embodies several practical hands-on toolkits which help students to engage in project based interdisciplinary learning of Science and Math related with Engineering and technology principles. Each module is broken down into Blocks encompassing different facets of Math and Science concepts studies over 3-6 sessions depending upon grade level. The class size is split into comfortable group sizes of 5-6 students in each group and adequate number of modules are pre-loaded onto carts for each Class to come to STEM lab and do the learning. The content is constantly updated and maintenance rendered. STEM training and certification is provided to Teachers through comprehensive workshops and constant orientation on pedagogy and delivery. Teacher training and certification in STEM is provided in Centers of Excellence operated by SAUS at various locations countrywide or at locations within schools that are desirous of conducting such training. Teacher’s role shifts to being a facilitator.

Salient unique features of STEM Academy of USA

*Structured STEM curriculum implemented as part of school timetable. *Content mapped to CBSE/ICSE/IB/SSB syllabus for Grades 4 thru 10. *Key concepts for each Grade addressed through easy-to-understand material. *Content and handson practical tool-kits developed by Subject matter experts based in US and India. *Pre and Post assessment- comprehensive analysis of improvement. *Proven to enhance performance in tests and competitive exams through better subject assimilation. *Collaborative discovery based peer-to-peer learning environment conducive to conceptual clarity. *Reduction in teacher workload due to supplemental role of STEM curriculum. *World class quality STEM content and tool-kits with constant updates. *Affordable price point per student per month basis convenient for school and parents. *Inclusive STEM training of teachers at Centers of Excellence in India. *Career boost for STEM trained teachers- preparing for tomorrow. *Student exchange programs between India and the USA. *STEM refresher courses and USA certification for teachers. *Participation of students in international STEM competitions and Olympiads. *Potential exposure to STEM opportunities at leading organizations like NASA, *Preferential consideration to job/profession oriented skill development programs. *Schools earn enviable reputation and popularity through better results and elevated education standards *Parents appreciate children becoming creative, innovative, original thinkers securing STEM careers.


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..... City Pulse .....

December 2017

Meet The Young USA Coach Popularizing Cricket In America


Accreditation (highest in cricket) from the presWhile cricket has become the most popular tigious Cricket Australia in 2014. Anand is a calm and astute coach. He comsport in India and other British Commonwealth countries, it is still in its infancy in America. Over Photo courtesy: the last one decade, cricket has made some inby Peter Della Penna. roads amongst the American school and college going students. Though most young players are of Indian/Pakistani/West Indies origin, cricket is slowly gaining ground and getting popular among mainstream American students. In 2017, over 200,000 people play cricket in 6,000 teams. As per the ICC & International Olympic Committee (IOC), there is a very good chance of cricket being re-introduced in the 2024 Paris or 2028 LA Olympics. Among the cricketers and coaches responsible for creating awareness and spreading popularity of cricket in America is Anand Tummala (also known as T. Anand). 39-year-old Anand was born in Vuyyuru, Andhra Pradesh, India. His family moved to Delhi in 1981-82. His father, who worked for the Indian Government was an avid cricket fan. One day he took Anand to watch a Wills Trophy match between Mumbai and the Rest of India at the Ferozshah Kotla Grounds where he saw mands respect because of his enthusiasm, gentle Ravi Shastri in action and that ignited his interest demeanor, discipline, focus and positive encourin cricket. In 1987, Anand’s family moved to a agement. Anand has been working with International house opposite to Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium in Cricket Council (ICC) since 2013-2014 on the Delhi, where he began attending regular cricket sessions at the Stadium from 1991-92 onwards. USA National Coach Education Program and has Anand completed his schooling from Sardar Patel contributed immensely towards the development Vidyala and went to St. Stephen’s College in Del- of Coach Development programs by introduchi where he got his Bachelor’s Degree. During his ing his unique and innovative ‘Constrained Led’ school and college years, Anand, a top /middle or- cricket coaching techniques. In August 2016, Anand was named the Head der batsman and a medium pace bowler gradually Coach for the USA Women’s Cricket Develgained recognition and played for Delhi U-19s during 1996-98, Delhi University and North Zone opment Squad & USA Women’s Cricket Team Universities 1999-2000 and also Ranji Trophy for against the touring Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) Women’s team. USA Women’s Cricket Delhi in 2001-2002. After being in and out of the Delhi team, Team also participated in the ICC Women’s T20 Anand began looking for greener pastures. In World Cup Qualifiers in Scotland, UK and per2005, he decided to go to England for further formed extremely well considering the short peristudies and to play cricket there. He got into a od of time it was constituted. He is also working full-time M.B.A. Program in the then Universi- with the US Olympic Committee as part of the ty of Wales, Newport (now University of South National Governing Body (NGB) Coach EducaWales). He played Premier league cricket in tion Program. Anand was also named Assistant Coach for South Wales, U.K. Anand also got attracted to USA Men’s Cricket Team in October 2016 in the coaching. He got a scholarship and acquired his ICC World Cricket League Division 4 ChampionLevel 1 and Level 2 Cricket Coaching Certifications from the England and Wales Cricket Board; ship held in Los Angeles, with Pubudu Dassanayand was appointed Coach and Captain for the ake as the Head Coach. Anand’s ‘Constraint Led’ coaching methods University of Wales, Newport Cricket Team. He was also appointed as a Senior Coach and play- are being implemented across the nation and have er for Croesyceiliog Cricket Club in South Wales provided a unique and distinct way of groomPremier League, Glamorgan, U.K. Anand earned ing natural talents across youth and national his M.B.A. from University of Wales in 2007, and team cricketers and coaches in USA. Explaining ‘Constraint led’ coaching approach/methods in moved to Atlanta. Anand got married in 2008 in Hyderabad. Cricket, Anand said “A player is challenged and In Atlanta, he played for North Atlanta Cricket channeled to find his or her own solution to attain Club in the Atlanta Georgia Cricket Conference a set goal. Each player is different in physique; (AGCC). He has coached young cricket players emotional/mental state, skill levels, etc. Environand several teams at the national level since 2007. ment, socio-cultural factors, and task constraints In Atlanta, he contributes to the Atlanta also impact the end result. Cricket is a game of Cricket Academy (ACA). He was selected to Natural Instincts and every individual has difrepresent the US National Men’s Cricket team as ferent ability and Instincts. Everyone (cricketer an all-rounder in 2011, in the Etihad T20 Crick- or a cricket coach) have their own way of exeet Tournament hosted by Cricket Canada in King cuting their respective Cricketing talent. EveryCity, Ontario, against arch rivals Canada. Anand’s one has their own way of handling pressure. We overall performance was rated as the best in the cannot have a prescribed way of playing cricket. As coaches, we must be able to develop a player team on this tour with both Bat & Ball. Anand acquired his Level Three Coaching by setting the outcomes we are after, and let the player come up with his/her own way of reach-

ing that outcome. This way we not only let the free facilities and are even sponsored for overseas player enjoy and have fun while playing cricket, tours with BBCCT taking care of all their exbut, we also are letting the player develop his/her penses. I regularly attended BBCCT Camps from 2001 to 2004. I have been part of BBCCT Cricket Tours to England in 2001, 2005 & 2006 and tour of Australia in 2007. Next, Anand shared that more people are taking up cricket coaching including Women. “Cricket has great history in the U.S.A. In fact, the first ever international game in any sport was in Cricket, between U.S.A & Canada dating back to 1844, the Auty Cup. USA Cricket is working with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and other National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of Olympic Sports in developing Coach Education Program. I am fortunate to be involved in this and was at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs in September this year for the first ever such meeting where Cricket was part of this NGB meeting. There is a lot of interest in the PE Teachers for Cricket Coaching across the country. Women Coaches have also been on the rise in the recent past in the USA. Cricket Australia and West Indies Cricket Board have also been own technique or way of dealing with pressure and of great support in developing Cricket Coaching achieving the desired results. I am a firm believer programs in USA.” that we all play sport to have fun and enjoy it. As we When asked about his views on digital platbecome more intense and desire to play higher level form impacting coaching, Anand said, “there are in Cricket, the competition level goes up, howev- Pros and Cons of the Digital coaching. We are er, the fun factor must never go away. As I work living in a Global village and the Digitalization of with the National teams as well as the grass root Cricket has certainly brought the Cricketing counlevel Cricketers and Coaches in the U.S.A., I feel tries more closer and has opened up opportunities the need to develop our Cricketers mentally, who for Cricket Coaches. Digital coaching should be are aware of mindfulness. The ‘Constraints led’ combined with interaction between a coach and coaching techniques/methods have proven to help players. Use the technology to improve/develop and develop a player’s natural ability and has given on a player’s natural ability & instincts. the opportunity for players to discover themselves When asked, “Are you optimistic about under pressure and excel. Ultimately, a player has popularity of cricket in U.S.?” Anand said, “Yes, to perform and find ways to overcome pressure/ Cricket is the second largest growing sport in the nerves/situations on his/her own in a game and that world and it is certainly on the rise in the U.S.A. is what we want to train for at all levels of Cricket. USA Men’s National cricket team recently won When asked about coaching certification, the Auty Cup and regained it after 26 years. USA Anand said, “Level 1 Cricket Coaching Certifi- National Women’s cricket team recently competcation is the beginners level for Cricket Coaches. ed in the ICC T20 World Cup qualifiers for EuLevel 2 Cricket Coaching Certification is the ad- rope & Americas, after a gap of almost 6 years. vanced level and Level 3 Cricket Coaching Ac- There are more competitions coming up for both creditation is for High Performance elite cricket USA Men’s & Women’s Cricket Teams. The USA coaching. Level 3 also needs proven track record under 19 Team also is being rebuilt.” in Coaching and proven Research. I am fortunate Commenting on the T20 format, Anand to be the Coach Education Course Facilitator and said, “T20 has been a great way to spread cricket Examiner for Level 1 & Level 2 Courses across across the world. However, it should not take over the USA. These Coaching Certifications are held the Test Matches or One Day Internationals.” across the Country, we have done these in CaliforWhen Anand was asked whether cricket nia, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, Illinois, St. coaching can be a well-rewarded full-time caLouis, and New York since 2013. These Tests are reer, he replied, “in the Cricket power houses published by USA Cricket or ICC Americas as and such as India, England, Australia, South Africa when planned. Tests are both in Theory and Prac- Cricket Coaches are taken care off very well. But tical sessions conducted as part of these courses. in the U.S. cricket has lot of catching up to do. Anand is long associated with India’s icon- However, with the kind of strides USA Cricket ic Cricket Captain and Legendary Spin Bowler, is making in partnership with the International Mr. Bishen Singh Bedi’s cricket coaching Trust. Cricket Council (ICC), Cricket Australia, West “I have been fortunate to be associated with Bish- Indies Cricket Board & the USOC, the day is not en Sir since 2001. Bishen Bedi Cricket Coaching far when there will be good pay structure for the Trust (BBCCT) will be celebrating it’s 25 years Cricket Coaches here.” next year with Mr. Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi Currently, Anand is the Head Coach of USA being the Chief Patron. Players such as Yuvraj Women’s National Team which participated in the Singh, Rahul Sanghvi, Sunil Joshi, Murali Karthik ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers in Scotand hundreds of First Class Cricketers have bene- land, UK and performed extremely well considerfited from BBCCT. Every year, BBCCT conducts ing the short period of time it was constituted. He cricket camps for Youngsters across the country is also working with the US Olympic Committee and selects a team to go for an over-seas tour (En- as part of the National Governing Body (NGB) gland or Australia). Several cricketers are given Coach Education Program.


NRI Pulse

Kuchibhotla Murder: Ex-US Navy Veteran Pleads Not Guilty

A former US Navy veteran charged with killing an Indian engineer and injuring two others in a racially motivated hate crime at a bar in Kansas city earlier this year has pleaded not guilty. Adam Purinton, 51, was charged with first-degree murder in the February shooting at the Austins Bar & Grill in Olathe that killed 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla. He also faces two counts of attempted first-degree murder for wounding another Indian Alok Madasani and American man Ian Grillot. The Kansas City Star reported that Purinton waived his preliminary hearing and the not guilty plea was entered on his behalf. His next hearing is scheduled for May 8. Purinton also faces hate crime charges. According to prosecutors, Purinton targeted Kuchibhotla and another Indian man because of their race or ethnicity. He reportedly got into an argument with the victims and hurled racial slurs saying, “get out of my country” and “terrorist” before shooting them. The third man was shot when he tried to help the two victims.

Indian Man Shot Dead During Robbery

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India Shouldn't Be Divided On Religious Lines: Obama

New Delhi: (IANS) Former US President Barack Obama said he told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that India must not be split on sectarian lines and emphasized how the country must cherish the fact that Muslims here identify them-

selves as Indians. "A country shouldn't be divided on sectarian lines and that is something I have told Prime Minister Modi in person as well as to people in America," Obama said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit. "...People see the differences between each other much too vividly and miss the commonalities. Commonalities are always based on gender

Sherin Mathews Showed Signs Of Abuse, Broken Bones: Doctor

Washington: (IANS) Sherin Mathews, a threeyear-old Indian girl who was found dead in a ditch last month in the US state of Texas, had a series of broken bones and injuries in various stages of healing that could not have happened prior to her adoption, a doctor has said in a testimony before a court. The girl's body was found in the culvert unA 21-year-old Indian man was shot dead in front of his house during a robbery in Mississippi. The incident happened days after a 20-yearold Indian student was killed by two armed robbers at a grocery store in California. In the latest attack, Sandeep Singh was shot in the stomach during the robbery reported around 11 p.m. on Sunday in Jackson city, Mississippi, police said. He died at the University of Mississippi Medical Centre. Singh and two other men were standing outside their house when a man in a mask and a hoodie walked up to them. The robber took money and cellphones from the men. As the robber ran away, he fired shots and one of the bullets hit Singh, knocking him unconscious, police said. Singh’s death is the city’s 58th homicide for the year. He hailed from Jalandhar and got a job in the US after he migrated to the country four years ago on a tourist visa. The shooter was described as wearing a gray hooded shirt and was armed with a 9 mm pistol, police said.All of the men are African-American, said Jones.

and we need to focus on that," Obama said. Asked how Modi responded to his message on religious tolerance, Obama dodged a straight reply, saying his goal was not to disclose his private conversations. But he said India's majority community and government needed to cherish the fact that minorities, particularly Muslims, in India identify themselves as part of the Indian society. "For a country like India where there is a Muslim population that is successful, integrated and considers itself as Indian, which is not the case in some other countries, this should be nourished and cultivated," Obama said. He said in a democracy the most important office was not the office of the President or Prime Minister but the office of the citizen who needed to question themselves about which ideology they encourage by supporting a particular politician. "When you see a politician doing something questionable, ask yourself 'Am I supporting this?' Politicians are like mirrors which reflect the community's view. If communities across India are saying they won't fall prey to division, then it will strengthen the hand of politicians who feel that way."

der a road about one kilometre from her home in suburban Dallas on October 22. She was reported missing by her foster father Wesley Mathews on October 7. Wesley Mathews and his wife Sini adopted the girl in June 2016 from Bihar. Dr Suzanne Dakil, a pediatrician and child abuse expert, testified on Wednesday that Sherin Mathews was hospitalized in February 2017 and also had an elbow fracture in September 2016. Her injuries were visible in various X-ray scans taken last year and earlier this year, reported

WFAA, an ABC-affiliated television station. Dakil's testimony came during a hearing in which the girl's foster parents sought to recover from the state custody of their 4-year- old biological child. They lost her custody after Sherin Mathews went missing. She said the X-ray scans suggested that the injuries were inflicted after the girl was adopted. The X-rays this year showed that fractures in Sherin Mathews' tibia and femur were in different stages of healing. The doctor said that the pattern of injuries led her to believe that Sherin Mathews was abused on separate occasions. She then filed a report with Child Protective Services after seeing the X-rays. The couple, facing criminal charges, repeatedly took their Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination when asked about what happened to Sherin Mathews. Wesley Mathews had initially told police that the girl disappeared when he made her stand in a lane behind their house in Richardson city at 3 a.m. on October 7 as punishment for not drinking milk. But after the girl's body was discovered, the father admitted that the child choked while he was making her drink milk and died in their home. Sini Mathews, who is behind bars on child endangerment charges, had her bond reduced from $250,000 to $100,000. Wesley Mathews had been charged with felony injury to a child. He is in the Dallas County jail on a $1 million bond.

December 2017

Ambassador Sarna Gets Year’s Extension

New Delhi: (IANS) Reflecting the governments tendency of keeping faith in trusted people in key diplomatic posts, the term of Indian Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna has been extended. According to reliable sources, the term of Sarna, a 1980 batch Indian Foreign Service officer and who was supposed to retire November end, has been extended by a year. He was named India’s envoy in Washington in September last year ahead of the US presidential election and after serving just eight months as Indian High Commissioner to Britain. With Sarna as the Ambassador, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a highly successful first-time meeting with US President Donald Trump in Washington this year. Both Sarna and his predecessor, Arun Kumar Singh, are former Indian Ambassadors to Israel, underlying the importance of a posting in Tel Aviv which is one of Washington’s closest allies. Sarna has had a previous posting in Washington when he was Minister for Press, Information and Culture between 1998 and 2002.

Adult Club Owner Killed In Shootout

New Delhi: (IANS) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj recentluy said that the government is in touch with the family of Akash Talati, an Indian American who was shot dead in a night club he owned in the US. “Indian Embassy in US has informed me of the circumstances leading to the death of Akash Talati, a US citizen of Indian origin,” Sushma Swaraj tweeted. She said Talati was shot by a man who was escorted out of his club and the security guard returned the fire, injuring the assailant. According to media reports, 40-year-old Talati, owner of the Diamondz Gentleman’s Club in the city of Fayetteville in North Carolina was killed after a patron opened fire around to 2 a.m. The assailant, Markeese Dewitt, 23, has been charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, CBS News reported citing Fayetteville police. CBS North Carolina quoted Talati’s family as saying “the shooting happened after the man was kicked out of the club, got mad, grabbed a gun and began shooting”. “Talati was hit by a stray bullet while inside the club, according to his family.”


NRI Pulse

December 2017


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December 2017

Antar-Yatra: AIM For Seva Fundraiser An Artistic Extravaganza


tribal boys at the FSHs who completed their eduAtlanta, GA: Inspired, indigenous and intri- cation and went on to donate the first check they cate, Antar-Yatra, the AIM for Seva fundraiser, earned back to AIM for Seva. He mentioned a blended an array of ingredients including three Bay Area couple that made a generous donation popular dance forms, songs in six different languages, various voices of the narrator, puppetry and pinnal kollatam, serving a sumptuous spread of artistic extravaganza simmered to perfection at Lassiter High School on November 5. Presented by renowned Odishi dancer and founder, Odissi Vision and Movement Centre, Kolkata, Sharmila Biswas, Antar –Yatra merged Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Odishi dance forms to offer a glimpse into the inner world of the women dancers of India. Drawing inspiration from mythological and historical references to dancers, inundated with abstractions, layered by subtle nuances, the production was elaborately colorful and evocatively dramatic in presentation. On a 12-city tour across the US, the show in Atlanta raised sponsorship for 120 students in Free Student Homes (FSHs) in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat adopted of $0.5MM to the organization. by AIM for Seva Georgia. “I learnt from them that you don’t need to “I can proudly say that since AIM for Seva be rich to be happy. Makes me appreciate what I Georgia Chapter was established in 2012, we are have,” said Sadhana Venkataraman, a high school now recognized for bringing high quality cultural student who visited the FSHs in India through the programs to Atlanta, and the community loves the Global Youth Leadership Program. cause it represents,” said Eashwar Money, lead coorSreelakshmy Govardhnan in Kuchipudi, Lakshdinator for AIM for Seva, GA. “I would like to thank Georgia’s donors for their support in the last six mi Parthasarathy Athreya in Bharatanatyam, and years. I’m pleased to say that AIM for Seva (Seva in Sashwati Garai Ghosh in Odissi, each representing Sanskrit means selfless service) is truly turning out their dance forms in the opening act presented a well coordinated piece, with the act coming together like to be a “movement” in Georgia,” he added. Nithya Narasimhan welcomed the audience, rivers from various directions that merge to blend followed by a flawless rendition of ‘Mahagana- into a common ocean, flowing together individually pathim’ by Nityashree and Sreevarshini. In his yet joining together a narrate a common story. Then appeared the mythological Apsaras. address, Money shared the success stories of two The stage glimmered, steeped in deep blue light-

ing as the celestial dancers embraced and retreated quietly and gently. The audience watched in awe, as did the narrator as she whispered, “I believed in the apsara. We did. She did. It flowered,

Photos by Venkat Kuttua.

filled my heart…” Lakshmi Parthasarathy Athreya, in her piece A Sacred Space, was the historical devadasi, known to have a lifelong bond with the Divine, tied with God. She built her world drawing inspiration from the sound of temple bells dancing to tunes of sitar and vocals. Surrounded by the mundane, Sreelakshmy Govardhnan in The First Light explored the magic of twilight, sandhi samaya - the time of day when day meets night. Sashwati Garai Ghosh in her piece Explaining The Unexplainable, draws her inspiration from the imagery of Rama pursuing the golden deer of Maya, Mareecha. Culminating with a realization of the dancers

that the journey towards art or the Divine is never-ending, Antar-Yatra concluded with a reflective act, Shringaar, as Sharmila, almost ascetic, placed puppets of Krishna over the screens to the soulful rendition of ‘Sundari kahe mohe sambhasi na jasi’. So, the dancer embellished her Divine in her own way, within the world she created, reddening his feet with the color of the dawn, painting his lips with her own bittersweet life, darkening his eyes and with the Maya born from her dreams. It is her world, she plays with her Divine as her heart desires, in the unending spiritual journey within. Partly abstract and delightfully dramatic, the individual journeys of dancers in Antar-Yatra, enriched with luscious lighting by Ramesh Jena, enhanced by dreamy props of bamboo and jute drapes by Nandagopal Jana, and elevated by exceptional music by Srijan Chatterjee was profound, prolific and a pleasurable piece of artistry. “Antar Yatra would not have been possible without the financial and moral support of Sheela Balaji and AIM for SEVA. It is indeed beautiful to feel how concern for education and art can combine, to create something worthwhile. It makes for a better future,” Sharmila Biswas said, in her closing remarks. “AIM (All India Movement) for Seva was started by Swami Dayananda Saraswati in 2001 and it’s Mission is educating rural and tribal children in India by the establishment of free student homes. AIM for SEVA has 97 FSHs across 16 states in India.

Shaam-E-Sangeet Raises $50,000 For One-Teacher Ekal Vidyalayas


Atlanta, GA: Despite cold and windy weather, nearly 300 people gathered in a jam-packed hall in Global Mall on Saturday, November 11,2017, to enjoy and support the “Shaam-E-Sangeet” fundraiser for Ekal Vidyalaya of USA. “Shaam-E-Sangeet” was conceptualized, choreographed and coordinated by Atlanta’s popular Geet Rung School of Dance and Music. The mesmerizing event showcased talented singers and dancers whose delightful presentations of dances, old classics, new upbeat foot tapping songs and a vibrant grand finale kept the audience enthralled till the very end. After the attendees enjoyed a delicious dinner prepared by Monika Kumar, they were warmly welcomed by Preeti Tanwar and Neetu Chauhan who emceed the show. Shailesh Lakhtakia, Consul (HOC, Protocol) at the Consulate General in Atlanta, lit the lamp along with Geet Rung School’s Founder/Dir. Divya Srivastava and Ekal Vidyalaya GA Chapter President Shiv Aggarwal. This was followed aptly by Ganesh Vandana, a dance invocation for seeking blessings for the program by students of Geet-Rung. Ekal’s DVD and later PowerPoint presentation showed its one-teacher- school model in action. In the

DVD, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded Ekal for “a very successful mission” and recognized the wonderful work in the 58,672 schools providing basic education to nearly 1.5 million rural children, with an

er. Music students trained by Pankaj Bhargava of Geet-Rung opened the evening with Suraj Ki Garmi Se, a melodious bhajan sung originally by Sharma Bandhu for Parinay movie. Atlanta’s well

herbaan. Saras Jain, a Sangeet Prabhakar and trained Hindustani Classical vocalist effortlessly did full justice to demanding songs like Mere Mehboob Tujhe, and Arijit Singh’s numbers in his inimitable voice. Pankaj Bhargava, who has been associated with Ekal for several years, had the audience humming to his Dil Aaj Shaayar, Ae ajnabi tu bhi kabhi, a medley of Kishore Kumar songs picturized on the evergreen actor Dev Anand, to name a few. Indrani Danave sang Paani Paani Re, Chalo Tum Ko Lekar and Mere Dholna Sun, to which intricate footwork, soulful expressions and graceful movements were added by the dancers. Sunny not only emceed a segment but also sang Yoon Rutho Naa Haseena very well. The second segment of the program was live accompaniment by the instrumentalists, Shivprasad Kotagal a Sangeet Visharad from Baroda Music of college on Tabla, Gaurav Bhagat on Guitar and Pankaj Bhargava on Harmonium. This segment generated more excitement in the audience with the melodious renditions of Kal Chaudhveen Ki Raat Thi by Pankaj, Ranjishe hi sahi by Saras, Aaj jane ki zid na karo almost equal boy-girl ratio. known and versatile singer Sunny Sachdeva pre- by Indrani and the fast paced Qawalis to peak the Divya Srivastava, Founder & Director of sented Geet-Rung’s artists. Pankaj Bhargava, Saras climax. After more vintage songs and captivating Geet-Rung who has always extended her undying Jain, Indrani Danave & Anita Gupta enthralled the dances to the live singing, the upbeat final medsupport to Ekal, had once again put in the tremen- audience with a medley of ever-green songs. ley of all-time disco favorites made the audience dous effort and energy to put this show togethAnita set the tone with her Aaiye Me...continued on Pg 18.


NRI Pulse

December 2017


NRI Pulse

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December 2017

(Un)Masked: Colorfully Layered Presentation Raises Funds For IMHO


Atlanta, GA: Opening with an astounding, aesthetic, colorfully layered ensemble, (Un) Masked, a Third Eye Dancers and Bharathakala Naatya Academy production, made its mark at the Infinite Energy Center on Sunday October 29, 2017. The sold out show, an eclectic dance conglomeration choreographed by Subathra Sudarshan, with creative inputs from Delhi’s popular designer Sandhya Raman, and enacted delightfully by students of Bharathakala Naatya Academy, was a visual treat for the art lover, and poetic in its presentation. Retaining the original grammar of Bharatanatyam, the show blended a novel updated version of the dance form and costumes creating a mystical, whimsical milieu of grace and grandeur. The event was sponsored by 8 Miles Media. (Un)Masked raised $10,000 for children with special needs. Funds raised and contributed to International Medical Health Organization (IMHO) will benefit Neuro-developmental disorder centers in Batticaloa and Jaffna in Sri Lanka. A notable aspect of this particular production is the fact that the costumes were made from digital reproductions of the artwork created by children with special needs. Sandhya Raman works with differently abled children and is a recipient of Stree Shakti Puraskar for her contribution towards using design for development. Like the various layers of clothes in the opening act, various emotions of a woman- love, happiness, fear, anger, disgust, sadness, courage, surprise and tranquility encircled Meena, as her conscience walked us through her journey. Meena, now an aging grandmother narrates her own story to her granddaughter; only, the granddaughter does not know it. A carefree spirit, Meena has a mind of her own, dancing the starry night away with her friends. She falls in love with Dev, the ferryman. But family and society does not approve. A witch dance highlighted Meena’s turmoil, as she accepts Raj as her husband. Raj is a good person but does not comprehend the need for Meena to take up a job, with all the household chores at hand, symbolically presented with girls holding pots, pans and dustpans. Now a mother, Meena turns to art for comfort with reassurance from Lydia, who also rose above her own adversities. She finally gets a job, even as her apathetic husband continues to ignore her achievements until one day, at the grand finale of a fashion show the artwork from Meena’s autistic students, (nicely hemmed into the script), garners accolades and awards. He finally accepts he is proud of her. Creative usage of art forms to unravel the protagonists’ predicaments in choice of self over relationships as a daughter, friend, lover, wife, a mother or grandmother engaged the audience. “(Un)Masked is the story of a woman, who chooses to stay within the realm of society but also manages to uncover her true self. She does not walk away from a husband indifferent to her aspirations, but rather chooses to continue her family responsibilities while finding her purpose in working with differently abled children. The husband eventually recognizes her competence and admires her diligence,” explains Subathra. (Un)Masked featured accomplished dancer, teacher and choreographer Gopukiran, as one of

the leads. Gopukiran currently serves as a faculty member of the Dhananjayans’ Bharatakalanjali in Chennai India. He is also the director of Mahodaya School of Bharatanatyam, Chennai. Lead actors Arun Ramachandran, Aruna Srinivasan, Harini Indrakrishnan, Shreya Visvanathan and Shruti Sunil portrayed characters with ease, along with a vibrant supporting cast.

opines Sandhya Raman. Sandhya, an alumna of the National Institute of Design, was part of NID’s first batch of Apparel Design students. What sets her apart is her unique choice of costume design that caters to classical dance forms using vibrant colors and evocative artwork. Sandhya curated “When the Pleats Dance” an exhibition focusing on the evolution of four decades of

first time and they were all put together in India. That’s the satisfaction a costume designer looks for,” quotes Sandhya Raman. “Dance is a very communicative art and inspires me. Classical dance forms demand strenuous movements. The pressure on the designer is to make a garment that wears well on stage” she adds. Speaking of her collaboration with Sandhya Raman, Subathra is quick to admit that Sandhya was her first choice. “I called her on a whim, as soon as the idea flashed to me,” she says. Brainstorming with Sandhya Raman further gave her the idea to introduce the profession the lead character Meena chooses to be related to children with autism. It fit perfectly with the cause the fundraiser was working for. That Sandhya Raman works with differently abled children was an added bonus. “My students also were equally, enthusiastically involved” beams Subathra. The idea to include soft English music into the production was seeded by them. Launched by Subathra Sudarshan in 2007 with 15 students, Bharathakala Naatya Academy has grown leaps and bounds with over 200 students over the years. No stranger to recognition, Subathra is a recipient of many awards including title of “Naatya Sandhya Raman, Subathra Sudarshan and the cast of (Un)Masked. Photos by Poorna” by her Gurus, “Naatya Mayuri” by Guru Venkat Kuttua Photography. Srinivasa Arka in London, “Nritya Sevika” by Nadhabrahmham in India for exemplary humanitarian contributions through naatyam (dance) to give back to the community locally in USA and India and 2013 Humanitarian award by GAPI. She is also the founder/ director of Third Eye Dancers, a non-profit organization that promotes art forms “Costuming is a specialized field that calls dance costumes. She recently started DESMA- and charitable giving through dance. Subathra was for deep articulation and blending several facets NIA Foundation to promote young artists in the invited by the Government of China to perform for like form, function, culture, history, while re- areas of music, dance, and creative arts and crafts. the Silk Road. Bharathakala along with Third Eye taining the original character of the dance form. “We love it. The students said the costumes Dancers has raised and donated over $200,000 for It demands extensive detailing for ergonomics” are comfortable after they tried them on for the various causes and charities over the past ten years.

Diwali Celebrated In Spirit Of Tradition By Seniors BY MAHADEV DESAI

Director Raj Razdan recognized and thanked the mem- the inception of SCP in the mid nineties; thus helpAtlanta, GA: The Senior Citizen Program bers for their loyalty and especially acknowledged the ing directly with its phenomenal growth. She added, (SCP) got in the swing to celebrate their annu- sponsors Vikas and Dolly Verma, lauding them for “The rituals and traditions help reinforce cultural ties, al Diwali program with great joy and enthusi- their unflinching financial support every year since sharing and family values as the annual celebration of Diwali provided direct connection asm at the Garden Plaza, with our community here and as Norcross, Georgia on well in India.” Sunday, November 5. The She thanked Anupam Goyal Banquet hall was packed Puri for catering delicious snacks/ with senior energy and lunch and Rajbhog Sweets for electricity in the company providing Diwali sweets. of Atlanta’s well known, A brief invocation of Godversatile, proficient mudess Lakshmi by the Seniors sicians Dr. Asmita Joshi, Bhagwanji and Ramaben ChuSunny Sachdeva, Mahesh dasama and Sponsors Vikas and Patel, Darshan Kaur, UrDolly Verma set the stage for mila Mota et al. show time. The gathering was Volunteers Arunaben treated to glittering gems (BollyPatel, Shashi Sidhaye, Isha wood hits of yesteryears) down Goyal and Dolly Verma elthe memory lane, interspersed egantly decorated the stage with a Diya dance, jokes, poems with fresh flowers, gifts, Raj Razdan with singers, sponsors and volunteer Rajnikant Parikh. and even a traditional ‘engagediyas and hospitality in the spirit of Diwali. Executive Photo by Mahadev Desai. ...continued on Pg 17


NRI Pulse

Wipro To Contest Lawsuit Filed By US Utility Firm Bengaluru: (IANS) Global software major Wipro said it would contest a $140 million (Rs 910 crore) lawsuit filed by its US-based customer National Grid US over an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) project. "National Grid US has filed a case in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, seeking $40 million plus additional costs relating to the project, which we joined in 2010," it said in a regulatory filing on the BSE. Refuting the allegations of the electric utility firm, Wipro said though National Grid had been its valued customer over the years in the US and Britain, it believed that its client's misstate facts and claims were baseless. The five-year project, which began in 2009, was implemented by 2014. "Wipro provided valuable services to National Grid with skill and care and has extensive experience in dealing with ERP projects," Wipro said.

Google To Mentor 4 New Indian Startups

Google recently announced the four shortlisted Indian startups for its hands-on mentorship program 'Launchpad Accelerator'. With this batch, a total of 30 Indian startups have so far joined the class. The shortlisted startups -- BabyChakra, m.Paani, NIRAMAI and SocialCops -- will join a group of startups shortlisted from all over the world at the Google Developers' Launchpad Space in San Francisco in the US. Class 5 of the mentorship will kick off on January 29 and will include two weeks of all-expenses paid training, as part of the the full sixmonth program. "These startups have been shortlisted based on their unique value proposition and use of latest technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence," Roy Glasberg, Global Lead, Google Developers Launchpad, said in a statement.

..... Biz News .....

Infosys Hires Salil Parekh Of Capgemini As Its New CEO Bengaluru: (IANS) Global software major Infosys on Saturday announced the appointment of Salil S Parekh from Capgemini as its new CEO and Managing Director with effect from January 2. "Parekh, 53, joins Infosys from Capgemini where he was a member of the Group Executive Board," said the IT major in a statement here. Capgemini is a global consulting, technology and IT outsourcing firm headquartered in Paris. Parekh, a veteran in the global IT industry, will be the second non-promoter executive of the $10.3 billion firm after Vishal Sikka, who resigned on August 18 following boardroom battles over corporate governance issues with its co-founders, especially N.R. Narayana Murthy. "I am happy that Infosys has appointed Parekh as the CEO. My best wishes to him," said Murthy in a separate statement. Co-founder and Board Chairman Nandan Nilekani said: "We are delighted to have Salil joining as the CEO & MD. He has nearly three decades of global experience in the IT services industry." Nilekani, who returned to the company as non-executive Chairman on August 18, also said as Parekh had a strong track record of executing business turnarounds and managing very successful acquisitions, the Board believed that he was the right person to lead the company at a transformative time in the industry. "The Board is also grateful to (interim CEO and MD U.B.) Pravin Rao for his leadership during this period of transition," he added. As Parekh takes over, Pravin Rao will revert to his post as Chief Operating Officer from January 2 but continue as Director on the Board.

Infosys Independent Director and Nomination and Remuneration Committee Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said Parekh was the top choice from a pool of highly qualified candidates for the post and "with his (strong track record and extensive experience, we believe, we have the right person to lead Infosys". Shaw is chairperson of India's biotech major Biocon Ltd in this tech hub. The full-time CEO post has been vacant since Sikka had quit, stating that he could not continue to work amid "malicious personal attacks". The company's previous Board blamed Murthy for Sikka's dramatic resignation three years after he joined the outsourcing firm in August 2014 from global software major SAP AG of Germany. In a related development, Capgemini announced in Paris that Parekh would leave the group on January 1, 2018. Parekh, who has Masters degrees in computer science and mechanical engineering from Cornell University in the US and a B. Tech degree in aeronautical engineering from IIT-Bombay, joined Capgemini in 2000 when it acquired the consulting division of Ernst & Young (E&Y), the London-based global accounting firm, and occupied leadership positions in the group during his 17-year-long stint. "I would like to thank Parekh for his involvement in the Capgemini journey and contribution to the development of the group in India and the US," said Capgemini Chairman and Chief Executive Paul Hermelin in the statement. The Euro 12.5-billion ($14.9 billion) Capgemini is a 50-year-old firm with about 200,000 employees in 40 countries the world over.

December 2017

GES Calls For More Action To Help Women Entrepreneurs

Hyderabad: (IANS) The eighth Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) concluded here with the speakers at the closing plenary calling for more action to help women entrepreneurs and later, NITI Ayog and Telangana government announcing series of initiatives. The speakers stressed the need to ensure that women entrepreneurs have access to funding and get mentorship and all support not just from the government but also from men. The session was themed 'When women win, we all win' with NITI Ayog CEO Amitabh Kant serving as the moderator. The speakers included USAID Administrator Mark Green, Welspun India CEO Dipali Goenka, iEurope Capital LLC Co-Founder and Managing Director Kristina Davison, Petrolink Founder and CEO Lerato Motsami and TeamLease Chairman Manish Sabharwal. The three-event with the theme 'women first priority for all' was co-hosted by the US and India. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi while US President Donald Trump's daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump led the US delegation. Amitabh Kant described as a very successful and an outstanding event. He said it was the 8th GES and the first to be held in South Asia. The women participation was 53 per cent, the highest in GES. He said Ivanka Trump brought formidable delegation of 35 business leaders and state officials with her while Modi attended the event with cabinet colleagues Sushma Swaraj and Nirmala Sitaraman.

Diwali Celebrated In Spirit Of Tradition By Seniors (Contd. from Pg 14) ment song’ by the local team of talented singers in their inimitable voices. Asmita Joshi got the ball rolling singing the romantic, classical song ‘Ankhiyon ke jharokonse’ and followed it up with the film Madhumati’s popular ‘Aaja re Pardesi’ song in her mellifluous voice. Later she sang ‘Baiyan na dharo o balma’ and a song expressing awakenings of first love ‘Pyar hua chupke se’ from 1942: A Love Story. Dancers were not going to be left behind! So, Pallavi Patel who is a talented dancer and her team of Niru Masse, Kundan Patel, Sucheta Mehta and Lilaben Verma enthralled the audience with a captivating diya dance choreographed by Pallaviben. Mahesh Patel captivated the audience with Mukesh gems, ‘Kisiki muskarahoton pe ho nisar’ and ‘Janam dekh lo mit gayi’. Atlanta’s multi-talented stage artist and zesty singer Sunny Sachdeva refreshed and quizzed the elders with interesting anecdotes about the composers, lyricists and musicians and also the rendering ‘Mana

janab ne pukara nahi’ with Dev Anand theatrics! Darshan Kaur, well known for supporting many deserving causes through her versatile performing arts aptitude, sang two lively numbers, ‘Saiyan dil mein aana re’ and ‘Aye dil mujhe bata de’ to accelerate the tempo for the afternoon. The audience sat in rapt attention listening to a medley of melodious songs sung by the gifted singers. Each song elicited wide applause. It was now Urmila Mota’s turn to sing a lilting song ‘Gore gore O banke chhore’ from the 1950 movie Samadhi by Lata Mangeshkar.Then it was time for the duets: Mahesh and Asmita sang the ever popular, lyrical ‘Kabhi kabhi mere dil’. Mahesh and Darshan Kaur sang ‘Pehla nasha, pehla khumar’. Sunny and Mahesh rendered ‘Suhani raat dhal chuki’. Darshan and Sunny were in their element when they sang ‘jaane kahan mera jigar gaya ji’. It was amusing to see both emoting so well. The seniors were enjoying it all. The seniors including Ujjagar Singh Wassan and Janu Was-

san, sponsors Vikas and Dolly Verma could not hold themselves back from getting onto the dance floor with their own lively swings! Sunny regaled the gathering by singing ‘Mujhe duniya walo sharabi na samjho’. Lo and behold! senior Rajnikant Parikh added to the humor of the song by getting on the floor pretending to be a drunkard! The singers gave their hearts out to entertain the audience with a plethora of Bollywood chartbusters. Preeti Tanwar, Exec. provided a brief overview of Ekal Vidyalaya Organization and its Atlanta Chapter. Raj Razdan thanked all the singers who were then presented with flower bouquets in appreciation of their contributions to the Diwali celebrations. She also thanked Ujjagar Singh and Janu Singh for being emcees for the program, Mahendra Shah, and all the volunteers for their active involvement. Some humor followed as longtime sponsor Vikas Verma quipped that his age too had now made him eligible member of the SCP. “It has

been our privilege to be associated with the Senior Citizen Program from its inception,” he said. “The smiles we see, the laughter we hear and the love we feel at Senior Citizens monthly gatherings makes us proud that we were fortunate & blessed to be able to play a minor role in this major production. Dolly and I are forever indebted to Raj Razdan and countless volunteers who have transformed the dream to a bubbling reality.” The Senior Citizen Program (SCP), now in existence for more than two decades with the dedication of its team of volunteer and sponsors, aims to empower seniors. It provides a forum for the exchange of knowledge, camaraderie and fraternity free to the seniors. The monthly events include picnics, movie shows, celebrations of Valentine Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, India’s Independence Day, religious events like Mata ki Chowki, etc., etc. SCP’s devotion and service to the community is highly commendable and indeed appreciated.


..... Features .....

NRI Pulse

S Durga: A Jolting Marvel Of Improvisation

Film: 'S Durga'; Director: Sanal Sasidharan; Starring: Rajshree Despande, Kannan Nayar; Rating: *** ½ SUBHASH K. JHA

up a prayer for Durga--who is sexy because she is not doing what sexy people normally do in The first 15 minutes of this jolting experifilms, namely act wounded, vulnerable and hysment with truth and nails seems completely unreterical under stress--and Kabeer--who is Muslim lated to the rest of the film. and in the company of his Hindu soulmate on a This is what you get when there is no fordesolate highway…can it mal screenplay. S Durga get any scarier? Can we (S by the way, stands for ever hope for a balanced 'Sexy' but shhhh!) was social order when two shot over one night on a barren highway with young adults can't feel safe together? no script The film is a marvel of improvisation. "S Durga" is not an easy film to watch. Its Director Sanal Sasidharan is not afraid to plunge aura of uncertainty makes you uncomfortable and into the abyss of the unknown as he explores the sexual dynamics of caste, gender and religious We never know till the end what will discrimination on a scarily dark desolate stretch happen to them. When we leave the couof a road less travelled. ple we are given no assurance that they In some unexpected way, the highway becomes a metaphor for the socio-cultural imbal- will be safe from predators and perverts.


ances in our society where the bullies often posing as custodians of the country's moral values take over the destiny of ordinary citizens. And so it happens with the couple Durga (Rajshree Despande)and Kabeer (Kannan Nayar) who are on the run. The girl is Hindu and North Indian. And the boy is a Muslim from Kerala. Yup, this is the forbidden frightening world of ‘love jihad' as seen through the eyes of a director who suffers with the couple and is able to transmute their feeling of growing dread to the audience. As the couple hitches a ride with four sinister ‘strangers' (billed simply as ‘strangers') the intuitively improvised narrative gathers its cumulative strength by letting the couple's destiny hang in abeyance. We never know till the end what will happen to them. When we leave the couple we are given no assurance that they will be safe from predators and perverts. But we do know that the strangers who have given them a ride, are taking them for a ride that is most likely end in a horrible crime. Will the girl be raped? Will they be murdered? Or will the couple be robbed and allowed to escape with their lives? As the scriptless voyage into the unknown reaches an end, you will find yourself sending

queasy. It is thoroughly unpredictable and frequently out of control. The cinematographer(Prathap Joseph) goes with the couple's fears and insecurities capturing, not the outside world that creates these negative thoughts but the emotions that flow from within the couple as they try to remain calm under stress. The thing about "S Durga" is, nothing happens to the couple. Not really. Till the end they are unharmed. And the social transgressors who offer them a ride keep reassuring the couple that they are safe in their company. But are they? Director Sanal Sasirdharan constructs a spiral of terror without actually surrendering to the rituals of horror. Watching "S Durga", you may feel at times like a wayward traveler who has lost his way while trying to escape from a situation of oppression. In doing so, the film creates yet another level of ineluctable terror. Tyranny, oppression and persecution are inescapable in a society where children are taught to look at the opposite sex with curiosity and other religious communities with caution. S Durga, in its unrehearsed improvised way, tells us why love is such crime on the highway to hell.

December 2017

A Quick Reference For Statistics Using R The intention of this book is to quickly introduce the complex concepts of Statistics, especially Managerial Statistics, through different situations depicted in the problems. The solution to the problems can be sought through R. R is an open source language, which has a rich source different packages being contributed by many statisticians. RStudio is the best available Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for R. R/RStudio are available for free to download and install for different operating systems in desktops/laptops. This book is organized into 6 chapters pertaining to Descriptive Statistics and the commonly used statistical tests in Inferential Statistics viz. T-tests, F-tests. The book is in Q&A format thereby facilitating the reader to understand the situations of application without getting into the complexity of formula or theory and directly delve into solution to the problem. In the process, the reader understands quickly where certain tests are used. The corresponding solution to the problem contains the R function/Code applied to that context. Hence the reader also immediately understands the format/syntax of the R Functions used. The reader can practice the same on R /RStudio which can be installed in systems. The book values the time of the reader and does not believe in wasting it by providing instant gratification. The solutions to the problems can very well be extended to similar problems given in other texts on Statistics.

Rapid Statistics using R is written by Dr. Kartikeya Bolar, Associate Professor and Area Co-Chair Operations and Information Science, T A Pai Management Institute, Manipal,India. The book is available in print and online editions. The softcopy is available at and paperback copies are available at Views of some of the readers: The book is very simple and easy to understand. The problems are solved using R and it gives an exposure to different statistical tools. Applying the concepts to real scenarios will be easy. The problems are framed in such a way that it would be pretty much useful for management students and people interested in analysing real time data using. This gives an opportunity to learn both statistical tools and R language for solving them. -Nidheesh K, Management Student


A very crisp and hands on approach, presented in a simple format. This is very good material for students and professionals to get introduced to R and statistics. - Manu S, Technology Management Specialist It is a great book covering inferential statistics as well as hypothesis tests in a concise, easy to understand format. R code is clearly delineated. -Aditya R, Research Student

‘The Book of Chocolate Saints’ by Jeet Thayil This is the most-awaited literary novel of the year by Jeet Thayil, a past winner of the DSC prize, the Sahitya Akademi Award and a finalist of the Man Booker Prize. In incandescent prose, Thayil tells the story of Newton Francis Xavier, blocked poet, serial seducer of young women, reformed alcoholic (but only just), philosopher, recluse, all-round wild man and India's greatest living painter. At the age of 66, Xavier, who has been living in New York, is getting ready to return to the land of his birth to stage one final show of his work (accompanied by a mad bacchanal). Narrated in a huge variety of voices and styles, all of which blend seamlessly into a novel of remarkable accomplishment, "The Book of Chocolate Saints" is the sort of literary masterpiece that only comes along once in a very long time.

‘Chase Your Dreams’ by Sachin Tendulkar

Why should adults have all the fun? In his career spanning 24 years, hardly any records have escaped Sachin Tendulkar's masterly touch. Besides being the highest run scorer in Tests and ODIs, he also uniquely became the first and only batsman to score 100 international centuries and play 200 Tests. His proficient stroke-making is legendary, as is his ability to score runs in all parts of the field and all over the world. And Tendulkar has now come up with this uniquely special edition of his autobiography for young readers.


NRI Pulse

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

December 2017

Antibiotic Resistance: Broader Implications For Humanity BY SAKIB BURZA & KAVITHA DEVDAS

need further investigation. Since 2015, MSF has been working on antibiotic resistance in collaboration with the MinIt is difficult to imagine a world where a istry of Health in West Bengal. As part of this minor bacterial infection from a wound is un- project, MSF worked in the outpatient clinic of a treatable and could possibly lead to death. In the district hospital and two primary health care censhort time that antibiotics have been around, their tres, treating acute respiratory illness in children excessive and occasionally irrational usage by hu- aged 6 months to 12 years. To better understand mans for medical purposes as well as in livestock the context we were operating in, a baseline audit and agriculture has contributed to the speeding up of a natural process of evolution and mutation in bacteria -- a phenomenon known as antibiotic resistance (ABR). As a medical humanitarian organisation, MSF uses antibiotics at various levels of treatment and care. Drug resistant infections are rising rapidly across the world in our various projects and should the world run out of effective antibiotics, typically the poorest and most vulnerable will be the hardest hit. The doctor-patient relationship forms the crux of any initiative trying to address antibiotic of prescribing practices of district hospital docresistance. In the cultural context of India, where tors as well as health promotion activities for the public health infrastructure is overburdened and local community were conducted alongside medthere is a widespread shortage of doctors in ru- ical consultations. ral areas, this gap is filled by pharmacists and Our prescription audit collected and analnon-allopathic practitioners who out of necessi- ysed antibiotic prescription practices of doctors ty dispense medical advice and medication with at the district hospital and PHC level. The audit minimal oversight. This is facilitated by the un- revealed that irrational prescribing of antibiotics der-regulated procurement and ease of over-the- was widespread. In many instances, no diagnosis counter access to antibiotics. was documented in the medical record or preEven among allopathic doctors, irrational scription, rather only listing the drug to be disand over-prescription of antibiotics is common, pensed. which is likely to be exacerbated in an opaque Both sites included in the audit received over doctor-pharmaceutical company nexus. Anti- hundreds of patients per day, with only one medbiograms are often lacking in public health sys- ical doctor overseeing the consultation. Without tems and found to be expensive in the private a doubt, this affected the quality of the consultasector. Our experience of working on antibiotic tion, given the limited time allotted to each paresistance in India confirmed much of what we tient. Patients' understanding of and expectations already knew, but also threw light on areas which for specific types of drugs, such as antibiotics,

Exercise Alone May Not Protect Your Knees: Study

New York: (IANS) Weight loss achieved by a combination of diet and exercise can significantly help slow down the degeneration of knee cartilage, than exercise alone, finds a study. The knee joint is a common site of osteoarthritis -- a degenerative joint disease that affects more than a third of adults over the age of 60 -- and in many people the condition progresses until total knee replacement becomes necessary. "Once the cartilage is lost in osteoarthritis, the disease cannot be reversed," said lead author Alexandra Gersing, from the University of California-San Francisco. Weight loss has been shown to slow down cartilage degeneration in overweight and obese individuals, but it was unclear if the method used to lose weight made a difference. For the study, presented at the 103rd Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of Radio-

logical Society of North America in Chicago, the team investigated cartilage degeneration and joint abnormalities over the course of 96 months in 380 overweight men and women. The participants either had mild to moderate osteoarthritis or risk factors for the disease and were divided into a group of 380 patients who lost weight through diet and exercise, diet alone and exercise alone. Cartilage degeneration was significantly lower among people who lost weight through diet and exercise or diet alone. Weight loss through exercise alone showed no significant difference in cartilage degeneration, the researchers said. "These results add to the hypothesis that solely exercise as a regimen in order to lose weight in overweight and obese adults may not be as beneficial to the knee joint as weight loss regimens involving diet," Gersing said.

are hard to manage when pressed for time, as observed by a doctor from the hospital. Our health promotion teams interacted with local pharmacists, who felt they were only fulfilling a void in a system where the patients demand antibiotics, and the medical shops supply it. Considering the shortage of doctors in public health facilities, medical shops provided a convenient and quicker shortcut, even if antibiotics were expensive. Reflecting on the tendency of self-diagnosis, a pharmacist remarked that people consume antibiotics as if they were not medicines but vegetables. Our doctors would encounter patients who described antibiotics vaguely as "red capsules" or "white tablets" but with an unshakable belief in its need and efficacy. Antibiotic resistance is not a conventionally distinct disease, and has not captured public imagination the way other critical public health threats or epidemics have. This means decon-

structing and changing popular perceptions and habits about antibiotics can be tricky. How do you break a habit when you cannot describe what the problem looks like? Discontented parents who do not receive antibiotics for their child's common cold or cough often became suspicious and angry. As a parent in our clinic argued, "We've been using these tablets since childhood without any problems. I came here for the medicine, not your silly advice." Our experience reaffirms the need within health systems for better surveillance and data collection of emerging and existing resistance patterns. Once the evidence is collected, we must ensure proper systems are in place to analyse and share this information. Our efforts at patient counselling and community outreach have taught us that antibiotic misuse is not just a medical issue but a complex socio-cultural problem that is influenced by cost, access and knowledge. Patient education is as vital as sensitisation of medical practitioners and policy makers. We desperately need the new drugs, but we need to preserve what we already have and how we use them even more.

Eating Garlic May Help Combat Cystic Fibrosis London: (IANS) Consuming garlic, which contains an active sulphurous compound, can help fight the robust bacteria found in chronic infections like cystic fibrosis, researchers have found. The findings showed that the sulphurous

compound ajoene in garlic appears to offer the most powerful, naturally occurring resistance to bacteria and is able to destroy important components in the bacteria's communication systems, which involve regulatory RNA molecules. Ajoene also damages the protective slimy matrix surrounding the bacteria, the so-called biofilm. When the biofilm is destroyed or weakened,

both antibiotics and the body's own immune system are able to attack the bacteria more directly and thus remove the infection. "We really believe this method can lead to treatment of patients, who otherwise have poor prospects, because chronic infections like cystic fibrosis can be very robust," said Tim Holm Jakobsen, assistant professor at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. "But now we have enough knowledge to further develop the garlic drug and test it on patients." The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, found that ajoene's has the ability to inhibit small regulatory RNA molecules in two types of bacteria -- Staphylococcus aureus (responsible for skin infections) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (known to cause pneumonia, urinary tract infections). "Both actually belong to two very different bacteria families and are normally fought using different methods. But, the garlic compound is able to fight both bacteria types at once and therefore may prove an effective drug when used together with antibiotics," Jakobsen added.

Exercise, Not Just Diet, Can Change Gut Bacteria

If you thought only diet can change the composition of microbes in the gut, think again! Researchers have found evidence that exercise can change the intestinal microbiota independent of diet. The research provides clues to how exercise could benefit people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. The findings, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, are based on two studies -- one in mice and the other in human participants. In the human study, the participants performed supervised cardiovascular exercise for 30-60 minutes three times a week for six weeks.

The researchers sampled their gut microbiomes before and after the end of the exercise programme and after another six weeks of sedentary behavior. Participants maintained their usual diets throughout the course of the study. Fecal concentrations of short-chain fatty acids, in particular butyrate, went up in the human gut as a result of exercise, the study said. These levels declined again after the participants reverted to a sedentary lifestyle. Genetic tests of the microbiota confirmed that this corresponded to changes in the proportion of microbes that produce butyrate and other short-chain fatty acids.


NRI Pulse

EVENTS Sri Rama PattaDEC 10 bhishekam Kuchipudi Dance Drama Dance Production by Sasikala Penumarthi Hosted by Academy of Kuchipudi Dance, Atlanta Hindu Temple of Atlanta presents Sri Rama Pattabhishekam. The Kuchipudi Dance Ballet is Choreographed by Smt. Sasikala Penumarthi, Music Composer Sri DSV Sastry and Lyrics by Sri B.N. Murthy. This will be performed by over 40 performers from the Academy of Kuchipudi Dance including Sasikala. The ballet will be presented with Live Orchestra Dance Kid Friendly fundraiser for the Security Wall Project and is co-sponsored by the Academy of Kuchipudi Dance. When: Sun Dec 10 from 2pm-4:30pm Where: Clayton Performing Arts Center, 2530 Mt Zion Pkwy, Jonesboro, GA 30236 Contact:, Atlanta Hindu Vivah DEC 10 Speed Dating and Social Mixer Free Admission When: Sunday, December 10 from 1:30 PM 5:30 PM Where: Holiday Inn Atlanta-Roswell, 909 Holcomb Bridge Rd, Roswell, Georgia 30076 Contact: Shobha Swamy, 248-894-1929, www. Hindi Urdu Sanjhe DEC 15 Bol “Here in your own Metro Atlanta” A unique Kavi Sammelan/Mushaira: "Hindi Urdu Sanjhe Bol" is coming again with a new and exciting theme and thought. Hindi and Urdu are possibly the only two languages which are world apart in their script, but while speaking, there are a lot of similarities.

..... Features .....

Both languages originate from the same common place -- India. Urdu and Hindi are like two sisters – while Urdu prefers to be wrapped in Persian shawl, Hindi prefers the inherited jewelry from Sanskrit. Languages preserve and enrich the cultural heritage as much as they allow us to appreciate ideas, emotions and knowledge of each other. Poetry is the juice, the extract, the most condensed form of a language. This program brings together poets from multiple nationalities, and provides stage and voice to the "shared words" as much as to the longing for our languages. “Hindi Urdu Sanjhe Bol" has successfully had nine performances in the past years in Atlanta. Every year, local poets participate and share their creations with audience. When: Fri Dec 15, 2017 Time: meet and greet with dinner social hour 6:30 to 7:30, and poetry recitation 7:30 to 10:30. Where: Fusion Event Hall, 5130 Brook Hollow Pkwy., Norcross, GA, 30071, Norcross, GA 30071 Contact: events/196804930880194/, Manju Tiwari, Sandhya Saxena Bhagat, 770-962-2669, 404-5857247, Indian Singles Mixer DEC 16 by BanyanWay. For ages 23-35. BanyanWay is announcing its first Singles' event in the metro Atlanta area and if you are single, here is the perfect opportunity to meet other Indian American singles, Go on and register! When: Saturday, December 16 from 7- 10 pm. Where: Adda Sports Pub and Eatery, 3455 Peachtree Pkwy, Suite 212, Suwanee, GA-30024. $25 covers welcome drink and hors d’oeuvres. Register at https://indiansinglesdec2017.

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

Shaam-E-Sangeet Raises $50,000 For Ekal ...continued from Pg 12...

not only clap in unison but also pulled them on the dance floor! Sound engineering was very well taken care of by Joji of Divinity AV. The Ekal program of free basic education for children has been expanded to formalize vocational training, social empowerment and healthcare for adults. It has thus brought about far-reaching changes in neglected areas of India. Once the attendees realized the huge social impact their monetary contribution would make, they vied with each other to sponsor Ekal schools. As soon as 80 schools had been donated by individuals, Pravin Kakadia, a long-time sponsor and volunteer announced he would match the next

11 with his own 11 schools ($4015). “Shaam-ESangeet 2017” didn’t stop at 101, but raised 119 schools in one night! Esha and Kunal Sajjan had stayed up late and created art and craft work especially for the event and offered all sale proceeds to Ekal. With these 119 schools, Ekal is inching towards its goal of 100,000. Shiv Aggarwal, Ekal Atlanta Chapter President, thanked the talented and compassionate artists, students, sponsors, donors, volunteers, VHPA for the much-needed hot chai, and all supporters for joining the Ekal family. Sponsors can track the progress of their school at, can connect with Ekal on Facebook or Twitter also.

December 2017

The World's Laziest People Make Indolence An Art Form

making this up): "We can all learn from Comrade Li Jianhua... who gave an unremitting struggle Lazy dad tip: You can answer any question to perform his best and to sacrifice everything." asked by your child with "Go ask your mama", Then a report flashed up on the news monincluding "Where's mama?" itor which said that Richard Thaler, who just The tragedy of modern life is that people won the Nobel Prize for Economics, revealed look down on lazy individuals, not realising the secret of his success: "Terminal laziness." that Advanced Indolence is an art form. His "default tendency of avoiding work" led to And it's better than working. Consider this. him to focus only on the most intriguing puzA man was sacked recently for working too zles, leading directly to his winning the Nobel hard. Bosses at Lidl supermarket in Barcelona Prize. gave Jean P. the boot So there you have after seeing security it. Your boss thinks footage which showed you are a "work-shy him toiling from five waste of space sufo'clock in the morning. fering from terminal A news cutting laziness" (to quote the about this was put on sort of phrases used this columnist's desk in this writer's school by a colleague with a reports) when actualnote saying it should ly this is the secret of FUNNY SIDE be added to a file headed: "Things high achievement. Which Will Never Happen To You." Top role model? My files have two people Ha ha, very funny. tied in first place, both from India. But it did reinforce my belief that hard Government engineer A.K. Verma stopped work may actually be a bad thing, and I phoned going into work in 1990 but wasn't actually a friend in human resources who confirmed it. sacked for 23 years. Teacher S. Kashyap who "Actually, you'd be surprised, but working was fired only after bosses noticed she'd been over long hours is considered bad for the com- absent for 23 years of her 24-year career. pany," she said, and sent me a link to the work But I also have a soft spot for police offiof HR expert Suzanne Lucas, who showed that cer Albert Muraglia, 53, of San Remo, Italy. He people who over-work prevent bosses from lived in same block as the police station, so every knowing how many man-hours any particular day he would wake up, walk down to the timejob needs. clock in his underpants and check himself in to But I'll admit this is mostly a Western atti- work. Then he would go back to bed. Sometimes tude. Bosses in Asia take an opposite stance, as he was too lazy to even do that, and he sent his shown by the case of Li Jianhua, who worked child, in her pajamas, to clock in for him. himself to death at his desk in Beijing in 2015. Bonus lazy dad tip: When your wife tells His employers, the Chinese Banking Regu- you to round up the children for dinner, you don't latory Commission, held him up as an example have to move. Just reach for the router and turn other staff should follow, saying (and I am not the wi-fi off. The kids will appear like magic. BY NURY VITTACHI

Try Coffee Treatment For Supple Skin This Winter Neetu Prasher, Head of Training at Avon India, lists the reasons why coffee is good for the skin in winter. * A coffee brew not only gets you kicking in the morning but is also one of the healthiest natural ingredients to keep your skin glowing whether it's in the form of beans, liquid or grounded coffee. * Exfoliating and brightening properties of coffee make it a popular ingredient in many beauty and wellness products for both men and women. Caffeine extracts help rejuvenate skin in addition to repairing UV damage. * The antioxidants in coffee help combat UV damage to your skin and is good for the overall health of your skin, giving it a rich glow. * Grounded coffee beans can be used to prepare a homemade body scrub (can be mixed with honey). Since coffee is a gentler exfoliating agent than peach or walnut, the scrub removes dead skin without irritation in addition to moisturizing your skin. * Facial Exfoliation: Ingredients and process: Three spoons of any kind of plant oil (almond oil, grape seed oil, olive oil, etc.); Three spoons of coffee grounds; Mix and apply in circular motions on the skin. Rinse off with lukewarm water; Makes skin soft and supple. For extra care add a squeezed half of avocado. * Coffee Eye Mask: Ingredients and process: Fights tired eyes and dark circles; five tea spoons warm coffee grounds; one teaspoon honey; one teaspoon olives: Mix to a balm: Add some more honey if necessary. Put on closed eyes and let it rest for 30 minutes. Remove with lukewarm water. Lukewarm coffee pads are a simple alternative.


NRI Pulse

December 2017


NRI Pulse


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

December 2017

Disgusting To Exploit Someone In Return For Work: Salman Khan

New Delhi: (IANS) Superstar Salman Khan feels taking advantage of someone with a promise to give work is disgusting, and says if he comes across any such person, he takes the person to the "cleaners". The actor addressed the issue at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in partnership with CNN-News18 held here. Asked about the existence of the casting couch in the Hindi film industry, the actor said: "No one has come and confirmed it. I have been there for the longest time, my father has been here (for) more (time) than me. Till today I have not heard anyone come and say it straight out." "Now, being a beautiful woman or a man, someone or the other is going to flirt with you," the actor said, adding that it is different from harassment. The 52-year-old superstar said: "If someone is there with a principle that you have to sleep with them to get a job, then it is the most disgusting thing ever. I have not heard anything like this. If a lady or a man comes up to me and tells me that something of the sort has happened with them, I will take them down to the cleaners." The entertainment industry -- be it Hollywood or Bollywood-- is having its moment of reckoning in the wake of sexual abuse reports coming in from all quarters. It started with numerous women coming forward to allege that Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein used his position to harass them. Since then, many have come out in the open to talk about sexual advances from big names like Kevin Spacey, James Toback, Ben Affleck, Brett Ratner and Dustin Hoffman. When asked if he had an interesting

life, Salman said: "I had the most boring life, it was your fraternity (media) that made it interesting... If one had to come and live my life, that person would find it boring and hectic." Talking about his public image, the actor -- who was struggling with a bad

Salman does get bothered by it. But the actor says the show must go on. "I have to smile, go to interviews, romance on-screen even if I am worried about my court cases." There was also a mention of the much talked about nepotism issue. Salman said

throat here -- said: "For the last 30 years, I am told I am misunderstood. How can someone be misunderstood for decades. "The kind of life I have led is the kind everyone has led. I have been working 24 hours, seven days a week. The rest you hear is because people are running their own shows... It's a hardworking life I have led. I still live in a one-bedroom apartment. My parents also believe that I must have said something wrong, until they watch the clip." He is facing multiple court cases, and

he didn't even know the term before actress Kangana Ranaut brought it up. "A manager cannot get a successful person work. But, a management company can get work by being persistent for those people who are not doing well for themselves. But it only depends on how focused, how hardworking that management company is. So most of them want to sign big stars, which is a damn good thing. But then they need to concentrate on people who have potential," he said.

Change Is Everything: Manushi Chhillar

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Hyderabad: (IANS) Newly-crowned Miss World Manushi Chhillar believes that change, and not success, is everything. "I think change is everything, something common in all entrepreneurs. "We not only love what we do but we want change that is why we do it," she said at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) here. She feels that everyone can make a difference to the world. "We don't have to be Miss World to do that. Even if you give a smile, it will bring change." Manushi was in a chat with Ronnie Screwvala, Founder, UpGrad, on the second day of the summit at Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC). She said as Miss World and a future doctor her purpose is the same as she wants to do something good for the society. "If I hadn't won, I'd still be doing what I do." She plans to give back to the society both as a doctor and as an ambassador of India in different parts of the world. On communication, she said coming from a doctor's family it came naturally to

her. She believed communication is key to neurs who feel like giving up in the face the profession as a doctor has to communi- of odds. cate with his or her patients. Health and hygiene are the causes she wants to support as Miss World. She said she has been working for menstrual hygiene across India. Stressing on the need for equal opportunities for women in society, she said they should get this because they are equally capable. "I shouldn't be treated differently because I am a woman, then only it will be an equal world," she added. Manushi received a warm welcome at the HICC. Several delegates were seen vying to click pictures with her. Earlier, she received a grand welcome at the Rajiv Gandhi Inter"It's also become easy to communi- national Airport. cate when you say what you believe," the She was accompanied by Julia Evegirl from Haryana added. lyn Morley, the Chairwoman of the Miss "Believe strongly in yourself and World Organisation, which runs the annual have purpose. Others will also believe Miss World and bi-annual Mister World you," was her advice to women entrepre- competitions.


NRI Pulse

December 2017


NRI Pulse

Atukulu (Poha) Laddu P.S. LAKSHMI RAO mom seeds (elaichi)

December 2017

..... What’s Cooking? ..... 1 Cup light brown sugar 1 Cup fresh grated or frozen coconut (unsweetened) ½ Teaspoon Ghee (optional)

Sweet Potato (Or Yam) Fry

½ teaspoon ghee (optional)

Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Add the sweet potato pieces mixing of3 large sweet potatoes peel and make ½ inch ten and cover for five minutes. Remove the cover In a dry frying pan, fry poha on low heat for cubes (washed and dried). and fry the potatoes until light brown. Reduce the 2 Cups thin 2 table spoons of olive or vegetable oil. three minutes. Let it cool. Blend poha and carheat. Add cumin seeds, salt, red pepper and ghee. atukulu (poha) ½ a tea spoon cumin seeds damom seeds together until they become coarse Mix and keep the potatoes in the frying pan on ½ Tea½ teaspoon salt rava. the lowest heat setting for three minutes. Can be spoons carda½ teaspoon ground red pepper Mix all the above ingredients and ghee with eaten plain or with rice and pickle. hand until you are able to make balls. Taste the Sweet potamixture for toes are better for sweetness and health than regumake small lar potatoes and lime size balls. they don’t need too much salt. By Makes the time my mom about 12 balls. made other things to eat, we used to Note: If you finish eating these are using frofried potatoes. zen coconut, spread the Note: Sweet potacoconut on to, cut in to onedoubled paper inch cubes, can be towel and miserved with toothcrowave it for picks as an appe30 seconds to tizer. remove some moisture.

Check out more recipes by P.S. Lakshmi Rao online at

..... InVogue .....

This Winter, Feel Warm & Luxurious In Soft Velvets

BY RANI SHARMA RANEEZ FINE BOUTIQUE Velvet is a type of woven tufted fabric in different variations- lightweight velvet on a sheer silk or rayon base, or crushed lustrous velvet with the patterned appearance that is produced by either pressing the fabric down in different directions or embossed with a metal roller that is used to heat stamp the fabric, producing a pattern. Velvet dresses are in great demand during winters. Velvet is warm and luxurious. The fabric adds opulent charm into modern styles. Velvet dresses are great for holiday parties. Indian velvet dresses are highly embellished

with tillah work, zardozi work, thread work, glitter work, naqshi dabki work, silver and gold thread work and machine embroidered work. Velvets in zinc blue, black, green, navy blue, camel, royal blue, marjanda,forest green,and maroon color can brighten and add oodles of charm to your modern styling. Some velvet dress styles: Short shirt with capri; Shalwar with short shirt; Long shirt with palazzo; Front open velvet gown; A-line frock and Maxi gown. Pick you style or add them all to your winter collection.

Makeup & Accessories: Smoky eyes and dark lipstick go well with rich velvets -Comfortable high heeled shoes -Swarovski clutches -Diamond earrings


NRI Pulse

December 2017


NRI Pulse

December 2017

NRI Pulse December 2017  
NRI Pulse December 2017