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NRI Pulse

July 2021

Atlanta’s Premier South Asian Newspaper July 2021

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Indian Grandfather Injured By Cop Settles Lawsuit NRI Pulse


India only days earlier, was taking a stroll in Sureshbhai Patel, the front of his son’s home grandfather from India, who in Madison, Alabama was injured by a former Madion Feb. 6, 2015, when son police officer while visiting a neighbor called the his family in 2015, has settled a cops on a “skinny black federal lawsuit for $1.75 million. man wearing a white or Sureshbhai’s attorney, Hank light-colored sweater, Sherrod, in a statement sent out jeans, and a toboggan to media outlets earlier this year, hat, walking around had confirmed the settlement. close to the garage”. The case has been formally disMinutes later, missed, he had said. Patel was approached Speaking to NRI Pulse, a by two police officers family member confirmed the on the sidewalk. They settlement amount but added asked Patel for identhat it was never about the montification. Patel told ey. “Sureshbhai’s life does not them he didn’t speak change because of the settleEnglish (at least five ment,” he said. times), and tried to Sureshbhai, who continues indicate where his son to need a walker, has since, relived. turned to India. His family did Video recordings from two police dashboard not apply to renew his green card. cameras show officer Eric Parker slamming Patel Five years before video footage of George to the ground, face first. The frail, mild-mannered Floyd’s brutal murder under the knee of a white retired farmer was left paralyzed on the ground, one police officer led to a mass movement against minute and 41 seconds after the encounter began. systemic racism in the country, Sureshbhai’s bruPatel had to be transported to the hospital by tal takedown had whipped up shock and anger. ambulance where he spent ten days, had to have Sureshbhai, then 57, who had arrived from surgery, and then had to be transferred to a reha-

bilitation center. This was confirmed by the Eleventh Circuit Judges in a decision rejecting immunity claims from Parker and the city of Madison. The takedown left Patel permanently partially paralyzed. Despite evidence from two police dashboard cameras, two deadlocked juries couldn’t agree on whether the excessive, unnecessary force used by Eric Parker was a crime. During the trial, defense attorney Robert Tuten told the jury that Parker’s assault was largely Patel’s fault. “When you come to the US, we expect you to follow our laws and speak our language. Mr. Patel bears as much responsibility for this as anyone.” Three months later, Federal Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala threw out the civil rights case against Parker. Later that year, the cop was reinstated by the Madison Police Department. This, despite reports that he was investigated twice by the Madison Police Department’s internal affairs division before he assaulted Patel. Parker no longer works for Madison PD, but according to sources, he is still an officer in uniform. Last year, in the first victory for Patel since his ordeal began, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejected immunity claims from Parker and the city. The court ruled that a jury could reasonably conclude Parker violated Patel’s civil rights by using unnecessary force.

Turns 15

Thank you for supporting our community journalism for 15 years! If there’s anything the pandemic has taught us, it’s that life is precious. Difficult times call for resilience and adapting to new circumstances. At NRI Pulse, we had to suspend our print operations for over a year, but we are grateful to have survived the hard times. The good news is that our digital channels grew phenomenally over the past year and continue to thrive as we step into our 16th year. We promise to be back with another great print edition later this year! In the meanwhile, please take a moment to check out our dynamic website www.NRIPulse. com, and subscribe to our weekly digital newsletter. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our exciting YouTube channel. If you liked this special issue, please send us a note at editor@nripulse.com. We love hearing from readers! Stay well! Stay connected! -Editor

Why Are Immigrant Indian Americans Less Likely To Report Discrimination?


Atlanta, GA: On June 9th, 2021, a new study on the social and political views of Indian immigrants revealed a shocking fact that highlighted a key generational difference within the group. The study, titled “Social Realities of Indian Americans: Results From the 2020 Indian American Attitudes Survey,” attempted to shed some light on the life and views of the second-largest immigrant population in the United States. The Carnegie Endowment of International Peace, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Pennsylvania conducted the study as a continuation of their collaborative effort to probe the sociopolitical attitudes of Indian-Americans. While the study included details about a myriad of different factors in Indo-American life ranging from religion to caste, perhaps one of the most pointed facts within it were the ones pertaining to discrimination. According to the study, “One in two Indian

much more likely to report being victims of discrimination than their foreign-born counterparts.” Indian families across the Metro-Atlanta area spoke on this data, discussing their personal experiences as well as reactions to the study’s results. One American-born child and an Indian-born parent from each family elaborated on why they see discrimination differently and what may have caused this disparity in the study. The Vyas family came to the United States in 1998 and have lived here ever since. Their daughter, Harshi Vyas, spoke on why she felt American-born Indian-Americans were more likely to report discrimination than their parents. “Even though we may be citizens of the US and have the same rights as the others living here, we are considered foreigners because we come Americans reports being discriminated against in from a different way of life,” she commented. the past one year, with discrimination based on “While the Indians who have immigrated here skin color identified as the most common form became citizens, [it can be scary if] people do not of bias […] Indian Americans born in the US are believe you when you say you were discriminated

against.” Both she and her father Mr. Vyas seemed to agree with the results of the survey. Mr. Vyas described India as “multicultural,” further explaining that he had also seen issues like this in his home country. He agreed that he would be less likely to report discrimination than his daughter, citing, “It may be due to fear or ignoring such [discriminatory] behaviors and focusing on positivity.” Vyas also commented on the discrimination she faced being a female Indian-American, recalling how she was often told to “clean the table, to actually dress up more, and being told to go help somewhere else” as compared to the boys in her family. This was also paralleled by daughter Sophia of the Sabat family who also said she had been discriminated against more for gender than race. The study also noted gender as being the second-biggest reason for discrimination for U.S.-born Indian residents after race, with 28%

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July 2021

AAPI Is Stronger: Dr. Jonnalagadda Declares In Farewell Address


Atlanta, GA: “I am happy to declare that, AAPI is stronger and is going to be in safe hands, as I pass on the traditional gavel to Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, the new President of AAPI,” said Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, the outgoing President of AAPI in his farewell address on July 4th at the Omni Hotel in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Jonnalagadda, who had assumed office a year ago during a virtual convention, told the AAPI delegates, “Despite the Covid pandemic and the many challenges AAPI had to face, “I am proud of the many accomplishments under my leadership. I am grateful for the immense and life changing moments, probably the best of my life ever, that came with my association with and leading AAPI.” Dr. Jonnalagadda expressed gratitude to his executive committee members: Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, President-Elect; Dr. Ravi Kolli, Vice President, Dr. Amit Chakrabarty, Secretary of AAPI; Dr. Satish Kathula, Treasurer of AAPI, Dr. Sajani Shah, Chair of AAPI’s BOT; Dr. Ami Baxi, YPS President; Dr. Kinjal Solanki, MSRF President; and Dr. Surendra Purohit, Chair of AAPI Charitable Foundation, for their cooperation, collaboration and leadership. Dr. Jonnalagadda enumerated several programs under his leadership AAPI had undertaken in the past one year. “AAPI and the Charitable Foundation has several programs in India. Under my leadership with the pioneering efforts of Dr. Surender Purohit, Chairman of AAPI CF, we have been able to strengthen the programs benefitting our motherland, India.”

AAPI has been actively involved in community awareness programs like Obesity prevention, sharing medical knowledge at the weekly webinars on team building activities such as the Share a Blanket program, medical education programs such as CPR training, and educating the public and creating awareness on healthcare issues through ZeeTV and ITV Gold, NDTV, BBC, and CNN. “AAPI’s Clinical Observership Program, the launching of JAAPI, a medical journal and the AAPI endowment Fund are some of the other initiatives under his leadership. However, the most important all was the numerous efforts he and his Team had undertaken to help India that is faced with the 2nd wave of the deadly covid pandemic. “AAPI has been coordinating several efforts, including tele-health to patients and Doctors in India,” Dr. Jonnalagadda said. “Thanks

to the overwhelming support of its members that AAPI has raised over $5 million. They have been working very hard in sending oxygen concentrators and ventilators to India, to deal with the calamity in India and are in the process of helping to set up oxygen generator plants in different hospitals in India.” AAPI has shipped over a thousand Oxygen generators, masks, PPPs and essential supplies, and our pipeline will continue until the pandemic is overcome. As with anyone else, our doctors believe that they can best carry out our service to God through our service to our fellow humans. The concluding day of the convention had the usual pomp and show displayed in music and dance by the local organizing committee of the convention headed by Dr. Sreeni Gangasani, who and his team were praised for their hardwork, dedication

and creative ideas in putting together an amazing convention in less than three months. Calling it a historic convention, the cardiologist from Atlanta said, “For the first time ever, we had to stop registration as we had reached the required number of participants for the convention, disappointing many who wanted to come and join the annual meet. Thank you for joining the AAPI community as we celebrate the victory of science over calamity while paying tribute to all the fallen healthcare workers including some from AAPI family. We also want to show the world that we can start socializing with precautions once you are vaccinated,” added Dr. Gangasani. Dr. Raghu Lolabhattu, Convention Vice Chair shared with the delegates about how in a mater of less than three months the Atlanta Chapter has put together a fabulous convention. Delivering a spiritual discourse at the Convention, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Author of “Hollywood to the Himalayas” led the AAPI delegates into an experience of peace and serenity. In her inaugural address after she was administered the oath of office, Dr. Gotimukula vowed to make AAPI a premium healthcare leader, primarily focusing to improve and reform the current healthcare system and help towards making a better healthcare model for the patients; create awareness projects on major chronic diseases burdening our health care system through lifestyle modifications ; establish a support system to members going through racial discrimination in the US; support AAPI legislative efforts to make healthcare better and affordable to all and promote charitable activities globally.


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Email: NRIPulse@gmail.com www.NRIPulse.com Publisher NRI Pulse Media Inc. Editor-in-Chief Veena Rao editor@nripulse.com Community News Editor Jyothsna Hegde Video News Anchor Namita D. Sudan Reports/Features Mahadev Desai Supriya D.G. Columnists Dr. Jagdish Sheth Rani Sharma P.S. Lakshmi Rao Kristen Moon Navami Naik Advertising 404-664-2805 ads@nripulse.com ________________________ NRI Pulse Newspaper is a free monthly news and features publication of NRI Pulse Media Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, duplicated, reprinted or stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without the written permission of the publisher. Disclaimer: Any views or opinions published in this publication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. NRI Pulse Media Inc. accepts no liability for the errors and content of advertisements in this publication. Where to get NRI Pulse: NRI Pulse is available FREE at major retail locations in Atlanta. Call 404-664-2805 for more details.

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July 2021

Music Is Soul, Says Rafi’s Atlanta Based Grandson


Legendary singer Mohammed Rafi (sa’ab’s) contribution to the world of music is timeless. Fine nuances of Rafi’s repertoire have dominated many conversations across time and space. Forty-one summers since the music maestro bid adieu to this world and yet, the love and adulation for his songs remain intact and alive just as they did when he was. With Padma Shri, a National Award and six Filmfare Awards to his credit, Rafi sa’ab was known for a wide range of genres, including classical, patriotic, sad to romantic numbers, ghazals and even bhajans. Fuzail Rafi, son of Shahid Rafi, the youngest son of Mohammed Rafi, in his candid interview with NRI Pulse talked about his fitting tribute to his ‘dada-abba’, growing up in the family, and much more. Shahid Rafi is Mohammed Rafi’s youngest son, alongside three brothers and three sisters. Shahid Rafi has penned a book on his father, titled ‘Mohammed Rafi Voice of a Nation’. A BBA Degree holder academically, Fuzail currently lives in Rome, Georgia, pursuing his master’s in finance. “Music is soul. It is something that can change your mood. Music is soul refreshment for me,” said Fuzail about what music means to him. Growing up, he added, he never realized the immense popularity of his acclaimed grandfather at home or within his family, but when he stepped out, the story was quite different. Add to that, an uncanny resemblance to Rafi sa’ab always garnered him special attention. Fuzail recalls the time he was taken aback when a fan touched his feet, in respect to his grandfather. His mother had later explained to him that gestures such as these were admiration and regard Rafi sa’ab had earned not just a singer, but also a humanitarian. He would often agree to sing for the producers who could not afford him. It was Rafi sa’ab who import-

ed and donated the first dialysis machine to Bombay Hospital at Marine Lines. His acts of charity, altruism, and benevolence, that he consciously and deliberately kept hidden were evident by his simple living practices, his interactions and genuine concern for the people he knew or didn’t. Fuzail summed it with an apt saying within the family – that his ‘dada-abba’ practiced the maxim of donating with right hand in such a manner that even his left hand would not know about. Rafi sa’ab’s mellifluous renditions have in fact made a mark even in Hollywood, with filmmaker Michel Gondry using Mera Mann Tera Pyasa from Guide in his film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which to-date, is regarded as one of the greatest romantic classics of all-time. So, how does a family member pay homage to a musical icon par excellence? Fuzail Rafi unraveled a befitting tribute, an online musical institute, Mohammed Rafi Musical Institute (MRMI). In the making since the 2020 lockdown, when Fuzail came up with the idea, the institute was officially inaugurated on February 27, 2021. Fuzail, who could not visit his father in India, had surprised him with plans for this initiative. A popular singer himself, Shahid Rafi had also launched a music school in the name of his father, on July

31, 2010, which marked the 30th death anniversary of Rafi sa’ab. Located in Mumbai, the Mohammed Rafi Academy is popular for schooling Indian classical and contemporary music. In his father’s footsteps, Fuzail has adopted an updated and more universal approach to his musical institute, with aspiring musicians worldwide being able to access music lessons online. As Fuzail noted, “It will help people across the globe connect with Rafi Sahab, learn various forms of music from renowned persons of the music industry and promote Indian music and culture around the globe. I wish to carry forward the legacy and name of my grandfather and father.” MRMI offers a wide range of learning options for music lovers with courses on Voice Culture, Bollywood, Classical at different levels, Grooming and Performance, Diction and Lyrics, Keyboard, Tabla and Guitar Instrumental at various levels. A unique course titled 3 songs with Emotions coaches the student to perform Rafi sa’ab’s songs live, in exact accord with the way, mannerisms, and the signature smile of the maestro. The institute features some of the industry’s popular musicians including Jayantilal R. Gosher, Neil Gandhi, Ameen Khan as instrumental Gurus, and Vivek Karmahe, Danish Hilal Khan, Bishakh Jyoti Majumdar, and Kanika Joshi as vocalist gurus. “Students receive certificates at each course level completion,” said Fuzail, adding that upon successful completion of the 18-month course, they will be certified as professional singers. “We also have fun Antaksharis which is open to anyone,” said Fuzail. Check out the details at https://mohammedrafiinstitute.com/home/

Bhat Foundation Awards Scholarships To Students


Atlanta, GA: Subra, Anu and Kiran Bhat Foundation recently awarded scholarships to seven outstanding graduating high school seniors who have surpassed expectations on June 12, 2021, at a Scholarship Breakfast Banquet event at Holiday Inn in Stockbridge GA. Dr. Thomas J Hynes,.Jr, President Clayton State University, one of the Leaders in Atlanta Education presided as the chief guest of the ceremony. Dr. Hynes and June Wood, past Chairwoman of the Henry County Board of Commissioners, Chair of Henry County Board of Health, awarded certificates and cash prizes to all students. The foundation was established in 2019, by Dr Subrahmanya and Dr. Annapurna Bhat, practicing physicians in Henry County, with the sole purpose of “helping others in need.” It is a registered non-profit 501c organization. “The main focus of the foundation is education, health, cultural and literary promotion, by the establishment of sustained scholarships, grants, awards and health benefits,” said Dr. Anu Bhat. The Foun-

dation also inspires and collaborates with selective established organizations in promoting philanthropic goals.” We believe that awarding exceptional high school students will positively influence the world, by creating proper leadership,” noted Dr. Subra Bhat. Though the Subra, Anu and Kiran Bhat foundation was incepted in 2019, the Bhat family has been awarding scholarships for the past 14 years. Their Smt. Shankari Muteri and late Shri Narasimhaiya Muteri Scholarship is awarded to topmost graduating high school senior students of Karnataka heritage, through Nrupathunga Kannada Koota (NKK). The Subra, Anu and Kiran Bhat Foundation Henry County School Dis-

trict Scholarships are awarded to topmost graduating high school senior students, who have excelled in their curriculum. Bhat Foundation also established a new scholarship and donated cash award to Virtual Women Life Academy, which will be used for the educational needs of two new students. “Best part of this event was listening to students speaking from their heart, excited to move forward in their educational path, wanting to make difference in this world,” noted Dr. Bhat. Henry County students who were recipients of the award this year included Hadassah Nehikhuere, Michaela Samaroo and Michaela McCatty. NKK awardees included Advik Bhatadwaj, Ananya Jayanth Kumar, Kirti Bharadwaj and Sripriya Srinivas.


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Sumita Mitra Wins European Inventor Award 2021

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July 2021

12-Year-Old Is World’s Youngest Grandmaster

For the last few years, the focus in the chess circuit has been on who will break Sergey Karjakin’s record as the youngest-ever Grandmaster (GM) in chess history. Two Indians — Dommaraju Gukesh and Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa — came close to obliterating the record of 12 years and seven months set 19 years ago, but missed it by a close margin. Gukesh missed the mark by 17 days while Praggnanandhaa overran it by 100-odd days, getting his title in 12 years, 10 months and 13 days. But on Wednesday, Abhimanyu Mishra, an Indian-American chess prodigy, broke Karjakin’s record to become the youngest GM. He achieved his third and final GM norm at the age of 12 year, four months and 28 days. Mishra earned his third and final norm at the Vezerkepzo GM Mix tournament in Budapest, Hungary, defeating India’s GM Leon Luke Mendonca to take the final step on his long and arduous journey to become a GM — a journey interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Abhimanyu’s parents, Swati and Hemant New Delhi: (IANS) Indian-American chemist Sumita Mitra has won the European Inventor Mishra, trace their roots to Bhopal, Madhya Award 2021, one of Europe’s most prestigious Pradesh, and are in the United States for the last innovation prizes, in the “Non-European Patent Office countries” category for her application of nanotechnology in dentistry. Mitra was the first to successfully integrate New York: (IANS) Indian-American journanoparticles into dental materials to produce nalist Megha Rajagopalan has won the US’ top stronger, durable and more aesthetically pleas- journalism award, the Pulitzer Prize, for innoing fillings. Her innovation has been successfully vative investigative recommercialized and used in more than 1 billion ports harnessing satellite tooth restorations by dentists around the world. technology that exposed “Sumita Mitra took an entirely new path in China’s mass detention her field, and demonstrated how technological camps for Muslim Uiinnovation, protected by patents, can transform a ghurs and other minority sector, and in this case bring benefits to millions ethnicities. of dental patients,” said Antonio Campinos, PresThe award in the ident at the European Patent Office (EPO). international reporting “Her invention remains commercially suc- category that she shared cessful nearly 20 years after its launch — another with two colleagues reason why she is an inspiration to the next gener- from an internet media, ation of scientists,” he added. BuzzFeed News, was The 2021 European Inventor Award ceremo- announced recently by ny was held digitally and, for the first time, was the Pulitzer Board. open to the public who tuned in to the event from Another journalist of Indian-American, Neil around the world. The Award, one of Europe’s Bedi, won a Pulitzer in the local reporting categomost prestigious innovation prizes, is presented ry for investigative stories he wrote with an editor annually by the EPO to distinguish outstanding at the Tampa Bay Times exposing the misuse of inventors from Europe and beyond who have authority by a law enforcement official in Florida made an exceptional contribution to society, tech- to track children. nological progress and economic growth. The fiThis is the 105th year of the Pulitzer Priznalists and winners in five categories (Industry, es awarded by a board at Columbia University’s Research, SMEs, Non-EPO countries and Life- Graduate School of Journalism in New York rectime achievement) were selected by an indepen- ognizing the outstanding work. dent international jury. In recognition of the proliferation of citizen “Curiosity and exploration are the essential journalism in the internet age, teenaged non-jourpoints of starting an innovation. It is something nalist, Darnella Frazier, was awarded a Pulitzer that we really need to cultivate in our children,” Special Citation for her courage in filming the Mitra said. killing of George Floyd, the African-American Sumita Mitra is a partner at Mitra Chemical who died in police custody in Minneapolis last Consulting, LLC, which advises companies on year. new technology development, product design, The video clip made on her smartphone went commercialization, mergers and acquisitions. viral and set off prolonged nationwide protests She was named the American Chemical So- against police brutality and led to measures in ciety Hero of Chemistry in 2009, inducted into many states and cities to reform policing. the US National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2018 The sight of a policeman kneeling on the and elected to the National Academy of Engineer- neck of dying Floyd as he repeated, “I can’t ing in 2021 for her work related to inventions in breathe”, appealed to America’s conscience and nanotechnology for use in dental materials. led to a broader consideration of the problems

14 years. Both are software engineers and they are settled at Englishtown, New Jersey. It was Hemant who introduced Abhimanyu to chess when he was just two-years-old. Hemant wanted to prevent his son getting addicted to video and electronic games and thus pushed him towards chess. Abhimanyu took to the sport like fish to water and his progress really stunned Hemant. The results too started coming soon as Abhimanyu dominated the age group events in the US and then set himself on course to improving Karjakin’s record. The first step was becoming an In-

Megha Rajagopalan Wins Pulitzer

faced by African-Americans. The Board said her that her video “spurred protests against police brutality around the world, highlighting the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice”. Rajagopalan and her colleagues used satellite imagery and 3D architectural simulations to buttress her interviews with two dozen former prisoners from the detention camps where as many as a million Muslims from Uighur and other minority ethnicites were interned. “I’m in complete shock, I did not expect this,” she said. According to the publication, she and her colleagues, Alison Killing and Christo Buschek, identified 260 detention camps after building a voluminous database of about 50,000 possible sites comparing censored Chinese images with uncensored mapping software. Rajagopalan, who had previously reported from China but was barred from there for the story, travelled to neighboring Kazhakstan to interview former detainees who had fled there, BuzzFeed said. “Throughout her reporting, Rajagopalan had to endure harassment from the Chinese government,” the publication said. The series of stories provided proof of Beijing’s violation of Uighurs’ human rights, which some US and other Western officials have called a “genocide”. Bedi and Kathleen McGrory were given their award for exposing “how a powerful and politically connected sheriff built a secretive intelligence operation that harassed residents and used grades and child welfare records to profile schoolchildren”, the Pulitzer Board said.

ternational Master and Abhimanyu achieved that two years ago when he set aside Praggnanandhaa’s record to become the youngest IM in the world. Abhimanyu could have overcome Karjakin’s record even earlier but the COVID-19 pandemic played spoilsport as the chess circuit was suspended in March 2020 and the game moved online. But one can’t become a GM by playing online chess and, therefore, in April 2021, Hemant and Abhimanyu left the United States for Hungary as offline events had started there. Abhimanyu set up his chase in Budapest by participating in the weekly First Saturday Chess Tournaments that are basically held to help players complete norm requirements. Though for 14 months COVID-19 pandemic prevented him from rewriting history, it could not stop Abhimanyu from reaching his goal of becoming the youngest-ever chess GM. Abhimanyu will now wait for his title to be ratified by FIDE, the sport’s world governing body, which looks like a formality as the 12-yearold has achieved the norms and also fulfilled the rating requirement.

Indian American Is First Person Of Color To Be Named Brookfield PD Chief

An Indian-American cop, Michael Kuruvilla, will soon be the first person of color to hold the position of Chief of Police in the Brookfield Police Force, according to media reports. He will also hold the distinction of being the first Malayalee American police chief in US history. Currently the deputy police chiefKuruvillahas risen through the ranks of the Brookfield PD rapidly. Kuruvilla also has the record of being the first officer in the department to complete crisis intervention training. He holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and has served as a police crisis worker briefly before becoming an officer. In addition, Deputy Chief Kuruvilla is a board member and law enforcement liaison for a nonprofit that serves the needs of women victimized by the human and sex trafficking. The 38-year-old took over as the police chief on 12 July.


NRI Pulse

16-Year-Old Investor Is Now Sharing The Tricks Of The Trade


Different strokes for different folks, goes the adage. Soon to be 16-year-old Seattle high schooler, Vineel Bhat was drawn to Investing early on – so much so that he not only researched and learned more for himself, but now offers Invessential, a 10-week course on investing! “I was influenced about finance and investing from a young age as a way to compound wealth and avoid financial struggles,” says Bhat. Having witnessed his immigrant dad grapple with initial loss in investments and gradually picking up skills of the trade market, Bhat was driven not to repeat the same mistakes. At age 8, he sent a letter to none other than Warren Buffett looking for advice, and received a reply encouraging him to study, read, and form good habits. “Throughout my childhood I read articles and watched videos online to build upon my investment knowledge, learning new strategies and risks of the stock market.” At age 11, Bhat made his first investment in Bank of America. “The company was yet to recover substantially from the 2008 financial crisis, and they had backing of strong fundamentals – which attracted me to the stock,” notes Bhat. Since then, it has compounded at about 21% annually, representing a 3x gain on his investment excluding dividends. The course, Bhat says is applicable to anyone: adults, college students, and teenagers included. “Investing proves important, and it’s never too late to start, no matter your age.” The course is priced at $99 but can be purchased for $79 when bought before June 28,2021 when course contents become available. Bhat donates 20% of his profits to non-profit organizations supporting wildlife and covid relief efforts. Bhat offered his first live course in 2019 at a local library, but then shifted to live online classes last year both due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as to reach a broader audience outside his home town. Going forward, Invessential will be an online course with video lessons rather than live instruction, available across the globe. To include an interactive facet, live progress bars and an exclusive community where students can discuss current events and ask course-related questions, are made available. While the course structure will remain the same, video lessons, quizzes, action items will be updated to reflect new information, and new bonus content may be added based on student recommendations, over the years. To enroll and learn more, visit his website at course.invessential.com.

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

July 2021

Indian American Sirisha Bandla Vaults Into Space Sirisha Bandla vaulted into space on July 11, 2021 on board VSS Unity 22 becoming the fourth astronaut of Indian descent. The Virgin Galactic's spacecraft reached the 100-km altitude that marks the entry into space after taking off from Spaceport America in New Mexico and returned to the base after a flight of about 90 minutes. Astronaut 004 Bandla, accompanied by Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson and two other crewmates and two pilots touched the space mark. Before the flight Branson signed himself dramatically as Astronaut 001 and gave the Astronaut 004 rank to Bandla, 34. During the space flight, Bandla was scheduled to conduct experiments designed by the US government's pioneer space agency, NASA involving plants in microgravity. Bandla, the Virgin Galactic Vice President for Government Relations, is an astronautical engineer by training. Before her flight, she said in an interview on a Virgin Galactic broadcast that her adventure was an "incredible opportunity to get people from different backgrounds, different geographies and different communities into space". The others on the VSS Unity flight were Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic's chief astronaut instructor and Colin Bennett, the lead operations engineer which was piloted by former Royal Air Force test pilot Dave Mackay and former NASA

Space Shuttle Commander Michael Masucci. The spacecraft was carried by a twin-bodied carrier aircraft, VMS Eve, for the first 15.5 km on its way to space before being launched for the final leg. The launch was delayed by about 90 minutes because stormy weather overnight delayed the flight preparations. Bandla was be the third Indian American in space after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Pandya Williams and the fourth person of Indian descent -- the first being Rakesh Sharma, who flew on a Soviet spacecraft. But unlike them, Bandla did not go into orbit and her flight was a short one to demonstrate the capability of Branson's space programme, a breakthrough in the commercialisation of space travel by private entrepreneurs. Branson beat his business rival, Amazon

Indiana Man Convicted Of Murder For Hire Plot

Newark, NJ: An Indian American man from Wolfson in Trenton federal court. Indiana was convicted on all counts recently in According to documents filed in this case connection with a plot to pay a purported hitman and the evidence at trial: to kill his estranged wife, Acting U.S. Attorney Lingala conspired and attempted to hire a Rachael A. Honig announced. purported hitman to kill his ex-wife. He also attempted to tamper with the testimony of a conspirator and an undercover law enforcement officer. The conduct for which he was convicted occurred between approximately May 2018 and March 2019. Lingala’s conspirator, Sandya Reddy, pleaded guilty in April 2019 to her role in the scheme and was sentenced on Aug. 10, 2020, to 63 months in prison. The murder-for-hire charges are each punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison; the witness tampering charges are punishable by a Narsan Lingala, 57, of Noblesville, Indiana, maximum of 20 years. All of the charges are also was convicted on one count each of conspiring to punishable by a maximum fine of $250,000. commit murder for hire and traveling interstate or Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special using interstate facilities with intent that a murder agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special for hire be committed and two counts of attempt- Agent in Charge George M. Crouch in Newark, as ing to tamper with a witness. well as the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office The jury deliberated three hours before re- and detectives, under the direction of Prosecutor turning the guilty verdicts following an eight-day Yolanda Ciccone, with the investigation leading trial before Chief U.S. District Judge Freda L. to the guilty verdict.

founder Jeff Bezos, who is set to take off on July 20 on board his space company Blue Origin's spacecraft. It was a space race between the maverick British billionaire, the global American entrepreneur Bezos and Elon Musk, the developer of the Tesla electric vehicle, vying for domination of the multi-billion-dollar private space business that would range from tourism and research to commercial and government satellite deployment. Characteristic of a Branson enterprise, the spaceflight had the pizzaz of show business and advertising for companies involved in the project. Grammy-winning musician Khaled performed for the flight. The host of a light TV show, Stephen Colbert emceed the start of the broadcast by Virgin Galactic. Another Indian American, Raj Chari, is in the US astronaut program and is scheduled to command a flight later this year. Sharma flew aboard the Soviet Soyuz spacecraft in 1984. Chawla, who was born in Karnal, first flew into space in 1997 on Space Shuttle Columbia but died on her second flight in 2001 when the spacecraft burned on re-entry into the earth's atmosphere. Williams, a US Navy pilot, was a commander of Expedition 33 to the Space Station.

Tasveer Triples Filmmaker Funding In The Second Year

Tasveer earlier this month announced its second year of the Tasveer Film Fund (TFF), a program first launched in June 2020 to help bolster emerging South Asian filmmakers within the U.S. The Tasveer Film Fund aims to empower South Asian filmmakers to bring their scripts to life with $5,000 grants as well as year-long support with resources and mentorship access. With support from Netflix, Tasveer is expanding the program to support three filmmakers who are developing short film, documentary and LGBTQIA+ film projects. This collaboration is part of the recently announced Netflix Fund for Creative Equity, where Netflix will invest USD $100 million dollars over the next five years in a combination of external organizations with a strong track record of setting underrepresented communities up for success in the TV and film industries, as well as bespoke programs that will help us to identify, train and provide job placement for up-and-coming talent globally. Filmmakers who are interested in applying can submit their scripts online until September 25, 2021. Tasveer will select the top three applicants within each grant category and invite the 9 finalists to pitch their script or documentary treatment at the upcoming Tasveer Festival in October 2021. Contact: Rita Meher, Phone: 206-349-4478 Email: rita@tasveer.org


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

NRI Pulse

July 2021

Why Are Immigrant Indian Americans Less Likely To Report Discrimination? Continued from Pg 1…

reporting they had faced gender-based discrimination in the past year. Ms. Sabat continued to share her stories of discrimination and her thoughts behind the study. “I remember as a new immigrant 20 years ago my main goal was to stay away from the police [try and not get involved with the law and courts],” she recalled. “When immigrants immigrate here and eventually want to be citizens of the US, we do not want anything that could potentially harm our chances of becoming citizens,” she explained. Her daughter Sophia also had a similar response. “It’s because our parents feel indebted to this country and they feel discrimination is the price to pay this country for providing them with a good life,” she said. “This is the only country I have been a part of and don’t feel like I owe anything to it.” Nisha and daughters Simrun and Arzu also shared their experiences. “Indian-Americans born in the U.S. may not consider themselves Indian-Americans,” Nisha stated. “They consider themselves Americans. For us, coming from another country means realizing we weren’t born and brought up here so the culture is different. The thought process is different.” Nisha’s response lines up with the study, which found that the term “Indian-American” itself was highly disputed in the community- only 4 in 10 respondents found it adequately represented them. Arzu had a similar response. “Immigrants tend to stay very tight-knit to their communities and what they know, and they are conditioned to expect prejudice,” she mentioned. “We, being

Aparna Bhattacharyya born in the U.S., view it as our home, and when you’re not safe in your own home it’s very jarring.” Simrun told a story of how she was discriminated against and how it changed her interpretation of what discrimination is. “I went skiing with some friends and walked past a group of white guys who looked to be about 18 or 19. As I walked past them, they cat-called and started calling me stereotypical names and asked me where my third eye was. I was shocked that the catcalling didn’t phase me but racial profiling did,” she retold. “I think Indian immigrants have an attitude of “it’s the price we pay to be here.” They equate the privilege and prosperity that they gain here with the price of prejudice. Indian Americans however have the audacity of equality,” Simrun argued. Their mom actually felt the reason for this

disparity was in semantics- she felt that the very core definition of discrimination was different between the two generations. “For the younger generation, I think discrimination is anything that is even mildly derogatory,” she stated. On the other hand, she felt the older generation of immigrants had a more specific definition of discrimination that wasn’t characterized by offhand comments. The Mahal family* also recalled the idea that the fear of losing citizenship was the biggest reason for the older generation to hesitate in reporting discrimination. This makes sense as over 30% of the people in the study were not citizens yet, and had been in the process for a while. “In other scenarios, these adults are on work visas. Some families have waited over 15 years just to get a Green card, and they feel that reporting discrimination will affect their citizenship process or careers,” the daughter stated. Aparna Bhattacharyya, the Executive Director of Raksha, spoke her thoughts about the situation. “We’re born here, we may not be as fearful of rocking the boat as compared to folks who come in as immigrants, who may not want to rock the boat,” she explained. Raksha is a Georgia-based organization centered around promoting a stronger and healthier South Asian community, as well as healing, empowerment, and justice for South Asian survivors of violence. Ms. Bhattacharyya continued, elaborating on the possible solutions for Indian-American immigrants who may be hesitant to report the discrimination they were facing. “When an employer is discriminatory towards you and you’re dependent on them at the same time, it can make it extremely difficult to speak up,” she explained. “I don’t know what everyone is going

through, but it is worth checking out with the [Equal Employment Opportunity Commision] EEOC and always documenting what you’re going through, the evidence of what’s happening.” Ms. Bhattacharyya also mentioned other organizations such as 9to5.org (specifically for gender-based discrimination), the EEOC, Surlegal.com, and the Department of Labor and recommended people of all generations look into these organizations to be aware of their rights. Regardless of the reasons, the clear disparity in not only the responses of the individuals in the study but also the families show the development of ideas within generations. Not only are citizens born in the U.S. more likely to report discrimination, they are more likely to lean closer to identifying as “American” and not seeing themselves as outsiders to the nation. Despite the generational differences in the degree to which they reported it, almost all of the families reported some incidences of facing discrimination, and this reflects the 50% in the study that also experienced it. Reporting it or not, discrimination continues to be a prevalent problem for Indian-Americans in the country. “We need to stop normalizing racism and microaggressions against South-Asians. Because Indian Americans are less likely to report it, these awful behaviors continue. I’m so fortunate to live in an awesome community with many Indian-Americans, but not all families are as lucky. We need to make America inclusive for every single person,” finished the daughter of the Mahal family. “If we want to work towards change and create a better place, then there’s a point where we can mobilize and create a collective voice,” concluded Ms. Bhattacharya.

Atlanta High School Senior Making Waves In The Field Of Medicine BY NAISHA ROY Atlanta, GA: Krish Wadhwani, a rising senior from Denmark High school, has made an incredible journey through the medical field. Currently working on synthetic technology to help neurodivergent patients, Wadhwani has achieved incredible feats in his field of medicine both in and out of the classroom. Krish won the grand award in the International Therapeutics Summit for 2021, having his work featured in two of their peer-reviewed journals. Wadhwani told us what inspired his interest in medicine. “After participating in community service projects and research opportunities I learned that my happiness, stems from the happiness of others,” he recalled. “And when you’re active within the field of medicine, you’re regularly trying to eliminate the pain that’s going on with other people through treatment and medical development.” After realizing that his future lay in helping others, Krish devoted his time to creating projects and doing research to help cure Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease, two types of dementia that primarily affect the older population. His study for the International Therapeutics Summit, titled “Modulating Family Transcription Factor-DNA Binding Interactions for Aggressive Blood-Forming Cancer Cell Remedy,” was attested to by a medical infor-

mation officer at Johnson and Johnson. “The biggest discovery [I’ve made] is probably the project that I’ve been working on for the past three years, which is a synthetic molecule system designed to treat Alzheimer’s disease patients and Huntington’s disease patients,” Wadhwani explained. He then continued to elaborate on how the treatment worked, explaining that “at lab, we tested these [synethetic] molecules against the target proteins, the disease proteins of those dementia patients […] we did some cell testing and we had some pretty successful results.” Although Wadhwani considers the synethetic molecule research his biggest breakthrough, the rising senior has many other accomplishments under his belt. Starting a nonprofit organization at a young age, the rising senior has already grown his company to a multi-faceted organization that helps small medical and health service operations. Krish and his first mentor, Dr. Vasav Sahni,

founded the company, HD Solvera, because Wadhwani wanted to “apply himself to the field at an early age.” Through the years, the nonprofit has grown to include researchers from accredited universities across Georgia and raised over 10,000 dollars for health-based causes. Wadhwani describes the nonprofit as having three facets: the research for curing dementias, volunteering and aiding small medical operations around the state, and a new goal he focused on in 2020, mental health. “As teenagers, we deal with a lot of stress and that’s where I was inspired to just look into mental health and also work with mentally challenged individuals as well,” Wadhwani explained. His team is now working on developing an app to improve productivity and reduce stress, and it is set to launch in September of 2021. His current mentor, Dr. Haman Pong, also spoke about his experience mentoring Krish over time.

“When I first met Krish, he was determined and always made sure his work was done exceptionally well. He has grown to be an even more passionate mentee and it’s exciting to see all his accomplishments,” the mentor recalled. “I hope Krish will continue to change the world and impact many more lives. I am confident he will succeed in whatever path he takes,” Dr. Pong explained. In addition to all of these accomplishments, Krish is also involved in officer positions in his MD Junior and HOSA clubs in his high school, and has been recognized by JSHS, BioGENEius, Young Scientist Challenge, Eastern Science Exhibition, Healthcare Ingenuity Conference, and the state science fair. His community work was acknowledged by Prudential, Carson Scholars, PVSA, and Notre Dame. Despite all of this, Krish says his most esteemed opportunity is simply to be able to present his research to renowned scientists. “While I’m working on these projects, I don’t necessarily think about the end goal,” Wadhwani surmised. “When you’re eventually just talking about this research to scientists from the military, that enough is just such an amazing opportunity.” Wadhwani hopes to attend Harvard Medical School and continue his research and efforts in the medical field as his career.


NRI Pulse

..... City Feature .....

July 2021

SarisToSuits: Making A Difference, One Sari At A Time


Atlanta, GA: What do you do with a bunch of those saris that lie nicely ironed and tucked away in the corner of your armoire for years? Especially the ones that hold special memories, but never find the right occasion to be worn. Patti (Pratibha) Tripathi, founder of SarisToSuits embarked on a novel idea to transform pre-loved and preowned 7 yards of material into exclusive designer clothing and products. Aligning with the mission of the organization to empower women, the transformation happens by 171 once unskilled womenfolk who are trained by Gucci Equilibrium and employed to design and embroider exquisite merchandise and garments. The inspiration – her mother’s saris that she fondly carried around with her from Indiana to DC, Dallas, Florida, Chicago and Atlanta since her passing. Founded in 2012 by Patti Tripathi, one of the first national news anchors of Indian origin and a global media professional, Saris to Suits ® is a non-profit public charity that strives towards

female empowerment, education, gender inclusivity, equality and social justice. The focus is on building awareness to break down the barriers that constrain the advancement of women and girls. The direct impact they hope to make in the community includes joining hands in solidarity for Blindian Projects where people will be draping donated saris over their jeans, skirts, t shirts as they do volunteer work to serve the homeless, and wherever there’s a need. These community projects are slated to be held once in every three months. SarisToSuits is known for its annual calendar, which, unlike fashion calendars that objectify women, features 12 South Asian women of substance from different walks of life. The nonprofit has some exciting new collaborations, new additions to the team and a brand-new title for its legal fund. The SarisToSuits website also features original narratives called Omniscient Perspective, beginning with women who appeared in the calendar, and other blogs. The new board features a diverse group of individuals including Abha Rai, Asst. Professor, Loyola University Chicago, Dr. Annapurna Bhat, physician with super specialty in Rheumatology, Bhavya Choudhary, Founder and Managing Attorney at Bhavya Chaudhary and Associates Law Firm, Gautam Dange, Senior-Level Strategy & Innovation Manager, Coca-Cola, Kelly Wright, Preacher/Entertainer, host and Special Con-

tributor of The Kelly Wright Show that airs on cable, and the Black News Channel, Mary Line Annamaraju, CFO at ECOM America, Marshalla Yadav, a philanthropist, and Veena Rao, founder, and editor-in-chief of NRI Pulse newspaper, and author of Purple Lotus. Pratibha Salwan joins the organization with 27 years of corporate digital technology experience. “Her e-commerce skillset serves as a huge

nomic equality in the US and internationally, partner with mission aligned social enterprises for job creation amongst the underserviced and spread the word about inspirational women across the globe through digital media stories. “I’m overjoyed that the fundraiser NRI Pulse organized for SarisToSuits before the pandemic helped create the seed for the legal defense fund. I hope it grows exponentially and helps transform the lives of women who are trapped in abusive situations,” said Rao. “I am also very excited that Patti chose to name the fund after my novel, Purple Lotus! The lotus germinates in stagnant waters, but grows tall toward the sky, and shares its beauty with the world. I am sure Patti, Pratibha, and the newly created board– of which I have the honor of being a member– will work hard at impacting social change and making our world a little bit more beautiful.” “I support SaristoSuits in its mission of empowerment of women and of those who need it. Personally, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to empower 1000s of victims of crime and abuse by helping them obtain legal status and work permits so they are not caught in the circle of violence, abuse and trafficking. In the words of one of my empowered clients, ‘Didi aap hamare liye Bhagwaan jaisi hain’,” said Choudhary. “Saris to Suits has been a piPatti Tripathi in a SarisToSuits kaftan. oneer organization in the Atlanta Photo by Derek Wintermute. area with national and global presence, that has relentlessly fought asset as the organization expands the S2S Store to for gender equity and the upliftment of women. include women-centric sustainable products from Through their community programs and engagearound the globe,” notes Tripathi. ment sessions, they have empowered victims of “Be it sham marriages, domestic violence, or domestic violence and human trafficking giving trafficking – we want to raise our voice against them hope and a new passion to lead life. I have these practices through conferences, events, and no doubt that Saris to Suits will continue to supfundraisers. As part of the revitalization, we are port our South Asian community and positively also using creative strategies to raise funds and influence our values, ultimately dismantling pahave recently revamped our website. We are us- triarchy,” quoted board member Dr. Rai. ing our online channel and social media to tell In a collaboration titled I was a Sari, Sastories that matter to our audience under the ‘om- risToSuits is working in partnership with an Inniscient perspective’ section,” said Salwan. dia-based social enterprise that works with female “I am glad to be part of SarisToSuits, as or- artisans to upcycle once a vibrant sari into stylish ganization has great mission to promote women’s western outfits and other products. empowerment and support social justice,” said Dr. “From the Saris to Suits (R) calendar we are Bhat. Drs. Anu and Subrahmanya Bhat, through making saris to suits clothing … literally. It is their Bhat Foundation, support various causes and sustainable fashion,” says Tripathi. Gucci Equiaward scholarships to deserving students. librium is training women in Mumbai to become “Saris to Suits Legal Fund is named Purple artisans. These once unskilled workers are getLotus Legal Fund to honor Veena Rao who host- ting skilled in embroidery and design to make ed a fundraiser in Feb 2020 just before COVID clothing and products such as kimonos, clutches, to raise over $5000. We hope to raise the amount Kaftans, made from saris. tenfold, then the structure will be put in place by How did the idea of makeover come about? the board and committee members. Led by our “I had thought about what to do with my mom’s attorney on the board we will put a structure, saris for the past decade. Since her passing at age disbursement and tracking of the Purple Lotus 56 in late 2004 I had been carrying around two fund,” said Tripathi. suitcases of vintage saris. I do not attend many The Purple Lotus legal fund aims to support occasions wearing saris and I did not want to turn survivors of domestic violence and human traf- them into pillow covers and curtains. I wanted ficking, organize women’s conferences to raise to wear them in a new form,” says Tripathi. Also, awareness for gender, cultural, social and eco- perplexed by the intention of the title, the organi-

zation was receiving sari donations! Tripathi, always inclined to embolden women, had considered getting Savannah College of Arts & Design to partner with SarisToSuits to help train under-resourced women, domestic violence or traffic survivors to customize people’s saris into exclusive merchandise. In the meanwhile, Tripathi and her friend stumbled upon an Italian who had launched a social enterprise in India and the products were already popular in Italy and Greece. COVID has hit the organization hard, but the 171 artisans trained are now working from home after their warehouse closed. Each sari makes one kaftan (dress); and two saris are used to design kimonos, which may be worn as a mini dress/shirt top/beach cover. Everything including shoes and jewelry are re-imagined with upcycled saris, including the hangtag. Without advertising, the first sample stock of 40 clothing items and clutch bags in the E-store has nearly sold out. The E-store is getting restocked with a variety of clothing and beachwear, jewelry, baguettes, embroidered kaftans, backpacks, scarves, shirts, pajamas, tote bags, etc. made from saris by July. “It’s a mission-aligned partnership and I’m very excited about it because the artisans are getting paid, receiving health benefits while we have a unique item in our wardrobe that no one else will ever own. win-win-win,” noted Tripathi. “We need to hire to become sustainable and make a greater impact. Also the best thing people may do is buy from an e-store, and DONATE – SMALL AMOUNT GOES A LONG WAY. We are Benevity-certified charity for corporate matching grants and I’m actively applying for grants for the first time as I close a decade to make the charity a staffed force to be reckoned with for women’s empowerment,” said Tripathi. “My Mom and her treasured saris were the inspiration that will empower hundreds of women in India (and perhaps later in the US) to become designers of their own life.” Driven by passion, the organization is striving to make a difference, one sari at a time. Visit https://saristosuits.org/ to learn more and support their cause.


NRI Pulse

July 2021


NRI Pulse

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

July 2021

IACA Rhythms Of India: Atl Dance Academies Present Stellar Show


Atlanta, GA: Lassiter Concert Hall reverberated to the cadenced strides of performing artists on April 24, 2021 at the Rhythms of India (ROI) event organized by India American Cultural Organization (IACA). The in-person event that was also broadcast live on FB and Zoom garnered many accolades from the audience as well as performers. Twelve of Atlanta’s premier dance academies put their best foot forward to present a spectacular show par excellence. The dances were orchestrated around the story of Arya and her mother who set on a journey to witness various dance forms across India. The event showcased an array of dance forms ranging from classical, to regional folk dances and Bollywood. A fine culmination of lighting, visuals, choreography and coordination, the program was put together by a band of dedicated volunteers and program directors, Geeta Talukdar and Devyani Desai. “I got a wonderful opportunity to work with the eminent and esteemed dance academies in Atlanta. It was a pleasure working with all the very talented Academy Directors and together we tailored a program of very high caliber. It was a lot of hard work and innumerable hours that went behind the scenes in preparation of the event. I thank IACA for this golden opportunity to showcase India’s artistic best, in celebration of Golden Anniversary of IACA ‘s existence in Atlanta,” said Talukdar. The brainchild of IACA’s current president

CDC Issues New School Guidance

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidance urging schools to fully reopen in the fall regardless of whether all mitigation measures can be implemented. “Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall 2021 is a priority,” said the new guidance. Promoting vaccination can help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports, Xinhua news agency quoted the CDC as saying. The CDC recommended schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms, combined with indoor mask wearing by people who are not fully vaccinated, to reduce transmission risk. “Covid-19 prevention strategies remain critical to protect people, including students, teachers, and staff, who are not fully vaccinated, especially in areas of moderate-to-high community transmission levels,” said the CDC.

Chand Akkineni, the event was designed to depict rhythms in Indian dance forms and provide the audience a unique opportunity of witnessing these dance forms performed by talented artists on one stage in one night. “It is heartening to see ROI make it’s come back after the first event in 2009. The sounds of bells, the steps from the beats, Rhythms of India will take you into distant dreams,” quoted Akkineni. The participating academies included Academy of Kuchipudi Dance, Guru – Sasikala Penumarti, Lasya School of Performing Arts, Guru – Sridevi Ranjit, Abhinaya Dance Academy, Guru – Bikhipta Panda, Kalaivani Dance Academy, Guru – Padmaja Kelam, Kalashram USA, School

of Kathak Dance & Performing Arts, Guru – Anurag Sharma, Deeksha School of Performing Arts, Guru – Anupa G.Thakurta, Shiv’s Institute of Dance, Guru – Shiva Turlapati, Atlanta Nritya Academy, Guru – Sudakshina Mukherjee , Garima Dance Academy, Guru – Garima Aggarwal, Natyanjali Academy of Dance, Guru – Chandrika Chandran, Nritya Natya Kala Bharati, Guru – Kumud Savla, and Prem’s Dance Studio, Guru – Prem Rahman. “We are very happy to have all dance academies come together,” said Vir Nanda, Chairman, IACA. Rhythm in dance permeates from three sources, viz. movement, music, and emotions.

Rhythm helps the dancer organize motion by providing a structure. It sets a pulse for the dancer and supports, contrasts, and accents the movement. Rhythm can be even, uneven, simple or complex. Embracing Rhythm in all its pulsating glory, the artists performed their dance forms with gracious, vivacious movements that enraptured the hearts of one and all. Diverse dance forms came alive with Ganesh Vandana in Kuchipudi, music composition of Alphons Joseph capturing the essence of the paddy fields and back waters of Kuttanad and other breathtaking visuals that Kerala in Mohiniattyam, Om Krishnaya Namah, describing dark and extremely handsome, mysterious yet vividly full of wonderful qualities of Lord Krishna is regarded as “Solah Kala Sampoorna” and “Poorna Purushottam” in Odissi, Tarana in Raag Desh, composed and sung by Pandit Birju Maharaj in Kathak, Samajavaragamana, composition of great Saint Thyagaraja describing majestic walk of Lord Krishna like a giant elephant, engulfed in the glow of sunlight, spreading blossom like lotus to devotees and embodies the essence of Vedic scriptures in Bharatnatyam, most hyped Bollywood dance numbers in Hip Hop and Bollywood, vibrant women in a lively Rajasthani Folk Dance, a blend of multiple Indian classical dance forms and western forms such as contemporary in Rabindra Nritya, praise of Lord Subramanya who rides the beautiful peacock in fast paced dance of pure rhythm and movement, highlighting varying tempo and footwork patterns in Thillana, and Ghar More Pardesiya in Semi-Classical Bollywood.

GATes Organizes 108 Surya Namaskars For IDY


Atlanta, GA: As COID-19 continues to upend lives of people globally, the relevance of Yoga, which bears impact and physical and mental dimensions of the pandemic, becomes more pronounced than ever. On June 20, 2021, Greater Atlanta Telangana Society (GATes) organized the “108 Surya Namaskars” Yoga event to celebrate International Yoga Day and to bring awareness to the people of Atlanta about benefits of Yoga at Sharan Park Community Hall, Cumming Georgia. People from other cities and countries joined the event virtually to learn and enjoy the benefits Yoga. “COVID-19 Pandemic distressed people all over the world and emphasized the necessity for good health and immunity for a better world,” said Kishan Tallapally, President GATeS. “GATeS organization has been conducting virtual Yoga sessions for almost three months every weekend to educate the importance of Yoga and Surya Namaskars under the able guidance of enthusiastic and energetic yoga guru Praveen Maripelly from Yoganikethan, India,” said Tallapally. Maripelly is a yoga propagandist who has performed 108 Surya Namaskar on 13 mountains

in 7 countries – India, Nepal, France, Germany, Armenia, Austria and the United States. Maripelly’s unique achievement includes performing 108 Surya Namaskars on top of the Everest base camp mountain at 6150 meters height, -15d temperature

and all the participants appreciated GATeS for organizing the event and requested to do more such events. “As always, all events are successful with the presence of wonderful people and GATeS

with less oxygen. At Sharon Park Community Center more than 50 Yoga enthusiasts participated at the event physically, while about 150 joined in virtually. While some were apprehensive about completing 108 Surya Namaskars, together as a group, they were able to complete all 108 Namaskars, noted Tallapally. Tallapally, Vice President Sunil Gotoor, Secretary Janardhan Pannela, BOD members Naveen Battini and Anitha Nellutla coordinated the event

conveys thanks to all for coming and making the event a big success,” said Tallypally. Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. ‘Yoga’ is derived from Sanskrit, meaning to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness. Recognizing its universal appeal, on 11 December 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga with the aim to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga.


NRI Pulse

.....Features .....

July 2021

Nazeera Dawood Opens Up About Surviving Child Sexual Abuse


“Listen, we are going to play a game.” was just about enough to entice a six-year-old to explore the “game”, which she was told was a secret they shared and never to be disclosed. That it came from someone her family trusted had put her at ease. It didn’t take the child very long to discover that this was not as “fun” as she anticipated. On the contrary, it was dreadful and simply painful. And unfortunately for her, it would continue for years to come, when her parents and sisters were not around a hearing distance. The perpetrator had picked his prey with diligence, zeroing in on the more quiet, submissive oldest of sisters, who he knew was the least likely to talk. And he was right. This is the story of child sexual abuse survivor and advocate for the cause, Dr. Nazeera Dawood, who, today is an entrepreneur and current Founder/CEO at Vendorship, Inc and founder/President at Nazeera, LLC. Her monthly Chai and Chat series facilitates open dialogues about some controversial and unspoken issues with an expert panel, free of cost to attendees. But then, not all stories have a happy ending. The fear, confusion and shame Dawood experienced as a child is unfortunately ubiquitous across the globe, surpassing race, creed, caste, gender, class, religion or ethnicity. “It was sometime after I turned forty that these memories started coming back to me,” said Dawood. Why after 40? Dawood reasons that a woman gets occupied with responsibility towards parents, education, job, kids and more. But once all that simmers down, the mind opens up. As unresolved memories emerged, Dawood said she felt “the fear and shame that had gripped her as a child, of not being able to tell anyone,” an emotional upheaval she and most survivors expe-

rience. Dawood says she lived with the realization for a couple of years trying to figure out ways to handle her trauma. It was during this period, Dawood says, she was also able to comprehend some of her life and lifestyle choices, such as not being comfortable with friends or parties, resulting from low self-esteem and isolation, engrained since a tender age.

“Lack of trust,” noted Dawood, is something every survivor suffers through. Like her, most survivors are not able to build long term relationships, because they serve as trigger points, leaving them wondering how that trusted person might hurt them. “ She recalled the first time she was invited for a “game” and being asked to touch him and touched inappropriately and the immense physical pain she endured, physically and emotionally. That was only the beginning and continued until she was thirteen. “During daytime or evening this is happening to me. And the next day I'm going to school. He's touching my private parts, and he's telling me not to tell anyone,” the fear and confusion of a child going through

The Spirit Is Unvanquished


I got in my car to drive down to the market. “Don’t buy spinach and peanut butter today. Bintu will have to eat cucumber sandwich today.” “But why? I asked her. “Didn’t you watch the news today? Because of salmonella, both spinach and peanut butter have been recalled!” How interesting, I thought. As I drove the car, I reflected on the growing problem of recalls of various things. Iconic automakers have recalled cars for malfunctioning airbags and rearview cameras, brakes, etc. At night, as I lay in bed, I wondered if I would be recalled by God. “For what?” you may ask. Well, for dementia, and worn-out batteries, I suppose. I am a 1930 model. All the warranties have expired. And of late, I am becoming increasingly forgetful. I forget to take my medication on time, forget my car keys, my reading glasses, forget where I have parked my car, my passwords; even names of my close friends. And it is not only memory loss. I no longer feel energetic. In the morning, when I wake

up, my squeaking knees need oiling like old rusty door hinges. If I try to lift anything slightly heavy, my wife instantly warns, “Don’t touch that, else you’ll have to see an orthopedist!” I guess it is all due to advancing age. In my childhood in Kenya, I used to play with marbles, and Indian popular games of hututu, kho kho, gilli danda, cricket, hockey, volleyball etc. I also rode bicycles, climbed trees and swam in ponds. Slowly, due to lack of time and increasing family responsibilities, I played occasional table tennis or went for a stroll in the park. However, I am not the one to give up so easily. You can’t blame me for want of trying. After watching Wimbledon, I thought of playing tennis. I invited my friend Satish to a game of tennis on the school’s tennis court. “Game of five or three” he asked me. After bit of practice, I was already feeling exhausted, so I feebly replied, “Game of one, please!” He understood and smiled and reluctantly agreed. I was hitting the ball wildly, which instead of landing on the tennis court, flew over the fence! I have never seen Satish so happy to see our tennis encounter over! After watching Tiger Woods, I thought of playing golf. I invited Vicky this time. Like Satish, Vicky soon got exasperated when he

sexual abuse is often similar, deliberates Dawood. “The worst part is, sometimes mom and dad are in the other room,” said Dawood, adding that it compounds sadness with anger towards parents, who were supposed to protect her. While Dawood admits her anger, she also acknowledges that parents always land up feeling the worst because they “carry the blame to their grave.” While Dawood was fortunate to steer her life the right way, she said research shows that the array of emotions that lay buried inside often leads to poor lifestyle choices. “This is childhood trauma, it's like PTSD, and they are not healing,” she observed, adding that the low self-esteem often leads them to prostitution, and depression. “Some will not allow love to enter into their life, because they don't trust anyone, even their own children.” Dawood says survivors believe there's an agenda behind any appreciation that comes their way. A bright student who excelled at academics and extracurricular activities, Dawood says she found solace at times when there were no visits from the predator. But after each incident, she cried herself to sleep or sometimes at school bearing the brunt of shame, suffering in silence. The display of isolation/hesitation from certain people or places, withdrawal from friends or usual activities, changes in behavior, depression and anxiety, Dawood notes are some of the warning signs of child abuse. Dawood believes that her trauma, as in the case of other victims, was then and is now preventable. “Increasing awareness and promoting a safe

childhood environment is number one priority,” said Dawood. The perpetrator, who the family put their trust in, Dawood describes is “the hidden part of this beast.” Research says 90% of victims know their abuser. As in her own case, Dawood says, while it is difficult to identify offenders, especially since they appear solemnly normal, there are a few signs such as someone being overtly interested in spending more time with your child alone, bringing them gifts for no reason. While these maybe be genuine gestures in some cases, it is always important to be alert, she cautioned. “The first thing I did after I uncovered what had happened to me was to put my kids into a program,” said Dawood, citing Revved up kids as the program she chose for her kids. “Don't force kids to get hugs or kisses from anyone just because there might be your own uncle (relative) or someone you know. Allow them to have that space to say no,” stated Dawood about preventive actions. One of the key elements she notes is to talk to kids about privacy, good and bad touch, and to name body parts as such and not have nick names. Educating kids about things such as who can and cannot touch them, not sitting on people’s lap, need to start early, she urged. While abused kids hurt everywhere, cultures, such as South-Asian, Dawood observes, are more restrictive, be it about raising sexual awareness in kids or confronting the abuser. Dawood has not confronted her abuser yet, owing to pressure about “not spoiling his family after all these years.” But she plans to, when the opportunity presents itself. The other issue with our culture, patriarchal by nature, often does not question men and that needs to change, she asserts. To survive the trauma of abuse, children learn coping strategies like denial, self-blame,

Continued on Page 15… was almost winter time and freezing cold outside. So, I put on a woolen cap; scarf; thick pair of gloves, fit bit on my wrist and racing shoes. My wife saw me and said, “You look like a Michelin man. Or are you joining the astronauts and try to land on Mars? “Guess what? I made my family proud by not only participating in the race but also finishing the course by walking at a slow pace. I have a framed picture of me flaunting the tee shirt with the ‘Peachtree race’ logo. One evening, I watched a TV show of a yoga expert performing a few asanas. I had heard of the benefits of yoga, so thought of trying a few simple asanas. But I soon realized that it was not as easy as it looked on TV. I couldn’t even sit in a lotus posture longer than a minute! After fifteen minutes of failed attempts at shirshasana (head stand), I picked shavasana (corpse pose) to lie down on the yoga mat and relax! Dear readers; as the Hindi song says, ‘abhi mujh mein kahin baaki thodi si hai zindagi…’ (there is still a little life left in me)’ so how about if ‘mein jee loon zara?’ (I enjoy it while I can!). It is good to remember, hope springs eternal.


saw me, a rookie play golf. When I took the first swing, the ball landed in water. The second one disappeared in the rough. So did the third as if the balls were playing hide and seek! We spent more time looking for the balls than playing golf. I never heard from Vicky again. When my wife heard of my adventure she said, “Why don’t you wield a pen instead of a golf club!” I dropped tennis and golf. One day I was watching the Peachtree Road race. After seeing people even older than me participating in it, I thought of having a go too and help a good cause. I was told to put in some practice before the race. It


NRI Pulse

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

July 2021

Meet The New, Unstoppable Indian Tech Honchos On The World Map Silicon Valley, CA: New faces have joined the high-profile league of businesses led by Indian-origin tech honchos like Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Google’s Sundar Pichai or Adobe’s Shantanu Narayan calling the shots in the Silicon Valley and leading the global digital transformation wave. The latest to join the elite tech CEOs’ club is Rajesh Nambiar, currently the Chairman and Managing Director of Cognizant India, who has replaced Malcolm Frank, Executive Vice President and President, Digital Business and Technology at the IT major. Nambiar, who developed and led Operation C3 (Cognizant Combats COVID-19), brings deep knowledge of applications, data, AI, analytics, infrastructure, cloud, and consulting to his new role that began from June 4. In a short span of time, Nambiar has established himself as a trusted leader among the 200,000 associates of Cognizant in India. “Living and working in India, which I will continue to do, has helped me deeply understand our company’s strong operating model and how we deliver value to clients,” he said in an internal note after his elevation to the top role on May 28. Earlier in his career, Nambiar served as the

global leader of IBM Application Services, where he was responsible for an $8 billion P&L that included data, AI, and analytics oversaw the building of technology practices offering a range of applications, and managed profitable delivery for thousands of clients.

Last month, enterprise software major VMware announced to appoint Raghu Raghuram as its new Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors, effective from June 1. “I am thrilled to have Raghuram step into the role of CEO at VMware. Throughout his career, he has led with integrity and conviction, playing an instrumental role in the success of VMware,” said Michael Dell, chairman of the VMware Board of Directors. The big change came as Dell Technologies announced to spin out VMware — a move that will generate more than $9 billion for the company that acquired VMware as part of the $58 billion EMC acquisition (announced as $67 bilBikram Singh Bedi (left) & Rajesh Nambiar. lion) in 2015. He joins Arvind Krishna, the newly appointVMware also appointed Sumit Dhawan as ed CEO of the world’s oldest technology compa- President who will lead all go-to-market funcny IBM, taking the Indian talent to new heights. tions including worldwide sales, worldwide An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Tech- partner and commercial organisation, customer nology, Kanpur, Krishna replaced Virginia Rom- experience and success (CXS), marketing, and etty as the CEO of the IBM Group. communications.

Another recent name is Indian-American Thomas Kurian, former Oracle President of product development and a respected technologist, who is now leading Google Cloud. “We have always been bullish on India, and you will see more investment coming from us towards that direction. India offers a great opportunity where Google Cloud Platform (GCP) with its latest agile, secure and scalable offerings can help enterprises, SMBs and the growing startup ecosystem amid the government’s call for digital transformation,” Kurian told IANS recently. Google Cloud in February this year announced that Bikram Singh Bedi, who set up the Amazon Web Services (AWS) operations in India, will succeed Karan Bajwa as its new Managing Director for India. Bajwa has already been elevated to become the new leader for Asia Pacific and is leading all regional revenue and go-to-market operations for Google Cloud, including on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Google Workspace. Google Cloud also continues to invest in India and is on track to launch its Delhi cloud region in India this year — it’s second after Mumbai which was launched in 2017.

CEO Satya Nadella Steps In As Microsoft Chairman Too

Writers, Accountants, Engineers To Work Remotely By 2021 End

Indian American Nir Patel Named Belk CEO

San Francisco: (IANS) Microsoft has elected CEO Satya Nadella as Chairman of the tech giant, a first in two decades when Microsoft’s chairman will also be its CEO. Bill Gates was the only other Chairman and CEO of Microsoft who stepped down as CEO in 2000. Gates stepped down as chairman in 2014 and the board then elected John Thompson as independent chairman. Gates left the Microsoft board entirely last year to pursue his philanthropic ambitions. In this role as Chairman, Nadella will lead the work to set the agenda for the board, leveraging his deep understanding of the business to elevate the right strategic opportunities and identify key risks and mitigation approaches for the board’s review, the company said in a statement. Microsoft also unanimously elected John Thompson as lead independent director, a role he held previously from 2012 to 2014. As lead independent director, Thompson will retain significant authority including providing input on behalf of the independent directors on board agendas, calling meetings of the independent directors, setting agendas for executive sessions, and leading performance evaluations of the CEO, Microsoft said.

New York: (IANS) About 51 per cent of all knowledge workers worldwide, defined as those who are involved in knowledge-intensive occupations, such as writers, accountants, or engineers, are likely to work remotely, a Gartner report said on Tuesday. This is up from 27 per cent of knowledge workers in 2019, the company said. Gartner defines a remote worker as an employee working away from their company, government, or customer site at least one full day a week (hybrid workers) or who work fully from home (fully remote workers). The report also estimates that remote workers will represent 32 per cent of all employees worldwide by the end of 2021, up from 17 per cent of employees in 2019. While India (30 per cent) and China (28 per cent) will produce some of the largest numbers of remote workers, their overall penetration rates will remain relatively low. On the other hand, the workforce in the US (53 per cent) will lead in terms of remote workers in 2022. Across Europe, UK remote workers will represent 52 per cent of its workforce in 2022, while remote workers in Germany and France will account for 37 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively.

“A hybrid workforce is the future of work, with both remote and on-site part of the same solution to optimise employers’ workforce needs,” said Ranjit Atwal, senior research director at Gartner. The lasting impact of remote work is resulting in a reassessment of the IT infrastructure that shifts buyer requirements to demand work-anywhere capabilities. This includes digital transformation efforts — investment in strategic remote-first technology continuity implementations along with new technologies such as hyperautomation, AI and collaboration technologies — to open up more flexibility of location choice in job roles. “Through 2024, organizations will be forced to bring forward digital business transformation plans by at least five years. Those plans will have to adapt to a postCovid-19 world that involves permanently higher adoption of remote work and digital touchpoints,” Atwal said. Further, a hybrid workforce will continue to increase the demand for PCs and tablets, the report showed. PC and tablet shipments, in 2021, are slated to exceed 500 million units for the first time in history, highlighting the demand across both business and consumer markets.

Charlotte, NC: Belk recently announced the promotion of Nir Patel to CEO. Lisa Harper, who served as Belk's CEO dating back to July 2016, has transitioned to Executive Chair of the Belk Board of Directors. Patel's promotion sees him moving from President and Chief Merchandising Officer to CEO. Alabama native Patel joined Belk in 2016 as EVP, GMM, Men's and eCommerce where he also expanded his responsibilities to include Home, Kids, and Visual Merchandising before he was promoted to Chief Merchandising Officer in 2018. Patel was then named President in 2020 as he assumed the additional responsibilities for Marketing and eCommerce. Prior to his years at Belk, Patel was an SVP with Kohl's, a VP at Land's End, and worked for Abercrombie & Fitch, Target, and Gap Inc. "I'm honored to continue the great legacy of Belk," Patel stated. "We quickly adapted to the challenges the pandemic threw at us this past year. I'm proud of our team's ability to stay focused on what really matters to our customers - having the best products and making their shopping experience safe and seamless. We've accomplished so much already, and I'm excited to see all the ways that we'll continue to grow."


NRI Pulse

..... City Features

July 2021

Pure Hearts of GA: A Support Group For Families With Special Needs Kids

BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE Anandhi Jambunathan watched with much joy as her firstborn Krishiv met his first-year milestones such crawling, walking, and smiling at people. But around 17 months, Anandhi noticed that Krishiv maintained minimal eye contact and kept distancing himself from his parents and cried at the sight of friends and neighbors. Based in California at the time, her plans to engage Krishiv at her sister’s engagement in India did not help. When Anandhi noticed that Krishiv got more distant, spinning wheels of a toy car for hours, she began a web search. That was the first time she came across the word “Autism”. Most of the symptoms mentioned in the article matched Krishiv’s behavior. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental condition that affects a person’s ability to socialize and communicate with others. People with ASD can also present with restricted and/or repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities. The term “spectrum” refers to the degree in which the symptoms, behaviors and severity vary within and between individuals. Based on CDC surveillance, an average of 1 in every 59 8-year-old children in the U.S. have ASD. Boys are four times more likely than girls to develop symptoms of ASD. “He looks normal,” the psychologist in India had told Krishiv’s parents. Anandhi however made an appointment with the pediatrician who referred her to a neurologist and a regional center where Krishiv was diagnosed with severe autism. Life, as they knew it, had changed for the Jambunathan family. Embarking on the rugged terrain of uncertainties and denial, the family forged ahead with countless therapies and interventions. Therapies such as ABA, speech and OT brought about significant difference in his awareness and understanding. “The first battle we faced was accepting the situation and getting out of denial,” says Anandhi. Challenges were many and from various avenues. “Helpful” suggestions and curious questions, “Why did you get a diagnosis?” ” he doesn’t need one”, ” he will speak soon, my brother’s child spoke late” “maybe you shouldn’t have eaten bananas during your pregnancy” only alleviated the family’s distress. As Krishiv turned three, his dad’s job brought them to Georgia. Anandhi joined a Yahoo support group for special needs parents based out of north Fulton and found Indian names and sent them a personal email requesting information.

Having personally met Indian families with special needs kids, Anandhi initiated one of her own, Georgia Indian Special needs Support Group, in which they shared information, references, opinions and held get togethers. With the advent of technology, the group moved over to WhatsApp. A modest beginning of five families has now enrolled over hundred families and counting. Apart from digital interactions, Anandhi and her husband have been hosting regular lunch / dinner gatherings for the past 10 years for parents with a recent diagnosis and have a few of the existing parents, “creating a welcoming network for the new parents”, as Anandhi puts it. They also hold P2P seminars and discussion groups for the parents. Anandhi discovered a private school and more therapies for Krishiv through many sources and kept continuing his interventions. With larger numbers, Anandhi realized a formal organization could be more impactful in helping these kids. Acting upon her instincts, Anandhi, with her best friends Chelvi Sivalingam and Annapoorna Kudikamaldi co-founded Pure Hearts of Georgia. “Our main goal is to spread awareness and acceptance of such individuals in the community,” says Anandhi, adding they also plan on training them with certain skills and provide a platform to showcase and opportunities to progress. “We also have been serving as a bridge between typical volunteers who want to help us and our special families.” Various activities for the kids include yoga during weekends, exercise sessions 3 days a week, music therapy, creative fun, and Bollywood dance, among others. Most activities currently being digital, Anandhi says volunteers make activity folders for the kids as part of their summer or scout projects. For in person activities, they have parents of the kids along with volunteers. They usually explain to the volunteers about ways of working with the kids. While most kids are on the autism spectrum, they do have kids with challenges such as Cerebral Palsy and Downs syndrome in the group. “We here at Paramount Software strongly support Pure Hearts of Georgia. It is one of its kind organization that not only supports kids who have different needs but also guide, enrich and provide a strong support system to their respective families,” said donor and supporter, Pratima Sajja. Anandhi’s efforts to showcase the kids’ talents bore fruition with the Dream Show 2019, which featured a total of 54 kids who took to stage to perform dance, music, and fashion shows. “This was the most rewarding moment for us was when all our families and other audiences were in tears to see our kids performing on stage.” “From being a mother who was looking for support to being a pillar of support to those who

need, Anandhi has always remained positive,” compliments friend Sunita Nadella. Her weekly zoom exercises are quite popular with the kids, as one parent, Harini Senapathy commented, “Pure Hearts of Georgia has been a true blessing that it has given me lot of friends including Anandhi. Having a group that understands what you are going through without being judgmental is a luxury and I am really lucky to be part of such a group. I have been able to get my son to exercise with me, which is really huge! ” Anandhi also draws attention to Special needs Will & Trust, which she believes needs 3-4 families or individuals who can take care of the child after you. Underlining on the need to do it earlier than waiting till child turns 16, she stresses the need for the child to be comfortable with them. “Few of us have become tight knit support to a point, where we have written these friends as guardians in our will for Krishiv.” Are these kids able to work within public school system? Yes! Plenty of public schools have good programs, with most offering an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), that gives them specific goals that would be worked upon at school. In high school they even have programs to help them with supported employment, but that may not be applicable to all. But, as Anandhi notes, once they are out of high school, there aren’t many options for these kids. So, what happens when the yellow bus stops coming home? “There are also a lot of employers willing to employ individuals with autism as once trained, these individuals simply go about their work without much of a fuss,” says Anandhi. What lies ahead of public schools? Anandhi says there are very few daycare like options and not enough to cater to this every increasing population. “I would like for my son and children like him to be mentally and physically engaged in a safe place and have some friends around too.” This, Anandhi says keep her awake in the night, “not out of worry but the drive to make it worthy for them.” Now 16, Krishiv is a student at Johns Creek High School special classroom and continues his therapies. But what the family draws strength from the support they found in the community and friends for Krish to play, dance and have sleepovers with. Recently Krishiv thought he got lost in PETCO, since he couldn’t find the person he came with. He decided to walk to Anandhi’s friend’s home (4 miles away) and was at her doorstep when JC cops found him. That the traffic noises, the heat from sun, and the long walk didn’t faze him, and had managed to use problem solving without panicking bears testament to the unwavering love and support Krishiv receives from fam-

ily and friends. “Inspiration, mentoring, enabling and self-sustainable learning for others made a package; you are one of the greatest and best role model for the special need kids and their parents,” says friend Franklin Harris. I agree. Wouldn’t you? Visit https://www.pureheartsga.org or their Facebook page for details.

Nazeera Dawood Opens Up About Surviving Child Sexual Abuse

Continued on Page 13…

and normalizing sexual exploitation. How did Dawood cope with her fears and triumph over her trauma? “Coping comes with different levels of healing, doesn't happen overnight. We have to find love within ourselves,” said Dawood, adding that spirituality aided the process. While coping process varies for everyone, Dawood says finding that space or person with whom they can be themselves with no pretensions and taking regular breaks to rejuvenate or pursue what brings them joy, also helps. Admitting she has good and bad days, living with a purpose facilitates healing, she adds. While survivors find it difficult to find true love, Dawood says if they do, it is crucial for the partner to take up counseling because the survivor is prone to mood swings, is not trusting, and tends to have different personality disorders and partners need to be prepared. She cautioned survivors to be mindful of predators who know their stories and might use their vulnerabilities against them. Dawood also pointed to internet predators who can easily prey upon a survivor or victim’s sensitivities, with false identities. “Learn to say no, when you feel like saying no.” Dawood urged parents to educate kids early on and if they are not comfortable, to avail several educational preventive programs that are available. Highlighting rape culture, Dawood underlined the importance of consent, to both boys and girls – for girls to say no and for boys to step back and recognize no as an acceptable answer. Dawood also urged for communities to step up social activism against sexual abuse and become a part of this conversation, in talking to men about respecting and not devaluing women from early on. “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way it treats it’s children,” Nelson Mandela rightly quoted. Let us do right by them.


NRI Pulse

Ranveer, Alia, Jaya, Shabana, Dharmendra in Karan Johar's next

Filmmaker Karan Johar announced his new directorial recently. The film has a star-studded cast comprising Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt, along with veterans Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan and Shabana Azmi. Incidentally July 6, the day of announcement, is also Ranveer Singh's birthday. Taking to Twitter, Johar said he will be directing his "favourite people" Alia and Ranveer in an upcoming film titled "Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani". "Thrilled to get behind the lens with my favourite people in front of it! Presenting Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani, headlined by none other than Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt and written by Ishita Moitra, Shashank Khaitan & Sumit Roy," Karan Johar tweeted. Ranveer, too, took to Twitter to announce his new film. "A special announcement on my special day! Presenting -- Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani along with my dazzling supernova Alia Bhatt, directed by the genre himself, kaleidoscopic visionary Karan Johar, & written by Ishita Moitra, Shashank Khaitan and Sumit Roy," Ranveer wrote. Alia wrote in an Instagram post: "Legendary, evergreen and inspirational! Meet the rest of the pillars of this kahaani - Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan & Shabana Azmi! #RockyAurRaniKiPremKahani #RRKPK." Karan Johar recently made headlines after his banner Dharma Productions officially announced that actor Kartik Aaryan would no longer star in their upcoming production "Dostana 2".

July 2021

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

Akshaye Khanna: Unconventional, Unfiltered


Atlanta, GA: As I braced myself to interview Akshaye Khanna yesterday about his OTT debut movie State of Seige: Temple Attack, the first thing that passed through my mind was the intensity in the actor’s eyes that shines through in all of the characters he so brilliantly portrays, be it the attorney in Article 375, an artist in love with an older woman in Dil Chahta Hai or Hanut Singh in Seige... Watching Seige.. only cemented my earlier sentiments. In the era where image is everything, I was taken aback by Khanna’s unfiltered, unadulterated, even unconventional, and raw and rusty responses, that were honestly quite disarming as it was refreshing. Read his exclusive with NRI Pulse to learn more. I knew this was not going to be a regular tête-à-tête with a celebrity right off the bat when he was the first to ask about which city I was based in and the local time here. It’s not too late, he said in a way that made me think he cared. “Acting is actually very easy. It's a very simple phenomenon,” Khanna said after a brief pause when asked about the difference in preparing for a fictional character versus a character based on a real-life incident, both of which he has essayed elegantly in the past. On further thought he added that it really boils down to is being “truthful to the moment that you're in, whether you're playing a character that is fictional, or a character based on someone who actually existed.” He also observed that the real difference would be in the writing, which he observed was “not his department.” Citing his movie, Gandhi, My Father, Khanna noted that even though he played a real-life character, because Harilal (Gandhi’s son) was not a popular figure and most people never knew how he looked, dressed or behaved, there was plenty of freedom to portray the son, versus playing Gandhi, who is very well known. Khanna deserves credit for his clarity of thought. When asked his favorite genre and how his role of Hanut Singh in Seige features into it, Khanna made a clear distinction between

his preferences as an actor and an audience. “Fortunately for me, I've always been offered a variety of stuff, which is probably the greatest joy for me in my career as an actor. And I really don't have a preference for any one of them as an actor,” said Khanna, adding that as an audience however the action genre attracted his attention

more. And when the opportunity of being in the action space presented itself, he unabashedly accepts his eagerness in “exploring it again.” One of the most enthusiastic responses from Khanna was about his interaction with and mentorship from Lt. Col. Sundeep Sen, who was present on the sets to guide the crew. “There were really two things that I wanted learn from Col. Sen - body language and to really get a sense of the kind of mental and emotional stress that this particular job demands from an individual that joins the NSG.” That thing I mentioned earlier about rustic responses, it happened to my OTT question, which he pretty much dismissed. Initially perceived as arrogance, second thought led me to believe that he just doesn’t care about being diplomatic or rehearsed in his responses. When asked about his thoughts about the advantages or disadvantages of the OTT platform, the answer was flippant - “My personal opinion is insignificant and clearly doesn't make a difference.” Do you have a favorite series on the platform – “I do, but do not want to get it into it.” Given

that this is his debut to the platform, he must’ve known questions along these lines would pop up. But something he is made of does not let him compromise and find a standard response – which most actors often do. That raw response regimen brimmed over to my question about his experience with working with Ken Ghosh for the first time, too, but I did get an answer. “You know when actors talk about directors and directors about their stars, it becomes so annoying. And so boring. And so repetitive, that I just refuse to answer the question, except I can say this - I would love to work with Ken again.” Now, that’s as raw as it gets! One of the most earnest moments of the interview was when I told Khanna that I had watched the movie. “What did you think of it?” He really wanted to know. His most honest answer was to my question about him having evolved as an actor over the years. “This is honestly something that is not a question that should be posed to me. There are critics who critique films, like yourself. I cannot comment on my growth or the lack of it as an actor. It's very narcissistic, and just doesn't seem right. I'm not good at judging my own work. I'm not a good judge of it and I'm not the right person to be asked this question. People like you journalists who write about films, people who write about actors and their performances - those are the people who this question should be (posed to).” Take it or leave it, that’s Akshaye Khanna at his unfiltered best.

Tribute: Dilip Kumar, Legend, Thespian Of Many Parts

What make Dilip Kumar stand apart from other actors of his era are the different dimensions of his acting. The same Dilip Kumar, whose tribulations in "Devdas" or "Deedar" as the tragic lover brought tears to our eyes also manages to make us laugh through his jocund moments in "Kohinoor" and "Azaad". His seamless synthesis of this dichotomy played a major role in making him an on-screen persona cherished by millions. He was a method actor. The most important thing to notice was how he maintained a balance in his work. If in "Foot Path" he has done a realistic role where his character brings out the negative shades, "Deedar" shows love at its extreme where the lover forcefully blinds himself because his childhood lover doesn't remember him anymore. In "Aan" you find him as a typical hero of commercial cinema who rides horses, engages in sword fights with villains and protects his beloved from them. He became a complete entertainer in this film.

One can see the intensity of emotions in these movies. This was the reason that legendary director Bimal Roy cast him in milestone movies like "Madhumati", "Devdas" and "Yahudi". "Madhumati" Dilip Kumar will not only be remembered beis a film with many layers. It is a story of reincause he was an actor par excellence, but also because he re-lived his characters. Even without uttering a sin- carnation, timeless romance and feudalism. The gle word his eyes can be seen speaking a thousand entire film holds you throughout due to the marwords. Look at his character in Mehboob Khan's vellous acting skills of Dilip Kumar and Vyjayan"Amar", and you find grey shades, too. Dilip Kumar, thimala, soulful composition and it is most interthrough his eyes, conveyed resentment, guilt and re- esting to see how three different stories unfold and how they are finally linked. These compleximorse of a man who raped an innocent village girl. ties are well depicted by the great actor.

In each of his film, he relived the character. For "Kohinoor" he learnt the sitar. He played his roles with such depth that he went into depression after his tragic roles in "Devdas", "Daag" and "Deedar". One cannot forget to mention BR Chopra's "Naya Daur", which was based on the issue of industrialisation and how it affected the villages. Dilip Kumar played a 'tangewala' to perfection. "Aadmi" is also one of his finest films, where he portrayed the role of a wealthy man who was orphaned at an early age. His loneliness made him a complex person. Dilip Kumar had brought the inner conflicts of human emotions due to the situation so well. There is no end to this and a lot more can be said about Dilip Kumar the actor. It is difficult to believe that he left us. Actually, he never will because his works will always remind us that a legend was born. With his demise, it is the end of an era.


NRI Pulse

July 2021


NRI Pulse

July 2021

..... InVogue .....

Ethnic Fashion Is Always In

are here to stay. They are the perfect balance of grace and style. You can pair it up with the long, simple kurti. The heavy bell- bottomed palazzos different elegant accessories. with contrast embroidered kurti is a next level The latest 2021 ethnic fashion trend is here to ethnic appearance. Do not forget to wear classy stay for a long time, so it is time to glorify our desi earrings and high heels with hair open, charm and show off to people what's in fashion. 3. Floor-length Anarkali Suits 1. Traditional Sarees The ethnic fashion trend of Anarkali suits There is no doubt that glamorous sarees can originated in the Mughal times, and continues to bring the inner beauty out of any Indian woman. rule the fashion world. Today, they are in different Elegant silk sarees are always in. Whether it is a designs, colors, and patterns. They look fabulous wedding or any other auspicious occasion, the in- on women of all ages. Kundan work or zardozi tricate designs on pallus, handwork, and impres- make them a perfect party statement. A matching sive motifs are the main features of these elegant or contrast heavy dupatta works like a charm to silk sarees which never fail to charm the women add a little volume to the overall look. Pair with out there. Kanjeevaram, Banarasi, Mysore, and heavy jewelry, a clutch, and high wedges. Kota silk sarees are quite popular for their big borders and an extensive array of vibrant colors, For more info, contact Rani Sharma of designs, and patterns. Raneez Fine Boutique at 404-386-2062. 2. Palazzo Salwar with a Straight Kurti Palazzos and other wide hemmed bottoms

BY RANI SHARMA Fashion is dynamic and keeps evolving, but one thing that can never be replaced in the Indian fashion industry is the stylish and designer ethnic wear. No matter how much we love wearing and flaunting western outfits, ethnic Indian clothes always hold a special place in our hearts. Women of all ages now love flaunting their beauty and presence on different occasions with ethnic wear. In the year 2021, the ethnic fashion trend is ready to take a new turn. From sarees and salwar suits to lehengas, and kurtis, the enthusiastic ethnic fashion designers are coming up with new trends. Blended with the western, these new ethic wears are incredibly adaptable. They can be worn on a variety of events and can be combined with

..... What’s Cooking? ..... Minapa Sunni (Urad Dal Laddus)

P.S. LAKSHMI RAO plain sugar ½ Cup home made melted ghee Fry urad dal and rice or wheat grains in a dry pan on medium low heat stirring continuously until dal becomes light brown. Remove from the heat and cool dal completely in a plate. Blend until dal becomes soft powder. Mix urad dal powder and brown sugar. If the powder feels coarse

1 Cup urad dal (white) 1 Tablespoon rice or wheat grains 1 Cup brown sugar packed or

Wash bitter gourd and pat dry. Take out skin with the help of small knife and cut into slices. Take a mixing bowl; add sliced bitter gourds, turmeric, sugar, lemon juice mix it well until sugar get melts. Keep it aside for 15-20min After 15-20 min. wash them in running water. Take another bowl add slice washed bitter gourd, gram flour, rice flour, salt, red chili powder, and carom seeds and mix well. Add water as required and mix well, so that all slices are coated well with masala mixture. Meanwhile heat oil in a deep pan/kadai for deep frying. Once it's hot, add bitter gourd slices to the oil in batches. Fry on medium low flame on both sides till the bitter gourds are crispy. Remove them from oil and drain on absorbent paper Sprinkle chat masala on top. Serve with sweet chili sauce or tamarind chutney

Karele ke Chips

put it back in the blender and blend it for thirty seconds. Return the powder into the bowl and mix melted ghee. Make golf ball size balls. If the powder is too dry to make balls, add a teaspoon of the melted ghee.


Bitter gourd (karela) 2 No. (Medium) Turmeric powder 1 Tsp. Sugar 2 Tbsp. Lemon 1 No. Gram flour (besan) ½ cup Rice flour 2 Tbsp. Oil for deep Frying Salt to taste Red chili powder 1 Tsp. Carom seeds (ajwain) 1 Tsp. Chaat masala 1 Tsp. Water as required


NRI Pulse

July 2021


NRI Pulse

July 2021

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