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VOICE OF ASIA
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
28 years ofFort dedicated service toCounties the community Serving Harris, Bend and Surrounding for 29 years Vol. 30 No. 14 Friday, April 7 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail: email@example.com
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FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
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VOICE OF ASIA voiceofasiaonline.com
28 years dedicated service toCounties the community Serving Harris,ofFort Bend and Surrounding for 29 years
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
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Vol. 30 No. 14 Friday, April 7, 2017 • Published Weekly from Houston • 713-774-5140 24 Pages ( 2 sections) 50 cents E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pratham fundraiser sets a new record high, raises $1.4m at its 22nd Anniversary Gala by Shobana Muratee HOUSTON (April 5, 2017)– The local chapter of Pratham USA held a sold-out fundraiser on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at the Hilton Americas, Galleria to an audience of 800 guests and supporters of Pratham. Special Guest Sushmita Sen, former Miss Universe 1994, Bollywood actress and single mother to her two daughters Renee, 17 and Alisha, 7 years old, spoke passionately about the importance of education. Reminiscing about her role as a world figure and what her father Subir Sen, an officer in
the Indian Air Force had once told her, she said “If you want to know yourself, the place you have in this world, you need to educate yourself.” Sen was schooled at Kendriya Vidhyalay government-run schools all over India for children of servicemen, who are tend to move home every three years. Without such a system it would have been challenging for children, Sen expressed. Addressing hundreds of Pratham’s supporters present that night, she said, “You are people from back home and people who have made a difference to our home.”
Ash Shah, President, Pratham Houston welcomed the gathering and shared his experience with the organization. “Pratham struck a deep chord in my heart because of its low-cost, scalable model that can dramatically change the grassroots foundation of India’s children and her youth,” he said. Shah is a prominent Houston businessman who is involved with several other charitable institutes. “The vicious cycle of illiteracy that leads to child labor, to early marriages, to perpetual poverty - generation after gen-
Pratham Houston’s Vice President, Asha Dhume, and President, Ash Shah, (far right) with special Guest Sushmita Sen at the Pratham gala. Photo credit: Bijay DIxit.
Continued on Page 8
Mayor Turner to Recognize Historically Significant Day for Sikhs play in the city hall rotunda from April 10-30.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner
OUSTON - Mayor Sylvester Turner will be proclaiming Vaisakhi Day in the city of Houston at 10 a.m., Thursday, April 13 at Houston City Hall. At the same time, the city will also be showcasing select images from the Sikh Project, a photography exhibition highlighting Sikh American stories of perseverance, progress and determination. The photography exhibit will be on dis-
“Houston is a city rich in diversity and culture,” said Mayor Turner. “We celebrate, respect and draw
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Pageant Director, Ruchika Dias with ex-Miss India and actress Pooja Batra (right). Read report on Page 9
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strength from our differences. That is why I am excited to be signing this year’s Vaisakhi proclamation
in commemoration of one the most historically significant days for the Sikh community. I invite each and every Houstonian to join us for this occasion.” Sikhs have been a vital part of the American fabric for over 125 years. The portraits captured in this exhibition embody the beauty and diversity of the community and recognize the challenges and triumphs of what it means to be Sikh in America. It includes portraits of Sikh Americans of various backgrounds including an Army officer, Deputy Sheriff, doctor and musician. The project, first conceived by British photographers, Amit and Naroop, launched to critical acclaim in London in 2014. In 2015, Amit and Naroop began a partnership with the Sikh Coalition to create a U.S. edition of the project. This version includes Singhs and Kaurs (men and women). The result is a collection of images that captures the depth of the Sikh American experience. The Sikh Project has received extensive media coverage, including in BBC, AP News, CNN, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Mic.com and Mashable.
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VOICE OF ASIA Publisher: Associate Publisher: Editor-in-Chief: Austin Correspondent: Print & Media Marketing: Marketing Director: Office Manager:
Koshy Thomas Sherly Philip Shobana Muratee Sherine Thomas Jacob David Susan Pothanikat Priyan Mathew
Columnists: Legal: Richard M. Alderman Legal: Sharlene Sharmila Richards Research: Prof. Meenakshi Bhattacharjee Health Insurance: Sudhir Mathuria Astrology: Hardik Vyas
by the Daily News Editorial Board
n a slaughter for which there must be swift and sure consequences, Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, who has already killed hundreds of thousands of Syrians, has yet again unleashed chemical weapons, breaking, once more, the international law of war. He murdered children. He burned their lungs, left them gasping for air. And then, according to witnesses, a regime airstrike attacked a clinic treating victims, one called to duty because the area’s largest hospital was hit by Assad’s air force just two days before.
In response, President Trump has rightly condemned the attack — and unhelpfully placed responsibility in part at the feet of Barack Obama, for failing to act in the face of a 2013 chemical weapons attack.
Blame-shifting will not protect a single Syrian or send a message to other dictators who
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
Assad’s crime, our burden might similarly tempt the will of the world.
have softened the U.S. posture toward the dictator.
Chemical weapons are banned under global treaties to which the U.S. and Syria are signatories. As the world’s most powerful nation and its putative moral leader, it now falls to America to rally the world to act, or to act on its own.
Days ago, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the “longerterm status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people” — parroting the precise language of Assad’s apologists. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said America’s “priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out.”
The victims this time were in Khan Sheikhoun, with more than 70 dead and many more injured. Reports say more than 100 people suffered spasms, paralysis, fluid in the lungs and foaming at the mouth — all symptoms consistent with sarin nerve gas, the same poison that killed more than 1,000 four years ago. To see the images is to shudder. But for human beings with a moral compass, looking away is not an option.
Given Assad’s brutal campaign to kill enemies of all stripes, this dark day was predictable. Yet from the start, Trump and his administration, singularly focused on the evil that is ISIS, and strangely cozy with Vladimir Putin’s Russia,
Trump today joined a chorus of sickened world leaders, declaring that Assad’s “reprehensible” attack “cannot be ignored by the civilized world.” In the next breath, he called “the heinous actions” “a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution.” Only one man sits behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office now. It falls to him alone to demonstrate genuine strength in the face of criminal brutality.
All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the consent of the publisher. Voice of Asia assumes no liability resulting from action taken based on the information included herein. Published weekly by Free Press LLC, 8303 SW Freeway, Suite # 325, Houston, TX 77074. Tel: 713-774-5140. Fax: 713-7745143. Email for editorial submissions: firstname.lastname@example.org; Email for advertising inquiries and submissions: ads@ voiceofasiagroup.com It is the policy of Voice of Asia to publish letters to the editor which evidence a variety of viewpoints. The opinions expressed in any particular letter to the editor are not necessarily those of the management. Voice of Asia welcomes letters in reply to issues raised in letters to editor. In as much letters to the editor are not articles written or researched by members of Voice of Asia, it is not the policy of the Voice of Asia to perform any investigation or confirmation of any facts or allegations contained in letters to the editor. Moreover, Voice of Asia reserves the right to edit letters to the editor as necessary to correct errors of fact, punctuation, spelling and to comply with space constraints. Although paid advertisements may appear in Voice of Asia Group Publications in print, online, or in other electronic formats, the Voice of Asia Group does not endorse the advertised product, service, or company, nor any of the claims made by the advertisement. - The Publisher
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COMMUNITY VOICE OF ASIA
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
Second Front Page
Daya Annual Gala - Empowering women against domestic abuse
Consul General Ray receives high accolades for leadership
in 3 women still experience domestic violence worldwide. This is a serious public health concern that requires tremendous investment from the community to tackle. Daya Inc. is a Houston nonprofit organization that supports South Asian women and families who are trying to break the cycle of domestic and sexual violence to reclaim their lives. On March 31, 2017 Daya held its annual gala luncheon chaired by Annu Naik, Farida Abjani, and Dr. Sippi Khurana. This year’s theme was “Around the World in 80 Days”, a story of two strangers embark on an adventure filled with difficult challenges and extraordinary accomplishment. This journey is much like that of the Daya client. Daya clients overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles hand in hand with advocates and volunteers. And what a journey it has been for Daya! In 1996, seven friends established the Daya helpline to provide culturally specific services to South Asian survivors of family violence. Today, Daya’s licensed counselors and advocates serve about 300 clients annually with counseling, safety planning, and housing, legal and financial assistance. Daya celebrated 21 years of support from volunteers and donors who have helped the organization grow to an invaluable, professional resource for the city of Houston. They crowd honored the thousands of families that have regained their independence and safety because of Daya and heard from previous clients as well as special keynote speaker, Stephanie von Stein. Ms. von Stein is a successful business woman and survivor of domestic abuse who spoke about how domestic violence, verbal abuse, and sexual abuse occurs in every neighborhood, and every socioeconomic group. The crowd renewed their commitment to the many South Asian families affected by family violence. Daya provides trauma-informed counseling, in-depth safety planning, housing and financial assistance, and advocating for high quality legal representation, education, and health – all with a multi-lingual, cultural lens. For more information, to donate, or to volunteer, visit www. dayahouston.org. If you or someone you know needs help, call the Daya helpline from 9am to 5pm at 713981-7645.
Daya President Sesh Bala with Stephanie von Stein and Rachna, Daya Exe Dir.
Gala Co-Chairs Farida Abjani, Dr. Sippi Khurana and Annu Naik with Rachna.
Consul General of India in Houston Dr. Anupam Ray at the recent Makein India Conference. Photo credit: Jessica Ngo/Asia Society Texas Center
ake in India Conference Chair Jiten Agarwal and Co-Chair Jagdip Ahluwalia attribute the conference’s success to Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray’s leadership. His vision, perspective and constant guidance from identifying acclaimed speakers, suggesting relevant topics to his assistance in inviting the panelists helped make the conference an extremely engaging and informative one. The success of the inaugural conference to encourage investors to look towards India as an attractive investment destination has provided the impetus to make this an annual event as well as reach out to a wider business group. We also appreciate the great team work and spirit of cooperation from our sponsors and partner organizations in enabling us to organize this unique conference. Partner organizations: Consulate of India, Houston, India House, Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston, Asia Society, Greater Houston Partnership, World Affairs Council, Dallas, Fort Worth, US India Skills & Education Council (USISEC), University of Houston. Daya Directors, former presidents and founding members.
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FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
Federal Appeals Court Rules that Sexual Orientation Discrimination is Prohibited in the Workplace
The People’s Lawyer www.peopleslawyer.net Richard M. Alderman Interim Dean of the Law Center
Landlord may be able to take tenant’s property Q. My friend was late on her rent at an apartment complex. One day she came home and found a lien notice where her TV used to be. They took both of her TVs in the apartment. Isn’t this stealing!!! Is this legal for them to do? A. This is stealing if someone else were to do it, but probably not when it is the landlord. Under Texas law, a landlord may have a “landlord’s lien” on the tenant’s property, and may be able to take some property if the rent is not paid. For such a lien to exist it must be written in the lease and be bold or underlined. If there is no such provision in the lease, the landlord has no right to take the property. A landlord also may take only certain property. The list of protected property includes wearing apparel, food, some furniture, children’s toys and a car. Electronic equipment, such as a television is not protected and may be taken. If the landlord takes any property, he must leave a notice telling you what he took and what you must do to get it back. A landlord who violates this law is responsible for all the tenant’s damages, plus a penalty of $500 or one month’s rent, whichever is greater. To learn more about the landlord’s lien, look at the landlord tenant section on my website, www.peopleslawyer. net. Q. My tenant wants to buy an above-ground pool and a trampoline for her children. These items will be housed on my property that she currently rents. What do I need to do to make sure that I will not be held liable for any acci-
dents/incidents that could/ may occur? A. First, as a general rule, a landlord is not liable for incidents that occur on rented property. Any potential liability would rest with the tenant. The landlord may, however, be responsible if the injured person was able to prove that the landlord himself was negligent. For example, if the lease prohibited a trampoline, and the landlord knew the tenant installed one and did not take reasonable steps to have it removed, the landlord might be considered negligent and responsible if someone was injured playing on it. I suggest you first read the lease and determine if the tenant has the right to install the pool and trampoline. If he does not, be sure to make him aware of the lease provisions. If he does have the right, let him know you expect he will take precautions to insure everything is properly installed and safe and that any use by others is properly supervised. Of course, the best way to protect yourself is to make sure you always have sufficient insurance to cover any costs of a lawsuit and well as any potential liability arising from your rental property. Q. My son purchased a vehicle, but did not have good credit. I had to sign as a cosigner. He has now been paying the note on time for over three years and has established good credit. I want to buy a house and it is hurting my credit to be a co-signer on his note. What can I do to have my name removed? A. As I have said before, don’t co-sign unless you are willing to pay and willing to be obligated to pay
until the note is paid-off. The only way you can have your name removed is for the creditor to agree to remove it, or for your son to refinance in his own name. The creditor is under no legal obligation to remove a co-signer, even if there is no longer any need for one. I suggest you talk with the creditor to see if it will agree to refinance the note in only your son’s name, or see if someone else will refinance the car for him. If his credit is good you should be able to work something out. Q. My father recently died. In his will he left me $25,000. What else am I entitled to? My brothers and sisters get much more than I do. A. When a person dies with a will, the will determines how the deceased’s property is divided after death. All of the people who receive property pursuant to the will are called beneficiaries. If the will leaves one beneficiary a sum of money that is all that person is entitled to. It doesn’t matter if others receive more or less than you do. There is no law that says brothers and sisters must receive equal shares of the estate. The only additional property you might be entitled to would be property left to you in a joint account or an account on which you were the beneficiary. For example, your father might have a life insurance policy that names you as the beneficiary. The proceeds of that policy would go directly to you and would not be part of the estate, distributed in accordance with the terms of the will. I suggest you speak with the attorney probating the will.
Do you want to know more about your legal rights? Check out my website, www.peopleslawyer.net
Nitin Sud, Board Certified Labor and Employment Attorney
On April 4, 2017, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals became the first federal appellate court in the country to rule that sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace is included within the term “sex” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of a person’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin). For decades, courts have refused to rule that sexual orientation discrimination is an illegal form of discrimination in the workplace, the logic being that the statute prevents “sex” (but not “sexual orientation”) discrimination. However, the Seventh Circuit
finally recognized that the change in how courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have interpreted and applied other laws, justify a change in this antiquated rule. The court specifically pointed out that, after the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Obergefell v. Hodges, which recognized the rights of same-sex couples to marry, “bizarre results ensue from the current regime” such that it creates “a paradoxical legal landscape in which a person can be married on Saturday and then fired on Monday for just that act.” It also flipped the standard prior argument against protection, and noted that it “would require considerable calisthenics to remove the ‘sex’ from ‘sexual orientation.’” Indeed, “sexual harassment” has been considered illegal in the workplace since the mid 1980’s based on the term “sex” in Title VII, so why not “sexual orientation?” Finally, the court concluded by taking into account “common-sense reality that it is actually impossible discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation without discriminating on the basis
of sex.” This decision is a significant step in progress and finally gives an additional class of workers much needed protection. It is quite possible that other courts will follow in this court’s logic; however, the U.S. Supreme Court may soon also directly address the issue. Disclaimer:This article is for general information purposes and is not to be construed as specific legal advice. Bio Board Certified Labor and Employment Attorney Nitin Sud represents employees, executives, and small businesses in the following matters: Litigation in state and federal courts, Wrongful termination and employment discrimination claims, Overtime claims, Employment contracts, Severance agreements, Non-compete and nonsolicitation matters. For more information, visit www.sudemploymentlaw.com
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FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
FORT BEND VIEW
Sugar Land, Katy, Stafford, Missouri City, Richmond, Rosenberg and Meadows Place
Vedic Fair 6 opens with 108 Fort Bend Distracted driving crashes lotus petals welcome in Katy ISD students increase in Fort Bend Since 2010, such accidents also rise in Harris and qualify for Montgomery counties: TxDOT reports national Vedic Fair’s 6th event on Saturday, April 8, 2017 DECA A competition by Anna Dembowski
ORT BEND (April 4, 2017) – More than 100 Fort Bend ISD students, representing seven high schools, will travel to Anaheim, California in April to compete at the DECA International Career Development Conference. Students representing Austin, Bush, Clements, Dulles, Elkins, Ridge Point and Travis High Schools will compete in a variety of categories that will showcase their knowledge in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. A scene from ‘Krishna the Blue Man’ enacted at the Vedic Fair in 2015
EDIC FAIR 6 – Celebrate India, India’s LifeStyle Show for all will happen on coming Saturday April 8th, 2017 from 3:30 PM to 9:00 PM at Cinco Ranch High School, 23440 Cinco Ranch Blvd, Katy, TX. A hit for last 5 years, the euphoria to its sequel isn’t that surprising. As Vedic Fair is approaching Ashirwad’s artists, participants and supporting vendors are enthralled and looking forward to its 6th iteration. VEDIC FAIR 6 will be a complete family event to celebrate India’s LifeStyle and it covers length and breadth of India. Admission to the fair is FREE and Parking is FREE. Preparations for this unique Fair has started since December 2016.
udra Manthan”, The Churning of Ocean Diorama made up with 108 Lotus petals, where visitors can strike a pose to take pictures. Exhibit presentations to Celebrate India, Free How 2 Workshops on Rangoli, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Yoga, Meditation and Classical Dance. Kids show - “Rise of Fortune”, to illuminate the origin of Goddess Laxmi, Keep your fingers crossed for “Divine Surprise 6”. Do not miss Signature event a Rare
On Saturday April 8th,2017 Vedic Fair 6 promises to bring this festive and entertaining event to Greater Houston.
“Sloka-Thon” Live on stage contest. Vedic Bazaar at Vedic Fair will bring variety of Indian Ethnic Apparel, Jewelry, henna, face painting and variety of food delicacies from samosa chat to vada paav to soya biryani. Vedic Fair 6 grand finale is prime time play “Goddess Laxmi – The Divine 8” directed by Geetha Ravula, Vedic Fair chair, presented in Hindi with English narration.
The highlights of Vedic Fair 6 on Saturday April 8th, 2017 are “Sam-
Continued on Page 8
“DECA helps prepare our students for real world careers by allowing them to apply knowledge gained in class to real world competitive events,” said Crystal Mills, FBISD assistant director of Career and Technical Education. “Through their participation, these students will acquire the leadership and professional expertise necessary to advance them to their next level of academic and career success.” DECA is an international organization that’s designed to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. Eighteen thousand members will attend the international conference in April to participate in competitive events, attend emerging leader series, and visit college and career exhibits. FBISD students first competed in the District III DECA competition on January 14, 2017 at Ridge Point High School. Students qualified for nationals at the state-level competition held in February in San Antonio.
USTIN - Traffic crashes linked to distracted driving increased 3 percent statewide from 2015 to 2016, totaling 108,962 crashes last year, according to a March 30 statement from the Texas Department of Transportation. To spread awareness of the growing trend, TxDOT hosts its “Talk, Text, Crash” public safety campaign in April. According to TxDOT data, the number of distracted driving crashes in Harris County increased 45.6 percent between 2010 and 2015, growing from 9,786 incidents to 14,250 incidents. Distracted driving crashes in Montgomery County increased by 52.8 percent during the same time period, and crashes in Fort Bend County increased by 27.6 percent between 2010 and 2015. According to a statement from TxDOT, 1 in 5 traffic crashes in Texas is caused by distracted driving. In addition, distracted driving crashes are highest among drivers ages 16-34. More than 450 people died in traffic crashes across the state as a result of distracted driving in 2016. An additional 3,000 individuals were seriously injured from the incidents, the statement said. In Fort Bend, Harris and Montgomery counties, distracted driving resulted in several fatalities between 2010 and 2015, according to TxDOT data.
To remind drivers of the consequences of distracted driving, TxDOT hosts its “Talk, Text, Crash” campaign throughout the month of April in honor of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The campaign asks drivers to limit high-risk activities, such as using a mobile phone, adjusting a music player, grooming, eating and programming a navigation system, while driving. “People are dying on Texas roadways because drivers are diverting their attention from the road to talk on a phone, send a text, post to social media or engage in some other distracting behavior,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “When drivers take their focus off the road, they put themselves, their passengers and others at risk. It’s just not worth it.” Here are five tips from TxDOT to help eliminate distracted driving and its fatal results: • Put away or turn off a phone before driving a vehicle. • Pull over to a safe location if talking or texting is necessary. • Use an app that blocks texts and calls while driving. • Notify other individuals that their calls and texts will not be answered while driving. • Be fully focused on driving. • To learn more about TxDOT’s campaign, visit the agency’s website: www.txdot.gov (-CommunityImpact News)
VOICE OF ASIA 8
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
Pratham fundraiser sets a new record high, raises $1.4m...... Continued from Page 1 eration - can all be eliminated when we remove the weakest link - the lack of education and that is what Pratham strives for.” Recognizing Pratham’s leaders, Shah highlighted support, particularly Deepak Raj, President of Pratham USA, Dr. Rukmini Banerjee, CEO of Pratham, Vijay and Marie Goradia, Swatantra and Bimla Jain, Hemant and Indrani Goradia. Notably thanking Consul General of India Dr. Anupam Ray and Sushmita Sen, Shah said, “Last year, we invited fashion designer Manish Malhotra and this year we are graced with the presence of Sushmita Sen. I guess we can finally say: “Houston, We are Happening!” The gala had 4 Co-Chairs and the 3 Honorary Chairs. Asha Dhume, Vice President, Pratham Houston spoke of Pratham unique, scalable model which educates a child for the entire year for as low as $25. It has impacted the lives of over 45 million children in the last 2 decades. Pratham has also been making tremendous strides in the field of vocational guidance and women empowerment as well, giving so many a second chance for a quality of life. The gala’s 4 Co-Chairs and the 3 Honorary Chairs were recognized on the occasion. Casey
ence with Pratham and urged everyone to give to a benevolent cause like Pratham. Together they made a contribution of $500 to Pratham. The pledge drive was incredibly elevating and generated a positive energy through
Curry, Meteorologist at KTRKABC13 in Houston served as the Mistress of Ceremonies. Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray in his message mentioned that Indian Americans are making headlines and are being featured in Times Square, CNN, New York Times, People Magazine, and many others, “because Houston Indians give, and that is the tradition of the Indian community here,” he said, referring to the recent event when India House gave $100.000 to Ian Grillot, the American hero. And then in a motivational spirit he asked, “Can you beat that?”
Vedic Fair ..... Continued from Page 7
Marie Goradia, presenting a plaque to Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray. Photos by Bijay Dixit.
Dr. Ray spoke of India’s economic advancements, “But we will not be a great nation,” he said, “until we take everybody along; until every boy and girl in India has a chance to go to school, get an education and to be what they want to be.” Dr. Ray was later honored and presented with a plaque by Marie Goradia, past president of Pratham Houston. Pratham has been actively engaging in promoting Pratham Young Professionals (PYP) to spread awareness and Houston is the first PYP chapters in the US, with Hardik Shah as its president. Krish Shah and Aryan Shah, young sons of Ash Shah, shared their experi-
the rest of the evening. Guests were treated to dinner sumptously catered by Madras Pavilion, after which was the entertainment segment was provided by Rice University’s Rasika Dance Troupe.
Last year’s Vedic Fair 5 attended by 2500+ Houstonians was another nonesuch festive, entertaining and educating event that wowed attendees starting from Saket Loka diorama, to Celebrate INDIA Exhibits to FREE Workshops to Vedic Bazaar with many varieties of food.
Vedic Fair Sloka-Thon Live on Stage
A Grand Finale prime-time stage play, “Rama – Lord of 16” was presented. The stage play - expertly directed by event chair Geetha Ravula - kept audience captivated, with grand stage props built by Ashirwad A Blessing Temple’s Team.
Swatantra Jain and wife Bimla Jain presenting a plaque to Special Guest Sushmita Sen.
One of the previous presenters at Vedic Fair says “I feel Vedic Fair was a really interesting event because it presents many different aspects of India, its rich heritage, culture and values. It is really helpful for youth like me and older and younger generations. It not only helped me in my own research for presenting The Third Eye concept but I also learned from other’s presentations.” For updates visit facebook.com/
Sloka-Thon winner from earlier Vedic Fair. VedicFair. And for more information, email VedicFair@gmail.com or call 281-788-2286.
Prathan Houston Directors, Founding members, former presidents, supporters and volunteers. Photo credit: Bijay DIxit.
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VOICE OF ASIA 9
Bollywood Shake crowns its new winners of Teen, Miss & Mrs. Bollywood 2017 Pageant
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
Consul General Ray hosts reception in honor of VSGH’s visiting Swami
Consul General, Dr. Anupam Ray, introducing Sw. Sarvadevanandaji and Sw. Vedaswarupanandaji during a reception he held in their honor. Pic credit Sanchali by Sanchali Basu
The winners of Bollywood Shake’s 5th Annual Pageant 2017. Contestants were from all over the US
ollywood Shake hosted its 5th Annual Bollywood Pageant USA 2017 celebrating Beauty with a Purpose on March 26th, 2017 at the Stafford Civic Center. This year’s show, under the direction of Pageant Director, Ruchika Dias, was extremely entertaining, glamorous and inspiring with contestants from all over USA competing for the coveted titles of Teen, Miss and Mrs Bollywood USA 2017! This year’s competition featured contestants from New York, New Jersey, California, North Carolina, Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, Dallas, Austin, Houston and a surprise contestant all the way from Germany!! The contestants spent 3 days in Houston preparing and practicing for their big day! The esteemed panel of judges included ex-Miss India and actress Pooja Batra, Founder & CEO of HumFM Rehan Siddiqi, Celebrity Chef Roshni Gurnani, Cardiologist and Bravo TV Star Dr. Monica Patel. This year’s performances included singer Salman Mithani, Bollywood Pageant Theme Song by rap artist
Rocko Stedy and a spectacular fashion show by Dress Galaxy. Emcees of the show were Mrs. Bollywood 2015 Shruthi Bekal and Mr. Bollywood 2014 Waqas Syed. Ms. Chitra Divakaruni, award winning author, was the recipient of the 2017 Beauty with a Purpose Award. Ruchika Dias, Founder Chitra Divakaruni (R) was the recipient of the & CEO of Bollywood 2017 Beauty with a Purpose Award. Shake, has organized the York Life, iGlo Medspa, DJ Impact, Bollywood Pageants for Jasleen Kaur Photography, Fashion the past 5 years featuring renowned Face Houston, Universal Bakery & Bollywood celebrity guests including Snacks and Café India. Preity Zinta, Raveena Tandon, Neha Dhupia and Meenakshi Seshadri and Congratulations to this year’s winhas been featured on ABC 13, Fox 26, ners!! TV-Asia and B4U TV. In addition to Miss Teen Bollywood USA 2017 running a Bollywood dance school – Manjari Parikh, 1st Runner-Up – and hosting their own radio show, Devika Mathilakath, 2nd Runner-Up Bollywood Shake organizes events – Jamie Mathew like the New Year’s Eve Gala. Miss Bollywood USA 2017 – Pooja Special thanks to our sponsors – Gohil, 1st Runner-Up – Akhila Kumar, B4U TV, 106.1 HumFM, Official 2nd Runner-Up – Divya Kannegenti Beauty Partner D’Elegance Salon & Day Spa, Designer Dress Galaxy Mrs Bollywood USA 2017 – Nadia by Ruby Ashraf, Deco Art, Realtor Neubert, 1st Runner-Up – Rutvi ChauShaneel Mitha, Amir Dodhiya of New han, 2nd Runner-Up – Chandni Pal
n honor of Sw. Sarvadevanandaji, the minister and spiritual leader of the Vedanta Society of Southern California and Sw. Vedaswarupanandaji, resident monk of Vedanta Society of Greater Houston (VSGH), a reception was held at the residence of Consul General of India in Houston Dr. Anupam Ray on Friday, March 31. It was attended by some eminent personalities of the Houston community, including prominent cardiologist, Dr. Virendra Mathur, classical music maestro, Pandit Suman Ghosh, HSS leaders Mr. Arun Sharma and Madhukar Adi. Dr. Anupam Ray welcomed the guests and talked about his close association with the monks of the Ramakrishna Order of India, since he did his neurosurgery residency at Shishu Mangal, a Ramakrishna Seva Pratisthan hospital in Kolkata. He reveres all swamis of this order and bows down to them for their selfless dedication towards spreading the message of tolerance and acceptance, and helping communities in times of distress. Swami Sarvadevanandaji, emphasized the same message when he talked about the principles on which the Ramakrishna order operates. It spreads the Vedantic philosophy of the practiced principle by Sri Ramakrishna that, “All religious paths lead to the same goal - that is realization of God.” He repeatedly quoted Swami Vivekananda in how he was instrumental in stressing the importance of, and spreading this message worldwide.
The event was also attended by some of the board members of VSGH. The resident monk Sw. Vedaswarupanandaji arrived in Houston in December, last year and the center activities have picked up pace since then. Vedanta Society of Greater Houston is a spiritual non-profit organization founded in 2003. The aim of the society is to conduct spiritual programs that bring a better understanding of the vedantic concepts. Weekly programs and classes are conducted with this aim. Monthly retreats are conducted by Swamis (monks) visiting from all over America and abroad. Classes on a variety of topics are held at the society’s center every Sunday at 10:30 am. Temple is open every morning from 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM and in the evenings from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM (except during weekly evening classes). All classes are open to public. Weekly Sunday lectures and classes on scriptures are being held along with daily worship, Arati and bhajan singing. Throughout the year there are several functions held by the Society including: the worships of the Divine Mother Durga, Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda, and Shiva Ratri; the adoration of Jesus Christ; birthdays of the direct disciples of Sri Ramamkrishna; and a musical evening with performers from both the eastern and western musical traditions. Please visit www.houstonvedanta. org for further information and upcoming events.
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VOICE OF ASIA 10
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
Immanuel Marthoma Church Sevika Sangham host World Day of Prayer
orld day of Prayer was celebrated in Houston on March 11th Saturday, Hosted by Immanuel Marthoma Church Sevika Sangham. About 100 women participated from Trinity Marthoma Church, St. Thomas Evangelical Church, CSI churches and Immanuel Marthoma Church. The Theme for 2017, “Am I being unfair to you” was chosen by World Day of Prayer Committee of Philippines, which was an insight to Jesus parable from St. Matthew 20:1-16. Service started with opening song by ecumenical world day of prayer Choir led by Mrs. Asha Mathews (wife of Rev. Mathews Philip of Trinity). Rev. Johnson Unnithan of Immanuel Marthoma Church who was presiding the meeting welcomed the gathering. Mrs. Jincy Philip (wife of Rev. Philip Philip of Trinity) gave an inspiring
Immanuel Marthoma Church Sevika Sangham members with the Bishops. Prayer Choir led by Mrs. Asha Mathews message based on the theme and called for “extraordinary prayer”. She emphasized the need for unconditional prayer, and praying for others with one accord. Meeting was concluded with vote of thanks by
Bhagwat Gita in Urdu translation presented to PM Modi
Selman Khan and his wife meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on their recent visit to India. On 15 March, 2017, Selman Khan and his wife met with Prime Minister Modi during thier visit to India and presented him with a copy of the Urdu translation of Bhagwat Gita done by his father late Ajmal Khan (Member of Parliament) who was a lifelong associate cum secretary of Maulana Azad. The book was first published in 1936.The book has a foreword by Dr. Bhagwan Dass eminent Sanskrit scholar and a Bharat Ratana. In the book the author has tried to highlight the good teachings of Gita, besides the translation, and compared the teachings with other holy books to show all religions are equal. “In this connection I may add that I have met all the PMs of India right from Nehru to Vajpayee jee but my meeting with Modi ji was the best. Not only he is a great PM he is a great human being,” says Selman Khan.
Lata Mathews sevika sanghom Secretary of immanuel, closing prayer and Benediction by Rev.
Mathews Philip of Trinity, and followed by a fellowship lunch. Program was co-ordinated by
Kunjumol Varghese of Immanuel. Offertory collected will be send to world day of prayer
committee Philippines for their various charity projects among women.
VOICE OF ASIA 11
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
VOICE OF ASIA 12
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
VOICE OF ASIA 13
Business VOICE OF ASIA
TiE Houston hosts panel discussion on Oil and Gas in the Global Energy Mix
The topic of the discussion was ‘Oil and Gas in the Global Energy Mix’ - hydrocarbons and the lower carbon transition - what are the opportunities for enterprises large, medium and startup?
Thrive Nutrition Company Opens in Houston
OUSTON - (March 30, 2017) - TiE Houston presented: Opportunities for Large/Medium Enterprises and Startups in Global Energy Mix of Oil and Gas sponsored by Halliburton. They welcomed Janeed Judah, Chevron & SPE President, Greg Powers, VP Technology, Halliburton, and Hossam El Badawy, President & CEO, O&G Technologies as panelists with Dr. Sham Shenoy, Chief Technology Officer, The RBR Group & TiE Houston Board Member, moderating. The evening began with a sellout crowd gathering to connect and network. Ana Rojas Bastidas, TiE Houston Executive Director, shared the latest TiE Global news and welcomed TiE Houston’s new members. Dr. Arun Pasrija, TiE Houston President, gave a brief introduction of TiE shared its mission is to foster entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking, and education. Dr. Pasrija mentioned that TiE, with 56 chapters across 17 countries with 11,000 members and 2,800 charter members, is celebrating its 25 year anniversary this year. Charter Members, who are successful entrepreneurs and/or business executives, make the pillars of each chapter. They commit their time to help next generation of entrepreneurs - a “leveraged give back” which creates jobs, economic activities and wealth in the community. Dr. Pasrija thanked Halliburton for sponsoring the event. Aruna Viswanathan, TiE Houston Past President and Board Member introduced and welcomed moderator, Dr. Ram Shenoy.
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
Grand Opening on April 8, 2017
OUSTON - Vitamins and Such, a health food store dedicated to the health and well-being of its customers since 1999, is now Thrive Nutrition. Thrive Nutrition is committed to providing the best possible service and prices. With three convenient locations and over 6000 products, Thrive Nutrition caters to the needs of most age groups and health conditions.
From left to right: Dr. Ram Shenoy - Chief Technology Officer, The RBR Group (TiE Houston Board Member), Janeed Judah - Chevron & SPE President, Greg Powers - VP Technology, Halliburton, Dr. Arun Pasrija - Tie Houston President, Hossam El Badawy - President & CEO at O&G Technologies. The oil and gas industry has gone through a wrenching period in the last 2 years. Imagine an industry that has seen revenues fall 50-70% in an 18-24 month period, and ripple effects through its cost structure as it responds. Companies that previously could break even at an oil price of $90 per barrel are now touting that they can break even at prices of $40-$50 per barrel, and some claim that their cost structures allow them to break even below $30 per barrel. A lot of the change has come about through the adoption of technology and innovation, as well as ruthless streamlining of operational practices developed during a decade of a booming oil industry. Today’s outlook for energy supply and demand is very unclear. Despite an unprecedented cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC countries to curtail supply, the shale
revolution in the United States and a slowing global economy have led to supply consistently outpacing demand in the last 24 months. In 2017, cuts in production by the Opec countries appear to be partially offset by growing production in the United States. At the same time, as a result on COP 21, many countries are increasing their commitments to alternatives to hydrocarbons - coal, oil and gas - most notably China and India. Renewables continue to make strides towards economic competitiveness at scale. And some predict not “peak supply” but “peak demand” for oil, as parts of the world transition away, while others are confident in the supremacy of oil and gas for the next 4-5 decades, as the world grows from 7 billion people today to 9 billon people by 2050.
cessfully navigate this uncertainty, stand to reap huge rewards. The distinguished panel discussed this topic from a number of perspectives: a large integrated oil company, an integrated oilfield services provider, and an early stage oil & gas technology venture capitalist. The discussion, with participant Q&A, included: • the macroeconomics of supply and demand for the global economy;
The entire Thrive Nutrition team is excited to bring our passion for healthy living to Houston. Your Health is our Business! The grand opening will be held on Saturday April 8, 2017 at Thrive Nutrition, located on 3135 West Holcombe Blvd. from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Drawings, door
• the role that technology and innovation has played and will continue to play over the next 5 years as the oil and gas industry evolves and its response to alternatives competitors; • the opportunities that big and small companies can pursue for success. TiE Houston is actively engaged in the local community working collaboratively with
prizes, food and family fun will be at the event. Amrita Menon, founder of Vitamins and Such, now Thrive Nutrition, and has been dedicated to the health and well being of her customers for over a decade. After applying her experience and life-long passion to find the best possible natural supplements for her family, Amrita’s involvement in the natural health industry developed into an online store and an eventual brick-andmortar location in Kingwood in 2000. Since opening the store, her love for a healthy lifestyle has led her to continuously further her education and receive advanced certifications. She is excited about the new name and the continued enthusiasm of her loyal customers.
local startup incubators, accelerators, universities, and conetworking spaces to co-host workshops and events targeted at the broader community. Their next event will a networking social on April 5, 2017 as they welcome the winning TiE TISC teams from Europe and Asia. For more details visit: www.houston.tie.org
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VOICE OF ASIA 14
Tibetan fashion hits the Beijing runway
Models wear creations from Aj-Namo’s Tibetan-inspired collection during China Fashion Week in Beijing on March 30, 2017 (AFP Photo/Nicolas Asfouri) EIJING, China | AFP | Face painted yellow and white with long braids draping her shoulders, a model in voluminous grey robes walks down the runway -an image of Tibetan grace in the heart of China’s political power.
It was the first appearance of an ethnic Tibetan designer’s creation at Beijing’s twice yearly fashion week, now in its 20th year. Aj-Namo, who hails from a predominantly Tibetan area in the southwestern province of Sichuan, first made her name as a singer, but has since branched out into clothing. Today she is known for her eponymous AJ-NAMO brand and is based in Beijing. At the show, not far from Beijing’s vast Great Hall of the People next to Tiananmen Square, the centre of the universe in Chinese politics, a stream of Tibetan and Han Chinese models
paraded colourful outfits inspired by Tibetan attire but altered to suit contemporary tastes. It was a moving moment for Aj-Namo, whose face trembled with emotion as she took her bow and audience members expressed their approval by jumping on the catwalk to wrap traditional Tibetan scarves around her neck. “Tibetans have many talented designers, but there’s no platform to promote them,” Aj-Namo told AFP Thursday after her debut. China has 56 officially recognised ethnic groups, but the vast majority of the country’s more than 1.3 billion people are Han. Tibetans number roughly 6.3 million, with most living in China’s western half -- the autonomous region of Tibet, as well as the provinces of Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan and Yunnan.
Beijing fortune-teller Mao Shandong offers Chinese parents an auspicious name for their newborn but he faces competition from tech-savvy entrepreneurs who have turned the ancient tradition into a lucrative online business. (Photo: AFP/ Wang Zhao) by Yanan WANG EIJING, China | AFP | In a one-room shop tucked inside a Beijing alley, a bearded 74year-old fortune-teller in crimson tunic offers what Chinese parents have sought for centuries: an auspicious name for their newborn.
“I hope that thanks to this experience, more ethnic minorities, more Tibetans -- especially models -- will be inspired to put themselves out there,” Aj-Namo said.
But business has been tough lately for Mao Shandong and others in his trade as tech-savvy entrepreneurs have turned the ancient naming tradition into a lucrative online business.
Expressions of Tibetan ethnic pride can be fraught in China. Beijing says its troops “peacefully liberated” the region in 1951, but many Tibetans accuse the central government of religious repression and eroding their culture.
“We can’t make a living these days,” lamented Mao.
The Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader who has been exiled in India since 1959, has accused the Chinese government of committing “cultural genocide” against the Tibetan people.
Chinese have for centuries believed that a well-chosen name can ensure a lifetime of good fortune. Unlike in English, where one draws from a lexicon of Josephs and Richards, a Chinese name can be created from any combination of two or three characters. And for many Chinese parents, making the right choice has become even more imperative as they seek to help their children stand out in the world’s most populous country. “Parents care more and more about personal brand,” said Zhang Ruxin, the 37-year-old co-founder of the Beijing-based naming service Qimingtong, which essentially means “Clear Naming.”
by Jayanthi Madhukar
y father summed up, a la Gordon Ramsay, what he called a “fine” Maddur vada. “It is brittle yet soft,” he said. “And with just a little pressure, the vada should disintegrate like sooji, powdery and dry.” “Never soggy,” he added for good measure. The iconic savoury turns 100 this month.
I decide to stop briefly at Ramnagar for breakfast. There are granite outcrops wherever the eye can see, a landscape made famous by Sholay, which was filmed here. A villager tells us the stall at Maddur railway station has shut down and Maddur Tiffany is the “real thing” now. Coincidentally, I find that one of the owners, D.N. Chathura, has also landed there today. He is a fourth generation descendant of H.D. Hebbar who managed VTR at the station from 1948 to 1973. Chathura is happy to
What’s in a Chinese name? Ancient rites and growing business
Many ethnic minorities live in relatively poor areas, where limited education, language barriers and a heavily agricultural economy provide scant opportunities for young people to pursue a career on the national stage.
Maddur vada: a century of memories
Maddur is a sleepy town some 80 km from Bengaluru and it was in April 1917 that its famous vada first appeared in Vegetarian Tiffin Room (VTR) in Maddur’s only railway station. From then to the present, there have been generations of foodies who have done road trips from Bengaluru to Mysuru and stopped at Maddur just to buy the vadas. It certainly seemed that the best way to celebrate the vada’s centenary year would be to make an early morning road trip to Maddur and take a bite.
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
“They realise that the name will follow their child for their entire life, be judged by their employers and have an impact on their values.” Qimingtong operates almost entirely online, with parents filling out web questionnaires and Zhang offering consultation services through the popular messaging app WeChat. A quick web search reveals more than a hundred such businesses in China, each promising names that will pave the way for future success. - Branding for babies -
The iconic savoury turns 100 this month (Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar) share the Maddur vada story with me. It all began with the River Shimsha that flows along Maddur. In the early 20th century, trains hauled by steam engines chugged on meter gauge tracks to reach Bengaluru. The easy access to Shimsha meant that all passing trains stopped at Maddur for 20 to 30 minutes just to fill up their water tanks. As soon as the train stopped, Ramchandra Bud-
hya from Kundapura, clearly a born entrepreneur, used the time to entice the passengers to buy his idlis and vadas. “Family legend has it that on a particularly busy day, he just mixed up some ingredients and instead of making them in the shape of pakoras, which would take longer to cook, he flattened the mixture into discs and fried them. The result was a new snack that became
Zhang founded Qimingtong in late 2014 with her business partner, Chen Jun, after working for two decades as a newspaper reporter while pursuing a hobby helping friends and colleagues name their children. popular as Maddur vada.” After that, of course, flat became the new black. Budhya started VTR in 1917 to sell his legendary vada. In 1948, H.D. Hebbar, Chathura’s ancestor, took over. He followed the recipe meticulously and later, his son D. Gopalaiah decided to sell the vadas outside the station as well. Gopalaiah’s son, Jayaprakash, started the standalone eatery called Maddur
Qimingtong’s software uses an algorithm to compile the best names for a child based on their parents’ responses to a personality quiz. It has been used by more than 10,000 people. Zhang and her employees also help name dozens of newborns every day either via walk-ins or online consultations. Rates range from 400 yuan ($60) to 10,000 yuan for a private consultation with Zhang. Liu Qiang, a police officer in central Henan province, and his wife wanted to use a modern naming method that still accounts for “bazi” -- the traditional belief in a destiny determined by one’s date of birth. “Bazi” or “eight characters,” refers to the eight digits denoting the year, month, date and hour of birth. It is believed to determine the natural elements present in one’s life, such as metal, wood, water, fire and earth. A name can compensate for the elements that a child lacks. Liu’s son lacked a wood element, so Qimingtong named him “Bailin,” combining the characters for cypress tree and a mythical, dragon-like creature from Chinese folklore to create a name which his parents hope will help him forge a unique identity. “We want him to realise his personal dreams,” said Liu, 39. Chinese looking to move abroad or work for international companies may also seek help choosing an English name. At Lindsay Jernigan’s first job in Shanghai, she worked alongside Apple, Yoyo and Eleven. The last co-worker’s English name, inspired by a Liverpool footballer’s jersey number, regularly caused confusion. Mao said he is ready to abandon his fortune-telling business, even as he scorns his rivals in the naming industry. “All those websites, they’re the scams,” he said with a sigh. “They don’t truly understand Chinese tradition.” Tiffanys in 1987. It was only early this year that VTR at the railway station shut shop. “There were too many headaches in running it. Trains stop only for a couple of minutes, illegal vendors hop on selling their versions of Maddur vadas, and the Railways pegs the price of the vada at Rs. 10.” So, on January 28 this year, another icon became history. (-TheHindu.comt)
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Roaming sucks. This Handy travel phone could rescue your bill Tink Labs’ phone wants to be the ultimate travel companion, and it’s coming to a hotel room near you oogle Maps, online flight check-in, access to TripAdvisor and Yelp on demand -there are a thousand ways the internet makes traveling more convenient and fun.
You know what’s not so fun? Roaming bills. It’s a problem Hong Kongbased Tink Labs is trying to solve by putting custom-made phones with free data in hotel rooms across the world for foreign visitors to use. The journey started in 2012 when CEO and founder Terence Kwok tried to rent phones and SIM cards at the Hong Kong airport a n
i d e now a he admits “was really not a very good one.” “The first thing people want to do when they get to the airport is to get the hell out of the airport,” he said in an interview. He switched his strategy to targeting hotel rooms and decided the best way to deliver the internet to travelers was through a custom-made phone, which he called the Handy. Five years on, there are Handy phones placed in 20 cities across Europe and Asia, with more to come. As of last week, Handy phones are on schedule to be in 1 million hotel rooms around the globe by the end of the year, through partnerships with major
chains such as IHG, Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza and Ritz London. For tourists, these phones offer a data lifeline while they’re in a foreign land, with a local guide preinstalled in the phone offering tailored recommendations and a direct line to the hotel concierge. For the hotels, it’s a way to differentiate themselves from stiff competition. “Once a guest leaves the hotel in general, that connection is sort of lost,” Kwok said of the usual tourist. Beyond differentiation and a way to sell services, the phone gives the hotel a way to extend its relationship to its guest. “It’s a virtuous cycle,” said Ramesh Arora, managing director of Montcalm, which has deployed Handy in all its hotels over the past six months. “Increased engagement begets better service, greater income and ultimately a deeper understanding of how we can work best for our guests.” It works for hotel guests, too, because they get the benefit of unlimited international minutes and data when they’re out. What if someone spends 24 hours calling premium rate numbers or streaming a motherload of content? “It certainly does happen. We do have people who -- well, I don’t know what they do, but they use tens of gigabytes,” said Kwok. “We pay a very large phone bill.” Tink Labs’ policy is to cough up. Fortunately, the usage is generally manageable, with some people barely using anything at all. (-CNET)
by Jess Simpson
olo travelers know every journey encompasses a world of emotions, from exhilaration and liberation to fear and loneliness. Being out in the world without companionship allows us to connect more deeply to the type of traveler we want to be, on our own terms and timeline. More of us than ever are venturing out alone, in the U.S. and internationally. A recent study conducted by accommodation powerhouse Booking.com finds one in five U.S. travelers plan to travel solo for the first time in 2017 and tour operators worldwide are reporting a solo surge. Global leader Intrepid Travel has seen a 40% increase over the past five years, with 50% of clients currently traveling alone. Over 50% of guests in Hostelling International USA (HI USA) nationwide network are also solo says director of communications Netanya Trimboli. Some choose by default when travel companions can’t be found while others are motivated more by freedom, says Trimboli.
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
Travel secrets: Pro tips for going solo cialist for Insight Guides says freedom is the reward. “Get up at 6 a.m. to watch the sunrise; spend 4 hours wondering art museums; eat at a streetfood shack crammed with locals: the
and they definitely don’t share the same bucket list,” says Livingston. “You can waste a lot of time waiting for them or caretaking while travelling.”
While going solo may not suit everyone, experts agree every avid traveler should try once. (Photo: Huffington Post)
While going solo may not suit everyone, experts agree every avid traveler should try once. “Undertaking a new travel experience for the first-time, whether that’s visiting a new place or traveling solo, can be a fruitful, life enhancing and even life changing experience,” says Booking.com’s chief marketing officer Pepijn Rijvers, citing findings illustrating while traveling solo can be perceived as daunting, two-thirds of those surveyed (66%) feel it is worth it and three in five (61%) believe initial anxiety was unnecessary. Bottom line: the only way to know is to give a go. Follow these Tips for Successful Solo Travel. Embrace the Singular Daisy Cropper, digital content spe-
choice is really yours,” she says. “You get to be completely selfish with your plans and see your chosen destination exactly the way you want to.” For fellow digital nomad Angelina Millare having space to listen to her own voice and needs is key. “Being fully attentive to myself—fully in my skin while living as a local has expanded my understanding of who I am and how I fit in the world,” she says. “Instead of feeling alone, I feel incredibly connected to the world as a whole.” After a travel companion cancelled last minute, Maz Livingston of Explore! learned to embrace solo travel and it’s become his preferred style. “I’ve found that friends are not always the best traveling companions
Relish in setting your own agenda and pace. Take as long as you need to capture a shot in perfect light, wander aimlessly, savor experiences without being rushed or distracted. Be a Student Optimize opportunities to learn. Without distractions, senses kick into overdrive allowing you to note smells, sounds, and visuals and connect more deeply with a destination and culture. “You will see things that will shock you, shape you, make you laugh and cry,” adds TravelPirates senior editor Jessica Bisesto. “These experiences will make you stronger and more in touch with the world.” (-Paste Magazine)
An impressive debut
STARTUP by Doree Shafrir, $26 (Little, Brown and Company), Published: April 24, 2017
billion dollar business-in startup parlance, an elusive unicorn. Katya Pasternack is hungry for a scoop that will drive traffic. Katya knows that she needs more than another PR friendly puff piece The addictive and witty Startup keenly captures a world that so few of us truly comprehend despite the fact that its creations have come to dominate our lives. No absurd detail of tech startup culture goes unnoticed. Some people are calling Startup a satire, but you get the feeling that there’s very little air between Doree Shafrir’s alternately hilarious and unsettling novel and reality. (-TownandCountry).
rom veteran online journalist and BuzzFeed writer Doree Shafrir comes a hilarious debut novel that proves there are some dilemmas that no app can solve. Mack McAllister has a $600 million dollar idea. His mindfulness app, TakeOff, is already the hottest thing in tech and he’s about to launch a new and improved version that promises to bring investors running and may turn his brainchild into a $1
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VOICE OF ASIA 16
Chennai boy proposes elevator to moon, bags 2nd position in NASA Moon Prize
That’s not a lot when you consider Los Angeles provided 11,000 jobs and Chicago placed over 25,000 kids last summer.
Sai has been working on this idea since 2013 and he started
Sai proposed building an elevator connecting the earth and the moon to transport people and material to make the human settlement possible writing a detailed thesis on the subject in 2016.
won’t be able to settle there,” said Sai Kiran.
“The first segment of the project is about creating elevators that could transport humans and cargo to the Moon so that humans can form their settlements there. The most important aspect was that of gravity as, without gravity, humans
The thesis also contains proposals of setting up recreation, entertainment, governance, agriculture, on the Moon as well. The main focus of his idea was cost efficiency as transportation through rockets is not economically viable. (-India Times)
Student gets into Stanford with #BlackLivesMatter x100
OS ANGELES - News that a high school student wrote nothing but #BlackLivesMatter on his personal statement in an application to California’s Stanford University - and got in - has been raising some eyebrows. Stanford University was ranked third in the world by Times Higher Education last year, and only admitted about 1 in 20 of the students who applied for an undergraduate place. Ziad Ahmed, a high school student in New Jersey, proudly tweeted his news and received a range of reactions in response.
Ziad Ahmed’s personal statement to Stanford put his activism front and centre (Photo: TWITTER/ZIADAHMED) There were congratulations aplenty of course - “forever
in love with your audacity”, laughed one user.
Summer Jobs Available for Houston Youth
EW DELHI - 18 year old, Sai Kiran P from Chennai has bagged the 2nd position in the grade 12 category of the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest, 2017. This annual contest is organised by NASA Ames Research Center, the National Space Society (NSS), and San Jose State University. The contest invited ideas from students all over the world to make human settlement possible on the moon. Sai proposed building an elevator connecting the earth and the moon to transport people and material to make the human settlement possible. His project proposal, titled ‘Connecting Moon, Earth and Space’ and ‘HUMEIU Space Habitats’ talks about building a 40,000-kilometre long elevator to facilitate the movement of people between the earth and the moon.
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
by Mayor Sylvester Turner
t’s time to kick off the second year of our Hire Houston Youth program. We are proud of the many partners who helped to make the first year such a success, but with school getting out in just a couple of months, it is time to turn our attention to placing kids for this summer. Hire Houston Youth provides local 16-24 year olds with a job or internship experience from mid-June through the first week of August. Students will work up to 40 hours a week for at least seven weeks, earning at least $8 an hour. Fifty seven companies participated, and 1,135 jobs were provided in 2016. More than 50 percent of the job candidates had no prior work experience, and 50 percent had annual household incomes of less than $22,000 a year. My goal for 2017 is to provide at least 5,000 jobs for our youth. But several were also surprised by the news. One detractor accused him of “virtue signalling”. Another remarked “a real [Black Lives Matter] ally would’ve wrote something poignant instead of this ... attempt to look progressive”. Admirers pointed out that Mr Ahmed had plenty to offer on top of his activist statement
Workforce programs and summer employment can decrease the likelihood that a youngster will drop out of school. They help ensure we have an able and ready workforce and set youth on the path to long-term careers. Despite these benefits, less than a third of American teenagers held a job last summer, and their participation in the workforce is at a historic low. Preparing our youth is essential to ensuring a strong economic future for Houston. With the demand for skilled workers currently outpacing our workforce supply, it is more important than ever that we do everything possible to connect our young people to employment and training opportunities. I believe this program can, literally, change lives.
On-the-spot hiring events • April 22 from 10:00 a.m. 2:00 p.m. Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center 4400 W. 18th St., Houston, Texas 77092 • April 29 from 10:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m. Worthing High School 9215 Scott St., Houston, Texas 77051 • May 6 from 10:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m. Magnolia Multi-Service Center 7037 Capitol St., Houston, Texas 77011 • May 20 from 10:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m. Acres Home Multi-Service Center 6719 W. Montgomery Rd., Houston, Texas 77091
Starting in early April, applications for hundreds of jobs with private companies and nonprofits will be accepted online at www.hirehoustonyouth. org. Additionally, there will be six on-the-spot hiring events planned to connect youth looking for jobs with employers who are hiring. These events are open to the public and do not require applicants to pre-register or be pre-screened. Past participating employers include McDonald’s, Jack-in-the-Box, Whataburger, Cash America, Corner Store and Walgreens. Applicants need to bring resumes, Texas I.Ds and Social Security cards.
• June 3 from 10:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m. George R. Brown Convention Center 1001 Avenida De Las Americas, Houston, Texas 77010
though. “Have you seen his profile? With a resume like that nothing could derail him,” said one.
paign and had also been invited to the White House under Barack Obama’s administration.
In a profile of Mr Ahmed, Mic website notes that he has founded his own teenage marketing consulting firm, as well as an organisation to promote tolerance. He worked for Hillary Clinton’s presidential cam-
• June 10 from 10:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m. Southwest Multi-Service Center 6400 High Star Dr., Houston, Texas, 77074 HHY has been designated as a White House Summer Opportunity Hub and is part of a National League of Cities study on the best practices for educational and workforce development efforts.
Stanford won’t be the only thing he’s thinking about though. Mr Ahmed has also been accepted to Yale and Princeton universities and he has until May to decide which one to choose. (-BBC News Worldwide)
Houston Spelling Bee has two new Co-Champions After 14 rounds with 53 total spellers, Shourav Dasari, a seventh grader at McCullough Jr. High in Conroe ISD, and Nihar Janga, a fifth grader at River Ridge Elementary in Leander ISD, won as co-champions at the 2016 Houston Public Media Spelling Bee.
Connie Hill, Lisa Shumate, Ernie Manouse and Capella Tucker of Houston Public Media congratulate the 2016 co-champions, Nihar Janga and Shourav Dasari (Photo credit: Laura Isensee) by Laura Isensee
he Houston Public Media Spelling Bee started off with 53 spellers. But it came down to two spellers, who faced off in a nine-word championship round. Those were words like guaguanche.
“The word is snotziekte,” said Armstrong. “Snotziekte, may I have the origin?” Nihar asked. “This word came from Africaans from Dutch. Snotziekte.” It became Nihar’s winning word.
Seventh grader Shourav Dasari asked the bee’s pronouncer, Richard Armstrong, for more information. “Guaguanche, can I have the definition?” he asked. The answer: “a barracuda of the Caribbean area and adjacent Atlantic coasts, which is typically yellowish to olive above, silvery below and spotted with black or dark brown.” Shourav tackled it with confidence, and spelled it correctly. His competitor, Nihar Janga, a fifth grader from the Austin area, had to spell the next word correctly in order to become co-champion. And that word was a doozy.
And with that, both Shourav and Nihar won the Houston Public Media Spelling Bee as co-champions. It was a big win since both of them had ranked third in previous years, Shourav in 2014 and Nihar in 2015. Afterwards, Nihar said that he had never seen that word before. He explained how he figured it out. “Well, they said that it was
an inflammation of the mucous membrane, so I figured it would be snot, that’s s-n-o-t, and then ziekte is the Africaans ending for disease, so that’s z-i-e-kt-e,” he said. As for that other winning word, guaguanche, co-champion Shourav said that he studied it a couple of weeks ago. And he said that’s where the luck of the spelling bee comes in. “Because anyone can get a word they don’t know, since you can’t memorize the whole dictionary,” he said. “So, it just kind of depends on if you get a word you know, you could make it far. If you get words you don’t know, you could end up getting out.” He added that he’s proud to follow his family’s tradition: His older sister, Shobha, is a previous Houston spelling cochampion. Both students will head to Washington, D.C. in May to represent Greater Houston in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. (-Report courtesy: Houston Public Media)
VOICE OF ASIA 17
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
Zee to salute ‘Army behind the Army’ at Cine Awards
Bollywood film spotlights youngest girl to conquer Everest
UMBAI: We are protected by the strength of the Indian army. But, have we ever pondered over the source of their strength? Their strength is an army behind them in the form of mothers, wives, sisters, daughters who silently toil day and night making up for their sons, husbands and fathers who are busy protecting the nation. Zee salutes this real Army be- Swati Bhattacharya and Punit Goenka. hind the Army. For me this idea is about two important It is not with medals and trumpets but with respect and recognition, Zee ac- words, ‘respect’ and ‘recognition’. For knowledges their huge contribution and me the mothers, wives and daughters of the army are the stronger army. They are sacrifice. our Paramvirs and our Mahavirs. Let’s Zee Entertainment Enterprises is a celebrate their strength and their nationglobal content company which has al- alism. Let’s salute the ways focused on Women Empower#ArmyBehindTheArmy. I’m grateful ment, either through its content offerings or social initiatives. In this journey of to Zee for their support in launching this empowering women, Zee has launched initiative.” a special initiative called ArmybehindtA 2minute salutation anthem video heArmy, which aims at recognizing the capturing the idea will be presented by selfless women behind our brave sol- Anushka Sharma who herself hails from diers and who are the true source of their an army family. inspiration. Zee Live & Zee Talent head – corpo#ArmyBehindTheArmy has been cre- rate brand & communications and CEO ated and conceptualized by Zee’s cre- Sunil Buch said, “While our brave solative agency FCB Ulka Advertising. diers Respect & Recognize, the women Going beyond a mere advertising idea, behind their bravery, it is time that every this initiative is rooted in real life and citizen of our nation salutes them and aims to give army wives and mothers the applauds their contribution.” honor they truly deserve for their role in The salutation anthem film shot by dinurturing families, building strong com- rector Ken Rolston from Story Tellers, munities and a healthy nation. It also a leading film production house brings brings to light the epic work which this alive the grit and inner struggle of these real army behind the brave soldiers does, women through a powerful and emoto support its families. tive narrative – Hum Hain. The film is a For the past 25 years, Zee has sup- montage of portraits of real wives, widported and given Indian women a voice ows and mothers of the forces. We see onscreen through its content as well as them in the fields, in their homes, with sought betterment for them through on their children, with the wedding album, ground social initiatives. #ArmyBe- going through life… alone. hindTheArmy is another major step The strong visual cue – a unique visual taken by Zee in this direction. identity designed by FCB Ulka for the Zee MD & CEO Punit Goenka said, initiative – is inspired by army fatigues, “I’m extremely thrilled to launch this with a camouflage design that is derived initiative which salutes the real army from women in various acts of nurturbehind our brave soldiers. In our jour- ing and caring. This lends a strong visual ney of 25 years, Zee has always stood and emotive character to the communifor Women, and we’ll continue to do so cation. forever.” Subsequently a multimedia campaign FCB Ulka Advertising chief creative will be launched that will include soofficer Swati Bhattacharya says, “When cial media, mass media, and across the we think of the word ‘soldier’ we always leading channels of Zee backed with on think of a man. When we hear the word ground activities. The campaign will ‘patriotism’ we think of loud slogans, culminate in a grand salute on Republic louder gunshots and again men. Day next year.
UMBAI | AFP - A Bollywood film hitting Indian cinemas on Friday tells the inspirational story of a tribal girl from rural India who became the youngest woman to summit Mount Everest.
Lights go out at historic Delhi cinema after 84 years by Bhuvan Bagga
EW DEHLI | AFP - After years of slow but steady decline the colonial-era Regal cinema, a New Delhi institution, is enjoying a late flourishing -- sadly just as it is about to close its doors. Manager Roop Ghai says families have been flocking to the crumbling white building at the heart of the Indian capital since learning that it is shutting down, a victim of competition from the gleaming multiplex cinemas springing up around the city.
The Regal is one of India’s oldest cinema halls -- when it first opened its doors in the 1930s, the country was still a British colony. In the ensuing decades it hosted everyone from the last British viceroy Louis Mountbatten to independent India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter Indira Gandhi as well as Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan. But many young Indians now prefer the air-conditioned comfort of the outof-town multiplexes, which offer a far
Poorna Malavath was 13 years and 11 months old when she planted India’s tricolour flag on the top of the world’s highest mountain on May 25, 2014. Malavath’s remarkable journey from a remote, backward Adivasi tribal village to the record books inspired filmmaker Rahul Bose to produce, direct and act in the biopic, which is simply titled “Poorna”. “A 13-year-old girl scaling Mount Everest was improbable in itself because here was a poor, uneducated girl from Telangana (state), which does not even have a mound, forget a mountain,” Bose told AFP. The director said he wanted to show the “sheer physical danger” that Malavath put herself through reaching the 8,848-metre summit in Nepal. “But I also wanted to make the film which spotlights what it’s like to be a girl, uneducated, Adivasi, and poor. These are four big strikes against a person and to cross these are big hurdles,” he added. Malavath is the daughter of agricultural labourers. Her journey started when she was selected to be part of an extra-curricular rock climbing initiative for tribal schools, run by the state
“People are coming in much larger numbers than they have in recent years, especially older people who have many memories linked to this cinema hall,” he told AFP at the Regal, which closes on Friday. “We are happy to be busy again, even if it is only for a few more days.”
greater choice of movies than the old single-screen cinemas. Among them is Amita Raj, who was visiting the Regal for the first time despite living nearby. “I wanted to see it and watch a movie here before it shuts in the next few days,” she said as she queued to buy her ticket.
government, which was then part of Andhra Pradesh.
Everest to inspire tribal families about the potential of their children.
Bose plays R. S Praveen, who started the initiative, and became Malavath’s mentor. Praveen and the climbing instructor, who himself had summited Everest, arranged for Malavath and some other children to go to India’s mountainous north-eastern state of Darjeeling to improve their skills.
Malavath was chosen and summited along with a teenage Dalit boy called Sadhanapally Anand Kumar. Both were feted by the Indian media on their return.
Praveen then decided he wanted to arrange for an Adivasi girl to attempt
“There is a line when Poorna says ‘girls can do anything’. I would say the message is never give up and that everyone can overcome their own Everest,” said Bose.
What happened to Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer’s friendship? by Seija Rankin ut, they were the Hollywood friends we needed. What could be better than taking two strong, funny, successful women and teaming them up to create one fabulous BFF pair?
The friendship seemingly came out of nowhere to fans. It was a total shock, but the most beautiful kind of shock. Amy and Jen were photographed riding said jet ski together, Amy posted that picture on Twitter, and all hell broke loose. After the flurry of press that the jet ski photo received, the two were officially out with their newlysolidified BFF status. Amy hit The Daily Show shortly after the trip, acknowledging that the two had become friends and that she was completely smitten with Jen. “She’s the coolest chick you’ll ever meet,” she gushed. “She’s beautiful.”
A spectator waits for a film showing at the Regal cinema in the heart of the Indian capital New Delhi (Photo: AFP)
Indian mountaineer Poorna Malavath (L) attends the screening of upcoming Hindi film ‘Poorna’ in Mumbai. Rahul Bose presented Malavath and the young actress (R) playing her. (Photo: AFP)
The friends’ first public debut was at the 2016 Golden Globes, otherwise known as the best Golden Globes in recent memory. Jen and Amy were seated at the same table and even presented an award together, giving the world the sneak peek of their movie it had been waiting for. But then: nothing. Silence. On the friendship front, we haven’t seen Jen and Amy together in months (and months...and
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months). They have both been conspicuously absent from each other’s lives— there have been no dedicated Instagram posts, no tweets, no paparazzi photos of dinner dates. The trail has gone cold. They’ve probably been in touch, but without a minute to spare for public outings. Chances are likely that their
friendship has been relegated to one made up text messages and FaceTime, but what a tragedy that is for the rest of us. In these troubled times, only the mutual adoration of A Schu and J Law can salve us. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll share some of their text history to keep us happy. (-ENews.com)
VOICE OF ASIA 18
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
HEALTHY LIVING VOICE OF ASIA
3 ways seniors can save on prescriptions this year If you signed up for a new Medicare plan during Open Enrollment, it’s important to understand how your prescription drug costs may be affected. Even if you did nothing to alter your coverage, some features of your plan may have changed for 2017. Unfortunately, almost one-in-five Medicare beneficiaries don’t have a good understanding of their plan, and a good portion have some misconceptions about copays, according to a recent survey by Walgreens. Here are three easy steps to help you make the most of your benefits and find potential cost-savings for your prescription medications under your Part D coverage.
Walgreens, which is a preferred pharmacy for many of the nation’s top plans, can help lower the cost of your copays, even to $0 in the case of Tier 1 generics on certain plans. “Depending on the design of your plan, coverage, and prescription drugs, you can pay higher copays at one pharmacy in comparison to another if your pharmacy is not in your plan’s preferred network! So, choosing the
Think Generic When possible, consider using a less expensive prescription drug brand or generic. These alternatives typically carry the same formulas at a reduced cost, saving patients substantially over time. Preferred Pharmacies Verify whether your plan has preferred pharmacies -- which are pharmacies that have an agreement with a Part D plan to charge less than a standard network pharmacy. For example,
right pharmacy is definitely important,” says Mariah Moon, the blogger behind “The Simple Parent,” who recently wrote about helping her mother research her options for lowering her drug costs as part of the #PartDAtWalgreens campaign. 90-Day Refills
Brainwave Optimization® The Future Of Healthcare?
t’s entirely possible that Brainwave Optimization (BWO) will play a vital and integral role in the future of health-care. BWO uses EEG technology and proprietary software that allows us to enjoy health, happiness, and wellbeing, many of the same benefits of meditation, in a fraction of the time. The science behind the BWO process is based on the plasticity of the brain and the natural ability of the body to heal itself from the inside out. Using an “acoustical mirror®” that plays back brainwave frequencies as tones in real time, the brain balances and harmonizes itself releasing “stuck” mental, emotional, and physical patterns. Unlike other modalities, like neurofeedback, that require conscious work and will power, BWO allows the power of the brain itself to achieve balance and wellbeing. This approach has been successful in working with a wide range of conditions associated with anxiety, stress, trauma, and depression in adults and children. When the brain is both balanced and in harmony we enjoy better concentra-
Medicare Preventive Services: What’s Free, What’s Not!
“My pharmacist told me that many physicians are willing to write 90-day prescriptions for many of the medications that seniors are often prescribed. This not only saves time by requiring fewer trips to the pharmacy, but also may save copay costs,” says Shelley Webb, a registered nurse and founder of “The Intentional Caregiver,” who cared for her father in her home for four years and was recently sponsored by Walgreens to share tips about saving on prescription costs with her readers. Medicare beneficiaries seeking help navigating prescription drug costs can find free resources at walgreens.com/ topic/pharmacy/medicarepartd. If you didn’t review your plan before renewing, it’s not too late to become a savvy consumer and learn more. Doing so can help you save money. (-StatePoint) depression, frustration, anxiety, and even anger that impact our quality-oflife. The success of BWO in working with these issues is nothing short of extraordinary.
Island BrainWorks has been a licensed affiliate of Brain State Technologies for nearly a decade and is one of the top ten BWO providers in the world. Their office is located in Historic Downtown Galveston and is open by appointment weekdays and weekends for consultation and Optimization Sessions. The trained technologists at Island BrainWorks work A Brainwave Optimization session in process extensively and successfully with both adults and children. To become more tion, performance, fewer obsessions familiar with the process they offer an or unhealthy habits, and a stronger im- affordable Introductory Session and mune system. Everyday stress and oth- Consultation. Consider taking a short er traumatic events have a damaging vacation with Brainwave Optimizaand debilitating effect on the central tion at Island BrainWorks on lovely nervous system. We experience this Galveston Island, it may be the one of as difficulty with sleep, compulsive the best you’ve ever had! and addictive behaviors, the inability Call for an appointment! Visit us at to focus and concentrate, feelings of Islandbrainworks.com.
IMPRESS YOUR GUESTS BY SERVING THEM THE ORIGINAL DABELI JUST IN
Medicare covers a wide array of preventive services to help you stay healthy, but it’s important to know which services are totally covered and which ones will generate some out-of-pocket costs. Free Services Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, original Medicare now offers many of their preventive health services completely free to beneficiaries. Preventive services include various exams, lab tests and screenings that help find health problems in their earliest stages when they’re easier to treat. They also include a number of vaccinations and programs for health monitoring, as well as counseling and education to help you take care of your own health. Here’s a quick rundown of the different Medicare preventive services that won’t cost you a cent, along with the eligibility requirements you’ll need to meet to get them. • Wellness visits: All Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for two types of preventive wellness visits — one when you’re new to Medicare and one each year after that. But don’t confuse these with full physical examinations. These are preventionfocused visits that provide only an overview of your health and medical risk factors and serve as a baseline for future care. • Colorectal cancer screening: The fecal occult blood test, flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy is available to all beneficiaries age 50 or older. • Mammograms: All women with Medicare ages 40 and older can get a free breast cancer screening mammogram every year. • Pap tests and pelvic exams: These cervical and vaginal cancer screenings are available every two years, or once a year for those at high risk. • Prostate cancer screenings: Annual PSA blood tests are available to all male beneficiaries age 50 and older. • Cardiovascular screenings: Free blood test to check cholesterol, lipid and triglyceride levels are offered every five years to all Medicare recipients. • Diabetes: Screening available twice a year for those at risk. • Bone mass measurements: This osteoporosis test is available every two years to those at risk, or more often if medically necessary. • Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening: To check for bulging blood vessels, this test is available to men
Sudhir Mathuria Licensed Professional Health Life 360 6776 Southwest Freeway, Suite # 178 Houston TX 77074 713-771-2900 www.MyMedicarePlanning.com ages 65 to 75 who have ever smoked. • Vaccinations: An annual flu shot, a vaccination against pneumonia and the hepatitis B vaccine are all free to all beneficiaries. In addition, Medicare also offers free smoking cessation counseling; medical nutrition therapy to help beneficiaries with diabetes or kidney disease; depression screenings; alcohol screening and counseling; obesity screening and counseling; annual cardiovascular risk reduction visits; sexually transmitted infection screening and counseling; and HIV screenings. Cost-Sharing Services Medicare also offers several other preventive services that require some out-of-pocket cost-sharing. With these tests, you’ll have to pay 20 percent of the cost of the service (Medicare picks up the other 80 percent), after you’ve met your $183 Part B yearly deductible. The services that fall under this category include digital rectal exams for prostate cancer, glaucoma tests, and diabetes self-management training services. For detailed information on all Medicare preventive services see medicare. gov/share-the-health, or call Medicare at 800-633-4227 and ask them to mail you a free copy of “Your Guide to Medicare’s Preventive Service” (publication 10110). Medicare Advantage If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll be happy to know that all Advantage plans are also now required to cover the same free preventive services as original Medicare. To select right Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan contact Sudhir Mathuria @ 713-771-2900.
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VOICE OF ASIA 19
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
VOICE OF ASIA 20
ALL ABOUT EASTER
Fun, Festive Ideas to Sweeten Easter Celebrations
aster is the most important festival in the Christian calendar. It celebrates the resurrection from the dead of Jesus, three days after he was executed. The Easter story is at the heart of Christianity. Easter Sunday marks Jesus’ resurrection. After Jesus was crucified on the Friday (now known as Good Friday), his body was taken down from the cross, and buried in a cave tomb. The tomb was guarded by Roman Soldiers and an enormous stone was put over the entrance, so that no-one could steal the body.
Spring is here, which means it’s time for throwing memorable celebrations for friends and family. Whether you are hosting an Easter brunch or attending a spring picnic, you can make these occasions unforgettable with a few fun and festive additions. Photo credit: StatePoint Egg Hunt No Easter celebration is complete without an egg decorating station for children and the young at heart. Stock up on a variety of paints, glitter, dye, stencils, and textured fabric, and let imaginations run wild. Plan for your Easter egg hunt to take place outdoors, but have an indoor back-up in case the weather does not cooperate. Make sure to take all the ages of participants into account when deciding where to hide eggs! Sweet Treats
Anyone with a sweet tooth knows that Easter and delicious treats go hand in hand, so pay extra attention to this essential element of your party. A candy buffet invites guests to try an assortment of treats. To satisfy everyone’s taste buds, offer milk and dark chocolates, lollypops, springtime truffles and sour bunnies. Stick with go-to candy makers like See’s Candies, which uses high-quality ingredients and is one of the few remaining candy makers that ages its chocolate -- a process that imparts a smoother, mellower
flavor and elevates the overall taste experience, making it a great option for Easter entertaining. Spruce Up Take an opportunity to spring clean your home before your gathering. A new season and knowing guests will be coming over can be great motivators for sprucing up your home. For décor, gather flowers to create colorful centerpieces, including tulips and Easter lilies. Use brightly colored tablecloths and runners, scattering confetti and small sweet treats on tables
On the Sunday, Mary Magdalene, followed later by some of Jesus’ disciples visited the tomb and found that the stone had been moved, and that Jesus’ body had gone. Jesus himself was seen that day by Mary and the disciples, and for forty days afterwards by
for a special touch. Easter Basket Whether crafting Easter baskets or looking for a gift to take to your host, candy is always a great choice. No matter what your basket or gift budget is, treats can be found in a variety of sizes and price ranges -- from hand-decorated Rocky Road Eggs to chocolate bunnies and
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
many people. His followers realised that God had raised Jesus from the dead. Christians call this the Resurrection. The week leading up to Easter is called Holy Week. Palm Sunday - This is the Sunday before Easter Day. It is the first day of Holy Week and celebrates Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Crowds of people came out of the city to greet him, throwing down palm branches on the road. Anglican and Roman Catholic churches give out small crosses made from palm leaves, as a reminder of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem and his death on the cross. Some Christians keep these in their homes all year as a symbol of their faith. Maundy Thursday - This is the Thursday before Easter Day Last Supper: On Maundy Thursday Christians remember when Jesus ate the Passover meal with his disciples, break-
Strawberry Cream Lollypops. For more Easter inspiration, visit Sees.com or their Instagram page. The Easter Meal After the egg hunt, you can simply collapse into an Easter brunch. With a few sweet twists, you can spring into Easter with flair this year. Think restaurant or catering in. (-StatePoint)
ing bread and drinking wine, which is now known as the Last Supper. Many Christians remember this by sharing bread and wine together in a service called Holy Communion, Eucharist or Mass. It is a reminder that Jesus sacrificed his life for mankind. At this meal Jesus told his followers that they should love and serve one another. He demonstrated this by washing the feet of the disciples - something a servant would normally do. You can read this story in the Bible in John Ch.13v1-15 The word maundy comes from the command (mandate) given by Jesus at the Last Supper, that we should love one another. Roman Catholic church services include a ceremony in which the priest washes the feet of 12 people to commemorate Jesus’ washing the feet of his disciples. Good Friday is the Friday before Easter Sunday. It commemorates the execution of Jesus by crucifixion. Good Friday is a day of mourning in church. During special Good Friday services Christians remember Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross, and what this means for their faith. In some countries, there are special Good Friday processions, or re-enactments of the Crucifixion.
VOICE OF ASIA 21
Lexi Thompson loses LPGA major after TV viewer reports violation
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
India House Premier League Finals in Houston
ANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Lexi Thompson had no idea why LPGA Tour rules official Sue Witters was approaching her on the way to the 13th tee at the ANA Inspiration. When she found out, Thompson still couldn’t believe it. A television viewer’s email had alerted officials to a dayold rules violation by Thompson for a 1-inch ball placement error . Her three-shot lead had just been wiped out by a fourshot penalty. “Is this a joke?” Thompson asked Witters. After being assured it wasn’t, she responded: “This is ridiculous.” Thompson survived the shock and tears, and she forced a playoff with three gutsy birdies that had the Dinah Shore Course crowd on its feet. But So Yeon Ryu managed to take advantage of the break created by Thompson’s extraordinary penalty. Ryu birdied the playoff hole to win the LPGA Tour’s first major of the year Sunday after Thompson was blindsided for an infraction she had accidentally committed 24 hours earlier. Thompson, the 22-year-old U.S. Olympian who won here in 2014, was left stunned by the decision that stopped her from cruising to what looked like an easy victory. The ruling cost her more than a strong chance at her second major title: Ryu won $405,000 with the victory, and Thompson went home with just over $250,000 in second place. “Every day is a learning process,” said Thompson, who still stopped to sign dozens of autographs after her heartbreak. “I wasn’t expecting what happened today, but ... it happens, and I’ll learn from it and hopefully do better.”
Lexi Thompson reacts following her loss in playoff against So Yeon Ryu during the final round of the ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills (Photo: Gary A. Vasquez / USA Today Sports) The fateful email arrived during Sunday’s final round, alerting officials to the violation committed Saturday. Thompson marked a 1-foot putt with a coin on the 17th green during her third round, but she replaced the ball perhaps 1 inch out of position. After an extensive video review , Thompson was penalized two strokes for an incorrect ball placement and two strokes for an incorrect scorecard. Witters regretfully explained the penalty to Thompson. “I can’t go to bed tonight knowing I let a rule slide,” Witters said. “It’s a hard thing to do, and it made me sick, to be honest with you.” Thompson fought back tears after getting the news, but she incredibly birdied the 13th hole. She battled back into a five-way tie for the lead, making three birdies and a bogey on the final six holes of regulation at Mission Hills Country Club. “It’s unfortunate what happened,” Thompson said. “I did not mean that at all. I didn’t realize I did that. I felt strong through the finish, and it was great to see the fans behind me.” Golf fans on the course and
the internet reacted with bewilderment and outrage when the LPGA’s decision became understood. Most golfers weighing in on Twitter didn’t disagree with the ruling, but condemned the practice of allowing TV viewers to have their say - particularly an entire day afterward. Even Justin Timberlake saw it : “Lexi is SO CLASSY. Handled that with grace and fight. Career defining moment.” As awkward as the situation was, it could have been worse: If golf officials hadn’t made a rule change before last year, Thompson would have been disqualified entirely. Ryu birdied the 18th hole in regulation and again in the playoff, but she didn’t find out she was in serious contention to win until officials informed her of Thompson’s penalty on the 16th tee. “I just cannot believe the situation,” Ryu said. “I didn’t even check the leaderboard. I thought Lexi played really, really well. I didn’t expect what happened to Lexi. “It’s a very unfortunate situation. I didn’t expect it. I thought I’m well behind, so all I wanted to do was play my game.”tough situation well.” (-CBS Sports)
Roger Federer downs Rafael Nadal to win Miami Open Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 to win his third Miami Open title oger Federer outclassed long-standing rival Rafael Nadal to win the Miami Open on Sunday and continued his remarkable comeback run in 2017.
Eighteen-time Grand Slam champion beat the Spaniard in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 to win his third Miami Open title. The loss was Nadal’s fifth in a final in Miami and this remains one tournament that the Spaniard is yet to win. Since returning from his six month injury layoff, Federer has not put a foot wrong and registered wins in the last four meetings against Nadal -- including the Australian Open and Indian Wells title. “It’s been a fabulous couple of weeks,” said Federer after his victory. The first set was a tight affair with both players having their opportunities to break. But it was not until the eighth game and 10th break point of the set that one of them was able to get ahead. Nadal could only find the net from a Federer backhand and
the Swiss grabbed a 5-3 lead and held the next game to secure the first set. Federer pinpointed his saving of break points in the first game and at 3-3 as crucial moments in the contest. “It was totally key,” Federer said. “He looked good from the get-go. He was playing big tennis, stepping in and doing all the right things. “A bit more luck on his side and the wrong decisions by me at that moment and it could have turned very quickly. It was a very intense first set.” There has always been a marked contrast between Federer and Nadal’s playing styles and with time it has seems to have further accentuated. Nadal was working hard in the 83 degrees afternoon heat, thrusting himself into his shots while the elegant Federer’s poise appeared almost casual. The second set took an almost identical path, albeit with fewer openings to break for both play-
ers until Federer again pounced, to grab a 5-4 lead when Nadal went long returning a fine backhand. Federer thanked his team for helping him make a great comeback and also congratulated Nadal for his comeback to the circuit as well. The Swiss player also announced that he would take a nearly two month break before the French Open in late May. “I’m not 24 any more so things have changed in a big way and I probably won’t play any clay court event except the French,” he said. Federer in ‘fight-mode’ “Maybe if you didn’t see the match and just saw the score you might think it was some sort of straightforward match with a couple of breaks. But that is not the full story,” Federer said. “I was more in fight-mode today, just trying to stay afloat. Physically and emotionally it has been a draining week.” (-AFP / NDTV)
Winning Team - WOM Cricket Club (WOMCC). by Ravi Ozarker HOUSTON - What a final ! Fans witnessed a keenly fought cricket match at India House Cricket Ground between two strong contenders, Cliff Jumpers Cricket Club (CJCC) and WOM Cricket Club (WOMCC). CJCC batted first and scored 160 runs in 20 overs which is considered a very good score going by the past records on India House Cricket Ground. WOMCC opening batsman started very strongly but Waqas got injured in between, pulling his hamstring. Waqas could barely run and almost everyone thought that he would retire hurt. However, to everyone’s surprise, Waqas stayed on with Manju and helped WOMCC compile 121 runs opening stand. Mark of a truly dedicated cricketer! Both players scored 50+ in the first 10 overs. First wicket of Manju fell at 121 and Ashish joined Waqas. Ashish and Waqas ensured no more loss of wockets and secured 9 wickets’ victory for WOMCC team with 8 overs remaining. Waqas was simply superb and was declared MVP of the match. India House management and organizers thanked all teams for their participation in this tournament. This “thank you” was extended to every single player and their family members who directly/indirectly were responsible for the success of this 3 month long exciting tournament which started off with 16 teams. Dedicated cricket players played matches in the cold weather which was close to freezing temperatures on some days. India house also thanked all volunteers and neutral umpires for their dedication and support.
Sanjay Aggarwal had proposed the idea of celebrating Holi after the final match of this tournament. About 200 people attended post match presentation and award ceremony. The awards were given away by the sponsors of the final match, Ajay Gupta of Indus Management and Dinesh Purohit of Café India, and the Guests of Honor of the day, India House Trustees Durga Agrawal and Bal Sareen. There is lot of hard work put in by the volunteers to make events like this successful. All these volunteers do not get paid for their work. They just volunteer for a good cause. To name a few: 1. Col. Vipin Kumar, Executive Director of India House. 2. Sanjay Aggarwal whose dedication and passion for the community cricket is phenomenal. 3. Saurabh Malhotra Hats off man for the great work he has done to keep things in order in IHPL. 4. Gopi Krishna – He has been the go to person with any cricket rules/scores related issues on the Website. 5. Vijay Ahire - Very knowledgeable about rules of
cricket and helped immensely in dispute resolution. 6. DJ Andy – He did a great job with the live commentary and DJ Songs 7. Dhruv Vashisth- He had prepared evite and flyers that were sent to the players and their family members. 8. Last but not the least: Vrushali Ahire who was operating the collection desk, Megha Ozarker who took lovely photographs and controlled the crowd, and Ravi Ozarker who also took photos and provided support through out the tournament. The icing on the cake was the announcement by the GBG that Bal Sareen had very kindly agreed to help in building the shed for the players. After the prize presentation, every attendee enjoyed the lunch that was sponsored by Café India of Sugar Land. The event ended on a colorful note where all payers and family members played Holi and danced to the music played by DJ Andy. For updated results and score card please visit https://www. indiahouseinc.org/programsservices/taped-ball-cricket/
Congratulations to WOMCC for winning the tournament by becoming the best team of the 16 participating teams, but the real success that India House had seen for the past few months was the formation of a community that had started to come together during these cricket matches. A great win-win situation for all. The gentle and caring gestures of both teams towards their opponents formed a very close nit family of the members of all participating teams. This friendly gathering can be seen at India House ground on every weekend.
Back Row: Guests of Honor- Durga Agrawal, Bal Sareen & Balwant Khurana. Sponsors: Manu Gupta and Dinesh Purohit Front Row: Anand Bhattad, Ravi Ozarker, Vijay Ahire, Sourabh Malhotra, Sanjay Aggarwal, Col. Vipin Kumar, Dhruv Vashisth.
Keeping all this in mind, IHPL Organizer
Runners Up – Cliff Jumpers Cricket Club (CJCC) .
VOICE OF ASIA 22
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
Your Horoscope for the Week of April 7, 2017 READ YOUR COMPLETE HOROSCOPE
by Hardik Vyas, Astrologer Cell : 832-298-9950
Aries (A,L,E) 21 March to 20 April
Libra (R,T) 23 Sept to 22 Oct
You’ll find yourself on roads you’ve never traveled before. Give or donate something that is no longer useful to you to someone who will appreciate your generosity. Stay on good terms with allies that need your advice. You can best exploit that potential with your business contacts. A well tuned proposal will get a green light. The changes will continue, moving into a more understandable pattern. Allow those capable to take over while you take care of yourself for a while. Respect your opponent without being afraid of them.
Your need to organize your financial and personal situation. Look over your personal papers, make budgets and write everything down. You can get your point across and make valuable connections. Your personal life will stabilize. Don’t be confrontational. You’ll meet opposition if you try to push your ideas too much. Be observant and save your comments for a better time. You need to focus on your career. You’ll accomplish the most if you travel for business. If you have an idea, present it. Don’t take on too difficult task.
Taurus (B,V,U) 21 April to 20 May
Scorpio (N,Y) 23 Oct to 21 Nov
The changes will begin from here, even if it’s just a walk around the block. From where you stand, the past and future are in full view. You need to address your feelings by making peace with what has happened in the past. You know that you may have to pay others for their help, but you know it’ll be well worth it. Use your imagination to find ways to attract more followers. Your voice will be very convincing. Others will volunteer their time willingly, realizing that you have been knowledgeable.
Once you feel confident in yourself, you will be able to influence others. Peers may try to question your authority, reply with positive financial feedback. Collect & study facts & faces, you may be tested to remember, later. You are due to receive a gift or a bonus. Perform your heart out, enjoy the limelight. Offers you receive may be exciting, but you will need time to digest all of the information you have received. Family members, coworkers will vie for your attention. Express your inner thoughts & feelings to someone close to you.
Sagittarius (BH,F,DH,TH) 22 Nov to 21 Dec
Gemini (K,CHH,GH) 21 May to 20 June Circumstances favor you only if you know your place among other stars. You need to choose a simple path rather than the more complex one that you’ve been on. If you want to have an effect on others, you need to be patient and allow the dream to come true. Those who loves you will understand your reluctance to change the rules too quickly. The problems you have now will turn into stepping stones for success in the future. Those you pushed you away will not be included in your plans.
You’ll seem to have a keener understanding of how things work. Look behind the scene & you’ll see all of your options. Play your cards right & you may be celebrating true success. Bring people together by showing them interesting new lifestyle or way to work. Personal relationships will feel more positive than ever. Invest time with family members & you’ll be creating great memories for everybody. Express your ideas with passion & you’ll learn new ways to impress your style.
Capricorn (KH,J) 22 Dec to 20 Jan
Cancer (D,H) 21 June to 22 July Even though you’re part of a team, you need to put yourself ahead of others, for a while. You have a personal mission that takes precedence over everything else. Others are free to follow you, but you can do it on your own. Whether you’re giving out the orders or just moving ahead yourself, you’re bound for a success tour. Rise up and take long, purposeful steps to achieve your goals. You’ll be able to deter failure by insisting on certain precautions. Creativity will take over from daily routines.
Take the time to enjoy all of the favorite things that you really like to do. Don’t be afraid to express yourself. You need to open your mind & your heart to someone who shares your goals. There are no restrictions for you, this week. You may just find the answer to your personal & professional problems. Take your direction from the simple things in life. Your cycle will move up & you’ll be able to rediscover yourself & what you need to feel happy. You need to work hard to achieve your immediate goals.
Aquarius (G,S,SH) 21 Jan to 19 Feb
Leo (M) 23 July to 22 August Watch and learn from strangers, especially those who are very different from you. Old routines or patterns will not work for you, this week. You need to look at things from a wider perspective. New experiences will find their way into your life. An early start to the week will increase your chances for success. Your timing still isn’t perfect, but if you’re determined, everything will move along fine at it’s own pace. Swimming by yourself is much better than sinking. So much the better, if everyone wants to do their own thing.
Virgo (P) 23 August to 22 September Look for the good qualities in others, be sensitive to their feelings but don’t hold back, as admiration to others will turn out good for you. It’ll be very contagious and truly make a difference to someone’s outlook. A new romance will develop from a very unlikely situation. Your heart will prevail over your ego. Go ahead, break away from others preconceived ideas of who you should be and start to dream. The confusion of change is far better than losing new opportunities. A friend will appear where you most need and least expect.
There are so many things going on around you that you may feel like running away from everything. Emotional & physical stress may make you feel a little down. Don’t allow others to put you in the middle of their problems. When asked to give your opinion, express your feelings strongly & clearly. You can lend, an ear to them but you cannot solve their problems for them, let them know that. Now is the time to take charge of your own destiny. Take some time this week end to visit to call someone who’s been on your mind.
Pisces (D,CH,Z) 20 Feb to 20 March You can enhance business, career & prestige in the community. Higher ups may request your time. Listen to other’s ideas on how to handle the situation & plan your strategy, accordingly. Sometimes you may feel as if, you can conquer anything and maybe you can, but remember to thank those who have helped you on your way. They’ll feel it best if you show it through your actions, not just your words. Make sure to keep your positive flow going. Others may require your attention & understanding in a domestic situation. Be careful not to say something that you’ll be sorry for later.
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VOICE OF ASIA 23
NOTICE TO PROPOSERS: Request for subcontractor proposals for the Houston Community College (HCC) – North Forest Campus Automotive Technology Building Project “Durotech, Inc., as Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) for Houston Community College System, will receive proposals from subcontractors and vendor trades for the HCC – North Forest Campus Automotive Technology Building Project, based on documents - NORTH FOREST CAMPUS – AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGY TRAINING CENTER EABPRJB6819920 - ISSUED FOR BIDDING dated January 23, 2017, issued by PGAL Architects. Proposals and qualification statements will be received by Durotech, Inc., until 2:00 P.M. local time on Thursday, April 20, 2017, in the presence of the Owner and Architect at the offices of Durotech, Inc. at 11931 Wickchester Lane, #205, Houston, TX 77043-4501. Proposals may be emailed to email@example.com or faxed to 281-4965637. Prevailing wage rates in conformance with Texas law will be paid on this project. All proposals shall remain valid for sixty (60) days.
CLASSIFIEDS Job Opportunities Available Great Job Opportunity - West Houston, well established distributor looking for motivated team players for the following positions: • A/R, A/P, Data Entry, Invoicing with at least 2 years experience or a College Degree. • Receptionist with light Accounting experience. Beautiful office environment located at Beltway 8 & Memorial. Part-time, Full-time available.
M/WBE Sub Contractors Wanted Coughlan Companies, Inc. DBA Capstone & Capstone Classroom, are bidding on the following RFP’s for Houston ISD: -16-10-48 Teacher and Staff Development-Instructional, 16-10-25 District Instructional Software, 17-02-02 Supplemental Curriculum Materials We are looking for possible M/WBE subcontractors to provide the following products and services: • Graphic Designers • Children’s book illustrators, • Children’s book authors • Translation experts • Printing services • Marketing communication products. If you are interested in providing the above listed products and services, please contact Capstone’s Bid and Contract Department at bids@capstonepub. com by 12pm CST on Friday April 14, 2017.
Please send your resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org • 713-932-0687
Durotech, Inc. is committed to meeting the SBE goals set for this project and encourages all SBE firms to submit a proposal for this project.
Retail Space for Lease
Drawings and Specifications will be available for review at the offices of Durotech, Inc., and at the plan rooms of AGC, Dodge Data & Analytics, Virtual Builders Exchange, Brazos Valley Contractors Association, Construction Data and CMD Group. Contact Alan Montgomery (email@example.com) at 281-558-6892 for information on this project.
Multi-use space for lease Commercial Building. 4902 Fulton st. Houston, TX 77009 To lease space, call:
The Owner, Architect/Engineer and Construction Manager reserve the right to reject any and all proposals, to waive any informalities and irregularities in the proposal process, and to make the awards in the best interest of HCC. By submitting a proposal, each proposer agrees to waive any claim it has or may have against the Owner, the Architect/Engineer, Construction Manager and their respective employees arising out of or in connection with the administration, evaluation, or recommendation of any proposal; waiver of any requirements under the Proposal Documents, or the Contract Documents; acceptance or rejection of any proposals; and award of a Contract.”
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
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Project No. 17-52 Sealed proposals will be received in Procurement Operations (3100 Main Street, Room No. 11B01, Houston, Texas 77002) until 2:00PM (local time) on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. Documents can be obtained at: www.hccs. edu/procurement.
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VOICE OF ASIA 24
FRIDAY, April 7, 2017
Published on Apr 6, 2017
Voice of Asia Newspaper is based in Houston since 1987. We reach South Asian and Asian American families in Houston and surrounding cities i...