Desi News

India Association of Long Island hosts India Fest

Javed Pathan at IALI India Fest. (Courtesy: IALI) The India Association of Long Island (IALI) hosted the India Fest festival on Sunday, September 23, at North Hempstead Beach Park in Port Washington, New York, which was attended by about a 1,000 people and showcased Indian culture with music, dance, food, and arts and crafts, according to a press release. Many social and political dignitaries as well as community leaders were present at the festival including New York State Senator Elaine Phillips, North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judy Bosworth, Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso, Councilwoman Anna Kaplan and Yogacharya Dr. Dayashankar Vidyalankar from the Consulate General of India, who also conducted a yoga session on the beach. All of the attendees were welcomed at the entrance with a tikka and an Indian “costume booth” was set up to allow guests to dress in traditional Indian attire. Another exhibit was a turban-tying station where more…

Desi News

Indian Catholics Celebrate Unity Of Worship, Culture At Annual Event

Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United State (the Vatican ambassador), celebrates the Liturgy of the Eucharist with other Indian-rite bishops and clergy. (Courtesy: Sarah Webb, CatholicPhilly.com) Indian Catholic Heritage Day is an annual tradition at St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church on Welsh Road in Northeast Philadelphia. It is a celebration for all Catholics from India, whether they are Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara, Knanaya or Roman Catholic, and it traces back to the foundation of the Indian American Catholic Association 40 years ago. What made the celebration on Saturday, Sept. 15 extra special this year was the presence of Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the papal nuncio to the United States, who was the principal celebrant of the Mass. It was the first time ever, according to the organizers, that a papal nuncio has visited an Indian Catholic Church in Philadelphia. The archbishop was joined on the altar by Archbishop Matthew Mar Moolakkatt of Kottayma, India, Bishop Jacob Mar Angadiath of the Syro-Malabar Diocese of Chicago, Bishop Philipose Mar…

Desi News

31st AIA Annual Deepavali Festival to be held on October 7

A citation is given to the President Of AIA-NY. (Courtesy: AIA-NY) The Association of Indians in America, New York Chapter (AIA-NY) held its Benefit Gala for the 31st Annual Deepavali Festival, which will take place at the iconic South Street Seaport on Sunday, October 7 from 12 noon to 7 p.m. The gala was held at Leonard’s Palazzo in Long Island on September 22, and it was attended by Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, founder and chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media; Chintu Patel, Co-Chairman of Amneal Pharmaceuticals; Vandana Sharma, Regional Manager of Air India and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone along with many other community members. According to a press release, AIA’s annual Deepavali Festival is one of the largest in the tri-state area and attracts more than 100,000 people, featuring corporate booths, food and clothing vendors, performances and activities for the whole family like the live grand display of fireworks that takes…

Desi News

New DHS ‘public charge’ rules raise stakes for immigrants from India

A man exits the transit area after clearing immigration and customs on arrival at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, U.S., September 24, 2017. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan/Files Indian immigrants to the U.S. and their relatives could potentially face new challenges complicating their ability to immigrate temporarily or permanently, or sponsor family members. The Department of Homeland Security is putting forward a proposal that raises the bar for potential and existing immigrants announcing a proposed rule Sept. 22, that significantly raises the minimum requirements under existing law to ensure that those wanting to come to America can support themselves financially and will not rely on public benefits. Secretary for Homeland Security Kiersten Nielsen, indicated the ‘public charge’ rule basically further clarifies what existed under a “long-standing federal law” which said that those seeking to immigrate to the United States must show they can support themselves. Nielsen has given a 60-day window…

Desi News

India is cutting imports of Iranian oil to zero in November

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani (R) meets India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Tehran, Iran May 23, 2016. President.ir/Handout via REUTERS India isn’t planning to buy any Iranian oil in November, raising the prospect that Tehran will lose another major customer as U.S. sanctions hit and spurring speculation over whether China will follow suit. India is joining other Asian buyers such as South Korea and Japan that have already halted imports from the Persian Gulf state before American restrictions take effect in early November. It’s unclear if China, the world’s biggest oil importer as well as Iran’s top customer, will persist with purchases. Indian Oil Corp. and Bharat Petroleum, the country’s two largest state-owned refiners, haven’t asked for any Iranian cargoes for loading in November, according to officials at the companies. Nayara Energy also doesn’t plan any purchases, said an industry executive. Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. hasn’t made any nominations…

Desi News

Another opportunity for Indian Americans to give back to India

A man holds the flags of India and the U.S. while people take part in the 35th India Day Parade in New York August 16, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/Files Entry India is launching a new initiative, dubbed as the “Apprentice,” that promises to get students from colleges in India to intern at Indian American businesses. According to their website, Entry India helps connect Indian Americans, mainly business owners, with opportunities in India and the “Apprentice” is just another way that will allow Indian Americans to give back to India, according to a press release. The program is not only helpful to the business owners but to the students as well, since the entrepreneurial eco-system in India has become very competitive. The program also allows the student to flourish their talent and grow their expertise, outside of India. Thus far, five Indian universities have agreed to partner up with Entry India for…

Desi News

1,500 people attend 9th Chicago South Asian Film Festival

The 9th Chicago South Asian Film Festival was held in Downtown Chicago from September 20 to 23. (Courtesy: Jigar Shah, Festival Manager) About 1,500 people attended the Ninth Chicago South Asian Film Festival (CSAFF), which was held in Downtown Chicago, at the Showplace ICON Theater and Columbia College, from September 20 to 23 and “had the greatest line-up ever,” according to Jigar Shah, the festival manager. More than 70 films from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Australia, Spain and the Philippines, were screened over the four days including 10 world premieres, 17 North American premieres and 18 Chicago premieres. The CSAFF was started in 2010 by the Chicago South Asian Arts Council to promote arts and films in the Chicagoland area. The festival offers filmmakers a personal touch along with the warmth of Chicago and features panel discussions, opportunities for filmmakers and film lovers to connect, musical performances, tributes…

Desi News

Vraj Walkathon write up and flyer for media blast

Let’s Walk Together! VRAJ is hosting its 3rd Annual Walkathon on Saturday October 20, 2018 at 3:00 pm at Bubeck Park in Schuylkill Haven, PA. All proceeds from the event go to Wayne County Community, including local fire station, food pantry, high school scholarships, EMT, and more. Bring your friends and family for a day of Zumba, music, refreshments, and of course our 5K! Register at Vraj 3rd Annual Walkathon 2018 by September 30th, 2018 to receive a T-shirt and a goodie-bag. One time donations are welcome too. Sign up today! We look forward to seeing you there!

Desi News

India’s top court upholds world’s largest biometric ID program, within limits

An Aadhaar biometric identity card, issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India, in Mumbai, India, on Jan. 28, 2017. (Bloomberg photo by Dhiraj Singh) NEW DELHI – India’s Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the validity of a giant and controversial government program to collect and store the biometric data of its billion-plus citizens, but placed new limits on how the data can be used and stored. A five-judge bench ruled that while the government’s flagship Aadhaar program had huge benefits in delivering welfare efficiently, biometric data can no longer be used by private entities such as banks or mobile phone operators for authentication purposes, curbing the program’s ambitious scope as a universal ID. “Aadhaar empowers the marginalized section of the society and gives them an identity,” said Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri delivering the 1,448-page verdict. Aadhaar – meaning foundation in Hindi – provides each citizen with a unique 12-digit…

Desi News

Rachana Kulkarni named President of American Heart Association of New Jersey

Dr. Rachana Kulkarni (Courtesy: Rachana Kulkarni) Indian American Dr. Rachana Kulkarni has been named as the President of the American Heart Association of New Jersey and will be leading their Board of Directors for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Kulkarni is the Managing Partner and President of Medicor Cardiology, which is part of the Atlantic Health System and has dedicated her professional career to raise heart disease awareness in women; she will be the first Indian American and woman to lead the American Heart Association of New Jersey. In addition, she has been leading the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” initiative for the past decade, through which, the course of heart disease and cardiac deaths in women have gone down by 30 percent in the nation. This year, Kulkarni was recognized as a ‘Public Health Hero of New Jersey’ for promoting a culture of Heart Health and was awarded the Woman of Distinction Award by the…