Desi News

US tech companies play green card to hold on to talent

American tech firms are increasingly sponsoring green cards, or permanent US residency, for their employees from India and elsewhere in a bid to hold on to their skilled talent pool at a time when work visa extensions have become unpredictable. Eight out of the top 10 companies that applied for green cards for their employees in fiscal 2019 were US firms, show data released by the US labour department. Amazon, which also received the second highest number of H-1B work visas in FY19, filed 3,247 permanent residency applications followed by Cognizant and Google with 2,927 and 2,425 applications, respectively. Others in the top 10 list included Intel, Facebook, Microsoft, Cisco and Deloitte – besides Indian firms Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys at number five and seven, respectively – all with more than 1,000 applications each. “Cognizant has consistently been an industry leader in sponsoring many of our employees in securing…

Desi News

Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation’s milestone gala raises $3.1 million for India projects

Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation gala organizers cheer as they declare the $3.1 million raised for charitable work in India’s villages at the Nov. 9, 2019, fundraising event held at Gotham Hall in Manhattan. (Photo: courtesy Ekal) (New York, NY) — For the third year in a row, Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation presented the “Future of India” Gala, which took place on Saturday, November 9 at Gotham Hall in Manhattan. The gala helped raise $3.1 Million in supporting Ekal’s mission to eradicate illiteracy throughout rural and tribal India and has put the organization within reach of its goal of establishing 100,000 schools in the most remote parts of the country, the organization said in a press release. Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi, known for his philanthropic work with children in India, speaking at the Nov. 9, 2019 fundraising gala hosted by Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation, at Gotham Hall in Manhattan. (Photo: courtesy Ekal) Distinguished  speakers…

Desi News

Amazon’s $1.5 million could not defeat Indian-American socialist from winning Seattle City Council race

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant speaks in front of the Amazon Spheres during a protest to demand that the city of Seattle tax the largest corporations to help fund affordable housing, according to organizers, in Seattle, Washington, U.S., April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo Kshama Sawant (an Indian-American) has long been at odds with big business. In her six years on Seattle’s City Council as its first socialist elected in nearly a century, she has backed a tax on large companies and pushed successfully to make Seattle the first major city with a $15-per-hour minimum wage. But Sawant’s campaign for reelection this year pitted her against Amazon, Seattle’s largest private employer, more conspicuously than ever. The retail giant has put $1.5 million toward City Council races this cycle, via a business-interest group that spent nearly half a million dollars in support of Sawant’s opponent – a massive expansion of the…

Desi News

Amazon’s $1.5 million could not defeat Indian-American socialist’s from winning Seattle City Council race

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant speaks in front of the Amazon Spheres during a protest to demand that the city of Seattle tax the largest corporations to help fund affordable housing, according to organizers, in Seattle, Washington, U.S., April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo Kshama Sawant (an Indian-American) has long been at odds with big business. In her six years on Seattle’s City Council as its first socialist elected in nearly a century, she has backed a tax on large companies and pushed successfully to make Seattle the first major city with a $15-per-hour minimum wage. But Sawant’s campaign for reelection this year pitted her against Amazon, Seattle’s largest private employer, more conspicuously than ever. The retail giant has put $1.5 million toward City Council races this cycle, via a business-interest group that spent nearly half a million dollars in support of Sawant’s opponent – a massive expansion of the…

Desi News

Murder-Suicide:Bollywood’s powerful impact plays out in New York City neighborhood

Dineshwar Budhidat and Donne ‘Rehanna’ Dojoy getting married this July. Months later, he stabbed and left her dead in his apartment Nov. 8, 2019, and committed suicide shortly thereafter. (Photo Facebook) A young Indian-American woman of Guyanese descent, living in Queens, New York, thousands of miles away from India’s tinsel town was the latest casualty in a bizarre murder-suicide apparently stemming from her adulation for a Bollywood screen idol. News reports link 27 year old Donne Dojoy’s stabbing death Nov. 8, 2019, in her former Ozone Park residence, to her infatuation for Hrithik Roshan, the Bollywood heartthrob and superstar whose movies she devoured avidly much to her husband Dineshwar Budhidat’s  (also called Dinhwar in some news reports) dislike and mounting jealousy. Bollywood megastar Hrithik Roshan performs in a New Delhi concert Feb. 23, 2001 (Photo REUTERS/ Kamal Kishore) That mounting jealousy reportedly turned to heightened violence by a man known…

Desi News

Shahidul Alam’s indelible images of immigration and floods

Shahidul Alam, Airport Goodbye, Dhaka Airport, Bangladesh, 1996. Photo courtesy of Rubin Museum of Art. NEW YORK – The first comprehensive US museum survey of Shahidul Alam, the renowned Bangladeshi photographer and activist, who was a Time magazine Person of the Year in 2018, ‘Shahidul Alam: Truth to Power’, is exhibited at the Rubin Museum of Art, New York, through May 4, 2010. Over 40 images and ephemera on display show the breadth of Alam’s practice and impact throughout his four-decade career. The exhibition includes portraits, landscapes, and scenes of daily life, strife, and resistance in the “majority world”—a phrase Alam has used since the 1990s to reframe the notion of the “third world” or “global south.” The term also confronts the ways in which Western media continues to define how the majority of the world’s population – especially Bangladesh – is portrayed in relation to poverty and disaster. While…

Desi News

SJIA donates over 3,000 pounds of food to local food bank in New Jersey

Members of the South Jersey Indian Association (SJIA), in partnership with several prominent organizations of the area, donated over 3000 pound of food to the Community Food bank of New Jersey (CFBNJ) in Egg Harbor Township, on November 8, 2019. Photo courtesy of SJIA. The South Jersey Indian Association (SJIA), in partnership with several prominent organizations of the area, collected over 3000 pound of food under its month-long SewaDiwali food drive, and donated it on November 8, 2019, to the Community Food bank of New Jersey (CFBNJ) in Egg Harbor Township. Special guest Anthony Coppola, Mayor, Galloway Township, some community leaders, including Jayesh Jha (Gayatri Pariwar),  Monika Jha, Pushpa, Harshitaben (Brahma Kumaris),  Rama Bodapatti; business leaders Romesh Ruthnaswamy (AIMS), Vishal Brahmbhatt (ReMax of AC),  Nandini Singh (Kuman) and SJIA members, were present on this occasion. Colette Kraus of the CFBNJ received the food as donation, according to a press release…

Desi News

Reception organized for Kamala Harris in New York

(Left to right) Nissim Reuben (President – Indian American Jewish Council), Stanley Bergman (Former President of American Jewish Council), Senator Kamala Harris, Ramesh Kapur (Chairman, US India Security Council), Rajender Dichpally (Director, US India Security Council) and Deepak Raj (Founder and President, Pratham, USA), Photo courtesy of the organizers. Ramesh Kapoor, Chairman of US India Security Council and Deepak Raj, Founder and Managing Director of Pratham, the Democratic stalwarts from New Jersey, hosted a reception for Sen. Kamala Harris, in New York, on November 7, 2019. The event was by co-hosted by Padma Shri H R Shah, the Chairman of TV Asia, Rajender Dichpally and Dr. Jayesh Patel. The event was organized by The Indian American Impact Fund who had endorsed Harris for President, early in the spring and the US India Security Council. Speaking to the gathering, Harris said, “I assure to everyone a more equitable and fair distribution…

Desi News

Debut South Asian Film Festival in New York to feature 4 world premieres

Twenty four shorts, documentaries and feature films will premiere at the first-ever New York City South Asian Film Festival (SAFF), presented by Toyota, between Friday, November 15 and Sunday, November 17, 2019, at various locations around Manhattan. The festival boasts four world premieres, three North American premieres and 17 New York City premieres, according to a press release. Timely and relevant themes such as immigration, surrogacy, police brutality and the aftermath of HIV/AIDS will be explored; under-represented communities such as transgenders, deaf and hard-of-hearing and outcasts will be acknowledged. “Our programming team has worked incredibly hard to strike the right balance and showcase the most current, ground-breaking, topical independent cinema from various parts of South Asia at our inaugural festival,” said Jitin Hingorani, Founder and Festival Director, in a statement. “We have focused our efforts on really engaging the millennials (Generation Z), as they are the future filmmakers, cinephiles, producers…

Desi News

Nikki Haley claims top aides tried to recruit her to ‘save the country’ by undermining Trump

Then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in the Oval Office of the White House in October 2017. (Washington Post photo by Jabin Botsford) NEW YORK – Two of President Donald Trump’s senior advisers undermined and ignored him in what they claimed was an effort to “save the country,” former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley claims in a new memoir. Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly sought to recruit her to work around and subvert Trump, but she refused, Haley writes in a new book, “With All Due Respect,” which also describes Tillerson as “exhausting” and imperious and Kelly as suspicious of her access to Trump. “Kelly and Tillerson confided in me that when they resisted the president, they weren’t being insubordinate, they were trying…