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Report Dated March 27, 2017 7:17 PM
A 24-year-old American, who took a bullet for an Indian, has been honoured as ‘A True American Hero’ by the Indian-American community in Houston which raised $100,000 to help him buy a house in his hometown Kansas.
Ian Grillot, who was injured when he tried to intervene in the shooting by a Navy veteran targetting Indians at a bar in Olathe, Kansas last month, was honoured at the 14th annual gala of India House Houston.
Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed and his colleague Alok Madasani was critically injured in the shooting.
India House is a community centre built by Americans of Indian origin in the Greater Houston area.
Report Dated March 20, 2017 5:46 PM
Indian-Americans, particularly Hindus and Sikh, have become victims of Islamophobia and xenophobia in the US, the community members said as they held an awareness rally against hate crimes in front of the White House seeking President Donald Trump’s intervention in the matter.
A few dozen Indian-Americans representing various Indian-American groups from in and around the Greater Washington Area held a peaceful demonstration in view of the recent surge in hate crimes against the community.
In a petition memorandum submitted to President Trump, the recently established Coalition of Indian American organisations of the USA, which organised the event, urged him to intervene in the matter and take steps to punish the culprits under federal hate crimes law.
It also urged the President to allay the fears of the Indian-American community and show his support, and take remediation steps to eliminate the hate.
The peaceful protest was organised in the aftermath of a series of hate crime incidents against Indian-Americans.
Report Dated March 19, 2017 7:15 PM
At first glance it would just look like a regular tiffin service. But this tiffin service started by NRI Mahendra Patel and supported by a group of NRIs, offers meals free to the needy in Anand town of Central Gujarat.
For elderly and NRIs who can afford to pay, it comes at a token of Rs.2 – just to meet the transportation cost for the auto drivers who ensure that the tiffins reach daily to the doorsteps of all who have booked it. Patel and his group, most of them, who have crossed their 70s, have been running this service since last five and a half years. And among those who contribute for this service are not only NRIs spread across the globe but also Muslim brothers – Imran and Mehboob, who have continued their father late Nanumiyan Malek’s legacy of ensuring that 20 kg to 40 kg free fresh veggies reach at 7 am to cook the meals daily.
“When we had started with the first donation, we were supplying 51 tiffins in a day. Now, we supply around 300 tiffins on a daily basis. But money has never been constraint for us. After my friend Malek’s death, his sons have continued supplying vegetables free even if prices of vegetables in the market skyrocket,” says Patel, a professor who took voluntary retirement from a college in Mahudha town of Kheda district.
Interestingly, while the ‘weekly menu’ is fixed, patients suffering from diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure and acidity are provided meals as per their medical requirements.
“We wanted to continue serving the nation and the best way to do it is to serve the hungry,” says Patel, 75, whose five daughters and son are settled in United States where four of them are serving as CEOs in banking and pharma sector but the septuagenarian, stays in Anand to ensure that Shree Jalaram Jan Kalyan Seva continues its service from Kanya Shala number 2.
Like him, Ramesh Patel, 73, who retired as principal of Sardar Patel High School, Boriavi and his wife Dharmishtha – both American citizens – have the option to enjoy their retired life with US $ 2,000 as monthly pension apart from medical and transportation benefits.
If Virginia-based motel owner Shailesh Patel, having his roots in Tarapur town of Anand district, contributes at least Rs one lakh a year, Jagdish Patel, who is based in Lusaka, Zambia, ensures that spices worth Rs 80,000 are delivered at the shed where the meals are cooked.
Similarly, Mangla Karia, a resident of Vallabh Vidyanagar, since last three years, has been supplying 150 ‘kattas’ of branded flour while another resident of Anand supplies green grams worth Rs 60,000 every 12 months.
“The list of such donors is long. In fact, our monthly expense in running this service would come to nearly Rs 15,000 but we still have a fixed deposit worth Rs 12 lakh and that too without making any appeal for donations,” says Patel, adding that recently a NRI who had booked the tiffin for a week when he was ill, donated Rs 2.5 lakh cheque, before flying back to United States.
Report Dated March 6, 2017 7:50 PM
A number of Hindu Americans were up in arms against CNN for airing a show which they alleged portrays Hinduism in a negative light.
‘Believer with Reza Aslan’, a six-episode “spiritual adventures series”, was premiered this week. The show explores the facts and myths behind the Aghori, a mystical Hindu sect known for extreme rituals.
Eminent Indian American Shalabh Kumar, a top supporter of the US President Donald Trump said, “this is a disgusting attack on Hinduism.”
In a tweet, Kumar said, “Hinduism has been attacked because a large number of Hindu Americans supported Trump during the election campaign.”
“When we are witnessing intolerant attacks on minorities, telecasting this serial will add more misrepresentation, bias and may lead more hate crimes,” said Khanderao Kand, a community leader who had initiated efforts to eradicate misrepresentation of Hinduism in California text books in 2004.
“We are very disappointed. This is an issue that is of deep concern to the Indian American community evidenced by the large number of calls/emails we have received. In a charged environment, a show like this can create a perception about Indian Americans which could make them more vulnerable to further attacks,” said USINPAC chairman Sanjay Puri.
Report Dated March 2, 2017 10:45 AM
In a noble gesture, an NRI woman from Coimbatore gave away Rs. 15 lakh to families of three police officers who lost their lives during service.
Susheela George, founder of Abu Dhabi-based Merryland International School, gave Rs. 5 lakh each to the kin of three police officers.
The amount was awarded to the families of former police officers Rajarathinam who was stabbed to death by criminals during duty in 1985, Selvaraj, a traffic police who was killed by terrorists in 1997, and Chandrasekaran who was run over by a vehicle while trying to stop it for having caused an accident in 2011.
A release from the police said that Ms. George also donated money for renovation and modernisation of police hospital functioning on Police Recruits School campus on Avinashi Road.
Ms. George interacted with parents of about 50 children suffering from blood cancer, treatment expenses of whom are borne by her. She elicitated Rajasekar Thirugnanam of Department of Haemato oncologist at KMCH.