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COMMUNITY | News in Brief:

Cupertino Chamber of Commerce to Celebrate Diwali | Nargis Dutt Foundation Show Raises $500,000 | Calfornia Cricket Academy U.K. Tour | SBA Administrator | ‘Loins of Punjab’ | Death Mourned | Being Healthy for Your Baby | AAPIs for Obama

Cupertino Chamber of Commerce to Celebrate Diwali

Children before performing at last year’s Diwali festival at Memorial Park in Cupertino, Calif.

The Sixth Annual Diwali-Festival of Lights will be held at Memorial Park Sept. 27 from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., according to a press release from organizers Asian American Business Council of the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce.

Festivities will include ethnic food, music and dance including a traditional rangoli display.  Admission to the festival grounds is free.

Diwali marks the beginning of the new business year in India and it is a festival of joy, splendor, brightness, happiness and prosperity.

“Visitors to the festival will be treated to a festive atmosphere of sari festooned trees, spectacular lanterns, and a cultural kaleidoscope of activities and performances,” the release added.  The day’s events include a Kids Zone art show, community and elected leaders in native Indian clothing.   Indian food, music and dance will be on display.

Attendees can get decorative mehendi on the palm of their hands, learn their future with a visit to the fortune teller’s stall or attend the bazaar with ethnic Indian art, clothing, jewelry, children’s books and toys.

“The Diwali Festival of Lights is an excellent opportunity to bring the business community together to celebrate a holiday that is very significant for our Indian population,” said event chair Mahesh Nihalani.

Asian American Business Council Chair Ram Gopal added: “The mission of the AABC is to promote, strengthen and enhance the inter-ethnic business environment in the Cupertino Chamber and the Diwali Festival has proven to an excellent way to bridge our business community with the residents of Cupertino.”

For more information call (408) 252-7054 or visit www.cupertino-chamber.org


Nargis Dutt Foundation Show Raises $500,000

Vidya Balan (r) at the Nargis Dutt Memorial Foundation’s 27th Annual Benefit Dinner & Fashion Fiesta Aug. 24 in Long Island, N.Y.

Bollywood actress Vidya Balan was guest of honor at the 27th Annual Benefit Dinner & Fashion Fiesta organized by the Nargis Dutt Memorial Foundation (at the Marriott Hotel in Uniondale, Long Island, New York Aug. 24, according to a press release from organizers. About $500,000 was raised in donations and pledges. Proceeds go towards supporting cancer treatment in India.

 “I’m more than glad to be part of this event and have come only to lend my support to the Nargis Dutt Memorial Foundation for such a noble cause,” Vidya told the audience. “If my presence or my name brings in one extra person or one extra check or greater amount of awareness I would be really happy to do it. I wish that people present here really open their hearts out to help people in need.”

NDMF has been working to help not-for-profit medical facilities in India in their fight against cancer. It has joined hands this year with the Indo-American Cancer Association, which is run by top-notch cancer physicians of Indian descent in America. NDMF president Dr Inderpal S. Chhabra said, “We will be sponsoring some doctors from India to come and study here for a few months, as fellows.  They are taking up a project on palliative care, which is unheard of India. IACA is taking initiatives with some local hospitals and we are going to be joining them. We expected to raise about $720,000 tonight but eventually managed $500,000. We’ll put our level best to make it $1 million next year.”

The designer duo of Prriya and Chintan enthralled a gathering of 500 with 17 of their excellent couture of lehengas, corsets, dresses, churidar suits and jewelry collections.

Bollywood actor-director Kumar Gaurav who is also the son-in-law of late Sunil and Nargis Dutt, came from Mumbai to attend the event. Sanjay Dutt’s daughter Trishala Dutt also made an appearance.


Calfornia Cricket Academy U.K. Tour

CCA Team prior to their departure for U.K.

California Cricket Academy undertook its second international tour to England for U-17 players Aug. 14 – Aug. 23. CCA organized its first international tour to India last year with U-15 players from different part of the country played at international stadiums in India.

“California cricket academy is committed to produce talented cricketers for the U.S. team by providing them world-class skill enhancement and games training.  This year we invited 3 players from outside the academy and outside California. All our coaches advised us to tour England and play in English weather and pitch condition. Thanks to our credibility among different international organizations, we are able to do the right thing for our youth by working with them. We will be certainly open to help out other academies and associations for our common goal of having strong U.S. team,” said Hemant Buch, founder and president of the California Cricket Academy and chairman of the USACA Western Region.

Representing the youth team from U.S. on this tour were players from all over the U.S. including New York, Kansas, Michigan and California.  CCA coach Tushar Arothe based in India traveled with the team locally.

The team played against different cricket clubs in the Manchester area.  The trip included four 40-over matches and two 20-over matches.

The squad included 11 seasoned players who have been playing within U.S. for many years. All but one has participated in U15 National tournaments.

The squad: Vinay Suri, Akash Jaganathan, Deep Sathe, Adhiraj Watave, Alok Mehta, Jason Fox, Steven Shaw, Chanakya Lokam, Pranay Suri and Gaurav Ambekar.


SBA Administrator

Sandy K. Baruah

In response to President George W. Bush naming Sandy K. Baruah to be the U.S. Small Business Administration’s acting administrator, the agency welcomed Baruah and prepared for his arrival.

Baruah, who is pending U.S. Senate confirmation as SBA administrator, is assistant secretary for economic development at the Department of Commerce, and comes to SBA with deep experience in promoting local business growth, managing organizational change, and responding to federal disasters.  He has worked for small businesses, helped small businesses grow, and was raised by a mother who ran her own small business.

Baruah helped lead significant accomplishments for the Economic Development Administration, including the agency’s induction into the Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame, passage of EDA’s Congressional reauthorization, the agency’s inclusion in President Bush’s Executive Order which established the Preserve America Initiative, and achieved the second-highest effectiveness ranking from the White House’s Office Management and Budget.

Baruah was nominated June 26.

“I’m honored to be named SBA’s Acting Administrator by the President,” Baruah said.  “I look forward to working with deputy administrator Jovita Carranza, who has ably carried on the agency’s work with SBA’s great team of professional staff.  I intend to help SBA carry on its mission as it navigates the height of hurricane season and deals with the current economic challenges and tightening credit opportunities for small business.”

 “I’m also committed to continuing former SBA administrator Steve Preston’s reform agenda and seeing its improvements through,” Baruah added.  “SBA’s customers and employees deserve an agency that is efficient, effective and customer friendly in fulfilling its important mission.”


Loins of Punjab’

(From l-r): Bikramjit, Kunaal Roy Kapoor, Jameel Khan and Shabana Azmi in “Loins of Punjab presents.” (Horn OK Please Entertainment photo)

Emerging Pictures has announced Manish Acharya’s feature directorial debut Loins of Punjab Presents will make its U.S. theatrical premiere Sept. 12 at New York City’s Quad Cinema (34 West 13th St.) and the ImaginAsian Theater (239 E. 59th Street). The film goes on to open throughout the fall in cities around the country including: San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.; Chicago, Ill.; Union City, N.J.; Connecticut; and Dallas and Houston, TX.

American Idol, step aside – at least for the singers showcasing their talents in the three-day New Jersey-based, Bollywood-inspired Desi Idol competition, sponsored by local butcher company Loins of Punjab,” says a press release from the filmmaker. “The finalists competing for the $25,000 prize represent the South Asian diaspora through a delightfully eclectic cross-section of would-be superstars.”

Loins of Punjab Presents stars Shabana Azmi (Fire, Arth, City of Joy), Ajay Naidu (Office Space, Suburbia, Bad Santa), Ayesha Dharkar (Bombay Dreams, Star Wars Episode II), Darshan Jariwala, Seema Rahmani, Jameel Khan, Ishita Sharma, Michael Raimondi and Manish Acharya.

“Following the familiar trajectory of singing competition shows, but with a deadpan humor perfectly fitting its small-town, New Jersey hotel conference room setting, Loins of Punjab Presents is a sly, guilty pleasure, sending up the kitsch shared by both Bollywood and American Idol, where celebrity dreams can be just one catchy performance away,” the release adds. “A novel take on South Asian culture, the film comically and affectionately embraces the quirks of diasporic identity and family.”


Death Mourned

Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio

Rep. Michael Honda, D-Calif., chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, issued the following statement on the death of Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio: “On behalf of CAPAC, I join my colleagues to extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones.

“Representative Tubbs Jones has served our country and the state of Ohio with great compassion, purpose, and dignity. She has championed voting rights, economic development, access to health care, and quality education for our youth and has fought to make the American dream a reality. The principles of equal rights and equal opportunity for all Americans have always been deeply ingrained in her work.

“As a public servant, she has blazed trails in Ohio and on the national stage throughout her career. In her role as the first African American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio, she worked closely with the Congressional Tri-Caucus, consisting of CAPAC, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, to ensure that voices of all Americans, regardless of race, class, and gender, are heard in Congress. We are deeply indebted to her contributions and will continue to fight for the causes to which she has dedicated her public life. We will miss her dearly.”

The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. For more information on CAPAC, visit http://www.honda.house.gov/capac.


Being Healthy for Your Baby

Expectant mothers who receive routine prenatal care – the medical attention a woman receives throughout her pregnancy – are more likely to have healthier babies and less likely to deliver prematurely or have other serious problems during pregnancy.

Many women, particularly first-time mothers, are often unaware of what takes place at prenatal check-ups. That’s why First 5 California provides the following guide to help women understand what to expect during prenatal appointments.

Prenatal care begins at conception. Once a woman knows or thinks she may be pregnant, she should visit a health care provider right away.

After deciding on her health care professional, a woman should meet with him or her regularly throughout the pregnancy.

First 5 California encourages all mothers-to-be to visit their health care providers early and often.

Research shows that a child’s brain develops most dramatically in the first five years and what parents and caregivers do during these years to support their child’s growth will have a meaningful impact throughout life. Based on this research, First 5 California, also known as the California Children and Families Commission, was established after voters passed Proposition 10 in November 1998, adding a 50 cents-per-pack tax on cigarettes to fund education, health, child care and other programs for expectant parents and children ages 0 to 5.


AAPIs for Obama

The Obama campaign has announced new membership of the executive and steering committees of the Asian American and Pacific Islanders for Obama Leadership Council.  The general election committees were expanded to include AAPI supporters of former presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards.

“I am honored to be a member of the steering committee for AAPIs for Obama Leadership Council,” said Irene Natividad, former National Chair of AAPI Women for Hillary.  “I look forward to working with Asian American and Pacific Islander community leaders across the country as we share with AAPI voters that Barack Obama’s story is our story, and there is no better champion of the issues that are important to our community than Senator Obama.”

“Barack Obama epitomizes all that is possible in this great country of ours,” said Jadine Nielsen, former Hawaii State Director for John Edwards.  “He was born and raised in Hawaii, a majority AAPI state, and he spent time as a child in Indonesia.  His family members include a sister who is half-Indonesian and a brother-in-law who’s Chinese-Canadian.  He is a candidate who reflects our multi-cultural society at its best.”

The members of the Executive Committee of AAPIs for Obama Leadership Council are Jacinta Titialii Abbott, Gloria Caoile, Nancy Chen, Ann Lata Kalayil, Hrishi Karthikeyan, Dale Minami, Konrad Ng, Catherine Park, Stanley Toy, Lee Pao Xiong and Janet Yang.



Current Issue in PDF Format:
Click here to read in PDF format

Subversive Subprimes:
The Political Economy of the Financial Crisis

Dodgy housing loans and murky financial instruments have created an unholy financial mess, writes Ashok Bardhan.

A Sindhi’s Ordeal: The Incarceration of Safdar Sarki
Sindhi nationalist Safdar Sarki recently spoke about his 20-month ordeal in Pakistan, writes Ali Hasan Cementdaur.

False Premise: Indo-U.S. Nuclear Deal
The U.S.-India nuclear accord is testament to the failure of the Indian Department of Atomic Energy, writes M.V. Ramana.

IIFA Awards 2008
A Siliconeer Exclusive Photo Essay

EDITORIAL: Financial Meltdown
SUBCONTINENT: Legal to Love?
ART: Urban Impressions
SOCIAL WORK: Helping Bangladesh
COMMUNITY: India I-Day Celebrations
PHILANTHROPY: Eastern Elegance
TRAVEL: Sequoia National Park
CULTURE: Rathyatra in SF
AUTO REVIEW: 2008 Lexus RX 400h
RECIPE: Hawaiian Crispy Fritters
FILM REVIEW: Streets of Karachi
CULTURE: Rhythm Sorcerers
COMMUNITY: News in Briefs
BUSINESS: News Briefs
HOROSCOPE: September

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