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COMMUNITY | News in Brief:

Isha Yoga Founder Speaks in San Francisco | Sri Krupa at De Anza Performing Arts Center | Rotary Recognized | Odissi Show | Health Fair | Kalam to Be Honored | Kit for Parents | CEO Recognized

Isha Yoga Founder Speaks in San Francisco

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev in San Francisco

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, a yoga instructor and spiritual leader offered a free discourse on how to achieve bliss and freedom in today’s challenging times recently.  Over 1,000 people listened to him  March 20 at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco.

“Passionate, probing, deeply insightful and witty, Sadhguru has earned a reputation as a speaker and opinion-maker of international renown,” organizers said in a press release.  Most recently, he was invited to return for a fourth visit as a speaker at the 2009 World Economic Forum, participating in over 12 sessions.

Sadhguru has been featured on the Bill Moyer’s recent PBS special “Beyond Our Differences” (www.beyondourdifferences.com), in the company of the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Deepak Chopra and other world spiritual leaders.  Other notable speaking engagements include the United Nations Millennium Peace Summit and the Tallberg Forum.  Recently, he was a key presenter at the Dartmouth/Tucks Executive Education Global Leadership 2020 Program. This conference hosted senior executives from several Fortune 500 companies. 

Worldwide, millions of people of all ages, races and religions practice Sadhguru’s scientifically-based yoga that brings harmony to the body, mind, emotions and energy – leaving practitioners naturally joyful and peaceful.

Sadhguru is the founder of Isha Foundation, an international non-profit organization that has implemented several large-scale human service projects for rural upliftment, education reform, environmental stewardship, as well as holistic and healthy living. 


Sri Krupa at De Anza Performing Arts Center

Dancers of the Shri Krupa Dance Company

The Shri Krupa Dance Company performed the final event of the grand opening of the De Anza College's Visual & Performing Arts Center March 8 to a packed audience of about 350, including Cupertino Mayor Orrin Mahoney and his wife Carol, members of the Silicon Valley Arts Council, and other dignitaries.

This performance was made possible by efforts of De Anza president Brian Murphy, director marketing and communications Marisa Spatafore and Cupertino Chamber of Commerce board member Mahesh Nihalani.

Shri Krupa Dance Company is a 32 year old dance company, and the first Bharatanatyam dance school in the Bay Area.  Vishal Ramani, the artistic director of Shri Krupa, choreographed "The Rhythmic Bells," a 90 minute series of dances performed by 32 dancers, set to Ghatam Karthick's challenging "Thacka Dhimi Thacka Jhunu - Heart Beat" percussion ensemble. 

The performance was packed with innovative ideas, whimsy, gorgeous visual effects, and stunning footwork, accentuated by the dancers' brass ankle bells.  Though all of it was unmistakably Bharatanatyam, one piece was set largely to Western classical music; another featured the dancers in dazzling, unconventional black and white costumes. 


Rotary Recognized

The Cupertino Rotary Club Past President Orrin Mahoney reported that the Concert for Polio Plus in October 2008 at the Flint Center, the brain child of Cupertino Rotarians  Mahesh Nihalani and Ram Gopal, drew 1,600 attendees to the event which raised more than $23,000 towards eradication of polio in India

The headline performers of the event were Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia and Pandit Habib Khan.  In addition to the success the event had in raising money for this worthy cause, it also allowed the club to deliver the Rotary message and partner with those who share the desire to help others and make valuable contributions as well as provide exceptional community service. 

Past President John Giovanola introduced three individuals who were instrumental in the success of the event.  Sanjana Anand, Ravi Pathak, and Rekha Alur were each honored with a Community Paul Harris Fellow Award, which is the highest award presented in Rotary as a way to show appreciation for recognition of exceptional selfless service to the community.

On March 11, former Rotary international President (86-87) M.A.T. Caparas, who was at the forefront of the Rotary initiative to eradicate polio, visited the Rotary Club of Cupertino with a challenge of Rotary to raise $200 million dollars in the next three years for final eradication of polio.

Past President and Cupertino Mayor Orrin Mahoney joined Caparas and President Steve Ting on stage to recognize Cupertino Rotary members Mahesh Nihalani and Ram Gopal who organized a successful concert to raise money for eradicating polio in India, which is one of the four countries in the world where polio still exists.


Odissi Show

Odissi Performers of Guru Shradha school.

“Guru Shradha: A Journey Begins” is the eponymous Odissi dance school's inaugural performance March 29 in Woodside, Calif., and is a tribute to the inspiration behind it all — Late Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, according to a press release from the dance school. The program will include performances by Sujata Mohapatra, artistic director of Guru Shradha, Niharika Mohanty, director, and students of Guru Shradha, accompanied by a live orchestra from Orissa, India.

“Odissi is one of India's oldest and most graceful classical dance forms. Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra is considered to be one of the key revivalists of this dance form and is recognized internationally as a founding father of modern-day Odissi dance,” the release said. “He was a brilliant choreographer, a glorious dancer, an exceptional teacher, a spiritual guide, a gifted percussionist and, most significantly, an outstanding human being.”

Guru Shradha has been founded by Niharika Mohanty who serves as director and Sujata Mohapatra who is the artistic director. Niharika Mohanty has been teaching Odissi for the last 15 years, and performs and promotes Odissi widely across North America. Sujata Mohapatra, is a leading Odissi dancer/choreographer and performs extensively worldwide.

In 2003, Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra gave his blessing to Niharika Mohanty, one of his prominent U.S.-based students to open an Odissi dance institution in the U.S. Six years later, Guru Shradha will be formally opened with a full-length dance program including choreographies of Guru Mohapatra, his son Ratikant Mohapatra and daughter-in-law, Sujata Mohapatra.

More information is available at the school’s Web site at: www.gurushradha.org


Health Fair

A Free BAPS Charities Health Fair with general health checkup, workshops and blood donation camp was held April 11 at the BAPS temple in Milpitas, Calif., according to an announcement from the organizers.

Many medical and dental professionals will provide an array of services, including blood pressure and cholesterol test, cardiology, diabetes, general health checkup and eye checkup to over 150 participants.

BAPS Care Health Awareness Drive helps bridge the healthcare gap for those without adequate health insurance and access to specialist medical professionals. It also addressed the scarcity of blood donors in the Bay Area by hosting the Blood Donation Drive in collaboration with the Stanford Blood Center.

BAPS Charities is a nonprofit international charity organization committed to sincerely serving the world by caring for individuals, families and communities.

It was registered as an independent charity in USA and Canada after serving since 1950 under the wing of its parent organization, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) which was founded in 1907.

Among social service charities, BAPS Charities is a respected and trusted name. It has amassed over 50 years of firsthand experience in initiating, managing and sustaining over 160 humanitarian activities throughout the world in such diverse fields as: Medical Services, Educational Services, Environmental Services, Community Services, Tribal Services and Disaster Relief Services.

For information email sjbaps_medical@yahoo.com or call (408) 263-BAPS (2277)


Kalam to Be Honored

Dr. Abdul Kalam, the former president of India, will be honored with the 2008 Hoover Medal.  The Hoover Medal was established to recognize outstanding civic or humanitarian activities, constituting distinguished public service by an engineer.

The award is administered by representatives from the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Kalam is being recognized for making state-of-the-art healthcare available to the common man at affordable prices, bringing quality medical care to rural areas by establishing a link between doctors and technocrats, using spin-offs of defense technology to create state-of-the-art medical equipment, and launching telemedicine projects connecting remote rural-based hospitals to the super-specialty hospital.

Upliftment of the rural population of India has always been of prime concern to Dr. Kalam.  Many of the projects that Dr. Kalam launched during his career have been designed to bring some of the advantages of the modern world to the remote and economically deprived segments of the Indian population at an affordable price. 

Dr. Kalam played in the creation of “telemedicine,” a system that helps connect rural hospitals with super-specialty medical centers in India and abroad.  Yet another of Dr. Kalam’s achievements has been the establishment of the Society of Biomedical Technology in 1993.  This initiative that provided diverse opportunities to several million people was designed to combine Indian defense technology with local medical expertise to produce state-of-the-art medical equipment and low cost consumables that were previously being imported at steep rates. Some of SBMT’s successful products include a coronary stent christened Kalam-Raju stent, an ophthalmic laser and medical calipers.


Kit for Parents

First 5 commissions—funded by tobacco tax to aid kids aged 0 to 5 years — from Alameda, San Francisco and San Mateo counties highlighted free and low-cost services and resources available to Bay Area families with children ages 0-5, including the recently released Asian language Kit for New Parents. The information was shared at a roundtable briefing for members of the Asian Pacific Islander American media at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center.

“The goal of First 5 is to give California children a chance to grow up healthy and succeed in life, regardless of language and cultural barriers,” said Mark Friedman, CEO of First 5 Alameda. “The APIA population is an important part of the Bay Area community. We want to let APIA parents and caregivers know that our programs and resources are available to them, especially as more families are struggling in the economic downturn.”

The new Asian language Kit for New Parents was showcased at the event. This free comprehensive parenting resource developed by First 5 California features practical information in a user-friendly format to help build parents’ confidence in their new role. The Kit features advice and tips for parents during a child’s first five years, addressing topics such as prenatal care, nutrition, discipline and finding quality child care. The free Kit, valued at $75, is available in four Asian languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and Vietnamese.

Dr. Ricky Choi, pediatric department head at Asian Health Services, discussed the usefulness of the Kit and the important role of parents in young children’s health and well-being.

For more information about First 5 programs and resources in Alameda, San Francisco or San Mateo, contact First 5 Alameda at (510) 875-2400; First 5 San Francisco at (415) 934-4849; and First 5 San Mateo at (650) 372-9500. 


CEO Recognized

Hughes Network Systems, a global leader in broadband satellite network solutions and services, has announced  that Chairman and CEO Pradman Kaul, has been named Via Satellite magazine’s “Satellite Executive of the Year” for 2008. 

“The year 2008 was a year of many accomplishments for Kaul and his team, starting with the commercial launch of the SPACEWAY 3 broadband satellite system, an effort initiated more than a decade ago,” said a Hughes press release. “Hughes maintained its leading market share in the enterprise VSAT market, posting a strong series of wins in both North America and internationally, while growing its successful HughesNet high-speed satellite Internet access business to well over 400,000 consumer/SMB subscribers in the U.S.” 

“Pradman Kaul has proven himself a visionary and entrepreneur in the satellite marketplace, a fact which is confirmed by his success in 2008,” said Jason Bates, editor of Via Satellite. “Thanks to Kaul’s leadership and the acumen of his experienced management team, we are looking forward to what will be accomplished by Hughes in 2009 and beyond.”

“It is indeed an honor to receive this recognition by the leading publication in the satellite industry,” said Kaul. “2008 was especially significant because our team succeeded in validating SPACEWAY 3’s commercial success―rolling out nationwide service to over 100,000 new customers, while continuing to expand our broadband satellite footprint worldwide.”

For the past 21 years, Via Satellite magazine has been honoring the satellite executive who made a lasting business impact on the global satellite industry during the previous calendar year.



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EDITORIAL: The Promise of Obama
SUBCONTINENT: The General’s Gambit
REAL ESTATE: Loan Modification
ART: Growing Value of Indian Art
EVENT: India Rising
CULTURE: CCF’s Raas Garba Fest
TRAVEL: Hellbrunn Palace, Austria
AUTO REVIEW: 2009 Kia Borrego EX 4x4
BOLLYWOOD: Film Review: Jai Veeru
RECIPE: Vegetable Pilau
TAMIL CINEMA: Kanchivaram
FESTIVAL: Rang Barse!
BUSINESS: News Briefs

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