Desi Talk - page 8

February 13, 2015
– that’s all you need to know
By a Staff Writer
he 19th edition of the
Wharton India Economic
Forum (WIEF) to be held in
Philadelphia Feb. 21 and 22 will
feature some of India’s top indus-
trialists and businessmen includ-
ing keynote speakers Hital
Meswani of Reliance India Limited
and Punit Goenka of Zee
This year’s conference with the
theme “India” Delivering the
Dream,” aims to evaluate the
opportunities for success and the
key factors that will be critical for
India moving forward, aWharton
press release said.
Showcasing four panels, one
dedicated to this theme,WIEF
strives to be a forum for delegates
to reassess India’s economic
growth trajectory, re-evaluate its
regulatory landscape and draw up
an action plan to ensure the coun-
try meets its full potential over the
coming years.
Attendees include senior indus-
try leaders from finance, venture
capital, entrepreneurship, con-
sumer goods and healthcare sec-
tors. Prominent speakers include
Jishnu Bhattacharjee, managing
director, Nexus Venture Partners;
Patrick Foulis, NewYork bureau
chief of the Economist; Charulata
Ravi Kumar, CEO, Razorfish India;
Rehan Khan, CEO, Abbott India;
and Shardul Shroff, partner,
Amarchand Mangaldas.
Aside from being a forum for a
debate on India’s most pressing
issues,WIEF is unique in its focus
on promoting entrepreneurship.
This year,WIEF will host the sec-
ond annual Startup Competition
that will feature innovative India-
focused start-ups. The competition
comprises three separate
Innovation Categories for estab-
lished start-ups.Winning entrepre-
neurs will have the opportunity to
pitch to an elite panel of venture
capital investors on the day of the
conference and will compete for
prize money of up to $10,000.
For more information visit:
Wharton India Economic Forum
to Feature top Industrialists,
From News Dispatches
he owner of a NewYork
City store selling religious
figurines made of choco-
lates is puzzled over the
recent ire from a Hindu
group over a gold-dusted Ganesh.
The Universal Society of
Hinduism has asked Bond Street
Chocolate in East Village to with-
draw its Ganesh, as the chocolate
statues are an insult to Hindus,
president Rajan Zed said. Zed, the
society’s only full-time staff mem-
ber is a frequent critic of the non-
religious use of Hindu imagery,
The NewYork Times reported.
But store owner Lynda Stern,
whose 3-inch-tall Ganesh sells for
$15, has no intention of desisting.
“All spiritual icons are treated
equally in my shop with honor
and respect to the religion,” she
told The NewYork Times. Stern
has been making and selling the
figurines for the past five years
with barely a whiff of con-
She also sells a
chocolate Jesus,
Moses and
Buddha, as part of
the store’s “divine
“I’m not being
ironic, I’m not trying
to be offensive,” Stern
told 1010WINS. “I have a lot of
Hindu customers that while they
would not necessarily eat the
Ganesh, they enjoy the beauty and
the work that goes into it.” Stern
said some of her Hindu customers
use the edible statues to honor the
deity. “Somebody I know bought a
bunch of them for a Hindu wed-
ding shower, and there were the
elder Hindu ladies who said they
wouldn’t eat it but they loved it
and it was beautiful and took it
home,” she said.
However, not all
Hindus are opposed to
the sale of the fig-
urines. “We Hindus
look at the universe
as eternal and god
almighty as one,” said
Uma Mysorekar, presi-
dent of the Hindu
Temple Society of North
America in Queens. “So we would
not say that the lord resides only
in that little piece of chocolate. It’s
more like when they eat it, the lord
comes back to us - he is within
us,” she told The NewYork Times.
“Our own Indian children would
love to have some candies like
this,” she added.
East Village Store’s Chocolate Ganesh Figurines Upset Some Hindus
From News Dispatches
wo New Jersey men were
on Feb. 5 charged for bur-
glary and theft in connec-
tion with a January break-in
and theft from a grocery store in
Edison. Indian Grocery Outlet
owner Sunilkumar V. Patel told
police that his business was
burglarized between the night
of Jan. 10 and the morning of
Jan. 11, and that $76,865 await-
ing a bank deposit was stolen.
Detectives from the police
Special Operations Group
arrested Fausto Ariza Pedraza,
50, of Rahway, and TitoVenegas,
40, of Linden, on Jan. 23 in con-
nection with the burglary.
Over the next two weeks,
Detective Steve Todd examined
crime-scene evidence and
interviewed store employees,
leading to the arrest of Pedraza
andVenegas, and to the recov-
ery of the stolen money,
reported. Piscataway Municipal
Court Judge Dennis Flackelman
set bail for Pedraza andVenegas
at $10,000 each.
“It’s extraordinary for police,
here or anywhere, to recover
such a large amount of money
two weeks after a crime,” Police
Chief Thomas Bryan said in a
press release. “Diligent police
work by our detectives led to
these arrests and enabled us to
return that money to one of our
local small-business owners.”
The robbery comes shortly
after a rash of five home inva-
sions in which Indian-
American households in
Middlesex County were broken-
in by armed, masked intruders.
2 Men Charged in Connection With
Edison Grocery Store Burglary
Hempstead Host 12th Annual
India Republic Day Ceremony
From News Dispatches
48-year-old woman was
fatally struck by a jeep Feb.
7 night in the Long Island
section of Dix Hills. Jalpa Patel was
crossing Deer Park Avenue at
approximately 8:30 p.m. when she
was struck by a blue Jeep Liberty
that was traveling northbound,
news reports said. The driver of the
Jeep initially stopped but fled the
scene prior to the arrival of the
Jeep driver Irene Calderaro is
charged with leaving the scene of
an accident resulting in death.
Calderaro, 57, is being held at the
First Precinct. The Jeep was
impounded for a safety check and
the investigation is continuing.
Long Island Woman Killed
in Hit-and-run
Irene Calderaro
The Board of trustees and members of the board of the Indian American Forum held the 12th annual India Republic Day
celebration at Nathan L.H. Bennett Pavilion at Hempstead Town Hall Feb. 5. The event was hosted by Town Supervisor Kate Murray,
who was joined by Council members Anthony Santino, Dorothy L. Goosby, Bruce Blakeman, Erin King Sweeney and Town Clerk
Nasreen Ahmed. Awards were presented to Dr. Anila Midha, founder and president of South Asian Women’s Alliance and president
of Five Towns Indian Organization, and Dr. Rajiv Datta, director of the Cancer Center and chairman, Department of Surgery at the
South Nassau Hospital. Dr. Parveen Chopra welcomed the audience and introduced Supervisor Murray. Dr. Urmilesh Arya, vice
president of the Association of Indians in America was the keynote speaker. Earlier on Jan. 26 the town hosted a flag raising
ceremony where Supervisor Murray was joined by Town Clerk Nasreen Ahmed, community members and representatives
from various Indian-American organizations on Long Island. Right, Supervisor Kate Murray lighting the lamp at town’s
12th Annual India Republic Day Celebration at Hempstead Town Hall.
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