Desi Talk

4 CITY VIEWS November 26, 2021 – that’s all you need to know Indian Overseas Congress, Usa Pays Tributes To Pandit Nehru M embers of the Indian Overseas Congress, USA paid their tributes to India’s first prime minis- ter Jawaharlal Nehru November 14, 2021, in a meeting convened at the Santoor restaurant in Queens, NewYork, to commemorate his 132nd birth anniversary. His birthday is known in India as Children’s Day as a mark of respect to Nehru. Mohinder Singh Gilzian, president of the IOCUSA, characterized Nehru administration after the hard- fought independence as a visionary one that laid an excellent foundation for an enduring democracy. “His words and deeds inspire our generation to carry on with that vision of freedom and fraternity,” the press release quoted him saying. George Abraham, vice-chairman, said, “What I admire most about him is his self-effacing service to India. He spent almost ten years of his life in prison, fighting for freedom and justice at a time when there was no assur- ance that it would happen in his lifetime. Among the founding fathers of modern India, Nehru alone had given serious thought to India’s place in the global community. He was able to educate the Indian populace on external affairs even before independence”. Harbachan Singh, secretary-general, highlighted the accomplishments of Nehru in establishing esteemed institutions such as Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), and The All India Institute of Medical Sciences, (AIIMS) and added that without his forward-looking vision, India would not have been in the place where it stands John Joseph, vice-president, lauded his commitment to secularism and equal justice that paved the way for integrating those provisions in the Constitution that be- came a bedrock for stability and progress for the nation. “The ongoing efforts by the current rulers to undermine his legacy will not succeed,” he added. Leela Maret, president of Kerala Chapter, lauded Ne- hru’s concerns for the younger generations and attributed his policies as reasons for advancement in the educa- tional and scientific fields contributing to the wellbeing of Indians everywhere, especially within the diaspora. The meeting also expressed concerns about the ongo- ing campaign to “erase” his legacy, often vilifying and demonizing the former Prime Minister. Representatives from several chapters of IOCUSA. By a StaffWriter Photo: Indian Overseas Congress,USA The Indian Overseas Congress USA, held a meeting Nov. 14, 2021, to celebrate late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s 132nd birthday at Santoor Restaurant in Queens, New York. Nov. 14 is considered Children’s Day in India. Photos:courtesyEKAL Ekal Foundation Raises More Than $4 Million In Star-Studded ‘Future Of India’ Gala O n Saturday, November 13, “Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation (EVF)” raised over $4 million in star-stud- ded virtual Gala, called “Future of India” that highlighted pre-emi- nent speakers, Ekal’s accomplishments and youth’s contributions to its mission. Ekal currently has a presence in more than 102,000 rural-tribal areas all across India with a reach to over 300,000 such clusters of habitants, a press release from the organization said. Although rooted in education, the organization has expanded to providing healthcare, integrated village develop- ment, empowering functionality and new- age technology to rural folk. The two-hour event of Nov. 13, co- chaired by MohanWanchoo and Kamlesh Shah, both successful entrepreneurs and philanthropist, saw an overwhelming response from the donors. It was capped by the acapella group “Penn-Masala’ from “University of Penn- sylvania”. The funds raised at the Gala were for specific projects, such as tailoring training centers, E-shiksha, Ekal-on-Wheels, Tele- medicine, Gramotthan Research Centers, and Integrated Village Development. MohanWanchoo, who pioneered the Ekal galas, regaled the audience with a story and an inspiring song. Kamlesh Shah elaborated on Ekal’s aggressive fight with Covid-19 pandemic and the steps taken to fight misinformation about the virus and the treatment. Kiran Mozumdar-Shaw, founder of Biocon and recipient of ‘Padma Bhushan’ honor, emphasized the need for digital tracking of patients by the tech-savvy nursing caretakers, as the core point for managing the pandemic. Renu Khator, president of University of Houston system chancellor, spoke of coming from a humble family, stressing on how important a role education played in her career. Naren Chaudhary, CEO of highly suc- cessful ‘Panera Bread’ brand, explained how his daughter – ‘Aisha’ - was the central motivating factor in whatever he did in his life. He expressed unequivocal passion for his country – India – where he had witnessed ‘spirit of humanity’ in his own time of acute need to save Aisha. Ranjani Saigal, the executive director of Ekal-USA assured him that his daughter’s legacy lives through what Ekal does best. For every $1 a donor invests in Ekal activi- ties, Ekal volunteers provide $8 worth of selfless volunteer efforts. All speakers praised Ekal’s efforts which are among the world’s largest initiatives, supported by the Indians and NRIs, in dozen countries. A galaxy of Bollywood stars – from Hema Malini, Boney Kapoor, Subhash Ghai to Varun Dhavan, Udit Narayan, Alia Bhatt - added glitz with their enthusiastic support for Ekal. A ZEE-TV ‘2019 Cine Awards’ clip, showed three Ekal alumni students hon- ored, for exceptional achievements. This public honor was bestowed on ‘Pinky Kar- makar’ of Assam who was the torch-bearer at 2012 London Olympics, ‘Divya Malgave’ of Maharashtra who won a Gold Medal at ‘International Intermediate Karate Cham- pionship’ and ‘Ramchandra Verma’ of U.P. who has made his birthplace – ‘Aligunj’ - an ideal ‘Gaav’ (village). Suresh Iyer, the president of Ekal-USA, confirmed that the essential objectives of all the projects are two-fold – first, to prevent migration of rural folks to urban areas due to lack of opportunities; and second, to increase the economic and social impact on their lives. By a StaffWriter Kiran Mozumdar Shaw Naren Chaudhary Renu Khator Mohan Wanchoo Kamlesh Shah