Sangita Jindal Appointed as Chair of Asia Society India Centre Board

The Asia Society India Centre Board has announced the appointment of Sangita Jindal, president, Art India and chairperson of the Jindal South-West Foundation (JSW) as its new Chair, effective from Apr. 1, 2024.

Expressing delight at Jindal’s appointment, Asia Society India Centre CEO Inakshi Sobti said, “She has been an immense support to our mission in South Asia, and her work to support contemporary art in India and South Asia has been a transformative force.” Sobti expressed anticipation in working with Jindal to further strengthen the Asia Society’s presence in South Asia.

Sangita Jindal has led the JSW Foundation for two decades, overseeing its expansion into various areas such as education, health, livelihood creation, and conservation of arts and cultural heritage.

Notable among her achievements is the establishment of the Jindal Arts In 1992 and later founded Art India, India’s premier art magazine, in 1994. Additionally, she played a key role in conceptualizing the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival and received the Eisenhower Fellowship in 2004.

Further, she founded the Hampi Foundation, dedicated to conservation efforts at three temples in Hampi. Her contributions extend globally as she serves as a Global Trustee of Asia Society and sits on the Board of the National Culture Fund and World Monument Fund.

She also advises TEDxGateway and is a member of the IMC Ladies’ Wing Art, Culture, and Film Committee. Asia Society, founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution with centers and public buildings in New York, Houston, and Hong Kong, and offices worldwide.

Indian Nurses Association Celebrates 20 Years of Impact and Growth

The Indian Nurses Association of New York (INANY), the voice of nurses of Indian origin in New York state, is celebrating its 20th year of foundation and services. The association is planning a meaningful and colorful celebration to mark this significant milestone in its history.

The celebration will take place at Cotillion Caterers in Jericho, Long Island, as the base of the Association is in New York City and its suburbs.  Dr. Anna George, the president of INANY and an Associate Professor at Molloy University, as well as a nurse practitioner at Northwell Health stated that individuals with proven expertise and leadership have been delegated to lead the planning, organization, and celebration of this event.  Annie Sabu, a nurse practitioner at Northwell Health, is the Convenor, and Alphy Sundroop, a nurse educator at Nassau University Medical Center, is the Co-convenor.  INANY will also be releasing a souvenir to commemorate this milestone.  The chair of the souvenir committee is Dr. Shyla Roshin, who is the Chief Nursing Officer at South Beach Psychiatric Center.  Paul D. Panakal, an adjunct professor at Long Island University and a consultant at Northwell Health System, is the co-chair.

INANY was founded in 2004 under the leadership of Dr. Aney Paul, the first Indian nurse ever elected to a legislature in the US.  The association’s goal was to bring together the thousands of Indian nurses practicing in New York state and provide them with a unified voice in the mainstream and professional arenas.  INANY has been collaborating with Grand Canyon University to facilitate tuition discounts for academic advancement.  This has been instrumental in enabling scores of nurses to achieve Master’s and Doctoral degrees, further enhancing their skills and knowledge which in turn paved ladder to elevate their role responsibilities.  Every year, the organization awards scholarships to nursing students in New York and India, supporting the next generation of healthcare professionals.  Through its various initiatives, INANY has been instrumental in establishing the voice of thousands of Indian nurses practicing in New York state.  The association’s efforts have helped to amplify the concerns and needs of this vital healthcare workforce, ensuring that they are recognized and supported in the professional arena.  The association has been offering professional continuing education seminars for nurses.  The continuing education credits are a requirement for nurses to recertify their specialty credentials.  In addition, INANY has sent its teams to provide relief efforts in the Philippines, India, Haiti, and the southern United States after these regions were impacted by natural disasters.  The organization has played a role in supporting recovery efforts in these areas.  Other activities included organizing health fairs in Long Island, Queens and in upstate New York to help the under-insured or uninsured.

After emergence of COVID-19 pandemic, there had been an unprecedented surge in anti-Asian hate incidents across the United States.  INANY was awarded a grant of ten thousand dollars to engage in activities to mitigate the incidents.  Recognizing this surge as a social health issue, INANY developed and conducted an evidence-based intervention training series known as “5D Bystander Intervention” to confidence to and empower possible bystanders to extend helping hands to victims.  This was done in collaboration with the Coalition of Asian Children and Families.

The founding president Dr. Aney Paul and the visionary presidents that followed her – Sosamma Andrews, Usha George, Mary Philip, Tara Shajan, and the current president Dr. Anna George – and their low profiled but sincere and service-oriented leadership teams have been elevating INANY through progressive and transformational ladder.  As an organization embodied by direct-care providing nurses, educators, administrators and executives, scientists, academia, and advanced practice nurses, INANY offers a strong presence in the healthcare of New York state.  As a chapter of the National Association of Indian Nurses in America, INANY is also involved nationally.  Recently NAINA conducted a comprehensive education program to educate nurses to defend against infectious diseases.  This was done as part of a project under American Nurses Association in partnership with Center for Disease Control.

New York state governor Kathy Hochul and New York City mayor Eric Adams were among who appreciated the services of INANY.

Dr. Anna George said that the celebration will be taking place on May 4th together with the Nurses Week celebration.

Paul D. Panakal

Seema Govil Among Top 20 Global Women of Excellence Honored on Capitol Hill

Feature and Cover Seema Govil Among Top 20 Global Women of Excellence Honored on Capitol Hill

Seema Govil, a prominent figure in the realms of media and franchising, has been honored as one of the Top 20 Global Women of Excellence during the 12th Congressional International Women’s Day celebration at Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. Presented by United States Congressman Danny K. Davis, alongside Representatives Jonathan Jackson (IL-01), Delia Ramirez, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Representative Shri Thanedar, and American Multiethnic Coalition’s President Dr. Vijay G. Prabhakar, this esteemed award acknowledges Seema‘s remarkable contributions.

Seema Govil Among Top 20 Global Women of Excellence Honored on Capitol Hill 1Hailing from New Delhi, India, Seema proudly stands as the sole recipient of this prestigious award, representing not only women globally but also the Indian community and the state of Texas. The ceremony, held on March 6th, 2024, spotlighted Seema‘s inspiring leadership and notable achievements.

Seema expressed her joy and Gratitude for the acknowledgment and the honor of meeting some phenomenal women.

Adding to the moment’s significance, Seema was presented with a medal signed by Representative Danny K. Davis. Reflecting on this additional honor, she remarked, “I was deeply touched by the additional honor bestowed upon me by Representative Danny K. Davis. It further affirms the significance of this incredible achievement.”

Dedicating the award to her mother, Mrs Pushpa Madan, on Women’s Day, Seema emphasized her mother’s profound influence and unwavering inspiration throughout her journey. She attributed her success to her mother’s legacy of core values—Education, Giving, and Gratitude.

Seema Govil is renowned for her dynamic presence in business and media. Since 2013, she has been co-president of the India Franchise Seema Govil Among Top 20 Global Women of Excellence Honored on Capitol Hill 2Council and the founder and CEO of Cosmo City Media, a full-service PR and media agency in Austin. Seema is also a franchise coach for The Franchise Consulting Company. Her expertise in franchising extends to seminars, trade shows, and panel moderation. She guides individuals interested in franchising by discerning and choosing the perfect franchise.

As a TV Asia anchor with an eleven-year tenure, Seema has covered diverse topics ranging from South Asian success stories to spirituality, arts, lifestyle, healthcare, politics, and business. Additionally, she hosts the Fablife360 podcast, showcasing uplifting stories from celebrities and ordinary individuals striving to achieve their dreams.

Seema‘s philanthropic endeavors include active participation in nonprofit boards and film festivals. Her impactful documentary, “Let’s Rewrite Their Story,” produced for Akshaya Patra kitchens in India, is a powerful tool for raising awareness and supporting the cause. Seema‘s commitment is further evident through her advisory role at Akshaya Patra Austin.

As an alumna of the Leadership Austin program and a dedicated franchise coach, Seema remains steadfast in mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs, leveraging her experiences to contribute positively to the community.

For reaching out to Seema directly, please text or call her at 512 762 7387 or email


Seema Govil Among Top 20 Global Women of Excellence Honored on Capitol Hill 3Seema Govil Among Top 20 Global Women of Excellence Honored on Capitol Hill 4Seema Govil Among Top 20 Global Women of Excellence Honored on Capitol Hill 5

Embracing Shakti: Hindu Women’s Journey to Empowerment and Unity

Preity Upala has lived a diverse life, transitioning from an investment banker in Australia to pursuing her passion for film in the United States, where she starred in both Bollywood and Hollywood productions, before settling as a film producer and podcast host in Los Angeles. Alongside her entertainment career, she is sought after as a global strategist for her insights into international diplomacy and foreign policy. Upala, a Hindu, sees her various endeavors as harmonious, drawing inspiration from the multifaceted aspects of the divine feminine within her tradition.

In her words, “The goddess worship is so prevalent in our culture, but the goddess has many faces. There are many goddesses. It’s not just the devout wife or devotee, it is the fierce Kali or the Saraswati, who is all about knowledge.”

She emphasizes the concept of Shakti, the primordial cosmic energy embodying the divine feminine, which flows through all beings, manifesting in diverse forms. “That Shakti, the life force, moves through us and it shows itself in different forms,” Upala explains, reflecting on her own experiences.

Hindu women, like Upala, often seek guidance on modern feminism from ancient scriptures. “The beauty with Shakti is, she doesn’t need to give herself up in order to fight for space,” she says. “She holds her own, she knows her place, and no one’s gonna take that away from her. Her job is just to shine and be glorious.”

The concept of feminine power has deep roots in Hindu philosophy, with Shakti regarded as the force from which the universe emanates, akin to a nurturing mother birthing her children. Hindu theologian Rita Sherma elaborates on the dynamic nature of the feminine divine, which transcends gender binaries, encompassing attributes ranging from aggression to nurturing.

Sherma underscores the complementary relationship between masculine and feminine energies, emphasizing the importance of both. “The two are complementary binaries,” she explains. “The feminine divine is certainly dynamic and creative, even in gentle-appearing feminine divine like Radha.”

Like Upala, Sherma experienced a career shift, attributing her transformation to the guiding force of Shakti. She advocates for the reclamation of scriptures such as the Devi Mahatmya, highlighting their empowerment of women throughout history.

Shakti Redding, a yogi and mystic psychologist, recounts her journey of embracing the feminine divine after encountering the Devi Mahatmya and Tantra philosophy. Renaming herself Shakti, she found solace and empowerment in reconnecting with nature and the divine feminine.

Reflecting on her personal struggles, including a terminated pregnancy, Redding emphasizes the healing power of Shakti, which enabled her to overcome grief and shame. She stresses the importance of acknowledging women’s collective experiences and potential for forgiveness and reconciliation.

Redding elucidates the significance of the Tandava, the traditional dance of Shiva and Shakti, symbolizing the balance of feminine and masculine energies in life. She believes that understanding this balance is crucial for healing societal divides and fostering unity.

Upala echoes Redding’s sentiments, advocating for a return to authentic expressions of masculinity and femininity rooted in Hindu principles. She emphasizes the need for men to embrace the divine feminine and support women’s empowerment.

She envisions a future where Hindu women assert their voices and contribute positively to society. “We don’t have to learn or relearn anything,” Upala asserts. “The knowledge is actually in us. And it is for us to enjoy, celebrate and actually share that to the world.”

FIA Joins Indian Consulate in New York Celebrating International Women’s Day

The heavily attended event saw several accomplished women being honored. The Chairwoman of FIA IWD committee Smita Micky Patel addressed the gathering, thanking all those involved in making the event a success —  the Consulate and Consul General Binaya S. Pradhan, and Deputy CG Dr. Varun Jeph, leaders of FIA like Chairman Ankur Vaidya and President Dr. Avinash Gupta and the whole Women’s Empowerment Team.

The FIA President Dr. Avinash Gupta briefly addressed the gathering stressing values women bring to the family and society. he called the inspiration of the women as a “nutritional source” and called for standing together to build a society where every woman and girl gets the chance to achieve. He also thanked the women in FIA who :stand shoulder to shoulder” with the rest of FIA for every event. “Except, today, they did it all on their own,” Dr. Gupta said.  The sponsors of the event included Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media.

FIA Joins Indian Consulate in New York Celebrating International Women’s Day 2The celebration commenced with a welcoming Meet & Greet, followed by a digital showcase of the FIA’s history of furthering diversity and gender equality. Payal Shah, Co-chair of International Women’s Day, emceed the event.

The Consulate noted on X, formerly Twitter, that the occasion, “celebrated the achievements & indomitable spirit of women.”

Indian Consul General Binaya S. Pradhan presenting awards to women recipients at March 8, 2024, IWD celebrations hosted by FIA-NYNJCTNE. Clockwise, Megha Desai, Indu Lew, Neena Singh. PHOTO: X @IndiainNewYork.

The four women honored and recognized for their contributions included Radhikaraje Gaekwad, who was not present and had been presented the honor in her hometown in India; Mayor of Montgomery township Neena Singh, the first Indian American Sikh woman to win that position; Indu Lew, executive vice president and Chief of Staff of Robert Wood Johnson Barnabus Health; and Megha Desai, president of the Desai Foundation which has the goal of elevating health, livelihood and menstrual equity for women and children through community programs in rural India.

A portrait of awardee Radhikaraje Gaekwad broadcast on screen March 8, 2024, at the FIA event in the Indian Consulate. PHOTO: videograb Facebook @India in New YorkRadhikaraje Gaekwad was presented the honors from FIA in India. Seen with her are FIA representatives Ankur Vaidya,left and Srujal Parikh, right. PHOTO: FIA

India’s Consul General, Binaya Srikant Pradhan, in his speech, shared insights on the achievements of Indian woman and the government’s commitment to empowering them and India’s women-led development. He presented a sash with the honorees’ name, a trophy, as well as a bouquet to each woman, recognized.

The three awardees present in person, spoke to the audience about their ideas and vision, and all of them spoke about lifting the second generation of Indian American youth, and youth in India.

Mayor Singh, among other things, discussed one of the programs her administration is engaged in which encouragesFIA Joins Indian Consulate in New York Celebrating International Women’s Day 3 youth to be mentored in various departments in the Township “Representation matters,” Singh said, adding, “We are making a mark in this country.”

Indu Lew praised the other recipients of the FIA awards and thanked the organization for choosing her as one. In any industry, from entertainment to technology, she said, women bring a unique perspective, experience, and intelligence to bear on the issues. And in all cases, “Outcome far exceeds the expectation,” when a woman is leading. They are balancing so many balls, that even if by some chance, they drop one of them, it will be the one that bounces back, she said. Her motto “As we raise, we must rise,” emphasized that everyone has a responsibility to mentor and guide the next generation, and also their own colleagues. “I am proud to be an Indian American and to have this honor,” Lew said.

Megha Desai spelt out the goals of the Desai Foundation and its goal of achieving dignity for women. “What we mean by women’s empowerment is we shouldn’t have to be extraordinary in order to be empowered.” One can be ordinary and empowered, she emphasized, poor and empowered. She cited an example of a young woman who felt empowered in one of the Foundation’s projects. According to her, if the millions of women in India could be empowered, it would raise the GDP, improve healthcare, and other aspects of life.

Asia Society Features Farwa Aamer At Women Making History Event

Farwa Aamer’s work at the Asia Society Policy Institute vividly showcases the remarkable outcomes that arise when a fervent dedication to research and policy converges with a deep-seated appreciation for the imperative of forging a more secure, integrated, and sustainable global landscape.

She builds conversations that catalyze powerful solutions. Farwa serves as the Director of South Asia Initiatives at the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) in New York where she leads the institute’s policy work and projects in South Asia.

Prior to her work at ASPI, Farwa worked at the Stimson Center where she led research on the security, political, and socio-economic dimensions of transboundary river governance in the Himalayan region including the disproportionate impacts of climate change and water insecurity on women. Through her work, she helped to facilitate greater regional cooperation on issues and opportunities concerning water, energy, climate change, and sustainable development in South Asia, MENA, and Central Asia.

Asia Society Features Farwa Aamer At Women Making History Event Director Aamer’s work often focuses on the importance of transboundary water politics including a multitude of publications, interviews, and panels like her upcoming panel, Politics on Water in the Himalayan Region.

“As somebody who has been studying and analyzing transboundary water politics in the Himalayas for some years now, I cannot overstate the critical importance of the panel discussion on this pressing issue.

…The Himalayan region, often regarded as the ‘water tower of Asia,’ faces an escalating crisis of water stress exacerbated by rapid population growth, urbanization, and the looming specter of climate change. The consequences of this crisis are not abstract; they are painfully tangible, affecting the lives of millions across the region.

However, the challenges go beyond mere access to water; they extend to the complex dynamics of transboundary watercourses, where disputes can escalate into conflicts with far-reaching consequences. This upcoming panel’s focus on transboundary water politics is crucial because it underscores the interconnectedness of water issues across borders. The Himalayan rivers also pose significant challenges in terms of governance, cooperation, and conflict resolution. Ignoring these challenges could lead to economic losses, strained relations between nations, humanitarian crises, and even destabilization of already fragile regions.” A Note from Director Aamer:

When asked about her hopes for her work at Asia Society and her advice for young women from Asia and the Asian Diaspora, Director Aamer shared this:

“It’s heartening to witness the increasing presence of South Asian women in various sectors of the workforce today. The region’s history is rich with women leaders, especially in politics, like Indira Gandhi, Fatima Ali Jinnah, Sheikh Hasina, Benazir Bhutto, among others, who have left an indelible mark regardless of the challenges they faced.

To the young girls and women of Asian heritage, I urge you to never cease dreaming and aiming higher. Take initiative and become the architects of your own destinies. While the journey may present obstacles, I firmly believe that today’s women are more cognizant, evolved, and empowered. Despite systemic barriers, we possess the capability to not only navigate but also transform the system itself.

Embrace your heritage, leverage your unique perspectives, and let your voices resound in every space you inhabit.”
Happy Women’s History Month from Asia Society and the many women like Farwa who make an impact every day! Stay tuned each week as we share just a few of their stories.

5 Indian-Americans On CNBC Changemakers List

Revathi Advaithi, Sandhya Ganapathy, Dr Geetha Murali, Ritu Narayan, and Aradhana Sarin are among the 50 women on the list.

The CNBC Changemakers: Women Transforming Business list includes five Indian-American women. Revathi Advaithi, Sandhya Ganapathy, Dr Geetha Murali, Ritu Narayan, and Aradhana Sarin.

“The women named to the inaugural CNBC Changemakers list are creating a pattern of what it takes to defy the odds, innovate, and thrive in a volatile business landscape,” a CNBC statement said.

“From startup founders to S&P 500 C-suite growth drivers, from personalities shaking up the media industry to figures taking women’s sports further into the mainstream, the 2024 Changemakers have broken new ground and set the stage for others to follow,” it added.

Advaithi is the chief executive officer of Flex,  a multinational, diversified manufacturing company. Named CEO in 2019, she has helped build the company into one of the most trusted manufacturing partners across a variety of industries. She was also named by US President Joe Biden to the advisory committee for trade policy and negotiations.

Ganapathy took over the helm at EDP Renewables North America as CEO in 2022. The Houston-based company is one of the top five renewable energy operators in the US, operating 60 wind farms and 12 utility-scale solar parks. She has previously worked as an investment banker at HSBC and Morgan Stanley.

As CEO of Room to Read, Murali is dedicated to the eradication of illiteracy and gender inequality through the development of a love of reading in marginalized children. In 2023, the organization launched “She Creates Change,” a multimedia storytelling project intended to broaden its reach by encouraging young women and girls to create change in their communities and achieve educational goals.

Narayan’s Zūm is a transportation company that focuses on students while using technology to create more efficient and environmentally friendly routes. The company raised US$ 140 million in Series E financing in early 2024, putting its valuation at $1.3 billion. The company, which serves thousands of schools, provides guardians with an app, that gives live route notifications to and from school.

Sarin is the executive director and global chief financial officer of pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca. In November 2023, the company launched its health-tech division Evinova which uses digital technology to develop clinical trials and medicine delivery. Sarin took on the CFO role in 2022, joining from biopharma Alexion, and worked on Wall Street in investment banking for two decades before moving into the pharmaceutical industry.

SAKHI Rings Closing Bell At The New York Stock Exchange

The New York Stock Exchange welcomed Sakhi for South Asian Women, honoring the leading nonprofit working with survivors of gender-based violence within the South Asian diaspora in New York City on Friday, March 1st to the Podium to ring the Closing Bell,

Led by Kavita Mehra, Executive Director, and Beesham A. Seecharan, Board Chair, AKHI has become one of the first South Asian American organizations to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), celebrating its 35th anniversary and Women’s History Month.

This milestone at NYSE uplifts the experiences of survivors in the South Asian diaspora and the over 15,000 lives Sakhi has reached in its 35-year history. As Women’s History Month celebrates trailblazers who have broken barriers, Sakhi is honored to publicly recognize the vital role the South Asian American feminist movement has played in building New York City’s communities.

SAKHI Rings Closing Bell At The New York Stock Exchange 2Founded in 1989, Sakhi has been at the forefront of advocating for gender justice, providing culturally competent programs, and fostering community engagement to address unique challenges faced by survivors in the South Asian diaspora. Over the past 35 years, Sakhi has worked tirelessly to build safer, more equitable communities for all.

“Ringing the closing bell at NYSE is historic for the South Asian diaspora and Sakhi, as we celebrate our 35th anniversary and inaugurate Women’s History Month. This momentous occasion highlights the power and resilience of South Asian survivors while simultaneously celebrating three and a half decades of Sakhi’s achievements in its commitment to ending gender-based violence,” said Kavita Mehra, executive director of Sakhi.

In addition to ringing the bell, Sakhi will host a gala, “Threads of Transformation,” April 26, 2024, celebrating 35 years of working with survivors at the Glasshouse in New York City.

March has been observed as Women’s History Month since 1987 in the US, with March 8 being commemorated as International Women’s Day. “As one of the first South Asian American organizations to achieve this honor, Sakhi will commemorate its 35th Anniversary and mark the commencement of Women’s History Month with this significant event,” the organization shared in a post on LinkedIn.

“Such an incredible honor to be one of the first South Asian American organizations to ring closing bell at NYSE. Can’t wait until next week!” Sakhi’s executive director Kavita Mehra shared on LinkedIn.

About Sakhi for South Asian Women

Sakhi was established in the US in 1989. It was only the second South Asian women’s organization in the country founded to promote women’s rights by offering services and facilitating community education.

Anannya Bhattacharjee, Mallika Dutt, Tula Goenka, Geetanjali Misra, and Romita Shetty were among the founding members of Sakhi.

The nonprofit works with survivors of gender-based violence in the city, particularly who are of South Asian descent from Bangladesh, the Caribbean, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. It strives to illuminate the complex realities and needs of our community within both the South Asian community in New York and beyond. For more information about Sakhi, visit

Indian American Women’s Inspiring Leadership

Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley’s tenacious battle for the presidency of the US is a symbol of Indian American women’s emergence as a powerhouse in politics and society even though she dropped her Sisyphean quest two days before International Women’s Day.

On the other side of the political divide, US Vice President Kamala Harris is set for another run for the vice presidency alongside President Joe Biden, having notched the record of the first woman elected to the position that is just a heartbeat away from the world’s most powerful job.

While the two women have the highest profiles in politics, many Indian American women shine across the spectrum of politics, government, business and beyond.

They have soared into space, headed multinational corporations, led universities, and showing their versatility, served undercover for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and even took the Miss America crown.

Although overrun by former President Donald Trump, Nikki Haley made her mark by standing up to him while other competitors folded and she struck out a line of Republican politics that could have a wider appeal.

She put her stamp on politics by getting a significant chunk of votes – estimated at about 25 per cent of those cast in the Republican primaries till she quit – winning in one state, Vermont, and in Washington, the federal District of Columbia.

She also has the distinction of being elected twice as the governor of South Carolina, the first woman and the first non-White person to head the state, and the first Indian American to be a member of the US cabinet when she was the permanent representative to the United Nations, a post with cabinet rank.

Kamala Harris made her mark as California’s attorney general lofting her to the Senate where her work got her national recognition, paving the way to the second most powerful job in the US, the vice president.

She is the first woman to become vice president and she was also the first person of Indian descent elected to the US Senate.

Pramila Jayapal, who heads the Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives, is the other politically powerful Indian American woman.

What helps them shatter glass ceilings despite their being women and, on top of that, women of color with immigrant backgrounds is a society that values merit as it steadily tries to bring down barriers to women’s advancement.

And they are not dynasts or nepobabies, either, and they got to where they are through their own merit.

As Nikki Haley said on Wednesday while announcing she was ending her race, “Just last week, my mother, a first-generation immigrant, got to vote for her daughter for president – only in America”.

In business, Indra Nooyi created a legend of her own as the CEO of Pepsico, a multinational corporation with over 300,000 employees operating in over 200 countries having a revenue of $62 billion in her final year heading it.

By the time she left in 2018 after 12 years as CEO, she boosted its annual profits from $2.5 billion to $6.7 billion as she chartered a new, more diversified course for the company.

Revathi Advaithi is the CEO of Flex, a global diversified company that is the third-largest globally in electronics manufacturing services.

She also serves on the US government’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

Padmasree Warrior, who blazed a trail as chief technology officer for marquee technology companies Motorola and Cisco and as the US CEO of the Chinese electric vehicle company Nio, is now the CEO of a startup Fable.

In academia, there are scores of Indian American Women heading departments and schools.

Among them are heads of large universities, Neeli Bendapudi, the president of Pennsylvania State University and Renu Khator, the chancellor of the University of Houston System.

Asha Rangappa, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent-turned-academic, has served as an associate dean of Yale University Law School.

Indian American women have soared into space as astronauts.

Kalpana Chawla, a mission specialist and robotic arms operator, was killed on her second mission when the space shuttle Columbia broke up as it reentered the earth’s atmosphere in 2003.

Sunita Williams has done a stint as the commander of the International Space Station (ISS), on one of her four missions at the multinational orbiting research facility.

The Bhagwad Gita and the Upanishad went to space with Williams, who said that for inspiration she took them along to the ISS, from where she conducted spacewalks.

On Earth as a Navy officer, Sunita Williams was deployed during the first Gulf War and later she became a test pilot.

While the other two were on NASA space missions, aeronautical engineer Sirisha Bandla went up on a spacecraft of the private venture by Virgin Galactic, where she is a vice president.

Geeta Gopinath is the first managing director of the International Monetary Fund, having made her mark as an economist in the Ivy League and as the organization’s chief economist.

In the US judiciary, there are several Indian American women, among them Neomi Rao, a judge of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is considered the most influential court below the Supreme Court.

The Biden administration has deployed Indian American Women in senior positions across government.

The most visible of them on media after Kamala Harris is Defense Department’s Deputy Spokesperson Sabrina Singh who often conducts the Pentagon’s media briefings laying out the administration’s strategic positions.

Also at that department, Radha Iyengar Plumb is the deputy under-secretary of defense.

At the White House, Neera Tanden, a veteran of Democratic Party campaigns, is an assistant to the president and domestic policy advisor.

Arati Prabhakar is the assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Science Advisor while heading the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and to the President.

Shanthi Kalathil is a deputy assistant to the President and the National Security Council’s coordinator for democracy and human rights.

At the State Department, Uzra Zeya is the under-secretary of state for civilian security, democracy, and human rights, and Rao Gupta is the ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues.

And, in the other party, Harmeet Dhillon is a member Republican National Committee who ran an unsuccessful insurgent campaign to replace the chair, Ronna McDaniel. She is a co-chair of Women for Trump and Lawyers for Trump, groups that advocate for Trump.

In an unusual occupation was Sabrina De Souza who had served in a senior role as an undercover Central Intelligence Agency agent.

Unfortunately, her cover was blown while she was on an anti-terrorism mission in Italy and that country has tried to prosecute her for capturing a terrorist who was taken to the US.

On the other side, showing the diversity of political views, Gitanjali S. Gutierrez worked as a lawyer defending an alleged terrorist held by the US detention center on Guantanamo Bay.

On the trade unions front, Bhairavi Desai is the executive director of the Taxi Drivers’ Alliance, and Saru Jayaraman has organized restaurant workers in New York City.

In entertainment, Vera Mindy Chokalingam, better known as Mindy Kaling, made her mark with the sitcom, The Mindy Kaling Project, which she created, produced and starred in.

Biden awarded her the National Medal of the Arts in 2022. And, further into the unexpected venues, Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America in 2014. (IANS)

Hindu women look to ancient goddesses for guidance on modern feminism

Many point to Shakti, the divine feminine energy, as an antidote to toxic masculinity.

(RNS) — Preity Upala has lived more than a few lives. After a career as an investment banker in Australia, Upala moved to the U.S. to pursue her dream of attending film school, eventually landing roles in major Bollywood films like “Bahubali” and in the Hollywood production “Sex and the City 2.” Now, in Los Angeles, Upala is a film producer and podcast host. And if her resume is not varied enough, Upala is also considered a global strategist, called upon by news organizations worldwide for her expertise in international diplomacy and foreign policy.

But Upala, who is Hindu, sees these multiple pursuits as compatible, inspired by the many facets of the divine feminine in her tradition.

“The goddess worship is so prevalent in our culture,” said the Dubai-born Upala, “but the goddess has many faces. There are many goddesses. It’s not just the devout wife or devotee, it is the fierce Kali or the Saraswati, who is all about knowledge.”

In common, she says, all goddesses and women hold a part of Shakti, the “primordial cosmic energy” who is the personification of the divine feminine. Shakti is also the female counterpart to Lord Shiva, both of whom together represent the balanced feminine and masculine energy in each being.

Preity Upala. (Courtesy photo)
Preity Upala. (Courtesy photo)

“That Shakti, the life force, moves through us and it shows itself in different forms,” said Upala. “In my own life, I’ve seen different facets of the Shakti energy work through me.”

Many Hindu women, like Upala, look to the ancient scriptures for guidance on modern feminism.

“The beauty with Shakti is, she doesn’t need to give herself up in order to fight for space,” said Upala. “She holds her own, she knows her place, and no one’s gonna take that away from her. Her job is just to shine and be glorious.”

The power of femininity has been prevalent in Hindu philosophy since the emergence of what is said to be the very first scripture, the Rig Veda. Many Hindus see Shakti as the force from which the universe came, like a mother who births her children.

Lithograph of Hindu goddess Kali, draped with a necklace of skulls, standing on Shiva, circa 1895. (Image courtesy of Wikipedia/Creative Commons)
Lithograph of Hindu goddess Kali, draped with a necklace of skulls, standing on Shiva, circa 1895. (Image courtesy of Wikipedia/Creative Commons)

Divine feminine energy as Shakti flows through all of the female goddesses, explains Hindu theologian Rita Sherma. From Kali, the force destroying evil, or Durga, the warrior who maintains balance, to Annapurna, the divinity of food and nourishment, the goddesses in Hinduism are just as dynamic and multifaceted as women themselves, says Sherma.

“The fact is, the feminine divine in Hinduism explodes every single gender binary trope people can think of,” said Sherma, who teaches women’s studies and religion at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. “It is the aggressive, assertive, explosive principle of becoming. All manifestation, all actualization of divine potential explodes through the feminine divine.

“So she’s, you know, not your Stepford wife,” adds Sherma.

And what’s more, Sherma says, most commonly known gods, such as Lord Ram and Lord Krishna, are worshipped alongside their respective female consorts, Sita and Radha. Without the feminine, she says, masculine energies would be in “chaos.”

“The masculine and the feminine are both within us,” she said. “The two are complementary binaries.

“The feminine divine is certainly dynamic and creative, even in gentle-appearing feminine divine like Radha,” added Sherma. “It’s her that the world emanates from, it’s through her the world is redeemed. Through her, Krishna experiences joy and bliss.”

Like Upala, Sherma felt unsatisfied in her previous career in business and made a shift later in her life, with two children, crediting Shakti as the guiding force who led her through her new path.

“It was feminine power all the way,” she said.

Rita Sherma. (Courtesy photo)
Rita Sherma. (Courtesy photo)

Sherma became fascinated with Mahadevi: the all-encompassing female deity who is the counterpart to the god Deva and is the subject of the “submerged” and “forgotten” scripture, the Devi Mahatmya. The scripture, which tells various myths centered on the goddess and other goddesses, is often buried under the rest of the vast library of Hindu texts, she says, and should be reclaimed as a resource for women today, especially after the “400,000 years” that women have spent “apologizing for their empowerment.”

“Many women in villages, especially elderly women, who may not even be literate, became respected reciters of the text,” said Sherma. “They had a great deal of power, and both women and men would come to them for their blessing. And sometimes they would experience the presence of the divine feminine within them. And they would then be worshipped as Shakti.”

Shakti Redding, a yogi and mystic psychologist at the Soul Artist Academy in Vail, Colorado, said she found her true calling after being introduced to the Devi Mahatmya and Tantra, the esoteric Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. Born as Rachel to a Christian family, Redding felt a shift when she moved to the nature-abundant Colorado. “I felt just a charge of energy, almost like, ‘Where have you been all my life?,’” she said, attributing that charge to Shakti.

“I really had been drawn this detailed picture of a masculine father God, and so archetypically when I felt God or thought about God, it was as this father spirit,” she said. “But when I was in nature, there was something more, something more feminine, something more kindred in that sense of femininity, and the wildness of it.”

After a childhood of practicing yoga in church basements with her mother, Redding never expected she would found her own yoga academy, or change her name to Shakti, the one first given to her by yogis at the Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.

But her understanding of the dharmic feminine divine, the mother-goddess of nature, has helped her through the most difficult moments in her life, including a terminated pregnancy at a young age. Worshipping Shakti helped her come out of her grief, and her shame, she said.

“As women, we carry a lot of wounding and a lot of scars and a lot of tender suffering,” she said. “And we also hold the potential for immense forgiveness and reconciliation.”

“How important it is to remember we are all part of the whole,” she added. “We are the daughters, the sisters, the mothers, the lovers. May our stories equip us with the courage, compassion to lead the world awake to a love beyond all opposites.”

The traditional dance of Shiva and Shakti together, called Tandava, said Redding, represents the delicate balance of feminine and masculine in life itself. The root of many of the world’s issues, she said, is a lack of understanding between different or opposing energies. “In the end,” she said, “Shiva and Shakti, the infinite potential and the creative power, are aspects of the same reality.

Women dance in front of an idol of Hindu goddess Durga before it is immersed in the Hooghly River in Kolkata, India, Oct. 24, 2023. The immersion of idols marks the end of the festival that commemorates the slaying of a demon king by lion-riding, 10-armed goddess Durga, marking the triumph of good over evil. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)
Women dance in front of an idol of Hindu goddess Durga before it is immersed in the Hooghly River in Kolkata, India, Oct. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)

“Once you understand this in depth, this balance becomes applicable to the healing of cultures,” she said. “Healing the wounds, the political divide, the gender divide.”

Upala agrees and insists it is time for everyone, including men, to fall back to their roots, rather than “toxic” versions of masculinity and femininity she says are common in Western frameworks. And respect for Hindu goddesses, she said, doesn’t always translate to respect for all women.

“Although we have this beautiful, completely comprehensive tradition and principle of Shiva/Shakti, this amazing dance of real femininity and real masculine power, for some reason, I don’t always see Indian men or Hindu men really kind of holding space for that.”

Upala believes the world’s Hindu women are on the precipice of an awakening. “I think we’re only just beginning to find our dharmic voice,” she said. “It is coming at a time when the world needs it the most.”

“We have to really hold our own in a time and a space where the world is throwing back at you what they think feminism, beauty and power should be,” she said. “We don’t have to learn or relearn anything. The knowledge is actually in us. And it is for us to enjoy, celebrate and actually share that to the world.”

Chanel CEO Leena Nair Is Testing a World Run by Women

or all the talk of promoting and valuing women in businesses, there’s been depressingly little progress in boardrooms and C-suites in the past few years. One notable exception is Leena Nair, who became global CEO of Chanel in January 2022. An outsider to the fashion world, Nair is hoping to pioneer a different kind of leadership—one that celebrates compassion, empathy, and kindness.

“It’s a great time to show that the days of the superhero leader are behind us,” says Nair, who grew up in rural India and now lives in London. “I have always believed in the collective voice, in diverse perspectives; if I sit in a meeting, I want to listen to every voice around the table, not just the dominant ones.”

It may be a surprising approach from the CEO of a luxury brand known for purses that sell for thousands of dollars, but Nair, 54, has proved throughout her career that she can succeed while still doing good for employees—and the world. She spent 30 years at consumer packaged-goods giant Unilever, nearly six of them as the head of human resources, where she increased the share of female managers from 38% to 50% and helped the company become known for its socially conscious initiatives. (“You have to make it a business priority like any other, which means you have to set targets and hold people accountable,” she says, about how she achieved gender parity at Unilever.)

More than 60% of management positions at Chanel are held by women, which she argues positions the company to show the rest of the world what business can look like when women are in charge. “We’re putting people relations in the heart of everything we do, which can sometimes get crowded out in the AI world,” she says.

Tami Aftab for TIME

Putting people first doesn’t mean just Chanel employees; Nair increased the amount of funding for Fondation Chanel, the company’s charitable arm, to $100 million from $20 million when she took the CEO role. It’s now one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the world working for the empowerment of women and girls. The nonprofit partners with local organizations in 57 countries, working on projects like supporting unmarried women in Korea, helping women plant mangrove trees in India, and bolstering affordable care in the U.S. “We really believe that when women thrive, the world thrives,” she says.

Though few of Nair’s female relatives had pursued careers or higher education, she was determined to go to university to study technology and engineering. And she’s grown used to breaking barriers: in the 1990s, as a young executive, she was the only woman working at a Unilever factory in Chennai, India—such a rarity that buses would stop at the gate of the estate so that workers could see her. “I was once upon a time somebody dreaming to have resources and opportunities and the ability to have a voice in the world,” she says. “It’s so gratifying to be able to work with a team to do that for millions of women.”

New Study Reveals Women Need Half as Much Exercise as Men for Longevity Benefits, Says Cardiology Expert

A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that women may need to exercise less than men to achieve similar longevity benefits. Dr. Martha Gulati, co-author of the study and director of preventive cardiology at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, emphasizes the positive implications of this finding for women who may struggle to maintain regular exercise routines. She notes, “For me, the news to women is: a little goes a long way.”

The study revealed that while men who engaged in approximately 300 minutes of aerobic exercise per week experienced an 18% lower risk of mortality compared to inactive men, women needed only about 140 minutes of weekly exercise to achieve a comparable benefit. Interestingly, women who engaged in around 300 minutes of exercise per week had a 24% lower risk of death. However, the longevity benefits seemed to plateau beyond this threshold for both sexes.

Similarly, the analysis of muscle-strengthening exercise demonstrated a gender difference. A single weekly strength-training session was associated with equivalent longevity benefits for women as three weekly sessions for men. Gulati explains that women typically have less muscle mass than men, suggesting that they may derive greater benefits from smaller doses of strength training due to their initial lower muscle mass. Other physiological differences between the sexes, such as those related to the lungs and cardiopulmonary system, may also contribute to this divergence.

The study relied on data from over 400,000 U.S. adults who participated in the National Health Interview Survey from 1997 to 2017, correlating self-reported exercise habits with death records. While over 40,000 participants died during the study period, the observational nature of the study cannot establish causation. Nevertheless, the researchers attempted to mitigate confounding variables by excluding individuals with serious preexisting conditions or mobility limitations and those who died within the first two years of follow-up.

Limitations of the study include the reliance on self-reported exercise data, which may not always be accurate, and the exclusion of physical activity performed during work or household chores. Despite these constraints, Gulati emphasizes the need for further research to validate the findings. She stresses the importance of recognizing sex-based differences in both research and public health policy, challenging the longstanding practice of using men as the standard.

Current federal guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous cardio per week, along with two muscle-strengthening sessions for all U.S. adults. However, data from 2020 indicate that a larger percentage of men meet these benchmarks compared to women. Gulati’s research suggests that women may still derive significant longevity benefits from exercise, even if they fall short of meeting these targets.

Nevertheless, Gulati maintains that the study’s findings should not discourage men, as emerging research indicates that both sexes benefit from even brief periods of physical activity. Encouraging individuals to reduce sedentary behavior and incorporate more movement into their daily routines remains paramount. She concludes, “Our pitch should be the same to men and women: something is better than nothing. Sit less and move more.”


Suja Thomas, president of National Association of Indian Nurses in America Appointed to CGFNS Leadership

Suja Thomas, the current president of National Association of Indian Nurses in America (NAINA), has been appointed to Board of Governors of Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment Practices of CGFNS International.  CGFNS International is the world’s largest credentials evaluation organization for nursing and allied health professions.  It evaluates the education, provides license verification, testing and credentials evaluation of nurses graduated in foreign nursing schools for eligibility for licensure and practice.

It is considered as a significant organization in the field of nursing and global healthcare as well as for betterment of global healthcare delivery.  In her role, Suja will be joining a team of twelve highly prominent and scholarly nurses and allied professionals in the United States in adopting responsible and transparent practices of recruitment of foreign-educated health professionals to the US.

NAINA acts as the voice of all Indian nurses in the United States and has chapters in several states in the country.  She works as the Clinical Lead/hospital nursing administrator at the Samuel Stratton VA Medical Center in Albany.  After graduating from Fr. Mullers College of Nursing in Mangalore, Suja took Master of Science in Nursing Education from Russell Sage College in Troy, New York and Post Master’s degree in Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program from the same college and is currently pursuing PhD.

As the Adjunct Faculty at Manipal College of Nursing, Maria College in Albany, former teacher at Manipal Academy of Higher Education, primary care nurse and nurse practitioner, educator, nurse executive at Saint Peter’s Health Partners in Albany, and organizational leader, Suja possesses extensive experience and knowledge of the complex healthcare arena and insight into the pursuit of higher standard required in the care delivery.  As the president of NAINA, she spearheaded a national conference of Leadership and Clinical Excellence Conference in Chicago for nurses all across the United States which received appreciation of US Vice President Kamala Harrs and US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.

In her role as a member of the Board of Governors, Suja will contribute tremendously to create resources on career decisions for nurses who want to come to the United States.  The Advisory Committee will be utilizing research-based knowledge in making changes in the recruitment landscapes.

Empowering Voices: ‘Women Who Win’ Unveils Inspirational Book Chronicling Diverse Journeys

In the midst of the 2020 pandemic, three women encountered a creative spark when they felt uninspired. Their response was to establish a platform aimed at uniting diverse women to foster inspiration and connection. This initiative, dubbed “Women Who Win,” commenced by inviting women worldwide to share their narratives, spanning business triumphs, personal development, conquered challenges, and surpassed obstacles.

In commemoration of their three-year milestone, the collective has unveiled its inaugural book. This publication chronicles a distinctive array of stories, with a central objective of empowering and resonating with readers on every page.

The book encompasses around 100 women, each voice compelling and every journey prompting profound contemplation in its own right. It endeavors to strike a chord with individuals from all backgrounds, featuring anecdotes from a broad spectrum of professionals including entrepreneurs, technologists, artists, community advocates, senior executives, young professionals, nonprofit leaders, healthcare providers, and change-makers of various stripes.

Highlighted personalities within the book encompass a diverse range, including Reshma Kewalramani, CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals; Swaroop Sampat, esteemed actress and educator; Jaishree Deshpande, philanthropist and co-founder of the Deshpande Foundation; Ami Ambani, businesswoman and avid marathoner; Chitra Banerjee, renowned Author; Annette Phillips, musician and singer from the Berklee India Ensemble; Gouri Banerjee, co-founder of Saheli Boston; Dr. Kavita Navani of Eclinical Works; Rosemarie Day, president of Day Health Strategies; Kay Khan, State Representative of Massachusetts; and Kathleen Walsh, president of YMCA Metro North, among others.

Shaleen Sheth, one of the co-founders of Women Who Win, expressed enthusiasm about the book’s inclusive representation, stating, “What excites me most is that the book includes the paths of women, coming from all different cultures and backgrounds, who are at the top of their field, and it highlights not only their successes but also the obstacles they faced along the way such as a health or family issue, or a career setback.” Sheth emphasized the importance of diverse narratives in guiding individuals through challenges and inspiring them to pursue ambitious dreams.

Dr. Deepa Jhaveri, another co-founder, echoed Sheth’s sentiments, remarking, “I love that this book encapsulates life – how some aspect of every life’s story is relatable to everyone.” She expressed hope that the stories would ignite readers’ aspirations and empower them to enact positive changes in their lives, whether in health, education, career, or personal growth.

Dr. Manju Sheth, MD, the third founder, highlighted the impact of the book’s focus on women’s health stories. Reflecting on the Wednesday Wellness series, Dr. Sheth emphasized the importance of preventative medicine and noted the positive response from readers, particularly in scheduling health screenings after reading firsthand accounts. She expressed satisfaction in potentially influencing individuals to prioritize their health.

The book, over a year in the making, has already sparked conversations and generated excitement both locally in New England and globally. Notable figures such as activist and actress Shabani Azmi have contributed to the book, with testimonials from esteemed individuals including philanthropist Desh Deshpande, Leader Bank founder and CEO Sushil Tuli, and Amruta Fadnavis, a banker, actress, singer, and social activist. The founders expressed gratitude to the women who entrusted them with their stories and anticipated celebrating with the community at launch events in Boston, New York, and India.

In a statement, the Women Who Win founders expressed their aspiration to make history by amplifying the voices of women and minorities, with the book serving as the first installment of a trilogy. They conveyed appreciation for the opportunity to spotlight the journeys of remarkable women and affirmed their commitment to this ongoing mission of empowerment and inclusion.

Empowering Dreams: Inside India’s Rural Wrestling School Shaping Future Olympians

Just a few hours away from the bustling streets of New Delhi, Anushree Fadnavis, a photojournalist with Reuters, delved into the world of young female wrestlers undergoing training in the rustic countryside of Sisai, a village nestled in the Indian state of Haryana.

Her lens captured the aspirations of these girls as they aimed to emulate the success of trailblazers like Sakshi Malik, who etched her name in history books as the first Indian woman wrestler to clinch an Olympic medal in 2016.

Traditionally a male-dominated sport in India, wrestling has witnessed a surge in interest among female athletes in recent times, with institutions like the Altius school playing a pivotal role in nurturing this emerging talent.

“I wanted to capture their hopes, dreams, ambitions, and their drive to succeed,” expressed Fadnavis, reflecting on her motivation behind the project.

Established in 2009 by Usha Sharma, India’s pioneering female wrestling coach, along with her husband, Sanjay Sihag, the Altius school stands as a beacon of empowerment, driven by Sharma’s firsthand experiences of navigating the constraints of a patriarchal society.

“In a village, an animal has more value to it than a woman, as an animal gives milk and there is a cost attached to it,” Sharma lamented, shedding light on the prevailing gender dynamics in rural settings.

Fadnavis spent two immersive days at the school, witnessing firsthand the camaraderie among the students as they supported each other in their modest training facilities.

“What surprised me was the grit and determination of the girls to train themselves for a sport that requires a lot of physical strength,” she remarked, noting the shifting societal attitudes reflected in parents’ willingness to send their daughters to a residential school far from home.

Except for Sundays, the students adhere to a rigorous schedule, commencing their day at 4 a.m. with fitness routines and training sessions, punctuated by academic lessons and self-prepared meals—a routine embraced by all, fostering independence and self-reliance.

“Women in the villages in Haryana have very little to no agency in their lives and hence are very dependent on their families and especially men in their lives,” Fadnavis observed, underscoring the transformative impact of the school on its students.

The stories of alumni like Sonu Kaliraman, who transitioned from a farm laborer to an international wrestler under the tutelage of Altius, serve as testament to the profound influence of female mentors in providing a nurturing environment for aspiring athletes.

“Most of them told me that having a woman coach really helps them, as they can be themselves and don’t have to overexplain things to anyone,” Fadnavis relayed, highlighting the significance of representation and mentorship.

A poignant moment during Kaliraman’s home visit, where her mother expressed pride in her achievements, resonated deeply with Fadnavis, evoking memories of her own journey from a career in software engineering to photography, inspired by a close friend.

“It felt great to see the girls have so many different opportunities and someone who could guide them on the right path,” she remarked, emphasizing the role of belief and encouragement in fostering success.

While not all students may ascend to podiums or lucrative contracts, their tenure at Altius equips them with a support network, lifelong friendships, and invaluable lessons for their journey ahead.

“When I opened the academy and we started getting medals, it felt nice to know that the same girls who used to graze cows and buffaloes are now being favored by the men in the family,” Sharma reflected, encapsulating the transformative impact of the school in reshaping societal perceptions and fostering empowerment among its students.

Annie George Mathew Appointed As A Member Of The 16th Finance Commission Of India

Annie George Mathew, a senior of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA & AS) of the 1988 Batch has been appointed as a member of the Sixteenth Finance Commission on Tuesday, January 30th, 2024.

Annie George Mathew recently retired as the Special Secretary Expenditure from the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.  She has over 34 years of experience in areas of Public Finance, Financial Management, Government Audit and Accounts, and Public Procurement including Defense Capital Acquisitions, Human Resource Management

The 16th Finance Commission was constituted on 31.12.2023 with Shri Arvind Panagariya, former Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog as its Chairman. According to a government order issued on January 30, 2024, three full-time members of the 16th Finance Commission include former Expenditure Secretary Ajay Narayan Jha; former Department of Expenditure official Annie George Mathew; and Niranjan Rajadhyaksha, executive director of policy consultancy firm, Artha Global. Dr. Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Advisor, State Bank of India will serve as a Part-time member of the powerful financial body.

“The chairman and other members of the commission shall hold office from the date on which they respectively assume office up to the date of the submission of report or October 31, 2025, whichever is earlier,” the order from President of India, Droupadi Murmu appointing members to the constitutional body stated.

AnnieThe Sixteenth Finance Commission has been requested to make its recommendations available by October 31, 2025, covering an award period of 5 years commencing 1st April, 2026. The Finance Commission usually takes about two years to consult stakeholders in the States and Centre and arrive at their conclusions.

The Finance Commission mainly decides the tax-sharing formula between the Centre and the states.  The Sixteenth Finance Commission’s terms of reference include a review of the present arrangements for financing disaster management initiatives and mooting measures to augment States’ consolidated funds to supplement resources available with panchayats and municipalities.

Per reports, in November last year, the Indian Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved the Terms of Reference for the 16th Finance Commission. As per the terms of reference (ToR), “The Finance Commission shall make recommendations as to the following matters, namely: The distribution between the Union and the States of the net proceeds of taxes which are to be, or may be, divided between them under Chapter I, Part XII of the Constitution and the allocation between the States of the respective shares of such proceeds.”

The commission is expected to make recommendations on the “principles which should govern the grants-in-aid of the revenues of the States out of the Consolidated Fund of India and the sums to be paid to the States by way of grants-in-aid of their revenues under article 275 of the Constitution for the purposes other than those specified in the provisos to clause (1) of that article,” according to a statement issued after the Union Cabinet meeting on November 29.

Ms. Mathew was the Government’s nominee on the Boards of the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) and Indian Overseas Bank (IOB).  She had served earlier on the Board of State Bank of Hyderabad.

She has varied experience in the Indian Audit and Accounts Department through her postings within the country and abroad.  She has also led audit teams working with different international and multi-lateral organizations like the United Nations, and UNHCR in Europe, Africa, and Asia. She has been a member of the International Standards Laying Committees on Auditing.

With her vast experience of working in public finance at various levels in the Ministry of Finance and her exposure to state finances during her tenure in various Accountant General Offices in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Delhi, Ms. Mathew has a deep understanding of  India’s Federal and State finances.

Ms. Mathew graduated from Miranda House and completed post-graduation from the University of Delhi and after that, joined India’s civil services as an IA & AS Officer.

Boxing Legend Mary Kom Announces Retirement, Leaves Legacy of Six World Titles

Six-time World Champion and 2012 Olympic medalist Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom announced her retirement from boxing on Wednesday. Mary Kom, 41, decided to hang up her boxing gloves due to the age restrictions set by the International Boxing Association (IBA), which allows male and female boxers to compete in elite-level competitions only until the age of 40.

Expressing her desire to continue competing at the elite level, Mary stated, “I have the hunger still but unfortunately because of the age limit it is over I cannot compete in any competition. I want to play more but I am being forced to quit (due to the age limit). I have to retire. I have achieved everything in my life.”

Mary Kom holds a remarkable legacy in the sport, being the first female boxer in history to secure six world titles. Her illustrious career includes notable milestones such as being the first female boxer from India to claim a gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games and winning a bronze medal in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Her journey in boxing began at the age of 18 when she made her mark on the world stage at the inaugural world meet in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Despite falling short in the final of the 48kg category, her exceptional talent and near-flawless boxing style left a lasting impression on spectators.

Over the years, Mary Kom’s dominance in the sport became evident as she continuously raised the bar of excellence. She became the first Indian to clinch a gold medal at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, triumphing in 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2010 editions. Following her victory in 2008, she took a break from boxing after giving birth to twins.

After her remarkable performance in the 2012 Olympics, where she won a bronze medal, Mary Kom once again took a hiatus following the birth of her third child. However, she made a triumphant return to the ring, securing her sixth world title at the 2018 World Championships held in Delhi. Her victory over Ukraine’s Hanna Okhota showcased her unwavering determination and skill, solidifying her status as one of the greatest boxers of all time.

Mary Kom’s achievements extend beyond her world titles, as she holds the record for the most world medals by any male or female boxer, with a total of eight. Her retirement marks the end of an era in boxing, leaving behind a legacy that will inspire generations to come.

Empowering Ladakhi Women: A Journey from Tragedy to Cervical Cancer Awareness

In the early stages of his medical career in southern India, Nordan Otzer, an ENT surgeon now in his mid-40s, received a life-altering call from his home in the Ladakh Himalayas. This call sparked his commitment to cervical cancer awareness, a cause that became deeply personal.

Otzer recounts the distressing moment when his mother’s health deteriorated, revealing a silent battle with cervical cancer. Despite experiencing persistent spotting and abdominal pain, she only sought medical help when the pain became intolerable. This delay, unfortunately, proved fatal. Otzer reflects, “My mother’s death due to cancer altered the course of my career, leading me to make the choice to remain and contribute to my own community.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) highlights that over 95% of cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), emphasizing the importance of early detection and prevention. The WHO recommends screening for HPV infection starting at 30 years of age, with regular screenings every 5 to 10 years.

Cervical cancer stands as the fourth most common cancer among women globally, with a substantial burden in low- and middle-income countries. In 2020, an estimated 90% of the 604,000 new cases and deaths occurred in these regions, emphasizing the urgency of addressing this issue on a global scale.

Otzer’s personal tragedy fueled his determination to make a difference in Ladakh, a remote mountainous region at an altitude exceeding 14,000 feet. Since 2009, he, along with local supporter Stanzin Dawa and visiting doctors from Singapore, has organized over 140 awareness and screening events, reaching out to women in villages scattered across challenging terrains.

“We have conducted screenings for 12,400 women thus far, among whom one out of every 10 women has precancerous lesions,” Otzer reports, underscoring the critical need for timely treatment to prevent the progression to full-blown cancer.

Beyond the logistical challenges of reaching remote areas, Otzer encountered cultural barriers. Ladakhi women, initially reticent about discussing women’s health openly, hesitated to undergo checkups. Otzer recalls, “Women in Ladakh tend to be reticent about discussing women’s health matters openly, not even with their own family members.”

However, with persistence, the community became more receptive over time. Initially avoiding eye contact and refraining from asking questions, Ladakhi women gradually started attending screening camps, breaking down the stigma surrounding cervical cancer.

In the context of India, cervical cancer ranks as the second most common cancer in women, contributing significantly to the global burden. The Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare aims to vaccinate 68 million girls against HPV by the end of 2025, followed by an annual vaccination of 11.2 million girls aged 9 and older.

A December 2021 study published in Springer reveals that cervical cancer accounted for 9.4% of all cancers and 18.3% (123,907) of new cases in India in 2020. It remains a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

The study emphasizes the alarming situation in rural areas where women, often illiterate and unaware of cervical cancer hazards, face scarce healthcare resources. The availability of medical infrastructure and awareness play pivotal roles in preventing cervical cancer, as confirmed by a study in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention.A Lancet study from October 2023 exposes disparities in cervical cancer survival across India, with higher rates in urban areas boasting better healthcare facilities. The study calls attention to the importance of addressing inequities in the healthcare system, highlighting the need for awareness, early detection, and improvements in healthcare infrastructure.

Otzer’s journey from personal tragedy to community empowerment illustrates the transformative impact of raising awareness about cervical cancer. By breaking down cultural barriers and overcoming logistical challenges, Otzer and his team have made significant strides in Ladakh, offering hope for a future where cervical cancer is detected early, treated effectively, and lives are saved.

Harmanpreet Kaur’s Pioneering Achievements Mark a New Era in Women’s Cricket

If you’re familiar with Harmanpreet Kaur, you likely remember her historic 171 not-out during India’s remarkable victory in the 2017 ODI World Cup semi-final against Australia. Kaur, now 34 and the captain of the Indian women’s cricket team, has since added several groundbreaking accomplishments to her illustrious career in 2023, the 15th year of her international journey.

In February, Kaur achieved the milestone of being the first cricketer to play 150 T20s. The following month, she made history again by becoming the first captain to lead her team to victory in the Women’s Premier League. Later in the year, she co-captained India to their first-ever Asian Games gold medal in cricket, standing alongside Smriti Mandhana.

Wisden recognized her as one of its five cricketers of the year, a notable achievement for any Indian woman. BBC’s 100 influential women of the year and TIME magazine’s 100 Next list also featured Kaur, highlighting her increasing influence in the field.

Australia captain Alyssa Healy praised Kaur’s leadership, stating, “She’s an unbelievably talented cricketer and has showcased that for an extended period of time. But what she has done in leading this Indian side, and almost this new generation of Indian women cricket into the modern game, has been really amazing to watch.”

Kaur’s journey from a small town to cricket stardom is a compelling narrative. Hailing from Moga, known as the “drug capital” of Punjab, Kaur, the oldest of three siblings, began playing cricket with a hockey stick alongside boys in her neighborhood. Her life took a definitive turn when she met her mentor, Kamaldheesh Singh Sodhi, between 2006 and 2007, setting her on the path to a serious cricketing career.

Sodhi’s son, Yadwinder, who also served as Kaur’s first coach, emphasized her natural athleticism and fearless temperament, which fueled her passion for the game and contributed to her success. Kaur’s impact on women’s cricket in India, especially alongside vice-captain Mandhana, has been pivotal in elevating the sport’s popularity.

Former India captain Anjum Chopra acknowledged Kaur’s role as a trailblazer, stating, “Every era has two or three such figures, and Harman has been in the driver’s seat for a few years now, especially since getting the captaincy in T20s [in 2016].” Taking on full-time leadership across formats after the retirement of Mithali Raj last year further elevated her standing.

With over 6,500 runs in 290 international appearances, Kaur has led India to unprecedented success both at home and abroad. In 2020, she guided the team to their first T20 World Cup final, secured the inaugural ODI series win in England in almost 23 years, and won silver at the Commonwealth Games’ first women’s cricket competition.

Former India head coach WV Raman highlighted Kaur’s team-centric approach, saying, “The most important thing that I remember about working with Harman was the way she was always looking to do things for the team.” He commended her calm and receptive demeanor, emphasizing her dedication to the team’s success.

While Kaur’s prowess in limited-overs formats remains her stronghold, she made a significant impact in Test cricket in December. On her Test captaincy debut, she displayed an attacking mindset, contributing to India’s record 347-run victory against England in Navi Mumbai. Kaur further solidified her Test leadership credentials by leading India Women to a historic Test victory against Australia in Mumbai.

Speaking before the England Test, Kaur expressed her focus on team growth, stating, “I want this team to grow in a way that everyone says that this is the best team.” Despite her personal achievements, she emphasized the importance of team success, considering cricket a team sport.

Kaur’s playing style, described as one of the most aggressive in modern cricket, reflects her paradoxical personality. Her batting is defined by poise and power, while her private demeanor is characterized by affable reticence. However, her occasional struggles with on-field conduct have drawn attention. In June, she received a two-match ban from the International Cricket Council (ICC) for an outburst during an ODI against Bangladesh.

Anjum Chopra offered a perspective on Kaur’s occasional outbursts, stating, “You can be angry if you don’t feel a decision was right, but you can’t have an outburst in front of the world.” She emphasized the importance of authenticity, suggesting that sacrificing natural instincts for a picture-perfect persona would make an athlete less relatable.

Former India head coach WV Raman and Anjum Chopra believe that the next three years could be Kaur’s most consistent and best, considering her growing self-awareness and understanding of her cricket. With a team that shares her commitment to development, Kaur is poised to leave an unrivaled legacy in women’s cricket.

As the stars align, Kaur’s legacy could be marked by India’s first senior women’s World Cup win, whether in the T20 edition in Bangladesh next year or at home in the ODI edition in 2025, or perhaps both. Harmanpreet Kaur’s journey continues to shape the landscape of women’s cricket, inspiring the next generation of players and leaving an indelible mark on the sport.

“My Job Is Not Just An Occupation; It Has Became A Vocation:” Alfons Madoc

A dynamic woman with a diverse range of experiences and skills, Alfons Madoc, the current Head of Human Resources and Organizational Culture at the American Embassy School in New Delhi, India, where there are educators and students from 70+ nationalities, and immense cross-cultural exposure achieved through the process, has come a long way, since she began her career at the age of 20 as a management trainee at Cipla Pharmaceuticals. With six promotions in a span of five years in Marketing and Sales, Ms. Madoc began her journey of success.

WhatsApp Image 2023 12 10 at 22 49 39After five years in the workforce, Ms. Madoc was soon promoted to Regional Manager at Cipla, a large Pharmaceutical company in India. She describes, “The key to my success in my first organization was purely results.” Even when asked about a few lifetime achievements, Ms. Madoc takes pride in being the first ever Woman Regional Manager in Cipla.

Educated at the Convent of Jesus and Mary, New Delhi, Ms. Alfons earned her undergraduate degree from Delhi University before attaining a Master’s Degree in Human Resources. A certified Independent Director and holding expertise in ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) through certifications from India’s Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Ms. Madoc is also a certified NLP Master Practitioner and a Life and Leadership Coach.

Having a robust background in corporate strategic planning, recruitment, policy advisory and formulation, employeeDSCF9343 (1) engagement, executive development, and performance management, Ms. Madoc’s expertise spans various HR roles, underpinned by a deep understanding of labor laws and service conditions. Ms. Madoc confidently claims, “I have contributed to the success of diverse organizations, including a Foreign Mission, an International School, Corporate Healthcare, a Charitable Private Mission Hospital, and a Corporate Pharmaceutical Company.”

With the desire to contribute to the wellbeing of the larger society, Ms. Madoc found and devoted her life, skills, and expertise to St. Stephen’s Hospital in Delhi, a charitable mission hospital that caters to the marginalized society in Old Delhi. “From pharmaceuticals, I moved to healthcare, and from marketing, I moved to Human Resources, and in many ways, from my job being just an occupation, it became a vocation for me,” explains Ms. Madoc about her transition.

AMIT7280Ms. Alfons greatly admires her time at St. Stephen’s Mission Hospital, where she spent nine years in health care. “While my role was primarily in HR, whenever I got an opportunity, I worked as a Social Worker there at the Hospital,” catering to the diverse needs of the patients and families.

From a not-for-profit healthcare setting, Ms. Madoc shifted to a world of corporate healthcare. A seven years experience as the Assistant General Manager for HR, looking after four Hospitals under Fortis situated in Delhi and across North India; this was a major shift towards the branch of corporate HR.

The determination and qualities portrayed by Ms. Madoc in the field of HR led her to the Australian HighWhatsApp Image 2023 12 10 at 22 54 55 Commission, where she was recruited as the Head of HR for the Southwest Asian Region. She explains her work at the Foreign Mission as “a wonderful journey through the global outreach of HR, how HR functions beyond the Indian borders, and how cross-cultural experiences and cross-cultural competencies come into play.”

One of the roles Ms. Alfons enjoyed was the implementation program on work-level standards and the introduction of various mentoring policies, which led to the discovery of a better understanding of the global perspectives on HR. Ms Alfons brought about several changes and helped implement various projects on work-level standards across the globe,

WhatsApp Image 2023 12 10 at 22 46 19Ms. Alfons emphasizes the need to be aware of how we do what we do and also the importance of knowing why we do what we do. Recognizing her dynamism, creativity, and leadership, Ms. Madoc was awarded the High Commissioner’s Excellence Award for her contributions to the Australian High Commission.

Ms. Madoc was appointed as the  Head of HR and Organizational Culture at the American Embassy School in New Delhi towards the end of the pandemic. At the American Embassy School, she is focused on bringing in the best educators from across the globe, benefitting the diverse population it serves. In her current role, the major areas where Ms. Madoc offers guidance and leadership are general governance and policy, human resources, employee relations, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Ms. Madoc believes that “the prospect of community magnets is extremely powerful, particularly when they get together for the greater good of the community. It has the potential for positive changes.”

Over the years, Ms. Madoc believes that “My job is not just an occupation. It has become a vocation.”

Ms. Madoc describes “the unwavering commitment to hard work, determination, grit, and discipline, all firmlyWhatsApp Image 2023 12 10 at 22 59 59 rooted in the foundational values instilled by my parents and family” as the keys to her success. “Beyond the tangible elements, the true secret is steadfast belief in one’s capabilities. I firmly believe that faith can move mountains,” Ms. Madoc adds.

Ms. Madoc gives credit to her family for her achievements. “The individuals who have profoundly impacted my life and played a pivotal role in my success include my parents and family. Additionally, I owe a debt of gratitude to both compassionate and challenging bosses, whose guidance has been instrumental. The support and affection from my friends and colleagues have made my journey joyful.”

Ms. Madoc hails from Delhi and “was nurtured in a warm and affectionate environment by my exceptional parents within our expansive and loving family.” She describes her family to be “international” where her siblings and their families are “scattered across the globe, with locations spanning across the United States, Australia, Japan, Bangalore, Kerala, Pune, and New Delhi.”

“My life’s mission has been a constant pursuit of self-improvement, aspiring to be a better version of myself each day,” says Ms. Madoc. “I am dedicated to evolving into a better human being, a more accomplished professional, a nurturing mother, a devoted daughter, a supportive wife, a caring sibling, and an improved citizen. Each day, I strive to surpass the person I was yesterday and today, fostering continuous growth in every aspect of my life.”

Married to a freelance marketing professional, Ms. Madoc is “a proud mother of two wonderful boys. My elder son is on the brink of embarking on his MBA journey, while my younger son has recently begun his first year as a law student.”

A happy, lively, and cheerful person, Ms. Madoc envisions “a world characterized by tranquility, boundless love, and an atmosphere of wonder and excitement. It’s where carefree joy and laughter echo, creating an environment that radiates positivity and warmth.”

Rijul Maini, A Med Student From Michigan Crowned Miss India USA 2023

Rijul Maini, a medical student from Michigan, has been crowned Miss India USA 2023 at the annual pageant held in New Jersey on Friday, December 8th, 2023. Sneha Nambiar from Massachusetts was declared as Mrs India USA and Saloni Rammohan from Pennsylvania won the title of Miss Teen India USA. Currently in its 41st edition, the pageant is the longest-running Indian pageant outside of India

Rijul Maini A Med Student From Michigan Wins Miss India USA 2023 (M9 News)An aspiring doctor and model, Rijul, 24-year-old Maini aims to be a surgeon and hopes to serve as a role model to women everywhere. “I am so humbled and grateful to say that I am the new MISS INDIA USA 2023! I am especially grateful for the family of amazing, strong, confident women I gained throughout this process. Your light shines so bright, never dim it for anyone,” she said in an Instagram post.

Greeshma Bhat of Virginia was declared first runner-up and Ishita Pai Raikar of North Carolina was the second runner-up. 57 contestants from over 25 states were judged in three different pageants – Miss India USA, Mrs. India USA , and Miss Teen India USA.

According to the organisers, 57 contestants from over 25 states participated in three different pageants— Miss IndiaRijul Maini A Med Student From Michigan Wins Miss India USA 2023 2 USA, Mrs. India USA and Miss Teen India USA. Winners of all three categories will be getting complimentary air tickets to take part in Miss- Mrs.-Teen India Worldwide organized by the same group.

The pageant was started by New York-based Indian-Americans Dharmatma and Neelam Saran under the banner of Worldwide Pageants. Currently in its 41st edition, the pageant is the longest-running Indian pageant outside of India. It was started by New York-based prominent Indian Americans Dharmatma and Neelam Saran under the banner of Worldwide Pageants. “I am very thankful to the Indian community around the world for their support over the years,” Dharmatma Saran , founder and chairman Worldwide Pageants said.

Kamala Harris, Bela Bajaria On Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women In The World List

Two Indian Americans have been named to Forbes’ 100 most powerful women in the world 2023 list namely US Vice President Kamala Harris and Netflix’s chief content officer Bela Bajaria. This year’s honorees represented a wide range of industries, including technology, banking, media, entertainment, politics, and philanthropy.

The Vice President of the United States has maintained her position at number three for the second year in a row. She had received recognition in the category of politics and policy. The 59-year-old created history as the first woman, the first Black person, and the first South Asian-American to become US Vice President in January 20, 2021.

Harris was also the first Indian American woman to be elected to the US Senate in 2016 and the first woman to serve as California’s Attorney General in 2010. Born to a biologist and civil rights activist from Chennai, India, Harris grew up in Oakland, California and graduated from Howard University and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Bajaria was ranked at the 67th position under the media and entertainment category on the Forbes list. Born in London, she had spent her earliest years in Britain and Zambia, and then moved to Los Angeles when she was 8.

Having held the role of head of Global TV since 2020, Bajaria was appointed as Netflix’s chief content officer in January 2023. She oversees all of the streaming service’s globally distributed scripted and unscripted series, including Lupin, Bridgerton, The Queen’s Gambit, and Cobra Kai.

Before joining Netflix in 2016, Bajaria was president of Universal Television, where she was the first woman of color to oversee a studio. The 52-year-old has also featured in TIME’s 100 Most Influential People list in 2022.

Kamala Harris Bela Bajaria On Forbes' 100 Most Powerful Women In The World List 2Forbes also included four Indian women in their list of the 100 most powerful women in the world. The country’s finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, came in at number 32 in the politics and policy category. HCL Technologies chairperson and industrialist Roshni Nadar Malhotra ranked number 60 in the technology category. Soma Mondal, CEO of the Steel Authority of India, was number 70 in the business category. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, an entrepreneur, was number 76 in the business category.

The Indian American activist Reshma Saujani was included in Forbes’ list of women who are rising to prominence but are not quite among the 100 most powerful people in the world. The Forbes Women To Watch In 2024 list also includes Mira Murati, Fei-Fei Li, Michele Bullock and Hafize Gaye Erkan.

Founder and CEO of the non- profit Girls Who Code, Saujani’s work focuses on female empowerment.

The organization works to empower women in the field of computer science, and end gender discrimination in the field. Forbes observed that over the last 11 years, the organization has educated more than 500,000 girls, women and non-binary participants.

Post Covid, Saujani has shifted her energy towards advocating for better family leave and childcare policies in the US. She founded the Marshall Plan for Moms, which has become Moms First. In an interview with Forbes Women editor Maggie McGrath, Saujani emphasized that “childcare is an economic issue, not a social issue.” Her movement has ignited a national conversation about how to support moms and is backed by A-list celebrities, activists, and business leaders. In September 2015, Saujani was named in the Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40 list. She has authored books including: Women Who Don’t Wait in Line: Break the Mold, Lead the Way, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2013, and Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World, published by Viking in August 2017, and Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder in 2018.

Illinois-born Saujani hails from a Gujarati Indian family settled in Chicago. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and speech communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1997, a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1999, and a juris doctorate from Yale Law School in 2002.

Indian Trailblazers Shine on Forbes’ 2023 List of World’s Most Powerful Women

Forbes, the renowned business magazine, has unveiled its annual compilation of the World’s Most Powerful Women for the year 2023, spotlighting four exceptional Indian women. These dynamic individuals have not only shattered glass ceilings but have also left an indelible mark on the global stage, underscoring the diverse and influential voices emerging from India. Forbes employed four key metrics — money, media, impact, and spheres of influence — to ascertain the rankings.

As the world applauds their remarkable achievements, these four Indian women emerge as potent symbols of resilience, leadership, and excellence on the global platform:

Nirmala Sitharaman (Ranked 32)

Nirmala Sitharaman, a stalwart at 64, holds a prominent position in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and has been serving as India’s Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs since 2019. Notably, she previously served as the 28th Defence Minister from 2017 to 2019, marking her as India’s second female to hold both the defense and finance portfolios after Indira Gandhi. In the 2022 Forbes list of the world’s most powerful women, she secured the 36th position, and this year, she climbs to the 32nd spot.

Ms Sitharaman’s journey is indeed a testament to her multifaceted leadership, having navigated both financial and defense realms.

Roshni Nadar Malhotra (Ranked 60)

Roshni Nadar Malhotra, aged 42, stands as an Indian billionaire and philanthropist of significant acclaim. As the chairperson of HCL Technologies, she etched her name in history as the first woman to lead a listed IT company in India. Being the only child of HCL founder Shiv Nadar, she holds the distinction of being recognized as the richest woman in India, according to the IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List (2019). Forbes consistently acknowledges her influence, with rankings at 54th in 2019, 55th in 2020, and 60th in 2023.

Ms Malhotra’s journey reflects not only her business acumen but also her commitment to philanthropy.

Soma Mondal (Ranked 70)

Soma Mondal, at the age of 60, currently serves as the Chairperson of the Steel Authority of India, achieving a historic milestone as the first woman in this role since January 2021. Born in Bhubaneswar, she graduated in Electrical Engineering in 1984 and has amassed over 35 years of experience in the metal industry. Rising from her beginnings at NALCO, she became Director (Commercial) before joining SAIL in 2017. Noteworthy career milestones include being the first woman Functional Director and Chairman at SAIL. Beyond corporate achievements, she holds the prestigious position of Chairperson of SCOPE and received the ‘CEO of the Year’ honor at the ETPrime Women Leadership Awards in 2023. Her ranking on the Forbes list is 70th.

Ms Mondal’s journey underscores her trailblazing path in the male-dominated steel industry, coupled with her commitment to leadership beyond corporate borders.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw (Ranked 76)

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, aged 70, stands as a prominent Indian billionaire entrepreneur renowned for founding and leading Biocon Limited and Biocon Biologics Limited in Bangalore, India. Apart from her pivotal role in the biotechnology sector, she previously chaired the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. Her numerous accolades include the Othmer Gold Medal in 2014 for significant contributions to science and chemistry. Recognized on the Financial Times’ Top 50 Women in Business list in 2011, Forbes positioned her as the 68th most powerful woman globally in 2019. In 2020, she received the esteemed title of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year. Her current rank in the Forbes List of powerful women for 2023 is 76th.

Ms Mazumdar-Shaw’s journey is a narrative of entrepreneurial prowess and steadfast dedication to advancements in science and business.

These four exceptional Indian women, Nirmala Sitharaman, Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Soma Mondal, and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, have not only earned their places on the prestigious Forbes list but have also become emblematic figures, embodying the strength, leadership, and excellence emanating from India on the global stage.

A R Rahman’s Daughter To Make International Debut As Composer In ‘Lioness’

Singer and musician Khatija Rahman is set to make her international debut as a composer with the UK-India co-production film Lioness, the makers announced last week. The film is backed and supported by India’s National Film. ‘Lioness’, which is an India-UK co-production is directed by filmmaker Kajri Babbar.

Starring Paige Sandhu and Aditi Rao Hydari, the film narrates the story of two women who lived a century apart. The first story in Lioness will revolve around Sophia Duleep Singh, the daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh — the last ruler of the Sikh empire — and the goddaughter of Queen Victoria. Sophia was among the leading suffragettes who fought for women’s right to vote in 1900s Britain.

A R Rahman’s Daughter To Make International Debut As Composer In ‘Lioness’ (Metro Vartha) avifMaking her debut as a film composer in the upcoming Tamil film ‘Minmini’ which is currently in-the-works, Music maestro A.R Rahman’s daughter has released her first single ‘Farishton’ in 2020, which was composed and produced by her Oscar-winning father.

She later featured on Grammy Award-winning composer and environmentalist Ricky Kej’s song ‘Iltaja’ and collaborated with Tamil rapper-playback singer Arivu on his track ‘Sagavaasi’.

‘Lioness’ is a drama film centered around the lives of two completely different women who lived a 100 years away from each other, according to Variety.

The first story revolves around the suffragette (women’s protest for the right to vote) by Princess Sophia Duleep Singh, the granddaughter of the legendary king Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the god-daughter of Queen Victoria, which will be played by Paige Sandhu.

The second story introduces a fictional character, Simranjeet Kaur, living in London’s Southall Asian suburb in the early 1990s, to be played by Aditi Rao Hydari.

Speaking to the outlet, Khatija said: “Thrilled and honored to be a part of ‘Lioness.’ I connected deeply with the film’s values from the moment I heard its compelling story and the reason behind bringing her story to life. Our aspiration is to ensure that Princess Sophia’s struggle receives the long-overdue recognition it truly deserves.”

A.R Rahman told Variety: “I’m always proud of her. She is herself. She’s not under the shadow of me or anything. She never played any song to me. And I didn’t even ask her. So she released it (‘Sagavaasi’) and then people sent me the song. And it’s doing well now, it’s number six on the charts. I think we’re in for surprises, what she’s gonna do”.

The upcoming singer-composer was noted for opting to wear the niqab on her own. Talking about this, A.R Rahman said: “She has a very strong mind. And she’s a rebel. What she has done by wearing the niqab, standing for it and standing for all the people who wear the niqab as a statement – she got more attention than not wearing it.”

The film is written and directed by Kajri Babbar, who unveiled the first poster of the movie, at the ongoing International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Film Bazaar, in Panaji. The event was attended by Prithul Kumar, Joint Secretary Films and NFDC; Agnieszka Moody, head of International Relations at BFI; and Hydari during the ‘Knowledge Series’ panel discussion on the co-production journey of both countries. ‘Lioness’ will commence production in the first quarter of 2024, with a global release planned for early 2025.

Indian Nun Among 3 Receive English Recognition For Their Fight Against Human Trafficking

Sister Seli Thomas, SMI, from India; Sister Patricia Ebegbulem, SSL, from Nigeria; and Sister Francoise Jiranonda, SPC, from Thailand, experts and strong advocates in the fight against slavery have been recognized for their fight against human trafficking during a solemn ceremony held on October 31st, 2023 in London at the inaugural Sisters Anti-Trafficking Awards.

Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP and Sir Mo Farah drew global attention for their exceptional contribution and services to the anti-trafficking movement. Emceed by broadcaster, journalist and writer, Adrian Chiles, the event honored three sisters, who have demonstrated courage, creativity, collaboration and achievement in the protection of their communities from human trafficking:

  • Sr Seli Thomas SMI from India,
  • Sr Patricia Ebegbulem SSL from Nigeria and
  • Sr Francoise Jiranonda SPC from Thailand

All three sisters are highly-experienced, accomplished anti-slavery advocates.

Sr Patricia Ebegbulem SSL from Nigeria won the Human Dignity Award, for lifetime achievement in addressing exploitation. 

Sr Patricia’s contribution includes establishing and running a shelter for victims of human trafficking, organising support services for returning survivors of sex trafficking. She runs mass awareness programmes across high-risk rural areas and schools, and is a national leader on the issue of trafficking.

Sr Seli Thomas SMI from India won the Common Good Award, for courage and creativity in addressing exploitation. 

Sr Seli aims to prevent young people being exploited by reaching out to the children of the brothel district, as well as running awareness camps and training women. She provides free legal aid, and conducts seminars and workshops for the villages, school teachers, and students on safe migration and human trafficking. She has helped rescue exploited girls and prosecute traffickers.

Sr Francoise Jiranonda SPC from Thailand won the Servant Leadership Award, for excellence in network building.  

Sr Francoise has opened two schools, which protect vulnerable young Thai women from sex trade. Sr Francoise’s operations teach young women vocational skills for free after high school, and raise awareness. She was the Director of Talitha Kum Thailand, who were recognised by the Thai Government for their prevention and advocacy work.

5 Indian-Americans In Top 25 Women Leaders In Biotechnology List

The Healthcare Technology Report has published its list of the Top 25 Women Leaders in Biotechnology for 2023. They were recognized for their leadership which influenced corporate strategies and helped make real-world impact.

Brinda Balakrishna, Rachna Khosla, Avni Santani, Sulagna Bhattacharya, and Shreya Jani were among the five Indian-Americans on the list. They were recognised for their efforts in steering their biotech companies to success and making important contributions to international health programs.

Balakrishnan, currently serving as chief business development officer at BioMarin Pharmaceutical, has played a crucial role in its global biotech initiatives, dedicated to transforming lives through genetic discovery.

She has experience in licensing, fundraising, and program advancement through her work with Vision Medicines, a company she co-founded that specializes in treating rare ophthalmic diseases. With a background at McKinsey & Company and Genzyme, Dr. Balakrishnan holds degrees from MIT and Harvard Medical School.

Since September 2021, Khosla has served as Amgen’s senior vice president of business development, where she has been instrumental in leading the company to success through strategic partnerships, collaborations, and acquisitions.

She has previously held roles at Lazard, Credit Suisse Healthcare M&A, Sanofi Aventis, JP Morgan Chase, and Salomon Brothers. She has a BA from Barnard College and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Santani is the chief genomics officer at LetsGetChecked, a global digital healthcare solutions company. Formerly the CMO at Veritas Genetics, she played a crucial role in clinical development plans.

She specializes in crafting innovative product portfolios through sequencing, informatics, and AI, ensuring swift and effective disease diagnosis. With a PhD in genetics from Texas A&M University, she holds board certification in clinical laboratory genetics and genomics from the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG).

Bhattacharya is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Nanoscope Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company specializing in gene therapies for retinal degenerative diseases. With a background in management consulting at Deloitte and Hitachi Consulting, Bhattacharya has experience in business intelligence, risk management, market research, and product development.

In addition to holding international patents and publishing extensively, Bhattacharya is also a co-founder of a number of successful biotech and biomedical device/diagnostic companies.

Jani became the senior vice president of corporate affairs at BeiGene in 2021, overseeing a corporate affairs function aligned with BeiGene’s vision for accessible cancer medicines. In 2023, she spearheaded the Global Health Equity initiative, partnering with the Max Foundation to provide BRUKINSA, BeiGene’s BTKi inhibitor, to patients in 29 under-served countries.

Currently serving on the Board of the National Partnership for Women and Families, Jani earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Public Health from New York University and has a history of advocacy with non-profits on HIV/AIDS and reproductive health issues.

Shahina K.K Receives CPJ International Press Freedom Award

Shahina K.K, an Indian journalist was among the four recipients of the Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ) International Press Freedom Awards. The awards ceremony held in New York City was chaired by Meredith Kopit Levien, president and CEO of The New York Times Company, who recognized Shahina for her undying commitment to journalism despite facing legal challenges and harassment. She has dedicated her career to shedding light on critical issues such as gender, human rights, and marginalized communities.

Shahina, also known as Shahini Nafeesa is a veteran Indian journalist who has worked across print and broadcast media to shed light on issues such as gender, human rights, and marginalized communities, along with the injustices they face. CPJ has been documenting the myriad ways in which she has been attacked and intimidated since at least 2010.

Shahina, currently a senior editor for Outlook magazine, was one of the first journalists in India to be charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, or UAPA, a draconian anti-terror law extensively weaponized against journalists in the country for over a decade.

She has continued her reporting in various posts despite awaiting trial for a case opened in 2010, when localShahina K K Receives CPJ International Press Freedom Award 2 government officials in Karnataka state sought to criminalize her reporting published in Tehelka, a prominent investigative magazine where she worked at the time. Her report cast doubt on a police investigation into 2008 bomb blasts in Bengaluru, alleging that the police had fabricated witness statements to arrest a local Muslim cleric.

She faces three charges under the penal code, including criminal intimidation, intent to commit a criminal act, and criminal conspiracy, and one count under UAPA pertaining to threatening witnesses. As of June 2023, Shahina is out on bail pending trial. If convicted, she faces a maximum of three years in prison and a fine.

A Muslim by birth, Shahina has also been subjected to extensive harassment by Indian right-wing groups seeking to silence her reporting on religious minorities and vulnerable caste groups. She has faced persistent online harassment and lewd threats, and in 2020, several right-wing publications falsely implicated her in that Bengaluru bombing.

Based in Kochi, in the southern state of Kerala, Shahina has worked as a reporter, production associate, and news anchor with well-known news outlets including Asianet News, Janayugom, Open, and The Federal. She also has contributed to The Washington Post.

By honoring Shahina with this year’s IPFA, CPJ shines a spotlight on India’s increasingly repressive environment for press freedom, with the targeting of journalists under draconian security laws, and toxic online campaigns particularly aimed at vilifying women journalists and ethnic or religious minorities.

Shahina stands out as one of the first journalists in India to face charges under a draconian anti-terror law. Despite the ongoing trial since 2010, she has continued reporting on exposing injustices and holding authorities accountable. nThe case against Shahina stems from her reporting on a questionable police investigation, where local government officials sought to criminalize her work. As of June 2023, Shahina is out on bail, awaiting trial. If convicted, she could face up to three years in prison with an additional fine.

Besides being held in court, Shahina has been subjected to harassment by political groups in India. These groups have reportedly tried to suppress her reporting on religious minorities and vulnerable caste groups. The International Press Freedom Award acknowledged Shahina’s resilience in the face of adversity, honoring her dedication to the principles of free and unbiased journalism.

Shahina is the fourth Indian to achieve this recognition, with notable contributions to OPEN magazine, Tehelka, and Asianet News. She was awarded the Chameli Devi Jain Award for Outstanding Women Mediapersons in 2011. Moreover, she was an activist in the 2014 fight against moral policing, the ‘Kiss of Love’ movement.

In her acceptance speech, Shahina said, “As time went on I made a conscious effort to derive more from my courtroom experiences. I met many people who had unusual encounters with the legal system, with a significant number of them being victims of fabricated cases. This resulted in a series of articles that illuminated the challenges endured by the marginalized population in the state of Karnataka in India. As I sought to understand legal abuse, I pursued a law degree ultimately I earned.”

Women Who Win Co-Founder Shaleen Sheth Among BostInno 25 Under 25 2023 List

The honorees for BostInno’s 25 Under 25 for 2023 include several South Asians, including Women Who Win Co-founder Shaleen Sheth.

The class of 2023 includes a nonprofit leader supporting refugees and immigrants in their entrepreneurial ventures; a high schooler bringing virtual reality to the elderly; a university founder building a platform to connect students across college campuses; and recent graduates who are already leaders in local institutions like Greentown Labs and Techstars Boston, Bostinno said in releasing the winners of this year.

This year’s honorees also include Women Who Win co-founder Shaleen Sheth. Ms. Sheth founded Women Who Win with Dr. Manju Sheth, MD and Dr. Deepa Jhaveri, president of Indian Medical Association of New England.

“A graduate of Babson College, Sheth wanted to use her background in entrepreneurship to amplify the voices of women and minority communities. Women Who Win has conducted hundreds of interviews with female leaders across the world. This includes notable Boston figures such as Dr. Reshma Kewalramani, CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals,” said Bostinno, a digital publication of the Boston Business Journal.

Bostinno said that Ms. Sheth, 25, is also an advocate for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, and has received the Massachusetts Commission for Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders’ Unsung Hero award earlier this year and was appointed as the youngest advisory council member for Saheli Boston, a nonprofit which supports South Asian and Arab survivors of domestic violence.

Shaan Arora, 22; Cory Gill, 22; co-founders of Alia Software Inc.: Shaan Arora and Cory Gill have been hustlers since they started as freshmen at Northeastern University. They are the co-founders of Alia Software, an embedded Shopify app for ecommerce retailers. The app allows shoppers to learn more about the business’ story and products and get rewarded for doing so, helping to increase conversions and sales, according to Bostinno.

Arora dreamed up the idea for Alia in December 2021 to help his mom tell her own brand’s story on her Shopify store and assembled a team to help him live out the idea. On top of his busy schedule with Alia, he graduated from Northeastern in May 2023 with a degree in computer science and business. Gill is graduating this December from Northeastern with a degree in finance and economics. Both will be working on Alia full-time, said Bostinno.

Johar Singh, 22; Taha Moukara, 21; Josh Bruehwiler, 22; co-founders of Astra Wellbeing: The three co-founders of Astra Wellbeing all had their own brushes with the hospital system, from surviving severe medical conditions and injuries to seeing their family members serve on the frontlines during the Covid-19 pandemic, said Bostinno. These experiences gave the three a personal appreciation for healthcare workers and a glimpse into some of the challenges they face — namely, burnout and turnover.

As students at Boston University, Johar Singh, Josh Bruehwiler, and Taha Moukara founded Astra Wellbeing, an SMS-based wellness platform that they say can improve the wellbeing of frontline healthcare employees through positive reinforcement. One year in, Astra Wellbeing has rolled out pilots of its platform to thousands of employees at Boston hospitals, won Boston University’s two biggest student innovation competitions and been accepted into MassChallenge, according to Bostinno.

Venkat Sundaram, 18, founder of Andover Alumni Angels: Venkat Sundaram founded Andover Alumni Angels (AAA) as a rising-senior at Phillips Academy in June 2022, said Bostinno. Sundaram says AAA is the first high school alumni angel investment group. It’s made of Phillips Academy alumni who invest in Phillips Academy alumni-affiliated startups. This summer Andover Alumni Angels celebrated its first anniversary. In its first fifteen months, the group has raised $1.4 million, made 24 individual investments and brought together a group of more than 120 angel investors, according to Bostinno. “While Sundaram is now a student at The University of Texas at Austin, he continues to lead AAA. He hopes AAA inspires people of all ages to explore angel investing and invest in entrepreneurs and businesses around the world,” said Bostinno.

Neena Tarafdar, 17, founder of the Lotus Project: Neena Tarafdar is the founder of the Lotus Project, a volunteer organization that pairs Massachusetts high schoolers with Tibetan students for individualized English tutoring and cultural exchange. Tarafdar is half Tibetan and her mom’s side of the family lives in Tibet, according to Bostinno. The Tibetan students range from kindergarten to college age.

Tarafdar said she wanted to help connect the students, who are often isolated and underserved, with the broader global community. Today, the organization has taught more than 500 classes and has its own English curriculum tailored for students of all levels, according to Bostinno. Tarafdar is a senior at Newton South High School where she is varsity captain of the debate team and president of three other clubs. She was also the only high schooler working in the Sherwood laboratory shared by Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital this past summer.

Vivek Udaykumar, 21, project manager at Banyan Tree Global and lead organizer at Techstars Startup Weekend Boston 2023: Vivek Udaykumar is an international student from India who is working towards his master’s in project management at Northeastern University, while also pursuing his interest in community building.

After arriving in the U.S. in January, he quickly immersed himself in the startup space. He hosts startup and tech events in Boston with partners such as Techstars, Boston New Technology and Startup Boston, Bostoninno said. Udaykumar is also the lead organizer for Techstars Startup Weekend Boston, which took place in September. It was a hackathon-like global entrepreneurship event and Boston founders and investors networked with entrepreneurs from different countries. He is also developing a platform to unite the Indian community in the U.S. with the entrepreneurship community through events, podcasts, and informative panel discussions, according to Bostinno.

Women Gain Ground In Highest-Paying Jobs, But Still Lag Behind Men

Women now make up 35% of workers in the United States’ 10 highest-paying occupations – up from 13% in 1980. They have increased their presence in almost all of these occupations, which include physicians, lawyers and pharmacists.

How we did this

image11Still, women remain the minority in nine of the 10 highest-paying occupations. The exception is pharmacists, 61% of whom are women. More broadly, the share of women across all 10 of these occupations (35%) remains well below their share of the overall U.S. workforce (47%).

Workers in the 10 highest-paying occupations typically earn more than $100,000 a year, over twice the national average of $41,000.

Where women have made the most – and least – progress

Women’s presence has changed more noticeably in some of these occupations than in others. Since 1980, the share of women dentists has more than quadrupled (from 7% to 33%), while the share of women physicians has roughly tripled (from 13% to 38%). The share of lawyers who are women has risen from 14% to 40%.

The shares of women working in high-paying engineering fields have increased by smaller margins since 1980: Women make up less than 10% of sales engineers and petroleum, mining and geological engineers.

Additionally, only 7% of airplane pilots and navigators are women, against 2% in 1980.

Women have gained ground in completion of advanced degrees

Simage12ome of these high-paying occupations – including physicians, lawyers, dentists and pharmacists – require specialized graduate degrees. One way that women have increased their presence in high-paying occupations is by increasingly earning degrees that are required for these jobs.

Women now make up about half of those receiving the following advanced degrees:

Juris Doctor (J.D.): 52% of recipients today are women, versus 30% in 1980

Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.D.S. or D.M.D.): 51% of recipients are women, versus 13% in 1980

Doctor of Medicine (M.D.): 50% of recipients are women, versus 23% in 1980

image13Women now also earn 63% of Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degrees – similar to their share of workers in the pharmacist occupation (61%). Pharmacists are also the only occupation in the top 10 where women make up the majority. This could be because the field offers flexible work hours, a collaborative environment and family-friendly policies, according to economic research.

However, women remain in the minority among those receiving certain bachelor’s degrees required for some high-paying occupations:

image14Mathematics or statistics: 42% of recipients today are women, unchanged from 1980

Physics: 25% of recipients are women, versus 13% in 1980

Engineering: 23% of recipients are women, versus 9% in 1980

Outside of undergraduate major selection, there are other reasons women may experience barriers to entering high-paying occupations, even as they achieve parity in many advanced degree programs. Gender differences in household and parenting responsibilities may play a role, as could gender discrimination.

ITServe’s Women’s Panel Discusses ‘Direct Client Engagement in the World of Contingent Workforce’

A panel of distinguished women leaders from across the United States were part of a high-powered discussion on ‘Direct Client Engagement in the World of Contingent Workforce’ on the final day of ITServe Alliance’s flagship Synergy 2023 at the world-famous Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City in New Jersey on Friday, October 27, 2023.

ITServe womenKeisha Stephens, CCWP, Director of People Operations, Empowering Employees for Success & Driving Operational Excellence, SIA DE&I Influencer and Contingent Workforce Program Game Changer; Pamela Randall, CCWP, a Talent Solution Strategist, Change Agent with Sustainable Results and Making Possible a Better Future; Jamhali Portus, a Global Contingent Workforce Management Professional, who is passionate about creating the best-in-class contingent workforce management program with a focus on Quality, Efficiency, Cost and Risk; and, Semonie Kong, a CWP Program Manager, Atlassian, were the panelists at the lively and enlightening discussion that focussed on empowering women.

Moderated by Shabana Siraj and Lavanya Poosarla, the distinguished speakers on the panel shared with the audience a wealth of knowledge about this crucial topic, and it was heartening to see a packed audience who found it to be one of the standout sessions.

“Personally, one of the event’s highlights for me was moderating the panel discussion titled ‘Direct Client Engagement in the World of Contingent Workforce,” said Siraj. “What made this event more special was that it was an all women’s panel, highlighting the diverse perspectives and talents that are driving innovation in our industry.”

ITServe women leadersITServe Alliance Synergy 2023 has marked a significant milestone in its 13-year history, and one couldn’t be more thrilled with the outcome. This event brought together an impressive lineup of keynote speakers who covered a diverse array of topics, ranging from leadership and technology to startups, immigration, PAC, M&A, and the CIO & CTO Forum.

ITServe had esteemed speakers such as @Steve Forbes from Forbes, @Jack Kass from OpenAI, Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank, @Sheila Blair from FDIC, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and @Praneesh Murthy, former CEO of IGATE, sharing their valuable insights and expertise.

“Thank you to everyone who made ITServe Alliance Synergy 2023 a resounding success. Looking forward to continued collaboration and growth in the years to come, particularly for all the efforts by Vinay Mahajan, President of ITServe; Venu Sangani, Synergy Director; Jagadeesh Mosali, President-Elect ITSErve; and Vinay Parachuri,” said  Poosarla.

ITServe Women's panelKey ITServe members who were instrumental in organizing the discussions included;  Hima Kolanagireddy, Deepali Sontakke, Jyoti Vazirani, Pushyami Duvvuri, Divya Bala, Ruchi(Joshi) Anand, Anna Kolluri, Ranjani Mohana, Nazeera Dawood, and Sangita Datta.

Founded in 2010, ITServe Alliance is the largest association of Information Technology Services organizations functioning across the United States. Established to be the voice of all prestigious Information Technology companies functioning with similar interests across the United States, ITServe Alliance has evolved as a resourceful and respected platform to collaborate and initiate measures in the direction of protecting common interests and ensuring collective success. ITServe Alliance now has 21 Chapters in several states across the United States, bringing the Synergy Conference to every part of this innovation country. For more information, please visit:

Nikki Haley Dismisses Donald Trump’s Lead In Presidential Polls: Says, GOP Has To “Pay The Price” For The Former President’s Presence In The Party

Indian American presidential primary candidate Nikki Haley attached little importance to her opponent Donald Trump’s lead among voters in the upcoming elections. In an interview with Fox News on November 12, Haley admitted that Trump has “strong support” but he is followed by “drama and negativity” and that Republicans will fail to win if he wins the GOP nomination.

Former President Trump has emerged as the GOP frontrunner, and polls have found him to be ahead of reigning President Joe Biden, but Haley believes the party will not benefit from his victory in the primary. “I think certainly Trump has some strong support. I’ve always said he was the right president at the right time and I agree with a lot of his policies,” she told Fox News. “The problem is, drama and chaos follow him, whether fairly or not, it is constantly following him and Americans feel it,” she added.

Haley further blamed Trump for the losses faced by GOP candidates recently and the party’s negatively impacted performance. Haley said the GOP has to “pay the price” for the former president’s presence in the party, as per a report. Haley said the Republican party should brace itself for more losses on the ballot races if Trump becomes the nominee for the Presidential elections, and endorsed herself as the better candidate.

“We need to make sure we have a new conservative leader. Republicans have lost the last seven out of eight popular votes for president. The way you do that is you send someone in there that doesn’t just beat Biden by two or three points like Trump does, you get somebody that beats Biden between nine and 13 points,” she said. Haley’s campaign had received a significant boost after the initial debates and polls suggested she could defeat President Biden by a wider margin than her primary rivals.

Haley also said she could be the candidate to lead the GOP to “win up and down the ticket, governor’s races, congressional seats, all of those seats.” She added, “It’s not just the presidential. We’re trying to win across the board. I can do that.”

Lack of Support Among South Asian Americans

Despite being prominently known as Indian American candidates in the race to the Oval Office in 2024, Republicans Vivek Ramaswamy and Nikki Haley are not as popular among or known to Asian Americans, a new poll conducted by AAPI Data and the Associated Press-National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago revealed.

According to the results, while more AAPI adults have unfavorable views than favorable views of Haley and Ramaswamy, a large proportion of them said they did not know enough about the two candidates to form an opinion.

The study found that only 18 percent and 23 percent of Asian American and Pacific Islander adults had favorable views of Ramaswamy and Haley, respectively, and 36 percent viewed both candidates as unfavorable. 40 percent of the respondents said they were not familiar with Haley, while Ramaswamy is unfamiliar to 46 percent of them.

“This is the first nationally representative survey that includes the views of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders about the major presidential candidates,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, founder and director of AAPI Data. “Rather than speculate about where AAPIs stand on candidates like Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy, we have timely and reliable data that we will continue to follow through the rest of the presidential primary season.

The survey also dug into the political inclination of AAPI communities, with about half identifying as Democrats, over a quarter identifying as Republican, and about one in five identifying as independent or having no attachment to any party.

The current President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are viewed more favorably among the AAPI communities, while former President and current contender for the Republican nomination for the upcoming presidential elections, Donald Trump, is viewed unfavorably, as is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Susheela Jayapal Launches Congressional Campaign

Susheela Jayapal, the sister of Indian American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, has launched her bid for the US Congress in Washington’s 3rd congressional district.

In a post on X last week, she said: “We need a progressive champion in Washington to carry on Congressman Blumenauer’s legacy, stand up to MAGA ideologues, and get things done for our community, without compromising our values. “Today, I’m proud to announce my candidacy for Congress.”

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal has endorsed her sister Susheela Jayapal’s candidature

Susheela Jayapal Launches Congressional Campaign (X)
Picture: X

A former county commissioner in Oregon, Susheela Jayapal announced that she was looking to succeed Democratic Representative Earl Blumenauer, who said earlier this week that he will not seek a re-election to the state’s 3rd Congressional District.

Blumenauer, who was first elected in 1996, won a 14th full term last year with nearly 70 per cent of the vote. The 3rd Congressional District, which includes parts of Portland, is a Democratic stronghold.

Susheela Jayapal has served as District 2 Multnomah County Commissioner since January, 2019. She was born in India, and came to the United States when she was 16 to go to college.

Susheela is a lawyer, whose last legal job was as General Counsel for Adidas America; and has also spent two decades as a volunteer community leader/advocate for a number of community-based organizations. Her priorities include housing and homelessness; economic justice; clean air and climate resilience; and public safety.

Susheela Jayapal’s campaign said she is “committed to ensuring America lives up to its promise of opportunity for all, with no community left behind; and to the vision of a country that we can be proud to leave to our children and our grandchildren.”

Gitanjali Rao Named Among ‘Girls Leading Change’

Indian American teenager Gitanjali Rao was one of fifteen young women leaders recognized by First Lady Jill Biden for their outstanding efforts in driving positive change and shaping a brighter future in their respective communities throughout the United States.

The White House Gender Policy Council has carefully selected the participants for the “Girls Leading Change” event at the White House, a testament to the profound impact these young women are making within their communities and their unwavering commitment to fortifying the future of our nation.

First Lady Jill Biden expressed her deep honor in celebrating this remarkable group, remarking, “These young women are safeguarding and preserving our environment, crafting narratives that alter perspectives, and transforming their challenges into meaningful missions.”

At just 17 years old, Rao is currently a freshman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A budding scientist and inventor, she earned the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist” from Discovery Education/3M and was the recipient of the EPA Presidential Award for her groundbreaking lead contamination detection tool.

Rao delved into a project in the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Colorado Denver, where she harnessed cutting-edge genetic engineering techniques to create a colorimetry-based application and device for the treatment of prescription opioid addiction. Her initiative garnered global recognition as a world finalist in the Technovation Girl Challenge and received a Health Pillar award from the TCS Ignite Innovation challenge on a national level.

Additionally, Rao had the opportunity to share her innovative invention on TEDtalksNayibaat, the Indian version of the TED platform. Notably, she also serves as a board member for the Children’s Kindness Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading an anti-bullying message and emphasizing the significance of kindness.

Among her many notable achievements, one stands out: her book, “Young Innovator’s Guide to STEM,” has been widely adopted as a STEM curriculum in schools around the globe.

Rao, who was named Time Magazine’s inaugural “Kid of the Year,” is deeply committed to not only continuing her journey as a scientist and inventor but also to expanding her STEM education initiative, which has already impacted over 80,000 students in elementary, middle, and high schools. In 2021, her dedication to making a difference was acknowledged when she received the title of “Young Activists Summit Laureate” from the United Nations in Geneva

Arundhati Roy Charged Over Kashmir Comments Made 13 Years Ago

Indian authorities have filed charges against the acclaimed author Arundhati Roy for public statements she made over a decade ago regarding the tumultuous Kashmir region, marking the latest development in the Indian government’s increasingly restrictive stance on free speech under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.
Suman Nalwa, a spokeswoman for the New Delhi police, stated that the government had given approval for charges to be brought against Ms. Roy and Kashmiri law professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain. The charges encompass various sections of Indian law, including those related to provocative speech and the incitement of enmity between different groups.

The Lieutenant Governor of the Delhi region indicated that the government had contemplated pursuing a more severe sedition charge against Ms. Roy and Mr. Hussain in connection with a case originating from a complaint lodged in October 2010 by a right-wing Kashmiri Hindu activist against speakers at a conference on Kashmir.
However, no such sedition charge was filed, as India’s highest court is currently deliberating the validity of the colonial-era sedition law, which critics assert has been misused for decades to stifle dissent. The reason for the police’s decision to act on the activist’s complaint over a decade after its filing remains unclear.

Picture: NYT

The action taken against Ms. Roy, a prominent critic of Prime Minister Modi, and Mr. Hussain occurred shortly after New Delhi police conducted raids on the residences and offices of numerous journalists associated with an online news portal recognized for its critical stance on the Indian government.

Previously, the authorities had also targeted the organization NewsClick. However, their crackdown escalated following the publication of an article in The New York Times that revealed connections between an American tech mogul financing the website and the Chinese government.

On Tuesday, a New Delhi court denied bail to the founder of NewsClick and another individual linked to the website, ordering their detention for ten days. Both individuals, who deny any wrongdoing, face charges under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, an anti-terrorism law. Many individuals charged under this law have spent years in detention awaiting trial.

Regarding the Kashmir conference-related case, Mr. Hussain, speaking from Kashmir, informed The New York Times that he had not received any formal communication regarding the charges. When asked for comment, Ms. Roy stated that she needed to consult with her lawyer before discussing the case.

Two other individuals accused in the activist’s complaint, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, a prominent figure in Kashmir’s separatist movement, and Syed Abdul Rahman Geelani, a former university professor, have since passed away. The two men were not related.

The conference, titled “Freedom — the Only Way,” took place in New Delhi on October 21, 2010. During that period, tensions in Muslim-majority Kashmir were running high after the death of a 17-year-old boy who was struck by a tear gas canister fired at close range by Indian security forces as he returned from a tutoring session.

The year saw a cycle of unrest in Kashmir that resulted in the deaths of approximately 120 demonstrators.

In a guest essay published in The New York Times that autumn, Ms. Roy described the turmoil, noting, “Since April, when the army killed three civilians and then passed them off as ‘terrorists,’ masked stone throwers, most of them students, have brought life in Kashmir to a grinding halt. The Indian government has retaliated with bullets, curfew, and censorship.”

In the complaint filed by the Kashmiri Hindu activist, it was alleged that several speeches at the conference, including Ms. Roy’s, had “endangered public peace and security” and that the speakers had advocated for the “separation of Kashmir from India.”

In her speech, Arundhati Roy, the Booker Prize-winning author of “The God of Small Things,” recounted an incident in which she was accosted by a television reporter who repeatedly asked her, “Is Kashmir an integral part of India?”

She responded, “Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. However assertively and frequently you ask me, even the Indian government has acknowledged that it is not an integral part of India.”

The Modi government, which assumed power four years after these events, has taken measures to bring the Kashmir region under direct control, revoking its limited autonomy and suppressing democratic principles and opposing voice

Uma Sofia Srivastava Crowned Miss Teen USA

Mexican-Indian high school student, Uma Sofia Srivastava from New Jersey has been crowned Miss Teen USA 2023, which saw participation from over 50 young women from across the country, in a live-streamed contest in Nevada state. The 16-year-old high school Junior at the Academy of St Elizabeth had become the first Mexican-Indian Miss New Jersey Teen USA earlier this year.

“IS THIS REAL??? I am so grateful and honored that I’m the first Mexican-Indian, first New Jersey, your MISS TEEN USA 2023!!!” Srivastava wrote on social media after winning the coveted title last week.

“This night is truly the best night of my life because I was crowned with the people that have loved and supported me throughout everything cheering for me in the audience.”

Srivastava, who speaks English, Spanish, Hindi and French, hopes to become a UN Ambassador.

She works with the Lotus Petal Foundation to help underprivileged children in India receive a well rounded education, proper nutrition and healthcare.

A co-founder of the Diversity & Inclusion campaign at her school, Srivastava also participates in Mock Trial and Model United Nations, according to her pageant biography.

She has authored and illustrated a book, “The White Jaguar”, which she says, is to inspire people of all ages to embrace what makes them unique.

Also a pianist, Srivastava runs her own blog, That’s Fan Behavior, where she writes about her experience as a woman of colour and current events.

Miss New York Teen USA Stephanie Skinner was named first runner-up and Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA Maggie Ross was second runner-up in the pageant.

NARI SHAKTI VANDAN ABHINIYAM:Women’s Reservation Bill Passes In Lok Sabha.

Justice for Indian women is elevated and recognized. The Women’s Reservation Bill, a significant Constitutional Amendment Bill that provides 33% reservation to women in Parliament and State Assemblies, passes in Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha manually voted, 454 MPs voted in favor of the bill, and two MPs voted against it. ( except for raising the salaries and privileges of MPs, there always will be opposition to everything. Fortunately, only two were against this bill!).

It was introduced in the Lok Sabha yesterday during the ongoing special session of Parliament.

Taking forward the resolution of women-led development, our government today passed a prominent Constitutional Amendment Bill. The purpose of this Bill is to expand the participation of women in Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas.”

The salient features of this Bill are as follows:

The Women’s Reservation Bill is named Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, the first bill tabled in the new Parliament building.

The bill has proposed that the reservation would continue for 15 years and that there would be a quota for SCs and STs within the reserved seats for women.

The reservation will come into effect after a delimitation exercise and will continue for 15 years.

As per existing law, the next delimitation exercise can only be conducted after the first census to be taken post-2026, which means that the bill cannot become law until at least 2027. Some reports have suggested that the women’s quota may be implemented by the 2029 Lok Sabha elections.

Once the bill becomes an Act, of the total seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the House of Assembly, 33% will be set aside for women belonging to these communities.

The number of women members in the Lok Sabha will rise to 181 from 82 currently once the women’s reservation bill comes into force, law minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said.

Rotation of seats reserved for women in Lok Sabha, legislative assemblies, and the assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi would take effect after each subsequent exercise of delimitation, to be determined by the parliament, according to the bill.

The statement of objects and reasons of the bill noted that the true empowerment of women will require greater in the decision-making process.

“The women of India will now have a role to play in policymaking,” says Home Minister Amit Shah on the Women’s Reservation Bill. Of course, it is bringing a drastic progress in the women empowerment in India.

IAGB Celebrates ‘India The Trailblazer’

At its annual India Day celebrations at Boston’s iconic Hatch Memorial Shell on August 19th at Hatch Shell, India Association of Greater Boston, known as IAGB, honored Women Who Win, India Society of Worcester and Indian American Cultural Awareness Builders for their contributions and services to the community.

“We believe that India Day is not just a celebration of a nation, but an occasion to bring our community together, inspire and learn from one another, and celebrate the beauty of diversity and unity,” said IAGB President Vaishali Gade. “Through these events, we hope to continue to create a platform for cultural exchange, dialogue, and mutual appreciation.”

Programs at Indian Day included a Bollywood Classical Fusion Concert, ‘Raaga Unleashed ‘ by Berkley College of Music students, and Patriotic plus Bollywood foot-tapping song bonanza, ‘Junun India Ka’ , a concert by NU Sanskriti, a band by Northeastern University students- under the open sky along Charles River.

Moreover, IAGB kicked off India Day Celebration during the first week of August starting with Flag Raising in many towns and its first ever India Celebration in MLB’s History at Fenway at RED SOx vs KC Royals Game.

Picture : TheUNN

The organizations that were honored at India Day, dubbed this year as “India the Trailblazer”, are:  Women Who Win, founded by Dr. Manju Sheth, Dr. Deepa Jhaveri, and Shaleen Sheth, with Trailblazer of the Year Award; India Society of Worcester for its 60 Years of Community Service; and, Indian American Cultural Awareness Builder: Sunanda Sahay, Shuchi Gupta, Deepali Khanzode, Yogesh Karale, Phil Kaplan and Roopesh Mathur.

“Women Who Win hit its three year milestone this summer, and I am proud of the inspiring and empowering stories we have shared and the unique community we have built. I am excited for our platform to continue being a positive and uplifting media organization where women can share their stories and make connections around the globe,” said Shaleen Sheth, one of the founders of Women Who Win. “We are truly grateful for this recognition and honor and would like to thank IAGB for the Trailblazer award.”

Added Dr. Jhaveri: Women Who Win has surpassed our expectations in terms of impact, engagement and membership.  We are truly thankful to the community for sharing this journey with us as we celebrate our third year anniversary!  Thank you IAGB for this incredible recognition, honor and award.”

Women Who Win is nonprofit global women’s media platform, with a mission to amplify voices of diverse women of all races, cultures, and backgrounds.

“Women Who Win was founded during Covid times to share uplifting stories and bring hope so that women would not give up on their dreams in tough situations,” said Dr. Sheth. “This is our third-year anniversary, and we feel privileged to have shared hundreds of inspiring stories . We are so grateful to IAGB for appreciating our work and honoring us with the Trailblazer’s Award.”

“In short, we are very honored and grateful to get the prestigious Trailblazer Award of the year from IAGB especially on Indian Independence Day celebrations at Hatch Shell. It will motivate us to keep doing better,” said Dr. Maju Sheth, founder of Women Who Win.

Ektaa R Kapoor To Be Honored With 2023 International Emmy Directorate Award

Indian film producer and director, Ektaa R Kapoor, is set to receive the prestigious 2023 International Emmy Directorate award in recognition of her remarkable career and profound impact on the Indian television landscape. This esteemed accolade will be presented by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (IATAS) at the upcoming 51st International Emmy® Awards Gala, scheduled to take place on November 20th in the vibrant city of New York. Bruce L Paisner, the President and Chief Executive Officer of IATAS, made this announcement, underlining the significance of this honor.

In response to this remarkable recognition, the 48-year-old television producer expressed her heartfelt emotions, stating, “It fills me with a profound sense of humility and excitement. This award holds a special place in my heart, as it signifies a journey that goes beyond mere work—it’s a pivotal aspect of my personal and professional life.” Kapoor went on to emphasize the unique importance of this achievement, adding, “Representing my country on the global stage through this esteemed platform is an incredible honor. Television has been instrumental in helping me discover my identity, particularly as a woman working to make stories for women. This award allows me to represent them and our shared accomplishments on an international level.”

Picture: Koimoi

Ektaa R Kapoor, renowned as the co-founder of the television production powerhouse Balaji Telefilms, has been a prominent figure in the Indian television industry for nearly three decades. Her journey commenced in 1994 when she established Balaji Telefilms alongside her illustrious parents—Indian movie star and producer Jeetendra Kapoor and accomplished media executive Shobha Kapoor. Under the Balaji banner, Kapoor has achieved remarkable milestones, having created and produced an astonishing portfolio of over 17,000 hours of television content and 45 films. Additionally, she played a pivotal role in launching one of India’s earliest Indian Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms, Alt Balaji.

Recognizing her remarkable contributions to the world of entertainment, IATAS President Paisner remarked, “Ektaa R. Kapoor has built Balaji into one of India’s foremost entertainment players with market leadership in the television content industry reaching mass audiences across India and South Asia with their long-running series and OTT platform.”

Ektaa Kapoor’s influence extends beyond her professional accomplishments. She has earned a well-deserved spot among Fortune India’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Asia.” Furthermore, she stands as the sole female representative from the Indian television domain in Variety500—an exclusive index that recognizes the 500 most influential business leaders shaping the global media industry. These accolades underscore her exceptional prowess and enduring impact on the entertainment world.

In essence, Ektaa R Kapoor’s journey through the Indian television and film industry is nothing short of remarkable. Her visionary approach, coupled with her commitment to crafting narratives that resonate with women, has left an indelible mark on the entertainment landscape. As she prepares to accept the 2023 International Emmy Directorate award, the world will celebrate not just her professional triumphs but also the profound cultural and societal influence she has wielded through her work.

This recognition serves as a testament to the power of storytelling in television and its ability to shape identities, transcend boundaries, and inspire generations. Ektaa Kapoor’s journey, from the inception of Balaji Telefilms to the pinnacle of global recognition, embodies the spirit of creativity and innovation in the world of entertainment.

As the 51st International Emmy® Awards Gala approaches, the anticipation builds for the moment when Ektaa R Kapoor will stand on the stage in New York City, holding the International Emmy Directorate award, representing not only her own achievements but also the countless stories and dreams she has brought to life through the medium of television. It is a celebration of a visionary who has not only impacted the Indian television landscape but has also created a lasting legacy that resonates with audiences far beyond its borders.

Ektaa R Kapoor’s journey is an extraordinary one that showcases the transformative power of television in shaping cultures, narratives, and identities. This prestigious recognition by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences underscores her enduring influence and the indomitable spirit with which she has forged a path in the entertainment industry. Kapoor’s dedication to creating meaningful content for women and her ability to connect with audiences on a profound level make her a true luminary in the world of television and film. Her acceptance of the 2023 International Emmy Directorate award is not just a personal achievement but a testament to the global reach and impact of Indian television and storytelling. This recognition is a celebration of a visionary who has left an indelible mark on the industry and continues to inspire future generations of storytellers.

Historic Triumphs for Indian Women Wrestlers at U20 World Championships

On August 18, Antim Panghal etched her name in history by becoming the first Indian female wrestler to secure consecutive U20 world titles. She masterfully defended her 53kg crown, showcasing an impressive blend of agility and strength, resulting in an extraordinary achievement.

Joining Panghal in this historic victory, Savita (62kg) also claimed the world champion title, contributing to the Indian women’s team triumph in the team category at a world championship—an unprecedented milestone in the annals of sports.

This remarkable achievement underscored a watershed moment for Indian wrestling as a whole, with an impressive total of seven wrestlers clinching medals. Among these were three gold medals, one silver, earned by Antim Kundu (65kg), and three bronze medals secured by Reena (57kg), Arju (68kg), and Harshita (72kg).

Picture: The UNN

Panghal, hailing from Hisar in Haryana, exhibited her dominance against her Ukrainian adversary Mariia Yefremova, securing a convincing 4-0 victory. Throughout the tournament, her ferocity and control were evident, conceding merely two points in her journey.

Her prowess as a future leader in this category was unmistakably apparent. This was further demonstrated when she challenged Vinesh Phogat for the Asian Games trials, confidently asserting her ability to defeat the decorated senior wrestler. Panghal’s conviction in not receiving a direct entry highlighted her dedication and self-assuredness.

Having made history as the first Indian female grappler to claim a junior world championship title the previous year, Panghal showcased a seamless transition to the senior circuit. In her bout against Yefremova, she exhibited astute defense, countering leg attacks with remarkable presence of mind.

Panghal’s rapid movements and well-executed double-leg attacks, underpinned by her impressive strength, left her Ukrainian opponent struggling. The contest culminated with Panghal’s decisive right-leg attack, seamlessly transformed into a takedown maneuver, sealing her victory.

In the 62kg final, Savita set the mat ablaze with a commanding technical superiority win against Venezuela’s A Paola Montero Chirinos. Displaying finesse and control, the wrestler from Rohtak accumulated points with ease. A take-down two-pointer marked the beginning, and Savita steadily extended her lead against a perplexed Chirinos.

By the conclusion of the first period, Savita held a commanding 9-0 advantage, subsequently clinching victory early in the second period without relinquishing a single point.

However, Antim Kundu fell short of victory in her final, succumbing to a 2-9 defeat against the local favorite, Eniko Elekes.

Reena secured the 57kg bronze with a resilient 9-4 triumph over Kazakhstan’s ShugylaOmirbek. Leading 5-0, Reena navigated through last-minute drama to secure her spot on the podium. At 5-2, the umpire awarded four points to Reena’s Kazakh counterpart, which was later overturned, resulting in Reena’s final score of 9-4.

Prior to securing her medal, Reena demonstrated her mettle by prevailing in two repechage rounds earlier in the day.

Bringing the Indian campaign to a fitting close, Harshita pinned her Moldovan rival Emilia Creciun. With a 6-0 lead at that point, Harshita executed a decisive move, putting Creciun’s back to the mat to secure a victory by fall.

August 18 witnessed historic accomplishments by Indian women wrestlers at the U20 World Championships. Antim Panghal’s consecutive title victory and Savita’s triumph contributed to an unparalleled achievement for the Indian women’s team in the world championship history. The success was further amplified with a total of seven medals, including gold, silver, and bronze, showcasing India’s prowess in the wrestling arena.

Indian Americans on Forbes’ 50 Over 50 List

Several persons of Indian heritage have been featured on Forbes’ 50 Ver 50 List for 2023, released last week. S. Mona Sinha: From Corporate Success to Advocating Women’s Rights, Makes Forbes 50 Over 50 List

Friend of Indiaspora, S. Mona Sinha has secured a spot on the Forbes 50 Over 50 List for her impactful work. At 57, Sinha leads Equality Now as the global executive director, leveraging her experience from companies like Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Unilever to drive the NGO’s mission for women’s and girls’ rights worldwide. Her achievements include reforming rape laws in Latin America and the Caribbean and child marriage laws in Africa and the Middle East, along with her contributions to various organizations and boards dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment. Her journey from volunteering at Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Kolkata, India, to her current influential role reflects her dedication to humanitarian efforts.

Nikki Haley

  • In February of 2023, Nikki Haley announced her intent to become the Republican party’s candidate for U.S. president.
  • Two days after her announcement, former CNN host Don Lemon ignited an online firestorm after implying Haley, a woman in her 50s, wasn’t “in her prime.” Haley reclaimed “in my prime” as a campaign trail rallying cry.
  • The daughter of Indian immigrants, Haley became the first Indian American to serve in a presidential cabinet when she was sworn in as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 2017.
  • She served as governor of South Carolina from 2010 to 2014. Of the 117 governors in South Carolina’s history, she is the only woman and only person of color to have led the state.
  • Haley grew up in South Carolina and graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

About Her:

  • In February of 2023, Nikki Haley announced her intent to become the Republican party’s candidate for U.S. president.
  • Two days after her announcement, former CNN host Don Lemon ignited an online firestorm after implying Haley, a woman in her 50s, wasn’t “in her prime.” Haley reclaimed “in my prime” as a campaign trail rallying cry.
  • The daughter of Indian immigrants, Haley became the first Indian American to serve in a presidential cabinet when she was sworn in as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 2017.
  • She served as governor of South Carolina from 2010 to 2014. Of the 117 governors in South Carolina’s history, she is the only woman and only person of color to have led the state.
  • Haley grew up in South Carolina and graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Sarita Mohanty

  • In 2021, at 50, Sarita Mohanty became the second CEO and president of The SCAN Foundation, a California-based healthcare nonprofit focused on improving care for older adults through policy, impact investing and grantmaking.
  • Mohanty came to the foundation from Kaiser Permanente, where she served as vice president of care coordination for Medicaid and vulnerable populations.
  • At Kaiser, she led the development of Thrive Local, a referral network of health systems, government agencies and community groups that provide social services, including housing, food and utilities.
  • She completed medical school at Boston University and residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She holds an M.P.H. from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from UCLA.

About Her:

  • In 2021, at 50, Sarita Mohanty became the second CEO and president of The SCAN Foundation, a California-based healthcare nonprofit focused on improving care for older adults through policy, impact investing and grantmaking.
  • Mohanty came to the foundation from Kaiser Permanente, where she served as vice president of care coordination for Medicaid and vulnerable populations.
  • At Kaiser, she led the development of Thrive Local, a referral network of health systems, government agencies and community groups that provide social services, including housing, food and utilities.
  • She completed medical school at Boston University and residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She holds an M.P.H. from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from UCLA.

Alka Joshi

  • In 2020, at 62, Alka Joshi published her debut novel, The Henna Artist. She began writing the book in 2010, but the ten years of work paid off: It became a global phenomenon, hitting the New York Times bestseller list and translated into 29 languages.
  • Within a year and a half of publication, Netflix announced it would develop The Henna Artist into a television series starring Frida Pinto.
  • Joshi published two more books in 2021 and 2023, and has a contract with Harper Collins to produce two more by 2025.
  • Four decades after immigrating to the US, Joshi says her passion to inform the world about India through historical fiction took root in her 50s, when she traveled back to her birth country with her mother.

About Her:

  • The Henna Artist was inspired by Joshi’s mother, who had an arranged marriage at 18. Joshi wrote a protagonist who lived in an alternate reality—one where a woman like her mom could live independently.
  • In 2020, at 62, Alka Joshi published her debut novel, The Henna Artist. She began writing the book in 2010, but the ten years of work paid off: It became a global phenomenon, hitting the New York Times bestseller list and translated into 29 languages.
  • Within a year and a half of publication, Netflix announced it would develop The Henna Artist into a television series starring Frida Pinto.
  • Joshi published two more books in 2021 and 2023, and has a contract with Harper Collins to produce two more by 2025.
  • Four decades after immigrating to the US, Joshi says her passion to inform the world about India through historical fiction took root in her 50s, when she traveled back to her birth country with her mother.
  • The Henna Artist was inspired by Joshi’s mother, who had an arranged marriage at 18. Joshi wrote a protagonist who lived in an alternate reality—one where a woman like her mom could live independently.

India Day Parade Celebrates Indian Spirituality, Art, Cinema, and Women

The 41st India Day Parade in New York City, organized by The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA), witnessed a remarkable convergence of Indian creativity, empowerment, spirituality, and art, with the notable participation of two exceptional women: Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati Ji, a revered Indian spiritual leader, and Neha Lohia, an award-winning and acclaimed filmmaker. Notable figures like Grammy Award-winning singer Falu Shah and Bollywood actresses Jacquline Fernandes and Samantha Ruth Prabhu also graced the event. This year’s parade celebrated the rich tapestry of Indian culture, tradition, and heritage while highlighting the influential role of women on the global India stage.

Promoting Indian culture globally and established in 1970, The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) has played a pivotal role in uniting the Indian diaspora in the Northeastern United States. The India Day Parade, widely regarded as the largest parade outside India, brings thousands of Indian Americans together for an extraordinary cultural extravaganza in the heart of New York City.

Picture : TheUNN

Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati Ji, known for her transformative journey from Hollywood to the Himalayas, expressed her joy at being part of this celebration: “It’s been such a great blessing to live in India for the last 27 years, on the banks of Mother Ganga, and for my life journey to move both physically and spiritually from Hollywood to the Himalayas. Indian culture, teachings, traditions, sanskriti, and sanskaras are not only relevant to the people born on the land of India but also to individuals from every culture and country. This parade beautifully showcases the universality and gifts of our Indian culture and traditions, available for the whole world to embrace.”

Spirituality and Artistry were in Harmony on this day. The parade was meticulously planned, seamlessly blending Indian spirituality, arts, cinema, culture, music, dance, cuisine, and the message of inner peace. Filmmaker Neha Lohia, known for her heart-centered narratives, shared her deep feelings: “It was a profound experience to stand alongside Sadhviji, nestled in the serene Himalayas, while I represent the vibrant creativity of Hollywood. Witnessing and showcasing India’s enduring legacy of transformation, devotion, integrity, and strength through storytelling, cinema, culture, music, and spirituality at the 41st India Day parade was a true honor.”

Neha Lohia, a versatile filmmaker, brings an Eastern perspective to her work in the USA, with a focus on women-oriented subjects and consciousness-raising projects. With over two decades of storytelling experience in advertising, Hollywood, and Bollywood, she continues to create inspiring content.

Additionally, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati Ji and Neha Lohia were warmly greeted by Dilip Chauhan, Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs and former Deputy Comptroller of Minority Affairs in Nassau County, New York.

Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati Ji, a Spiritual Beacon based in Rishikesh, India, is a world-renowned spiritual leader, motivational speaker, and social activist. Her profound spiritual journey spans over 25 years, from Los Angeles to the banks of the sacred Ganga River. She is the Secretary-General of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, President of the Divine Shakti Foundation, and Co-President of Religions for Peace. Her teachings bridge the gap between Western knowledge and Eastern spirituality, making her a global spiritual ambassador.

Sadhvi Ji’s work extends to international platforms, where she shares her wisdom with luminaries such as HH the Dalai Lama, Prince Charles, and world leaders. She has received numerous awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from U.S. President Joe Biden for her lifelong commitment to volunteer service. Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati Ji continues to oversee humanitarian projects, teach meditation, lecture, write, counsel individuals and families, and serve as a unique female voice of spiritual leadership, inspiring people in India and around the world.

The 41st India Day Parade in New York showcased the indomitable spirit of Indian creativity, empowerment, spirituality, and artistry, reminding the world that the essence of India serves as a beacon of inspiration for all.

AAPI’s Women’s Leadership Forum Focuses on “Celebrating Women of Excellence.”

Women are leading the world by being the proponents of economic empowerment, strengthening educational organizations, and being a powerful voice in politics. They have overcome obstacles and have shown the world what a woman can achieve and contribute to the betterment of the world as never before in human history.

The presence of a dozen extraordinarily successful Women Leaders representing a diversity of professions, involving public, private, and government organizations at the much-anticipated Women’s Leadership Forum during the recently concluded 41st Annual Convention organized by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) in Philadelphia, PA from July 6th to 9th, 2023 was a way of celebrating the success stories of women who are trailblazers and have inspired and led others with their exceptional achievements, personifying grace, and setting the standard for success.

Setting the tone for this celebration, Dr. Udaya Shivangi, Chair of AAPI’s Women’s Committee, in her opening remarks, provided an overview of the Forum and the many initiatives by the Forum both in India and the United States.  “Women’s Forum has been an integral part of AAPI, always at the forefront, coming up with innovative ideas to make each event a unique and transformative experience. Each year the Forum aims to spotlight women leaders who are changing the world and working towards the betterment of the community.”

The theme chosen for the Forum today, “Celebrating Women of Excellence ” holds immense importance as it recognizes and pays tribute to the remarkable achievements and contributions of women in various spheres of life, Dr. Shivangi, who was honored with AAPI’s Distinguished Service Award during the Convention here, said.

“Throughout history, women have overcome numerous obstacles and have shattered glass ceilings, leaving an indelible mark on society. They have become pioneers, breaking stereotypes and proving that gender should never limit one’s aspirations or potential. By recognizing and honoring their excellence, we uplift the achievements of women everywhere and pave the way for future generations to strive for greatness,” Dr. Shivangi added.

In her keynote address, Her Holiness Jagadguru Sai Maa, a world-renowned spiritual master, healer, and humanitarian, with a unique fusion of Eastern spiritual wisdom, Western therapeutic knowledge, and energetic mastery, fondly called Sai Maa shared with the audience on ways to uplift and empower others to master their lives. Sai Maa, who is the first-ever female to be awarded the prestigious title Jagadguru in India’s 2,700 years of the Vishnuswami lineage, one of the highest designations in the Hindu tradition, is being recognized as embodying the power and influence to transform the entire planet.

“Each of us comes from Mother. We are now in transition, shifting from an old era to a new era. An era of consciousness, higher consciousness, an era where our heart and light merge together. We have entered a phase on this planet called longevity. You look at the cosmos and you look at a fetus. There’s a similarity. Every human is born as an enlightened child. So every single human is born with like the Satya Yuga, the next step for humanity. Every child is connected and every adult no matter how a is connected to the Atma.

Sai Maa, who has developed a signature program, HealthSpan by Design, that introduces a new health paradigm where you align with your innate life force to retain vibrant health as you age,  spoke about how to program your cells for maximum health, youthfulness, and longevity. With great passion, Sai Maa shared her inner knowledge and offered effective strategies that work for everyone.

Dr. Asha Pillai, Chair of Hematology, Hematologic Malignancies, and Transplantation in the Scientific Council at Regeneron received her medical degree and fellowship training in Pediatric and Adult Hematology from Stanford University. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Pillai and her research group have established important new immune theories in mismatched donor bone marrow and organ transplantation as well as cellular immunotherapy for cancer treatment. This has formed the basis for her ongoing global impact work.

Dr. Pillai spoke about the newer advances in immunotherapy, most specifically as it relates to cancer research and about the advances in stem cell research gone. In addition, her address focused on the challenges she had faced in her leadership journey, and how she overcomes them.

“The biggest obstacles we face are threefold. First, regardless of what our dream is and what we think we can achieve, the realities of politics, power plays, economy, and the gross aspects of the world. For me, meditation and having some foundation in my life is extremely important and actually helped me to do most of what I’ve done. I would say, the biggest lessons I’ve learned are to have a balance of life, which is an ongoing learning process, a balance of drive, humility, and vision. And keeping those three going is literally a full-time effort.” She lauded “the great work by AAPI members for promoting health globally, particularly in India and the United States. Let me know if there are opportunities to serve in and support AAPI in the future, as I’m certainly interested to help mentor the next generation!

Dr. Rachana Kulkarni, the president of Medicor Cardiology and serves as the regional director of cardiovascular services for RWJ Health System. The American Heart Association recently awarded her Physician of the Year and Woman of Distinction for making exceptional contributions to women, health, and society. Dr. Kulkarni, while referring to more and more physicians obtaining master’s degrees in public health, business, and healthcare administration, shared with the audience her own experiences as an entrepreneurial physician, the advantages of acquiring a secondary degree, while dedicating many years of one’s life learning the art and craft of medicine.

A versatile actress, producer, trained classical dancer, author a loving mother, and a big hearted socialite, With an illustrious career spanning many decades, and a winner of many awards including the national award, multiple film fare, Rituparna Sen Gupta was another speaker who shared her insights about a key principle or attitude she follows that has helped her balance and keep her grounded and about the roles that she had played in Movies has inspired her personal life. .

Dr. Himabindu Gadipatti, a renowned oncologist, geneticist, and entrepreneur from San Diego CA, has dedicated the past decade of her career to creating a unique holistic approach to implementing novel cancer solutions in developing countries via her three companies that facilitate extensive research worldwide. In her address, she spoke about cancer has typically been thought of as a disease of the Western world, and how cancer research in developing countries is progressing and helping actross the globe.

Dr. S. Pulluru, a family medicine physician and a Clinical Executive in Walmart Health, who plays an important role as a leader of Walmart Health that has multiple centers in various states.  Dr. Pulluru spoke insightfully about how in the present era of computerized medicine, the role of Artificial Intelligence in public health. She also shared with the audience about the challenges she faced while working with a large number of over 750 physicians.

Dr. Smita Joshi, Director of Smit Medical and Heart Hospital, North Gujrat, with a special interest in Diabetes and Juvenile Diabetes, was another panelist who spoke about how she got interested in Diabetes and shared her contributions to address the pandemic of Diabetes in India, where there are said to be over 77 million people with diabetes, 25 million prediabetic and almost one million with juvenile diabetes.

Earlier, in his introductory Remarks, Dr. Sampat Shivangi, AAPI’s Legislative Committee Chair, lauded the efforts of the Women’s Forum and highlighted the achievements of women in a highly competitive world. He pointed to the “role models” who are the speakers at the Forum today for their accomplishments and contributions to the larger humanity.

Dr. Manju Sachdev, a Board Certified Pediatrician, currently serves as a faculty member and clinical assistant professor at Texas A&M School of Medicine. Dr. Sachdev has been actively involved in her local television media along with being a long-established part of TV ASIA as their medical host for a number of national programs – most notably, AAPI AND YOUR HEALTH. She has served in the AAPI organization in numerous capacities – as a former Women’s Chair, member of AAPI Board of Trustees, and Treasurer.

Dr. Gita Mehta, a practicing OB/GYN physician at the Cleveland Clinic, who has been an essential part of AAPI for the past 30 years and has been a vital part of the Women’s Forum and was Chair of the committee in 2004 eloquently moderated the interactive session with the highly accomplished women leaders along with Dr. Manju Sachdev, co-chair of the Women’s Forum.

While congratulating the members of AAPI’s Women’s Forum and lauding them for some of the major initiatives of the Women’s Forum, Dr. Anajana Samadder, President of AAPI in a message said, “From birth to death, all of us need women in our lives. They sacrifice their lives for the rest of the family, society, and the world at large. AAPI’s Women Forum salutes the great contributions of the women panelists here today and all the women who are present here today and everywhere.” For more information about AAPI, please visit:

Chandrika Tandon To Release New Album

Indian American businesswoman and philanthropist Chandrika Tandon is all set to release her fifth album, titled Ammu’s Treasures, in September. According to a press statement, Chandrika’s new recording described as “a hug for the world,” was inspired by her grandchildren.

The 3-volume collection of 35 familiar songs and 20 soothing chants features a distinguished lineup of musicians including Béla Fleck, Kenny Werner, Eugene Friesen, Romero Lubambo, Rakesh Chaurasia, Purbayan Chatterjee, and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. “This album, which began as a simple gift from a loving grandmother to her grandchildren, has become an expression of intergenerational love and wisdom for everyone,” a release said.

Tandon has released four albums, including the Grammy-nominated Soul Call (2009) and Shivoham – The Quest (2018), an oratorio that premiered in a sold-out concert at the Kennedy Center. Her performances have reached iconic venues including Lincoln Center, the Smithsonian, Olympiastadion (Berlin), NYC’s Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, and the World Culture Festival (New Delhi).

The Grammy-nominated musician is recognized for her donation of US$100 million to New York University (NYU), where the School of Engineering now bears her name. She chairs the board of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and is a trustee of the University, NYU Langone Health; and also a board member of the NYU Stern School of Business.

Tandon is a Harold Acton Fellow at NYU and a Sterling Fellow at Yale University, where she serves on the President’s Council on International Activities. She was one of the eminent personalities whom Indian Prime Minister Modi met at the United Nations during his visit to the US last month.

The New York-based businesswoman came to the United States at the age of 24, earning her bachelor’s degree from Madras Christian College, Chennai, and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad.

Kamala Harris Swears in Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues

Vice President Kamala Harris officiated at a July 10, 2023, swearing-in ceremony for Geeta Rao Gupta, PhD, the Biden Administration’s choice for Global Women’s Issues Ambassador.

The ceremony was held at the Vice President’s Ceremonial Office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., where Gupta was accompanied by her husband, Arvind and daughter Nayna, sister-in-law Manjuli Maheshwari, and friend Carolina Rojas.

Following the brief oath-taking, Vice President Harris tweeted, “Congratulations to Geeta Rao Gupta, our next Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the State Department. A lifelong advocate, Ambassador Gupta will continue the fight to lift up women and girls everywhere and to secure their basic freedoms and rights.”

The Bombay-born Gupta was cleared by the US Senate on May 12, and soon after her swearing-in, she was off on a diplomatic mission to several countries.

A graduate of Delhi University with a PhD from Bangalore University, Gupta has been a well-known women’s issues leader, and is the fourth Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the State Department, and the first woman of color to hold that position.

Among those credited for pushing her candidature are Senators Charles Schumer, D-NY, Democratic Majority Leader; Jeanne Shaheen, Tim Kaine, and Robert Menendez.

Gupta was most recently at the United Nations Foundation as Executive Director of the 3D Program for Girls and Women .

Prior to that she was Deputy Executive Director at UN International Chiildren’s Education Fund for five years; was a Senior Fellow at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

She served her longest at the International Center for Research on Women, ICRW, where she rose to become President of the organization, starting as a Project Manager in 1989.

Padma Lakshmi Wins Three Emmy Nominations

The Television Academy announced the nominations for the 2023 awards, and Padma Lakshmi, popular TV host, model and activist secured three nominations. The Indian American was nominated in the Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program category for ‘Top Chef’ making it her third consecutive Emmy nomination as a host.

Lakshmi recently announced her decision to step down from her role as the host of ‘Top Chef’ to focus on her new show  ‘Taste The Nation With Padma Lakshmi’, where she serves as both the host and executive producer. She also earned a nomination for the new show in the Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series.

“I am so excited and grateful for THREE @televisionacad nominations this morning, thank you from the bottom of my heart! It feels incredibly sweet to end my tenure at @bravotopchef with nominations for Outstanding Reality Competition and one for me as Host,” Lakshmi, who hosted the show for two decades, wrote in the caption of her Instagram post.

She added, “But it feels supremely special to get one for Taste the Nation in the category of Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series. It’s a show built from an idea in my head that has come to fruition exactly as intended with so much help and love from a whole team of amazing people. I am so grateful to both of our crews behind the scenes, our producers, our network executives, and for everyone who has watched and supported us along the way.”

In June 2023, ‘Top Chef’ and ‘Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi’ tied for first place at the fifth annual Critics’ Choice Real TV prizes.

Marketa Vondrousova Wins Wimbledon and Her First Grand Slam Title

The Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova is no longer one of the most unlikely Wimbledon champions. Vondrousova stunned herself, her family, and the tennis world when she defeated Ons Jabeur, a pioneering Tunisian who was a heavy favorite, in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.

Vondrousova, 24, turned into the principal unseeded player to win Wimbledon and the most recent in a long queue of Czech-conceived ladies to lift the main prize in the game, returning to Martina Navratilova’s mastery of Wimbledon during the 1980s, after Navratilova had deserted to the US.

Vondrousova is a left-handed player with a nasty slice serve, like Navratilova, who watched the match from a box. She used it in the tenseest moments throughout the afternoon when Jabeur attempted to take control of the match or mount yet another comeback.

The similitudes with Navratilova, a forceful serve-and-volleyer who burst into the game as a youngster, for the most part end there.

Vondrousova, who won a mistake filled match that compensated for what it needed quality with shock, is currently a definitive unnoticed player subsequent to going three-for-three at pulverizing tennis fantasies. In 2021, she defeated Naomi Osaka at the Olympics in Tokyo, just a few days after Osaka set the Olympic standard as a favorite to win a gold medal at home.

On Thursday, Vondrousova defeated Elina Svitolina, a Ukrainian new mother who fought hard to reach the semifinals and inspired her people as they fight against Russia’s invasion.

On Saturday evening it was Jabeur’s chance to have her fantasy squashed by Vondrousova’s precarious and unconventional game in a competition that Vondrousova said was difficult to win, given her sparse history of progress on grass.

“At the point when we came I was very much like, ‘Attempt to win two or three matches,'” Vondrousova said. ” Presently this occurred, it’s insane,” Vondrousova said.

She had a lot of organization asking exactly the same thing, taking into account she had a cast on her wrist following a medical procedure during Wimbledon last year. This time, Vondrousova’s husband decided to stay at home and care for their bald Sphynx cat instead of coming to watch her play on Saturday.

Stepan Simek, on the other hand, rushed to find a cat sitter after Vondrousova defeated Svitolina in the semifinals and boarded a flight to watch his wife play in the Wimbledon final. They intended to commemorate their first wedding anniversary on Sunday.

“There will be one day we will have grandchildren and I’m simply anticipating the day when I can recount the narrative of their grandma winning Wimbledon,” Simek said.

Vondrousova’s dearest companion and copies accomplice, Miriam Kolodziejova, said she didn’t really accept that Vondrousova could bring home the singles championship.

She stated, “It’s like a dream for us.”

For Jabeur, the misfortune in a moment straight Wimbledon last against a cultivated undeniably less rival than different ladies she thump en route to the slope of tennis history, was nothing not exactly disastrous. Jabeur has now lost three of the last five Huge homerun finals, missing the mark regarding turning into the main lady of Middle Easterner drop and from Africa to come out on top for the main titles in tennis.

She, like the majority of tennis players, has long desired to win Wimbledon, and the previous year, she set her phone’s lock screen to a picture of the women’s trophy.

In the first set, Jabeur broke a nervous Vondrousova’s serve multiple times. She played tight from the outset yet held a 4-2 lead in the main set when she started to unwind, sending forehands into the net and drifting strikes past the gauge.

Jabeur lost her serve to begin the second set and was down a set before she knew it. As far as concerns her, Vondrousova was doing all she expected to, keeping the ball in play, whipping her twisting, turning shots that were so not quite the same as the power which Jabeur had looked in her new matches.

Jabeur regained her composure and even took a 3-1 lead in the second set, but she was unable to recover, was unable to locate the court, and threw too many shots into the middle of the net. Five of her last six games were defeats.

Vondrousova at long last finished Jabeur’s horrendous evening with a running strike volley out of the shadows court, and one more lady from Czech Republic was the Wimbledon champion, staggering anybody who could have imagined that situation however only not with Vondrousova in the featuring job.

“My mentor let me know after the last, he was like, ‘I was unable to accept how quiet you are,'” Vondrousova said. ” That was the title’s primary key.

Jabeur, who is known as the “Minister of Happiness” due to her almost always upbeat demeanor, removed her bandana from her head as the ball twice bounced far out of her reach. She then began her slow, sad, and becoming more and more familiar plod toward the net.

Vondrousova arrived a little behind schedule. At the end of the final point, she had collapsed on the grass. She got up to give Jabeur a hug, but she was soon back in the middle of the court, kneeling, trying to figure out how she had done this unlikely run. Jabeur sat in her seat and cleaned away tears.

There were seriously during the prize service, as Jabeur held the second place platter in one hand and covered her eyes and her nose with the other.

She said, “This is the most painful loss of my career,” before attempting to channel some positive energy.

“I won’t surrender, and I will return more grounded,” she let a group know that was at long last ready to thunder for her the manner in which it had been needing to throughout the evening.

For Vondrousova and Czech tennis, the festivals were simply starting. The Czech Republic, with a populace of generally 10.5 million individuals, has turned into a ladies’ tennis production line dissimilar to anything that exists in the game. There are eight Czech ladies in the best 50, the majority of them, as Vondrousova, in their mid-twenties and more youthful.

At the point when the competition started, Petra Kvitova, positioned tenth on the planet, seemed like the most probable Czech finalist. A double cross Wimbledon champion in 2011 and 2014, Kvitova had won a grass court competition in Berlin only weeks prior.

There were really during the prize service, as Jabeur held the second place platter in one hand and covered her eyes and her nose with the other.

She said, “This is the most painful loss of my career,” before attempting to channel some positive energy.

“I won’t surrender, and I will return more grounded,” she let a group know that was at long last ready to thunder for her the manner in which it had been needing to throughout the evening.

For Vondrousova and Czech tennis, the festivals were simply starting. With roughly 10.5 million people, the Czech Republic has transformed into a women’s tennis manufacturing facility unlike any other in the sport. There are eight Czech women in the top 50, most of whom are in their mid-20s or younger, like Vondrousova.

Petra Kvitova, ranked 10th worldwide, appeared to be the most likely Czech finalist when the tournament began. A double cross Wimbledon champion in 2011 and 2014, Kvitova had won a grass court competition in Berlin only weeks prior.

Watching Muchova had enlivened Vondrousova, who had made the French Open last in 2019 when she was only 19-years of age. Muchova’s profession had likewise gotten derailed wounds yet there she was playing on one of the game’s greatest stages.

Like Muchova, Vondrousova didn’t be aware at first whether specialists would have the option to take care of her wrist issue. The injury sidelined her for a drawn out period, and Simek said it caused her to see the value in tennis more.

“You can’t play, play tennis as work, you need to appreciate it, you need to adore it,” Simek said. ” She truly appreciates it and she adores the game. She even enjoys watching the game, something that I don’t think many players do.

Vondrousova began a steady march through seven opponents at Wimbledon, including five seeded players and several known for their grass-court prowess, such as Jabeur. Muchova lost in the first round, but Vondrousova won the rest of the tournament. Jessica Pegula had a game point and a 4-1 lead in the final set in the quarterfinals, but Vondrousova came back and won the final five games.

Then, at that point, came her last two matches against rivals playing for purposes a lot bigger than themselves, a weight that can both stimulate and engage yet in addition debilitate and trouble a player.

Svitolina and Jabeur came to Centre Court tight and flat against Vondrousova, shadows of the players who had thrilled crowds and promised a comeback that would be talked about for years, if not decades. On the opposite side of the net was Vondrousova, a player most popular for the body workmanship on her arms, who had made a wagered with her mentor, Jan Mertl, a previous Czech player, that assuming she won a Huge homerun he would get a tattoo to honor the victory. Holding her victor’s platter, Vondrousova said they would head the tattoo parlor on Sunday.

SAHELI to Broaden its Mission

Twenty-six years ago, Saheli emerged as a new hope for domestic violence survivors. What once began as a small group of men and women, is now a state-recognized and funded non-profit organization that has given a new life to over 1,000 survivors.

“The need for Saheli’s services kept increasing with the growing South Asian population in Massachusetts. In 2017, the (Massachusetts) Department of Public Health recognized the uniqueness and importance of Saheli’s services by giving Saheli a contract,” Priya Murali, Director of Development at Saheli, told INDIA New England News in an email-interview. “Through this contract, Saheli was able to establish a stable presence by renting an office and adding paid staff. It was the initial impetus for many more foundation and government grants, further strengthening Saheli’s services.”

She added that the community’s outpouring of love and support further assisted Saheli in its expansion and growth.

“We are so grateful to all our supporters who continue to give generously for Saheli to provide vital services to the community,” said Murali.

Saheli received its name from the Hindi word “friend,” and since its founding in 1996 by its two board members—Usha Vakil and Gouri Banerjee, the organization has been nothing but a dedicated and passionate ally to South Asian and Arab women. Throughout the 26 years Saheli has been advocating for, serving, and protecting women, the organization has grown into a pillar of the community.

Through extensive support services, Saheli provides solace to those who are in a dark place. With their unwavering commitment to help and empower women, Saheli fosters a community of resilience and compassion.

Saheli has helped over 1,000 women by providing them with transitional housing, scholarships, legal advocacy, in-house mental health counseling, and much more, according to its website.

Today, 16 staff members passionately dedicate their time to the cause under the guidance and supervision of 17 board of directors and 22 advisory board members. However, the non-profits’ growth is not just intrinsic. Now, Saheli’s outreach has expanded to include Arab women, broadening their multilingual advocacy to include Arabic and opening their arms to more women.

Saheli believes there is still more room to grow and is doing so by extending their services for South Asian and Arabs in the LGBTQ+ community. Taking progressive steps to move towards equality and inclusion, Saheli’s forward-thinking commitment does not end there.

“Saheli would also like to bring back the Men’s Initiative, where men are allies in the empowerment of women and children,” Murali continues to say. Putting a stop to domestic violence in the South Asian community is not just a women’s issue and change will only begin when men actively engage.

Saheli has worked with countless organizations including the India Association of Greater Boston (IAGB) which gave rise to Saheli in 1996. As a non-profit organization, Saheli is active in the community and is heavily connected with local government and law enforcement. Legal advocacy is an integral service Saheli provides for survivors. Fiercely defending them is a lawyer who works closely with the organization. Saheli holds training sessions for law enforcement, legal aid, and law students, making it certain that future survivors have the finest resources available to them.

“The community can help by educating their network about domestic violence,” says Murali, calling for support and effort from the community. “We are looking for partners and collaborators in this work, and the community can aid us in making connections and expanding our network.”

How is Saheli adapting with emerging social change and progressive conversations?

“Saheli has always been at the forefront of advocating for positive social change,” says Murali. “Saheli supports legislative actions that will benefit immigrants and more specifically, immigrant survivors of domestic & sexual violence. Saheli is advocating for two such bills: the tuition equity bill and the act related to coercive control.”

How can you help Saheli?

You can volunteer, attend Saheli events, do outreach for the organization, host events to help increase awareness about domestic and sexual violence. You can reach out to Saheli at [email protected] for more information.

4 Indian American Women In 2023 Forbes List

Four Indian Americans featured in Forbes’ annual list of America’s 100 most successful businesswomen. Jayshree Ullal, Neerja Sethi, Neha Narkhede, and Indra Nooyi were named to the list of entrepreneurs, executives, and entertainers with a cumulative wealth of $124 billion.

Jayshree Ullal (62)

CEO and President of computer networking firm Arista Networks, Ullal has been ranked 15th on the list. The ranking is highest among Indian-origin business leaders. Arista Networks, a publicly-traded company, recorded revenue of nearly $4.4 billion in 2022. According to Forbes, Ullal owns about 2.4% of Arista’s stock. She is also on the board of directors of Snowflake, a cloud computing company that went public in September 2020. An electrical engineering graduate from San Francisco State University, she also holds an engineering management degree.

Neerja Sethi (68)

Neerja Sethi has been ranked 25th on the list with a net worth of USD 990 million. Sethi and her husband Bharat Desai, co-founded the the IT consulting and outsourcing firm Syntel in 1980. The duo started the business with an initial investment of just $2,000. French IT firm Atos SE bought Syntel in 2018 for $3.4 billion, and Sethi got an estimated $510 million for her stake. An MBA graduate from Delhi University completed her Master of Science from Oakland University.

Neha Narkhede (38)

Narkhede, co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer of cloud company Confluent is ranked 50th on the list. Her net worth is USD 520 million. Narkhede is a software engineer-turned-entrepreneur. She helped develop the open-source messaging system Apache Kafka to help LinkedIn’s massive influx of data. In 2014, she along with two LinkedIn colleagues found Confluent, which helps organisations process large amounts of data on Apache Kafka. In March 2023, Narkhede announced her new company, a fraud detection firm Oscilar. As per Forbes, the USD 586 million (2022 revenues) company went public in June 2021 at a USD 9.1 billion valuation; she owns around 6 percent.

Indira Nooyi (67)

Indira Nooyi is PepsiCo’s former chairperson and CEO. She has been ranked 77th on the Forbes 2023 list. She retired in 2019 after being associated with the beverage company for almost 24 years. Nooyi has a net worth of USD 350 million. Her wealth stalks from stock she was granted while working at PepsiCo. Nooyi was one of corporate America’s few female CEOs in 2006.

Nidhi Shukla Named President Of Girl Rising

Shukla will lead Girl Rising’s programmatic expansion to advance girls’ rights to a quality education and dismantle gender barrier

New York based, international non-profit organization Girl Rising, appointed Nidhi Shukla as president of the organization on June 13, 2023 with immediate effect.

Formerly the head of global programming based in India, Shukla will join CEO Christina Lowery in New York to drive the organization’s mission of using the power of storytelling to change the way the world values girls and their education, according to a press note.

As president, Shukla will lead Girl Rising’s programmatic expansion to advance girls’ rights for a quality education and dismantle gender barriers. She will work closely with a network of partners, supporters, and grassroots activists to integrate new areas of focus into the organization’s educational programming.

Primarily, Shukla will provide strategic guidance on integrating climate justice and climate change action into all aspects of Girl Rising’s programs. She has been a part of Girl Rising since 2015. Most recently, she served as the vice president of Global Health Strategies.

On her elevation to the top post, Shukla said, “I have seen firsthand how Girl Rising’s focus on storytelling to build understanding, forge connections, and create empathy is uniquely effective in breaking down gender barriers. I am thrilled to be taking this position, as Girl Rising moves into its second decade of impact.”

A former human rights lawyer, Shukla carries two decades of experience in the social justice sector and commitment to channel storytelling-based advocacy to impact marginalized populations. Previously, she worked with Lawyers Collective, Heroes Project – Richard Gere Foundation, and Johns Hopkins University – Centre for Communications Program.

India To Host Miss World 2023

India is all set to host the Miss World 2023 pageant. Contestants from over 130 countries will gather in India and participate in a series of competitions to win the title.

India is set to host the Miss World 2023 competition, as the coveted international beauty pageant makes its return to the country after a gap of nearly three decades.

The much anticipated 71st edition of Miss World is expected to take place in November this year, the final dates of which are yet to be ascertained.

India had last hosted the international pageant in 1996.

The announcement has come as a surprise as it comes months after confirmation of United Arab Emirates (UAE) as this year’s venue for the much-awaited event.

”I am delighted to announce India as the new home of the 71st Miss World Final… We cannot wait to share your unique and diverse culture, world class attractions and breathtaking locations with the rest of the world.

”The 71st Miss World 2023 will showcase the Achievements of 130 National champions in their one-month journey across ‘Incredible India’ as we present the 71st and most spectacular Miss World final ever,” said Julia Morley, chairperson and CEO of Miss World organization at a press conference on Thursday.

The month-long event, which would witness contestants from over 130 countries, will feature a series of rigorous competitions, including talent showcases, sports challenges, and charitable initiatives — all aimed at highlighting the qualities that make them ambassadors of change.

The reigning Miss World, Karolina Bielawska of Poland, who is currently in India spreading the word about the beauty competition, said she is excited to hand over her crown in this ”beautiful country” which stands for the same values as Miss World.

”India has the greatest hospitality in the entire world. It is my second time here .. and you make me feel like home. You stand for the same values.. diversity, unity… Your core values are family, respect, love, kindness and this is something that we would love to show to the world. There is so much more to see here, and bringing the whole world here for a month and showing everything that India has to offer is the best idea,” said the Miss World 2022.

Equally excited and looking forward to India hosting the event was the current Miss India World Sini Shetty, who’ll represent the country in the high-octane competition.

”I am so excited to meet all my sisters across the globe to welcome them to India to show them what India truly stands for, what India is, what is the diversity in India… I am really excited and looking forward to this journey. I hope you guys have the best time here in India,” she said. India has won the prestigious title six times — Reita Faria (1966), Aishwarya Rai (1994), Diana Hayden (1997), Yukta Mookhey (1999), Priyanka Chopra (2000), and Manushi Chillar (2017).

Sania Mirza Is Sony Sports’ New Ambassador

Mirza will feature in the live coverage of Roland Garros 2023 on Sony Sports Ten channels starting from May 28, 2023.
Sports broadcaster Sony Sports Network has appointed Indian Tennis legend Sania Mirza as the Tennis Ambassador of its network. In the new role, Mirza will be seen as an expert panellist on the the network’s Home of Tennis, during which she will present Roland Garros, Clay that Slays, and the three Grand Slams (the Australian Open, Roland-Garros, US Open), to Indian audiences.
“Following an illustrious career, where the fans saw her serving up aces on tennis courts, Sania Mirza will now also serve up expert insights off the court on Sony Sports Network’s Extraaa Serve,” the news release said. The Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Awardee will feature in the live coverage of Roland Garros 2023 on Sony Sports Ten channels starting from May 28, 2023.
Commenting on the association, the 36-year-old said, “I am very excited to be a part of the Tennis Broadcast with Sony Sports Network post my recent retirement. With a strong portfolio of three of the four Grand Slams, Sony Sports Network is the home of tennis in India. It feels great to be part of the network’s commitment to bringing the best tennis content to viewers in India.”
Rajesh Kaul, chief revenue officer of Sony Pictures Networks India, believes that the association will enhance the viewing experience of tennis fans in India. “We truly believe that Sania Mirza’s expertise and passion for tennis will be a great addition to our team, and we are thrilled to have her as the Tennis Ambassador for Sony Sports Network,” Kaul added.
Sania Mirza, an iconic figure in Indian tennis, boasts an illustrious career with six Grand Slam titles, including three women’s doubles and three mixed doubles titles. With victories at the Australian Open, US Open, Roland Garros, and Wimbledon, she stands as one of the most successful tennis players in Indian history. As the recipient of prestigious accolades such as the Arjuna Award, Padma Shri, Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, and Padma Bhushan, Mirza brings a wealth of experience and recognition to her role as the Tennis Ambassador for Sony Sports Network.
Sony Sports Network solidifies its position as the Home of Tennis in India, offering coverage of three out of the four Grand Slam tournaments – the Australian Open, Roland-Garros, and the US Open. In addition to the Grand Slams, the network also broadcasts the Davis Cup, ensuring comprehensive coverage of major tennis events. By partnering with Sania Mirza, Sony Sports Network aims to deliver unparalleled tennis content and engage a wider audience of tennis enthusiasts.
Sania Mirza’s appointment as the Tennis Ambassador for Sony Sports Network highlights the network’s commitment to providing exceptional tennis coverage in India. Through its Home of Tennis campaign and exclusive partnerships with Grand Slam tournaments, Sony Sports Network offers an immersive viewing experience.

Geeta Rao Gupta Confirmed As Ambassador At Large For Global Women’s Issues

Geeta Rao Gupta, PhD was confirmed by the US Senate on May 10, 2023, in a largely partisan vote of 51-47m, nearly one and a half years since she was nominated by President Joe Biden. She will now assume her role as Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. State Department.

Rao Gupta was nominated on Nov. 12, 2021, to head the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues which was set up in 2009, to ensure US foreign policy integrated women’s development issues.

The Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues works closely with the White House, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Defense and other agencies, civil society organizations, and the private sector to advance gender equity in the U.S. and globally.

United States Senator Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, who has been a strong supporter of Rao Gupta’s nomination, noted how the confirmation of the Indian American nominee had stalled.

“The Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues will lead our efforts to support women and girls in some of the most precarious situations in the world. Once confirmed, Dr. Gupta will work to support Afghan women who courageously risk their lives to fight for their hard-won rights, ensure justice for Ukrainian women assaulted by invading Russian forces and defend Sudanese women who face gender-based violence as the situation in their country deteriorates.

And those are only a handful of examples of the immense responsibilities that this position is tasked with,” Shaheen said on the Senate floor, May 4, a week before the actual confirmation on. “Despite a great deal of partisan obstruction, this nomination is finally moving forward. I appreciate the support from the few Republican lawmakers who put our national security over party politics to help advance this urgently needed nomination. Dr. Gupta is immensely qualified, and I am sure she will serve admirably.”

Women for Women International, in a statement May 15, said it welcomed Rao Gupta’s confirmation by the US Senate.  “The Ambassador-at-Large is the highest-ranking official dedicated to advancing gender equity in the U.S. and globally,” it noted. “At a time when global conflicts and crises are on the rise and human rights -and especially women’s and girls’ rights – are being rolled back within the U.S. and across the globe, this role is more necessary than ever and we welcome Dr. Gupta’s leadership and expertise as she takes it on.”

A Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation and President of the International Center for Research on Women, ICRW, for 20 years, Rao Gupta has spent her career on development of women’s agendas for various multilateral agencies, philanthropies, and other organizations and communities.

Rao Gupta ran the Women Studies Program at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, and also served as Senior Fellow for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, later becoming the Deputy Executive Director at UNICEF, and Executive Director of the UN Foundation’s 3D Program for Girls and Women.

Born in Bombay, Rao Gupta is a graduate of Bangalore University’s doctoral psychology program, and has a master’s degree in philosophy and a master of arts from Delhi University.

Deepika Padukone is Bridging the Gap Between Bollywood and Global Audiences

Deepika Padukone, Indian actress and the highest-paid actress in India, has spoken about her desire to make a global impact while still being rooted in her country. She is well-known as the Queen of Bollywood, having appeared in over 30 films and generated almost $350 million in global box-office revenues. Despite the cut-throat nature of Bollywood, known for valuing youth and looking for the next new thing, Padukone’s 16-year career has been an exception, which she believes is due to India’s growing influence in the world.

The rise of smartphones, streaming services and social media has helped to find new audiences for India’s century-old film industry, which tells around 1500 stories a year on the screen. Meanwhile, Netflix and Amazon are keen to create content for a vast South Asian viewership of nearly 2 billion people around the world. However, they are also interested in content beyond Bollywood especially when Telugu-language films like Bahubali and RRR have become commercially successful.

As India’s influence extends globally, Padukone hopes to continue making an impact while staying true to her roots. “My mission has always been to make a global impact while still being rooted in my country,” she said during a break from shooting India’s first aerial-action film, Fighter. However, tensions simmer under the surface as the right-leaning Indian government monitors the stories India tells about itself on celluloid.

Deepika Padukone, is a quiet trailblazer who makes her own rules, all the while representing the feminine ideal that Bollywood adores. She has emerged from the hopes and dreams of modern Indian women, someone with the utmost freedom to choose how she lives, works, and rests.

Growing up in Bangalore during India’s economic liberalization, Padukone is a “typical Bangalore girl,” someone with the world at their fingertips, says her agent, Vijay Subramaniam. Now a globally recognized name, Padukone regularly wows audiences on the red carpet and is the first Indian brand ambassador for luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Cartier.

At a recent photoshoot, Padukone arrived early with her entourage, including four bodyguards, two agents, two personal photographers, a stylist, makeup and hair artists, and a few more assistants. She poses effortlessly for the camera while her personally curated playlist blasts in the background.

After the shoot, we joined Padukone at the Taj Lands End hotel, where she wanted to gaze at the Arabian Sea while we chatted. While her life is currently a lot, she feels fulfilled and is trying to figure out what’s next. “I didn’t have a game plan for how to get here, but I didn’t see failure on my vision board,” she says.

However, despite being a global icon, Padukone remains grounded and committed to her Indian heritage. “This is India’s moment,” she says. “So how can I marry the best of the East and the West?” In her quest to stay true to her roots, Padukone became the voice of “Naatu Naatu,” the Oscar-winning Best Original Song from the movie RRR.

Through her success, Padukone represents the ideals of modern Indian women, someone confident and free, who can choose their own path in life. As she contemplates her next move, one thing is sure: Padukone will continue to inspire and uplift those around her. “I am going to focus on projects that resonate with me. It’s more about putting out good creative content than about anything else.”

Deepika Padukone: From Outsider to Bollywood Superstar

Deepika Padukone’s rise to fame in Bollywood has been anything but smooth. An outsider to the industry, Padukone has managed to defy the odds and establish herself as one of the most sought-after actresses in Hindi cinema. Her journey began with her debut film, Om Shanti Om, a tribute to the golden age of Bollywood. Paired with superstar Shah Rukh Khan, Padukone managed to hold her own and make a mark in the industry.

However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Padukone after her debut. While critics and audiences alike showered her with praise for her performance in Om Shanti Om, her subsequent films failed to match the success of her debut. Critics began to view her acting as mediocre at best, and her choices were scrutinized.

Despite the criticism, Padukone remained undeterred. She acknowledged her mistakes and recognized that she was still figuring out her way in the industry. Speaking about her early years in Bollywood, Padukone said, “in those years is this girl who was touted as the next big thing, but actually, she was only just figuring her way out.”

Padukone’s resilience paid off, as she continued to work hard and take on challenging roles. Her performances in films like Cocktail, Chennai Express, and Bajirao Mastani garnered critical acclaim, cementing her status as a leading lady in Bollywood. She even ventured into Hollywood with her role in xXx: Return of Xander Cage.

Her journey to stardom has not been without its challenges, however. As an outsider to the industry, Padukone faced constant scrutiny over her acting, appearance, and personal life. In particular, the pervasive issue of nepotism in Bollywood has sparked heated debate in recent years, with many insiders acknowledging the inherent advantage that celebrity children have in the industry.

Despite the challenges, Padukone remains firm in her commitment to her craft. She has proved time and again that talent and hard work can overcome even the toughest obstacles. As her co-star and collaborator Shah Rukh Khan put it, working with Padukone is like “working with family.”

Deepika Padukone,has been making strides both in India and internationally through her acting career and social activism. While she has faced backlash for her political views and controversial film roles, she remains steadfast in her mission to push boundaries and elevate Indian cinema on a global stage.

Padukone’s evolution as an actress has been praised by Hindi film critic Anupama Chopra, who notes that her breakthrough roles in films like “Cocktail,” “Chennai Express,” and “Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram Leela” led to her unforgettable performance in “Piku,” where she showcased her comedic skills and broke away from typical Bollywood stereotypes.

In 2017, Padukone made her Hollywood debut in “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” alongside Vin Diesel, a step that allowed her to push different boundaries and explore new opportunities. Reflecting on her experience, she admits that acting in English for the first time was strange but ultimately rewarding.

Despite her success, Padukone has also faced fierce opposition from conservative Hindu nationalists who have taken issue with her film roles and political views. For instance, her starring role in the 2018 film “Padmaavat,” which depicted the relationship between a Hindu queen and Muslim Sultan, led to rumors of a love scene between the two characters and sparked violent protests from Hindu vigilantes. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party even offered a bounty of $1.5 million for her beheading, and local police detained the official responsible.

In 2020, Padukone made headlines when she stood silently at a student protest against an anti-Muslim citizenship law at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University. While Bollywood stars traditionally do not speak up or protest, her actions were a rare example of a public figure calling out the Indian government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Padukone has chosen to remain silent about these controversies and continues to take on controversial film roles, including the part of a Pakistani spy in her upcoming film “Pathaan.” Despite facing constant political backlash, she takes a minimalist approach to the controversy, saying, “I don’t know if I’m supposed to feel something about it. But the truth is, I don’t feel anything about it.”

While Bollywood has faced criticism for its storytelling and content, Padukone believes that India needs to focus on making better Hindi cinema that connects with the rest of the country. She has served on the eight-member jury of the 75th Cannes Film Festival and has been vocal about the need to showcase more Indian films on a global stage. She notes that Hindi cinema has evolved, but there is still much work to be done, and more diverse content needs to be recognized.

Padukone believes that India’s movie industry is not limited to Hindi films and wants to see more recognition for Indian films on a global level. She hopes that the recognition of more diverse content will inspire India’s film industry to elevate its storytelling and push the boundaries of what is expected from Hindi cinema.

“I don’t think we should be happy with one Oscar for a song and one Oscar for a documentary,” Padukone says. “I hope we can look at this as the beginning of an opportunity.”

Padukone has been open about her struggles with depression and founded the Live Love Laugh foundation to raise awareness and support for mental health resources. Her actions have sparked conversation about mental health across India, where an estimated 56 million people suffer from depression. Padukone is grateful for the support she has received from fans and is committed to staying grounded and true to herself. Her husband, Ranveer Singh, is a fellow actor who supports her dreams and ambitions.

In 2015, Padukone shocked the public when she publicly shared her experience with depression, although she was at the height of her career. By speaking out, she knew she was taking a risk with her job security and reputation. “But when I spoke about it, it just felt extremely liberating,” she says. It led her to create the Live Love Laugh Foundation which is operated by her sister, and it is aimed to create awareness about mental health in India.

Her actions have had an enormous impact on her fans in India, where mental health services are in short supply. “A lot of other celebrities have spoken about [mental health] since then, but more importantly, a lot of non-celebrities have also spoken about it,” says Anisha, Padukone’s sister. “This is an illness that doesn’t discriminate.” Her honesty and authenticity have made Padukone one of the most popular stars in India.

Besides acting, Padukone has launched her own cosmetic brand, 82°E, out of the desire to talk about self-care more broadly. She is thrilled to be able to give back to her fans and support them as they go through their mental health struggles. “The beautiful part is that millions of them will probably never meet me, but they’re still on the journey of life with me,” she says. “They understand my body language, my expressions, my silences.”

Despite her success, Padukone is committed to staying true to herself. She believes that honesty and authenticity are vital to maintaining a healthy mind and staying grounded. “I will also give myself a little bit of credit that, for whatever reason, I’ve been able to keep myself grounded,” she says. She credits her husband, fellow actor Ranveer Singh, for helping her stay true to herself.

Singh is known for his quirky personality and sense of humour. He often plays pranks on his co-stars and has been known to pose nude for photoshoots. He also supports his wife in everything she does. The couple just returned from a holiday in Bhutan, where they spent their time sightseeing, walking and enjoying local cuisine. Padukone is grateful for their time together, saying, “With him, I am my most vulnerable self.”

Indian actress and style icon Deepika Padukone has become a major force in the fashion industry, endorsing brands from Levi’s to Louis Vuitton and generating millions of dollars in media impact value through her social media presence. Her 2018 wedding, where she married fellow actor Ranveer Singh in a lavish ceremony, has also had a major impact on the Indian wedding market, inspiring other couples and cementing her status as a fashion icon. The couple’s nuptials remain one of the most popular posts on Instagram, with wedding aesthetics in India estimated to be worth around $50 billion.

Padukone’s star power has made her a valuable asset for fashion brands looking to break into the growing Indian market, and she has helped brands like Louis Vuitton and Dior to connect with Indian consumers. Dior recently held its first official show in the country, near the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, signalling the brand’s recognition of the potential of the Indian market. In addition to luxury brands, India is also becoming a major market for apparel and footwear, with the industry predicted to be worth over $83 billion by 2025.

Padukone acknowledges the rich heritage of India, but also recognises the emergence of a new and young India. Her stardom places her at the fulcrum of these two Indias, and she is excited by the intersection of tradition and modernity that characterises India today. Her appeal to Indian consumers is indicative of an emerging trend in the fashion industry, with brands increasingly turning to local influencers to connect with local audiences.

As Padukone explains, “There’s the India with our roots, our heritage, our history, but there’s also a new and young India that’s emerging. It’s these two Indias coming together that I find really fascinating at this moment.” Her influence and popularity point to a bright future for the Indian fashion industry, as brands seek to tap into this growing market and connect with Indian consumers. (TIME)

29-Year-Old Woman From Bengal Designs Dress For Queen Camilla, Brooch For King Charles III

Priyanka Mallick, the 29-year-old fashion designer, hopes that the king and the queen will wear the brooch and the dress respectively during the coronation to be held at Westminster Abbey in London.

A woman fashion designer from a village in West Bengal’s Hooghly district has designed a dress for British Queen Camilla and a brooch for King Charles III and received a letter from the Royal family thanking her and inviting her to attend the coronation ceremony on Saturday.

When 29-year-old fashion designer Priyanka Mallick from West Bengal got to know about the coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla, she thought of designing a brooch and dress for them respectively. She wrote to the representative of the Royal family about her idea and sent her designs to them hoping for the best.

Mallick was delighted to get a letter of appreciation in response as the royals liked her designs. Buckingham Palace also extended her an invitation to attend the coronation in person on May 6 at London’s Westminster Abbey. The Indian designer is hoping that the King and Queen will be wearing her design on coronation day.

“It was an incredible feeling when I came to know that the queen and the king appreciated my designs of the dress and brooch. When I received the letter of appreciation, I was thrilled. One email or letter from Buckingham Palace means a lot more to me,” Mallick told PTI.

Malik said, “It was a very proud moment when I found out that the Queen and the King had appreciated my dress and brooch designs. When I received the letter and email from Buckingham Palace, I am very happy because it really means a lot to me.”

Malick is a resident of Badinan village, some 12 km away from Singur railway station in Hooghly district. Though she has received the invitation to attend the coronation ceremony, she was not there as her health would not permit her to do so. “My doctors have advised me not to step out of home as I am not well,” she said.

She, however, would attend the function that is organised on the occasion by the British Deputy High Commission in Kolkata on Saturday evening.

On the flip side, Mallick said, nobody from the village congratulated her on her achievement as, probably, they are not aware of what it is.

Mallick, after completing her class XII from Singur Golapmohini Girls HS School, graduated in fashion design from Milan University in Italy through the online mode.She also completed her master’s from there. She was an excellent student and has been the winner of the International Fashion Designer Marathon and Fashion Stylist of the Year titles in Milan. She also won the Real Super Women Award in 2022 while in India.

“I won the International Fashion Designer Marathon in Milan, Italy in 2019, Fashion Stylist of the Year in Milan, Italy in 2020, and the Real Super Women Award in India in 2022,” she claimed. Mallik said her designs on the coronation special will be launched on the British government website also.

Neera Tanden Appointed As US Domestic Policy Adviser

US President Joe Biden has picked Indian-American Neera Tanden to serve as Assistant to the President and Domestic Policy Advisor, following former Ambassador Susan Rice’s exit from that role.

Tanden, who currently serves as Senior Advisor to President Biden and Staff Secretary, will be the first Asian-American to lead any of the three major White House policy councils in history.

“I am pleased to announce that Neera Tanden will continue to drive the formulation and implementation of my domestic policy, from economic mobility and racial equity to health care, immigration and education,” Biden said.

Tanden was initially nominated by Biden to head the Office of Management and Budget but her nomination was withdrawn earlier this year. She served in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, as well as presidential campaigns and think tanks.

Most recently, Tanden was the President and CEO of the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “As Senior Advisor and Staff Secretary, Neera oversaw decision-making processes across my domestic, economic and national security teams. She has 25 years of experience in public policy, has served three Presidents, and led one of the largest think tanks in the country for nearly a decade,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House.

Tanden previously served as senior advisor for health reform at the Department of Health and Human Services, working on President Barack Obama’s health reform team in the White House. Prior to that, she was the director of domestic policy for the Obama-Biden presidential campaign, and served as policy director for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

She was a key architect of the Affordable Care Act and helped drive key domestic policies that became part of Biden’s agenda, including clean energy subsidies and sensible gun reform. “While growing up, Neera relied on some of the critical programs that she will oversee as Domestic Policy Advisor, and I know those insights will serve my Administration and the American people well. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Neera in her new role,” Biden said.

She served as senior advisor to the Chancellor of the New York City Schools and also served as Associate Director for Domestic Policy in the Clinton White House and Senior Policy Advisor to the First Lady. Tanden was named one of the “Most Influential Women in Washington” by National Journal and received the India Abroad Publisher’s Award for Excellence in 2011. She was recognized as one of Fortune magazine’s “Most Powerful Women in Politics”, and received her bachelor of science from UCLA and her law degree from Yale Law School.

US Supreme Court Allows Abortion Drug For Now

The US Supreme Court has decided to maintain women’s access to a drug commonly used in abortions, rejecting lower-court restrictions while a lawsuit continues. The drug in question is mifepristone, which is used in combination with misoprostol in more than half of all abortions in the US. The drug has been approved for use in the country since 2000, with more than five million people having used it. The justices granted emergency requests from the Biden administration and Danco Laboratories, which makes mifepristone. They are appealing a lower court ruling that would roll back Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the drug. Two of the nine justices voted to allow restrictions to take effect, with Justice Samuel Alito issuing a four-page dissent. The next stop for the case is at the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, which has set arguments for May 17.

The challenge to mifepristone is the first abortion controversy to reach the Supreme Court since its conservative majority overturned Roe v. Wade 10 months ago and allowed more than a dozen states to effectively ban abortion outright. Even with their court victory, abortion opponents returned to federal court with a new target: medication abortions, which make up more than half of all abortions in the US. Women seeking to end their pregnancies in the first 10 weeks without more invasive surgical abortion can take mifepristone along with misoprostol.

The FDA has eased the terms of mifepristone’s use over the years, including allowing it to be sent through the mail in states that allow access. The abortion opponents filed suit in Texas in November, asserting that the FDA’s original approval of mifepristone 23 years ago and subsequent changes were flawed. They won a ruling on April 7 by US District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, revoking FDA approval of mifepristone. The judge gave the Biden administration and Danco Laboratories a week to appeal and seek to keep his ruling on hold. Responding to a quick appeal, two more Trump appointees on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the FDA’s original approval would stand for now.

Their ruling would have effectively nullified changes made by the FDA starting in 2016, including extending from seven to 10 weeks of pregnancy when mifepristone can be safely used. The court also would have halted sending the drug in the mail or dispensing it as a generic, and patients who seek it would have had to make three in-person visits with a doctor. Women also might have been required to take a higher dosage of the drug than the FDA says is necessary. The administration and Danco have said that chaos would ensue if those restrictions were to take effect while the case proceeds. Potentially adding to the confusion, a federal judge in Washington has ordered the FDA to preserve access to mifepristone under the current rules in 17 Democratic-led states and the District of Columbia that filed a separate lawsuit.

President Joe Biden praised the high court for keeping mifepristone available while the court fight continues. “The stakes could not be higher for women across America. I will continue to fight politically-driven attacks on women’s health. But let’s be clear — the American people must continue to use their vote as their voice, and elect a Congress who will pass a law restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade,” he said in a statement.

The justices weighed arguments that allowing restrictions contained in lower-court rulings to take effect would severely disrupt the availability of mifepristone. Alito questioned the argument that chaos would result, saying the administration “has not dispelled doubts that it would even obey an unfavorable order in

Vidya Balan Named Brand Ambassador For Seattle-Based Shobitam

Shobitam, a Seattle-based ethic clothing brand, co-founded by Indian-American sisters Aparna and Ambika, has appointed renowned actress Vidya Balan as their brand ambassador. Vidya Balan is globally recognised to be a passionate supporter of Handloom.

Credited for reviving the saree on the red carpet and making it fashionable for a new generation, Balan has significantly aided social programmes that support the economic independence and quality of life of traditional handloom weavers, the brand said in a statement.

Sharing thoughts on this partnership, the actress said “Shobitam is a leading ethnic fashion brand and I love the beautiful sarees and ethnic wear that they offer to customers. As a brand ambassador, I am pleased to support the vision of Shobitam to work closely with our talented weavers to deliver unique creations with Silk Mark Certified quality to customers globally. Together, we look forward to creating products which truly stand out in quality, variety, value, and service.”

Aparna Thyagarajan, Co-founder at Shobitam said, “We are excited to have Vidya come on board as our brand ambassador, as we look forward to growing our brand connect with our customers globally. Vidya is an influential global icon who perfectly embodies the saree drapes and resonates well with the brand ethos of Shobitam, with her real and approachable persona.”

The strategic relationship will help Shobitam pave the road for client acquisition from the Indian diaspora both in India and around the world, promote quick expansion, and support its status as a world-class ethnic wear brand, the news release noted.

Nandini Gupta Crowned Femina Miss India 2023

Nandini Gupta, 19 from the state of Rajasthan has been crowned Femina Miss India World 2023. Nineteen-year-old Nandini hails from Kota, one of biggest coaching hubs in the country for engineering and medical aspirants. The beauty with brains holds a degree in Business Management, Nandini is dedicated to taking up challenges and succeeding. Nandini dreamt of competing in the Miss India pageant since she was 10 years old.

The 59th edition of India’s most prestigious pageant pulled off another season’s grand finale in a historic ceremony at the Indoor Stadium, Khuman Lampak, Imphal, Manipur — the beautiful city which played the perfect host to the mesmerizing event.  Along with her, Delhi’s Shreya Poonja became the first runner-up, while Manipur’s Thounaojam Strela Luwang was crowned the 2nd runner-up.

The star-studded extravaganza celebrated the ethos of beauty in diversity and featured memorable performances by India’s heartthrobs, the ever-so-dashing Kartik Aaryan, and the very pretty Ananya Panday. Another performance that became the highlight of the evening was one put together by the former winners, Sini Shetty, Rubal Shekhawat, Shinata Chauhan, Manasa Varanasi, Manika Sheokand, Manya Singh, Suman Rao and Shivani Jadhav, who took the stage in exquisite and finely crafted lehengas from Mohey. The emcees for the evening were none other than the very witty Maniesh Paul and the very vivacious Bhumi Pednaker, who kept the engaged with impromptu antics.

The grand event featured the best in fashion in the form of multiple rounds dedicated to fashion, featuring the beautiful and intelligent winners from 30 states, showcasing stunning collections by fashion greats, Namrata Joshipura for Trends, Rocky Star and Robert Naorem, with whose help the beauties showcased impressive traditional costumes.

The state winners were judged by a panel of judges consisting of Femina Miss India Universe 2002 and Mentor Neha Dhupia, Indian boxing icon Laishram Sarita Devi, ace choreographer Terence Lewis, filmmaker and writer Harshavardhan Kulkarni and ace designers Rocky Star and Namrata Joshipura. The state winners had insightful interactions with the jury panel and answered all their questions with great determination.

Pageant aspirants from various parts of the country battled for the national title to win a platform to put their aspirations across. A nationwide hunt was organized to select representatives from 29 states (including Delhi) and a collective representative for all Union Territories (including J&K), adding up to 30 participants.

5 Indian Americans Among 100 Most Influential Women In US Finance

Five Indian Americans are in Barron’s fourth annual list of the 100 Most Influential Women in US Finance for achieving positions of prominence in the financial-services industry and are helping to shape its future.

The list includes Anu Aiyengar of JP Morgan, Rupal J. Bhansali of Ariel Investments, Meena Lakdawala-Flynn of Goldman Sachs Group, Sonal Desai from Franklin Templeton and Savita Subramanian of BofA Securities.

Aiyengar is the global head of Mergers and Acquisitions at JP Morgan — a role she assumed in January after serving as co-head of the division since 2020. She offers clients equal measures of expertise and steadiness when navigating challenging markets.

According to Barron’s, she “has long credited her love of number crunching, legal contracts, and building client relationships for bringing her to the mergers-and-acquisitions sphere”.

Bhansali, 55, chief investment officer and portfolio manager of Ariel Investments’ global equity strategies, sees the current state of the market as a time when investors should reposition their portfolios, because what worked in the past is “unlikely to work in the next decade”.

She believes that managing money is what she was born to do, and is passionate about encouraging women to work in finance.

Desai, 58, became the first woman chief investment officer in Franklin Templeton’s history in 2018. She oversees $137 billion in assets. She joined the firm in 2009 after working for the International Monetary Fund, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, and Thames River Capital.

Lakdawala-Flynn, Co-Head, Global Private Wealth Management, Goldman Sachs Group, wears several hats, including co-chairing the global inclusion and diversity committee. She did an internship at Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group, working on the institutional equity sales desk.

According to Barron’s, her career in finance began soon after a sports injury. A zealous gymnast who at one point wanted to compete in the Olympics, Lakdawala-Flynn had to stay at George Washington University one summer to rehabilitate her knee.

Subramanian is head of US equity and quantitative strategy at Bank of America Securities. She is responsible for recommending US sector allocations for equities and determining forecasts for the S&P 500 and other major US indices, as well as developing and marketing the firm’s quantitative equity strategy to institutional and individual clients.

Barron’s is a leading source of financial news, providing in-depth analysis and commentary on stocks, investments and how markets are moving across the world.

MAFS Celebrates  International Women’s Day

MAFS International Women’s Day was held on Wednesday, March 8th, 2023, in Chicago. International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. When people across the world unite to celebrate the spirit, strength, and success of women, makes the day exceptional. This year’s women’s day theme was DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” and it highlights the role of innovative technology in promoting gender equality and meeting the health and developmental needs of women and girls.

The event was emceed by Roshita Pandey, MAFS Grant Director. Dr. Santosh Kumar, Founder, and Executive Director of MAFS welcomed all for coming to celebrate the MAFS International Women’s Day event. Dr. Santosh Kumar mentioned the women from all over the world and from different fields/backgrounds who have achieved so much in their life. Dr. Santosh Kumar, through her speech, passed on a solid message to younger generations that feminism is being strong and confident in our own skin. Both men and women should celebrate their unique strengths and traits and work together in tandem to achieve great heights.

Picture : TheUNN

The event started with the lighting of the auspicious lamp by all the dignitaries. The esteemed panel of guests included Dr. Anindita Ghosh, wife of India Consul General of Chicago; Yolanda Curry, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Family and Support Services, City of Chicago; Nikki Garbis Proutsos, Assistant Commissioner, Department of Family and Support Services, City of Chicago. All of them were powerful women achievers in their own filed and they effectively addressed the topic of women empowerment and gender equality in their special ways.

While Dr. Anindita Ghosh, put light on the facts and figures and changing scenarios of women empowerment in India, Yolanda Curry gave facts that over 60% of college degrees rewarded in the United States are earned by women in education, health services, and social security. She emphasized the difference between equality and equity. She believed women should support women – ‘each one, reach one’. Nikki Proutsos recognized MAFS for proving meals to seniors during the pandemic. She profusely thanked Mrs. Santosh Kumar and Roshita for doing all the public benefit programs, hot dinner programs, and social security for more than 30 years. She shared her favorite quote that says ‘A man is a head, and a woman is a neck, and she can turn the head anywhere she wants’.

The event showcased powerful dance performances on the theme of “Nari shakti” or “women empowerment” by MAFS/UMAS seniors ad staff. A humorous Hindi play with a moral/life lesson was also staged by the seniors. It had the audience in splits. The last and the most awaited segment was the giving away of the “Woman of Substance Awards”. The awardees were MAFS/UMAS staff and partners from across departments and roles. They were women who inspire others with their hard work, commitment, and passion for work, both on the professional and personal front. The audience cheered for all the awardees and overall, the event was a big success in celebrating the spirit of womanhood.

Madhur Jaffrey Receives  ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’

The James Beard Foundation announced March 29, 2023, that Madhur Jaffrey, “legendary cookbook author, writer, teacher, and actress” is its choice as the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award honoree. Jaffrey will be recognized at the Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on Monday, June 5 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual whose lifetime body of work has had a positive and long-lasting impact on the way we eat, cook, and/or think about food in America, the JBF press release noted.

Her first cookbook, An Invitation to Indian Cooking, was published in 1973, and was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Cookbook Hall of Fame in 2006.

Since then, Jaffrey has released more than 30 award-winning cookbooks, “cementing her status as the “Godmother of Indian Cooking,” JBG noted.

A Padma Bhushan recipient from the Indian government in 2022, Jaffrey is credited with bringing mainstream attention to Indian cuisine, both in the U.S. and the U.K.

In 2019, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the U.K. Guild of Food Writers. She becomes a nine-time James Beard Award winner with this latest Lifetime Achievement Award. “It’s a wonderful pinnacle to my career and I’m overjoyed,” Jaffrey is quoted saying in the press release about the JBF award.

The JBF announced a slew of award nominees in categories like Chef Award, Leadership Award winners, and Humanitarian of the Year and Lifetime Achievement honorees, in advance of the James Beard Awards® ceremonies in June. The nominees were announced March 29, during a live ceremony at the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum in Nashville, TN.

“The James Beard Awards celebrate outstanding achievement and exceptional culinary talent, as well as all those doing incredible work on behalf of our communities and wider food system. This year’s nominees, winners, and honorees are inspiring exemplars of that,” said Clare Reichenbach, CEO of James Beard Foundation. “We congratulate all those recognized today and look forward to celebrating them at another exciting Awards Weekend in Chicago this June.”

The James Beard Awards, considered among the most prestigious in the country, “recognize exceptional talent in the culinary and food media industries, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive,” the Foundation said.

NADE USA Honors Accomplished Women From Diverse Fields

National Association for Diversity Empowerment (NADE) USA ( ), based in Houston, TX, has the mission to empower diverse talents in public affairs in the US, including politics, policy-making, business, industry, media, entertainment, cinema,  literature, education, and academia.  NADE USA and Houston Community College Southwest campus ( Fort Bend County Roundtable Leadership conference on March 24, 2023, in the HCC Southwest campus. The conference celebrated International Women’s Day 2023 and honored several accomplished women from various fields.

Those honored were: Judge Sonia Rash, Judge Juli Mathew, Prof. Dr Alice Mathew, Las Vegas, Ms Tanaz Choudhury, IT Entrepreneur, HH Queen Maria Amor, Neeta Sane, Fort Bend & Allef Trustee Laura Richard Fort Bend County Clerk, Terri Wang, community leader

Dr. Madeline Burrillo, Vice-Chancellor, HCC, Dr. Roksana Akter Khan, global peace ambassador, Roopa Gir, I-educate founder, Prema Isha, international human rights commission from Mauritius.

Sangeeta Dua founding member and Secretary welcomed the gathering and facilitated the meeting.

Picture : TheUNN

NADE President Kim Meijia in her presidential address indicated that women are increasingly making significant contributions in all walks of life. Women need to exhibit their femininity indicated by compassion, caring, multitasking, and integrity while working alongside menfolk.

Dr Mathew Joys, Board Member of Global Indian Council presented international award-winning documentary film titled ‘The Footprints of the Mahatma’. It depicted the relevance of Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violence in the modern world.

Congresswoman Shiela Jackson Lee honored Sangeeta Dua for her contributions to public life.

Neeta Sane led a panel discussion on women’s contributions and leadership in health, education, safety, and freedom. Council member Alice Chen of Stafford TX congratulated the honorees.

Global Indian Council Central Cochair for Cyber Security Dr. Joseph Ponnoly and Indo American Press Club General Secretary C G Daniel also felicitated the Honorees.

Sangeeta Dua, while expressing a vote of thanks, mentioned, “we have to come together as leaders in our respective fields, to assess, suggest and debate, on how to take the next step in the women’s movement, for more qualified and meaningful inclusion and empowerment, by incorporating feminine characteristics  to our respective professions and public life, as much as possible, to build a better society and nation.”

Mindy Kaling Receives National Humanities Medal

President Joe Biden, on March 21, 2023, presented the 2021 National Humanities Medal to Indian American actress and producer Vera Mindy Chokalingam, popularly known as Mindy Kaling, during a White House ceremony.

The National Medal of Arts and Humanities is the highest award the government confers upon individuals who have made significant contributions to arts and humanities.

“Mindy Kaling’s work across television, film, and books inspires and delights—capturing and uplifting the experiences of women and girls across the nation,” Kaling’s award citation issued by the White House read.

Picture : TheUNN

Presenting the award to Kaling, Biden said that she is the first woman of color to create, write and star in a primetime sitcom. “She is hardworking and an adoring mom, just like her own mom was. And, Mindy, we know your mom is always with you in your spirit. We know that” the President added.

Kaling, 43, is a daughter of Indian immigrants and was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1979. She was earlier nominated for the prestigious Emmy Award recognizing her work in the NBC sitcom The Office.

The 12 recipients of the 2021 National Humanities Award include; Richard Blanco, Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Walter Isaacson, Walter Isaacson, Henrietta Mann, Ann Patchett, and Amy Tan.

MAFS Celebrates International Women’s Day

MAFS International Women’s Day was held on Wednesday, March 8th, 2023, in Chicago. International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. When people across the world unite to celebrate the spirit, strength, and success of women, makes the day exceptional. This year’s women’s day theme was DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” and it highlights the role of innovative technology in promoting gender equality and meeting the health and developmental needs of women and girls. The event was emceed by Roshita Pandey, MAFS Grant Director. Dr. Santosh Kumar, Founder, and Executive Director of MAFS welcomed all for coming to celebrate the MAFS International Women’s Day event. Dr. Santosh Kumar mentioned the women from all over the world and from different fields/backgrounds who have achieved so much in their life.

Picture : Asian Media

Dr. Santosh Kumar, through her speech, passed on a solid message to younger generations that feminism is being strong and confident in our own skin. Both men and women should celebrate their unique strengths and traits and work together in tandem to achieve great heights.  The event started with the lighting of the auspicious lamp by all the dignitaries. The esteemed panel of guests included Dr. Anindita Ghosh, wife of India Consul General of Chicago; Yolanda Curry, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Family and Support Services, City of Chicago; Nikki Garbis Proutsos, Assistant Commissioner, Department of Family and Support Services, City of Chicago. All of them were powerful women achievers in their own filed and they effectively addressed the topic of women empowerment and gender equality in their special ways.

Picture : Asian Media

While Dr. Anindita Ghosh, put light on the facts and figures and changing scenarios of women empowerment in India, Yolanda Curry gave facts that over 60% of college degrees rewarded in the United States are earned by women in education, health services, and social security. She emphasized the difference between equality and equity. She believed women should support women – ‘each one, reach one’. Nikki Proutsos recognized MAFS for proving meals to seniors during the pandemic. She profusely thanked Mrs. Santosh Kumar and Roshita for doing all the public benefit programs, hot dinner programs, and social security for more than 30 years. She shared her favorite quote that says ‘A man is a head, and a woman is a neck, and she can turn the head anywhere she wants’.

The event showcased powerful dance performances on the theme of “Nari shakti” or “women empowerment” by MAFS/UMAS seniors ad staff. A humorous Hindi play with a moral/life lesson was also staged by the seniors. It had the audience in splits. The last and the most awaited segment was the giving away of the “Woman of Substance Awards”. The awardees were MAFS/UMAS staff and partners from across departments and roles. They were women who inspire others with their hard work, commitment, and passion for work, both on the professional and personal front. The audience cheered for all the awardees and overall, the event was a big success in celebrating the spirit of womanhood.

Nikhat Zareen Wins 2nd World Title In Boxing

It was the culmination of an arduous tournament in which she had to overcome as many as six challengers owing to her unseeded status.

Teary eyes and a roar towards the camera — Nikhat Zareen went through the full wringer of emotions after a closely-fought gold-medal match that saw her emerging as World Champion for the second straight year. It was the culmination of an arduous tournament in which she had to overcome as many as six challengers owing to her unseeded status.

Winning back-to-back golds at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships was a feat achieved only by the legendary Mary Kom. At just 26 years, Nikhat is slowly filling those giant shoes. The crowd-favourite beat Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Tam 5-0 at a packed KD Jadhav Indoor Hall in New Delhi on Sunday. But the unanimous decision was no reflection of how close the bout was.

“It’s a special day, a second World Championship gold, that too in a new weight category. Today’s bout was my toughest so far, facing an Asian champion. The next target is the Asian Games, so to win against her, in the first big championships since changing categories… The strategy was to use all the energy I had left, despite a tough tournament, and I threw everything at it,” said Nikhat after the match.

Shortly after Nikhat’s bout, Lovlina Borgohain won a contentious 5-2 decision against Australia’s Caitlin Parker to claim her first ever Women’s World Boxing Championship gold medal. The middleweight Assam boxer was awarded the fight 3-2 in a split decision. She then got two points from the evaluator and the observer under IBA’s new bout review system.

These two wins capped a dream weekend for Indian boxing after the two gold medals on Saturday.

It was a change in weight category, from 52 kg to 50 kg, that had left Nikhat unseeded at these World Championships. In her six gruelling, physically taxing bouts, she spent a cumulative 45 minutes ducking, weaving and charting a path over the roughest of seas to get her second World Championship gold.

In all these bouts, Nikhat was rarely allowed to play her natural game. She needed to think on her feet, change strategy and innovate. A mid-range boxer, she has the ability to stay just beyond the reach of her opponent, while being close enough to avoid an attack and then land a punch of her own. It’s that unique ability, mastered over years of practice with multiple international coaches, that has resulted in her becoming one of India’s top boxers.

“I think it’s because she’s got so much confidence in her own abilities. She actually enjoys boxing. She actually enjoys the challenge of having that combat,” said John Warburton, the boxing head of Inspire Institute of Sport and one of the international coaches who worked with Nikhat recently. “The way she’s fighting, she’s making a statement. ‘I can beat you in any way I want to beat you. I can beat you at long range, I can brawl with you and beat you’, and that’s her mindset,” he told The Indian Express.

Nikhat’s boxing journey came into prominence when she won the gold medal at the 2011 Youth World Boxing Championships. The Nizamabad native has now added the World Championship medals as well as the 2022 Commonwealth gold to that initial spark. Her next stop: the Asian Games in Hangzhou. And if the same performances continue: the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

It is a target that has been part of her life since the day she won her Youth World Championship medal. Early in her career, Nikhat had been under the towering shadow of Mary Kom. She has had her own fair share of battles against the celebrated Manipuri boxer, most notably before the last Olympics where she demanded a trial and lost. With Mary Kom’s age ruling her out of the next Olympics, Nikhat has positioned herself to finally take over that weight category.

While still bitter about missing out previously, her father Mohammad Jameel Ahmed feels that it was just a matter of time: “She has missed out on two Olympics at the peak of her career. Not just as a father, as a mentor and as someone who plans her career, it was disappointing for me to see things go this way. But there was nothing we could do except focus on the next target. Upar wala likhega, toh bilkul aayega. Hum toh chhodne wale nahi hai (If god wills, our time will come. But we won’t stop trying),” he said.

Sunday’s bout was among the toughest Nikhat faced at this competition. Her Vietnamese opponent, taller and longer in range, won the second round and almost seemed to have taken the third. But the judges scored all rounds in favour of the Indian.

Warburton thinks her abilities are special, and now with an Olympic weight category solely hers, she just has to continue boxing in the same vein as she has been doing over the last couple of years.

“She’s going to be World Champion two years running. She will likely be the Asian Champion. She will qualify for the Olympics, and in my opinion, she will win gold. I’ve worked with lots of people who have won Olympic medals, gold medallists, silvers, bronzes and World medallists. She has all the same characteristics that they have. The attitude, the willpower, and the technical and tactical abilities — she’s got the lot,” said Warburton.

As for Lovlina, luck may have played its part in her bout. The judges scored the contest in her favor and so did the evaluator and observer, despite a shaky performance and an especially poor third round.

She recently made the move to the 75-kg weight category as her previous weight was not a part of the 2024 Paris Olympics boxing programme. Before this win, her trophy cabinet was adorned with two World Championship bronze medals and an Olympic bronze, all in the 69-kg category.

Speaking about her gold later, she said: “I was a little stressed before the final. I tried to play how the coaches asked me to play. It wasn’t a complete success but I thought it was 90 per cent successful. It feels very good to win a gold medal and become a champion.”

15 % Of Indian Pilots Are Women, 3 Times More Than Global Average

As per an assessment, India may need an additional 1,000 pilots every year over the next five years. India’s civil aviation regulatory body, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)’s which released statistics on the country’s pilot strength informed that fifteen per cent of the pilots in the country are women, which is three times the global average of five per cent.

As per the data released from various Indian scheduled airlines, a total of 244 pilots have been recruited in 2021. And, data estimates that India may need an additional 1,000 pilots every year over the next five years.

However, currently, there is no special programme in the government to encourage pilot training for women and backward classes including SCs/STs, the regulatory body said. As of now, India has 67 foreign pilots working with different air operators, it said.

According to the release, there are 35 DGCA-approved Flight Training Organisations (FTOs) in the country, operating at 53 bases.

The International Society of Women Airline Pilots’  report on gender equality in the aviation sector in 2021 underlined that at 12.4 per cent India ranked top in gender equality at the flight deck in 2021, followed by Ireland, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Germany, USA, UK, and New Zealand.

Ann Mukherjee Proves You Can Change Liquor Industry From Within

Liquor industry leader Ann Mukherjee makes bold moves to fulfill her passionate belief in return on responsibility. “It’s not enough to be responsible. You have to get a return on it,” says Mukherjee, the 57-year-old chairwoman and CEO of Pernod Ricard North America, the largest operation at the world’s second biggest producer of wine and spirits. It makes Absolut vodka, Malibu rum, Jameson Irish whiskey, and Beefeater gin, among others. “I experienced personal traumas caused by others’ irresponsible drinking. That’s why my responsibility is to lend my voice and humanize issues,” she says.

Mukherjee was born in India, and raised in the U.S. An intoxicated adolescent boy sexually assaulted her at age four. A drunk driver killed her mother when she was a teenager. She held marketing management roles at several consumer product makers before surprising friends and family by joining the booze business.

Now she’s the first woman, person of color, and industry outsider to lead Pernod Ricard’s North American unit, which excludes Mexico. Shortly after her December 2019 arrival at the company, Mukherjee launched an Absolut Vodka campaign targeting sexual consent, and painted “sex responsibly” on her fingernails.

Next up, she will expand a Dallas pilot project that combats binge drinking and impaired driving. The “Safe Night” program, which Pernod cosponsors, hopes to soon add another major U.S. city. “We want to take this nationwide,” she says. A self-proclaimed “acceleration queen,” Mukherjee says she also aims to speed Pernod Ricard’s U.S. growth “to try to make us number one in the world.”

TIME recently spoke with Mukherjee about her employer’s other efforts to prevent drunk driving, the appetizing outlook for ready-to-drink cocktails, “war gaming” product launches, and why she yearns to own a restaurant.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

How does return on responsibility improve returns for your investors? Do you avoid taking a public stance on certain controversial issues because your position might hurt Pernod Ricard?

Consumers have a higher standard around brands they trust. They expect those brands to be walking the talk. Return on responsibility is what consumers expect of us. It actually drives return on investment. Making it part of your DNA not only future-proofs your business, it also creates the loyalty you need.

We only go after those issues that drive value, our company values, and our purpose of conviviality. Conviviality is about unlocking this magic of human connections. When somebody gets promoted, you’re celebrating over two flutes of champagne. We stay away if [an issue] isn’t about unlocking that magic.

Employees have asked me to speak against gun violence, a very important issue, but not our mission. So I am not going to [do so].

Why should executives speak out about issues related to their business? After all, most Americans want companies to stay out of social and political issues, some surveys find.

Every company needs to define their value creation model. You’re giving people something to buy into [because] you are a brand standing for timeless values. If sustainability issues are not about how you create value, don’t talk about them. Taking on topics du jour is another form of greenwashing. [Saying] you care about sustainability “because we’re supposed to’’ is not good enough. At Pernod Ricard, we talk about sustainability because nothing we make happens without agriculture. We won’t have a business if we don’t care about our farmers [or] don’t understand water conservation.

The Dallas pilot project epitomizes your return on responsibility commitment by training restaurants and bars to assist customers who drink too much. Given your horrific experiences involving alcohol abusers, why didn’t you initially launch a nationwide campaign against drunk driving?

The project’s approach had never been done before so we wanted to pilot it to make sure we got the right model [before] we start rounding it out to every city. Nationally, we do other things around responsible drinking. You attack it through helping the hospitality industry, education, and legislation. We worked very hard with on a [relevant] piece of legislation in President Biden’s infrastructure package.

The package the president signed into law contains a provision that any car manufactured in the United States must soon be capable of preventing a drunk driver from operating the vehicle. I got pretty emotional the day that law got signed. I posted a picture of my mom to my family and told them how the provision will reduce drunk driving. It was a way to give her death some meaning.

The ready-to-drink cocktail market is flourishing. How much U.S. revenue might Pernod Ricard get from such cocktails five years from now?

I can’t give any forward-looking numbers, but it is a part of our growth equation. The U.S. market for ready-to-drink cocktails is expected to grow at a rapid pace. People looking for convenience [also] want brands and cocktails they know and trust. So Malibu making a ready-to-drink piña colada makes sense. Absolut making an espresso martini ready to drink makes sense.

It’s important enough for us that we are now investing capital behind it. We’ve installed [our first] ready-to-drink canning line in our Fort Smith, Ark., facility. That $22 million investment is expandable so as that business gets bigger, we have the ability to grow with it.

While chief marketing officer of Frito-Lay North America, you helped introduce biodegradable bags for its Sun Chips. But due to their loud crackling sounds, the bags got withdrawn. What key leadership lesson did that noisy flop teach you?

At that time, the company wanted to make bold statements. While [the bag] did not work, employees said, “Wow, we were willing to take a risk for what we believed in.” But [being] enamored by the technology clouded our better business judgment. Passion, if not done objectively, sometimes is not the smartest thing to do. I learned to have a war game plan ready to go if something goes wrong.

How do you use war gaming to lead Pernod Ricard North America effectively?

We war game to be ready. There could be possible problems involving innovation launches, new marketing campaigns or new technology. And even if it’s a success, what were the lessons learned?

A great example is Jameson Orange, the first real flavored whiskey launched under the Jameson franchise. It was probably the biggest [U.S.] innovation launch the industry saw last year. We war gamed everything. What did this teach us? You got to make sure your innovation is on the shelf before you do all that [promotional] display stuff. It was 100% against industry norms. We’re very excited about the results. We now launch innovation based on learnings around how consumers shop.

You often use nail polish to broadcast your views about hot topics. You painted Black Lives Matter or BLM on your fingernails after George Floyd’s murder in 2020. And you put a Ukrainian flag on your nails following Russia’s invasion last year. What message are you sending to your coworkers?

That it’s OK to be vulnerable. And it’s a way for me to use something illustratively to say, “I care. You matter.’’

You try to unleash gifts that colleagues don’t know they have, so they feel they can do the impossible. What impossible goal have you achieved?

Sitting in the chair I’m in today. I’ve been told, “You should be a homeless drug addict,’’ [because of] my story. I feel very privileged that people believe I can create positive change. Most people can achieve anything they want if they can get out of their own way. I try to get people out of their own way and give them inspiration and hope.

Not long ago, you said you were still trying to decide what you want to be when you grow up. Are you interested in becoming CEO of a publicly held company someday?

Why wouldn’t I be? That’s absolutely in the mix. I get [recruiter] calls. And what a training ground I’m in now! But I’m very happy where I am. I came [to Pernod Ricard] because I wanted to accomplish something from a business and responsibility perspective. Working for a company you believe in doesn’t come around every day.

I would [also] love to open my own restaurant and be the Stanley Tucci of India. Cooking is how I get rid of stress. I read cookbooks like novels. I love fusion cooking, bringing different cuisines together, and understanding culture through food. We [recently took] a three-week food extravaganza tour in Vietnam. I’ve got lots of dreams. Who knows what I’ll end up doing? (TIME.COM)

Dr. Anupama Gotimukula Conferred with The Top 20 Global Woman Of Excellence Award

Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, the immediate past President of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), the largest ethnic physician organization in United States was honored with the Top 20 Global Women of Excellence Award during a solemn ceremony On International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2023 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

The event was organized by the Multi Ethnic Advisory Task Force and American Multi Ethnic Coalition Inc., chaired by Congressman Danny K Davis. Among others, who attended the event and presented the awards to the 20 outstanding global women of excellence were: Rep.  Danny Davis, Rep. Raja Krishnamurthy, Rep. Jonathan Jackson, Rep. Delia Ramirez, and Dr. Vijay Prabhakar, Founder of AMEC.

Picture : TheUNN

In her acceptance speech, Dr. Gotimukula, the only 4th woman president of AAPI in 40 years said, “It is a great honor receiving this prestigious award in recognition of my services as a physician and woman leader.” Dr. Gotimukula, while accepting the honor behalf of the fraternity of the physicians, said, “Post Covid pandemic, our physician community is dealing with stress and burnout. At AAPI, we are working on providing education and support on ways to deal with burnout through lifestyle modifications and other means.”

While highlighting some of the major initiatives under her leadership AAPI had focused on, Dr. Gotimukula said, “During my tenure as the President of AAPI, we did Blood Donation Drives across the United States to help replenish Blood Banks deprived of blood products due to Covid crisis, in addition to Fund Raising efforts to help the neediest in India.”

In her efforts in leading AAPI, to honor and serve our motherland India, Dr. Gotimukula said, “On the occasion of India’s 75 years of Independence, we initiated the “Adopt a Village” 75 villages Rural Preventive Health Screening Project in India and completed more than 60 villages for preventive medical services.

Several health screening camps were organized and screened for Non communicable silent killer diseases like Diabetes, Hypertension, Kidney disease, Hyperlipidemia and Anemia/ Obesity issues . The abnormally screened villagers  were provided with  direct physician care and education on lifestyle modifications. All along, our goal has been to emphasize on ‘Prevention care is better than Disease care’ and to help build ‘Indian Preventive Task Force’ guidelines for India.”

Picture : TheUNN

Dr. Gotimukula, a Pediatric Anesthesiologist  from San Antonio, TX said “I dedicate this award to my Family, Friends and my Organization AAPI, which I have served for more than a decade. AAPI has nurtured a woman leader and gave me an opportunity to do several good things in the healthcare sector and help the community.” In 2022, Dr. Gotimukula received the Excellence in Leadership Award from the Indo-American Press Club (IAPC) and  the 2022 Women  Leaders in Medicine  Award from the Bexar County Medical Society, San Antonio, Texas.

Drawing the audience’s attention to the fact that Women in Leadership are still way behind, especially for women of color, Dr. Gotimukula said, “It’s even more challenging to climb up the leadership ladder and be successful. My goal as a woman leader has been to mentor more women leaders, who can do greater things in this world! Congratulations to all the Top 20 women being recognized here today on this platform for your outstanding achievements. My message to all women in the world – Enjoy, Embrace, be Empathetic and be Humble!”

AMEC & MEATF Hosts 11th Annual Congressional International Women’s Day Celebration on Capitol Hill, Washington D.C.

To celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness about discrimination and take action to drive gender parity, each year AMEC (American Multiethnic Coalition Inc) & MEATF (Multiethnic Advisory Task Force) honors Women globally by recognizing them for their contributions. This year AMEC & MEATF hosted its 11th Annual Congressional International Women’s Day Celebration at Rayburn House Building, Capitol Hill at Washington D.C. on March 8, 2023 and celebrated the achievements of 20 women of diverse ethnicities.

The event was presided by AMEC/MEATF Founder and President Dr Vijay Prabhakar, Congressman Danny K Davis, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Congressman Jonathan Jackson, and Congresswoman Delia Ramirez, Tumia Romero – Chief Of Staff at Office of Congressman Danny K. Davis, Brian Pasternak – Administrator, Office of the Foreign Labor Certifications, U. S. Department of Labor, Washington D.C.

Picture : Asia Media

The proceedings began with announcements by hosts, Shree Gurusamy (Secretary General AMEC) and Seeta Bala (Awards Jury Chair). Tumia Romero, the Chief Of Staff at Office of Congressman Danny K. Davis, who is a fierce women’s rights advocate, has also served as a deputy Director of Labor under the previous Gov. Pat Quinn, and she is currently pursuing a doctorate in public policy, in her Welcome Address said, “there were seven continents initially created where all of us come from but the main one is Africa, and then we all spread out everywhere and I am delighted to say that I’m one of those persons whose ancestry is from Africa, like a lot of us! And it’s so great to see so many women here you know of different backgrounds, and we all have different stories to share, and it means something to the fabric of our society and to the people of the United States of America.” She emphasized how we all women are connected with each other and how she along with Congressman Davis has been supporting their causes.

At the event, the call to action was delivered by 8-year-old Samara Karakara from New York, calling for girls’ and women’s leadership in education and technology, making her the youngest Indian American girl to make a call to action at Capitol Hill. A plaque and medallion were presented to Samara.

Founder of AMEC/MEATF, the brain behind the whole thing, an internationally renowned public health expert, the first Asian and person of color acknowledged by President Clinton administration, a creative master strategist Dr Vijay G Prabhakar was invited for his Opening Remarks. Dr Vijay Prabhakar, also fondly known as Dr VGP, in his most unique and inimitable style, delivered a powerful and inspiring message to the audience.

Picture : Asia Media

He acknowledged the contributions of living legend Congressman Danny K Davis for initiating the Global Community Congressional Community Oscars and Congressional Women of Excellence Awards in recognition of ethnic communities, minorities and especially women and appreciated his efforts.  Dr. Prabhakar thanked Tumia Romero, for playing a vital role in bringing this ceremony to Capitol Hill and expressed his content in the continuing of the awards ceremony for the second consecutive year at Capitol Hill. Referring to Samara Karkara, Dr. Prabhakar said he was happy to “[pass] the baton to the next generation,” and her Call to Action “set the tone for today.”  He also welcomed and thanked Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Congressman Jonathan Jackson, Congresswoman Delia Ramirez, Brian Pasternak – Administrator, Office of the Foreign Labor Certifications, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington D.C. and all the guests.

AMEC Commissioner, Richa Chand was invited to introduce the EDWARD & LILY PRABHAKAR CENTENARY AWARDS 2023, instituted by the Global Eye Magazine, a premier worldwide digital publication that reaches 42 million households including 2 million in Chicagoland, to commemorate the Birth Centenary of the parents of Chairman Dr VGP. The Recipients were: Congressman Danny K. Davis, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Jonathan Jackson and Delia Ramirez, Congresswoman all representing Illinois along with President of Chicago Medical Society Dr. Tariq Butt, Vaithilingam Shanmuganathan, South Asia Advertising Executive, The Global Eye, Los Angeles who hails from Sri Lanka and Founder of Dads with Daughters, New York, Ravi Karkara. So far 16 outstanding persons have received the Edward & Lily Prabhakar Centenary Award. The Global Eye Magazine is honoring 100 individuals/ institutions with the Prestigious EDWARD & LILY PRABHAKAR CENTENARY AWARD throughout the Birth centenary year of DR. VGP’s blessed parents from March 1, 2023 to August 22, 2024

As an Event Co-host and Award recipient, Congressman Danny K Davis was invited for his address. He said, “I thank all of you for coming to visit your house, the House of Representatives, and the belongs to you!” Appreciating Samara’s leadership qualities, he referred to her talk as “one of the most fascinating speeches” he had ever heard.

During his award acceptance speech, praising the organizers, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi said he was happy to be part of the occasion to celebrate women. Referring to the organizers, he said “They do the Lord’s work in terms of helping others in a time when a lot of people need help…so the helpers are the ones that we look to in Congress for leadership.” About Davis, Krishnamoorthi said “he is about the people,” and “community empowerment,” and “if there is a way, he will mean to get it done.”

The Special Guest was a high-ranking federal official Brian Pasternak, Administrator, Office of the Foreign Labor Certifications, U. S. Department of Labor, Washington D. C. who Presented a copy of GSA’s first publication SABD – a collection of poems authored by Dr Saradapurna Sonty to each awardee at the ceremony.

The final segment of the program, honoring TOP 20 GLOBAL WOMEN OF EXCELLENCE 2023, was conducted by Seeta Bala & Shree Gurusamy. Indrani Davaluri also assisted with Award Presentations. The Recipients were:


  1. Jennifer Rajkumar, New York State Assembly Woman, Civil Rights Lawyer, NY.
  2. Joanne Hill – Kittle, Deputy Director at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland.
  3. Dr. Twin Green, President & CEO, The Link & Option Center, South Holland, IL.
  4. Dr. Sarada Purna Sonty, Founder & CEO SAPNA
  5. Deila Davis, Deputy Director, National Association of Community Health Centers Inc.
  6.  Sherry Husa, President & CEO, MERIDIAN Health Plan of IL.
  7. Reena Bhardwaj, White House Correspondent for ANI, Washington DC.
  8. Mary Barthelson, Space Systems Engineer
  9. Cynthia Dorsey Edwards, President/CEO, Storehouse of Solutions, LLC, Atlanta
  10. Usha Boddapu, CEO /Founder Esolvit, Austin, TX.
  11. Melanie Fernando, Executive Director, Aetna Better Health of IL, Chicago, IL.
  12. Nicole L Nicky Harvey, Founder & Chair Black Public Safety Alliance, Chicago, IL.
  13. Urmil Tracy Marshall, Mental Health Advocate, Atlanta.
  14. Dr Mercedes Martinez, Psychiatrist, Chicago, IL.
  15. Dr.Rani Yousefzai, CEO – Belleza Med Spa, IL.
  16. Dr.Anupama Reddy, Past president, American Association Physicians of Indian Origin
  17. Zoe Ma, Community Activist, Skokie, IL.
  18. Katherine Thorat, Realtor, Coldwell Banker Realty, Woodridge, IL.
  19. Dr. Cathy Subber, CEO of Advanced Health of Naperville.
  20. Prathiba Jairath, Founder, Vidya Jyoti, USA.

All the outstanding women who received the award were invited to speak at the podium. Past President of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), and Pediatric Anesthesiologist from San Antonio, Texas, Anupama Gotimukula who was one of the 20 Global Women of Excellence 2023 awardees, highlighted AAPI’s contributions during the COVID pandemic. Dr. Gotimukula said  AAPI raised over $5 million in fundraising, supplied oxygen concentrators and ventilators, and provided telemedicine assistance during the acute Delta wave crisis in India. She also talked about AAPI’s national blood donation drive last year, and her ongoing Rural India public health initiative, “Indian Preventive Task Force Guidelines” for preventive health, which has directly benefited 60 villages to-date.

“I work for NASA and diversity inclusion and equity is one of our core values, and I look forward to increasing that through the digital future,” said Deputy Director of NASA Goddard Flight Center, Maryland, Joanne Hill.

Mary Barthelson 2023 Candidate for Virginia House of Delegates and Space Systems Engineer, an advocate for low-income families in Fairfax County, promoter of STEM education, and supporter for the resettlement of refugees, said, “I believe that it is important for women to support and uplift each other and to encourage one another to pursue their passions and goals. By doing so we can create a world where every woman has the opportunity to succeed regardless of their background or their circumstances.”

Community Activist, Zoe Ma who helps underserved inner-city youth with violence prevention, through the Gandhi King Center for Non-Violence in Englewood, IL, said she is a Chinese immigrant who arrived in America alone 28 years ago with just $40 in her pocket. “My personal achievement can inspire young women and single mothers, and the path to empowerment is through entrepreneurship,” she said while advocating fair representation of women and minorities in the government and corporate world for equitable society.

Team AMEC/MEATF would like to acknowledge and thank Dr VGP for his tireless efforts and hard working Team: Our Emcees: Awards Chair Seeta Bala , Event Chair : Shree Gurusamy and Event Co Chair: Richa Chand excelled as usual. AMEC leaders: Indrani Davaluri, AMEC Secretary Virginia , Glory Jeypaul, AMEC Virginia Chair, Ravi Theja, AMEC Pennsylvania Chair, The Global Eye South Asia Advertising Sales Executive, ELP Centenary Awardee from Los Angeles Shan Vaithilingam and Asian Media USA Chair Suresh Bodiwala were equally responsible for the flawless seamless execution of an action packed an hour and half celebration of Women on International Women’s Day March 8, 2023 at the historic Rayburn House Building at Washington D.C.

We salute AMEC Atlanta Chairman Mustafa Ajmeri, Edward Lily Prabhakar Centenary Awardee Ravi KARKARA, President, The Global Eye International Institute of Leadership, New York , Naveen Karna, Chief Information Officer, The Global Eye Magazine, Chicago, Anil Pulla, Chief Operating Officer, The Global Eye, Hyderabad, Top 20 Awardee Kathy Thorat, Director General, GSA India @75 Expo USA, Top 20 Awardee Zoe Ma, AMEC Commissioner, Mundelein, MEATF Councilman Dr Sriram Sonty & Top 20 Awardee “the GSA Phenomenal Woman “Dr Sarada Sonty for their tireless work which resulted in the awesome success of this event.

TAGC Celebrates International Women’s Day As  “Be The Heroine Of Your Life”

The Telugu Association of Greater Chicago (TAGC), The first Telugu association in North America (TANA) in collaboration with American Telangana Sangham (ATS) hosted a successful event to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 5th, 2023. The event was held at Olive Palace Banquets at Mt Prospect. This event has brought together more than 500 women from different parts of Chicago land to celebrate the theme “Be the heroine of your life”. All women beautifully dressed up with sequin and ruffle saree wear.

Picture : Asia Media

Program started with a devotional song by Singer Shruti Thakur and lighting the lamp by President of TAGC 2023, Sri Parameswara Reddy Yarasani, Smt Aruna Sri Yarasani, co-host ATS President Sri Narendra Chamarla, Smt Rajalakshmi Chemarla, Smt Jyothi Madhavaram, Women’s Day Chair Smt Madhavi Rani Konakalla and Co chairs Smt Neelima Boddu, Smt Rachana Koluguri, Smt Vani Rachakonda. All the other TAGC Women Board of Director’s Smt Vinitha Podduturi, Smt Uma Avadhuta, Smt Neelima Cheikicharla, Smt Prasanna Kandukuri, Smt Archana Podduturi, Smt Sirisha Madduri were joined.

Participants at the event also had the opportunity to network and connect with other women in attendance, forming new relationships and creating opportunities for collaboration. The event featured a keynote speech from guest speaker Smt Vidya Nahar, who spoke about the importance of yoga for women. The other speakers were Smt Satya Rangaraju, Smt Subhapriya Lakshmanan also spoke about women empowerment.

One of the highlights of the event was the recognition of several senior women from the Chicago Area Telugu Seniors (CATS) association who have made significant contributions to the Indian communities for many years.

Picture : Asian Media

All the women attended were overwhelmed by events like Fashion walk by over 30 participants, Reels competition, guess and grab a Saree, Kahoot games and many more activities. Evening snacks and Dinner arranged by TAGC Food team Sri Sinivas Reddy Kolli, Sri Rohit Akula along with other TAGC Board of Directors Sri Srujan Nainappagari, Sri Shashi Chava, Sri Ramana Kalva and Mr Srinivas Reddy Nagireddy and Lakshmi Narayana Thota who helped the food team. TAGC Team 2023 thanked Cool Mirchi restaurant for the tasty food.

Anchor Sameera Illendula has brought great energy to the event with her fun lines and witty questions.  Keeping up the TAGC tradition of giving away donations, this year also the participants raised money for a non-profit organization named Suguna Foundation with operations in west Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, India which supports care and living for needy seniors and Akshaya Foundation – NGO catering educational needs for children. There was an overwhelming response and contribution this year which is among one of the top fundraising amounts. Regal Jewelers sponsored gold and silver coins for raffle tickets.

Every participant received a return gift sponsored by Kalyani Jonnavithula, owner of PM consulting.  The TAGC Team appreciated all the efforts by the Youth volunteers and made sure that all the members received the return gift.

Speaking to the media, TAGC President Parameswara Reddy Yarasani and women’s day chair Madhavi expressed their hope that the event would inspire attendees to continue to work towards culture and empower more women in their communities. They also expressed their gratitude to the sponsors and partners who supported the event and made it possible.

Celebrating International Women’s Day! Break the Bias! Vidhu Philip

Canadian Malayali writer Vidhu Philip shares her reading experiences of “Sita: Now You Know Me” by Sini Panicker

Sita: Now You Know Me (SNYKM), the debut novel of Sini Panicker, revisits the epic, Ramayana. As the name implies, the central character of the novel is Sita. The well laid out narration takes the readers on a journey through the life of Sita, who turns into a mellowed and matured woman from an innocent seventeen years old girl.

It is quite apparent from the narration and design of the novel, that the author’s aim was to bring out different shades of the personality of Sita which have been overlooked by the traditional text. The ubiquitous all-bearing Sita that we are familiar with is far from the Sita we see in SNYKM. The author has been successful in bringing out a stark contrast between the carefree fun loving daughter of Janaka, and the abandoned powerful wife of Rama in the characterization of Sita.

SNYKM is presented in two layers: the outer layer is the familiar story of Ramayana, and the inner layer digs deep down into Sita’s emotional and psychological self. The narration in the first person enabled the readers to closely follow the inner thoughts and commotions of Sita. Sita was shown as going through a whirlwind of emotions at several occasions. For example, “ I wanted to kill her, right then and there; all I needed was a bow and arrow”, were Sita’s thoughts about Kaikeyi when they had to face her to say goodbye before their exile. It came as a surprise to me that Sita had such thoughts and feelings; all this time I looked at Sita as a dutiful woman who did what was asked of her! SNYKM strikes at all the feminist notes in the characterization of Sita.

The injustice and unfairness faced by Sita has been rightfully presented in the novel. Readers could not help empathize with Sita. The author never attempted to put Sita on a pedestal. Sita reflects the everyday life of common women, which makes this novel appealing to its readers, especially women. Oftentimes, a reader like me would stop to imbibe that Sita’s thoughts and feelings were not different from what I have experienced in life!

In our society, the thoughts and emotions of a woman are not expressed well in general; neither in a novel nor in real life! Until recently, expressing a woman’s feelings and emotions and discussing it in public was a taboo topic. Remarks such as “oh.. Isn’t that what all women do generally?” Or “It is what women are supposed to do” are cliched every day phrases heard around us. Likewise, I realized with a shock that I had been taking Sita for granted all these years before reading SNYKM. I never had a second thought about the inner struggles and turmoil that went through her mind, when  Sita decided to follow her husband in exile or when she was abandoned, until SNYKM pointed them out to me.

Sita’s indignation while being abandoned is rightly justified in SNYKM that the readers would be thoroughly convinced of her reasons for being angry and bitter. Sita knew that there would be a court trial for her, if Ram had to accept her back. However, she did not receive a trial when he quietly and secretly banished her using Lakshman. Although Valmiki’s ashram was only a chariot ride away from Ayodhya, Ram never attempted once in seventeen years to visit Sita or their children. Such simple things that have been overlooked or taken for granted in the reading of traditional Ramayana is brought to light in SNYKM. The pain, the injustice, unfairness Sita had to face are brought out very powerfully.

It is no mistake to call SNYKM a feminist reading of Ramayana. Although, the novel leaves room to explore many more female characters such as Mandodari, Shoorpanaka, Lopamudra, Shruthi etc. in detail, there are glimpses of them as women of power and stature in the novel. A female character that really got my attention was Ram’s elder sister Shanta. She became nothing to her family or to her father, a very powerful king. A contrast is brought out between the upbringing of Sita and Shantha in SNYKM. It was interesting to read how Sita was trained to succeed her father in his old age, how she was taught horse riding and sword fighting, and even to rule  a province. The irony is even though it was not intended, finally Sita was forced to become ‘just a woman’. The author has rightly said in the beginning of the novel “ But fairness evades human life like a master illusionist in the most singularly fragmented moments of one’s existence. Afterwards, a broken life is reflected back from the hundreds of shattered shards, in anguish that is so pure and holy, any judgment or chastisement will be just another ritual to sanctify it”.

Dr. Solymole Kuruvilla Receives Legacy of Caring Award

NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi and North Central Bronx CEO Christopher Mastromano announced  that Solymole Kuruvilla, PhD, RN, ACNP-BC, the Associate Director of Occupational Health Services for Jacobi and North Central Bronx, has been awarded the “Legacy of Caring Award” from the National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA).

The award honors outstanding nurses who embody and exemplify excellence in patient advocacy, creativity, compassion, and leadership in the nursing practice.

Picture : TheUNN

Solymole has served at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi and North Central Bronx for nearly 30 years, almost immediately upon immigrating to this country from India in 1992. For her first six years, she worked in Jacobi’s Surgical and Medical Intensive Care Units and Coronary Care Unit. During that time, she returned to school, receiving her Master of Science in Nursing from the College of New Rochelle, becoming an Adult-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.

In 1999, Solymole joined the Occupational Health Services Team, becoming the Associate Director in 2015. In this capacity, she supervises both facilities’ nurse practitioners, nurses, and other support staff. As she puts it, it comes with a significant personal plus- “I get to know everyone in the hospital!”

“Solymole is an important part of the fabric of our facility,” said Mr. Mastromano. “She represents the dedication many of our staff bring to their everyday care of our patients.”

“I find my job very rewarding. I get to make a difference in the lives of our staff. If our employees are not healthy, there is no safe delivery of quality patient care in the hospital,” explained Solymole.

She lives in Westchester with her husband and son. She also holds a Ph.D. in Biblical Counseling and considers her faith a driving force. She also regularly volunteers with NAINA and its local chapter, Indian Nurses Association of New York (INA-NY), hosting numerous virtual forums and talk shows to discuss the importance of vaccinations, particularly the COVID-19 vaccination, within the Nursing and Indian-American Communities.

“I think it’s so important that people, particularly healthcare professionals, get vaccinated,” said Solymole. “We have seen that as vaccination rates go up, mortality rates go down.”

NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi is a 457-bed teaching hospital affiliated with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The facility has earned numerous Center of Excellence designations, accreditation, and recognition for its renowned Level 1 Trauma Center, Burn Center, Surgical Intensive Care Unit, regional Stroke Center, Snakebite Treatment Center, Breast Health Center, Bariatric Surgery Center, and Cancer Service. T

NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx (NCB) is a member facility of the New York City Health + Hospitals system, one of eleven acute care facilities within the City of New York. A 215-bed community hospital, NCBH specializes in women’s and children’s services. It also provides Behavioral Health acute and ambulatory care.  NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation. We are a network of 11 hospitals, trauma centers, neighborhood health centers, nursing homes, and post-acute care centers.

Meet The Women Who Win Board Of Advisors

Women Who Win is excited to announce its newly formed advisory board. We are thrilled to bring this board together to continue our mission in empowering the personal and professional lives of women and girls around the world, We are bringing diverse women leaders across different industries and backgrounds to help drive the Women Who Win mission forward. Each board member represents the deep spirit and multifaceted nature of Women Who Win. Board members come from various backgrounds, from city councilors and state representatives to business innovators, educators, artists, healthcare providers, and community leaders, our Board of Advisors has a strong global footprint.  As we believe in the importance of inclusivity and the power of men and women coming together to empower women, we also included male allies on this board. Meet the board!

Women Who Win is a media platform focused on empowering women . It was Co- Founded by Dr Manju Sheth, Dr Deepa Jhaveri and Shaleen Sheth

Ami Ambani

Ami Ambani has completed her Masters in Business Administration from Bentley College and worked in the capital markets as a Research Analyst, managing clients at Tower Capital And Securities Pvt.Ltd. in Mumbai, India. She is also co-founder of She now manages her own financial portfolio and is an enthusiast in economics, geopolitics and fitness.  Her passions include reading, cooking, travelling and running. She lives with her husband, Niraj, and two teen sons in Mumbai, India.

Rita Advani
Rita Advani is a board leader and a senior business executive and entrepreneur. In her professional career, she developed strategies to bring new products and services to market and to expand markets for diverse industries worldwide. In the recent past, her focus has been on health care delivery. She has served as a board member  for one of the  largest independent physician organizations in the state, and is currently the Chair of the Board for an organization that brings nursing and hospice care to patients in their homes. One of the themes that has resonated through her life is learning about aspects of the economy that are different from the sectors in which she worked. As an elected official and as an appointed board member she utilized her experience in the business world to make improvements in the state’s funding formulae for education and the education provided to the children of her municipality. As an early adopter of the cause for renewable energy, she chaired the effort to bring a solar power project to the municipality. She is currently working towards making her condo building resilient to the threat of rising seas. Born and educated in India, Rita has lived in Massachusetts since the 1980’s. She loves photographing and showcasing the beauty of nature, the monuments and peoples she comes across on her travels.
Sonica Arya
Sonica Arya graduated from the Academy of Architecture in Mumbai.  She has worked on a variety of projects ranging from residential homes to outhouses, and commercial projects such as banks and hotels.  She conceptualized, designed and executed the showroom design for the designer jewellery brand “Tanishq” of the Tata Group and has a keen interest in remodelling heritage properties such as those in Matheran, outside of Mumbai. She is an avid reader, an art connoisseur and loves travelling, especially places that have a strong historical, cultural and architectural heritage. She lives with her husband and two teen daughters in Mumbai, India.

Brenda Thompson

Brenda has been employed by Atrius Health for over twenty years and in September 2020 was appointed to the position of Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. She is responsible for the Affirmative Action Plan for the entire organization and is now more involved in her passion of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion as it relates to the patient population, the workforce, the workplace, and the community.   Brenda is former Vice President of the National Council of Negro Women – Greater Boston Chapter (NCNW-GBS) . Ms. Thompson Stuckey takes great pride in her work both professionally and personally and tries to mesh the two whenever possible. Ms. Thompson has received three Diamond Awards from Harvard Vanguard/Atrius Health for her individual and team contributions and she also received the YMCA Black Achievers Award.  Ms. Thompson Stuckey was also the first person to receive the Greater Boston Business Council’s Member of the Year Award, and as such the first non-LGBTQ recipient. She received this award for efforts, ideas and results produced to promote an LGBTQ inclusive workforce.

Kay Khan

State Representative Kay Khan represents Newton in the Massachusetts House of Representatives since 1995, currently serving the 11th Middlesex district. In 2009, she was appointed House Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities, by then Speaker Robert DeLeo and served in this capacity for 12 years. Representative Khan’s legislative portfolio celebrates and promotes diversity; she is an unshakable advocate for equal rights for all individuals, young and old. Recent legislative successes include; a ban conversion therapy to support of the LGBTQ community, legislation to end child marriage under the age of 18, and expanded access to maternal health care with a commission to study inequities in maternal health. She has spent her entire career in the legislature promoting better outcomes for justice-involved youth and women, additionally, she is an adamant supporter of environmental issues, filing legislation this session relative to the electrification of all new and substantially remodeled buildings statewide.  Representative Khan has lived in Newton for more than 50 years where she and her husband raised their three children and now enjoy their seven grandchildren.

Dr. Rollie Lal

An Associate Professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University where she teaches Transnational Security, Foreign Policy, and International Political Economy. Her research focuses on organized crime, terrorism, and religious extremism. Previously she was an Associate Professor at the U.S. Department of Defense and a political scientist at RAND. Dr. Lal received her Ph.D. in International Relations and her M.A. in Strategic Studies from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Dr. Kavita Navani

Dr. Navani practiced medicine in Central Massachusetts as a primary care physician for over 20 years. She also holds an MD in OB GYN from India. She is actively engaged in community service such as the Free health stop organized by India Society of Worcester. As an entrepreneur, she helped with the formation and growth of eClinicalworks, an electronic health record company with headquarters in Westborough, MA. Dr. Navani has provided clinical input to the EHR and is available to help with small and big tasks that require her expertise. Dr. Navani also takes active interest in cancer research and has made charitable contributions to research on improving outcomes from infant traumatic brain injuries. She is a big supporter of Ekal Vidyalaya.

Sangeeta Moorjani

Sangeeta Moorjani considers herself a global citizen. She was born in India, lived in Dubai, UAE until high school, pursued her undergraduate degree and MBA in India, started her career in financial services in Toronto, Canada, and has spent the last two and half decades in Massachusetts. She is an executive leader at Fidelity Investments and has held several senior leadership positions within Fidelity’s Workplace and Personal Investing business since joining Fidelity over 25 years ago Currently, she is the Head of Fidelity’s Tax Exempt business and Retirement Solutions, serving over 500 mission-driven institutions and delivering workplace benefits to their 7.5 million employees.Sangeeta believes the impact of strong leadership in financial services is through helping people make decisions about their financial futures. Her leadership style sparks novel thinking and leads people to take action. Sangeeta has a passion for helping people uncover their full potential and takes pride in coaching and developing high performing teams; and focuses on empowering them through servant leadership. The practice of candid conversations, deep curiosity, and building strong relationshipsis her hallmark approach in achieving associate and senior management buy-in and leading complex and critical businesses. She is an advocate for advancing women’s leadership and promotes Asian cultural awareness and inclusion at Fidelity and beyond. She serves on the board of two non-profit organizations; TiE Boston focused on entrepreneurship and Pratham USA focused on literacy and learning for children in India. Sangeeta enjoys traveling and exploring different parts of the world, with her husband. When not traveling, you’ll find her walking, listening to books or trying a new recipe. She is a proud mom to two young adults and her dog – Yogi.

Anusha Nanavati

Anusha is the Founder, lead architect and interior designer at Anusha Nanavati Design Studio. She did her under graduation from Balwant Sheth School of Architecture, Nmims, Mumbai and her Masters in Sustainable and Environmental Design from Architectural Association school of Architecture, London. Her studio specializes in various residential and commercial projects including schools, restaurants, gyms, offices, baby nurseries and furniture. She has completed multiple projects in India and UK. She has also completed 3 years as an assistant professor at Balwant Sheth School of Architecture, NMIMS, Mumbai. Anusha is also a part of the management commîttee  of their family run Institutes and Hospital : Shri Chandulal Nanavati School and Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai. To know more about her work follow her on her Instagram handle: @andstudioofficial

Krupa Sheth

Krupa is one of London’s leading councilors. Borough of Brent. She serves on the Cabinet in Brent as the Lead Member for Environment, Infrastructure and Climate Action. She was elected as a Councilor for the first time at the age of 20, making her the youngest ever Asian to be elected to Post in the Country. She is currently serving her fourth term as a Councilor, and was one of Women Who Win’s first contributing writers.

Dr. Archana Srivastava

Dr. Archana Srivastava is an artist deeply rooted in the Indian history and culture and has, in the last two decades, experimented with different genres like figures, abstracts, landscapes and portraits. Her work has been shown all the world, such as at Shanghai International Art Fair, FIRA INTERNACIONAL D’ART DE BARCELONA (Fira International Art Fair), and Cannes International Art Biennale. Her designing of publicity material of the anti-AIDS campaign of Government of Maharashtra was considered hard-hitting and impactful. She has received numerous awards over the years, including  ‘Make in India Award’ in ‘Creative Art’ category in New Delhi., “Woman of Excellence Award 2020” by Indian Achievers’ Forum, “Collector’s Vision International Art Award” by Contemporary Art Curator Magazine, and “Power of Creativity Art Prize” by Contemporary Art Curator Magazine. She holds doctorate in “Socio-economic History Of Early-medieval India”. She is based in Mumbai, India. Further, she is the Founder and CEO of ArtSage, her startup with a vision is to help artists by providing resources, giving access to the technology to work at a faster pace, helping them upgrade their skills, giving them platform to sell their artworks, creating awareness about the value of their art in public through workshops and symposiums and enrich their lives as a whole.

Yoshika Sherring

Yoshika Sherring was born in New Delhi, India but considers herself a true Bostonian as she has lived in Boston since she was one.  She attended the Rochester Institute of Technology where she earned her B.S. in Biotechnology and then went on to complete an M.B.A. from Bentley University.  She has worked in the biotech / pharma industry for 20+ years having worked in multiple therapeutic areas on several blockbuster brands.  Her experience spans a cross-section of roles that include Marketing, Business Development and Patient Advocacy after starting her career as a Scientist.  Her passion is engaging with patients to help them live healthier lives.  Yoshika is also Chair for the Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island Marketing & Communications Council.  As a Bostonian, she enjoys all the great things New England has to offer including fresh seafood and won’t eat lobster in any other part of the country!

Kathleen Walsh

Kathleen Walsh is the President and CEO of the YMCA Metro North, an association of YMCAs operating eight health and wellness centers and child care facilities in Lynn, Melrose, Peabody, Saugus, and Stoneham. Walsh provides executive leadership to the $28 million association which serves 69,000 people annually and employs 700 staff members. Through Walsh’s leadership, the YMCA of Metro North advances its charitable mission by expanding access to its healthy living and youth-serving programs by providing more than $1.6 million in financial assistance to its community members each year. Walsh serves as Vice Chairperson with the American Red Cross Northeast Board of Directors, Treasurer of the Mass Alliance of YMCA’s, Thrive Committee Member at the North Shore Chamber of Commerce, Former Chairperson of the Lynn Education District Partnership, Board Member of Dept of Children and Family Services in Malden, Member of National Y Shared Services Board, and is a 2023 Fellow with LEADS, a Harvard Business School leadership program. Walsh earned a Master’s of Science from Northeastern University and a B.A. from Providence College. An avid runner, Walsh has completed 61 marathons and was recently awarded a distinguished Hall of Fame alumni award for Cross Country from her alma mater, Bishop Fenwick High School.  She is the proud mother to three young adults –Johanna, Cynthia, and Francis.

We are also honored to welcome two dedicated Male Allies to our Advisory Board, Dr. Dinesh Patel and Dr. Dhrumil Shah

Dr. Dinesh Patel

Dr. Patel was born, raised and educated in India before starting his orthopedic residency training at Mass General Hospital and the HCORP in 1971. In 1976, Dr. Patel co-founded Mass General’s Sports Medicine and Runner’s Clinic. While here, Dr. Patel also created one of the first arthroscopy bio skills laboratories in the country, and integrated the lab with HCORP in order to train new residents in his innovative techniques and retired after 55 years of teaching and practice. He has a series of accomplishments and is a renowned leader in the medical industry, and his contributions in Arthroscopy education have been recognized around the world. He Established Asia’s first center of excellence in healing art Psychomotor skill lab in for Arthroscopy teaching in  Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India He is the co-founder and past President of Indian medical association of New England, and one of the founders of Tie Boston where he was instrumental in establishing the life sciences section. He is a member of Harvard Medical School admission Committee and Senior advisor & teacher to Harvard Med school students He is a member Member and was Chairman of the Board of Registration in Medicine and continued as advisor on many committee’s for many years.  Dr. Patel has been in U.S. news and World reports as one the best doctors. We are honored to bring him onto our advisory board as a male ally.

Dr. Dhrumil Shah

Dhrumil Shah is a family physician and a CMIO at Compass Medical, an independent provider led organization in Southeast Massachusetts. His primary interests and focus areas are Digital health innovation, Data science and Care analytics, Health innovation and Entrepreneurship. Dr. Shah did his Family Medicine training at New Jersey Medical School and subsequently graduated from University of Illinois Chicago completing his Post Masters in Health Informatics. He is actively involved in Health IT space via many of national and regional speaking engagements and collaborative fueling the much needed disruption to redesign Healthcare delivery space. He also leads Greater Boston Chapter of SOPE(Society of Physicians Entrepreneurs) & Past President of IMANE Indian Medical Association of New England.

Pregnancy Kills 1 Woman Every 2 Minutes

Every two minutes, a woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth, said a joint report prepared by multiple UN agencies.

The report, Trends in maternal mortality, reveals alarming setbacks for women’s health in recent years, as maternal deaths either increased or stagnated in nearly all regions of the world.

The sorry state

The report, which tracks maternal deaths nationally, regionally and globally from 2000 to 2020, shows there were an estimated 2,87,000 maternal deaths worldwide in 2020.

This marks only a slight decrease from 3,09,000 in 2016 when the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) came into effect.


Roughly a third of women do not have even four of a recommended eight antenatal checks or receive essential postnatal care.

Some 270 million women lack access to modern family planning methods.

Poorest parts of the world

The poorest regions and conflict zones reported maximum maternal deaths — about 70% in sub-Saharan Africa.

Nigeria had the highest estimated number (82,000) of maternal deaths — 28.5% of all estimated global maternal deaths in 2020.

Nine countries facing severe humanitarian crises reported more than double the global maternal mortality rate — 551 maternal deaths per 1,00,000 live births, compared to 223 globally.

What about India?

India was among three countries with more than 10,000 such deaths. India reported 24,000 pregnancy or childbirth deaths, followed by The Democratic Republic of the Congo (22,000) and Ethiopia (10,000).

Where it worsened

In two of the eight UN regions — Europe and Northern America, and Latin America and the Caribbean — the maternal mortality rate increased from 2016 to 2020, by 17% and 15% respectively.

A hope

Two regions — Australia and New Zealand, and Central and Southern Asia — experienced significant declines (by 35% and 16%) in their maternal mortality rates.

10 Outstanding Women Of 2023 To Be Honoured At 20th Annual Woman Of The Year Awards Gala

INDIA New England News, one of the largest online and video magazines serving the Indian American community in the United States, today released the list of 10 Outstanding Women of 2023, who will be honored at the 20th Annual Woman of the Year Awards gala on April 14, 2023 at Burlington Marriott Hotel in Burlington, MA.

“Woman of the Year awards gala is always a grand affair, but this year is a very special one as we celebrate the landmark 20th anniversary of the Woman of the Year,” said Upendra Mishra, founder and producer of the Woman of the Year Awards and publisher of INDIA News England News, and its sister publications IndUS Business Journal, Life Sciences Times, and the Boston Real Estate Times. “We’re excited to welcome this year’s winners and all the guests in-person, and honor New England’s brightest stars on April 14.”

Picture : TheUNN

In addition to honoring 10 Outstanding Women of this year in various categories, Indian classical dance icon Neena Gulati, founder of the Brookline, MA-based Triveni School of Dance who has taught and performed dances during the last 51 years in the United States, will be bestowed with 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award.

“It is truly an honor for me to direct and host the 20th anniversary of the Woman of the Year awards gala,” said WOY Director and Hostess Dr. Manju Sheth, MD. “Winning the Woman of the Year Award myself in 2011 and then directing this for the 10 years have been a huge privilege for me. It has given me an opportunity to work with a great team and superb artists and also meet very talented awardees . Looking forward to welcome everyone and celebrating 20 years of this fantastic Awards that empower women.”

The event is attended by about 400 business and community leaders, philanthropists, and professionals.

Here is a list of this year’s 10 Outstanding Women:

Sumeit Aggarwal, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Finhive LLC

Sumeit is on a mission to empower women to take control of their financial futures. After a successful career working with global companies, Sumeit bid adieu to her corporate career and founded Finhive in 2017. Her company is a social enterprise dedicated to working with women-owned startups in financial planning, strategy, and management of financial risks. She also teaches personal finance to young adults and women. She is deeply passionate about embedding personal values into finance, and frequently presents on related topics including sustainable investing, financial health, and narrowing the gender wealth gap. To give back to her alma maters, Sumeit mentors students at Babson College and Northeastern University. She is now an active angel investor in women owned companies providing them capital at early stages of their startups.

Prior to starting Finhive, Sumeit was a senior executive at leading software and healthcare companies working on consulting, corporate and sales strategy, and business analysis, including Oracle Corporation and Hologic Inc. She is a board member of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce, and advisory board member of American India Foundation New England Chapter where she co-chaired the 2022 gala that raised over $1 million in funds for underprivileged communities in India. Sumeit earned her MBA from Babson College. She holds a Master’s degree in Information Systems from Northeastern University and a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Delhi University.

Meena Bharath

Meena Bharath, Chair, Massachusetts Asian American and Pacific Islanders Commission

Meena was named among Boston’s most influential Asian American Pacific Islanders of 2023. She was appointed to the Massachusetts Asian American and Pacific Islanders Commission by Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka. Education and impact of sound education in the lives of young people and society is of deep interest to her. She has served on local, regional and state level educational bodies. She is a strong advocate for personalized education plans for all learners, celebrating strengths, building supports, and varied paths to learning.

Meena has served in many volunteer capacities including as Chair, DESE’s Gifted & Talented Education Advisory Council; Chair, Hopkinton Public School Committee; Member, Education Committee, Christa McAuliffe Charter School; Member, The Education Cooperative (TEC). Through all these roles, she has had an opportunity to learn, collaborate with many wonderful people, and influenced hearts, minds and policies for better outcomes. She takes great pride in her contribution in the formation of AAPI Commission’s first Youth Council, which elevates youth voices and promotes civic engagement. Meena currently works in the financial industry as a Program Manager.

Dr. Ami Bhatt, MD, FACC, Chief Innovation Offic, American College of Cardiology

Ami is the chief innovation officer (CIO) at the American College of Cardiology and an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, and she has championed heart health awareness within the South Asian community. A graduate from Harvard College and the Yale School of Medicine, Ami completed her medicine and pediatrics residency and cardiovascular fellowships at Harvard, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Children’s Hospital of Boston. She was the inaugural Richard Liberthson Endowed Scholar in Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Director of their ACHD program. She also served as the director of Outpatient and Telecardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital Corrigan-Minehan Heart Center. She now leads the MGH Elevate Leadership Program aimed at transforming leaders for tomorrow’s healthcare challenges.

She is also the President of the Greater Boston American Heart Association through which she founded and led the “From the Heart: Conversations in South Asian Heart Health,” a global webinar series for culturally relevant patient education. She was the chair for Go Red for Women in 2020 to bring a spotlight to women’s heart health.  Dr. Bhatt has 20 years of experience as a clinician, investigator, and educator with a strong focus on telemedicine and digital health. She founded her first program in cardiovascular virtual care in 2013 and continues to work on creating culturally relevant, personalized virtual cardiovascular care delivery models. She was recently named to Boston Magazine’s Top Doctors list for 2023, HealthTech Magazine’s 30 Healthcare Influencers to follow in 2022 and she also serves on the Forbes Technology Council.

Manorama Choudhury, Poetess, Artist

Manorama Choudhury is a poetess and avid artist. Originally from Berhampur, she has delved into her creative intellectual pursuits through the art of poetry (in Odia/Hindi/English), songwriting, painting, fashion designing, and other visual art mediums.

Manorama had recited poetry on many platforms including Sapne (South Asian Poets of New England), Nabagunjara, Odia literature in North America, Ame Odia Ame Odisha. She often writes non-fiction articles for various E-magazines. She spends a lot of her time on philanthropy work with charities that focus on education and health and wellness programs in rural India.

Parul Doshi, Chief Data Officer, Cellarity

Parul is a well-respected corporate leader. She was named Chief Data Officer for Cellarity after joining just twelve months ago and applies her vast pharma expertise in data, software engineering, and IT.  Cellarity is a therapeutics company that develops medicines by studying and altering the cellular signatures of disease.  Previously, Parul was Head of Digital and Technology at Takeda, a Top 10 Pharma.  She led programs supporting various, highly visible, product launches such as Dengue vaccine, Moderna vaccine distribution in Japan, production of Novavax Covid 19 vaccine in Japan, NINLARO a multiple myeloma drug, and ALUNBRIG for ALK+ Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC).  Parul also led IT Integration during the $5B ARIAD’s acquisition.  She led DEI employee resource groups for parents and caregivers at Takeda. Takeda awarded Parul the Takeda Global Award in 2009 and the CIO Award in 2016 and 2017 for her collaborative leadership.

In addition to her corporate leadership, Parul is involved in various community initiatives.  She taught computer literacy at the Waltham Library.  She volunteers for the Indian Family Network (IFNet) summer camps for Indian-American kids.  She continuously coaches and mentors other colleagues to advance their careers. Parul has a BS in Chemistry, Economics, and Applied Statistics, and an MBA in Finance and IT.

Veena Handa, Vice Chair, Vision-Aid

Since retiring, Veena has been volunteering her time and efforts to many causes she is passionate about and that are close to her heart. Her exemplary volunteer work spans across a broad set of social causes including as Vice Chair of Vision-Aid, Member of AIF’s Circle of Hope, Shine Counselor and a Money Manager volunteer for Minuteman Senior Services to advice seniors with their Medicare and Money Management needs.

As a volunteer at Lexington Community Center, she works on multiple projects and has delivered Budget Planning and Retirement Planning talks for Youth and Seniors. Her response to the Covid pandemic was to engage with “Sew We Care” Team which provided over 20,000 masks and scrub caps to Hospitals, Health Centers and Senior Centers and Veena personally made over 1,000 masks and scrub caps as part of this team. However, her efforts at Vision-Aid to educate and empower over 20,000 Visually Impaired with terminal conditions each year, acquire skills needed to lead an independent life are why she is  most worthy of this nomination.

Sunita Kanchinadam, Global Head of Securities Lending, Financing & Collateral Transformation Technology, State Street Bank& Chair: TiECON East 2023

In addition to serving as Global Head of Securities Lending, Financing & Collateral Transformation Technology at Boston-based State Street Bank, Sunita is chair of TiECON 2023, the largest entrepreneurial conference in New England. The theme of this year’s conference is “The Rise of the Intentional Entrepreneur”, focused on the persona of the modern entrepreneur. The objective of the conference is to not only bring rich content and networking opportunities, but also to expand attendees’ networks, tapping into the rich talent emerging from New England academia.

At State Street Bank, Sunita manages the technology organization supporting Global Markets business. She worked in Goldman Sachs prior to it and has had overall 25+ years experience inclusive of financial domain experience in Barclays, Lehman Brothers and in the telecom sectors at Alcatel-Lucent. Sunita holds a Master of Science in Computer Science from Northeastern University as well as a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science.

Jharna Madan, Director, Hindi Manch, Senior Project Manager/ Designer, Officeworks Inc.

Jharna is a well-known community leader who champions and fervently supports a number of social concerns in New England. She works tirelessly to assist the community, going above and beyond with her commitment and hard work. She is praised for coming up with original, inventive ideas that give all of her undertakings style and grace. Jharna is Director and a member of the Steering Committee of the Hindi Manch, one of the largest Hindi organizations in the US. In addition, she is a local freelance reporter of TV Asia and has been co-emcee for the Woman of the Year gala for many years. Professionally, she is Senior Project Manager/ Designer at Officeworks Inc.

During the past ten years, under Jharna’s devoted leadership, Hindi Manch has impacted over 10,000 established non-resident Indian families, hosted over 80 cultural events with over 2,500 performers, worked to educate the next generation, and given over 500 kids a platform. Jharna played a significant role in making the inaugural USA National Hindi Conference, which brought together over 1,500 families from around the US, possible in Boston in 2018. During the pandemic, under her leadership, the first nearly global Hindi festivals were conducted, uniting over 217,000 people from 18 different nations and offering much-needed emotional support. Jharna has worked with and promoted groups such as Ekal Vidyalaya, Care For Janitors, Sew We Care, TV Asia, and India New England in addition to Hindi Manch.

Sahana Purohit, Board of Directors, Discovery Museum, Commissioner, Acton Housing Authority

Sahana is a member of the Board of Directors of Discovery Museum and Commissioner of Action Housing Authority. She believes that local politics is much more important than national politics. And she lives and breathes that in her daily life.  Sahana is an active member of the Acton community, having served in leadership and volunteer positions for many town committees and projects. She most recently served as a member of the Acton Finance Committee. Sahana also served on the Acton 2020 Comprehensive Community Planning Committee and on the Town Manager Search Committee in 2018. She has been a key player in several successful, major outreach projects, securing $17M dollars from the state for the Kelley’s Corner Infrastructure Project and $11M from the town for the North Acton Fire Station project.

Sahana was on the Steering Committee for The League of Women Voters in Acton for 12 years and served as both the League Co-Chair and Education Committee Chair. She has also successfully organized the League’s famous Civics Bee for nine years, a community building activity involving both students and community leaders. In 2020, Sahana was awarded the Commonwealth Heroine Award by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women.

Gitanjali Swamy, Public Policy, Serial Entrepreneur-Investor, Innovator, Thinker, Managing Partner, IoTask

Gitanjali Swamy (Gita) is Senior Legislative & Policy Advisor to the office of Senator Mark at the Massachusetts State Senate. She was previously Senior Legislative and Policy Advisor with the office of Senator Hinds, where she also served as Chief Legal Advisor. Dr. Swamy supports Legislative Policy or Regulation and her special areas of interest are economic development and investment policy

Dr. Swamy (Ph. D) is also a Managing Partner at IoTask, an innovation consulting firm and she has founded, built, served as board director in innovation enterprises, led the investment sourcing, structuring, and transaction of seed to over a billion USD deals, in her investment or professional roles at IoTask, The Carlyle Group and Booz Allen & Hamilton. She is a representative to the EQUALS Global Partnership (a Joint Venture of the ITU, GSMA, UNU, UN Women), Board and Steering Committee member of the MIT Consortium Initiative for DI in Land, Water, Air, in collaboration with The World Bank, Research Fellow & Director at the Private Capital Research Institute, Harvard Business School. She has co-founded 5 successfully acquired startups and the helped found of MIT’s OpenCourseware, the Auto-ID Consortium and the MIT Engine investment vehicle. Dr. Swamy has collaborated on ESG projects with MIT Corporation, United Nations agencies, Fabindia Overseas Pvt Ltd, and several Government P3 ESG efforts. She has also served as faculty at Harvard and Columbia University, where she taught classes in finance and policy. She currently serves on the Board of DFCU, a top 20 credit union bank in Massachusetts that has consistently been voted Best Credit Union” by Banker & Tradesman, and the PAN-IIT Global USA Board.

Dr. Swamy received her B. Tech in Electrical Engineering from the IIT Kanpur, where she was awarded several Academic Proficiency Prizes, her Ph.D. in EECS from the University of
California at Berkeley, where she was an NSF Fellow & President of WICSE, and her MBA from Harvard Business School, where she served as CFO of HBS-SA, and her Juris Doctor (JD) from St. Francis Law, and she a member of the California Bar. Dr. Swamy has over 25 publications and patents in the fields of data, algorithms, technology, and policy. She was recently voted in Ten Most Influential Women in Technology.

Neal Mohan Is New YouTube CEO

Indian-American Neal Mohan will be the new YouTube CEO, as current head Susan Wojcicki has announced to step down after 25 years at the Google-owned company.

Currently chief product officer, Mohan became part of Google, the parent company of YouTube, in 2008. He is a Stanford graduate and earlier worked with Microsoft.

Mohan and Wojcicki have worked together for nearly 15 years. He became YouTube’s chief product officer in 2015.

“Today, after nearly 25 years here, I’ve decided to step back from my role as the head of YouTube and start a new chapter focused on my family, health, and personal projects I’m passionate about,” Wojcicki said in a blog post late on Thursday.

She has agreed with Sundar Pichai to take on an advisory role across Google and Alphabet.

“This will allow me to call on my different experiences over the years to offer counsel and guidance across Google and the portfolio of Alphabet companies,” she added.

Wojcicki managed marketing, co-created Google Image Search, led Google’s first Video and Book search, as well as early parts of AdSense’s creation, worked on the YouTube and DoubleClick acquisitions, served as SVP of Ads, and for the last nine years, was the CEO of YouTube.

“I took on each challenge that came my way because it had a mission that benefited so many people’s lives around the world: finding information, telling stories and supporting creators, artists, and small businesses,” she noted.

“Mohan will be the SVP and new head of YouTube. I’ve spent nearly 15 years of my career working with Mohan, first when he came over to Google with the DoubleClick acquisition in 2007 and as his role grew to become SVP of Display and Video Ads,” said Wojcicki.

He has set up a top-notch product and UX team, played pivotal roles in the launch of some of the biggest products, including YouTube TV, YouTube Music and Premium and Shorts, and has led the Trust and Safety team. Mohan ensured that “YouTube lives up to its responsibility as a global platform”.

“With all we’re doing across Shorts, streaming, and subscriptions, together with the promises of AI, YouTube’s most exciting opportunities are ahead, and Mohan is the right person to lead us,” said Wojcicki. (IANS)

As Nikki Haley Announces Run For President In 2024, Indian American Community Pledges Support

Indian American Nikki Haley, Former South Carolina Republican Governor and former US ambassador to the United Nations under the Donald Trump administration has announced that she will run for president in 2024, becoming the first major rival to challenge former President Donald Trump for the GOP nomination.

“It’s time for a new generation of leadership — to rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure our border, and strengthen our country, our pride and our purpose.” Haley said in her video announcement. Haley accused the “socialist left” of seeing “an opportunity to rewrite history.”

“The Washington establishment has failed us over and over and over again. It’s time for a new generation of leadership to rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure our border and strengthen our country, our pride and our purpose,” Haley said in the video.

“China and Russia are on the march. They all think we can be bullied, kicked around,” Haley said. “You should know this about me: I don’t put up with bullies. And when you kick back, it hurts them more if you’re wearing heels. I’m Nikki Haley, and I’m running for president.”

Per reports, the former president, who announced his bid last year, recently appeared to bless her entrance into the race, telling reporters that she had called to tell him she was considering a campaign launch and that he had said, “You should do it.”

The Indian American community has expressed support to Haley, a second-generation Indian American, who has risen through the rank and file of the Republican Party by her leadership qualities. “I have known Governor Haley personally for decades and we are delighted that she has announced her candidacy on February 15th, 2023 at her home state, and capital Charleston,” Dr. Sampat Shivangi, a Member of the National Advisory Council, SAMHSA, Center for National Mental Health Services, Washington DC told this writer. “On behalf of the large and influential Indian American community, I wish her well and all the success in the coming days, and pray, she will succeed to be a nominee of GOP in 2024. We will assure our community support in every way,” he added.

Pointing to the many leadership roles she has held, Dr. Shivangi said, “Governor Nicky Haley, who has served in multiple roles in the US and on word stage as the US Ambassador to United Nations, makes all of us proud, specifically Indian Americans, who have given a unique identity as part of the diaspora. A rare quality of Governor Nicky is that she has not forgotten her roots and her ancestral homeland India as she visited India and interacted with leadership in India including meeting our beloved leader Prime Minister Modi.  She is a popular and respected leader, not only in her home state, South Carolina, and across US. She has very close ties with President Trump who she may be running against in GOP primaries. I have learned that President Trump has welcomed her candidacy for the highest office of the land, possibly a place on the world stage.”

Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, opened the video talking about how she felt “different” growing up in Bamberg, South Carolina. “The railroad tracks divided the town by race. I was the proud daughter of Indian immigrants. Not Black, not White. I was different. But my mom would always say your job is not to focus on the differences but on the similarities. And my parents reminded me and my siblings every day how blessed we were to live in America,” Haley said.  If successful in the primary, Haley would be the first woman and the first Asian American nominated by the Republican Party for president.

Haley will likely face stiff competition from other potential GOP candidates such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who are all said to be weighing 2024 runs. Some strategists say a big Republican primary field would be advantageous to Trump, who still enjoys significant support among the party base, and could splinter the vote — allowing him to walk away with the nomination.

AAPI’s Women’s Forum Discusses Ways To “Advancing Women’s Health Through Awareness and Action.”

“Advancing Women’s Health Through Awareness and Action” was the theme at the much-anticipated Women’s Leadership Forum that featured extraordinarily successful Women Leaders representing a diversity of professions, involving public, private and government organizations, during the recently concluded Global Healthcare Summit organized by the American Association of Physici9ans of Indian origin (AAPI) in Visakhapatnam, India from January 6th to 8th, 2023.

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Dr. Smt. Tamilisai Soundararajan, Honorable Governor of Telangana & Honorable Lt. Governor of Puducherry delivered the keynote address at the Women’s Forum virtually. She urged everyone to “Pay attention to little things and how changes can be brought in. Ensure that the much-needed healthcare services reach everyone. There are many plans and programs initiated by the state government, but people need to be made aware of them and be helped to utilize the programs,” she said. She lauded “the great work by AAPI members for promoting health globally, particularly in India and the United States.”

Shri. MVV Satyavathi, Member of Parliament, representing Anakapalli in Andhra Pradesh was the Guest of Honor at the Women’s Forum. In her address, she congratulated AAPI, whose members having been born and educated in India, settled down in the US with success, have come back to India to serve the people of India, and  work together for the betterment of humanity.

While congratulating the members of AAPI’s Women’s Forum and lauding them for some of the major initiatives of the Women’s Forum, Dr. Ravi Kolli, President of AAPI said, “In collaboration with national AAPI, the Forum has successfully organized events like HPV vaccination drive, fundraiser for suicide prevention awareness, scholarship for medical students, and many others.” In the next 2 years, the Forum aims to conduct CPR and AED trainings and install more AEDs in areas such as the railway stations, bus stations, malls, schools,  and colleges. We plan to organize certified training workshops on Neonatal resuscitation, basic life support and emergency medicine for emergency responders and healthcare professionals.

Dr. Udaya Shivangi, Chair of AAPI’s Women’s Committee, in her opening remarks provided an overview of the Forum and the many initiatives by the Forum both in India and the United States.  “It is my privilege and great honor to serve as the Chair of AAPI‘s Women Leadership Forum. We are fortunate to have with us.  leaders and decision makers who have made a significant impact on the society and share a common vision of a healthier and stronger India,” she said.

“Each year, the Women’s Forum has played a significant role in organizing events, fundraisers and service projects that represent the core values of AAPI and our collective mission of giving back to our motherland. These events serve as a platform to expand our resources,  share technological advancements and establish new partnerships, dr. Shivangi added.

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Panelists at the Women’s Forum included: Dr. Suneela Garg, Dir. Professor & Head of Community Medicine at Maulana Azad Medical College; Dr. Anuradha Medoju, Senior Regional Director at Telangana & Andhra Pradesh Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India; Dr. S. Radha Rani, Former Professor and Superintendent, Hospital of Mental Health; and Ms. Meghna Chalasani, Team Lead, Advisory Committees, Program Lead, Science Office Strategies for New Drugs at Center for Drug Education and Research, US Food & Drug Administration.

Dr. Anuradha Medoju, Senior Regional Director at Telangana & Andhra Pradesh Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India spoke about how she is able to work as a mother and government servant. “Working with balance is challenging. We should have boundaries for everything while needing to balance our personal life, our family life and our passion,” she said.

Dr. Suneela Garg, Dir. Professor & Head of Community Medicine at Maulana Azad Medical College pointed out that women are 55% of the total population of India. “We have made progress in so many areas of health indicators and infant mortality. I urge AAPI to come forward to work with local organizations and help spread wellness initiatives among the people.”

Dr. S. Radha Rani, Former Professor and Superintendent, Hospital of Mental Health spoke about why is mental health important and how to improve one’s overall health. “Woman is an important member of the family and the society. Her mental health is vital, as it affects everyone in the family and therefore caring for her mental health is important. Major life events impact women, who in turn affect all other members of the family.”

Women’s Forum is chaired by Dr. Udaya Shivangi and Dr. T. Radha, while Dr. Uma Jonnalagadda is the Advisor and Dr. B. Devi Madhavi is serving as the Co-Chair. Dr. Jonnalagadda, while proposing the vote of thanks, said, “I thank you for being with us today and advocating for women’s rights.” For more details, please visit:

Anoushka Shankar Will Perform At 65th Grammy Awards

Kicking off the proceedings for the 65th annual Grammy Awards, Awards Premiere Ceremony, Anoushka Shankar will be seen making her third performance at the event.

The ceremony will return to the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on 5 February.

The masterful sitar player, producer, film composer, activist and nine-time Grammy Award nominee will perform alongside vocalist Arooj Aftab on their nominated track ‘Udhero Na’ from Arooj’s new album, ‘Vulture Prince’.

Anoushka shared: “I’m genuinely over the moon to be performing at the Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony for the third time. This time I’m excited to share the stage with the wonderful Arooj Aftab, playing her beautiful song Udhero Na.”

“I’m grateful my music on this song and on my album Between Usa has been recognised with a nomination again and am proud to represent India and my instrument, the sitar, on this world stage.”

Anoushka enjoys an extensive Grammy history; she was the first Indian woman ever nominated and youngest-ever nominee in the World Music Category for her album Live At Carnegie Hall in 2002, and then went on to become the first Indian musician to perform at the ceremony in 2005, serve as presenter in 2016 and perform for the second time in 2021.

In addition to her fresh eighth and ninth nominations, Anoushka’s previous works Live At Carnegie Hall, Rise, Traveller, Traces Of You, Home, Land Of Goldand Love Letters have all been Grammy nominated.

This announcement coincides with Anoushka’s fresh inaugural empanellment as a Visiting Professor in Music at Oxford University.

Anoushka further added: “What a true honour to be invited as the Inaugural Visiting Professor in Music Business at Oxford University! I’m deeply grateful to embark upon this new journey.”

Sania Mirza Ends Her Grand Slam Career With 6 Titles

“I never thought I’d be able to play in front of my child in a Grand Slam final, so it’s truly special for me.”

Sania Mirza’s final Grand Slam match ended with the runner-up plate but this line from her emotional post-match speech signifies the magnitude of her journey, and her achievement today, despite the loss.

Sania and Rohan Bopanna – still a doubles pair 22 years after they first partnered at the National Championship in India – went down in the mixed doubles final at the Australian Open 6-7(2), 2-6 to the Brazilians Luisa Stefani and Rafael Mataos.

It was a one-sided final for the most part, as the Indians struggled to convert their chances and counter their opponents’ defence. But the story is not just of the loss, it’s also about celebrating how Sania Mirza reiterated how she is a fighter till the end.

At 36 years of age, playing well beyond her original retirement plan in 2022 after yet another injury setback, she somehow gave herself a chance for more silverware on tennis’ biggest stage. This time with her four-year-old son watching, even joining her on court after her last win.

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Her previous Grand Slam final was back in 2017, also the mixed doubles at the Australian Open, which she lost. Her son was born in 2018 and, despite a fairly successful comeback after giving birth, the pandemic disruption and a number of injuries, she never reached another final.

And yet, when the unseeded, all-Indian pair reached the final beating the third seeds it felt like no surprise, and the loss to a younger pair feels like a disappointment.

It truly puts Sania’s tennis career in perspective. Even when she lost the final, she showed once again why she is India’s greatest woman tennis player. That we had the expectation of a fairytale farewell is also down to all the times she has bounced back, on and off court to prove detractors wrong.

It was an emotional final, perhaps the significance of the moment weighing a bit too heavily on the Indians at times as a string of nervy errors showed.

Sania, who said she is not one to cry in public, was visibly emotional after. “If I cry, these are happy tears. That’s just a disclaimer,” she said on court.

“I’m still going to play a couple of more tournaments but my journey of my professional career started in Melbourne. It started in 2005 when I played Serena Williams in the third round as an 18-year-old and that was, scarily enough, 18 years ago. I have had the privilege to come back here again and again, win some tournaments here and play some great finals amongst you all. Rod Laver Arena has really been special in my life and I couldn’t think of a better arena to finish my career at in a Grand Slam,” she added.

The Australian Open has indeed been a happy hunting ground for her. She made her Grand Slam debut here and was seeded in the singles main draw for the first time – a massive achievement for an Indian player in singles.

She also played her first Major final (mixed doubles 2008), and won her first Grand Slam (mixed doubles 2009, both with Mahesh Bhupathi) here.

It feels like a full circle, yet it isn’t; Sania has been so much more than her sporting success. One cannot talk about her plethora of tennis achievements – she owns almost every milestone in Indian women’s tennis – without mentioning the off-field barriers she had to overcome.

Sania’s fearlessness kept her unfazed on court when chaos surrounded her. And she had her share of scrutiny, perhaps more than a regular Indian sportswoman, due to her religion, life partner and residence. Yet she kept at it, and brought India its most glorious tennis memories in recent times when the sport has found few silver linings.

The numbers we know – six Grand Slams, singles rank as high as No 27, the doubles No 1 for a total of 91 weeks. But to truly celebrate Sania Mirza is to acknowledge her achievements both on and off court. The teen who fought off fatwas, the 35-year-old who couldn’t lift a water bottle without pain last October due to an elbow injury that ended her planned farewell season, the mother who travelled with her toddler to tournaments. For her last dance, she pushed herself back in shape to retire on court, on her terms. The fighter who pushed boundaries and changed the way Indian tennis and sportswomen are seen.

There are a couple of tournaments still left before her swansong next month in Dubai. Till then, let’s continue to enjoy the Sania Mirza forehands and forthrightness that made her stand out like no other. (The ESPN)

Dr. Manju Sheth To Deliver Keynote Address At “Women Empowering Women”

India Society of Worcester (ISW), which launched the creative platform “Women Empowering Women” two years ago, is kicking off this year with an event on Jan. 21, 2023 in Shrewsbury, MA.

The free two-hour event, which will celebrate two years of the Women Empowering Women initiative, will start at 4:00 PM at the India Society of Worcester, located at 152 Main Street in Shrewsbury. The mission of the organization is to empower woman by transforming “the I can’t to the I can!”

ISW launched this initiative for women from all walks of life to come together by sharing their life experiences. “Our vision is empowering every woman, to make meaningful contributions to society without anybody’s influence,” said Prof. Snehalata Kadam, founder and chair of the Women Empowering Women. “We believe that every woman deserves an initiative to inspire and elevate their community.

She said the keynote speaker for the event is Dr. Manju Sheth, MD, a physician, and president of INE Multimedia, Women Who Win, and creator of Chai with Manju, NECA Awards, director of Woman of the Year and a past president of Indian Medical Association of New England.

“Women have always been quoted as the real architects of society. They have the power to build strong families and also bring the community together,” said Dr. Sheth. “Women also love to get inspired by achievements of other women so I am thrilled that ISW and a great women’s team led by Snehalata Kadam have taken this wonderful initiative to bring women together so we can learn from each other. I am looking forward to meeting everyone and sharing my journey.”

Prof. Kadam said that as a token of gratitude, members of the first panel will be presented with mementos and all the panelists who have been involved so far will be recognized for their roles in orchestrating the success of the program.

“Our mission is to promote women’s sense of self-worth and their potential to influence social change for themselves. As the global landscape for women’s empowerment is changing, we at ISW envision a community where women are empowered at the workplace, home, and the community,” said Prof. Kadam. “Our past and upcoming events will help women reach their potential by providing recourses to build relationships, network and connections. I am inspired by Malala Yousafzai who once said ‘I raise up my voice not that I can shout, but so that those who without a voice can be heard. We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back’.”

Women Empowering Women (WEW) Program Advisor Shiamin Melville said: “One of the panels I attended was on issues faced by entrepreneurs. They openly shared the trials they faced and how it was so important to reach out for additional resources and also be able to pivot when a fresh opportunity came their way.”

ISW President Puneet Kohli congratulated WEW on their second anniversary.

“Congratulations on the second anniversary of the ISW-WEW initiative. This platform provides a guiding path to encourage, enlighten and empower the female diaspora of the community,” said Mr. Kohli.

Indian Nurses Association Of New York Installs Its New Leadership

Tyson Center in Floral Park, New York witnessed the colorful installation of the incoming governing board of Indian Nurses Association of New York (INANY) for the term 2023-24 in the presence of members of INANY, their families, community leaders and elected Indian American officials.

The executive board and the advisory board lighted the lamp and received Proclamation from Senator Keven Thomas, the only Indian American Senator in New York State senate.

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Dr. Anna George (president), Dr. Shyla Roshin (vice president), Alphi Sundroop (secretary), Dr. Jessy Kurian (joint secretary), Jaya Thomas (treasurer), and Aleyamma Appukuttan (joint secretary) constitute the executive board.  Tara Shajan (chair), Mary Philip, Usha George, Sosamma Andrews, and Honorable Dr. Aney Paul will continue as the advisory board.  The chairs of various committees are Dr. Solymole Kuruvilla (bylaws), Salil Panakal (Awards and Scholarships), Anto Paul (education and professional development), Mary Philip (election), Sini Varghese (advanced practice nurse forum), Paul Panakal (communications), Jessy James (cultural and social programs), Shabnampreet Kaur (membership), Annie Sabu (fundraising and charity), Dr. Ani Jacob (research and grants).  Esthor Devadoss, Grace Alexander, Lyssy Alex and Aleyamma Mathew will be area coordinators.  Mary Philip and Paul Panakal organized and smoothened the ceremonial process followed by Mary Philip’s administration of the oath.

The only Asian elected to New York State senate from district 6 in Long Island was eloquent of his own familiarity with the activities that INANY serves.  He expressed his gratitude of what INANY did for outreach to the underserved individuals and families in his constituency by organizing and conducting health fair and blood drive for the community.  He promised that he would continue to advocate for the nurses who he said, are the people working very hard in hospitals and nursing homes. Tara Shajan, the chair of the advisory board introduced and welcomes the senator.

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The reelected president Dr. Anna George was introduced and welcomes by her student Shabnampreet Kaur.  Dr. George showcased the contributions of INANY to the educational and professional development of nurses, for the mental health of nursing after the pandemic, involvement of the Association in the health of communities in need and the efforts to mitigate the surge of anti-Asian hate incidents since the beginning of COVID-19.

Suja Thomas, the incoming president of National Association of Indian Nurses of America was a keynote speaker.  She was introduced by Anto Paul.  Suja expressed her gratitude for INANY’s professional and social initiatives for health and healthcare both within and outside of the communities.  She, as the leader of the national association, offered and requested support.

Honorable Dr. Aney Paul who took the lead in forming INANY and was the founding president, continues to serve in its advisory board.  As the first Indian nurse ever elected in the United States as a legislator, she always stood for the welfare of nurses and also initiated health related legislations in her county of Rockland.  She currently serves as the vice chair of Rockland County legislature.  She talked about how gratified and happy she was being part of INANY and being experiencing the good things INANY does for both nurses and the society at large.

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Honorable Ragini Srivastava, the recently elected Town Clerk of North Hempstead was introduced by INANY’s outgoing vice president Dr. Solymole Kuruvilla.  Ms. Srivastava who immigrated to the US from India became a successful business woman and rose to become the first Indian American Town Clerk in Long Island.  Ms. Srivastava spoke highly of INANY and the leadership’s concern for the poor and the underserved community.  She praised and thanked the constantly compassionate and empathetic care the Indian nurses in the area provide thousands and thousands of persons and their resiliency they evidenced especially during the pandemic.

The event started with self introduction of the emcees Lyssy Alex and Dr. Solymole Kuruvilla.  Reena Sabu sang a prayer song followed by American national anthem by Ashley Anthony and Indian national anthem by Reena Sabu and Rosy Mathew.  The people were entertained with action song by George, Theresa, Catherine, Jacob, Hanna, Krystal, Santana and Aarin.  Sherly Sebastian and Bency Jamie sang solo songs.  Group dances were performed by Ashley Pulinthanathu, Ashlin Benny, Tessa Lalson, Isabel Jacob, Nicole Manalil, Veena, Ashley and Tina.  Ashwin Antony performed an instrumental music.  Lyssy Alex and Dr. Solymole Kuruvilla, the emcees, moderated the programs smoothly and efficiently.  People used the lunchtime for extended networking.

R’ Bonney Gabriel, Miss USA Is Crowned Miss Universe

R’Bonney Gabriel, a fashion designer, model and sewing instructor from Texas, a Filipino American, was crowned the 71st Miss Universe on Saturday, January 14th, 2023.  Gabriel, who last year became the first Filipino-American to win Miss USA, took the crown ahead of Amanda Dudamel from Venezuela and Andreína Martínez from the Dominican Republic.

The pageant was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, with 84 women from around the world competing for the crown. Gabriel closed her eyes and clasped hands with runner-up Miss Venezuela, Amanda Dudamel, at the moment of the dramatic reveal of the winner, then beamed after her name was announced.

In the Q&A at the last stage of the competition for the three finalists, Gabriel was asked how she would work to demonstrate Miss Universe is “an empowering and progressive organization” if she were to win.

“I would use it to be a transformational leader,” she responded, citing her work using recycled materials in her fashion design and teaching sewing to survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence. “It is so important to invest in others, invest in our community and use your unique talent to make a difference.”

When Gabriel entered the Top 5, she was asked, “Miss Universe recently made an inclusive change allowing mothers and married women to compete this year. What’s another change you’d like to see and why?” Gabriel responded that she hoped the contest organizers would increase the candidate age limit.

“For me, I would like to see an age increase because I am 28 years old. And that is the oldest age to compete. And I think it’s a beautiful thing. My favorite quote is ‘if not now, then when?’ Because as a woman, I believe age does not define us. It’s not tomorrow, it’s not yesterday — but it’s now. The time is now,” she said.

Earlier in the pageant, Gabriel donned a red-orange cape inspired by a rising phoenix with the maxim “if not now, then when,” which she had dyed herself. The words take inspiration from her father’s advice to act on goals, dreams and desires.

In the final question and answer segment of the competition, the Top 3 contenders were asked how they would work to demonstrate Miss Universe as an empowering and progressive organization if they won the title.

Gabriel said she would use the platform to be a “transformational leader” and emphasized her passion as a force for good in the fashion industry by cutting down on pollution and using recycled materials in making clothing pieces.

“I teach sewing classes to women that have survived from human trafficking and domestic violence. And I say that because it is so important to invest in others, invest in our community, and use your unique talent to make a difference,” Gabriel said. “We all have something special and when we plant those seeds for other people in our life, we transform them and we use that as a vehicle for change.”

This year’s pageant was organized for the first time by JKN Global Group PCL, a Thailand-based media distribution company, after tycoon and transgender rights advocate Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip bought the Miss Universe Organization for $20 million in October.

Jakkaphong has been outspoken about her experiences as a transgender woman, and is also the first woman owner of the pageant.

She made an appearance onstage to award the ImpactWayv Challenge winner to Thailand’s Anna Sueangam-iam, honoring her commitments for social good.

Miss Thailand had in the preliminary rounds of the pageant made waves in a dress made of soda tabs — a tribute to her humble beginnings and her parents’ work as garbage collectors.

AAPI Organizes HPV Vaccination Awareness Camp in Visakhapatnam to Prevent Cervical Cancer

(Visakhapatnam: January 7th, 2023) American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), in collaboration with the AAPI India Foundation administered free HPV vaccines to over 100 low income young girls, chosen from several government schools in the region, during a special launch of HPV Vaccination awareness camp organized at the Mahatma Gandhi Cancer Hospital, Visakhapatnam in India on Saturday, January 7th, 2023 with the objective of creating awareness and preventing cervical cancer, a leading cause of cancer deaths among women in India.
“We at AAPI, in keeping with our efforts and initiatives to educate, create awareness and provide support on disease prevention, are happy to be part of the HPV Vaccine Awareness Program,” Dr. Ravi Kolli, President of AAPI said. “It was truly an enriching experience to be present in person and meeting with the young women and be part of this life saving mission.”
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The awareness camp was organized as part of APPI’s 16th annual Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) 2023 and was inaugurated in person by Chief Guest at the Summit, Smt. Vidadala Rajini, Honorable Minister for Health, Family Welfare & Medical Education. In her address, the Minister, praised the efforts and the many initiatives of AAPI in providing the best and efficient healthcare to the most vulnerable sections of the society. She urged AAPI to work collaboratively with the government of Andhra Pradesh to make healthcare affordable and efficient for all.

 While elaborating the objectives of the Summit, Dr. V. Ranga, AAPI BOT Chair said, “In addition to HPV VACCINATION and cervical cancer awareness program, GHS 2023 has provided education on: Chronic diseases which can be prevented- notably diabetes, cardiovascular, hypertension, maternal and infant mortality, lifestyle changes, mental health, management of neurological disorders and blindness prevention.”


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Attended by nearly 500 delegates, the largest ever to attend the AAPI GHS, from the United States and India, the GHS 2023 is being jointly organized by AAPI and the local organizing committee at Visakhapatnam from January 6th to 8th, 2023. This Global Healthcare Summit, with participation from leading medical professionals, thought leaders, heads of several health industry sectors, and policy-makers  has been instrumental in help create policies and programs that make healthcare delivery in India equitably available to everyone in India.
“In coordination with the local organizers, AAPI donated the funds for the HPV Vaccination, a total of 200 doses for the vaccine for 100 children from the state of Andhra Pradesh,” said Dr. Meher Medavaram, an organizer of the program, and the Secretary of AAPI. “AAPI’s noble initiative through education and awareness programs is aimed at helping save many lives in India,” she added.

The funds for the vaccine has been provided by Dr. Rao Mowa, Dr. Medavaram, Dr. Syed Ahmed, Dr. V. Ranga, AAPI BOT Chair, A T G Tours, and Shri. Sadasiva Rao and others. Prominent among those who attended the event and supported the noble initiative included, Dr. Satheesh Kathula, Vice President of AAPI, Dr. Mallikarjuna, Collector and District Magistrate, Visakhapatnam; Dr. Jagadeeswara Rao, DM & HO, Visakhapatnam; Smt. Chandralekha, DEO; and, Dr. Suresh Reddy, past President of AAPI.

Dr. T. Radha, Chair of AAPI Women’s Forum, who was part of the cervical awareness campaign event said, “If vaccination programs are effectively implemented, approximately 90 percent of invasive cervical cancer cases worldwide could be prevented, in addition to the majority of precancerous lesions.”
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In India, cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer among women and India contributes to the largest proportion of global cervical cancer burden. Cervical cancer is a preventable and curable disease as long as it is detected early and managed effectively. Most cervical cancers are associated with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and the HPV vaccine can prevent most cases of cervical cancer if the vaccine is given before girls or women are exposed to the virus. Prevention through vaccination is one of the pillars of the Global Strategy adopted by WHO for the elimination of cervical cancer.

Dr. Anjana Samaddar, President-Elect of AAPI said, “Cervical cancer could be the first cancer EVER in the world to be eliminated, if 90 % of girls are vaccinated; 70% of women are screened; and, 90% of women with cervical disease receive treatment. This is an important step towards reaching goal,” she pointed out.

Cervical cancer develops slowly over time, and another powerful preventive measure is Pap test screening, a procedure during which cells are collected from the surface of the cervix and examined. The Pap test can both detect cancer at an early stage, when treatment outcomes tend to be better, and detect precancerous abnormalities, which can then be treated to prevent them from developing into cancers.

Dr. Satheesh Kathula, Vice President of AAPI, who was among those who attended the awareness camp, said, “Cervical Cancer is preventable through Vaccination and Early Pap smears and cervical examinations. Justifiably so, one of our preventive campaign goals has been to provide education and prevention of Cervical Cancer in India.”
According to The American Cancer Society, Cervical Cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women. The cervical cancer death rate dropped significantly with the increased use of the Pap test for screening. Cervical cancer is among a number of cancers that can be caused by infections with pathogens – bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

“Through Continuing Medical Education and non-CME seminars by experts in their fields, AAPI provides comprehensive and current reviews and guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of various disease states to reduce morbidity and mortality and achieve cost effective quality care outcomes,” said Dr. Suresh Reddy, past President of AAPI.
Expressing confidence, Dr. Ravi Kolli said, “Together we can all bring awareness in the community to prevent Cervical Cancer in India, which is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths among women!” For more information and ways to support this noble initiatve, please visit

Pelosi To Leave House Leadership After 20 Years

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is ending her long leadership tenure with a historic flourish, wrapping up two decades at the top of the party with a string of major victories — political, legislative and diplomatic — that are putting a remarkable cap on a landmark era.

Nancy Pelosi said that she will not seek a leadership position in the new Congress, ending a historic run as the first woman with the gavel and making way for a new generation to steer the party after Democrats lost control of the House to Republicans in the midterm elections.

The California Democrat, a pivotal figure in U.S. history and perhaps the most powerful speaker in modern times, said she would remain in Congress as the representative from San Francisco, a position she has held for 35 years, when the new Congress convenes in January.

President Joe Biden, who had encouraged Pelosi to stay on as Democratic leader, congratulated her on her historic tenure as speaker of the House. “History will note she is the most consequential Speaker of the House of Representatives in our history,” Biden said in a statement, noting her ability to win unity from her caucus and her “absolute dignity.”

Pelosi was twice elected to the speakership and has led Democrats through consequential moments, including passage of the Affordable Care Act with President Barack Obama and the impeachments of President Donald Trump.

First elected in 1987, Pelosi was among a dozen Democratic women in Congress. She was long ridiculed by Republicans as a San Francisco liberal while steadily rising as a skilled legislator and fundraising powerhouse. Her own Democratic colleagues have intermittently appreciated but also feared her powerful brand of leadership.

Pelosi first became speaker in 2007, saying she had cracked the “marble ceiling,” after Democrats swept to power in the 2006 midterm elections in a backlash to then-President George W. Bush and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Ukrainian president has, since the Russian invasion began in February, emerged as the global symbol of democratic defiance in the face of the violent authoritarianism of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Zelensky’s visit, in particular, carried outsize significance.

“The 117th Congress has been one of the most consequential in recent history,” she wrote to fellow Democrats this week, taking a victory lap. She added that the lame-duck agenda has them leaving on “a strong note.”

During her remarks on the House floor, Pelosi recapped her career, from seeing the Capitol the first time as a young girl with her father — a former New Deal congressman and mayor — to serving as speaker alongside U.S. presidents. “I quite frankly, personally, have been ready to leave for a while,” she said. “Because there are things I want to do. I like to dance, I like to sing. There’s a life out there, right?”

Pelosi To Leave House Leadership After 20 Years

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is ending her long leadership tenure with a historic flourish, wrapping up two decades at the top of the party with a string of major victories — political, legislative and diplomatic — that are putting a remarkable cap on a landmark era.

Nancy Pelosi said that she will not seek a leadership position in the new Congress, ending a historic run as the first woman with the gavel and making way for a new generation to steer the party after Democrats lost control of the House to Republicans in the midterm elections.

The California Democrat, a pivotal figure in U.S. history and perhaps the most powerful speaker in modern times, said she would remain in Congress as the representative from San Francisco, a position she has held for 35 years, when the new Congress convenes in January.

President Joe Biden, who had encouraged Pelosi to stay on as Democratic leader, congratulated her on her historic tenure as speaker of the House. “History will note she is the most consequential Speaker of the House of Representatives in our history,” Biden said in a statement, noting her ability to win unity from her caucus and her “absolute dignity.”

Pelosi was twice elected to the speakership and has led Democrats through consequential moments, including passage of the Affordable Care Act with President Barack Obama and the impeachments of President Donald Trump.

First elected in 1987, Pelosi was among a dozen Democratic women in Congress. She was long ridiculed by Republicans as a San Francisco liberal while steadily rising as a skilled legislator and fundraising powerhouse. Her own Democratic colleagues have intermittently appreciated but also feared her powerful brand of leadership.

Pelosi first became speaker in 2007, saying she had cracked the “marble ceiling,” after Democrats swept to power in the 2006 midterm elections in a backlash to then-President George W. Bush and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Ukrainian president has, since the Russian invasion began in February, emerged as the global symbol of democratic defiance in the face of the violent authoritarianism of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Zelensky’s visit, in particular, carried outsize significance.

“The 117th Congress has been one of the most consequential in recent history,” she wrote to fellow Democrats this week, taking a victory lap. She added that the lame-duck agenda has them leaving on “a strong note.”

During her remarks on the House floor, Pelosi recapped her career, from seeing the Capitol the first time as a young girl with her father — a former New Deal congressman and mayor — to serving as speaker alongside U.S. presidents. “I quite frankly, personally, have been ready to leave for a while,” she said. “Because there are things I want to do. I like to dance, I like to sing. There’s a life out there, right?”

Sitharaman, Harris, Bela Bajaria Among Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Biocon Executive Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Nykaa CEO Falguni Nayar, and three more Indian women featured in the Forbes’ annual list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.

The list was topped by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who played a key role in handling the COVID -19 crisis and the Russia-Ukraine war. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde was in the second position, while US Vice President Kamala Harris was ranked third.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and US Vice President Kamala Harris are among Forbes’ 19th annual list of ‘World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ of 2022.

While Harris is ranked third, Sitharaman is at number 36 on the list that was released on Tuesday highlighting “innovators and instigators who are leading on the world stage to redefine traditional power structures”.

This is the fourth year in a row that Sitharaman made it to the list. Last year, she was in the 37th spot, 41st in 2020 and 34th in 2019.

In 2021, Harris became the first woman, the first Black person, and the first South Asian-American to become the American Vice President.

A California native, Harris was born in Oakland to immigrant parents — her mother was from India and father from Jamaica.

Apart from Harris, Bela Bajaria, head of Global TV at Netflix, is another Indian-American on the list who is ranked at number 71.

Bajaria is responsible for hits including ‘Bridgerton’, ‘The Queen’s Gambit’, ‘Lupin’ and ‘Cobra Kai’.

Before joining Netflix in 2016, Bajaria was president of Universal Television, where she made history as the first woman of color to oversee a studio. London-born Bajaria was named to TIME’s 100 Most Influential People list in 2022.

Sitharaman was appointed as India’s first female Finance Minister in May 2019. Before her career in politics, she held roles at the UK-based Agricultural Engineers Association and the BBC World Service.

Besides Sitharaman, other Indians on the list include, HCL Corporation CEO Roshni Nadar Malhotra — the youngest Indian woman on the list; Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw; Madhabi Puri Buch, the first female chair of the Securities and Exchange Board of India; Soma Mondal, the first woman to chair the state-run Steel Authority of India; and Nykaa founder Falguni Nayar.

Every year, the American business magazine releases a list of 100 powerful women of the world. This year’s list was topped by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen “for her leadership during the Ukraine war, as well as her handling of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

Indian Origin Simone Ashwini Pillai Among AP’s 9 Nine Breakthrough Entertainers Of 2022

Simone Ashwini Pillai, known professionally as Simone Ashley, a British actress is among this year’s nine Associated Press’ Breakthrough Entertainers of the Year, a class of talent that flowered in 2022.

“They worked hard, with the rewards coming slowly but surely. Then something came along — often a key role or sometimes a cluster, maybe an album — and it all became next-level, a shift triggering where-did-you-come-from vibes,” a press release issued by AP stated,  “That describes most of They are Sadie Sink, Stephanie Hsu, Tenoch Huerta, Joaquina Kalukango, Iman Vellani, Daryl McCormack, Tobe Nwigwe, Simone Ashley and Danielle Deadwyler.”

She was born to Indian Tamil parents, Latha and Gunasekharan, and has an older brother.Simone Ashley is best known for her roles in the Netflix series Sex Education and Bridgerton. Ashley made her feature film debut in 2018 with a small role in Boogie Man as Aarti and a prominent role in Kill Ben Lyk as one of the characters named Ben Lyk.

Ashley found herself leading season two of the Regency-era period drama “Bridgerton.” She had a role in the series “Sex Education,” but playing the fiercely independent Kate Sharma for Shonda Rhimes was her first lead character in a major production.

Ashley grew up singing classical music and opera and playing the piano. She also later attended Redroofs Theatre School in Maidenhead for the sixth form and continued to train in acting at the Arts Educational School in London.

Simone Ashley began her acting career in 2006 as Inspector Coliandro on the comedy crime TV show Inspector Coliandro, where she received her first on-screen credit. Carlo Lucarelli produced the episode, which featured Ashley in the role of Veena. Later that year, she starred as Dana in the third season of the BBC American TV series Broadchurch. In the same year, Simone had the chance to play Aarti in Andrew Morahan’s show ” Boogie Man.” Ella-Rae Smith as Kristen, Ramon Tikaram as Deepak, Amy Jackson, Nick Moran as Gerry, Karan Gill as Rama, among others are among the series’ core cast members.

Sink had been on Broadway and worked alongside stars such as Naomi Watts and Helen Mirren. But playing Max Mayfield in the fourth season of “Stranger Things,” she broke through as a brave skater girl who never lets go of her Walkman, who hates pink, plays video games and is a “Dragon’s Lair” champion.

Hsu also was a Broadway veteran with a few TV credits when she was asked to play both a sullen teen and an intergalactic supervillain in the movie “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” That led to an unforgettable performance that included dressing as Elvis and walking a pig on a leash.

Like many of the others on the list, Kalukango had racked up plenty of Broadway credits when she took a risk and played the lead in a Broadway musical, “Paradise Square.” It led to a best actress in a leading role Tony Award and a stunning moment in the telecast when she sang “Let It Burn.”

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” isn’t one of Huerta’s biggest roles but the Mexican actor suddenly launched a hundred memes as the mutant leader of a kingdom based on Mayan and Aztec influences beneath the ocean for centuries. Huerta, known for roles in the Netflix series “Narcos: Mexico” and the movie “The Forever Purge,” has taken a big step for movie diversity.

Nwigwe, just nominated for a Grammy as best new artist, has been bubbling up with noted appearances on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series and earning a spot on Michelle Obama’s 2020 workout playlist with “I’m Dope.” This year, the Houston-based artist was featured on the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” soundtrack and dropped the EP “moMINTs” to acclaim.

McCormack has worked consistently since 2018 but 2022 seems to have turned into something special with a constellation of roles — “Peaky Blinders,” the buzzy, dark comedy thriller “Bad Sisters,” plus a star-making performance as the title character in the film “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” opposite Emma Thompson.

Deadwyler burst into the awards race this year with her performance in “Till” as Mamie Till-Mobley, the mother of teenager Emmett Till, who was lynched in 1955. She has also appeared in “The Harder They Come,” “Watchmen” and the Netflix series “From Scratch” and “Station Eleven.”

Vellani, another member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on this list, is the exception, having had no such slow burn. The 19-year-old actor in “Ms. Marvel” plays a high school student enamored with all things superheroes only to find herself suddenly wielding powers of her own. And Vellani, in real life, is just starting to find her powers, like all the entertainers nominated here.

‘It Took Us A 100 Years, But We Have A Spot At The Table,’ Dr Jasmeet Bains

California District 35’s newly-elected Assemblymember is elated. “It’s an amazing feeling, a very big moment for me and for the community,” she told indica. “We have been here for 100 years and finally, our community gets a spot at the table.”

Jasmeet Bains, a medical doctor from Bakersfield, is that newly-elected Assemblymember – the first South Asian and Sikh American woman in the state legislature. The district’s mid-term election, held on November 8, took exactly two weeks to be decided. In the end, Dr Bains – a Democrat – won 60.5% of the votes to defeat her challenger, another Democrat Leticia Perez, who won earned 39.5% votes. The oath ceremony will be held on December 5 in the state capital Sacramento.

“I have mixed emotions,” Bains, who works at Bakersfield Recovery Services as its medical director, said. “While it is a proud moment, I also wonder why it took over 100 years for our community to be represented.”

She said after breaking this barrier, she will have to make ensure these barriers don’t return. “I cannot be the last.”

She credits the South Asian and Indian American community for her victory. “It is because of their work that made it possible for her to win today.”

Picture : FB

Bains says that one factor that loomed large in the community not getting adequate representation was fear. “The Sikhs mostly migrated to this place to escape persecution. There was always a fear towards a government that held us back. Growing up we were told to be professional and there was never any talk about politics,” she said.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Bains grew up in city of Delano, California. As the eldest sibling, she used to help her father Devinder Bains, who owns an automobile dealership in Bakersfield. She credited her parents for the values they instilled in her.

As an elected representative, Bains said, her top priority for the district will be to resolve the drugs problem and mitigate the impact of the economic downturn. She said workers in her district come from diverse and hard-working families trying to pursue the American dream.

“If we want a healthier community, we want to make sure we foster a healthier economic climate with safer neighborhoods and more awareness about fentanyl,” she said. “Health is our biggest issue. Access to jobs, access to healthcare, access to health insurance, that’s how we will promote a healthier community.”

Bains is clear that District 35 has a labor issue. “We definitely need to do a lot of work on the front lines so that our people have strong jobs, and at the same time, we need to ensure workers’ safety; make sure people have appropriate benefits. Farm workers, law enforcement, firefighters… these are the people that make our community safe. We need to make sure they are taken care of.”

Bains said that she got support from diverse voters – from young kids to grandparents, South Asian Hindus, Muslims, Hispanic leaders – “everyone came out and supported me. We need more, this is just the beginning.”

The doctor is close to her parents and talks about them with reverence and respect. Bains said it was her decision to run, but “like most Indian parents, when it comes to politics, there was a sense of fear about what would happen or how I will be treated.” She said it is natural for parents to worry, “but they never discouraged; they just did not know what would happen.”

She added, “My parents know I am a hard worker. They saw me grow up selling cars and now, I am a doctor and an Assemblymember-elect. They know I will give it my all… my 100%.”

Devinder Bains, Jasmeet’s father, also spoke to indica and shared his feelings of pride for his daughter. “She has made history here in the US, for India, for the Punjabi community, and for all the minorities.”

Bains Sr, who moved with his wife to the US from India in 1978, said Jasmeet being the eldest of the siblings, would always act like a leader. “She would discipline them as well. She has had those qualities from her childhood. She is a born leader,” he told indica.

He said Jasmeet was not just active in class, she also gave back to the community. “She would go and help under-served communities,” he said. “She has visited Kolkata, Panama, Africa and Mexico as part of her Global Healthcare Group. She would take a team of future doctors and train them, so that they understand issues and concerns before they get into this profession.

Devinder recalls that a few months before the primary election, Jasmeet told her parents at the dinner table, “Mom, Dad, I’d like to run for office”. I jokingly said yes, run, run but run against it. Stay away from politics because politics is a dirty game. We are not politicians and you are a physician and you are trained to go and help the community.”

“But she reminded me of my own words, ‘If you want to make a change in the world, you need to change yourself first’. That surprised me, and I realised that my daughter, this young lady, was speaking with such passion. I told her that if you want to do it, I will give you all my support.”

Devinder shared how Jasmeet earned the Latino vote by speaking to them in Spanish. “Her opponent was a Latino, but even then, she broke that language barrier and endeared herself to the community.”

Like most Indian fathers, Devinder said he and his wife are constantly worried about Jasmeet’s matrimonial prospects. “We ask her all the time, but we left her alone during to the campaign. But now that she has won, we will start asking her again,” he laughs. (Courtesy: Indica News)

FB Appoints Sandhya Devanathan As The New India Head

Facebook parent Meta has announced the appointment of Sandhya Devanathan as the Vice President of Meta India. The appointment of Sandhya Devanathan as the new India head follows several high-profile departures in its key overseas markets.We are appointing Sandhya Devanathan as the Vice President of Meta India,” a statement on Meta website stated.

“Devanthan will focus on bringing the organization’s business and revenue priorities together to serve partners and clients, while continuing to support the long-term growth of our business and commitment to India. She will transition to her new role on January 1, 2023 and will report to Dan Neary, Vice President, Meta APAC and will be a part of the APAC leadership team. She will move back to India to lead the India org and strategy.”

Picture : Meta

Devanathan, who joined the firm in 2016 and helped build the company’s Singapore and Vietnam businesses, has been elevated to head and VP of Meta India. In 2020, Devanathan moved to lead the company’s gaming efforts in the Asia-Pacific region.

In her new role “Devanathan will focus on bringing the organization’s business and revenue priorities together to serve its partners and clients, while continuing to support the long term growth of Meta’s business and commitment to India,” Meta said in a statement.

“India is at the forefront of digital adoption and Meta has launched many of our top products, such as Reels and Business Messaging, in India first. We are proud to have recently launched JioMart on WhatsApp, which is our first end-to-end shopping experience in India,” the statement continued.

Meta Platforms appointed Sandhya Devanathan as its India head days after Ajit Mohan quit to join rival Snap Inc. WhatsApp’s India head Abhijit Bose and Meta Platforms’s public policy director in India Rajiv Aggarwal also resigned earlier this week.

Devanathan’s appointment comes at a time when Facebook is facing regulatory challenges in India with government tightening laws governing Big Tech companies.

The company has for years faced criticism for doing little to curb the spread of fake news and hate speech in India.

Devanathan is a global business leader with 22 years of experience and an international career in banking, payments and technology. Sandhya Devanathan will transition to her new role on January 1 next year and will report to Dan Neary, Vice President, Meta APAC and will be a part of the APAC leadership team. She will move back to India to lead the India org and strategy.

Nancy Pelosi Steps Down, Paving Way For Young Leaders To Lead Democratic Party

After leading the Democrats for the last two decades, the House Speaker has announced that she will step down next year from her spot at the top of the party, closing a momentous run for the most powerful woman in U.S. history while clearing the way for a younger generation of up-and-coming lawmakers to climb into the leadership ranks.

“With great confidence in our caucus, I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress. For me the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect,” Pelosi said in a speech on the House floor. “I’m grateful that so many are ready and willing to shoulder this awesome responsibility.”

Pelosi said she will continue to represent her San Francisco district in the House.

Picture : Rolling Stone

In her remarks, Pelosi warned that democracy is “majestic, but it is fragile” and said voters in 2022 sent a message to Congress that they would not support those who supported violence or insurrection. She also applauded the chamber for becoming more diverse over the course of her 35-year career. When she first entered Congress in 1987 there were 12 women in the Democratic caucus and now there are 90. “And we want more,” she said.

Her decision comes a day after Republicans officially won control of the chamber in the 2022 midterms, and three weeks after the violent assault on her husband, Paul, at their San Francisco home.

The GOP is expected to have a razor-thin majority after the “red wave” never materialized on Election Day. Democrats defied historical expectations and performed better in governor, Senate and House elections than anticipated.

There has been a quiet desire among rank and file Democrats to elect a younger slate of leaders to replace Pelosi, who is 82, and the two other top House Democratic leaders, Rep Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., who are also in their 80s.

Following Pelosi’s announcement, Hoyer, who is currently the House Majority Leader, said he will not run for a

Picture : Washington Post

leadership position in the next Congress. “Now is the time for a new generation of leaders,” Hoyer said in a statement, adding that he would support Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jefferies for the top leadership role.

At the top of the list is Jeffries of New York, Katherine Clark of Massachusetts and Pete Aguilar of California. All three serve in lower-tier leadership roles now and are interested in moving up the ladder.

Jeffries, who is 52, Clark, who is 59, and Aguilar, who is 43, would make an African American, a white woman and a Hispanic the new faces of the party. Reps. Ami Bera and Tony Cárdenas, both of California, have already announced campaigns to run the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democrats’ campaign arm, for the 2024 election.

“I know because I’ve seen her in action during my career as Senator, Vice President, and now as President,” Biden said in a statement following her announcement. “Because of Nancy Pelosi, the lives of millions and millions of Americans are better, even in districts represented by Republicans who voted against her bills and too often vilify her,” the statement reads. “That’s Nancy — always working for the dignity of all of the people.”

Rajan Sawhney Appointed Minister Of Immigration And Multiculturalism Of Alberta, Canada

Indian-Canadian Rajan Sawhney has been appointed as the Minister of immigration and Multiculturalism of Alberta, Canada.

Sawhney was born and brought up in Calgary, while her parents hailed from the village of Wadala, on the outskirts of Jalandhar. She has previously served as the Minister of Community and Social Services in the Executive Council of Alberta, and has been serving as the Minister of Transportation for almost a year. Sawhney has long been an engaged community volunteer who helped raise funds for social causes. Before going into politics, she worked in the oil and gas industry for over 20 years.

Sawhney was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta on April 16, 2019, as the MLA for Calgary-North East.

Born and raised in north east Calgary, Sawhney is a mother of 4, an activist, and an engaged community volunteer. Rajan attended the University of Calgary, earning a degree in Economics and Political Science as well as an MBA.

Rajan worked in the oil and gas industry for over twenty years in a variety of different roles in economics and business development. Prior to her election, she served as the Vice President of Business Development for Fracture Modeling Inc.

As an active volunteer, Sawhney is passionate about community engagement initiatives. She has played a key role in leadership with several non-profit organizations and has also spearheaded several programs and events designed to spread awareness and raise funds for worthy causes. For her community engagement work, Rajan was recognized as a Community Builder by the YWCA for Canada 150.

Rajan Sawhney was sworn in as Minister of Trade, Immigration and Multiculturalism on October 24, 2022.

Jasmeet Bains Is First Indian-American Woman California State Representative

Jasmeet Kaur Bains [above center], a Democrat and daughter of a Sikh immigrant made history, November 8 when she became the first woman of Indian and South Asian origin to be elected to the California Assembly. She won the District 35 seat in a closely contested election.

Jasmeet Kaur Bains, a family physician from Bakersfield, made history by becoming the first Indian-origin Sikh woman to be elected to the California Assembly.

In a Democrat vs Democrat race for the 35th Assembly District in Kern County, Bains took an early lead over her opponent Leticia Perez.

According to the Kern County Election Results website, Bains led the race on Wednesday with 10,827 votes, or 58.9 per cent — while Perez trailed significantly with 7,555 votes, or 41.1 per cent.

Bains is a medical director at Bakersfield Recovery Services, a non-profit that treats adults suffering from addiction.

In her campaign pitch, she said she would prioritise healthcare, homelessness, water infrastructure and air quality.

Bains watched election returns with nearly 100 family members, friends and supporters at Tony’s Firehouse Grill and Pizza, a restaurant in the northern Kern County city of Delano, where she grew up.

“It’s an exciting night… I’m encouraged by the early returns and couldn’t be more grateful for the support we’ve received across Kern County,” she wrote in a text message to the Bakersfield Californian.

“I love being a doctor,” Bains said, explaining why the decision to enter the Assembly contest was not an easy decision.

“If I want to be the physician that I always dreamed of being, I need to make sure that we have the correct legislation in place,” she told Bakesfield Californian.

The 35th Assembly district stretches from Arvin to Delano and includes much of East Bakersfield.

The daughter of immigrant parents from India, Bains watched her father build a business, starting as an auto mechanic and ultimately owning successful car dealerships. After college, Jasmeet worked with her father before pursuing her career in medicine.

When the pandemic hit, Bains was on the frontlines, establishing field hospital sites to treat Covid patients. She has also spearheaded landmark mental health and addiction treatment programmes.

She was awarded the 2019 Hero of Family Medicine by the California Academy of Family Physicians, and the 2021 Beautiful Bakersfield Award from the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce. (IANS)

Indian-American Nabeela Syed Makes History In US Midterm Polls

“My name is Nabeela Syed. I’m a 23-year-old Muslim, Indian-American woman,” she announced in a tweet on Wednesday.

“We just flipped a Republican-held suburban district.”

She added: “And in January, I’ll be the youngest member of the Illinois General Assembly.”

And as it invariably happens with these path-breakers, she has notched a few more firsts along the way: first Indian-American elected to the Illinois state House — man or woman of any faith — and along with Palestinian-American Abdel Nasser Rashid, the first Muslim elected to the state legislature.

Syed wears a hijab, and some publications noted it.

Kesha Ram, who is now serving in the Vermont state Senate, probably holds the record for being the youngest Indian-American ever elected to a state legislature. She was only 21 when she was elected to the state’s legislative body. She ran unsuccessfully for Lt. Governor in 2016. She belongs to the family of Sir Ganga Ram, the builder of modern Lahore who has a Delhi hospital named after him.

Syed was born in Illinois, but not much else could be ascertained about her family, other than that her parents, or one of them at least came from India.

Syed’s campaign website says she graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in political science and business administration, where she served as the President of a pro-bono consulting organisation assisting local businesses and non-profits.

“It doesn’t seem real, but I am a state representative-elect now and I will be the youngest member of the General Assembly,” she told ABC News.

The 2022 midterm will go down in history as responsible for giving the US the first Generation Z member of the US Congress — Maxwell Alejandro Frost, a 25-year-old Democrat elected to the House of Representatives from Florida. President Joe Biden joined the national celebration of his election by congratulating him in a phone call.

Syed frames her election as part of this effort by youngsters to claim their place in politics, rather than wait for their turn, euphemism for waiting for someone to retire.

“It is so important for us to have a seat at the table, for us to have a voice in the legislative process,” Syed went on to say in the ABC interview.

“People say wait your turn or there is no space for you. We made space,” she added. (IANS)

Aruna Miller Elected Maryland’s Lt Governor

Indian-American Aruna Miller has been elected Lieutenant Governor of Maryland in the midterm elections in which the Democrats wrested the top spots in the state from the Republicans. She and the candidate for Governor Wes Moore won 59.3 per cent of the votes in Tuesday’s election.

They make history in the state, Miller as the first Indian-American or Asian American Lieutenant Governor, and Moore as the state’s first African-American Governor.

The Hyderabad-born Miller is also the first Indian-American to be elected a state Lieutenant Governor, although two Republicans from the community have been elected Governors, Bobby Jindal in Louisiana and Nikki Haley in South Carolina.

The 58-year-old immigrated to the US from India when she was seven.

In a series of tweets, Miller wrote: “Ever since I came to this country in 1972, I’ve never stopped being excited for the promise of America. I will never stop fighting to make sure that promise is available to everyone.

“And this promise begins with a commitment to deliver a Maryland where we Leave No One Behind.”

Thanking her voters, Miller said she wants to build a Maryland where people feel safe in their communities and in their skin.

“Before I ask you for anything, I want to thank you for everything. Thank you for being here today and for being a part of this moment. We need you. We need your hope, we need your stories, we need your partnership, and I can promise you this, we’re only just getting started.

Picture : OPB

“Maryland, tonight you showed the nation what a small but mighty state can do when democracy is on the ballot. You chose unity over division, expanding rights over restricting rights, hope over fear. You chose Wes Moore and me to be your next Governor and Lieutenant Governor,” she added.

Miller had served two terms as a member of the state’s House of Delegates, the lower chamber of the legislature, starting in 2010.

She tried to run for Congress in 2019 but lost the Democratic primary election for selecting the party’s candidate.

Miller has also served as an executive director of India Impact, an organisation that mobilises voters and candidates for offices and supports Asian American candidates.

Miller is married to her collegemate David Miller and they have three adult daughters.

After getting a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology she worked in California, Hawaii and Virginia before moving to Maryland, where she was employed by the department of transportation of Montgomery county.

Governor Larry Hogan, a critic of former President Donald Trump, and Lieutenant Governor Boyd K. Rutherford did not run for re-election.

The Republican Governor candidate Dan Cox is a Trump loyalist and he collected only 37 per cent of the votes, underperforming like many of the candidates backed by Trump. (IANS)

Deepika Padukone Launches Self-Care Brand 82E

A pioneering advocate of mental, physical, and emotional well-being, actor Deepika Padukone launches her self-care brand, 82E (pronounced Eighty-two East) on Thursday. The brand will offer premium, high-performance products that make the practice of self-care a simple, effective, and enjoyable part of everyday life.

The name is inspired by the meridian that runs longitudinally through India and defines the standard time of the country. Eighty-Two East reflects the global Indian icon’s journey and experience as a modern woman who is rooted in India but global in her outlook.

The brand will launch with skincare as its inaugural category this month. Eighty-Two East’s skincare products are formulated by in-house experts, and each product combines an Indian ingredient with a scientific compound into a powerful formula. The products have been thoughtfully designed to make skincare a delightful ritual.

The brand takes pride in being India’s first celebrity-owned self-care brand that is backed by global institutional venture capitalists. On the occasion of launching her very own self-care brand, Deepika Padukone, Co-founder, of Eighty-Two East, says “Wherever I am in the world, practicing simple acts of self-care consistently, helps me stay grounded and enables me to feel my most centred. With Eighty-Two East, I hope to inspire us all to connect with our truest, most authentic selves through consistent and humble self-care practices. The first step in that direction is our range of skincare products that have been rigorously sourced, carefully crafted, and clinically tested so you can build simple, joyful, and effective everyday rituals to care for the health of your skin.”

The launch marks Padukone’s foray into full-fledged entrepreneurship, expanding her mission to leave behind a distinguished legacy and to inspire people to live authentic lives beyond her professional endeavors as an actor, producer, and mental health advocate. (IANS)

Indira Viswanathan Peterson: Enriching Sanskrit, Tamil Literature, Art & Culture and Social History of South Asia

Indira Viswanathan Peterson is Professor Emeritus of Asian Studies at Mount Holyoke College, and a leading scholar of Sanskrit and Tamil literature and Hinduism, as well as South Indian literary, social and cultural history and performing arts, especially classical music and early modern drama.

On Nov. 19, 2022, she will receive New England Choice Awards for Art and Culture at Hilton Woburn Hotel in Woburn, MA.

Her interests include translation, European–Indian culture contact, and comparative literature. Among her books are Poems to Siva: The Hymns of the Tamil Saints (Princeton, 1989), and Design and Rhetoric in a Sanskrit Court Epic: The Kiratarjuniya of Bharavi (SUNY 2003).

Picture : TheUNN

Other publications include: George Michell and Indira Peterson, The Great Temple at Thanjavur: A Thousand Years. 1010 – 2010 (2010); Performing Pasts: Reinventing the Arts in modern South India, co-edited with Davesh Soneji (2008); and Tamil Geographies: Cultural Constructions of Space and Place in South India, co-edited with Martha Selby (2007). Dr. Peterson was the editor of Indian literature for The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces (Expanded 6th Edition, 1995), and The Norton Anthology of World Literature (2002).

Indira Peterson is completing Tanjore Renaissance: King Serfoji II and South Indian Modernity, an intellectual and cultural biography of the royal polymath and innovator Serfoji II.

Here is a Q/A with Prof. Peterson:

INDIA New England News: Tell us about your upbringing. How did it contribute to what happened to you later in life?

Indira Viswanathan Peterson: I am a Tamil-speaking south Indian who grew up in cosmopolitan Bombay, where I became fascinated by diverse languages, cultures, religions, and cultural encounter. My Delhi grandfather taught me Sanskrit. I read widely in my paternal grandfather’s library. My father exposed me to German and Russian cultures. These were formative influences in my choosing literature and cultural history as the subjects of my scholarship and teaching.

INE: Walk us through your journey. How did you end up in New England?

IVP: I landed in New England as a 17-year-old in 1967, as an American Field Service high school exchange student in Concord, MA. I was delighted to immerse myself in New England history and culture. I completed a BA in English at Bombay University, then did a PhD in Sanskrit and Indian studies at Harvard. Serendipitously, I was appointed as a professor of Indian literature in the five college consortium in Western mass. I joined Mount Holyoke college in 1982, and retired from teaching in 2016. I am a dyed in the wool New Englander.

INE: Who is the mentor –or are the mentors—who influenced you?

IVP: My mother, grandmothers and aunts, strong and capable women, are role models for me. My father Dr. R. Viswanathan, a pioneering oceanographer and chemist, showed me that the pursuit of knowledge is boundless. My school and college teachers in Bombay were models of dedicated teaching. P.V. Shankar urged me never to give up singing. My grandfather S. Venkataramanan started me off in Sanskrit, and at Harvard, Professor Daniel Ingalls made me a scholar of Sanskrit.

INE: What was a life changing moment for you?

IVP: Pursuing a PhD at Harvard in the early 1970s was eye-opening. Harvard was a candy store for the humanities, and I seized as many candy bars as I could, exploring Greek, German, Russian, comparative religion, linguistics and folklore as the scaffolding for the study of Sanskrit literature. Those explorations showed me how exciting research could be. I never stopped asking questions, something which has kept my research and teaching fresh for me, and I hope, for my students as well.

I would like to mention the two people who changed my life through their loving presence. My husband Mark was my soulmate. He revealed to me the unity of art and science. Our beloved daughter Maya made us better persons and made the world a better place with her shining life.

INE:  How did the Indian American diaspora support you in your journey?

IVP: When I first arrived in Cambridge in 1967, you could count the number of South Asians even at the universities on your fingers at least metaphorically speaking. We became close friends because there were so few of us. We bought spices in Belmont and watched Hindi films at MIT. Over the years it has been wonderful to see the growth of the Indian American population in New England. I have formed lasting bonds with students from India and south Asia alongside Indian American students at Mount Holyoke college, a nurturing ground for fruitful friendships. I have learned much from the so different yet so familiar experience of my Indian American students. Recently I had the privilege of working with a gifted team of young Indian American performers of Karnatic music. I was bowled over by their cultural poise and creativity. I could not be prouder of our young diaspora.

INE: What life lesson do you want the community to walk away with?

IVP:  My own experience and ideal lead me to suggest this one: Embrace and rejoice in the exciting and irreducible diversity and plurality that form the core of Indian as well as Indian American communities. (Courtessy: INDIA New England News)

Miss World 2021 Runner-Up Shree Saini Implanted With New Pacemaker

Pacemakers are usually given to those who have lived a long life and now their heart needs an extra assistance. For me, I was born with a heart defect,” Shree, 26, wrote.

Indian-American model Shree Saini, who was declared the first runner-up at the Miss World 2021 pageant, recently revealed that she is undergoing heart surgery for a new pacemaker implant as her “current pacemaker batteries have died”. A heart patient, Shree, who got a pacemaker at the age of 12, went on to share that she has to “undergo a total of eight pacemaker replacement surgeries” in her lifetime.

“I would so greatly appreciate your prayers. There will be no visitors allowed at the hospital. I want to thank everyone who has been there for me. For those who may not know, I was born with a complete heart block, where my upper and bottom chambers did not communicate with each other. My block led me to me having a very low heart rate and feel terribly fatigued,” she mentioned in a note on Instagram.

“The pacemaker paces my heart to beat at a normal rate. It does this by using the pacemaker to send electric shocks to my heart which allows it to beat at a normal rate. Average age of a pacemaker recipient is age 80. Pacemakers are usually given to those who have lived a long life and now their heart needs an extra assistance. For me, I was born with a heart defect,” Shree, now 26, penned.

Adding that she is sharing her story to “encourage people to have a greater sense of hope even in their hardships”, she wrote, “Let’s rise up from our challenges with a victor, not a victim mindset.”

Picture: Beauty Pageant

Shree, who was also adjudged Ambassador Beauty With Purpose at the 2021 Miss World, thanked her well-wishers for their constant support. “I still remember being a kid and being so confused, scared while waiting for my initial surgery. I do remember the teachers and peers who were there for me. I will forever be grateful for people who cared, reached out with comforting words and whose love filled me with strength. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts. I am the sum of God’s blessings, parents’ unconditional love and the blessings of so many people. So grateful for scientists, doctors for creating this remarkable pacemaker technology, that literally allows me to live today!”

About the size of a pocket watch, artificial pacemakers are implanted under the skin through an incision in the chest. The device is connected to the heart through leads or wires that deliver electrical signals that regulate the heart’s activity. “Pacemakers are small machines placed to generate heart beats. When your heart beats slows down to less than 50-60 beats, with or without heart conduction tissue, it indicates damage to your heart’s wiring system, or in cases of heart failure where a patient’s heart do not beat in tandem to produce a good pulse or output, then the doctor recommends these small machines to improve the quality of life, said Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, consultant cardiac surgeon, Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre in Mumbai, adding that ECG and Holter monitoring tests help to determine the need of pacemakers.

According to the expert, two types of machines are widely used — single chamber and dual chamber — depending on the number of heart chambers affected. “Periodic check up, every year, is required to check for battery. Your doctor will recommend the type of machine better for you,” he said.

Dr Pankaj Batra, senior interventional cardiologist, Fortis Escorts Faridabad, told that the PPI or Permanent Pacemaker Implantation procedure takes about an hour to be completed. “Permanent pacemaker insertion is considered a minimally invasive procedure. Transvenous access to the heart chambers under local anesthesia is the favored technique. It is not a surgery,” said Dr Batra, adding that “in case of congenital heart defects, pacemakers may be preferred for a long life.”

A National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) review also suggested that the primary purpose of such a device is to maintain an adequate heart rate, either because the heart’s natural pacemaker is not fast enough, or there is a block in the heart’s electrical conduction system. “Modern pacemakers are externally programmable and allow the cardiologist to select the optimum pacing modes for patients on a case-to-case basis,” explained Dr Batra and further said that replacement is usually done after 10 to 15 years using a “minor procedure”.

While pacemakers can be temporary in cases of a heart attack, permanent pacemakers are used to control long-term heart issues. “Pacemaker can relieve some arrhythmia symptoms, such as fatigue and fainting. A pacemaker also can help a person who has abnormal heart rhythms resume a more active lifestyle,” mentioned the NCBI review. Agreed Dr Batra and mentioned that pacemakers are needed to “improve the quality of life”, and with minimal heart-related issues. (Courtesy: The Indian Express)

AAHOA Organizes HerOwnership Conference

AAHOA championed its goal to elevate women in hotel ownership at the inaugural 2022 AAHOA HerOwnership Conference & Retreat last week. Nearly 300 attendees gathered at the Radisson Hotel Cincinnati Riverfront to learn about ownership opportunities and create their path to success. The two-day event included a fantastic lineup of panels and speakers, including Executive Coach and Communications Expert Diane Ripstein, who delivered an upbeat and inspiring keynote speech on the steps women can take to become influential leaders.

Attendees heard from AAHOA President & CEO Laura Lee Blake, who empowered the women in the room with techniques to master the art of negotiation. Many women in all stages of their careers still feel uncomfortable with negotiation, but it is essential to doing business in the industry. I thank Laura Lee for helping women become better negotiators.

G6 Hospitality, Choice Hotels, Marriott International, Wyndham’s Women Own the Room, Red Roof, My Place, and Sonesta were also present, spotlighting their support and initiatives to advance women in hotel ownership.

In his address, Neal Patel, AAHOA Chairman, said, “It was an honor to be in a room full of leading women and know that AAHOA is playing an active role in opening doors for women in the industry. The HerOwnership Conference & Retreat was possible thanks to the vision, hard work, and dedication of Female Director Eastern Division, Lina Patel, and Female Director Western Division, Tejal Patel, alongside our fantastic AAHOA team, Officers, local ambassadors, members, speakers, and sponsors. Thank you to everyone who helped make this event a huge success. What a way to continue our strong start for Q4 2022! Together, let’s continue to elevate women in our industry by ensuring their voices are heard, their skills are utilized, and that there’s a seat at the table for all.”

Sonal Shah Named CEO Of The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization, has announced the selection of Sonal Shah to serve as its second chief executive officer. Shah will take over for co-founder and founding CEO Evan Smith beginning in January 2023. At the Tribune, Shah will lead the organization into its next phase of growth, overseeing strategy, fundraising and operations, while editor in chief Sewell Chan will continue to run all news operations. Smith will transition into a new role as senior adviser, effective early next year.

Sonal Shah will be taking over the nonprofit news organization from Evan Smith, who has run The Texas Tribune since he co-founded it in 2009. Shah has extensive experience in social innovation and nonprofits, and is currently an interim executive vice president at United Way. She also founded Georgetown University’s Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation, as well as The Asian American Foundation. Previously, she worked as the director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation in the Obama administration.

While announcing the appointment, Jim Schachter is the chair of The Texas Tribune’s board of directors and the president and CEO of New Hampshire Public Radio, stated: “It’s been a privilege for the board to find someone who embodies all of the qualities and qualifications we identified The Texas Tribune needing in its next leader. Our north star was to find an executive with a passion for the work we do here at the Trib, and a leader with both a deep understanding of the functional and financial needs of a mission-based organization and a track record of high-impact leadership. We’ve found just such a CEO.

“Sonal brings to the Tribune an extraordinary record in fundraising and strategic leadership. A veteran of Google, Georgetown University, Goldman Sachs and the United Way, she has built a career driving social impact and civic engagement. In Sonal, the Tribune will have a business leader who can build on the successes of the past 13 years and work with the staff, board and all our stakeholders on behalf of readers to establish the organization’s path to thriving over the next decade (and beyond),” he added.

“Over my more than 25-year career, the throughline tying together all of my nonprofit, public and private sector experience has been one word: impact. My passion for civic engagement, innovation and the intersection of policy and technology is what drives everything I do, and I am thrilled to bring my experience and expertise to The Texas Tribune. This news organization is truly second to none. With a world-class journalism staff, unmatched reporting and a critical mission, I know that the sky is the limit in terms of what we can continue to build and achieve here for Texans and beyond. Texas is my home, it is where I grew up and I can’t imagine a more important place to be,” said Sonal Shah, incoming chief executive officer of The Texas Tribune.

Founded in 2009, The Texas Tribune’s mission is to promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government and other matters of statewide interest. With nearly 4 million monthly unique visitors and more than 175,000 newsletter subscribers, The Texas Tribune is an established leader in digital-first journalism, devoted to informing Texans through in-depth investigations and rigorous enterprise, breaking news and beat reporting backed by data and statewide events. Since its inception, the Tribune has raised more than $112 million and now boasts more than 10,000 paying members.

One of the foremost global leaders on social impact and innovation, Shah has started and led social impact efforts in academia, government, and the private and philanthropic sectors for over 25 years. Currently, she serves as interim executive vice president, worldwide network advancement, at United Way Worldwide. 

Previously, Shah founded The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) in Houston, and also founded and led Georgetown University’s Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation. She served as director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation in the Obama administration, as an international economist at the Department of the Treasury, and as national policy director for Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign. In the private sector, Shah led technology initiatives and impact investing globally at Google and Goldman Sachs. Shah grew up in Houston, where she graduated from Alief Hastings High School, and went on to earn a B.A. in economics from the University of Chicago and an M.A. in economics from Duke University.