APRIL 2017
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

ORLANDO/CASSELBERRY, GAINESVILLE TO HOLD INDIA FESTS ON APRIL 8

ORLANDO: The Hindu Society of Central Florida will hold its annual IndiaFest on Saturday, April 8, on the temple grounds, and the cultural program in the air-conditioned community hall. Admission is free with a $5 parking fee. The event, featuring a kids fashion show, dances, and booths for clothes, henna, jewelry and plenty of food, will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at HSCF, 1994 Lake Drive, Casselberry. To reserve a stall/booth or register for cultural programs, visit www.hindutempleorlando.org

For questions, call HSCF President Mala Karkhanis at (407) 443-1605, program committee Chair Dipti Smart at (321) 695-4422.

GAINESVILLE: The India Cultural & Education Center will hold its annual India Fest & Health Fair on Saturday, April 8, in Gainesville. The health fair will be 9 a.m. to noon and the festival will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Santa Fe Community College, Gymnasium (Building V), 3000 N.W. 83rd St., Gainesville. There will be Indian food, dance, art, music, jewelry, clothing, henna. Admission is $5 per person and children age 5 and under are free.

For information, call (352) 871-7112, visit www.icec-florida.org or e-mail indiafestgainesville@gmail.com

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FLORIDA REGION OF EKAL RAISES $456,250

Ekal

The Tampa Bay chapter of the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA raised about $195,000 Feb. 25, enough to fund 535 one-teacher schools for needy villages in rural India. For more than 15 years, Tampa Bay supporters have seen performance by well-known singers or performers. This year, the organization decided to train four girls and five boys who have been working as volunteers in remote and tribal areas of India, to perform in front of the U.S. audience. None of them have ever performed as artists or seen an airport prior to this trip! Each one has a story of unfortunate circumstances that colored their early life, followed by tremendous dedication and hard work while working as foot soldiers for the organization.

The team drew 350 people to Sickles High School. “… Half of the audience in the front had tears from joy and pride as the youngsters performed patriotic songs,” said Rachna Choudhary a longtime supporter. They changed the theme from patriotic to inspirational, Bollywood to regional folk dances and ended with epic theme of Ramayana. At least 16 families and entities came forward to be Grand Sponsor level supporters contributing $5,000 or more. Kish Modi, a high school student, raised $1,111 for Ekal. Another highlight was a 5-minute video presentation of visit to Ekal School in Haripura by Shah family from Tampa.

“ … The artists were lightning fast in changing their costume, putting their makeups and getting ready for the next appearance. We have not seen these many pops used and costume changes in a show,” said Santosh Dixit, president of Tallahassee chapter.

The fundraiser, which was co-sponsored by the trustees of India Cultural Center, Tampa, Florida Association of Physicians from Indian Origin, and Rajasthani Association, was part of a national fundraising effort by Ekal Vidyalaya. This was the second program in Florida. “So far, we have raised funds for 1,250 schools from Florida alone,” remarked Jawaharlal Taunk, president of Ekal’s Florida fundraising efforts. The Ekal Sur and Ekal Taal team began with a program in Ocala entertaining about 75 supporters and raising $ 27,375 followed by Tampa raising $195,000, Fort Lauderdale raising $95,000, Orlando raising $98,550 and entertaining a record audience of 750, Jacksonville raising $31,000 and Tallahassee raising $9,125.

The organizers of the Tampa event were the dedicated core of the Tampa Bay chapter, including President Umesh Choudhry, Vice President Malti Pandya, Secretary Sanjiv Jain, Treasurer Anuja Bhutada, Florida President Taunk, Florida Vice President Vijay Patel, Florida Secretary Kaushal Chari, and former National President of Ekal USA, Chandresh Saraiya.

The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation (www.ekal.org) strives to bring education and village development to rural India. As a tax-exempt, non-profit organization, Ekal initiates, supports and runs non-formal one-teacher schools in India, which operate on a minimal $1-a-day budget.


FREE HEALTH FAIR ON APRIL 23 AT HINDU TEMPLE IN TAMPA

The 19th annual Community Health Fair will be held 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at the Hindu Temple Community Hall in Tampa. This volunteer-run community service has been a tradition at the temple since 1998. Each year, the free Health Fair generates a tremendous response. There are typically 400 attendees and 20-plus participating physicians. Physicians and volunteers work together to present free screenings and health information services.

The public can benefit from the various medical services, which include lab test, blood pressure and glucose checks, bone density and hearing tests, Body Mass Index or BMI, lung function test, diabetes education, carotid ultrasound test, EKG, hearing test, dental hygiene, massage therapy, etc. Also, advice and discussions are held on nutrition, health maintenance screenings for adults, including cancer screening guidelines as well as information on depression screening and treatment. There will be exhibits on these and other topics.

One of the fair’s highlights is the opportunity for attendees to interact with physicians, by asking questions regarding nutrition, diabetes, osteoporosis, stress management, child health, menopause syndrome, bypass surgery, peptic ulcer, heart disease and more.

For more information on the Health Fair at the Hindu Temple, 5509 Lynn Road, call (813) 962-6890 or visit http://htflt.org


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