APRIL 2015
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Florida News

Sen. Kelli Stargel attends Scholastic Chess Tournament in Lakeland

Story provided by Malay Shah

State Sen. Kelli Stargel presents awards to
Neel Shah and Amol Patadia.

More than 570 chess players from Polk County schools celebrated the championship finale with state Senator Kelli Stargel on March 21 at the Polk Scholastic Chess tournament. Over 1,000 people attended the award ceremony. “The game of chess indeed helps in brain development and education, and I am proud of these wonderful players from our Polk County schools,” said Sen. Stargel.

For the last 25 years, the non-profit Polk Scholastic Chess (PSC) has encouraged academic growth through chess. It organizes chess tournaments for all Polk County public schools. Every year, around 600 kids, pre-K to 12th grade, participate in the tournaments, making it the largest scholastic chess tournament in the state.

Players who excelled at the tournament:

PSC also awards participation trophies to all qualifying players in this Championship Tournament, so every child walks out with a trophy and a smile. Additionally, PSC recognizes two graduating seniors with college scholarships who have had an extended length of participation with Polk Scholastic Chess and made active contributions to their school and community.

Scholarships were awarded to two 12th-graders from Bartow IB: Amol Patadia and Neel Shah.

For more information, contact PSC President Malay Shah at president@polkscholasticchess.com or visit www.polkscholasticchess.com




On Monday, March 9, Dr. Vandana Shiva, an ecofeminist and ecologist from Uttarkhand, a state in Northern India, gave a guest lecture March 9 at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg. She began by talking about the earth and her past efforts to help others in need deal with natural disasters.

Dr. Shiva spoke on Genetically Modified seeds (GMO seeds) and their harmful effects not only on farmers but also consumers who eat fruits, vegetables and grains from those plants. She also talked about the use of pesticides. Dr. Shiva believes that there is a correlation between autism and use of pesticides. As more pesticides are being used in the food supply, there is a higher rate of people that are diagnosed with autism. She then talked about how governments finance or subsidize large corporations.

Finally, “there's only one way to stop this – personally make peace with the earth, make sure your communities are making peace with the earth, make sure your government makes peace with the earth, and make sure your corporations make peace with the earth.”

It was an amazing and inspiring experience watching Dr. Shiva speak with such passion and clarity.

Ria Patel is an eighth-grader at Carrollwood Day School in Tampa. She is one of two students who will be representing Hillsborough County at the State History Fair in Tallahassee next month. Her subject is Dr. Shiva in the Individual Performance category.



Yogi SadhguruOn Sunday, April 26, Floridians have the opportunity to be in Sadhguru’s presence in Tampa at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts – Carol Morsani Hall (1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place) and explore life’s deepest questions. His topic for the talk is “Wisdom, Meditation, Bliss.”

Expect engaging discourses, guided meditations and vibrant music by Sounds of Isha. Sadhguru is a realized yogi, mystic and internationally renowned thought leader. He established Isha Foundation, a non-profit organization supported by more than two million volunteers worldwide, that works towards raising human consciousness and fostering global harmony.

Sadhguru is a sought-after speaker a?t international forums such as the World Economic Forum, United Nations and the ?U.K. ?House of Lords. Seats for the 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tampa event can be reserved at www.ishausa.org/tampa

For details, email Tampa@ishausa.org or call (813) 413-1661.



Maya Behura, a second-grader at Citrus Cove Elementary in Boynton Beach, has won the 2015 Florida State Scholastic Championship. She was one of 49 players who participated in the K-3 section of the championship.

The 7-year-old began showing interest in chess at the early age of 4, playing with older kids in the local library and with her parents, Amar Behura and Mamata Tripathy, before competing in tournaments. She has won more than 45 trophies at county, regional, state and national levels.

Maya BehuraIN 2014, she tied for second place in the National K-12 Chess Championship (second grade category) and was the only girl in the top 3 from the nation in all sections (K-12). That same year, she tied for third place in the nation and top girl in the K-1 section at the National Elementary Championship in Dallas.

She will be participating in the 2015 All-Girls National Championship April 17-21 in Chicago followed by the 2015 Elementary National Championship May 8-12 in Nashville.

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