JULY 2014
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Florida News



By NITISH S. RELE – editor@khaasbaat.com

DIPA SHAHStatus quo is not in her dictionary. She feels the Hillsborough County School District can be even better. And she wants to give back to her community. Business attorney Dipa Shah of Valrico and her physician husband, Suketu, made numerous sacrifices to find the proper fit (settling on magnet schools) for their two sons, Devan, 12, and Jayson, 14. Last year in May, an opportunity arose, and Dipa Shah decided to run for the countywide, at-large District 6 seat, which encompasses all of Tampa, Brandon/Valrico and surrounding areas. Consisting of 266 schools, the Hillsborough County School District is the eighth largest in the nation. Primary election for the non-partisan race is on Aug. 26. Voter registration deadline is 29 days prior to any election. A candidate who gets 51 percent of the votes wins the election. Otherwise, the top two head to the polls on Nov. 4.

“We need to continuously challenge kids and raise the bar on what we expect from there,” says Shah. “We also should treat teachers more professionally. And there should be talk in terms of teamwork, resolving problems, so we can achieve a common goal.” She believes that a lot can be done to build on these aspects. “I’ve seen this accomplished in the schools I’ve been active in and would like to see it extended to the entire school district.”

Shah feels that her strengths and professional experience working with heads of organizations involving devising a plan to move forward, giving directions, guidance and support to accomplish their goals help make her uniquely qualified for the school board. She is a member of the Hillsborough County Association of Women Lawyers, Brandon Bar Association, South Asian Bar Association, Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce, Indo US Chamber of Commerce and more. Shah and her family have lived in the Tampa Bay area for 10 years.

The first Indian American running for Hillsborough County school board, Shah wants people to vote. “Every single vote counts,” she stresses. “You can even have a ballot mailed to your house.” Husband Suketu seconds that thought. “Voting makes a difference. Look at what happened in India recently with the national elections. And along with her campaign, we are hoping the Indian American community here also becomes more politically active.”

As the daughter of an immigrant, Shah credits education for achieving the American Dream. “And we as a community share that,” she says. “So, why should we sit back and not have a voice in what our children are learning in school? Also, just as our kids are successful at spelling and geography bees, and science fairs, we need to make sure every child has this continuous opportunity for growth. Children should be ready for the next step, whether going to college or choosing a career.”

For more information, visit www.voteDipa.com


A Vastu Puja/Prana Pratistha Mahotsav was held June 14-22 for the Miami Lakshmi Narayan Mandir, 9851 S.W. 168th St. Call (305) 378-0281 or visit www.hindus.com


The Hindu American Foundation – Tampa chapter held a Karaoke event June 20 at the Hindu Temple of Florida (5509 Lynn Road) canteen. From enthusiastic kindergartners to even more enthusiastic working professionals, many came out to sing their favorite songs at the family- friendly event. In between performances – which included Hindi, Tamil, and English numbers – the Tampa chapter provided updates on HAF’s international, national and local advocacy work

The chapter will be hosting another community event in July, geared toward Hindu American middle school, high school and university students. For information, email haftampa@gmail.com For more information on HAF, visit http://hafsite.org/

homeeventsbiz directorysubscribecontact uscontent newseditor's notehealthimmigration
financemindbody/ayurveda/NUTRITIONmoviesfashionmusic/art/dancebooks/getawaysUS-Indo businessbeat
IIFA 2014astrologyyouthcuisinemotoringplaces of worshipclassifiedsarchivesBLOGFACEBOOK
Read the Editor's Blog. By Nitish Rele Classifieds Motoring Cuisine Astrology Art/Youth Books Fashion Movies Finance Immigration Health Editorial News Content Find us on Facebook!