Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Florida News


In this day and age, it’s likely someone in your family or friend circle has breast cancer. The American Cancer Society has released data in 2019, according to which one in eight women in USA are at risk of developing breast cancer.

Tampa-based Shyama’s Art students took part in the fight against this dreadful disease by creating artwork. Each piece is different and unique with positive attitude and girl power meaning in it. Around 70 girls from ages 4 years to 16 years old participated in creating the art. “We have donated this artwork to patients surviving breast cancer at Moffitt Cancer Care, Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology, and few other ladies whom we know,” said Shyama Rangwala. “We are trying to bring little smile and light of hope in their lives. By doing such events, we are trying to teach our students the value of donation and sharing.”

Previously, Shyama’s Art students have participated in fundraisers for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Indian Advisory Council and Project Starfish.


Another successful Karva Chauth mehndi event was held Oct. 15 in the New Tampa area. Organized by Ritu Sharma (owner of Taj Indian Cuisine in Tampa) and group, this is the 8th anniversary of the event.

Originally started from Sharma’s home with about 20 ladies and one mehndi artist, numbers have reached nearly 125 ladies with seven mehndi artists to help decorate hands for the much- awaited Karva Chauth festival every year. There were several group and solo dance performances, too, to celebrate the day on which married women fast from sunrise to dark for the longevity of their husbands. There was a $15 entrance fee, which included dinner.

Sharma can be reached at (813) 300-2585 for more information.


Every year, PEHCHAAN (Providing Educational, Humanistic and Cultural Hope for the South Asian American Network), as a part of its Mental Health Initiative, addresses the South Asian diaspora in Tampa by raising awareness, educating and providing support to various mental health disorders.

This year, Pehchaan opens up a dialogue, which addresses two serious issues – suicide awareness and prevention and opioid dependency, both of which has been gradually claiming lives in the South Asian households. In last few years, the Tampa Bay community has witnessed several heart-wrenching tragedies and has lost young, vibrant school and college students to suicide and drug overdoses. 

To understand the disorders and look for warning signs and symptoms, Pehchaan has invited speakers to share personal journeys and experiences, as well as experts for their clinical observations. During Q and A sessions, audience can ask the speakers and experts pertinent questions. 

The free event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 16 at HCC Dale Mabry Campus, DLRC 106 Auditorium, 4001 W. Tampa Bay Blvd., Tampa. Lunch will be provided. RSVP at (813) 720-7115 or email

Story provided by Nandini Bandyopadhyay, PEHCHAAN Program Chair

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