Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


By NITISH S. RELE – [email protected]

FORT MYERS: Between 4,000 to 5,000 people are expected to attend the 29th India Fest put together by the India Association of Fort Myers (IAFM), according to IAFM President Ravi Devaguptapu. The 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. event on Saturday, Feb. 13, will be at Hammond Stadium, 14100 Ben C. Pratt/6 Mile Cypress Parkway.

The outdoor India Fest is usually held in April and at a different location. But this year, Devaguptapu said, “We're doing it in February as the weather is cooler and the seasonal residents are still here locally. We're returning to Hammond Stadium, also known as CenturyLink Sports Complex, since it is more central and was undergoing renovations.”

The festival will feature Indian food, dance, music, handicrafts and clothing. More specifically, there will be live entertainment on the outdoor stage throughout the day, including modern and classical dances, and fashion shows. Also, during the lunch break, a local group will present a yoga demonstration. Attendees will enjoy and unobstructed view of the performances, as covered seating will be provided.

Entry fee per person is $5; parking is free. For information, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.iafortmyers.org

WEST PALM BEACH: The 13th annual IndiaFEST put together by Palm Beach India Association will be on Saturday, Feb. 20, at Meyer Amphitheater in downtown West Palm Beach.

According to organizers, IndiaFEST is a way to celebrate the rich ethnic and cultural diversity of India with the South Florida community. Over the past decade, IndiaFEST has become one of the premier events in South Florida, with more than 14,000 people in attendance.

The daylong outdoor event begins at 10 a.m., which is free and open to the public, will feature musical, dance and cultural performances; food, clothing, and craft vendors; and art exhibits.

Meyer Amphitheater is at 105 Evernia St., West Palm Beach. For details, visit www.sfindiafest.com or e-mail [email protected]

NORTH MIAMI BEACH: Gear up for the annual Miami Mayhem IX, an intercollegiate garba/raas competition showcasing eight raas teams from colleges across the nation as they battle for more than $3,000 in cash. Raas is associated with the festival of Navratri. Today, it has evolved into a form of creative expression with the growth of raas competitions nationwide.

On Feb. 20, the University of Miami Indian Students Association will host the event, which offers an opportunity for teams to compete for a national championship title. Participating teams are Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Florida, Drexel University, University of Texas, Austin, University of Maryland, College Park, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, George Washington University and Rutgers University. And this year, Hurricane Bhangra and UMiami Tufaan, both from University of Miami, Taal Tadka from Georgia Tech and Knights Kangana from University of Central Florida will give exhibition performances.

All proceeds benefit Aahana India, which strives to abolish ignorance through education of social inequalities to empower communities in India.

Miami Mayhem IX will begin at 6 p.m. at Julius Littman Performing Arts Theater, 17011 N.E. 19th Ave., North Miami Beach. Tickets are $10 for students at University of Miami students with a valid UM student ID, $15 general admission and $20 for VIP tickets. Tickets are available at www.UMMiamiMayhem.com For information, e-mail [email protected]

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Surmani award winner Sangeeta Lahiri of Mumbai will be available to teach advanced and beginner music students from March to June 2016.


Bianca Mulaney, a Harvard University senior from Lakeland, has been named a 2016 Marshall Scholar.


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A partnership with Indo-US Chamber of Commerce, Tampa


Ekal VidyalayaOcala, Jacksonville and Tallahassee will hold their annual Ekal Vidyalaya fundraisers in February. Performing at the concerts is the Anand Vibhavari Group of singers Anand Vinod and Vibhavari Yadav, accompanied by Dhirendra Dave on tabla, Raj Parmar on keyboard and Jay Natu on octopad (Tampa, Orlando and Lakeland will host fundraisers in March).

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. The movement strives to create a network of non-formal schools and health education that will educate and empower children in rural and tribal India. Ekal schools operate on a minimal $1-a-day budget.

OCALA, FEB. 26: The concert will begin at 8 p.m. at India Association Cultural & Educational Center, 2030 N.E. 36th Ave. For details, call Dr. Nagesh Kohli at (352) 427-1542 or Dr. Nand K. Karve at (352) 362-4027.

EkalJACKSONVILLE, FEB. 27: The Jacksonville Ekal chapter along with Gujarati Samaj of North East Florida will begin with dinner at 5 followed by the concert at 7 p.m. Venue is Bolles Middle School (Bartram campus), 2264 Bartram Road. Tickets are $25 per person and include dinner. For information, call Dilip Kothekar at (904) 537-6472 or Ravi Sanka at (904) 607-9175.

TALLAHASSEE, FEB. 28: The fundraiser will be from 4 p.m. at Lee Hall Auditorium, 1601 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. For information, call Santosh Dixit at (850) 559-1080.

Tampa to host 11TH AACSA AWARDS GALA FEB. 13

About 1,000 people are expected at the 11th Awards Gala of the Asian American Convenience Store Owners Association (AACSA) on Saturday, Feb. 13, AACSA Founding President Satya Shaw said. The event at India Cultural Center is complimentary for AACSA members and invited guests. For non-AACSA members, a $1,000 VIP table for 10 includes drinks, dinner, show and photo-op. Also, there is a $500 standard table for 10, including drinks, dinner and show.

Founded in the year 2005, AACSA is the apex body of the Asian American convenience store owners in the United States. Convenience store owners and operators from all across the United States discuss issues related to their business and welfare.

AACSAA logoDuring the trade show from 1 to 8 p.m., several booths will offer special discounts/promotions for store owners. It usually attracts store owners, physicians, pharmacists and hotel owners. Entertainment will be provided by film actor Esha Deol along with Prem Dance Group of Atlanta, as well as a live Bollywood concert by Shovan Group. Also in attendance will be India Consul General Nagesh Singh from Atlanta and Miss India USA Karina Kohli.

The theme of the awards gala, which starts at 4 p.m. with social hour and dinner, is Valentine’s Day. ICC is at 5511 Lynn Road, Tampa. For details, call Satya Shaw at (813) 842-0345 or Vijay Gandhi at (863) 287-7970.

CALL 813-758-1786.
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