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Maitri Gala raises over $600K for charity

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Supporters gather at Maitri's 25th annual gala celebration

Supporters gather at Maitri’s 25th annual gala celebration

PALO ALTO, Calif. (DIYA TV) — This year’s Maitri Gala was an extra special one — celebrating the foundation’s 25th anniversary, more than 450 long-time South Asian supporters of the nonprofit, which aids to combat domestic violence, familial abuse and trafficking, showed up in full force for the Maitri Gala, raising north of $600,000 in the process.

Maitri co-founder and award-winning author, Chitra Divakaruni, spoke at the event and described how the foundation came to life during its infancy stages — a phone line and answering machine in her home, and the assistance of fellow co-founders Anjali Dujari, Roma Majumdar, and Medha Joshi. “We started the organization because we felt that absolutely no one should have to suffer abuse in their home,” Divakaruni said. “Despite initial resistance from the South Asian community, we persisted as we felt that our mission was correct.”

“From a small group that used to meet in my house, it has now become a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful organization helping literally thousands of people every year,” Divakaruni added.

Sonya Pelia, president of Maitri, described the change of fabric in the Bay Area’s South Asian community, and how its evolvement has allowed for “a co-steward and partner in taking ethical responsibility and supporting those needing help.” Pelia advocated to the South Asian community to continue the fostered growth of a just, equitable, and violence-free society by adopting a zero-tolerance policy towards domestic violence, trafficking and elder abuse. The joy could be seen on her face when she saw the massive turnout of support for the annual gala, which was held at Palo Alto’s Crown Plaza Hotel. This year’s crowd was the largest in 25 years.

[quote style=’1′ cite=” title=”]”What can you say when your own community stands with you and says ‘We are with you, we support you, we fund you’? I think there’s no other ­better ­accomplishment for 25 years,”[/quote] Pelia said.

The event was complete with a silent auction, which featured donated clothing and art, and a live performance from Blackmahal, which dazzled everyone in attendance. Shamik Mehta, co-chair of the board of trustees, said the focus of Maitri is now pointed towards not only treating the aftermath of domestic violence, but also the root cause of the issue.

“When there’s inequality in relationships between any gender, any age, any race, anything, it causes problems,” Mehta said. “So really, Maitri’s not talking about women’s problems, we’re talking about breaking the cycle.”

One donor and supporter of Maitri in attendance, S. Suresh, agreed the best solution to fixing the problem is tackling it at first sight. “The real thing is bringing awareness to the problem and then getting people to start changing their behavior,” Suresh said.

The free, confidential, nonprofit Maitri Foundation is dedicated to supporting the needs of Bay Area women regardless of their age, gender or faith. In its first 25 years, Maitri has responded to over 35,000 assist calls, empowered more than 3,400 survivors, and distributed over three-quarters of a million dollars to support its clients. For the past 16 years, the foundation has run a 9-room transitional center, which offers extended legal and other outreach services. For more information, visit the foundation’s website, www.maitri.org.

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India becomes 5th largest economy, overtakes UK, France

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Economy

AHMEDABAD, India (Diya TV)  — India is now the world’s fifth largest economy, overtaking the UK and France in 2019, according to a report by American non-partisan think tank World Population Review. The report says India’s economic liberalization starting in the early 1990s was key to this growth. Though the report also indicates India’s real GDP growth is expected to weaken for the third straight year from 7.5 percent to 5 percent.

Billionaire entrepreneur and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be on stage at the ninth Democratic Debate in Las Vegas, qualifying for the first time after polls indicate his star is rising amongst potential Democratic primary voters after spending more than $300 million in political advertising. Diya TV will be in Las Vegas with full coverage from what will certainly be an eventful night.

Lakshmi Sridaran, who has been the interim executive director for non-profit civil rights group, SAALT, South Asian Americans Leading Together, will take on that role moving forward. SAALT also announced Simran Noor will serve as their new Board Chair.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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150,000 people expected for ‘Namaste Trump’ in Gujarat

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Namaste Trump

AHMEDABAD, India (Diya TV)  — President Trump & the first lady will get a massive welcome on his visit to Gujarat next week, where 150,000 people are expected to attend ‘Namaste Trump.’ It’s expected to be an even grander event than ‘Howdy Modi’ in Houston, where 50,000 people greeted Prime Minister Modi. A delegation of business leaders from the U.S. are also headed to India for a series of events in New Delhi.

The 17th annual India Conference at Harvard brought more than 1000 people to the Kennedy School of Government and Harvard’s Business School including a long list of luminaries in business, politics and entertainment. And only on Diya TV, we have exclusive conversations with Indian unicorn CEOs Ankiti Bose of Zilingo and Ritesh Agarwal of OYO.

Roseville Police in California say a taxi driver, Rajbir Singh, saved an elderly passenger in his cab from giving a scammer $25,000. The 92 year old told Singh she was about to withdraw the money to settle a debt with the IRS. It sounded like a scam to Singh, who asked the woman to reconsider, even detouring to a police station to help convince her not to withdraw her money. Eventually, she decided not to proceed. Roseville Police say Singh should be honored with a “great citizen award.”

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian Amb. Sandhu greets USIBC in Washington

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Amb. Sandhu greets USIBC in Washington | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — New Indian ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu held court with business leaders involved with the U.S.-India Business Council and gave a preview of what to expect when President Trump meets with Prime Minister Modi later this month in India.

The annual Harvard India Conference takes place this weekend and Diya TV is a proud media partner for this event that will host a slew of well known Indian tycoons, political figures and folks working on social change.

With this large student-run India-focused conference taking place this weekend, the host city of Cambridge, Massachusetts became the second town in America to pass a resolution asking India to repeal the recently enacted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and stop the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).

And with the college baseball season about to start, we will take you back to what some say is the greatest performance in college baseball history. Indian American student athlete Kumar Rocker at just 19 years old, pitched a 19 strikeout no hitter to save Vanderbilt’s season on their way to winning the 2019 College World Series. Rocker is now a sophomore and is considered one of baseball’s top pitching prospects.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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