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Outgoing Consul General celebrated for being a champion of trade

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Harish Parvathaneni and his wife, Nandita

Harish Parvathaneni and his wife, Nandita

HOUSTON (Diya TV) — More than 20 major Indian-American business organizations have praised the work of outgoing Indian Consul General Harish Parvathaneni, who has been assigned to report as the Indian Ambassador to Vietnam in April. He has been serving as the consul general in Houston since 2012, and has been celebrated for his immense contributions towards improving consular and trade services.

As a thank you, 22 Indo-American organizations organized a community-wide farewell dinner in honor of Parvathaneni. Jagdip Ahluwalia, executive director of Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston was on hand to inaugurate the ceremonies. He was particularly thankful for the consul general’s efforts to improve trade relations between Houston and India — Parvathaneni has encouraged Houstonians to practice Suryanamaskars to promoting Indian art and culture in Houston.

“It is a testament to the popularity of the Consul General and a reflection of the outstanding consular services he and his consulate are providing for our community. Harish has set a high benchmark,” Ahluwalia said.

Though Parvathaneni was thankful and appreciative for the sentiments and support, he told the group he was simply doing his job. “[It is] our duty, our dharma to do what we have been sent to do.”

According to the consul general’s website, Parvathaneni previously served in India Mission in Cairo and Riyadh and headed the post as India Representative to the Palestinian Authority stationed in Gaza city. He was on Secondment to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) as the Chief of the Policy Analysis Unit at UNRWA Headquarters in Gaza.

He has a degree in mechanical engineering from Osmania University College of Engineering.

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U.S. death toll from COVID-19 hits 600,000

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U.S. death toll from COVID-19 hits 600,000 | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — The U.S. has reached a grim milestone. More than 600,000 people have died from Covid-19 as officials race to vaccinate more people. But deaths have also been slowing for months because of an aggressive campaign to vaccinate the nation’s elderly and medically vulnerable people.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson just replaced an Indian American administrative law judge who ruled against the state health department in a significant abortion case. Last year, Sreenivasa Rao Dandamudi turned aside Missouri’s effort to close the state’s last abortion provider, a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis. Dandamudi also ruled against the state in a medical marijuana case.

And Pakistani Brit actor Riz Ahmed is forming a new coalition, pushing for more Muslim representation in media and Hollywood.  He’s partnering with several influential institutions like USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative to give out financial grants and offer mentoring.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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20 dead, many injured in Pakistan bus crash

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20 dead, many injured in Pakistan bus crash | Diya TV News

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Diya TV) — A bus crammed with pilgrims coming back from a Muslim religious festival crashed in southwest Pakistan, killing at least 20 people and leaving dozens of others injured. Officials say the bus was overloaded and passengers were even traveling on the roof of the bus. The death toll is expected to increase. 

Police say man accused of killing four members of a Pakistani Canadian Muslim family targeted them for their Islamic faith. 20-year-old Nathaniel Veltman is facing several murder charges for allegedly running them over in his pickup truck. Investigators say there is evidence this was premeditated and motived by hate.

Vice President Kamala Harris walked in the Capital Pride Walk and Rally in Washington, D.C., over the weekend, making history as the first sitting vice president to march in a Pride event.
The Biden-Harris administration has brought LGBTQ issues to the forefront of its agenda. One of the president’s first executive orders called for an end to discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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One in two Indian Americans have encountered racism

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Study: 1 in 2 Indian Americans report facing discrimination | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — According to a new study, Fifty percent of Indian Americans say they have encountered racism in the U.S. in the past year. Discrimination against darker-skinned people is the most common form of bias encountered and the main perpetrators are non-Indians. The study also shows Indian Americans are the second largest immigrant group in the US with more than 4 million living in the country.

Judge Zahid Quraishi has been confirmed by the US Senate, becoming the first Muslim American federal judge. Quraishi, who is of Pakistani descent, was serving as a magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court of New Jersey.

Former Federal prosecutor Preet Bharara’s dinner with an author who once despised Indian food is getting a lot of likes on the internet. On twitter, Tom Nichols is finally admitting his palate is expanding and he wants more Lamb Biryani. Bharara responded on social media by saying Nichols is still getting used to the butter chicken. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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