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Georgia parents offended by ‘Yoga,’ get ‘Namaste’ banned from schools

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yoga-for-kidsATLANTA (Diya TV) — A group of parents at a Cobb County elementary school are upset over the school’s use of yoga and other mindfulness practices for students, claiming it endorses and promotes a non-Christian belief system.

In response, school leaders at Bullard Elementary recently held a meeting with parents to address the “many misconceptions” over the belief that yoga had “created a distraction in our school and community,” according to an email to parents from Bullard principal Patrice Moore.

“While we have been practicing de-stressing techniques in many classrooms for years, there have been some recent practices associated with mindfulness that are offensive to some,” the email states.

However large the misconceptions, the school is making direct changes.

When students participate and use yoga moves in the classroom, they will not say the word “namaste” nor put their hands by their hearts, according to the email. The term and gesture are often used as a greeting in Hindu custom. Additionally, when students are coloring during teaching breaks, they will not be allowed to color mandalas, spiritual symbols in Hinduism and Buddhism.

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The principal also wrote that teachers have “never used nor taught about crystals having healing powers during these breaks, we understand it has become a belief. Therefore we will ensure that nothing resembling this will be done in the future.”

Moore could not be reached for comment, but in her email asked parents to be part of a new committee to gauge input on a variety of topics, including mindfulness and curriculum practices. For the past decade a growing number of schools across the U.S. have begun employing yoga and other mindful practices in their curriculum, in an effort to help students deal with stress and increase the focus on academics.

In some high schools, yoga-based activities are offered on an elective basis. But at lower grade levels, students often participate in yoga breathing exercises in their physical education classes.

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India hits 1 billion vaccine dose milestone

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India hits 1 billion vaccine dose milestone | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — India reached a major milestone in its war against the pandemic with the total number of Covid-19 vaccine doses, crossing the billion-mark. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited a hospital in Delhi to mark the milestone, and described it “as the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit” of the 1.3 billion people in the country.

The White House named 19 young emerging leaders to its fellows program and three are Indian Americans. Joy Basu and Sunny Patel are from California and Aakash Shah is from New Jersey. The prestigious White House Fellowship program embeds professionals from diverse backgrounds for a year of working as a full-time, paid fellow for White House staff, cabinet secretaries and other senior government officials.

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was mobbed by fans as he visited his son Aryan in a Mumbai Jail. Aryan has been in custody for nearly three weeks after being arrested during an illegal drug bust.
Khan waved at fans and a video of the whole incident has gone viral on the internet.

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Biden to nominate Ravi Chaudry to Air Force post

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Biden to nominate Ravi Chaudry to Air Force post | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — President Joe Biden plans to nominate Indian American Ravi Chaudry as the Air Force’s next assistant secretary for installations, environment, and energy. Chaudry is a former Federal Aviation Administration official who served in the Air Force for more than 20 years. If confirmed he would take over a massive portfolio spanning Air Force and Space Force installations worldwide. 

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation announced the appointment of its new Chairwoman, Sonu Ratra, the co-founder and President of IT consulting and talent solutions provider, Akraya as well as the founder of Women Back to Work. Ratra is the first woman and person of color to lead the SVLG Foundation.

Indian American women techies,  Susmita Dutta and Shruti Haldea,  took center stage as Apple unveiled its next line-up of products, including MacBook Pro, next-generation AirPods, and other products and services. 

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Calgary and Edmonton elect mayors of Indian descent | Diya TV News

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Calgary & Edmonton elect mayors of Indian descent | Diya TV News

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — In a historic first, the new Mayors of Calgary and Edmonton, Canada are of Indian descent. Jyoti Gondak and Amarajeet Sohi will be leading their respective cities. Gondek is also Calgary’s first ever female Mayor. In both elections, voters expressed a desire for change, and largely rejected candidates opposed to public health measures to deal with COVID-19.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren wants Amazon to break up after a Reuters report found that the e-commerce giant ran a systematic campaign of creating knockoffs and manipulating search results to boost its own private brands in India, one of the company’s largest growth markets.

In tech news MindBody is acquiring fitness company ClassPass, which allows users to pay for a monthly subscription, allowing them to access a number of classes across a spectrum of fitness genres. The company was founded by Indian American Payal Kadakia.

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