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Indian-Americans Playing Important Role in Hurricane Harvey Relief

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Hurricane Harvey

In the wake of catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, Indian-Americans are playing an integral role in relief efforts.

HOUSTON (Diya TV) — In the wake of catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, Indian-Americans are playing an integral role in relief efforts.

Temples, Gurdwaras and mosques have opened their doors to provide shelter. Several Indian restaurants are giving away food and water, medical supplies, toiletries, baby food and cleaning supplies. Many are also providing medical assistance.

Among the organizations taking part in relief efforts is SEWA International, which has mobilized over 800 volunteers for the ‘rescue efforts, which have turned into relief efforts. SEWA mobilized boats, trucks and automobiles to rescue people, working shoulder-to-shoulder with the Coast Guard.

According to a Sept. 7 bulletin from SEWA, volunteers are serving 1,000 hot meals daily, helping with cleaning efforts for under-served areas and have delivered 10 truck loads of materials to support affected families. SEWA volunteers have contributed over 21,000 hours of volunteer work, while 687 people have been rescued.

“We plan to support rebuilding efforts of homes that need to be fixed through a public-private partnership with U.S. government agencies and many of the Indian-American entrepreneurs in Houston,” stated Gitesh Desai, president of SEWA Houston. There are many options for companies, from Ace Roofing Company for those homes left shelterless to companies to relevel and repair foundations, and others to entirely rebuild homes for those who lost everything in the wake of the Hurricane.

The volunteer efforts are just the start. Though FEMA will provide financial assistance, families wills till face unmet needs. SEWA has reached one quarter of their $1 million fundraising goal, having garnered $250,000 in donations as of Sept. 7.

In addition, many Indian-American businesses have opened their doors to provide meals and shelter to those displaced from the storm.

Hindus of Greater Houston, India House, India Culture Center, the Indo-American Charity Foundation and the Indo-American Political Action Committee have been helping in the coordination of relief efforts also.

The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston plans to work with the Small Business Administration and its District Director Tim Jeffcoat in organizing seminars on business loans in the regions affected.

The greater Houston is home to around 150,000 Indian-Americans. Around 30,000 people were evacuated as Harvey bolted through the Houston area. According to Anupam Ray, India’s Consul General in Houston, the population of Indians among them would be in the high hundreds.

“I am proud of the Indian community in Houston. One of the incredible things I saw during Hurricane Harvey is how Indians stepped up to join relief efforts. This was in the best traditions of America and of India,” Ray said.

Harvey belted out five straight days of rain totaling close to 52 inches in some locations. Harvey landed as a Category 4 hurricane on August 25, delivering the heaviest tropical downpour ever recorded in the continental U.S. The storm has claimed at least 47 lives.

FEMA Director Brock Long called Hurricane Harvey the worst disaster in Texas history.

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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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