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In the #MeToo era, Maitri Bay Area continues to trailblaze, raises $650K to combat DV

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Maitri gets recognized by County Supervisor Cindy Chavez and Assemblymember Ash Kalra for their work

So much has changed since Maitri’s inception in the Bay Area 27 years ago. While domestic violence is still rampant globally, conversations about this scourge are now out in the open.

“It is now considered a community cause and not women’s cause,” said Vinita Gupta, Maitri’s Co-Chair & Trustee.

“It used to be in the closet, nobody wanted to talk about it. Over the last few years, thanks to Maitri, being the catalyst, agent of change, people have started talking about it,” said Shamik Mehta, Maitri Co-Chair & Trustee.

“For the first time, I feel we are not behind the mainstream, we are not behind the global movement, said Sonia Pelia, Maitri’s President for the last 25 years.

“We are with it. We actually have a leadership position in domestic violence, familial violence, abuse, here in the Bay Area.”

The #MeToo movement online and public shaming of perpetrators of sexual assault is changing the narrative and opening up the door to a new generation of supporters for this non-profit committed to helping folks in troubled times.

Maitri Donor Pooja Shah thinks “it’s great that there’s so many other movements that are happening in the space, so that organizations like Maitri can really can thrive.”

Board Member and Maitri Trustee Reni Narayen remarked that “when someone is out here in a foreign land and there’s nobody else for them, so we are their safety net in a sense.”

She and her husband Shantanu, CEO of Adobe, were among the jetset crowd that helped Maitri raise more than $650,000, money that empowers thousands of people each year. With so many cases of domestic violence and sexual assault in the spotlight, it’s clear this epidemic is far from over. But Maitri leaders like Narayen vow to root out this problem to the end.

“Regardless if it’s a well-known case or someone we’ve been helping behind the scenes, to us it doesn’t matter. It’s another client who needs help, or another person who needs help. So you just have to reach out to them and give them the support that they need because we are their family and we are their friends.”

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Jolly Joseph held for serial killings of her family in South India

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Jolly Joseph

Koodathai, India (Diya TV)  — A 47 year old mother of two in Kerala is being held on suspicion of using cyanide to murder at least six of her own family members, including her husband and in-laws. Jolly Joseph is behind bars as police continue their investigation into the serial killings. Police and neighbors allege after the deaths of her immediate family, years later, Jolly killed the wife and child of a man she went on to marry.

India’s Commerce minister Piyush Goyal will meet US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer once again this week as the U.S. and India continue bilateral trade negotiations. These talks come days after India exited a China-backed trade agreement that covered much of Asia, citing domestic concerns.

Just a couple of months after the ‘Howdy Modi’ event that brought India and the U.S. together in a manner we’ve never seen before, President Trump told reporters he does plan to visit India soon, after Prime Minister Modi extended an invitation to him in Houston.

Kshama Sawant was reelected to Seattle’s City Council, despite Amazon spending $500,000 to back her opponent. Sawant, a self-proclaimed socialist, ran on an agenda to deal with Seattle’s growing gentrification, homelessness and a lack of affordable housing

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Calm prevails after Indian Supreme Court rules on Ayodhya

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AYODHYA, India (Diya TV)  — In a politically and culturally sensitive dispute going back decades, the Indian Supreme Court awarded nearly three acres of sacred land in Ayodhya to Hindus, while mandating an alternative five-acre plot for a mosque. The court also deemed the demolition of the Babri Masjid on that site in 1991 a crime. The unanimous decision by five justices paves the way for the construction of a new Hindu temple on the parcel of land believed to be Lord Ram’s birthplace, ending the oldest land title dispute in India.Calls for peace were listened to over the weekend. Now, next steps involve determining how and where precisely the temple and mosque will be built.

In a major step forward between India and Pakistan, the Kartarpur corridor on the border of the two nations opened up for Sikhs to make pilgrimage on Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th birth anniversary. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan for understanding India’s sentiment on this issue. 500 pilgrims made the initial voyage, including former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian Supreme Court ends Ayodhya dispute: Hindus receive land, Muslims get alternative site

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AYODHYA, India (Diya TV)  — In a decision over a subject that has been politically and culturally sensitive for several decades, the Indian Supreme Court awarded the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land in Ayodhya to Hindus, while deeming the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1991 a crime.

The unanimous decision by five justices, led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, paves the way for the construction a new Hindu temple at the site, believed to be Lord Ram’s birthplace. The decision ends the oldest land title dispute in India.

A board of trustees will be established in the next three months to determine construction plans for the temple. While the court ruled in favor of the Hindu petition, they ordered five acres of land to be set aside at an alternative site in Ayodhya for a mosque to be built.

Ahead of the verdict political leaders appealed for peace and calm. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the verdict in this sensitive case will “not be a matter of victory or loss,” appealing to his nation to “strengthen India’s great tradition of peace, unity and amity.”

The court was also clear the desecration of the Babri Masjid was still a criminal matter and a court case on that issue is still pending.

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