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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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Indian Americans jump into congressional races

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Indian Americans jump into congressional races | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The latest numbers show more Indian Americans than ever are running for Congress. In the last six years, nearly 80 candidates made it on the ballot, soaring far beyond numbers seen in past elections. Leading the wave are successful candidates from California, like Kamala Harris, who rose from a Senate seat to become vice president. Helping those numbers, Indians Americans are also one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the country.  

Nisha Ramachandran is the new Executive Director of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the first Indian American to serve in this role.  Ramachandran most recently managed her own consulting business focused on AAPI advocacy. She’ll be working closely with Congresswoman Judy Chu who chairs the group to further Asian American causes and initiatives. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the people of Telangana after the Kakatiya Rudreshwara Ramappa Temple was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The PM also urged citizens to visit the temple which was built during the rule of the Kakatiya dynasty.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Blinken begins India visit, Afghanistan top issue

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Blinken begins India visit, Afghanistan top issue | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — US secretary of state Antony Blinken begins his two-day India visit on Tuesday hoping to engage the nation on issues such as the Covid-19 response, human rights, and democracy. The American troop pullout in Afghanistan will also be a key issue. India is concerned about the implications of the withdrawal and the need for sustained pressure on Pakistan over issues like terror financing.

And India’s first medal at the Tokyo Olympics goes to Mirabai Chanu. She won silver in Women’s weight lifting. Chanu’s Olympic preparations were hindered by injuries and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic but she still beat the odds and is being praised back home.

Tesla may open a factory in India. But CEO Elon Musk says only if the cars receive a good response in that marketplace. The company has already been hiring talent in the country. But Musk also hinted at some downsides to opening overseas, citing India’s import duty tax is the highest in the world for a large country.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Shrina Kurani announces CA congressional campaign

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Shrina Kurani announces CA congressional campaign | Diya TV News

SACRAMENTO (Diya TV) — Indian American Democrat Shrina Kurani is running for Congress in California’s 42nd district and is preparing to take on 15-year Republican incumbent Ken Calvert. Kurani is a mechanical engineer and entrepreneur and says she’s running to create more sustainable jobs in her community and to take on the status quo in Washington DC.

More than 30 interfaith organizations in the U.S. are urging the State Department to sanction India and designate it as a country of “particular concern”. Their resolution claims that the Indian government is promoting policies that lead to the persecution of religious minorities, especially Muslims.
Despite growing concern over rising Covid-19 cases in Japan, the 2021 Tokyo Olympic opening ceremony got underway. India is sending its largest ever contingent to the Olympics with120 athletes competing across 85 events.  The country hopes to win medals for shooting, wrestling, boxing, archery and badminton.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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