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Resiliency fund to support artists amidst COVID-19 pandemic

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Resiliency Fund

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Unemployment has proven to be of the cruelest effects perpetuated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as individuals and families alike are left wondering where their next paycheck will materialize from.  The non profit arts organization India Center Foundation (ICF) is partnering with MELA Arts Connect (MAC) to help suture this wound by delivering the grant program, “The South Asian Arts Resiliency Fund”. The grant is posed to assist South Asian artists and personnel within the United states that have lost financial opportunities due to the mandated closures of performances and exhibitions; an ongoing study conducted by Americans for the Arts has thus far concluded that the ripples of the virus has resulted in a financial wound of more than $114 million. The art industry has been ravaged, with the entire art community including artists, producers, mangagers, agents, technicians, and administrators facing a cloud of uncertainty. 

ICF Co-Founder Raoul Bhavnani believes that the situation will only continue to darken, and that it is within these trying times that the art community’s dynamism is truly able to shine as a beacon of light. Bhavnani states that “Communities count on the arts to rally around, to gather and to find connection, especially in times of crisis, and the South Asian community is no different.” 

While the initial funding of the program is set at $20,000, which ICF has provided, the legs of the project will be supported by a crowdfunding campaign co-managed by MAC that will feature a multitude of live streams and other outreach plans in order to reach a targeted goal of half of a million dollars. If the projections are successfully met, the fund will be able to provide hundreds of grants to artists throughout the country. ICF is more than confident that the program will not only reach this hefty goal, but will also eclipse it thanks to benevolent support from philanthropic patrons and communities alike. 

The fund will support the development of future artistic endeavors on a rolling basis throughout the course of the pandemic by providing financial support for the creation, research, strategic planning, and resource allocation for projects. Each individual grant is projected to be a minimum of $1,000 but is subject to change in relation to eligibility and financial needs. The art community can apply for grants starting April 9th at the organizations website.

ICF Co-Founder Priya Giri Desai reassures that the Resiliency Fund will highlight and support South Asian voices in the art world and that these artists can “…feel secure in their choice to pursue a life in the arts.”

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Impact commits $10M to supporting Indian American candidates

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Impact

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Indian American IMPACT, a political organization working to put Indian Americans in public office, announced a new $10 million commitment to support Indian American candidates nationwide. They also announced public interest lawyer Neil Makhija will be IMPACT’s new Executive Director. The number of Indian Americans in Congress has grown five-fold in just the past eight years.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr faced questioning by the House Judiciary Committee about the use of force against Black Lives Matter protesters in recent weeks and the Trump administration’s handling of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll show the clash between Congressmember Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Barr that’s making headlines.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged YouPlus, a Silicon Valley startup, and its CEO Shaukat Shamim with defrauding investors by making false and misleading statements about the company’s finances. The complaint states Shamim told investors YouPlus earned millions of dollars in annual revenue and had more than 100 customers, including Fortune 500 companies. But the scheme dissolved when Shamim is said to have told certain investors YouPlus had earned less than $500,000 and obtained only four paying customers since the company’s 2013 inception.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Feds arrest entrepreneur Mukund Mohan for PPP fraud

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Mukund Mohan

SEATTLE (Diya TV) — U.S. attorneys arrested serial Indian American entrepreneur Mukund Mohan on charges of allegedly defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program with fake and altered documents and embezzling more than $5.5 million in COVID-19 relief funds through six shell companies. Mukund Mohan was a former Microsoft and Amazon executive and is currently the CTO of BuildDirect.

Shahid Buttar, who is running for Congress in San Francisco against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is being accused of sexual harassment by comedienne Elizabeth Croydon. Buttar said Croydon’s charges are false.

Apple manufacturer Foxconn has started building iPhone 11 units in a facility near Chennai in India. It’s the first time Apple has made one of its top-tier phones in India. India is the second-biggest smartphone market in the world, second only to China.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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India & China slowly move towards disengagement

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India

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — India and China held virtual talks and agreed on a complete disengagement of troops along the line of control. But there remains sticking points in multiple areas along the border. India insists bilateral relations will not improve until “full peace and tranquility” are restored.

Police in Schenectady, New York are facing major scrutiny after footage was released of one of their officers applying a neck hold to 31 year old Yugeshwar Gaindarpersaud. He was treated and released, but he continues to face two charges of running away and resisting arrest. He’s accused of slashing his neighbors tire, causing $200 of damage. His attorneys are fighting to get prosecutors to drop the charges.

The UK Parliamentary Group, which visited Pakistan Administered Kashmir, and heavily criticized the Indian government for their recent constitutional change applying to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, acknowledged they received nearly $18,000 from the Pakistan Government to make the trip.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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