1,000 attend VHPA’s annual celebration of Diwali in Atlanta



Sheth Family Foundation gifts $1.2 m. worth property to Georgia Charter Schools Association

Atlanta, GA: Award-winning music directors Salim Merchant and Sulaiman Merchant, accompanied by noted singers Shweta Pandit and Vipul Mehta, and Indian Idol Six winner will be performing at the Arena at Gwinnett Center here on November 15. The Salim-Sulaiman Live 2014 Concert is locally promoted by Angel Eyes Entertainment.

The talented duo, who has been nominated for Daytime Emmy Awards, collaborated to remix songs (Born This Way and Judas) with Lady Gaga and made their mark in the international music scene.  They performed the anthem at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa in collaboration with the South African singer Loyiso Bala and Kenyan singer Eric Wainaina.  They also sang their soulful number Shukran Allah from the film Kurbaan, alongside Shakira at the World Cup festivities.  

The names Salim and Sulaiman are synonymous with the vibrant Bollywood music industry. They are amongst the most sought-after music directors in India today.  Ever since arriving in Bollywood in 1997, the duo’s work has been recognized by many. By incorporating Western, folk, Indian and Sufi influences to their music, the talented siblings have managed to enthrall audiences across the world by not only keeping up with the changing face of India’s film industry, but also helping to redefine it.  Their first break came when Karan Johar provided them an opportunity to compose music for the film Kaal, and then there was no looking back.  They went on to compose music for industry icons such as Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai and Ram Gopal Verma.

Recently, they collaborated with Farhan Akhtar on the single Chhulein Aasman as part of an initiative to increase Internet literacy among women in India.  In keeping with the broader theme of enhancing the quality of life for all, the Atlanta concert will be honoring various charitable organizations, including Vibha – a movement that empowers individuals to make a difference and helps ensure that underprivileged children attain their right to education, health and opportunity, and Raksha – an organization committed to helping South Asian communities in different areas, including women empowerment.

The Salim-Sulaiman Live 2014 Concert at the Arena at Gwinnett Center on November 15, promises to bring the city one of the most memorable musical events of the year.

For tickets or for additional information about the concert, please visit Web site: angeleyesentertainment.com,  or call 404-654-0208.


Atlanta, GA: An unanticipated donation of two buildings worth $1.2 million totaling approximately 20,000 sq ft to the Georgia Charter Schools

The gift was given by Dr. Jagdish Sheth, Charles Kellstadt Professor of Marketing at the Goizueta Business School of Emory University, and an internationally renowned author and education that has made him a recognized thought leader in Marketing, Business  Psychology and Sustainability. I know that the Foundation’s gift will open up similar pathways for students in Georgia, who want access to high quality charter schools.”

Dr. Sheth explained the reason for the Foundation’s donation saying, “I believe that ordinary people can become extraordinary citizens when given the foundation of a quality education. The more I have learned about the charter school experiment nationally, the more impressed I’ve become about the success of charter donation is my way of giving back to the country that has provided such an outstanding education for me and my family.”

Madhu Sheth echoed her husband’s sentiments, saying, “My life is a testament to power of a rigorous and demanding education. I benefited from every educational opportunity that came my way, went to college and eventually became a schoolteacher. This gift is our way of giving back.”

The Sheth Family Foundation will be publicly recognized for this generosity at the 2015 Georgia Charter Schools Leadership Conference, to be held on Salim-Sulaiman Live 2014 Concert in Atlanta on Nov. 15

1,000 attend VHPA’s annual celebration of Diwali in Atlanta



Atlanta, GA: The Indian community of Atlanta gathered at Centennial Olympic Park here on October 12 to celebrate “Diwali – the festival of lights,” an event organized by the Atlanta chapter of World Hindu Council of America (VHPA).  This was the ninth annual celebration and, like every year, it presented music and dances of India performed by talented artists from the Atlanta Indian community.

The attendance this year was about 1,000 people.  The performing artists — about 20 different groups and individuals — gave an outstanding performance. They were greatly appreciated by the ence. of Sreedevi Dadithota of Kusum Khurana, president the Natyaabhinaya Dance of VHPA-Atlanta chapter, wel- School presented a beautiful comed the gathering.  The invocatory dance in the traditional lamp was lit by the Kuchipudi form. Cobb chief guest Deputy Consul Balvihar student team put General of India in Atlanta, forth a dance medley, choreoR. Srinivas, and his wife graphed by Nikki Bagadi Anagha. set to popular Hindi film dance, set to Deva Shri Ganesha. The group, too large to be accommodated on the stage, danced on the green lawns, with an adorable Bal-Ganesh  amidst   them.

Talented young women from the Kalaivani Dance and Music Academy performed a Raudra Roop  of Goddess 

Bharatanatyam fusion dance. Hema Vishwanathan and Aditya Prem, a long-time Prina Patel.

favorite with the audience and It was a great pleasure to organizers alike, and Mahek listen to Amol Khanapurkar,Over 1,000 people attended “Diwali — the Festival of Lights” organized by the Atlanta chapter of Viswa Hindu Parishad of America; Right: Committee members of VHPA.

Adding a completely different flavor to the show  was the high-energy performance of Zumba, a popular dance-cumexercise routine, led by Shiela Devlia of the “Z Fitness With Shiela” accompanied by audience, who cheered, clapped and at times broke into impromptu dances on the green lawns of the amphi theater.

The program was opened with the traditional Ganesh and Saraswati Vandana by the students of Balvihar and all the kids present in the audi-The cultural program began with a classical Kathak dance by Leera Rawal, a disciple of Birju Maharaj and Kumudiniben Lakhia, followed by a variety of classical, fusion, folk and Hindi film dances, along with melodious old and new Hindi songs. The 5-7 year old students.

Association hosted this annual festival.

Diwali is one of the most celebrated events in the Hindu calendar. This festival is as important to Hindus as Christmas is to Christians.

At the beginning, there was a prayer service with Lakshmi Ji Aarti Pooja by the women from the community. The cultural program included traditional Punjabi folk dances, Bollywood medleys, and fusion dances. It was an evening to enjoy the splendor, decoration, and enticing solo and     group  performances along with a plateful of delicious appetizers and a drink of your choice.

The program had awesome sponsors, raffle items and the night. A lavish spread of sumptuous north Indian food and a grand stall of India sweets had everyone wanting for more.

Ash Chandler, an all-in-one entertainer, was a surprise item in the program and icing on the cake.

Ajit  Kumar, Consular General of India in Atlanta, graced the occasion, and said that it was his fourth annual Diwali program in Atlanta,  and it was always encouraged by the audience response and the dazzling performances. He was happy to note that the Indian culture continues to grow strong with younger generation participating with enthusiasm.

Diwali  with Punjabi touch songs. Cobb Balvihar teachers and volunteers  presented another fast paced medley. Balgokulam student group performed a traditional Garba. Another group of talented kids danced on a sweet medley starting with the name of Lord Ganesha followed by Punjabi Bhangra, Hindi film and Rajhastani dance forms.

Mrunal Saggere from Maharashtra Mandal of Atlanta coordinated and choreographed a kids group  Patel, an accomplished dancer from Mahek Dance Academy, performed a beautiful fusion dance.

Also showcased were the beautiful folk dances of India — the Gopika-Kolatam;  the Koli or fishermen dance from Maharashtra; the most popular fast-paced “Lavani;” and the “Jogwa,” a prayer dance paying homage to Goddess Durga.  A dance, choreographed by Pratima,  ended with the formation of the a singer par excellence, who enthralled the crowd with two Hindi film songs. Shyam Gupta, a well-known vocalist, gave an excellent impromptu performance. Jiten Singh sang an old favorite Mere Desh ki Dharti and Shyam Tiwari soulfully did justice to Tumko Dekha to yeh Khayal ayaa

Sabitha Venugopal kept the audience engaged and informed with her efficient emceeing.

Over 10,000 Asian American voters in Georgia may be suspected of felony voter fraud


Atlanta, GA: On the eve of 2014 mid-term elections, an Open Records investigation led by award-winning investigative reporter Greg Palast has uncovered lists of millions of voters suspected of double voting through a controversial “Crosscheck Program” being used in 27 states including Georgia.  The list in Georgia used by the Georgia Secretary of State identifies more than 10,000 Asian-American registered voters as potential double voters according to the investigative report.  Voting in two different states is deemed a felony crime. According to the full-length piece in Al Jazeera, the Crosscheck Program was created by Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, and designed to check if there are voters with the same names in participating states. If the first name and last name match, these voters are added to the list as suspected double voters. The investigation reveals a disproportionate finding of voter fraud among Asian American, African American and Latino voters.

The year-long investigation found serious issues in this Crosscheck Program including:                                    

— 1 in 8 Asian Americans, 1 in 8 Latinos, and 1 in 7 African Americans are identified as potential double voters, significantly higher than the number of White Americans identified as potential double voters in Crosscheck; — Social security numbers did not have to match for same named persons in different states to be identified as one, single “double” voter; — Middle names of persons in different states did not have to match to be identified as one, single “double” voter; — Despite millions being identified as potential double voters, so far the Crosscheck program has resulted in zero prosecutions or findings of actual voter fraud.

“Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta, together with its sister affiliate groups, are currently reviewing the data and exploring legal strategies to ensure all Asian American voters have their voices heard,” said Helen Ho Advancing Justice – Atlanta’s Executive Director. “This latest hurdle for minority voters in Georgia should propel and incite us all to vote. If anyone has trouble voting, reporting this problem will only help our goal of voter equity because it will identify and resolve this issue.  This can only suppress our vote if we let it,” said Ho. Anyone with questions or difficulty before November 4 should call Advancing Justice – Atlanta at 404-585-8446.  We can assist in English, Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese languages.  Voters experiencing difficulty on November 4 should call 1-888-API-VOTE, a multilingual hotline among Advancing Justice, APIA Vote and the Lawyers Committee. The investigative report is available at:  http://projects. aljazeera.com/2014/doublevoters/index.html. 



Source: WHN Media Network