India has Public Toilets for Transgenders #LGBT

India is a country of contradictions and diversity. The title of a Washington Post article sums it up best: India has outlawed homosexuality. But it’s better to be transgender there than in the U.S. (link)

Picture of the day: Public Toilets for Transgenders #LGBT

Transgender_toilet_Bangalore
Picture of Toilet for Transgenders in a Public Bus stand in Bangalore

 

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Can a US citizen apply for an Aadhaar card?

This is a question that frequently appears in online forums. Here is the response from our editor, Mohan:

Firstly, check out the detailed official FAQ on Adhaar (link). A couple of relevant questions

Image result for adhaar faq

Can NRIs also get Aadhaar?

As per the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, only a resident who has resided in India for a period or periods amounting in all to 182 or more in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment.

What is the process if NRI / OCI holder needs to apply for Aadhaar? And if they don’t have their own residential address in India now?

As per the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, only a resident who has resided in India for a period or periods amounting in all to 182 or more in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment.

Keep in mind, Adhaar is not a proof of citizenship. Therefore, people (including US citizen, OCI) legally residing in India are eligible to apply for an Aadhaar card.


Also, check out an earlier blog post on the topic: Income Tax and Adhaar updates for Non Resident Indians (NRIs)

Book Review: ‘Hit Refresh’ by Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella

This is not yet another CEO’s ghost written tome

It is almost customary of tech CEO’s to write a book to to clarify their viewpoints, and also to solidify their personal legacies. The new book by Indian born CEO of tech giant Microsoft, Satya Nadella, does just this.

Indians, Indian-Americans and NRIs have been closely watching the ascend of Indian born technologists like Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai to top of multinational tech companies. There are several nuggets of wisdom that readers are sure to glean from Satya Nadella’s new book.

Amazon book review by our editor,

Not yet another CEO’s ghost written tome ! 

It is a time-honed tradition among tech CEO’s and executives to pen down a biography. The intent is generally multifold – to use it as a vehicle to clarify their viewpoints, and also to solidify their personal legacies. Nadella’s book follows the pattern of his mentor Bill Gates’ bestseller “Business @ the Speed of Thought” that tried to make sense of the seismic changes during the earlier dot.com era. This book takes us through Microsoft’s transformation through the digital-cloud era.

Hit Refresh, as the title suggests, is Nadella’s attempt to take us through his company’s ongoing transformation to ‘refresh’ the strategy, and his quest to “Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul.” A soul that essentially encompasses everything from the culture to competitive landscape and industry partnerships. Of course, corporate watchers and researchers are bound to wonder if a company really has a “soul.”

As a blogger who continually pursues South Asian ‘success stories,’ I have been following Nadella’s journey and his ascend to the top of American multinational is an inspiration to a generation of Indian Americans. In the book, Nadella takes us through the journey in his own words: from his childhood in India to the CEO of a Tech giant, that makes for an interesting read.

The book concludes with Nadella’s vision for the coming wave of digitization and explores its potential impact on society. Techies and students of business strategy are sure to find nuggets of insights in the book.


Bottomline: Nadella gives writer Greg Shaw full credit as a co-author – and the tone and themes in the chapters certainly reflect that of Microsoft’s leader.

According to the blurb, this is an attempt by Microsoft’s CEO to take us through

“the inside story of the company’s continuing transformation, tracing his own personal journey from a childhood in India to leading some of the most significant technological changes in the digital era. As much a humanist as engineer and executive, Nadella concludes with his vision for the coming wave of intelligent technologies and a distinct call to action for leaders everywhere. Hit Refresh is about individual change, about the transformation happening inside of Microsoft and the technology that will soon impact all of our lives–the arrival of the most exciting and disruptive wave of technology humankind has experienced: artificial intelligence, mixed reality, and quantum computing.It’s about how people, organizations, and societies can and must transform “hit refresh” in their persistent quest for new energy, new ideas, and continued relevance and renewal. At its core, it’s about us humans and how our one unique quality–empathy–will become ever more valuable in a world where technological advancement will disrupt the status quo as never before. Satya Nadella explores a fascinating childhood before immigrating to the US and how he learned to lead along the way.”


Book Review “I Do What I Do” – Does a green card make you less Indian?

Does a green card make you less Indian?

Names like Raghuram Rajan, Arvind Pangariya et al. are role models for the global Indian diaspora. They also happen to be globalized intellectuals with impeccable credentials, stellar education backed by real world experience.

Former Governor of the Indian Reserve bank, Raghuram Rajan (wikipedia) has decided to speak out his legacy of 3 years in India with the launch of his recent book “I Do What I Do.”  One aspect that continues to resurface in the media is the question of his “Indianness,” which is attributable to the fact that he has spent much of his working life abroad.

Questions on his “Indianness,” sometimes puts the an otherwise articulate intellectual, Mr. Rajan on the defensive. This continues to be a part of the rhetoric despite his impeccable educational credentials that include a bachelors degree from the prestigious IIT Delhi and an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. Having a global background like these also means they are unencumbered by trivialities like visas and immigration restriction that may apply to rest of the junta.

The book has received a lot of media hype in India though the global Amazon.com website has a couple of reviews. Extract of the Amazon Review from our editor:

Former Governor of the Indian Reserve bank, Raghuram Rajan has decided to speak out about his legacy of 3 years in India with the launch of his recent book “I Do What I Do.”  

After browsing through the book, I am left wondering about the media hype the book launch received in India. The book is a compilation of his public speeches with a preface and notes added to clarify and explain his thinking during the period. Mr. Ranaj received a superstar welcome on his recent homecoming for the book-launch and has received sufficient media airtime that he has leveraged craftily.

You should consider buying a copy of the book only if you need a handy reference to Mr Rajan’s speeches; else you are better off referencing these speeches from the public domain on the web.

Other book reviews and media references:

 

Neha Banerjee from India secures 6th position at Mrs. Universe World Event 2017

Neha Banerjee with other contestants (14)

She is brave, bold, and beautiful. She is India! Guess who made India proud? Neha Banerjee shines the tiara of bravery & beauty when she was crowned Mrs. Bravery & Mrs. Beautiful Eyes at 40th Mrs. Universe at Durban’s Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre tapping into the theme, Empowering women. Creating change. For the first time in 40 years, India has glorified the national flag on International soil at Mrs. Universe pageant celebrates married women between the age group of 25 and 45 who are doing phenomenal work to uplift and enhance their local communities through CSI initiatives, business development and global trade opportunities. “It was a great honor to represent India on global level with other 184 countries worldwide. The aim of Mrs. Universe is to unite and celebrate women from across the globe. Seeing the country in a different light through the eyes of strangers was a great experience. I got to meet people from all over the world and they were all so inspirational. They were all there with a purpose and not just to win the competition‚ but spread their message” said Neha.

Neha Banerjee (4)
It has been very rightly said that women are the true architect of the society and it aptly applies to Neha Banerjee who represented India among 184 countries worldwide is already involved in important work to uplift and improve her local communities through charity work, business development and global trade opportunities “I am an active philanthropist in India. It was a feeling of pride to serve another country. We were involved in many philanthropic gestures. Unlike other pageants Mrs. Universe is purpose-driven, highlighting real concerns and areas for positive change. This pageant pools together women from all backgrounds, all of whom have overcome challenges to bring about positive changes in their respective communities”

Neha ,who is a strong willed and an optimistic person whose life motto is to infuse positivity, gravitas, happiness and success in one’s life by boosting their morale and helping them discover their inner strengths and self -esteem wore a traditional Rajastjani colorful poshak depicting an Indian woman’s belief, convictions & values. Her costume was awe-inspiring to awesome, dazzling to daring , expansive and exhilarating to bold.

Contestants engaged in various CSI initiatives to raise funds for Verulam-based LIV Village for orphaned and vulnerable children, facilities that support abused women and the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA). Contestants also visited schools in and around Durban to engage with young women and girls about the importance of education and self-development.

Contestants were also involved in a week of activities prior to the pageant, including visits to KZN cultural attractions and Durban’s tourist hot spots, stepping out in their swimsuits for East Coast Radio’s First Swim of Spring, and putting their heads together at a business strategy workshop at increasing inbound trade and tourism to South Africa.

Medical and Dental Tourism to India

Indians, NRIs and tourists from around the world are beginning to realize the potential of modern and traditional Indian medicine. Indian hospitals and medical establishments have also realized the potential of this niche market and have begun to tailor their services for foreign visitors. GaramChai.com has an extensive listing of Medical Tourism providers.

In this blog we feature Dental Tourism at Dr. Krinita Motwani’s Multi-speciality Dental Clinic.

DentalTourism

Dental tourism in India has become very popular over the last decade. Patients from world over are visiting the subcontinent to avail various dental treatments. The exotic locations and quality health care facilities make India an ideal choice for “Dental Tourism”. Dental clinics easily create a package for you that involve both your treatment plan and your vacation.

At Dr. Krinita Motwani’s Dental Clinic we understand all your needs and ensure that you leave the country with not just a beautiful set of teeth but also happy memories. You can communicate with us through email. We encourage Patients to share pictures and x-rays. This gives us a chance to plan the treatment in detail and give a more precise estimate of treatment time/visits as well as cost structure.

consultation room.JPG

This state of the art dental studio has a unique combination of a relaxing ambience along with use of cutting edge equipment and internationally acclaimed dental materials. The atmosphere is unlike regular expected dental clinics. We follow excellent protocol for infection control and hygiene and are associated with the best laboratories in the country. We are extremely proud of our pleasant, friendly and well trained staff going out of the way to make patients feel at home and deliver personalized dental care ranging from simple prophylaxis to a complete smile make-over!!

The dental clinic is spacious, tastefully decorated with everything passionately handpicked by Dr. Krinita. A great deal of effort has been put in combining artistic value with high end technology.

Well equipped with cutting edge armamentarium:

  • Automated dental chairs imported and assembled in Germany -for optimum comfort and efficiency
  • RVG: digital dental x ray software- less time consuming and reduced exposure to radiations
  • Autoclave for sterilization with the latest technology in an isolated area
  • Disposable products to maintain high levels of patient hygiene
  • Top of the line instruments and dental materials – only best in the world.

The wide range of services offered at the Dental Clinic include:

  • Dental Implants
  • Cosmetic Dentistry
  • Dental Veneers
  • Single sitting Root canal treatment
  • Surgical extraction
  • Tooth Coloured Restorations
  • Invisible braces
  • Smile design
  • Paediatric dentistry
  • Dental crowns
  • Tooth whitening
  • Tooth Jewellery

You can get more detailed information on their website. 

 

Announcing Indian cultural events

Mallika Sarabhai 9.23.17 promo image
9/23/17, 5:00 pm: Natya Dance Theatre presents Mallika Sarabhai’s Out of Bounds  + Finding My Voice (double bill)
Location: Oswego East High School, 1525 Harvey Road, Oswego, IL, 60543

The lyrics for Bharata Natyam were written many hundred years ago, when humanity’s primary concern was the longing to find God or be united with the eternal One. The lyrics were primarily in Tamil and Telugu with later dancers bringing in the voices of Kabir, Meera and other medieval poets.

Today some of us wish to speak of other, more current issues and thoughts, still using the sophistry of the dance style of Bharata Natyam. Finding My Voice brings to audiences thoughts on global warming, live in relationships, an atheists relationship with the Goddess, sexual preferences and the growing intolerance in the world, all in the strictest and most complex Pandanallur Bharata Natyam vocabulary.

In Out of Bounds, Revanta Sarabhai and Pooja Purohit pose the question: what happens when you dissect Bharata Natyam to its core? The two dancers look for a new narrative, while their bodies still carry traces of the past. We see, in three chapters, a man and a woman transform the pure form of their dance to a story about relationships.
Choreography: Mallika and Revanta Sarabhai

“Sarabhai breaks open the language of classical dance” – De Volkskraant, 2015

10/7/17, 4:00 pm: Natya Dance Theatre and Nrithyanjali School of Dance present Leela Samson’s NADI
Location: Pfeiffer Hall at North Central College, 310 East Benton Avenue, Naperville, IL, 60540

Co-presented by Natya Dance Theatre and Nrithyanjali School of Dance, Leela Samson’s Spanda Dance Company brings NADI to the Chicago area. Spanda Dance is a group founded in 1995 that presents works conceived and choreographed by Leela Samson, explores group dynamics in Bharata Natyam. Spanda seeks to establish a relevant dialogue between dance, music and stage craft.

From Sufi fakirs in the North to Baul singers in Bengal to Sangam poetry and classical composers in the South, an ocean of poetry has been penned inspired by the river. NADI explores the love and longing, the physical changes and the deep philosophy that the river inspired through the centuries-old voices of India’s poets. NADI includes eclectic selection of poems in different languages and musical genres from the thumris of Varanasi, to Tagore’s melodies and the Baul renderings of Bengal, to Sangam poetry, the previous centuries Dikshitar, and to modern-day Girish Karnad of the South. These pieces are tied together by Rajkumar Bharathi, who has used some traditional tunes and has re-composed others to create dialogue between music genres and between languages of the vast nation of India. NADI is a common link with elements like the river teaching man the usefulness and beauty of nature and our link to it.


 

You may also be interested in extensive listings of Indian Dance and Music Academies in the US from GaramChai.com