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Photo Credits: Photo Narrations of Rahul Rathi and Rasik Metha

BURLINGTON, MA—More than 1,200 people attended Health & Wellness 2014, which highlighted 40 speakers, moderators and workshop instructors and covered a wide range of health issues from various perspective—ranging from traditional to alternative medicine and from yoga, meditation and dance workshops to breathing exercises. "The phenomenal success of our second annual Health & Wellness Expo 2014 confirmed our belief that our community wants and needs such quality medical educational event," said Dr. Manju Sheth, who chaired the conference. "Along with the expected success of talks on traditional medicine, we were very glad to see a great response to our introduction of health workshops, dental, alternative and holistic medicine segments also."

Dr. Sheth said organizers of the expo also received invaluable feedback and suggestions from the attendees and speakers and they all will be incorporated into the next year's Health & Wellness Expo 2015.
Founded in 1977, Gurjar has become the leading voice of thousands of Gujrati speaking families in New England. As a non-profit entity, Gurjar organizes year-round educational and entertaining cultural events, youth programs, Diwali, Navratri, Melas, scholarship, charity fund-raising, grand-parents club, drama, musical concerts, and poetry recitals, among other activities. This year, Gurjar is celebrating it 35th anniversary. On this occasion, INDIA New England News spoke with Gurjar President Eshani Shah.
Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, who was a keynote speaker at Health & Wellness Expo 2014 this weekend and spoke on "Dharma, Happiness and Living with Purpose", and Adrian Wilkins, a business and personal coach, will conduct a workshop on "An Invitation to Happiness" on Saturday, April 26, in Waltham, MA. "We all aspire to be happy and constantly seek ways to be happier. Is there a formula for happiness ? What have we learnt from ancient philosophers, modern sages and the most current and groundbreaking research? Are there tangible benefits of being happy?" asked Dr. Chopra. "We are confident that attendees will leave informed', perhaps even inspired and with simple exercises we will teach that they can integrate into their daily routine to experience sustained happiness and joy." 
Samip Mallick, co-founder of the South Asian American Digital Archives, will be in Boston on April 29th and will be speaking about his project: "Community Archives in the Digital Era: Creating the South Asian American Digital Archive." His website now has over 1500 items covering some of the earliest immigrants who came to this country over a century ago, the challenges and discrimination they faced and their stories. The event, scheduled from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, is hosted by Impact Hub Boston in collaboration with the key local partners: TiE-Boston, Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs - New England (OPEN-NE), The Sikh Gurdwaras in Millis and Milford, MA, and NETSAP - Network of South Asian Professionals. 
Harvard University and its South Asia Institute and Department of South Asian Studies will host the 18th Annual India Poetry Reading and the 6th Anniversary Meeting of South Asian Poets of New England at 3:00 pm on May 17 at the South Asia Building auditorium in Cambridge, MA. Poems in all languages are invited for recitation and all are welcome. INDIA New England News spoke to Bijoy Misra, one of the organizers of the event Bijoy Misra of Harvard University, about this event. Question: How and when did India Poetry reading at Harvard University start? Misra: India Poetry Reading at Harvard University began as a language recitation event in 1997. We had formed an Outreach Committee to support the work of the Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies at Harvard. 
On April 17, Indian Ambassador S. Jaishankar visited the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, MA, and gave a speech on " India and the United States : The Long View." Here are the excerpts from his address. "As the Ambassador of one nation to the other, it is my responsibility to promote these ties. That is a task which I have addressed myself to for more than three decades, twice in the Foreign Ministry and twice more at the Embassy. It was also my privilege to be associated deeply with a phase when these relations underwent real transformation. On the American side, Ambassador Burns was a key partner during that period. So, it is a special honor to be here at his invitation and to share my thoughts, with him present, on where India-US ties could be headed. 
From April 21-25, former WNBA players Tamika Williams and Edna Campbell will visit Sri Lanka as State Department Sports Envoys. Williams and Campbell will teach basketball skills with a focus on empowerment of girls and with an emphasis on teamwork and cross-cultural communication. The exchange is part of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative. The program supports women and girls in local communities in building the leadership skills necessary to succeed on and off the court. The Envoys will engage women and girls in the cities of Colombo, Galle, and Matara. 
The United States condemned the vicious attack on television journalist Hamid Mir in Karachi, the latest in a series of worrisome attacks on journalists in Pakistan. "Freedom of the press, including ensuring that journalists can safely carry out their vital mission, is of paramount importance to freedom of expression and to the healthy functioning of any democracy," the US State Department said in a statement. "As Ambassador Olson powerfully said just recently, attacks like these should be a wake-up call to all who value democracy in Pakistan. We wish Hamid Mir a speedy recovery, and urge the Government of Pakistan to bring all those responsible for these attacks on the media to justice."
The month of April marked the celebration of Chaitra Navarathri at Shirdi Sai Temple in Chelmsford, MA. The devotees from all over New England and beyond came to the temple to be part of various festivities for nine days and to seek baba's blessings.  NESSP Shirdi Sai Temple located in Chelmsford, MA, celebrated its Annual Chaitra Navaratri, a Nine-Day long festival starting March 31st through April 8th. Rama Navami is one of the important Hindu Festivals, celebrating the birth of lord Rama to King Dasharatha and Kausalya.
WALTHAM, MA — The free Health & Wellness Expo, aimed at educating the Indian and South Asian community about common diseases and their prevention, is all set for this Sunday, April 20, at the Burlington Marriott Hotel in Burlington, MA. The free Health Expo, which is scheduled to start at 9:00 am, is organized by INDIA New England News, the region's largest and oldest print and online newspaper serving the South Asian community and is sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare, Emerson Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Health Care, Bournewood Health Systems, The Mishra Group, Inc. and the Burlington Marriott Hotel. The registration will start at 8:00 am. More than 40 speakers are scheduled to speak during the day-long conference, which will host 35 plenary medical sessions and workshops, 25 exhibitors and about 1,000 attendees. 
BURLINGTON, MA—India Association of Greater Boston has called an emergency general body meeting of its members on April 27 to discuss popular India Day celebration that have been traditionally held at Hatch Shell in Boston but were cancelled last year because of increased security costs and maintenance issues. "The primary purpose of the meeting is to get the approval of the General Body for incurring certain expenses related to holding the upcoming IAGB India Day Celebrations at the Hatch Shell," IAGB Secretary Pravin Mundkur said in a letter sent to IAGB members. "Additional items related to the IAGB ByLaws may also be discussed if time permits."

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DHAKA, Bangladesh — The Government of Bangladesh and the World Bank launched the Municipal Governance and Service Project to improve municipal governance and basic urban services in city corporations and municipalities in Bangladesh. The initiative will benefit 3.4 million people in around 100 urban communities across the country. The project will provide financial support through the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) to the pre-selected 26 urban government bodies with high economic growth and job creation potential, located along growth corridors leading from Dhaka towards Chittagong, Rangpur, Sylhet, Mymensingh.
The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announced a Request for Proposals from organizations interested in submitting proposals for projects that promote democracy and human rights in Afghanistan and Bangladesh. DRL invites organizations to submit proposals outlining program concepts and capacity to manage projects targeting the following: DRL’s goal is to support civil society’s role in building an inclusive and sustainable grassroots movement for peace and reconciliation and civil society’s role in resolving local-level conflicts and grievances.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The US State Department announced the FY 2014 Funding Opportunity Announcement for global innovation programs to help the humanitarian community better prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV) in the protracted phase of refugee and conflict-related displacement. The Proposal submission deadline is Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. noon EDT.  All applicants must submit proposals through the website Grants.gov. Proposed program start dates: August 1-September 1, 2014.
WASHINGTON, D.C — Shahid Siddiqui, the former MP and editor of Nai Duniya newspaper, today called on Narendra Modi, the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate, to set up a judicial commission within first 100 days of his government, as a bold confidence building measure if he wins the election. Addressing an audience of the Indian American community, and American think tanks, and investors, organized by the Washington, DC based US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC), Siddiqui said, “Such a commission can immediately and efficiently investigate all pending cases of past five years involving terrorism and related.
Thirty-seven Indian men seeking asylum have begun a hunger strike in a detention center in El Paso, Texas. This falls on the heels of immigration detention hunger strikes in Tacoma, Washington and Conroe, Texas, National Immigrant Youth Alliance said in a statement. Mohammad Abdollah, an organizer of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, said there about 50 Indian immigrant in the El Paso detention center, but only 37 are participating in the strike.

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Laika is a very touching and poignant story with three main characters - Laika, the first dog to go into space, Yelena Dubrovsky, dog trainer and Sergei Korolev, lead Soviet rocket engineer and spacecraft designer for the Sputnik mission.


Bajpai has created a delightful young lady in Leelavati - charming, witty, smart, adventurous  and full of joie de vivre. The book takes the reader to Ujjayani, the city Leelavati is from and gives a glimpse into the lives of the people in those times - the pronounced caste system, the sharp distinction between men and women’s roles, the societal practices and much more. The love story is narrated with great sensitivity and stirs the reader. The book is filled with excitement all throughout and there is never a dull moment. Bajpai does a great job in arousing the reader’s curiosity regarding whether fate will allow the young hearts to unite. This YA book is written in simple, mellifluous language which makes it a pleasure to read.

Would you like to know how Navin Kundra writes songs?

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