Desi Talk - page 14

– that’s all you need to know
14
May 8, 2015
CITY VIEWS
From Chicago Bureau
– LOMBARD, Ill.
ver 300 ecstatic fans
showed up to hear Raga
Boyz, a popular band
from Pakistan, perform
here at Mezban
Restaurant, April 17. Khan broth-
ers Nayab Ali,Wali Hamid Ali and
InamAli performed music of all
genres, from ragas to rock, from
Sufi to heavy metal, from folk to
fusion. Organizer and host was Ali
Khan, emcees Mona Bhalla and Ali
King Khan, chief guests Sunil Shah
and Moon Khan, office-bearers of
the splinter FIA.
Sons of legendary singer Ustad
Hamid Ali Khan and nephews of
the late Ustad Amanat Ali Khan
and Fateh Ali Khan, Raga Boyz are
the ninth generation of the
famous Patiala Gharana. The three
brothers banded in 2006 and the
name “Raga Boyz” was coined by
none other than their father.
Eldest brother Nayab is known
for his divine voice and soulful
renditions of classical, semi-classi-
cal and Sufi melodies.
Lead vocalistWali Hamid is a
pop and semi-classical singer and
composer.
A high octane stage performer,
he keeps the audience on their
feet. Inam, 20, the youngest, is a
hard core classical singer who ren-
ders complex alaap and taan with
mesmerizing ease.
“The love from Indians, includ-
ing emigrants, is encouraging.We
always enjoy performing in India,
U.S., Canada and around the
world,” saidWali Hamid.
“In India, people greet us with
same warmth every time,” added
InamAli.
Raga Boyz have performed in
some of the best global venues
such asWembley Arena (U.K.) and
Radio City Music Hall (NYC). They
have appeared with singers such
as Shakira and Rihanna.
The have won several awards
and competitions internationally.
Times Music is releasing Raga
Boyz’s new album“Raga Rocks –
The Ultimate Raga Fusion” in
India.
The band performed at Blue
Frog, Mumbai, July 5, 2013, and
Blue Frog, Delhi, July 6, 2013. They
sang the song ‘Mann Qunto
Maula’ from the film“Maximum,”
starring Sonu Sood, Neha Dhupia
and Naseeruddin Shah.
Sponsors were Sahil,
Sophisticutz Salon & Spa, ChunrI
Boutique, Adara makeup, Inspire
Boutique, Studio Elite, Desi Talent
Chicago and NewYork Life. All
splinter FIAmembers attended
along with friends.
Raga Boyz Band From Pakistan Delight Fans With Varied Fare
O
Over 300 fans showed up to hear Raga Boyz perform at Mezban
Restaurant in Lombard, Illinois, April 17 . Seen from left, front row, are brothers Inam Ali
Khan, Wali Hamid Ali Khan and Nayab Ali Khan.
From Chicago Bureau
– CHICAGO
C
ook County (CC) Board
unanimously passed an
ordinance April 29, pro-
hibiting the county from purchas-
ing goods and uniforms from gar-
ment vendors who use sweatshop
labor in any part of their supply
chain, including subcontractors.
This follows a similar measure
sponsored by Chicago Alderman
Ameya Pawar and passed by
Chicago City Council in 2014. CC
Commissioner John Fritchey was
joined by Pawar and local anti-
sweatshop advocates here at
downtown CC Building, April 24,
to announce the proposal. Many
from the rapidly growing Desi
population here had pressed for
this law after tragedies at sweat-
shops in Bangladesh and Pakistan.
South Asian American Policy
and Research Institute (SAAPRI)
volunteer Fatema Zohara stated at
the news conference, “I am a
Bangladeshi American and
adjunct professor at College of
DuPage. I was happy to hear about
these efforts, because finally
Chicago and Cook County are tak-
ing a stand against this type of
injustice. I was also surprised
because it took thousands of pre-
ventable deaths in disasters such
as the Ali Enterprises fire in
Pakistan, as well as the Tazreen
Fashions fire and Rana Plaza
building collapse in Bangladesh.
Our Desi community includes
business owners as well as low-
wage workers, but improving labor
conditions benefits all.”
“The passage of this ordinance
has both practical and symbolic
significance,” stated Fritchey. “As
the second largest county in the
country, we are a significant con-
sumer of garments and uniforms
and it is incumbent upon us to
lead by example to only procure
goods from humane supply
chains. If just one of our vendors is
using sweatshop labor, that’s one
too many and this ordinance
makes clear that the county will
not use taxpayer dollars to support
it.” Cook County procures gar-
ments for a number of different
agencies, including Sheriff’s Police,
CC Health & Hospital patients and
staff, and CC Jail and Juvenile
Detention Center staff and
detainees. “Passing the Chicago
sweat-free procurement ordinance
was a critical step in the fight –
the…countywide ordinance will
further propel efforts to ensure our
taxpayer dollars do not support
manufacturers and contractors
who have sweat or child labor in
their supply chains,” said Pawar,
who has previously spoken of his
grandfather having worked in the
garment industry in India without
ever seeing a decent wage.
“Procurement practices can
and do make a significant impact
on working conditions in the
apparel industry. As we commem-
orate the Rana Plaza building col-
lapse two years ago in Bangladesh
– a tragedy that killed over 1,100
apparel workers, we must take
action to assure this never hap-
pens again.” said Katherine Bissell
Cordova, executive director of
Chicago Fair Trade, a group that
helped develop the measure. “We
applaud Cook County for leverag-
ing its considerable purchasing
power to raise global standards.”
“Rana Plaza is a stark reminder
of what is absolutely wrong with
our fast-fashion industry…Our
City and County governments are
taking steps to ensure that we play
absolutely no part in working with
businesses that do not take care of
their employees and the environ-
ment…for the lives that it touches
and improves, it is a significant
step forward,” said Harish I. Patel,
Civic Engagement Fellow at
SAAPRI and owner of ishi vest,
which makes naturally-dyed,
chemical-free, organic and fair
trade clothing.
The press releases cited above
were released April 24 and 29.
Cook County Board Unanimously Passes Anti-Sweatshop Ordinance
Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar, joined by local anti-sweatshop advocates, addresses a
news conference at downtown Cook County Building, April 24 (from left): Pawar, Fatema
Zohara, John Fritchey, Katherine Bissell Cordova, Chicago Fair Trade member Jamie
Hayes, and National Association of Latin American and Caribbean Communities executive
director Oscar Chacon.
City Not-for-Profit Raises Funds for Orphans in Odisha
FromChicago Bureau
– CHICAGO
O
ver 150 guests attended
the 13th annual fundrais-
ing dinner hosted by the
Chicago-based not-for-profit
charitable organization Hand in
Hand USA (HiH) atWaterford
Banquet Hall in Elmhurst, Illinois,
April 25. Among HiH’s several
philanthropic projects, the event
showcased the Hariharananda
Balashram, in Odisha, where
hundreds of otherwise destitute
orphans are cared for. Suganya
Pratap was the master of cere-
monies.
Balashram is a residential,
charitable school that provides a
home, food, health care and edu-
cation, ensuring viable futures for
its children. HiH service projects
include multiple health clinics
that provide free monthly med-
ical and dental care to thousands
of patients in rural villages and
financial support to natural disas-
ter relief efforts around the world.
Following Pratap’s introduction,
HiH president Durga Chunduri’s
welcome speech recounted its
achievements, with a short
informative documentary on the
Hariharananda Balashram and
the impact of HiH initiatives on
the rounded well-being of the
orphans. HiH director Puneet
Mansharamani, who visited
recently with his wife and two
young children, also shared his
photos. A few letters from some
grateful students were also read
out. Srutilaya Orchestra led by
Jayaraj Narayanan kept the audi-
ence entertained. Longtime HiH
member Mahir Das gave the vote
of thanks.
Over 150 guests attended the 13th annual fundraising dinner hosted Hand in Hand USA at Waterford Banquet Hall in Elmhurst, Illinois,
April 25. from left, HiH secretary Krishna Ramachandra, Durga Chunduri, Puneet Mansharmani, Mahir Das and Suganya Prathap.
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