Desi Talk

8 NATIONAL AFFAIRS January 8, 2021 – that’s all you need to know Federation of Indian Associations Holds Annual Meeting, Announces 2021 Executive Committee T he Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut held its annual general body meeting on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, according to a press release from the organization. The was attended by representatives of over 57 member organizations, community leaders and board of directors and trustees via video conferencing. Board member and General Secretary, Jayesh Patel welcomed all the member organizations and partici- pants. Board member Chandrakant Trivedi paid a tribute on behalf of the FIA fraternity to FIA veteran and a com- munity leader, Michael Phulwani, who passed away on Dec. 26, 2020. FIA President Anil Bansal applauded the team for successfully “hosting the first ever Indian tri-color flag hoisting ceremony at Times Square” on Aug. 15, 2020 to commemorate India’s Independence Day. According to the press release, the FIA commu- nity newsletter started from 2,300 subscribers has now surpassed the reach of over 58,000 community members. Bansal expressed his confidence in the ambitious goal of the e-newsletter to cross over a hundred thousand sub- scribers by the end of 2021. Current Board Member and advisor to the Chairman, Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh addressed the gathering. He commended the efforts of the president and the execu- tive team while paying his respects to late Phulwani. He credited the progress of the organization under such challenging times to the vision of its late Chairman Ra- mesh Patel and to the current Chairman Ankur Vaidya. Parveen Bansal, General Secretary, 2020 Executive Committee, presented his annual report, summarizing the over 20 events and activities FIA conducted during the calendar year. A tribute to FIA’s late Ramesh Patel was also cited in the report. Membership Committee Chair and past resident Alok Kumar provided an update on all the new organizations that have been added in August under the FIA umbrella. Election committee chair Jayesh Patel along with Vice Chairman of the Board Bipin Patel and board member Srujal Parikh announced the 2021 president and the executive committee. The 2021 executive committee consists of Anil Bansal continuing as the president, Himan Bhatia continuing as executive vice president, Saurin Parikh contonuing as the vice president, Haresh Shah as the second vice president, Parveen Bansal continuing as general secretary, Smita Miki Patel as the Jt. Secretary, Amit Ringasia continuing as the Treasurer and Mahesh Dubal as the Jt. Treasurer. Chairman Ankur Vaidya mentioned the requests FIA has been receiving from community organizations out- side of the tristate area for inclusion in FIA under its um- brella and that board is performing an in-depth review to assess these inclusions. He thanked the board of trustees and the member organizations for their participation and support. The FIA-Tristate is one of the oldest and largest non-profit grassroots umbrella organizations comprising diversified Indian Associations in NewYork, New Jersey, and Connecticut and soon expanding into few more North East States in the U.S. By a StaffWriter Indian-American Physicians’ Organization Takes Up Water Initiative In India U nder the leadership of philan- thropist and past-president of American Association of Physi- cians of Indian Origin (AAPI) Dr. Jagan Ailinani, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOUwas signed recently between Community PureWater Founda- tion, Inc. (CPW) and AAPI with the objec- tive of helping to provide clean drinking water to millions of people in India, ac- cording to a press release from AAPI. The organization said India ranks at 120 among 122 countries in theWater Quality Index, and approximately 70 percent of the water supply in the country is likely contaminated, resulting in nearly 2,00,000 untimely deaths each year, be- sides irreversible debilitation and crip- pling economic burdens. “The overall objective is to improve health of rural Indian communities that are impacted by waterborne diseases, by partnering to provision water purification plants in affected regions and thus to stem the spread of waterborne diseases,” said Dr. Ailinani is quoted saying in the press release. “As per the MOU, AAPI and CPW will collaborate creatively to address health challenges in India, focusing primarily on providing clean drinking water services, and related programs such as water for hand washing and sanitation,” said Presi- dent of AAPI Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda. AAPI intends to work in four key areas: identifying sponsors; collaborat- ing with various prestigious professional groups including medical societies, aca- demic institutions, hospital systems and NGOs (both in the US and India); leverag- ing the annual Global Healthcare Sum- mit to educate and promote the key area related to this MOU; and engaging the AAPI supported 14 free (charitable) clinics in India to disseminate awareness on the health benefit of using safe clean water. According to AAPI Treasurer Dr. Satheesh Kathula, one AAPI member’s tax-deductible sponsorship of $7,000 per village of 500 households can cover the expenses of water treatment plants total- ing $5,000 as well as operating & annual maintenance cost for two years amount- ing to USD $2,000, among other things. Other aspects of the MOU covered partnership with oncology specialists to provide medical, surgical and radiation oncologists to deliver quality cancer care in India. These specialists will spend from one to three months in Tata Cancer Cen- ters in the country and provide Tele-med- icine consultations. The model envisions an integrated well-connected network of existing and additional centers staffed by local and AAPI volunteer specialists from USA working partly in India and partly via tele-medicine from US to deliver high quality cancer care across the country to the villages, the press release said. “We are urging AAPI members and others to come forward and work together in ensuring that all people in India enjoy basic health care needs, education, sanita- tion and help to access and drink clean and safe water to prevent deaths related to unsafe drinking water across India,” Dr. Jonnalagadda appealed. For more infor- mation, please visit: By a StaffWriter American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and Community Pure Water Foundation, Inc. (CPW) come together to help provide clean drinking water to millions of people in India. Photo – CourtesyAAPI Application Process For Coveted Summer Internship Program In Washington, D.C. Opens T heWashington Leadership Pro- gram (WLP) is accepting applica- tions from Indian-American and other South Asian undergraduate college students for the 2021 summer in- ternship program, which will be held from June 12 – August 6, 2021. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents to apply. TheWLP is dedicated to building the next generation of leaders from within the South Asian American community, a press release from the organization says. To meet that goal, the organization provides undergraduate students from the community with an eight-week summer internship in a congressional office or fed- eral agency and a structured leadership- training curriculum. Students can gain a firsthand view of the policy-making and legislative process in the nation’s capital through this immer- sive program. Interns receive a $2,000 stipend and participate in professional development workshops, network with South Asian policy leaders, and complete a collabora- tive capstone project with their cohort in addition to their summer internship. All students regardless of academic focus or professional goals are encour- aged to apply. Close to 300 alumni have interned in House and Senate member offices and federal agencies such as the Depart- ment of Health and Human Services, U.S. Agency for International Development, Department of Labor, and Department of Commerce, over the years. “Our alumni have gone on to hold leadership roles across the country, from business and healthcare to campaigns and government, including several who have been elected to public office,”WLP says. Selection to theWLP is highly competitive and not limited to students pursuing majors in social sciences. The backgrounds of past participants have ranged from pre-med to business and engineering, the press release said. Applications are available online at The deadline for submitting applications is January 10, 2021 at 11:59pm PT. WLP will be hosting an informa- tion session on January 6th at 6pm ET to answer questions about the program and application process. Those interested can register at thew- You can also follow WLP on Instagram and Twitter @TheWLP and for additional insights into the application process. For more information, visitWLP’s website at . By a StaffWriter