Tag Archives: Indian American

Indian-American nominated to the US Advisory Board on Human Trafficking

HaroldMIT SOGUS President Barack Obama has nominated Indian-born Harold D’Souza, a victim of human trafficking, to the key post

In a world torn by war and unrest, the story of a victim-turned-policymaker comes as a shining beacon of hope for the world to be inspired by. In a recent highly admirable move, President Obama nominated Harold D’Souza, an Indian-American victim of human trafficking, to a key position on the US Advisory Council on Human Trafficking.

Harold D’Souza was born in Vadodara, a city in the Indian state of Gujarat. He secured an L.L.B. and an M.Com. degree from the Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara before taking up a job as a Sales Manager in India. As a result of a series of unfortunate events, Harold landed up becoming a victim of labor trafficking and debt bondage. Finding his feet in the United States of America, Harold went on to pull himself out of his debilitating circumstances with the active support of the system for protection of victims of such crimes.

By 2008, Harold had become a Senior Supply Chain Associate with the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, a position he has held since then. He was a founder member of the National Survivors Network (NSN), which was launched by the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST) in 2011, and he has also been active with End Slavery Cincinnati. His work against slavery and human trafficking was given special recognition by the Greater Cincinnati Human Trafficking Conference 2015, where he was invited to be an advocate to create awareness about the issue.

His nomination to the US Advisory Council on Human Trafficking by the President himself comes as a welcome acknowledgment of his struggle as a victim as well as a socially responsible survivor of human trafficking in the USA. This move is likely to help foster better Indo-American relations with respect to the protection of human rights and ending slavery, both causes India is dedicated towards.

We at USINPAC stand staunchly against evil practices like debt bondage, slavery and human trafficking, at a national as well as international level. We are proud supporters of Harold D’Souza and the global fight against all such brutalization of human rights and dignity. We, along with the entire Indian-American community, wish Harold well and hope that his appointment will prove highly effective in creating strong Indo-American advocacy towards ending slavery and human trafficking.

Source: Business Standard

USINPAC congratulates Indian American actor and former Whitehouse staffer Kal Penn

US President Barack Obama has nominated popular Indian-American actor and former White House staffer Kal Penn for a key administration post of member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

The announcement came on Monday for The Namesake fame actor, who served in the White House during the Obama’s first term and played a key role in his re-election campaign last year, in particular attracting the youth in the run-up to the polls.

Born in New Jersey as as Kalpen Suresh Modi, Penn is an actor, writer and producer, who shot to fame with the Harold and Kumar film series.

From 2009 to 2011 he was an Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement with the Obama administration, serving as liaison to Young Americans, the Arts, and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Before joining the White House, he worked as an artist an actor in Los Angeles and New York, and was also an Adjunct Lecturer in Asian American Studies, Film Studies, and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.

He served as a member of the Obama for America National Arts Policy Committee in 2008 and as a National Campaign Co-Chair in 2012.

Penn received his Bachelors in Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles.

“These fine public servants bring both a depth of experience and tremendous dedication to their new roles.

Our nation will be well-served by these men and women, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come,” Obama said as he announced seven key administration posts.

As an actor, Kal Penn is known for his role portraying Dr Lawrence Kutner on the television drama series House, as well as the character Kumar Patel in the Harold and Kumar film series. He is also recognized for his performance in the critically acclaimed Mira Nair’s film, The Namesake.

Source: The Times of India

USINPAC congratulates Indian American Shobhit Jain for receiving the Geeta Rastogi Memorial Scholarship for Performing Arts

The Upakar Foundation recently announced that Shobhit Jain, of Branchburg, New Jersey, is the recipient of the Geeta Rastogi Memorial Scholarship for the Performing Arts.

The aspiring filmmaker rounds out Upakar’s class of 2017, including its first-ever community college awardee, increasing the total to 20 current Upakar scholars.

Upakar was founded in 1997 in part to combat Indian American community stereotypes, including that every child can afford a college education. In addition, Upakar has long recognized non-traditional Indian American career pursuits by its scholarship recipients and has publicized role models in these professions.

Jain was the valedictorian of his high school class. He served as class president for all four years and also led the student council and the local chapters of the Key Club and Model United Nations Club. Jain also holds a first-degree black belt in taekwondo and served as a columnist for the Branchburg News.

In the fine arts realm, he has performed with the Satrangi School of Fusion, a Bollywood dance troupe. His short film “Me, Myself, & I” won Best High School Dark-Comedy at the 2012 International Student Film Festival in Hollywood and an “Honorable Mention” at the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Jain will be attending New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts to study film and television.

Source: IndiaWest

USINPAC cheers for Indian American Jhumpa Lahiri who has been shortlisted for the 2013 U.S. National Book Award in fiction for her new novel, ‘The Lowland’

Days after being short listed for the Man Booker prize for her new novel, `The Lowland`, Pulitzer Prize winning Indian American author Jhumpa Lahiri has been shortlisted for the 2013 U.S. National Book Award in fiction.

Lahiri`s tale of two brothers set in Kolkata of the 1960s has been listed along with nine other works, including Tom Drury`s `Pacific`, Elizabeth Graver`s `The End of the Point` and Rachel Kushner`s `The Flamethrowers.`

The National Book Foundation said finalists in the Young People`s Literature, Poetry, Nonfiction and Fiction categories would be announced on Oct 16 and the winners will be named at a ceremony in New York on Nov 20.

Born in London, 46-year-old Lahiri, who lives in Brooklyn, New York is the daughter of immigrants from West Bengal.

She is the author of three previous books. Her debut collection of stories, `Interpreter of Maladies`, won the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Hemingway Award.

Her novel `The Namesake` was a New York Times Notable Book and was selected as one of the best books of the year by USA Today and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications.

`The Namesake` was also adapted into a film of the same name by acclaimed filmmaker Mira Nair.

Her second book of short stories, `Unaccustomed Earth`, was named one of the ten best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review.

In a review of her latest novel, the New York Times noted: “Jhumpa Lahiri first made her name with quiet, meticulously observed stories about Indian immigrants trying to adjust to new lives in the United States, stories that had the hushed intimacy of chamber music.”

“The premise of her new novel, `The Lowland,` in contrast, is startlingly operatic,” the influential U.S. daily said calling it “certainly Ms. Lahiri`s most ambitious undertaking yet,” that “eventually opens out into a moving family story.”


Source: Zee News

USINPAC congratulates Indian American Manish Shah on his nomination to the key post of U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of his home state of Illinois

President Barack Obama has nominated yet another Indian American, Manish S Shah, to the key post of U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of his home state of Illinois.

Announcing Shah’s nomination along with seven other judiciary posts, Obama said in a White House statement: “These men and women have had distinguished legal careers and I am honoured to ask them to continue their work as judges on the federal bench.

“They will serve the American people with integrity and an unwavering commitment to justice,” he added.

An Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois since 2001, New York-born Shah, 40, currently serves as Chief of the Criminal Division, having previously served as Chief of Criminal Appeals from 2011 to 2012.

Shah was also Deputy Chief of the Financial Crimes and Special Prosecutions Section from 2008 to 2011 and Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Section from 2007 to 2008.

Both the senators from Illinois, Democrat Dick Durbin and Republican Mark Kirk, welcomed Shah’s nomination reflecting the bipartisan support he enjoys in the Congress.

“Manish Shah has served with distinction as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, and he will bring a wealth of knowledge and legal acumen to the federal bench in Northern Illinois,” said Durbin.

“Manish Shah’s stellar record in working with former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald makes him an outstanding candidate to be the next federal district court judge for Northern Illinois,” Kirk said.


Source: Business Standard