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Indian American Techie Killed in Road Mishap in U.S. August 08, 2019 17:49

The 28-year-old Indian American techie was killed in a road accident on August 4 (Sunday), while he was heading home in Rawlins, Wyoming along with his co-worker. Hailing from Prakasam district in Andhra Pradesh, Sivateja Chintala reportedly moved to the United States six years ago to pursue Masters. According to reports, the car he was traveling in lost control and hit a median. In the accident, Sivateja died while his colleague was seriously injured.The family members of his colleague informed Sivateja’s sister Priyanka, who also lives in the United States, about the tragedy. According to The New Indian Express, Siva Teja’s parents - Chintala Ramanjaneyulu and Venkata Ratnam, were planning to get him married this year.Siva Teja’s family requested the Union government to make arrangements for bringing the body to their native village - Komminenivaripalem in Ballikurava Mandal. One of the two brothers of Sivateja is living in Australia, while the other returned to India and is settled in Guntur.In the meantime, Sivateja’s brother-in-law Satyanarayana has set up a fundraiser on Gofundme to fly his body to India and for other funeral expenses.By Sowmya Sangam

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‘Only Sushma Ji Understood My Pain’: Indian Woman Deserted by NRI Husband Recalls Her Meet with Former Minister August 07, 2019 18:01

The news of sudden demise of former external minister Susha Swaraj was no less than a shock for entire world and for chief Indians abroad, to whom Swaraj was source of solution for all their hitches. The Bharatiya Janata Party veteran worked around the clock to alleviate Indian women who were abandoned by their NRI (Non-Resident Indian) husbands.  Women from Uttar Pradesh, who had found hope for justice and comfort by Sushma Swaraj after being abandoned by their NRI husbands, were deeply disheartened after the news the of death of Sushma Swaraj came out. “She was a completely accessible minister with a mother’s heart. I met her for a few minutes and she heard my ordeal patiently, assuring me of government’s intervention in my case,” Zuby Zaidi, a distressed woman who met Swaraj on June 11, 2017, in New Delhi, was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times. According to Hindustan Times, Zaidi got married to an NRI on April 10, 2014. In the span of just two months, she received a divorce notice from her husband and since then, she has been fighting for justice incessantly. “When I met Sushma ji, I felt that she understood my pain. In her demise, I have lost a family member,” she said.Not just Zaidi, when you go to Uttar Pradesh you find number of women who have been abandoned by their NRI husbands just after few months or days of getting married. Several of them met Sushma Swaraj when she was serving as the minister for external affairs.Another agonized woman from Kanpur in UP was quoted by Hindustan Times, saying: “Our fight for justice is on but no one other than Sushma ji understood our pain. She was the one who listened to my story, consoled me and took action in my case.”Another aggrieved women who met the Swaraj in March this year, said that she had assured them that the government would enact a law pertaining to NRI marriages.“She had asked us to meet her after the Lok Sabha elections. When one of us asked Sushma ji if she would remain in the same office in the new government, she had said that she was hopeful of being able to help us out,” said a woman to Hindustan Times.By Sowmya Sangam

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Triple Talaq: NRI Divorces Wife over Phone, Case Filed August 05, 2019 15:15

Just three days after Triple Talaq Bill was passed by both Raja Sabha and Lok Sabha, Uttar Pradesh police have registered a case against a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) for allegedly divorcing his wife over the phone. The incident came to light after the woman’s father submitted a written complaint to Kushinagar Police in UP regarding the matter. According to sources, NRI Abdul Raheem said talaq three times to his 25-year-old wife Fatima Khatoon over the phone and ended the call.A case has been registered against the NRI under Section 4 of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, at the Nibua Naurangiya Police Station of Kushinagar district. As per the new law, “The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 makes talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq having the effect of instantaneous and irrevocable divorce pronounced by a Muslim husband void and illegal.” The law makes it illegal to say talaq three times in spoken, written or through SMS or WhatsApp or any other electronic means in one sitting."Any pronouncement of talaq by a Muslim husband upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or any other manner whatsoever, shall be void and illegal," the law says.“Any Muslim husband who pronounces the illegal form of talaq upon his wife shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine,” the law further states.By Sowmya Sangam

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Meet the 23-Year-Old Indian Origin Doctor Bhasha Mukherjee, Who Is Now ‘Miss England’ August 02, 2019 16:03

Doctors are not just confined to books and infirmaries! This was yet again proved by a 23-year-old Indian origin doctor who has crowned Miss England. Vanquishing dozens of other models, Bhasha Mukherjee stood winner. She will be now entering the Miss World contest and will also bag a holiday to Mauritius. Mukherjee holds two different medical degrees and has an Intelligent Quotient (IQ) of 146, making her officially a 'genius'. Moreover, she is fluent in five languages, according to The Daily Mail. Just hours after getting crowned as Miss England on Thursday evening, Mukherjee was about to start her new line of work as a junior doctor in a hospital in Boston, Lincolnshire.                         (Image source from: Derby Telegraph) "Some people might think pageant girls are airheads, but we all stand for a cause," she said before the contest. "My pageant career all started to happen while I was in the middle of studying at medical school - it took a lot of convincing for me to do it, but eventually I decided to do it to balance out my studying and give me a break." Born in India and grew up in the United Kingdom since the age of nine, Mukherjee completed two bachelor degrees: one in medical sciences and one in medicine and surgery from the University of Nottingham in England. By Sowmya Sangam

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Indian Origin Politician Deepak Raj Gupta Takes Oath as MLA in Australia with Bhagavad Gita in Hand July 30, 2019 17:11

Deepak Raj Gupta, an India-born politician, on Tuesday, took oath as the first Indian Australian member of Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Legislative Assembly. Born in a middle-class family, Deepak Raj Gupta had to wash cars and work in an eating place in Chandigarh to support his studies.Gupta, the first Australian-Indian origin MLA from the Labour Party in ACT, sworn in as a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Gungahlin constituency with a copy of Holy Bhagavad Gita in his hand. He is the first elected member to take an oath with Gita in the ACT Legislative Assembly. He went to Australia to study information technology in 1989 and was granted PR in the year 1991.Deepak Gupta's brother Anil Raj who lives in Chandigarh told India Today TV that the family is thrilled with the honor.He told that Deepak was runner up in the elections held in 2016 for Gungahlin constituency, the fourth town of Canberra. Since the winner who was also from the Labour Party resigned recently, so Deepak was nominated for the Parliament as per norms.As an active leader of the Australian-Indian community, efforts of Deepak Raj were recognized with several awards including the excellence in community service awards. He was also awarded the Community Advocate Award by the Government of ACT in 2012.Speaking to the media about Deepak's struggle, Anil Raj told India Today TV that their family moved to the city in 1973. Deepak studied in Government Senior Secondary School and the Graduated from DAV College. Deepak landed in Australia with just 150 dollars in his pocket. He washed cars, worked in restaurants to sustain his studies.He later worked as an Executive Officer in the Defence Department. He was also the President of Australia-India Business Council (AIBC) for 10 years and was also a member of the AIBC National Executive Board of Directors.By Sowmya Sangam

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Young NRI Entrepreneur Returns to His Native Place with an Intent to Save Water in Gardening July 30, 2019 16:06

After staying in Canada for about a decade, a young Non-Resident Indian (NRI) entrepreneur, Nitin Latit, came back to his native place Karnal in Haryana to lend a hand to farmers. The 35-year-old returned India with a vision to utilize waste material to help farmers generate income, besides saving water used in gardening. He set up a unit to produce flower pots and planters from recycled plastic waste and designed them in such a way that they help in conserving water. Besides, he added a saucer-shaped container below the planters and flowerpots to save water. He is making use of soil-less media comprising vermicompost, coco-husk, rice mill ash, and cow dung in these pots and claims to save around 25 percent water in comparison to normal potted plants.The district authorities as well as Rekha Shukla, joint secretary, Health and Family Welfare Ministry, have praised his initiative. Shukla recently visited the district with regard to the Jal Shakti campaign of the Union Government. Now, the Karnal Municipal Corporation is promoting Nitin’s startup by giving him an assignment for the beautification of the city. The young entrepreneur has started the trial work by installing hanging flowerpots on electricity poles near the NDRI. The demand for such pots is coming from various parts of the state. Currently, he is sending his pots to various states in the northeast where these are widely acceptable for organic horticulture.Nitin, an automobile technician, had worked with General Motors in Canada for around five years and returned to India in 2016. He along with his father JK Lalit, a retired banker, started Alpha Advantech LLP.“I am in a habit of gardening and during my stay in Canada, I became familiar with the practices of people living there to save water used in gardening. When I came to my country, I observed unaccounted wastage of water in gardening. This gave me an idea to save water with specially-designed flowerpots and planters, which take less water for optimum growth of the plant,” Nitin was quoted as saying by The Tribune. About the design, he said as quoted by The Tribune, “We use plastic refuse to make the outer shell of the pots, catch plates and saucers for storing water at our unit. These planters efficiently store run-off water during watering cycles in a concealed reservoir for later use. It also prevents evaporative loss and is also inaccessible to flies and mosquitoes for breeding. It also conserves and replenishes water through its vapor-lock design, which provides air and moisture to roots all around and leads to an expedited growth of plants with least efforts”.He added that farmers could use these technologically-advanced planters to potentially increase their income and produce chemical-free food.By Sowmya Sangam

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23-Year-Old Indian Origin Woman Stabs Her Father to Death in South Africa July 26, 2019 11:33

A 23-year-old Indian origin woman in South Africa stabbed her father to death on July 13 while trying to intervene in the fight between her estranged parents at the local International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) premises where they were residing.Nekita Sukdeo had graduated with a law degree just two months ago.According to media reports, a close family member said that there had been a history of quarreling between the divorced couple - Jewan and Nadira."During the dispute, Nekita got involved in the fight between her parents. From what we hear, she reached for a kitchen knife and stabbed him," the family member, who requested anonymity, told the Weekly Post.Even though Jewan was taken to a local hospital immediately, he declared dead on arrival from his stab wounds.Nandakumar Das, the President of the ISKCON branch, said the incident was the result of "a domestic dispute".The couple had parted ways five years ago and Nadira, a Hare Krishna devotee, relocated into the ISKCON facility.Four months ago, in an attempt to get back together again, Jeewan moved in with Nadira and their children, the relative said. "It takes a lot of hate, anger, and frustration for someone to grab a knife and stab someone, especially your father," said the relative.Nekita appeared in the Alexandra Regional Court last Monday, two days after the incident. She was released to attend her father's funeral and will appear in court again next month.By Sowmya Sangam

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Indian Man in Singapore Fined for Placing Toy Grenade Outside Presidential Palace July 25, 2019 12:33

On November 3, 2017, a grenade outside Singapore’s Istana, the Presidential Palace in the city center, triggered panic leading to the high deployment of public resources which later found to be a toy one positioned by an Indian origin cleaner. On Wednesday, the 59-year-old Elankovan Marimuthu was fined S$ 4,500 and was reduced the charge from a more serious one. Marimuthu chanced upon the toy grenade while working as a cleaner near the Istana area as usual at about 7 a.m. on November 3, 2017. He positioned it upright to get to know how the general public would react to it. The cleaner used a pair of tongs to put up the toy grenade before leaving the scene, Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiagesh Sukumaran said.                         (Image source from: Hindustan Times) One of the motorists passing by from there noticed the grenade and called police immediately. In no time, thirty-nine officers were deployed to the site from various units of the Singapore Police Force, plus eight members of the Singapore Armed Forces Chemical, Radiological, Biological, and Explosive Defence Group and other police officers who swept the Istana's nearby areas, including Dhoby Ghaut Mass Rapid Transit (metro rail) station. The grenade was found at Penang Lane, one of the routes to the Central Business District. The route was closed for half an hour and partially cordoned off to traffic for 45 minutes, while police advisories were circulated to advise the public to stay away from the area. Subsequently, several phone calls were made to the police Servicenummer complaining of traffic congestion in the area. Anyhow, at around 5 p.m., it became clear that it was a toy grenade and Penang Lane was subsequently opened again. In the beginning, it was not known who placed the toy, according to the Channel News Asia report. Closed-circuit television footage confirmed that Elankovan had put the toy grenade in an upright manner. He was asked to cooperate in investigations the following morning when he went to Istana Park as part of the duty. He confessed that he had positioned the toy and did so because he wanted to see how the public would respond to it, the report said. Elankovan pleaded guilty to one charge under the Protection from Harassment Act of using intimidating behavior by positioning the toy grenade in an upright position, behavior likely to cause dismay. The prosecution asked for a fine of 4,500 Singapore dollars, saying it was not unreasonable to characterize Elankovan's behavior as "irresponsible" in today's security climate. The area was full of sightseers and it was next to the Istana. On top of that, his act wasted public resources and resulted in inconvenience to the general public. "The public messaging today is that everything suspicious should be reported to the authorities," said the prosecutor, adding that Elankovan had not reported it when he first saw the object. "He turned it into his own little game," said the prosecutor. "He wanted to see how the public would react." “The fine would send a message that such conduct is unacceptable and that it is not a joke nor a game, but has serious consequences,” he said. Defense lawyer Rajan Supramaniam told the court that his client was not highly educated and wishes to close this "unfortunate chapter" in his life. "Our client has truly learned a hard and bitter lesson as a result of his foolish and wrongful actions," said the lawyer, asking for leniency. “It was fortunate that the prosecution had reduced the charge from a more serious one under the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Regulations, which carries maximum penalties of 10 years' jail, a 500,000 dollars fine, or both,” said District Judge May Mesenas. "Hopefully this is a lesson learned for you, not to be taken lightly," said the judge. "After this incident, look at what happened." By Sowmya Sangam

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NRI Businessman Found Dead in Delhi’s Taj Palace Hotel July 22, 2019 16:41

A 35-year-old Non-Resident Indian (NRI) businessman was found dead at the five-star Taj Palace at Chanakyapuri in Delhi, the police said on Sunday.The incident became known on Saturday morning when the deceased, identified as Munni Jaitley, an India-born United States citizen, didn't respond to his father's phone calls."His father called the hotel reception and requested them to check his son's status. The hotel staff tried to connect with Jaitely through the landline, but didn't succeed," Additional DCP, Eish Singhal, told IANS."Later, the hotel manager went to the sixth-floor room of Jaitely and knocked at the door. When he didn't get any response, the room was opened with the duplicate key. Jaitely was laying unconscious," Singhal said."They took him to the nearby hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. The police were informed by the hotel manager," the officer said.At the time of the initial investigation, no foul play could be identified since there was no sign of anyone, including the hotel personnel, visiting the room between Friday night and Saturday morning as per the CCTV footage. "The deceased's mother didn't suspect murder," he added.A medical board would carry out autopsy today to find out if he consumed any drug, causing the death, the Additional DCP said.The deceased, who was single and stayed with his family in the United States, was a regular visitor to the national capital owing to his business. He had come to stay at the hotel on Thursday, the officer said.By Sowmya Sangam

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NRI Reconnects with Sister After Four Decades Through Facebook July 22, 2019 12:54

For some Facebook is a bane, but some it is a boon. But for this Andhra Pradesh-origin NRI, now based in the United States, the social media giant turned into a stroke of luck as it helped reconnect with her long-lost sister after almost four decades. The non-resident Indian Jyothi Edla Rudrapathi never met or got word from her sister Kamala after the latter married a Mizoram Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) constable in 1980 and moved to Mizoram. On July 15, she posted a request on Mizoram News, a Facebook group, seeking help from its members in locating her sister. She also attached her photo as a five-year-old with Kamala and her husband Hmingliana.                         (Image source from: Aldrin Meco Arthassy Lalnunsiama‎) Kamala was located at Lawipu on the outskirts of Aizawl hours after the post was widely shared on social media. Rudrapathi told local publications that her brother-in-law, from Mizoram’s Sialsuk village, married her sister when he was posted in Andhra Pradesh. The family lost contact after the couple moved to Mizoram and efforts to track down them for 39 years did not work out. In 1993, her parents Edla Joseph and Edla Karunamma went to a CRPF camp near their village but were told that their son-in-law had left the service. Rudrapathi said her father died in 2010. Her mother, now 86, has been beside herself after speaking to Kamala. Kamala said her husband died of cancer in 2013. They had four children, the eldest of whom died in infancy. The other three are now married. “I made several attempts to reconnect with my parents and sister but could not do so because of financial constraints,” she told reporters in Aizawl a couple of days ago. By Sowmya Sangam

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28-Year-Old Indian Origin Woman Convicted of Robbery in London July 22, 2019 10:43

An Indian origin woman including three others has been found guilty of a robbery at commercial premises in Lambeth, South London, in August last year.The 28-year-old Harpreet Kaur, from Hounslow, was found guilty at Inner London Crown Court on Friday of false imprisonment and possession of articles to commit fraud.Her accomplices, Monica Pashias, 42, and Tyrone Waugh, 40 had previously pleaded guilty to robbery.All three are due to be sentenced on September 19, Scotland Yard said in a statement, recalling that the police were called into reports of a burglary at commercial premises at St George’s Wharf shortly before midday on August 2, 2018.Officers attended and were informed that the thieves had stolen a laser hair removal machine and accessories, and had locked a member of the staff inside the store.Kaur and Pashias were arrested on August 14, while Waugh was arrested on August 31, the statement added.By Sowmya Sangam

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NRI Suicide in Kerala over Red Tape Highlights Returning Expat Problems July 16, 2019 16:09

The recent suicide by a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) businessman in Kerala has highlighted the stumbling blocks faced by Indian expats returning home after working abroad for many years. From corruption to self-serving political parties and politicians, there are various matters in question in India that make lives of returning NRIs on edge. NRI Sajen Parayil who committed suicide in Kerala’s Kannur district in June had worked in Nigeria for many years before making up his mind to go back to his home state with a purpose to begin construction business.                         (Image source from: The News Minute) However, he struggled to beat the red-tape in the state and did not get an occupancy certificate for a convention center on which he spent a whopping INR 180 million, nearly all his savings after his stint in Nigeria. His efforts didn’t stop. The hapless person made 19 visits to the Anthoor Municipality to seek permission but each time he was sent back by the officials. According to reports, he has turned down approvals because of infighting within the political party that controlled the municipality. Sajen’s suicide triggered massive uproar in Kerala’s state assembly suspending four employees of the municipality. Besides, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan assured the Assembly that things will be sorted out before long. The project was then given the necessary approvals. Some observers blamed Kerala state’s miserable ease of business ranking for the tragedy while others thought it revealed a systemic problem. Overall, about 270,924 Indian expatriates returned home from Gulf countries in 2018 maximum number being from the United Arab Emirates, as per the latest figures mentioned in Parliament by former Indian Minister for State for External Affairs VK Singh in 2018.                         (Image source from: Sputnik International) Last year, about 91,995 workers returned to India. The figure touched a high of 154,957 in 2017 while the number of returnees in 2016 was 88,647. Saudi Arabia was another country from where Indian workers returned in large numbers owing to the imposition of levies on the workers and ban on the recruiting of foreign workers in certain trades and professions due to dip in oil prices and following the policy of providing more jobs to its citizens. In the year 2018, Saudi Arabia, to provide more jobs to its citizens, imposed a ban on foreign workers including Indian expatriates from working in outlets selling watches, eyeglasses, medical equipment, electrical appliances and electronics, car spare parts, building materials, carpets, automobiles and motorcycles, furniture and ready-made office materials, ready-made garments, children’s clothes and men’s wear, household utensils and pastries. Earlier, these jobs were mostly done by Indian and South Asian expatriates. Due to the policies and escalation in cost of living, a record number of 151,611 Indian workers returned from Saudi Arabia in 2017 followed by 79,666 people next year. Proper assistance is also provided by the Indian government to get these workers home. But then, India’s state governments, which is so far struggling to provide basic amenities to people already living in their state, feel to be challenging to now invest time and money to deal with the expat returnees. The returnees as such are regrettably forced to adapt to the realities of a hard Indian life very quickly with little state help. Appealing Life Story of Indian Expats Mohd. Shakeel, a trained barber who once worked on the outskirts of Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia before returning to India, earned INR 70,000 to INR 80,000 which was enough for him and to send back remittances back home. However, a government levy on foreign workers was increased to SRA 200 (INR 3682) in 2018 which ate into Shakeel’s savings and had a huge impact on his living situation in Saudi Arabia.                         (Image source from: www.connectedtoindia.com) Left with no choice, he returned to India in 2018. In the absence of any governmental support, he spared no effort to eke out a living and then found work at a barbershop at Allahabad (now Prayagraj) where he earns just INR 8,000 to INR 10,000 per month. Mukhtar Ahmad was a catalog designer making different types of readymade garments for the last 25 years in Saudi Arabia. Though initially, he made a decent living nevertheless things turned resentful in the past few years. He had to pay his sponsor each month irrespective of profit or loss. The introduction of levies on foreign workers was also a financial jolt for him. He also returned to India in 2018. However, he is not fully settled and managing his affairs with the savings he made during the times spent in Saudi Arabia. By Sowmya Sangam

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