Editorial February 2012
Do you ever wonder why the Indian government holds the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman awards January 7-9? The dates were not picked arbitrarily. India’s history changed on January 9, 1915, as this was the day Gandhiji returned from South Africa. A hero’s welcome awaited Gandhi when he landed at the Apollo Bunder in Bombay. I commend the Indian government for picking this date to celebrate Bhartiya Divas, which promotes noteworthy non-resident Indians (NRIs). In keeping with tradition, President Pratibha Patil conferred the ‘Pravasi Bhartiya Samman’ awards to 15 eminent non-resident Indians, such as the Governor General of New Zealand Sir Anand Satyanand, for their pioneering role in enhancing India’s image globally. From the United States, those honored include GOPIO’s Ashook Kumar Ramsaran and USAID administrator Rajiv Shah.
In this issue, we highlight those two individuals – Ashook Kumar Ramsaran and Rajiv Shah. Just last month, I had the pleasure of talking with Mr. Ramsaran. A very down-to-earth person, selfmade successful businessman from Trinidad, he started from nothing and today received one of the highest award’s given to NRIs by the Indian government. I was very pleased to see his name on this year’s list. One behalf of the entire Desh-Videsh team, I would like to congratulate both of these fine individuals. I have often said in this column that one of our main goals is to report this kind of uplifting news about Indians and the Indian Diaspora.
Speaking of proud Indians, as we promised in the last issue, we are including more poetry about the Bhagavad Gita as written by children in India. Many thanks to all the readers who called as well as wrote that you enjoyed this article. I am also glad that some of you are discussing this poetry in your Gita study classes.
Next, let’s talk about the valentines in our life. Most of us think about our spouses or boyfriends/girlfriends when we think of Valentine’s Day. In this month’s issue, writer Ranjani Rao takes the liberty to extend the meaning of what a valentine is and explores the idea that a valentine can include anyone – your mother, father, brother or sister.
During the last few months, some of you have requested that we bring back our “Words to Live By“ column. In this issue, it is our pleasure to bring this column back by exploring a quote by Buddha. And last but by no means least, we present two articles on health, healthy recipes and another important topic not usually discussed, organ donation.