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Maitri Gala raises over $600K for charity

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Supporters gather at Maitri's 25th annual gala celebration

Supporters gather at Maitri’s 25th annual gala celebration

PALO ALTO, Calif. (DIYA TV) — This year’s Maitri Gala was an extra special one — celebrating the foundation’s 25th anniversary, more than 450 long-time South Asian supporters of the nonprofit, which aids to combat domestic violence, familial abuse and trafficking, showed up in full force for the Maitri Gala, raising north of $600,000 in the process.

Maitri co-founder and award-winning author, Chitra Divakaruni, spoke at the event and described how the foundation came to life during its infancy stages — a phone line and answering machine in her home, and the assistance of fellow co-founders Anjali Dujari, Roma Majumdar, and Medha Joshi. “We started the organization because we felt that absolutely no one should have to suffer abuse in their home,” Divakaruni said. “Despite initial resistance from the South Asian community, we persisted as we felt that our mission was correct.”

“From a small group that used to meet in my house, it has now become a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful organization helping literally thousands of people every year,” Divakaruni added.

Sonya Pelia, president of Maitri, described the change of fabric in the Bay Area’s South Asian community, and how its evolvement has allowed for “a co-steward and partner in taking ethical responsibility and supporting those needing help.” Pelia advocated to the South Asian community to continue the fostered growth of a just, equitable, and violence-free society by adopting a zero-tolerance policy towards domestic violence, trafficking and elder abuse. The joy could be seen on her face when she saw the massive turnout of support for the annual gala, which was held at Palo Alto’s Crown Plaza Hotel. This year’s crowd was the largest in 25 years.

[quote style=’1′ cite=” title=”]”What can you say when your own community stands with you and says ‘We are with you, we support you, we fund you’? I think there’s no other ­better ­accomplishment for 25 years,”[/quote] Pelia said.

The event was complete with a silent auction, which featured donated clothing and art, and a live performance from Blackmahal, which dazzled everyone in attendance. Shamik Mehta, co-chair of the board of trustees, said the focus of Maitri is now pointed towards not only treating the aftermath of domestic violence, but also the root cause of the issue.

“When there’s inequality in relationships between any gender, any age, any race, anything, it causes problems,” Mehta said. “So really, Maitri’s not talking about women’s problems, we’re talking about breaking the cycle.”

One donor and supporter of Maitri in attendance, S. Suresh, agreed the best solution to fixing the problem is tackling it at first sight. “The real thing is bringing awareness to the problem and then getting people to start changing their behavior,” Suresh said.

The free, confidential, nonprofit Maitri Foundation is dedicated to supporting the needs of Bay Area women regardless of their age, gender or faith. In its first 25 years, Maitri has responded to over 35,000 assist calls, empowered more than 3,400 survivors, and distributed over three-quarters of a million dollars to support its clients. For the past 16 years, the foundation has run a 9-room transitional center, which offers extended legal and other outreach services. For more information, visit the foundation’s website, www.maitri.org.

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Google launches mobile payment App Tez tailored to Indian users

Google launches mobile payment App Tez tailored to Indian users

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Tez

Following vast speculation, Google officially launched a mobile payment platform for the Indian market, called Tez.
Available for Android and iOS users in India, Tez initiates Google’s entry into the mobile payment industry in India.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (Diya TV) — Following vast speculation, Google officially launched a mobile payment platform for the Indian market, called Tez.

Available for Android and iOS users in India, Tez initiates Google’s entry into the mobile payment industry in India. The app allow users to link their smartphones with their bank accounts and pay for goods and services online and at traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

Users can also make person-to-person instant money transfers, similar to PayPal.

With Tez, users pay directly from their bank account, using a Unified Payments Interface. Currently, the app works with all major banks, including Google partners Axis, HDFC Bank, ICICI and State Bank of India.

Tez is not a mobile wallet like PayTM and MobiKwik. Rather, instead of users storing money, it works more like Apple Wallet, linking the bank account, allowing payments to be deducted from the account.

According to Tez, it’s Tez Shield built-in security “helps to detect fraud, prevent hacking, and verify your identity.” Each transaction is secured with the user’s UPI PIN. Additionally, the app is secured with a Google PIN or a screen lock method such as fingerprint.

Tez says the app has partnered with a myriad of apps and vendors, including RedBus, PVR, Domino’s, Dish TV and Jet Airways. The app supports multiple languages: English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.

Business owners can use the Tez with their current account to start accepting digital payments. Payments will go directly to their bank accounts “without any additional cost incurred for the transaction.”

During a launch event in Delhi, Caesar Sengupta, the head of Google’s Next Billion program said the app “works with the vast majority of Android smartphones in the country.”

The app launch took place on Sept. 18 with India Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying, “Tez by Google is perhaps the simplest form of monetary transactions.”

Since launching on Google Play and iTunes store, the app has received positive reviews by users. On the Android platform, of nearly 15,000 reviews and over 100,000 users, the app has a 3.8 star rating, with over half of the reviews being 5-star. On the Apple platform, Tez has a 4.5-star rating with 15 reviews.

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Mahindra and Ford Announce Strategic Cooperation

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Ford Mahindra

Designed at leveraging the benefits of Ford’s global reach and Mahindra’s scale in India and successful operating model, Mahindra Group and Ford Motor Company announced a strategic alliance.

DEARBORN, Mich. (Diya TV) — Designed at leveraging the benefits of Ford and Mahindra’s strengths, Mahindra Group and Ford Motor Company announced a strategic alliance.

A Sept. 18 announcement by Ford says the “agreement between the two companies will allow each to leverage their mutual strengths during a period of unprecedented transformation in the global automotive industry.”

Areas of cooperation include:mobility programs; connected vehicle projects; electrification; product development; sourcing and commercial efficiencies; distribution within India; improving Ford’s reach within India; and improving Mahindra’s reach beyond India.

“Ford is committed to India and this alliance can help us deliver the best vehicles and services to customers while profitably growing in the world’s fifth largest vehicle market,” stated Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president of Global Markets.

Ford and Mahindra will work together for a period of up to three years. Following that the period may be extended.

“The changes facing the automotive industry globally are triggered by the accelerated rise of new technologies, sustainability policies and new models of urban shared mobility. Given these changes we see the need to anticipate new market trends, explore alternatives and look for ways to collaborate even as we compete and build powerful synergies that will allow rapid exploitation of the exciting new opportunities …,” said Dr. Pawan Goenka, managing director, Mahindra and Mahindra.

Mahindra is one of the leading utility vehicle manufacturers in India for over 70 years.

Mahindra owns a majority stake in Ssangyong Motor Company in Korea and is developing products like the GenZe – the world’s first electric connected scooter.

Ford is one of the largest exporters of cars from the U.S., manufacturing and exporting vehicles and engines from its manufacturing facilities in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Sanand, Gujarat. India is also the second-largest Ford employee base globally, with more than 14,000 people working across the Ford India and Global Business Services operations in New Delhi, Chennai, and Coimbatore.

The Mahindra Group is a $19 billion federation of companies focused on “innovative mobility solutions, driving rural prosperity, enhancing urban living, nurturing new businesses and fostering communities.”

It is the world’s largest tractor company, by volume. It also enjoys a strong presence in agribusiness, components, commercial vehicles, consulting services, energy, industrial equipment, logistics, real estate, steel, aerospace, defense and motorcycles. Mahindra employs over 200,000 people across 100 countries.

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles. Ford employs approximately 203,000 people worldwide.

The two companies had a brief 1995 partnership for manufacturing the Ford Escort. However, after three years, the partnership ceased.

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Duke University Opens India office in Bengaluru

Duke University Opens India office in Bengaluru

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Duke University India

North Carolina-based private research university Duke University recently opened an India office in Bengaluru to foster its collaborations with Indian universities and organizations.

DURHAM, N.C. (Diya TV) — North Carolina-based private research university Duke University recently opened an India office in Bengaluru to foster its collaborations with Indian universities and organizations.

Duke University India “aims to expand the existing Duke-India partnerships, which include academic exchange programs and research collaborations,” Duke Today reported.

https://youtu.be/SLGE2vf-hTo

According to the report, the University’s current partners in India include NITI-Aayog, the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology University in Ahmedabad, Narayana Health City, IIM – Udaipur, IIM – Ahmedabad, and IIT- Gandhinagar.

Duke hosted a launch event on Sept. 18, celebrating the commencement of operations, featuring a conversation between Dr. Michael Merson, vice president and vice provost for global affairs at Duke and Dr. Devi Shetty, chairman and founder of Narayana Health.

“I think we cannot think of education if we don’t think of global education,” Namrata Jha, executive director of Duke University India said in a video posted by Duke Global. “Duke University has opened a new office in India, based in Bangalore to create more partnerships – research collaborations, university partnerships, more student exchange, faculty exchange, going to India and understanding about Indian culture, more student exchange, faculty exchange, going to India and understanding about Indian culture, learning from the community, giving back to the community. And my team at Duke University’s office in India will be working with faculty at Duke to make that happen.”

“India is unique. While it has lots of challenges, it is also a hub of intellect, of forward-looking thinking, young minds. It’s a fertile ground for doing something groundbreaking in this world. If the technological innovation and great minds of Duke University could tap into the young minds of India, I think we can create wonders,” she added.

Duke University is located in Durham, North Carolina.  More than 430 Indian students are currently enrolled there and nearly 700 Duke Alumni live in India.

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