Monday October 23, 2017
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Nextt CEO Arun Agarwal first Indian- American on Texas’ small business board

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 Indian American
Image source: dmagazine.com

Washington: Texas Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Arun Agarwal, CEO of Nextt, the Dallas-based leader in the US home textile industry, to the Product Development and Small Business Incubator (PDSBI) Board.

The first Indian American to be appointed to the key post in the state’s history, Agarwal will hold the office until Feb 1, 2019.

The PDSBI is a revolving loan programme, administered by the Office of the Governor, and overseen by a nine-member board appointed by the Governor.

The PDSBI Fund provides financial aid for the development, production and commercialization of new or improved products and to foster the growth of small businesses in Texas.

“It is such a huge honour for me to serve on one of the Governor’s boards,” said Agarwal.

“As global business owners, it is our responsibility and civic duty to help other local small businesses survive and thrive in this global economy, and I am excited to do my part.”

Nextt is a $500 million revenue, privately-held company that provides textiles to all of the major US retailers including Dillard’s, Belk, Wal-Mart and Kohl’s.

Nextt also has a robust portfolio of leading celebrity brands, such as Beautyrest, Ellen Tracy, Jessica McClintock and Royal Sateen.

The company was recently awarded the patent for “alpha cotton,” a luxurious fabric that will make sheets 30 to 40 percent cheaper than 100 percent cotton.

Nextt CEO Arun Agarwal was awarded “NRI of the Year” by TIMES NOW and ICICI Bank in 2015 and was selected as a 2014 Minority Business Leader by the Dallas Business Journal.

Agarwal’s Dallas headquartered company was ranked 17th in the 2014 Dallas 100 list of fastest growing companies selected by the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship of SMU. (Arun Kumar, IANS)

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3 Year Old Indian Girl Missing in US, Texas Police Continues Search Operation

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US police
Representational Image: Texas Police searches for the 3 year old missing girl. ians

New York, Oct 16: Police in Texas continues to look for clues in the disappearance of a three-year-old Indian girl, who was left outside her house at night by her father as punishment for not drinking milk, the US media said.

Sherin Mathew, an Indian girl who was adopted from an orphanage, was reported missing on October 7, by her father Wesley Mathew, according to Police Sergeant Kevin Perlich in Richardson, Dallas News reported.

KTRK television reported on Saturday that police aren’t giving up hope even though it’s been a week since she went missing. They were looking for surveillance videos that could show a vehicle leaving the house and returning just before police were called.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has joined the probe and along with the police. The FBI has searched their house.

Welsey Mathew claimed Sherin was placed near a tree in a lane behind the house where coyotes were known to roam at 3 a.m., the station quoted a police officer as saying.

When he went back to look for her about 15 minutes later she was not there, he reportedly said.

However, he did not report the Indian girl 3missing till 8 a.m., the police said.

“Why was the last sighting at 3 o’clock and the parents not call us until after 8 a.m.? That’s the question we want answered,” Perlich told KXAS television.

“As far as why she was out there, how long she was out there, that’s the questions we have for the parents.”

Sherin’s parents also have a four-year-old daughter, who was moved to a foster family by the Child Protection Services, Dallas News reported quoting an agency spokeswoman.

Perlich said that Sherin had developmental problems and had difficulties communicating.

Volunteers from the Emmanuel Bible Chapel, which Mathews attended, helped search a field and other areas near the family’s home, according to KDFW television.

An official of the church, Jose Cherian, told the station that Sherin “is a tiny baby and she’s very active. A very smart girl.” (IANS)

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Indian-American Lawmakers Slam US President Donald Trump’s Transgender Military Ban

They are accusing him of bigotry

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Trump's transgender military ban is being slammed by India-American lawmakers
Trump's transgender military ban is being slammed by India-American lawmakers. Wikimedia
  • Ami Bera is the longest-serving Indian-American currently in the Congress
  • Removing these men and women from service or refusing recruits because of who they are going against every American value they swear to defend
  • Our transgender service members deserve honour and respect

Washington (US), August 27, 2017: Prominent Indian-American lawmakers have criticised US President Donald Trump after he signed a memo instructing the Defence Department to stop accepting transgender people into the armed forces.

The presidential memorandum signed on Friday officially requested the Pentagon to develop an implementation plan for the ban by February 21, 2018, to be put in place on March 23, 2018.

Slamming the move, Democratic US Representative Ami Bera said, “If you wear an American military uniform, you deserve the respect and support of the Commander-in-Chief… Unfortunately, Donald Trump is more comfortable peddling in discrimination and bigotry, and he’s shown that he is unable to support our troops.”

“Removing these men and women from service or refusing recruits because of who they are going against every American value they swear to defend,” said Bera, who is the longest-serving Indian-American currently in the Congress, in a press release.

ALSO READ: US Senate Confirms Three Indian Americans picked by President Donald Trump to Key Governmental Posts

The directive, signed on Friday, bars transgender people from enlisting, but instructs Secretary of Defence James Mattis and the Homeland Security “to determine how to address transgender individuals currently serving based on military effectiveness and lethality, unitary cohesion, budgetary constraints, applicable law, and all factors that may be relevant”, according to a White House official.

It ordered the Pentagon to stop paying for gender reassignment surgeries, except in cases that were already in progress to “protect the health of an individual”.

California Democrat Ro Khanna tweeted, “Our transgender service members deserve honour and respect. This military ban is anti-trans discrimination and must not be tolerated.”

In a tweet, Illinois Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi said that he hoped that Trump would reconsider the ban.

“I hope the President immediately reconsiders this ban. There is no place for discrimination in our armed forces.”

In another tweet, Krishnamoorthi said, “We must never abandon those who have sacrificed so much for their nation. #ProtectTransTroops”

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat from Washington, termed the ban “downright shameful”.

“I stand shoulder to shoulder with the transgender community. This is downright shameful. #TransRightsAreHumanRights,” she tweeted. (IANS)

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Eight-year-old Indian-American Transgender Girl Nikki Brar sues School over Gender Identity

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Nikki and her parents are suing a private school for preventing her from expressing her gender identity. From left to right: Priya Shah, Nikki, Nikki’s sister and Jaspret Brar. Twitter (Shah-Brar family)

Washington, August 9, 2017: An eight-year-old Indian-American transgender girl and her family are suing a private school in California for forcing her to dress as a boy and preventing the child from expressing her preferred gender identity.

Nikki Brar, who was designated male at birth, was a student at Heritage Oak Private Education in Yorba Linda. The lawsuit alleges that the school violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act, which outlaws discrimination based on sex or sexual orientation, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday.

The school didn’t allow Nikki Brar to wear the school’s girls’ uniform, use the girls’ bathroom, or be called a “she”. It said that the move would “create an imbalance in our environment”, the report said.

The lawsuit alleged that Nikki Brar experienced social isolation. The girls would not play with her because she had to dress like a boy, and she found the boys’ games too rough. Boys would bully the youngster, calling her “a loser”, it said. Nikki left the school in February 2017.

The suit is noteworthy because it is “the first (transgender rights) case to use a state anti-discrimination law as one of the grounds for relief,” said Mark Rosenbaum, Director of the pro bono Public Counsel Opportunity Under Law.

“In light of the Trump administration’s inaction on taking a stand against discrimination against trans individuals… this is a terribly important case,” he told the the Los Angeles Times.

 

Nikki Brar’s parents filed the suit against the school, its Executive Director Phyllis Cygan and the school’s parent group, Nobel Learning Communities. They seek damages for “emotional distress and discrimination” as well as more than $10,000 for school tuition and fees.

They also asked Heritage Oak school to write a non-discrimination policy specifically for transgender students, and demanded that the school teach lessons on transgender identity in the classroom.

The child’s mother, Priya Shah, said the family thought long and hard before filing the lawsuit. “It honours our child’s commitment to being who she is despite adversity,” she said.

“It is our small contribution towards ensuring that other transgender and gender expansive children do not go through the same hardship and trauma.”

The school’s parent group Nobel Learning Communities released a statement following the lawsuit, saying: “We believed it was extremely important to respond… to decide when and how to inform and educate our entire elementary school community… about the mid-year change of gender identity expression of a young child… Unfortunately, these accommodations were rejected and the parents withdrew their child.”

Nikki is expected to join a public school in Orange County later this year, the report said. (IANS)