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NRI Dr. Lal secures UDF ticket for Kerala assembly election

By Dr. Mathew Joys  

Leadership is an individual’s ability to lead, inspire, and guide to transform other individuals, groups, organizations, and society. These qualities are present plentiful in doctor-cum-politician, Dr. S.S. (Sadasivan) Lal. It is a matter of pride for Indians in America that an NRI based in Washington DC has been given the coveted ticket to fight in the upcoming Kerala assembly elections from the Kazhakoottam constituency, Thiruvananthapuram, by United Democratic Front (UDF) aligned with the Congress party.  

Dr Lal is an internationally known medical professional and public health specialist who has worked for WHO. He is also a social activist, educationist, and writer having published two novels and several short stories. He is not an “imported candidate”, as some posters in Kerala alleged. He has always been a part and parcel of the community in Thiruvananthapuram. He holds an MBBS and a master’s in public health from institutions in the capital of Kerala. He earned his Ph.D. from Leiden University in the Netherlands.  He has held leadership roles at the state and national levels of the Indian Medical Association (IMA). His initiatives include The Act Force, which trained taxi and autorickshaw drivers to provide first aid to road accident victims, which has helped thousands of road accident victims. He has been a columnist for publications like Manorama and Kerala Kaumudi. Dr. Lal’s laurels include the National Award in 1995 for his outstanding performance in implementing health schemes in India.

Dr Lal served as a senior official at the WHO and other international organizations in India and abroad, and was Head of the Department of Public Health at the Global Institute of Public Health, Thiruvananthapuram. His work in Geneva and the US has contributed to suppressing TB, AIDS, and malaria across continents. He was selected to the first 16-member team of CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden.

Until last year, he was the Director of the Infectious Diseases Unit in charge of the TB Division at Family Health International based in Washington, DC.

His eminent leadership as the President of Indo American Press Club (IAPC) has given new stature and vibrancy in its activities in the USA and Canada. 

Endowed with his qualities of honesty, integrity and confidence, Dr. Lal now embarks on a political career with a clear aim to fight for the common man, work towards providing a clean and corruption-free administration, and speed up socio-economic and technological development of Kerala and India.

 Dr. Mathew Joys is Vice Chairman of IAPC

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e-paper-stories Latest News US Election Special USA

IAPC’s 7th media conference focused on Covid and US Election

by Dr. Mathew Joys & Parveen Chopra

New York: Virtual need not be vacuous. The Indo-American Press Club (IAPC),  the largest organization of Indian-origin journalists in North America, amply demonstrated this with its hugely successful 7th International Media Conference (IMC) last weekend held virtually to ensure safety for all involved.  With participation by eminent people and media professionals, the annual meet was choc-a-block with programs and scintillating discussions, which enlightened all on pressing issues like the Covid-19 pandemic, US presidential election, Indo-US relations and freedom of press. The finale was awards presentation in various categories to prominent people in their respective fields. The entire programming was live-streamed on social media and ethnic TV channels.

Inaugurating the conference, Ms. Shanimol Usman, MLA from Kerala, said that the global Covid crisis has spotlighted role of the media in getting reliable news to the people. In a democracy, it is media’s responsibility to bring vital issues to the attention of the government.

IAPC Chairman Dr. Joseph M. Chalil in  his welcome speech said that IAPC is supporting many media persons hit by the Corona crisis.  Dr. Chalil is the Chairman of Healthcare Advisory Board and an Adjunct Professor at H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University in Florida, and a member of the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic Medicine Executive Leadership Council, FL.

Panelists and participants of the spirited Presidential Election Debate deliberated on the strong and weak points of both candidates. thesatime | The Southasian times

In his presidential speech, Dr S.S. Lal  said that IAPC sees strong work by Indian-origin journalists in North America. Dr Lal is working for Family Health International, a partner of WHO and is Director of Infectious Diseases (Tuberculosis Portfolio) and in the leadership of key WHO global committees.

With the election just a fortnight away and Indian community courted by both sides, IAPC’s US Presidential Election Debate on Sunday deliberated on strong and weak points of both President Trump and the challenger Joe Biden. Republican side was represented by Puneet Ahluwalia, candidate for Lt. Governor in Virginia, Dr. Sampat Shivangi, Delegate to RNC, and Dr. Anand Tamhankar,

a multi-disciplinary expert and physician.  The Democrat panelists were Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox, candidate for Connecticut State Assembly, Anil Bansal, President of FIA-tristate, and Dr Hetal Gor, OBGYN, NJ. Topics discussed included handling of Covid-19, Obamacare, withdrawal from WHO, immigration, Indo-US relations, economy and jobs, and climate change. Whatever party you support, ensure that all should exercise our right to vote responsibly – that was the positive conclusion of the debate moderated by TV anchor and former IAPC President Dr Renee Mehrra.

Former deputy ambassador of India to the US, TP Srinivasan launched IAPC’s Newswire project that will collate and disseminate news covered by IAPC members to subscribers around the world, IAPC Directors Kamlesh Mehta and Ajay Ghosh explained. Mr Srinivasan, speaking from Thiruvananthapuram, noted that Indian origin journalists are increasingly appearing in the mainstream media in the US. He pointed out that Covid has increased the use of technology and changed the course of the world.

A key seminar at IMC was titled “Freedom of Press in India and US”. It was headlined by Siddharth Varadarajan, former editor of The Hindu and cofounder of The Wire. The point made was that governments, political parties and corporate interests do try to suppress and control the media. Generally speaking, freedom of press is under duress in India while the media in the US enjoys much more freedom. Azad Jayan (Niagara) was the moderator.

The seminar on “Cyber Security & Social Media safety” was held by Ms. Kalyani Nair (Atlanta).  Moderator Dr. Thomas Mathew Joys introduced the speakers: Cybersecurity experts Joseph Ponnoly (Houston) & Binosh A. Bruce (Kochi). They explained cyberattacks by various countries, cyber criminals and insiders and the security measures which can be adopted by social media users.

The session on ‘India’s relationship with countries like US & Canada’ was led by seasoned Indian diplomats, T.P. Sreenivasan and Pradeep Kumar Kapur, former Indian ambassador to Chile and Cambodia. Moderator was Dr. Aann Abraham (Alberta).

Amb, Kapur released IAPC’s 7th IMC souvenir. Its theme is ‘Covid and Media’, explained its Chief Editor Dr. Matthew Joys, who is IAPC Vice Chairman.

A book titled “Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic: Envisioning a Better World by Transforming the Future of Healthcare”,  co-authored by Amb. Kapur and Dr. Joseph Chalil was released in association with IAPC on Saturday morning.

India’s current Chief Information Commissioner Bimal Julka launched IAPC Board Secretary Mathewkutty Easo’s educational portal, which is a crying need as Covid has forced resort to virtual learning.

The first day’s program concluded with a 3-hour cultural event under the banner Vande Mataram and starred reputed singers and cine artists. thesatime | The Southasian times

IAPC Executive Vice President  Annie Koshy introduced her motivational book “How to be your Badass Self”, a guide to use your inner energy for brand success.

IAPC National General Secretary  Biju Chacko welcomed the attendees on the Zoom call. Founder Chairman Ginsmon P. Zacharia, Director Parveen Chopra, Vancouver chapter Secretary Anita Naveen, Alberta President Joseph John, Toronto  President Azad Jayan, Philadelphia President Milly Philip, Atlanta  President Sabu Kurian, Houston Secretary Matthew Vairamon gave felicitation messages. IAPC Secretary Annie Anuvelil presented vote of thanks.

The first day’s program concluded with a 3-hour cultural event under the banner Vande Mataram starring reputed singers and cine artists .

Awards to luminaries

The eminent honorees, presenters and IAPC members participating in the awards ceremony that concluded the conference. thesatime | The Southasian times

As every year, IAPC recognized luminaries from media, literature,  community service, business, and philanthropy, etc.

IAPC’s prestigious Sathbhavana Award was conferred on Wheels Global Foundation, recognizing their “Technology enabled Philanthropy” by Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh.

The lifetime achievement award Karma Shreshta was presented to eminent cardiologist and former AAPI president Dr. Vinod K. Shah by Ginsmon Zacharia.

Dean of Harvard Business School Nitin Nohria was presented the SathKarma award by  Dr S.S. Lal. Another SathKarma award was presented to the Executive Director of Ekal Vidyalaya, Ranjani Saigal, by Kamlesh Mehta. She has worked in education technology at MIT and Tufts University.

IAPC’s Excellence in Literature Award was presented to Amb. Kapur by IAPC Director Dr. P.V. Baiju.  Amb. Kapur is Executive Director of Smart Village Development Fund at  Wheels Global Foundation.

Chancellor of University of California, San Diego, Pradeep Kumar Khosla was conferred Excellence in Technology & Education Award by Dr. Joseph Chalil.

Excellence in Leadership Award was presented to AAPI President Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda by Dr. Thomas Mathew Joys.

This year’s Media Excellence Award was presented  to Lalit K. Jha, Chief US Correspondent for PTI, by former IAPC President Parveen Chopra.

Dr. Sunil D. Kumar, the recipient of Humanitarian Award, specializes in Critical Care Medicine, Pulmonary Disease and Sleep Medicine based in Florida.

The Community Service Award was shared by Satish Korpe and Madhavan B. Nair. Korpe, CEO at Potomac Engineers, is involved in small business issues in Maryland-Virginia area and is active in local organizations. Mr Nair is a chartered Financial Consultant and President of FOKANA. Dr. Parikh presented him the award.

The awards evening was emceed by IAPC Director Korason Varghese and Krystal Korason. Treasurer Reji Philip gave the vote of thanks, concluding the conference.

The entire mega event with participants coming on Zoom platform from different countries and time zones called for technical dexterity. No worries. It was seamlessly managed by a team of IAPC IT whizzes — Biju Chacko, Mathewkutty Easo (NY), Reji Philip (Philadelphia), Prijesh James (Iowa) and Joseph John (Canada).


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Latest News New York


By  Dr. Mathew Joys,

Las Vegas

New York: Indo American Press Club, Inc. (IAPC) has announced the National Executive Committee 2020. IAPC, the largest ethnic Indian American media forum, formed in 2013 to provide a common platform and to be the voice for media personnel of Indian origin, and to help shape the world to be world that is fair, just and equitable for the all today and future generations.

Dr. S.S.Lal, a world renowned Health Expert, Columnist and Guest Speaker on various Visual Media, has been selected to be the President of the National Executive Committee of Indo-American Press Club (IAPC), the largest ethnic Indian American media forum, formed to provide a common platform and to be the voice for media personnel of Indian origin, and to help shape the world that is fair, just and equitable for the all today and future generations.

Dr.Lal was a member of the Board of the Directors of IAPC during 2014- 2016. He is now the Director at the World Health Organization (WHO), in charge of the Department of Controlling contagious diseases (TB), with head quarters in Washington DC. Dr. Lal has been working for WHO in various countries,and has been instrumental in the setting up and management of its Global Fund at Geneva. He is a key member in various Advisory Councils of the WHO and often appears on TV sharing valuable thoughts on public health. Many of his scientific articles and findings have been published in various international journals. He is also a frequent columnist in various accredited Online and Print media. 

Since 1993, for the first time in India  Dr.Lal initiated the broadcasting of Health Shows (Pulse, Asianet) and he was the Anchor for more than 500 biweekly episodes, until the end of 2003.  He has published so many Short Stories and Novels, and “Tittoni” a collection of his short stories was published by D.C.Books. 

With his passion, dedication and academic achievements such as MBBS, MPH, MBA and Ph D, Dr. Lal makes his commitment towards betterment of health conditions all over the world with his responsible assignments at World Health Organization. Dr. Lal originally hails from Trivandrum, Kerala, and is an extensive traveler all over the world now lives at Vienna, Virginia along with his wife Dr. Sandhya and two sons.

Dr. Lal  will serve as the President of IPAC leading the organization to newer heights. 

ANNIE J KOSHY elected as the Executive Vice President  joins the leadership team with her motto “Giving voice to the voiceless through thought leadership, photography, media and the arts.”

Award-winning media professional, Annie Koshy, is a recognized multi-talented media and events personality, trained elite speaker and emcee. Her work is highly applauded, as she has made a lasting impression within the arts, media, and events arena. Annie has gained a reputation for bridging opportunities for those in a variety of industries. Through her disciplined work ethic in multiple streams, aptitude for branding and skill in business networking, Annie is a role model to many within the community. As a fine example of a multi-disciplinary woman leader in the community, Annie’s story is inspirational and unique to young entrepreneurs and women. Her kernels of truth and words of wisdom are steeped in experience and cultural diversity.

The newly appointed Vice Presidents are C.G. Daniel, James Kureekattil, Prakash Joseph and Sunil Manjanikkara. C.G. Daniel is a well known writer and an amateur photographer with a large following especially on social media.  He is an environmentalist and his photos are published in the local newspapers. He is the President and CEO of the Deepalaya Foundation Inc. He is focusing to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of children  living in low-income communities in Delhi and nearby states of North India by providing literacy and equality of education though Deepalaya Delhi. Before immigrating to the U.S., he was a successful entrepreneur in Delhi for many years. He has traveled several countries related to his business activities. Even while holding a full time job at Houston airport, he has been playing a major role in social and cultural activities in Houston. Daniel was the former president of the IAPC Houston chapter and the editorial Chairman of the International Media Conference 2019 Souvenir.

James Kureekkattil is a renowned Indo American free thinker, writer and columnist. He is also a reporter to Global Reporter TV channel. He has produced many news reports and features for the Reporter TV channel. His short stories, poems and articles has been published in several publications. His book “Malluklabbile Sadaachaaratharkkangal (Moral Argument of Mallu Club)” which was published last year is one of the widely discussed books among the Malayalee communities in the U.S. He was the Editor if Dhwani magazine published from Detroit. He is also actively involved in the writers forum, LANA.

Prakash Joseph was the Advisory board member of the IAPC Atlanta chapter. He is also a member of the Greater Atlanta Malayalee Association (GAMA). In 2016 he was elected as GAMA President and since 2017 he is serving as the member of the Board of Trustee. Recently he was elected as the Atlanta region president of World Malayalee Council.

Sunil Manjanikkara is working as a Program-in-Chief with the Global Reporter channel. He was the Program Director for JaiHind TV USA. He is a professional in photography and videography and exhibited his expertise through several TV programms.. He was the Public Relations Officer for the American Malankara Diocese and he played a major role to establish the diocese’s audio video media department. He was instrumental in the historic leap of telecasting of 250 episodes of a Realty Show organized by JaiHind TV, where participants from all American states could present their versatile talents for the first time. For Malankara TV, Sunil reported the Induction and Coronation events of H.H.Ignatius Aprem II, Patriarch of Global Syrian Orthodox Churches from Syria.

The elected General Secretary, Biju Chacko is a well known media person of North America. He is the member of the Director Board of Jai Hind News which is publishing from U.S. and Canada. He is actively involved with many organisations including NORKA. He was the front runner of New York State Senator Kevin Thomas’s election campaign and now actively involved in the community services of Sen. Kevin Thomas.

The elected Secretaries are Andrews Jacob, Raj Dhingra, Annie Anuvelil and Dr. Neethu Thomas

Andrew Jacob is the reporter of Global Reporter channel. He was the former secretary of IAPC Houston chapter. He is a good singer in Malayalam and Hindi especially ghazal songs. He is the Treasurer of Malayalee Association of Houston, President of Houston Kottayam Press Club, Cultural Forumn Chairman of World Malayalee Association of American region. He is involved in the charity organization like Ragam Arts, Prathibha Arts etc.

Raj Dhingra is the publisher of New York based Indian Republic News paper. He is also members of several Indo-American community organizations.

Annie Anuvelil is a freelance journalist based at Atlanta. She has a post graduate diploma from Manorama School of Communication (MASCO). Before immigrating to the U.S. she worked with the New Indian Express and R R Donelly publishing department. She played a major role to start the monthly news bulletin, “Nattu Vishesham”, publishing by the Atlanta Metro Malayalee Association (AMMA). Currently she is the news editor of this monthly magazine. She is also actively involved in the community activities.

Dr. Neethu Thomas is working as Senior Reporter at Global Reporter TV. Many of her daily reports to Global TV Channel under ‘Global News Hour’ have claimed popular attention. She is also working as Surgical Tech in Broadlawns Hospital Des Moines ,Iowa.

The newly elected Treasurer Reji Philip is the reporter of Global Reporter channel and a popular media professional also. He has a Post Graduate degree in journalism. He is engaged in several visual online media and an expert in creative digital department .He is based at Philadelphia.

Advocate Innocent Ulahannan is elected as the Jt.Treasurer. He is the Vice president (operations) of Asian Era Magazine. He has 25 years of experiance as a Revenue Manager in New York. He was the former president of Hudson Valley Malayalee Association and Chairman of the Board of Trustee. He served as American Political Action Council President and Secretary of FOKANA, New York region. He was the Treasurer of the Indian American Lawyers Forum. As a certified Notary, he has been active in the community engaging in tax affairs for the last 22 years. He has decorated many official positions in various organizations and a recipient of various awards to his honor.

Baiju Pakalomattom and Roopsi Narula were elected as National Co ordinators. Baiju Pakalomattom was the former IAPC Secretary. He is the regional director and columnist of JaiHind News, Niagara region. His several articles have been published in many of the publications. He was one of the founder members of the Niagara Malayalee Samajam and now serving as the president. During 2007 he joined Knight of Columbus, the global Catholic organization and elevated to fourth degree as Sir Knight for his dedications. In 2016 he was elected as the regional Vice President of FOKANA Canada region.

Roopsi Narula has been  prominent  with her presence in the digital marketing sector. Roopsi who has attained MBA from USA, is also holding Masters in Sociology.  She has been active for the last ten years with her print and  digital chain of telecasting in the ZeeTV Americas, TV Asia, Oxford University Press, and The South Asian Times. 

The new elected Public Relations Officers (PRO) are O.K. Thyagarajan, Teresa Tom and Shibi Roy. Originally from Kannur, O.K. Thyagarajan is based at Vancouver, Canada. He is the editorial board member of Jai Hind News. He studied law and journalism and worked with the Kairali TV channel also. He has published a collection of short stories.

Shiby Roy is theOwner/CEO and Lead RJ of Mallu CafeMalayalam Radio U.S.A available @99.5 FM. Her radio station is based at Houston but streaming is available through out the world. She is also a director board member of the Greater Houston malayalee Association. This year she was elected as the womens representative of the Malayalee Association.

Teresa Tom is a well known as a Writer and Columnist, publishing many poems and articles in Newspapers, magazines. She has published two collections of her poetries and two collections of her essays of social importance and women empowerment. She is the Chairperson of the Literary Seminar held by the WMC. Teresa is an active member holding different positions of IAPC since its inception.

IAPC was formed with the lofty goal of realizing a long-felt need to bring together the media groups and the Indian American media persons across the North American continent  under one umbrella to work together and support one another, and thus giving them a powerful voice in the media world and the larger society. IAPC members are dedicated to fulfill the vision of enhancing their own journalistic skills while striving to help fellow journalists and future generations to work towards the common cause of enhancing the well being and efficiency of all peoples of the world.

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