Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Florida News


By NITISH S. RELE – editor@khaasbaat.com

Photos by Nima Film, Javad

The idea was conceived three years ago by Ash Bagdy and his wife Kavita Jain long before philanthropist and businessman Dr. Kiran C. Patel turned their dream into a reality. Like several others that he has in the past.

Bagdy and Patel’s vision for an innovative high school was a meeting of the minds. “Our thoughts and vision were perfectly aligned, resulting in an instant marriage,” says Bagdy. “With his passion, leadership, vision and direction, we were able to power forward.”

Groundbreaking was held Dec. 13 for the two-story, nearly 58,000-square-foot Dr. Kiran C. Patel High School on a 32-acre plot in Tampa. Set to open in August this year, the public charter school will enroll 300 students in grades nine and 10, initially. Jain, president of the school, said, “We have a vision, one to educate and empower our students, and also become lifelong learners. Dr. K shares our vision for great education for us.”

Photos by Nima Film, Javad

The atmosphere and environment in the $20-million school project will be inviting for students. “It will not look like a school but like an Apple Corporation office,” said school vice president Mo Kasti. “Children will be sitting at round tables, around technology, and the teacher will be a facilitator. It will be project-based learning, partnering with communities and we need others to be a mentor in different projects.” The school’s curriculum also includes flipped classroom and leadership training.

As always, Dr. Kiran Patel struck a humble note in his speech. “I am overrated,” he began. “It is the efforts of everyone that make things happen. The most precious commodity God has given us is time. Money anyone can make. We should spend each minute in community work, building people’s lives. That contribution is priceless.”

Patel said besides writing a big check, committed and dedicated people are needed. “Education is the best gift you can give anyone,” he said. “We are all present here at this groundbreaking because of the opportunity of a good education. We want to provide a choice here since some kids and parents don’t have one because of economic conditions in their neighborhoods. We want to provide an option to those committed to education. All of us have contributed to make this school a reality.”

Patel thanked his children, who were present, for allowing “me to spend your inheritance. This is a team effort from our family, which is so fortunate,” he said. “America has given us a tremendous opportunity to be able to be a force of change. I thank God every day for giving me that opportunity.”

For more information on the school, visit www.patelhighschool.org



Children Across Borders hosts their biennial fundraiser, “Bollywood Nights: Cirque du Bollywood” at The Tampa Museum of Art (120 Gasparilla Plaza) on Feb. 23, 2019. The event welcomes guests to enjoy gourmet Indian cuisine, live auction items and chance drawings, a DJ and dance floor, and more.

When Vivek and Sharmila Seth founded Children Across Borders nearly 10 years ago, they knew there was more that could be done for philanthropy; both in their home country of India, and their community in Tampa Bay. The couple relocated from New York to Tampa in 2002 as Vivek was recruited to build the real estate investment banking group at Raymond James.

Growing up in Bangalore, the couple witnessed their fair share of poverty and adversity. Having a sense of charitability ingrained in them, as they advanced their education and careers, they always made it a point to donate a portion of their paychecks to philanthropic causes. The couple has raised two teenagers and built a beautiful life, all the while building something bigger than themselves.

CAB supports several local Tampa Bay charities, and the impact spans to New York City and multiple cities across India (Bangalore, Goa, Chennai, Calcutta, Nagercoil.) The charity’s unique structure allows donors to have complete confidence in where their dollars go each year with their commitment to transparency. With virtually no overhead, all funds raised directly impact each child within a CAB-sponsored program.

Children Across Borders, a 501c3 public charity, provides financial and non-financial support to grassroots, children-focused organizations in the areas of education, health, housing, and wellness around the world. “Bollywood Nights” is CAB’s signature fundraiser, which provides funding for the charity’s more than 15 beneficiary organizations for two calendar years.

Tickets and sponsorships can be found at www.childrenacrossborders.org/bollywood-nights

FAA Inspector Jose hands Andy Rughani
the award Figueroa on behalf of
FAA Administrator Daniel K. Elwell.

CAPT. ANDY RUGHANI RECEIVES FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award

The Tampa Flight Standards District Office has awarded the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award to Capt. Andy Rughani of Palm Harbor.

The award among other qualifications requires 50 years of safe, accident free, flying as an FAA licensed pilot. Rughani holds the Airline Transport Pilot certificate, the highest grade of license and Flight Instructor, Flight Engineer and other FAA licenses. He began flying in Phoenix, Az., in 1967 at Sky Harbor International Airport.

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