Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Florida News


Tampa Bay has a growing population of seniors of Indian origin. In recognizing the changing dynamics and needs of these aging seniors, a group of concerned and caring volunteers from the local community have come together to help fellow seniors in need. These volunteers strive to tackle the difficult question every one faces at some point in their lives, now what?

We all know that death is inevitable and sickness in family can be difficult. After living together for many years, a time comes when a life partner departs from this world, leaving the other one alone. Separation from a loved one can create vacuum and a feeling of loneliness that can be emotionally troubling at times. Similarly, a chronic sickness in the family can be stressful for the caretaker. The caretaker will likely also need emotional/financial support.

The project to help fellow seniors in times like these (and many more) is initiated by a group of like-minded supporters. Some of the key goals of these volunteers is to help their fellow seniors who have no family support, feel lonely in their life, or need assistance in their day-to-day life. For example:

  1. Meet in-person to discuss their challenges and try to resolve through collective effort, if possible.

  2. Visit a lonely individual at home (or if admitted, visit them at the facility) to unpretentiously talk to them to make them feel “I have a family who cares for me”!

  3. Provide transportation arrangements – whether it is for a doctor’s office visit, grocery shopping, or simply driving to a park for fresh air.

  4. Conduct fundraiser for seniors in financial need.

The ultimate goal of these volunteers is to bring a ray of hope and energy to overcome any difficulties in the most modest way possible. Confidentiality of each individual will be the volunteers’ priority.

This is a volunteer group and open to suggestions and volunteers. For information or to help, contact Suresh Patel at (662) 322-6510 or email spatelmmrw@gmail.com; Jayantibhai Patel at (813) 504-7885 or email jayantipatel0101@gmail.com; Dr. Madhusudan Vyas at (317) 413-8927 or email doctorvyas@gmail.com


By NITISH S. RELE – editor@khaasbaat.com

Florida maintains its ranking as seventh in the United States for number of international students (45,957) attending colleges in the 2018-19 academic year. That’s down 1.2 percent from 2017-18. Most are from China (17 percent), India (13.5 percent), followed by Venezuela (7.2 percent), Brazil (5.8 percent) and Saudi Arabia (4.6 percent). Florida ranked No. 7 among top host states with California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois and Pennsylvania in the lead.

University of Florida in Gainesville is not in the top 20 national ranking for number of international students. But it continues to be the leader in the Sunshine State with 6,881 students. University of South Florida (USF) Tampa remains at No. 2 spot at 6,351 students. Florida International University is third with 4,196 students, followed by University of Miami at 3,527 students and University of Central Florida with 3,415 students.

According to the Open Doors yearly report, published by the not-for-profit Institute of International Education, the number of international students, at 1,096,299, attending U.S. colleges and universities represent the 13th straight year of record growth. That’s a 0.05 percent increase from 2017-18.

China sent the most students, 369,548 to the U.S., followed by India, sending 202,014. In South Asia, Nepal sent 13,229 students (decrease of 0.3 percent), Pakistan sent 7,957 students (hike of 5.6 percent) and Bangladesh dispatched 8,249 students (up 10 percent).

Currently, the leading host institutions for international students are New York University (19,605), University of Southern California (16,340), followed by Northeastern University in Boston with 16,075, Columbia University (15,897), and University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign (13,497).

The number of Indian students in the U.S. in 2018-19 is up 2.9 percent compared to the previous year. 51.6 percent of international students pursued STEM fields and their number in math and computer science programs grew by 9.4 percent. Engineering remained the largest academic field, with 21.2 percent of all international students. The U.S. remains the top host globally. International students made a significant financial impact in 2018, contributing $44.7 billion to the U.S. economy through tuition, room and board, and other expenses, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

As for students heading to study in India, there was a huge 15.3 percent decrease. For 2018-19 year, 3,986 U.S. students went to India.

For more details on the study, visit www.iie.org/opendoors

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