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Pediatric center opens in Tampa

The Dr. Pallavi Patel Pediatric Center, a 580-square-foot facility on the USF campus in Tampa, is now open. The clinic is equipped with a two-bed examination room, office and a waiting room.

Housed in the USF/Dr. Kiran C. Patel Charter School, which opened in February 2003 with a generous donation from the Patels, the clinic will serve the school's 190 students in kindergarten through fourth grade.

The students, who come from the area surrounding the university and throughout Tampa Bay, are mostly from low-income families and are at risk of failure in their current school setting.

"It is so important to deal with children's medical issues promptly," said pediatrician Pallavi Patel, who will be seeing children at the clinic twice a week. "Absenteeism due to illness not only prevents a student from learning, but it also complicates the lives of the parents who must arrange to care for their child. Our hope for this new pediatric center is that it will bring health and good order to everyone in the family."

Snapshots of India Festival
About 9,000 people turned out to enjoy the delights of the 17th annual India Festival on November 6 at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa. Attendees sampled the savories of India at several booths. Performers on stage competed for trophies and awards in the garba, raas, folk dance and classical dance categories. It was one of the largest turnouts in recent years, said the Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay, organizers of the annual event.
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Glimpses of Diwali
The Hindu Temple of Florida in Tampa celebrated the Festival of Lights with a cultural program followed by dinner and fireworks. The event drew a huge turnout, according to temple organizers.
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NEW: Mental Health Column

It is time for the Tampa Bay community to have a forum where voices can be expressed, respected and heard. This column will provide just such a corner. In time, I hope there will be enough interest generated when you, the reader, will begin to request certain topics of discussion.
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Finance: When Was Your Last Checkup?

An annual checkup of your credit is just as important to your financial health as a checkup with your doctors is to your physical health. Checking your credit record is less expensive than a physical, but early detection of a problem is equally beneficial.
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Hurricane relief funds sought
With the "rash" of major hurricanes to hit Florida in last couple of months, the sheer magnitude of property damage, loss of life and the tremendous pain and suffering caused all across Florida is simply unimaginable. The images on television cannot begin to give us the real picture of the human toll taken by hurricanes such as Ivan, Jeanne, Charley and Frances.

INDOUS Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Indian Associations of Tampa Bay (FIA) have joined together to help local communities affected by the tragedy. Indian organizations in Tampa Bay are working to raise funds for the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund established by Governor Jeb Bush.

Mail your contributions (payable to INDO-US/Florida Hurricane Relief Fund) to INDOUS, P.O. Box 20232, Tampa, FL 33622.

All donations are tax-deductible. For more information, visit on the Internet.

If you have any questions, call Dilip Kanji at (813) 784-6979 or Ram Ramcharran at (727) 460-2460.

Youth Highlight
Roshni Marballi, 13, an eighth-grader at Williams Middle School, earned a Middle School Master Musician title. The Hillsborough County Master Musician Committee recommended Roshnišs name based on her submission of numerous recorded music pieces played on the flute, a written achievement test and a research paper on the instrument.
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