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Indian Students Exploited by Employers

New Zealand First says Kiwi employers and new immigrant employers are exploiting thousands of Indian ‘students’ flooding into New Zealand.

“They are too afraid to speak out as their purpose in migrating to New Zealand is to gain permanent residence. Study is just a pathway they can use,” says Leader Winston Peters.

National has been in denial but Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse admitted on Radio Live today that Indian students are coming to New Zealand with the intention of staying permanently.

“Numbers have soared since the National government softened restrictions allowing foreign students to work, pushing numbers to unacceptable levels.

“We have 93,000 overseas students, a rise of 12 per cent in the past year. The number of Indian students has risen 60 per cent. It’s not the quality of our education that is being exported it is our soft access to citizenship.

“The government did not do a proper analysis before allowing foreign students to work and now there is a mess to clean up,” says Peters.

“Indian students are taking over low skilled jobs in service stations, supermarkets and horticulture. They are being exploited and ripped off with low wages, willing to accept any working conditions,” says New Zealand First Ethic Affairs Spokesperson Mahesh Bindra.

“An Indian restaurant chain has just been fined for the second time in two weeks for exploiting student workers, some receiving as little as $4 an hour in 2013.

“The so-called export education industry is nothing of the sort. It was supposed to bring in much-needed overseas money, but now students can pay with New Zealand dollars earned here.

“Student visas are being used to flood the job market, drive down wages and undermine working conditions, as well as increase the already record number of permanent immigrants,” says Bindra.

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NZ issues most residence visas to Indians

Indians is one of the largest ethnic groups on New Zealand. (Photo CC: Sheetal Saini)

Indians is one of the largest ethnic groups on New Zealand. (Photo CC: Sheetal Saini)

 

Indians accounted for the most number of applicants selected for permanent residence visa by Immigration New Zealand.

As per the outcome of the Expressions of Interest (EOI) scheme announced on 16 April 2014, the most number of EOIs accepted by Immigration New Zealand were from India.

Of the 593 EOIs representing 1,155 people that were selected, 27% are from India, followed by China (13%) and the Philippines (11%).

A majority (505) of the accepted EOIs had a job offer, indicating the government’s strong preference for allowing migrants who already have a job to go to in New Zealand.

The majority (473) of migrants with job offer were onshore applicants – they are already in New Zealand.

Applicants scoring more than 140 points are automatically selected for residence. Of the 593 successful applicants, 473 had points in excess of 140, and all of them had a job offer.

About the EOI for skilled migrants

The EOIs for skilled migrant category is one of the most popular categories of Immigration New Zealand.  People cannot directly apply for permanent residence visa for New Zealand.

Those who score a minimum of 100 points and are interested in residence visa must first file an Expression of Interest (EOI) either online or in paper form.

EOI is a simple process of filling out a form – no documents are required while submitting an EOI form. All EOI applications are processed in New Zealand only.

Unfortunately, applicants have no right of appeal if their EOI has been unsuccessful.

Those with qualifying points move to the next stage where the immigration authority determines whether the applicants have a strong case for meeting the criteria.

Once immigration authority believes that the applicant has a strong case, they are invited to apply (ITA) for residence.

This is when the applicants credentials and points will be judged based on evidence presented.

An invitation for residence is no indication of the successful outcome of EOI.

How long is my EOI valid?

The EOI remains in the pool for six months, and if the applicant hasn’t been selected in those six moths, the EOI expires.

How do I know if I will get permanent residence in New Zealand?

Because of the outcome of your EOI depends on the quality of other applicants in the pool during the six-month period, it is hard to know how many points are required to be selected from the pool.

As can be seen from the figures revealed earlier in this article, the most important factor that decides the success of an EOI under skilled migrant category is a valid job offer. The second factor is whether the candidate is already working in a role related to their field in New Zealand.

The candidates’ employability is the most critical factor in gaining residency in New Zealand.

 

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Ethnic people urged to join govt boards

Ethnic people in New Zealand

 

Do you believe you could make a difference to New Zealand communities? The Office of Ethnic Affairs in New Zealand is urging ethnic people to nominate themselves to be considered for appointment to government boards, committees and advisory groups, including those of Crown companies.

Ethnic people in New Zealand

The positions give an opportunity to contribute to the prosperity and strength of New Zealand’s economy and communities.

The OEA is consulted by agencies that support the Government’s appointment of candidates to more than 400 state sector boards and committees. The OEA provides an avenue through which ethnic people can register their interest and availability to take up board appointments.

Minister Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi is requesting people from the Indian communities to express their interest to be considered for these roles on the boards.

“As the face and heart of New Zealand becomes more diverse, it’s crucial that leaders in ethnic communities play a more active role shaping decision-making,” says Kanwaljit.

“It’s important every New Zealander feels inspired and has the opportunity to step into leadership roles in our neighbourhoods, workplaces, on boards and in broader decision making authorities,” says the New Delhi-born minister.

KanwaljitBakshi“This is one of the reasons I aspired to become a Member of Parliament. As a country we are extremely proud of our diversity and it’s increasingly seen as a competitive advantage on so many levels particularly when it comes to business.

“That’s why we’re working to make sure that we create the best culture and environment possible for this exchange of knowledge and skills.

“The 2014 series of EthnicA conferences, which began last weekend, help do just this;  stressing the importance of diverse leadership for New Zealand’s success.

“Migrant businesses are a wealth of international knowledge for other New Zealand businesses. Likewise migrant businesses are able to learn and feed off New Zealand businesses that have an institutional understanding of operating in our domestic environment.

“These conferences are part of a fantastic pool of programmes organised by the Office of Ethnic Affairs (OEA) to tap into New Zealand’s ethnic diversity and find new avenues to develop and strengthen leadership across the board.

“At the event a range of speakers told experiences operating ‘in two worlds’ because to be successful we have to learn to navigate and balance both the demands of our working life, with the demands of our home or community life.”

Who could apply to be considered for the board roles

In order to be considered for board roles, you need to display at least one of the following characteristics:

  • have held a position on a board or committee at any level
  • have been elected to a board or council position
  • have a leadership role in a corporate environment, professional association or community group
  • are a director of a business
  • have good networks/connections within your community or a particular sector
  • have corporate, legal, accounting or financial expertise or experience
  • experience in managing commercial assets

For more information, visit OEA website.

 

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TCS to strengthen brand with New York Marathon

NewYorkMarathon

NewYorkMarathon

The world’s most popular marathon will now be known as TCS New York Marathon from this year.

India’s largest technology solutions company – Tata Consultancy Services (popularly known as TCS) – has become the title sponsor of the premium running event which attracts 50,000 runners. The race dates back to 1970 when 127 runners raced four laps of Central Park.

The New York City Marathon offers advertisers an opportunity to reach affluent professionals, as the event attracts 2 million live spectators and 330 million viewers on television.

The previous sponsors, ING, did not renew the contract, as the American banking and insurance giant re-organised their business. “As part of our rebranding effort, we will be focusing our sponsorship and philanthropic efforts more directly on supporting financial literacy,” an ING spokesperson told the New York Times.

The New York Road Runners (NYRR) – the organisers of the racing event, signed TCS as the title sponsor for the next eight years beginning 2014.

This year’s race will be held on Sunday 2 November, and the registration for runners close as early as 18 March. The event is expected to attract more than 100,000 applications from runners.

It’s not just the runners and viewers that TCS wishes to target. The US$11.6 billion tech giant has a very young workforce – the average age of its 300,000 staff is 27-28 years. TCS runs Fit for Life programme in 44 countries for its employees – the fitness programme has every employee registered already. TCS expects its employees to complete 5 million kilometers this year.

The Indian tech giant has a commitment to investing in the health and wellbeing. “We think that that is fundamentally important even for students to study well and have a better career and so on. This is the theme we have taken,” N Chandrasekaran, chief executive of TCS, said in a television interview.

However, building brand recognition is at the core of this relationship. “As we become larger and larger, it is very important for people to know what we stand for, because people come across TCS all the time.”

On its part, the New York Road Runners is keen to strengthen the technology tools used for the event, with the help of TCS.

TCS is creating mobile training and runner tracking apps and software for real-time race results and on-site information. TCS has been a technology consulting partner for NYRR since 2010.

“There is a lot of technology that goes into running a major marathon and in getting people healthier and fitter all year round and what a difference it will make for TCS when people see that we become the most technologically advanced marathon in the world and that we have a lot more people running,” said Mary Wittenberg, chief executive of New York Road Runners.

The new TCS New York City Marathon website is designed to help runners plan their race day, and use tailored coaching plans through the online training programme and information about how to participate as part of a charity team, such as NYRR’s Team for Kids.

TCS has also sponsored similar Marathon events around the world including Amsterdam, Berlin, and Mumbai – the Tata Group‘s home city.

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Satya Nadella’s first interview as Microsoft CEO

 

Software giant Microsoft has appointed Satya Nadella as its next chief executive.

Working with Microsoft for the last 22 years, Satya is Microsoft’s third chief executive in the company’s nearly four-decade history. Founder Bill Gates was the longest-serving head of Microsoft, who was replaced by Steve Ballmer.

The 1967-born Satya will take charge of the new role immediately and will also become a part of the Board of Directors. Satya was promoted from the position of executive vice president of cloud and Enterprise group.

“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” said Bill Gates, Microsoft’s Founder and Member of the Board of Directors.

Satya’s claim to the top job lies in his blend of technical and people skills. “Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together.”

He is also expected to draw on product innovation skills in his new role. “His vision for how technology will be used and experienced around the world is exactly what Microsoft needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth.”

Born and educated in India’s tech city of Hyderabad, Satya came to the US for post-graduate studies, and after a stint with Sun Microsystems, he joined Microsoft in 1992, where he led strategy and technical shifts, including Microsoft’s move to the cloud and the development of one of the largest cloud infrastructures in the world supporting Bing, Xbox, Office and other services.

Satya is looking forward to the challenge and understands the need for speed. The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, says Satya. “But to seize it, we must focus clearly, move faster and continue to transform. A big part of my job is to accelerate our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly.”

“Having worked with him for more than 20 years, I know that Satya is the right leader at the right time for Microsoft,” says Steve Ballmer, who announced on 23 August 2013 that he would retire once a successor was named.

In his first email as the chief executive, Satya expressed his emotions openly to the employees. “Today is a very humbling day for me. It reminds me of my very first day at Microsoft, 22 years ago. I had a choice about where to come to work. I came here because I believed Microsoft was the best company in the world.”

Satya has made his priorities clear – breaking the rules of the game. “Our industry does not respect tradition — it only respects innovation. Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world.”

He acknowledges the role of family in his work. “A lot of what I do and how I think has been shaped by my family and my overall life experiences.”

Being a little philosophical, Satya paraphrased Oscar Wilde: “We need to believe in the impossible and remove the improbable.”

A keen learner, Satya admits that he loves to buy books. “I buy more books than I can finish. I sign up for more online courses than I can complete. I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things, you stop doing great and useful things. So family, curiosity and hunger for knowledge all define me.”

His vision for future is of a “software-powered” world. “It will better connect us to our friends and families and help us see, express, and share our world in ways never before possible. It will enable businesses to engage customers in more meaningful ways.”

Bill Gates, previously Chairman of the Board of Directors, will stay on the board as technology advisor, and will support Nadella in shaping technology and product direction. John Thompson, lead independent director, will become the chairman.

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Why Satya Nadella is good for Microsoft top job

Satya nadella CEO Microsoft

UPDATE 4 February 2014: In a release issued earlier today, Microsoft has confirmed the appointment of Satya Nadella as its new chief executive. As Satya Nadella becomes the third CEO of Microsoft, he brings a relentless drive for innovation and a spirit of collaboration to his new role. Many companies, he says, “aspire to change the world. But very few have all the elements required: talent, resources and perseverance. Microsoft has proven that it has all three in abundance.”

News reports about the possibility of Satya Nadella taking charge of Microsoft as the next chief executive has produced mixed reaction from the industry.

Microsoft has reportedly prepared a shortlist of potential candidates being considered for the difficult job of heading the technology giant that’s trying hard to change direction.

A report by Bloomberg suggests that Satya Nadella is the most likely candidate to take up the top job.

Satya nadella CEO MicrosoftSatya is be the best available option available to the US$78-billion company faced with a challenge of changing internal mindset.

Satya has been with Microsoft for most his career – since joining the company in 1992. The 1967-born understands Microsoft’s culture very well. This understanding is crucial while introducing  change.

He has worked in different divisions of Microsoft, leading diverse projects.

Currently, Satya is executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group, which  builds and runs Microsoft’s computing platforms, developer tools and cloud services. Satya and his team deliver the “Cloud OS”, Microsoft’s next generation backend platform.

His current job puts him in a position of driving growth where innovation and key account management are prerequisites of success – exactly what Microsoft needs to reinvent itself in the cloud-era where it is competing not with hardware companies, but with services companies like Amazon.com which is redefining the rules of the game.

He is a technical expert – he has a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Microsoft realises that the future is not in enterprise but in cloud-based computing, and what could be a better choice than Satya to take the company in that direction? He is the cloud-computing guy for Microsoft, a software giant that’s traditionally been a personal computing company, where enterprise software lived in computers.

He has been at the forefront of Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform which helps in building and managing applications and services through Microsoft-managed datacenters around the world.

He began his career with Sun Microsystems in its technology team and later joined Microsoft as the senior vice president of research and development.

He can follow the research approach to innovation and help put Microsoft in a strong position globally as a services company.

He was born and raised in India’s technology city – Hyderabad, where Microsoft’s largest offshore research centre is based.

As the company moves away from being a software powerhouse to a services company, Satya will bring to table the required technical expertise blended with strong marketing thinking, similar in nature to late Steve Jobs of Apple Inc.

However, Satya has his challenges. In an organisation with reportedly few takes for the top job,  he has a challenging culture to manage.

Microsoft is known to be a career company, where employees join after college and stay till retirement. The organisational culture will require a lot of smart-work to introduce changes.

Second, Microsoft has had only two chief executives in its 39 years of existence – founder Bill Gates, and the current CEO Steve Ballmer. Securing acceptance for his role as the third CEO, from the 100,000-strong workforce worldwide will be a major task for Satya.

If appointed as the CEO of Microsoft, Satya will join the elite club of India-born chief executives of major multinational companies, and will be in the company of Indra Nooyi who heads Pepsi, and Anshu Jain, the chief executive of Deutsche Bank.

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Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda found dead in Delhi

Indian Union Minister Shashi Tharoor’s wife, Sunanda Pushkar, was found dead in a room at The Leela hotel in New Delhi.

The cause of her death is unclear at this stage, but the police are not ruling out suicide.

The Delhi Police investigations team have taken the body for post mortem. As Sunanda Pushkar was married to the minister for less than seven years (they were married in 2010), a special magistrate probe will be carried out as per Indian laws.

Just two hours before the news of Sunanda’s death broke out, Shashi Tharoor tweeted that he was skipping Jaipur Literature Festival this year due to his wife’s ill-health.

 

The couple were at the centre of a controversy when Shashi Tharoor had an exchange of tweets with Pakistan-based journalist Mehr Tarar.

Sunanda had reportedly threatened to divorce Shashi Tharoor after posting messages about his “rip-roaring affair” on Twitter. According to the messages, Shashi Tharoor had been having an affair with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar.

Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor, posted a series of private messages between Shashi Tharoor and Mehr Tarar on his timeline. One such message which may have been a direct message to Shashi Tharoor by Mehr read: “I love you, Shashi Tharoor. And I go while in love with you, irrevocably, irreversibly, hamesha [always]. Bleeding, but always your Mehr.”

Just 20 hours before the news of her death became public, Sunanda Pushkar had replied to Indian journalist, Rahul Kanwal, that she has Mehr Tarar’s messages to Shashi.

In the meantime, Mehr Tarar, the Pakistani journalist at the centre of the controversy, has expressed her shock at the news on Twitter.


The Communist Party of India (CPI) has asked for a detailed enquiry in the case.  Conspiracy theories have started doing rounds, and some people are sensing a foul play by Congress.

 

 

 

Global Indians Immigration Work Abroad

New Saudi law to affect Indians

jobs in UAE

Saudi Arabia’s attempts to secure employment for locals is likely to affect Indian workers – the largest group of foreign nationals working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Kingdom’s attempt to protect jobs for its nationals is driven by this high unemployment rate. The Kingdom has a very high unemployment rate – about 12% overall and 39% for those between the age of 15 and 25 years, according to an estimate.

However, as many as 5 million South Asians, majority of them Indians, work in and drive the Arab economies. At two million workers, the Indians represent the largest foreign workforce in the region. About six million Indians work in the six Gulf states and represent about a quarter of Indians living outside India.
jobs in UAE
Those most affected by the law changes will be the low skilled workers in small and medium enterprises in Saudi Arabia.

“In the wake of Arab Spring uprisings, the government views unemployment among nationals as a long-term strategic challenge that needs to be handled effectively,” says the Arabian Gazette website.

The UAE’s answer is the Nitaqat  (naturalization) programme which aims to increase the employment opportunities for the local workers.

Almost half of companies in the kingdom are in the Red zone of the Nitaqat system, despite the labour ministry’s intensive campaign to Saudize jobs in the private sector, says Arab News. The Red category contains 19 major companies, according to the ministry.

The firms in the red zone have failed to employ the minimum number of Saudi nationals in the organisation.

The Nitaqat programme is expected to affect two million foreigners working in the kingdom – a majority are Indians.

The labour ministry seems to be very firm in implementing Nitaqat system. “The Kingdom will not allow anybody to continue violating its regulations because it harms public interests,” Labour Minister Adel Farkeih was quoted in the local media.

“If the laws are not followed, the interior and labour ministries will take maximum measures by law against the violators.”

If the affected employees’ work permits are not renewed, they may lose their residence permit too. Those without residence permit could be deported. If such expatriate workers are deported in large number, then the kingdom’s infrastructure, construction and property sector is likely to be affected.

However, the Indian government officials are not perturbed. While the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs  has expressed concerns and has said it is in talks with their counterparts in the UAE, no solution has surfaced.

The Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi has reportedly spoken with Ambassador Hamid Ali Rao and asked for information from the Indian envoy about the impact of the new labor policy on the huge Indian diaspora living in Saudi Arabia.

The Indian embassy in the UAE has prepared itself to offer support to affected Indians working in the UAE.

Some believe that companies may find a workaround the policy by hiring some local staff just to make up numbers, and continue to recruit expatriates to do the “real work”.

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Indian recruiter wins IT award in NZ

RANN IT Recruitment won the coveted Seek Annual Recruitment Awards under the IT Recruitment – small category recently in Auckland.

RANN – “Resource & Networking Needs” is a specialist IT Recruitment Company based in Auckland dedicated to both permanent and contract positions. RANN IT recruit across full IT spectrum from Technical Business IT and Software Development, IT Management, as well as Infrastructure roles including Helpdesk and Desktop Support, Network and Middleware Specialist roles.

The SEEK Annual Recruitment Awards (SARAs) recognise the stars of the New Zealand recruitment industry. Winners are voted for by the country’s jobseekers and employers in recognition for delivering successful placements and providing outstanding client service.

RANN IT’s Managing Director, Nigam Mehta accompanied with a member of his team – Krithika KB accepted the award at the SARA event in Auckland on Thursday 22 November 2012. “Being recognised in these national awards in our first year of nomination is a great achievement for the team. Thank you to everyone for your support and for voting for us.”

Janet Faulding – General Manager SEEK New Zealand, explains the significance of these awards in recognising how the recruitment industry has supported Jobseekers in a changeable employment market.

“Winning agencies have provided outstanding levels of commitment to Jobseekers across New Zealand and supported them through this challenging period. We all know how stressful looking for a job can be, and having a recruitment agency that supports you though the process cannot be underestimated. The SARAs are a great opportunity to recognise the agencies that go the extra mile and provide exceptional levels of service.

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Blind woman gets sport award

Neelusha Memon

Neelusha Memon, the first legally blind competitor to complete New Zealand’s South Island Coast-to-Coast multi-sport race, is the winner of the Attitude Awards’ Courage in Sport for 2012.

The tough race was just one of the Wellingtonian’s goals and the $3,000 prize money will help her towards another – to complete the Seven Peaks in Seven Continents.

That’s a journey around the world to climb Mt Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Carstensz Pyramid, Denali, Vinson and finally Mt Everest.

The Attitude Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of New Zealanders living with a disability. It has grown out of the Attitude TV series, which screens on TV ONE on Sunday mornings.

Neelusha, better known as Neelu, also aims to complete a double kayak crossing of the Cook Strait before the end this year, working with 2012 World Champion in Adventure Racing Nathan Fa’avae, who will help her navigate.

Neelusha Memon

“I want to set bigger goals for myself and try my own limits,” Neelu says. “Others have perceptions of what people with disabilities can do and I’m trying to push out of that framework and create my own limits.”

Neelu is used to training hard. When she was 16 a severe post-viral illness left her with 30% vision and balance problems. She had to learn to walk, talk and swallow again.

Attitude TV executive producer Robyn Scott-Vincent says every year the awards highlight people with incredible stories and achievements that have previously gone without acknowledgment.

“The prime objective of the Attitude Awards is to create more awareness and consideration of the contributions made by New Zealanders living with disability,” Robyn says.

 

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Indian sportsmen succeeded despite racism – book

While there have been a few New Zealand cricketers of Indian origin, including the current Black Cap Tarun Nathula, it’s not an easy ride in the sporting field for minorities, suggests a historian in a new book.

The courage of Kiwi Indian pioneers in forming sporting clubs against the odds is captured in the book “Sporting Foundations of New Zealand Indians” by historian Dr Geoff Watson.

The book’s launch is timely as Auckland is named the number two sports city in the world.

Geoff, a senior lecturer in history at Massey’s School of Humanities, says he was struck by the remarkable courage the pioneers showed in founding these clubs in the 1930s, a time when there were only 1200 Indians in New Zealand.

Author Dr Geoff Watson

“The founders of these clubs travelled half-way around the world and were trying to make their way in a new country which is difficult enough, but many of the Indian immigrants had little, if any, English.

“Moreover, racist sentiment was openly expressed in New Zealand during this time, even government publications such as the 1921 Census warning ‘the coalescence of the white and the so-called coloured races is not conducive to improvement in racial types’,” Geoff says.

However, some local sport icons helped Indian talent. Eddie McLeod, then captain of the New Zealand Hockey team, was the first coach of Wellington Indian Sports Club.

“Given this background, and with many of the young Indian men working long hours for low pay, it would have been very easy to have put sport in the ‘too hard’ basket. But they pressed ahead and formed clubs, despite the opposition of some of their elders,” Geoff says.

The oldest of the clubs, Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland, were founded in the 1930s and inspired, in part, by Indian hockey teams, which toured New Zealand in 1926, 1935 and 1938.

From the first clubs and inter-club games the national association was founded in 1962. It now oversees a cricket tournament, golf tournament, an Under-23 men’s and women’s hockey tournament and Queen’s Birthday tournament, which attracts approximately 25 teams in three codes: hockey, netball and soccer.

Many Indians who played in these tournaments have since gone on to achieve representative honours at provincial and national level.

Geoff is impressed that all of this has been achieved on a voluntary basis, which is a “remarkable achievement at a time when many sports operate on a professional basis”.

The book  is published by the New Zealand Indian Sports Association which celebrated its 50th jubilee this year.

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Appeal to support rising sporting hero

Ayush bhatnagar

Ayush is a shy 17-year old; but he is not shy of dreaming big.

He’s won a number of national and international competitions in the last two years, which has given him enough confidence to aim for the sky – to represent New Zealand at the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil.

Ayush was diagnosed with cogenital myopathy – a muscular condition that makes an infant weak and floppy.

Ayush bhatnagar

However, Ayush started playing physical games despite his weakness, probably to prove a point.

“Since the time he was diagnosed I started looking deeply into the things in which my son would be happy doing,” says Vimmi Bhatnagar, Ayush’s doting mother.

“Table Tennis was one which he picked up in intermediate; then came his swimming, athletics, cricket and so on.”

He represented New Zealand at the 2011 Oceania Paralympic Championships in Darwin, winning silver in both the singles and doubles competition. He then competed at the 2011 PNZ National Championships, winning gold in the doubles and silver in the singles.

His disability hasn’t been a block for his achievements, neither has it created a mental block for young Ayush who is warmly supported by his mother.

“Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn’t mean he lacks vision,” says his mother.

“For Ayush, he doesn’t lack the skill to succeed even though he has a disability. Simply, he does not agree to place ‘DIS’ with ability because he has realised his talents and I am very well proud of that.

Ayush receives his strength from the care he gets at home. “It just shows what giving proper love, focus and attention to your children can achieve.”

Ayush’s mother is fundraising for his participation in future international competitions, as he hopes to represent New Zealand in New Caledonia Para Tournament next month, compete in National Games in October this year and New Zealand Para Open Table Tennis Championship in November 2012.

He wishes to mentor and coach others with a disability.

“The money raised will go towards coaching fees, his fitness programme, table tennis equipment and the cost of travel and accommodation at tournament venues. It will also cover the cost of the coach/team manager accompanying.

Please support Ayush by making donations of any amount to his bank account: 12-3077-0571438-50. You can email his mother Vimmi Bhatnagar at: vimbhat912(at)hotmail.com

Ayush Bhatnagar