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Indian Doctors 36th Gala: Magical Evening with Focus on Giving

IDA president Manish Gandhi (left) presented the “Physician Achievement” award to Drs. Suresh and Sunita Moonat for their pioneering work to establish the IDC Charity Clinic.

IDA president Manish Gandhi (left) presented the “Physician Achievement” award to Drs. Suresh and Sunita Moonat for their pioneering work to establish the IDC Charity Clinic. Photos: Bijay Dixit

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By Pramod Kulkarni

HOUSTON: Magic and medicine go well together. The human body’s healing process is certainly magical and doctors and nature work in tandem to perform numerous magical acts from curing us of common colds to heart transplants and cancer treatment.

The India Doctors Association (IDA) 36th annual gala had for its entertainment a magical act by Kevin Viner, billed as the Magician Mentalist. For most of the evening, however, the focus was on giving through the IDC Charity Clinic and annual scholarships for high school seniors.

 

The five recipients of the 2017 IDA scholarships (front) pose with the sponsoring IDA physicians. The scholarships were based on academic achievement, extra-curricular activities and need. Photos: Bijay Dixit

The five recipients of the 2017 IDA scholarships (front) pose with the sponsoring IDA physicians. The scholarships were based on academic achievement, extra-curricular activities and need.

Emcee for the evening was Dr. Manju Sachdev, a pediatrician in Victoria by profession and a model and a health TV anchor by avocation. Dr. Sachdev recognized the IDA as the largest organization within the Association of American Physicians from India (AAPI) and also the largest member of the Harris County Medical Society.

In his welcome address, IDA President Manish Gandhi recognized the present IDA board members and past presidents. Dr. Gandhi listed the five IDA goals: “Foster networking through mixers, picnics; encourage academic excellence through scholarships; promote public education through health fairs; provide mentorship to young physicians; and help provide free medical care through the IDC Charity Clinic.”

Dr. Gandhi also recognized BBVA Compass and Amir Doliya of New York Life as the gala sponsors. Proceeds from the gala are used to fund the IDC Clinic and the student scholarships.

Keynote speaker Dr. Lisa Erlich, president of the Harris County Medical Society, was full of praise for IDC’s clinic and scholarship program. “Indian doctors bring tenacity to their medical profession,” Dr. Erlich said. “We need the same kind of tenacity to help bring medical care to more than one million indigent patients in Harris County.”

In a special presentation, the IDA recognized Drs. Suresh and Sunita Moonat for their community service as pioneers, who started the IDC Charity Clinic. The clinic now serves more than 1,300 patients annually. Dr. Moonat received the award with a quote from St. Augustine, “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”

The IDA presented its annual scholarships to four students. An additional scholarship was funded by Dr. Arvind Bhimraj. The winners are:

1. Emily Jue a GPA of 5.8 and is ranked number one in her class at Clear Springs High School in a class of 607.
2. Bhavesh Sayal attends Falls High School. He has a 6.9 GPA and is ranked first in his class of 869 students. He opened a school for underprivileged children to read and write English in Naukuchiatal, lndia during his 2012 summer vacation and has continued to teach them for the last five years over the intemet using Skype on the weekends.
3. Rem Aitbouchireb from Kerr High School. Rem’s father was diagnosed with lung cancer in her freshmen year.  She managed after-school rehearsals, tournaments, studying, and hospital visits.
4. Srivats Srinivasan will be graduating from Hightower High School second in his class and serves as the President of the Fort Bend ISD Medical Science Academy since 2014. Srivats says, “shadowing doctors, volunteering in clinics or memory care homes, conducting biomedical research and more have fastened my resolve to become a physician.”
5. Ronen Melloul, a student seventh in his class at Carnegie Vanguard High School, received his award from Dr. Bhimaraj in memory of his grandfather B.L.Narasimhulu the BLN scholarship. Ronen describes himself as a “self-aware individual, a character that is able to find an interest and transform it into a passion through grit and overwhelming motivation.”

In his mentalist magic show, Kevin Viner thrilled the audience by pulling thoughts from guests’ minds, influenced their behavior onstage, and predicted the outcome of future events. He also picked watches from some of the guests and returned them before they knew they were missing.

The magical evening concluded with dinner catered by Bombay Brasserie and dancing to music by DJ Dholi Deep.

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