Doctors Take a Break. An IDeA Worth Pursuing!


The Board of the IDA poses at the Annual Gala last Saturday, April 30 at Bayou City Events Center.
Photos: Nik Nikam

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: Just as he was closing up and perhaps unintentionally, though he couldn’t have pulled it off better if he had tried, Subodh Chauhan had the loudest laughs of the evening and maybe spilled the beans of the state of some doctors. He had just gone through to introduce the rest of his Board: VP and incoming president Manish Gandhi, Prasun Jalal, Swati Joglekar, Jignesh Shah, Apurva Pancholy, Ashima Chauhan, Nilesh Patel and Bharat Pothuri.

“Hard working alcoholics doctors …….”,  he corrected himself “… workaholic doctors …” but the rest of the words “…..need to have fun too.”  were drowned out by the laughter as some tittered “well, the truth is out now”!


The three recipients of the IDA scholarship awards from left, Sharon Zhao, Pooja Agrawal and Simiran Rahman flanked by the IDA selection committee.

A man of few words, Chauhan, the outgoing president of the Indian Doctor’s Association, chuckled at the miscue, and acknowledged special guests and the evening’s highlights. The occasion was the IDA’s annual gala, held this year at the Bayou City Events Center on Knight Road south of the Astrodome on Saturday, April 30. He appreciated the new website that was developed by Anand Chauhan (he later performed onstage) and added that he wanted to “we see our organization getting more participants and younger physicians in future.”

He turned the mic over to Manish Gandhi who then introduced the recipient of the IDA Lifetime Achievement Award. It was none other than Dr. K.T. Shah who has been the rock behind the Indian Doctors Charity Clinic where he has worked almost entirely solely – except for a small nursing staff and occasional doctors who volunteer – for the past ten years till his legs gave out on him.


IDA President Dr. Subodh Chauhan presents the Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. K.T. Shah as incoming IDA president.

Now confined to a wheelchair, he is still vigorous in his support for charitable work. He said that the IDCC work was “the most satisfying experience” for him, and described the other charitable care giving he did in his native Gujarat, India for the past 30 years. He was also the philantrophic firebrand who almost single handedly and with dogged determination brought in the Indian NGO Akshaya Patra to the Houston community. It recently held a fundraiser last October after a gap of two years.


The emcee for the evening was Malika Ghei, a young woman who came to the US when she was 3 with her parents, but nonetheless surprisingly has good fluency in Hindi, and was part of the trio that sang Bollywood Oldies for entertainment over the course of the evening. As emcee, she was composed and poised as she stepped through the program “and great in her first emceeing role”, said a delighted event planner Therese Cole-Hubbs of Electric Karma International who helped organize the event.


The trio who serenaded the audience with energetic lead electric guitar playing by Anand Chauhan (who is always itching to play a riff) and Farhan Ahmed on acoustic guitar who joined in to sing duets with Malika. Offstage, across on the dance floor, four young women from the Taal Dance Company performed a well-choreographed fusion composition set to the music of heavy dhols and vocal taals.

The Gala paused for a minute as the IDA handed out scholarships to three well deserving young high schoolers who scored magnificently in academics and showed a bright future. “These kids are the future. Encouraging them at this critical time will give outsize rewards,” said Dr. Chauhan. These were Pooja Agrawal who has an incredible 6.857 GPA at Cypress Ridge High School; Simiran Rahman of the Ft. Bend Medical Academy at Hightower High School and Sharon Zhao who wants to get a doctorate in industrial engineering. They received checks for $2,500 and a certificate from the IDA.


Darshak and Mona Thacker of Krishna Sounds did the sound and lighting for the event

The appetizers and dinner for the evening were catered by Bombay Brasserie and the sound system was by Krishna Sounds whose owners Darshak and Mona Thacker were the executive directors for the AV system, stage lighting and color LED lights. And, not to be overlooked, Dr. Nik Nikam, whose passion for media has turned him into a radio and social media entrepreneur, was present at yet another function taking countless pictures for his Facebook page (