Swades Milan 2018, Health & Happiness Radio’s 2nd Anniversary


HOUSTON: The annual celebration of Health & Happiness Radio (FM 105.3, live every Saturday and Sunday mornings, from 8am to noon) produced by Dr. Pooja Shivshankar and her husband Shivshankar Rai marks their gratitude to their listeners and sponsors and the success the program has attained.


HHR’s second anniversary Gala – Swades Milan 2018 – was held at the Bellagio Ballroom on Beechnut and attended by around 500 guests and 140 performers from 3 years-old to an 80 years-old. The program had 41 performances of Indian regional cultures, featuring a blend of Kuchipudi and Bharatnatyam Pushpanjali to Lord Ganesha from south India to the Oddishi bhakti dance of northeastern India, a breathtaking performance of Rajasthani Ghoomer from northwestern India and the Konkani-Goan dance representing the ancient Portugal culture of southwestern India.


The program started with a Lord Ganesha Sthapna, pooja and aarti by Hindu Priest Pandit Rajendra K. Sharma, and his wife Asha followed by an Arabic prayer recited by Dr. Pooja Shivshankar’s student, Asmaa Alhendi, a Christian prayer by Pastor Lee, and recitation of Gurbani by Sardar Jagir Singh and his family.

The event also featured a Best Food in Houston Contest, showcasing local Indian and Pakistani restaurants, such as Gayatri Bhawan, Chaupati Chat Company (Hillcroft), Biryani Pot, Pakwan House, and Gyro King. The audience voted Gyro King as the winner and the others received trophies of recognition.


Pooja and Rai also honored the Houston-based Navroz Prasla Productions for their successful and award-winning Marathi movie, “Kshitij – A Horizon”, with Soni Prasla, CEO of NPP and the newly launched NTV Houston picking up the trophy. The entire function was recorded and will be telecasted globally via NTV Houston.

Navroz Prasla always aspired to be a film producer with a social cause and found the story of Kshitij – A Horizon very significant and heart touching for the education and empowerment of girls. The movie has received national applause and was awarded the UNESCO Gandhi Medal for Best Marathi Film at the ICFT International Film Festival of India, besides several other accolades.

IMG_0909 590w

More information about “Kshitij-A Horizon”, visit https://www.facebook.com/388309128226048/photos/pcb.642459176144374/642458492811109/?type=3&theater

Others who attended the event were Salim Maredia, owner, Chaupati Chat Company (Hillcroft); Shahid Usmani, General Sales Manager, Sterling McCall Toyota; Shaukat Ali, founder, Shah BabaJan International Foundation; Chandrakantha and David Courtney, founders, Courtney School of Music; Sardar Jagir Singh of Singh Parivar of Hosuton; Shahzad Rahmtullah, Sales Director, Shabana Motors; and Ajay Kumar Jain, owner  Holiday Inn Express, Pearland. Two “people’s-choice” honors were awarded to Anju Fernandes, founder, Goan Dance Group of Houston and Ganesh Mohanrao, an IT specialist, and founder of the Whatsapp group Desi-stuff.

IMG_6371 590w

Pooja Shivshankar and Shivshankar Rai were thrilled that in two years, their Health & Happiness Radio show has had remarkable success with the South Asian community.

“It’s our vision to inspire life… Saturdays and Sundays…when moms and dads are home with their kids,” Pooja said. “As an instructor and a researcher, I strive to serve our community and make everyone’s life a healthier and happier experience. Through Health & Happiness Radio, I commit to make everyone believe in themselves and the strength we possess to lead a happy and health life.”