Utah businessman Dr Dinesh Patel and his wife Kalpana have committed $1 million to
the University of Michigan College of
Dr Patel, who earned his PhD from
the college in 1979, also accepted
chairmanship of the College of
Pharmacy’s $20 million campaign
‘I am grateful to the University of
Michigan for my education and am
proud to contribute both resources
and leadership to the campaign,’ Dr
His gift will bolster the existing
Chhotubhai and Savitaben Patel
Fellowships at the college, established
by Dr Patel and his brothers in 2005
in honor of their parents.
“Of the $20 million, we are seeking
$14 million in endowed student support for providing fellowships and
scholarships,” Peter Niedbala, a university spokesperson, told India
“Another $4 million is for endowed
and expendable faculty and research
support (faculty chairs, etc) and $2
million in expendable discretionary
support (supporting operations of the
college),” he said.
The college’s campaign is part of
the larger comprehensive University
of Michigan Victors for Michigan
campaign, which is the largest campaign ever taken by a university and
includes an overall goal of $4 billion.
Of that about $1.87 billion is already
Dr Patel was the 2009 recipient of
the College of Pharmacy’s Alumni
‘We’re very pleased that Dinesh will
be chairing our efforts and his com-
mitment to the college is clear by evi-
dence of his generous gift,’ Dean
Frank Ascione was quoted as saying.
Dr Patel is considered a pioneer of
South Asians below 20 in New York City are more likely to live in poverty than their peers, a report by the Queens
based nonprofit South Asian Youth Action
The report, New York City South Asian
Youth: Critical Mass, Urgent Needs, used
census data and insights from the community to reach the conclusion.
Over 25 percent of South Asian youth in
the city live at or below the Federal Poverty
Level; more than 50 percent live in families
at or below 200 percent FPL.
The 2013 FPL for a family of four is $23,550 annually.
In Queens, 19 percent of all youth live in poverty whereas
23 percent of South Asian youth are poor.
Queens has the largest South Asian community among
New York’s five boroughs, and the most numerous South
Asian-identified neighborhoods and commercial areas.
The 64,446 South Asian youth in Queens make up over 12
percent of the borough’s total youth population.
In Brooklyn, 31 percent of youth live in poverty while 35
percent of South Asian youth are poor.
‘This analysis of the census data clearly brings to light the
troubling reality of what it means to be a young South Asian
in NYC,’ Udai Tambar, director of SAYA!, was quoted as saying.
‘The data misses critical cultural, educational and social
factors that, put together, illuminate various dimensions of
poverty among South Asian youth. This report captures
nuanced data and strengthens it using youth-experienced
insights drawn from current SAYA! participants and staff.’
The report also noted that though New York City’s overall
youth population is declining, its South Asian youth popula-
tion increased steadily from nearly 83,000 in 2000 to over
102,000 in 2010
Of the city’s 59 Community Districts, 25 are home to at
least 1,000 South Asian youth, of which 13 are home to at
least 3,000 South Asian youth.
The SAYA! report includes youth from India, Pakistan,
Bangladesh, Guyana, and other countries. 73 percent of
them were born in the United States, and 27 percent were
The proportion of foreign-born youth is highest among
the Bangladeshi community (31 percent), followed by
Indians (23.1 percent).
Until the early years of the 21st century, the largest national origins of South Asian youth were India and Pakistan.
Now, the largest proportion of South Asian youth in the
city traces origins to Bangladesh. Youth with Indo-Caribbean origins — mostly Guyana and Trinidad — are a
sizable share as well.
When combined, these four major groups account for nine
out of 10 of the city’s South Asian youth.
The SAYA! report noted that poverty often masks other
hardships that South Asian youth face, which can create
obstacles to long term opportunities.
For instance, many South Asian parents confront language barriers and a lack of familiarity with the American
As a result, youth become disconnected from their families.
Poor information about how to navigate a complicated,
increasingly choice-based school system, coupled with
unconscious negative parental attitudes, make South Asian
youth vulnerable to socio-emotional setbacks, bad decisions,
and disengagement at school.
Poor school resources, unsafe
school environments, and limited formal and informal community infrastructure also contribute to guidance deficiencies
and long-term barriers to
‘We’re trying to avoid South
Asian families that enter into a
cycle of poverty,’ Tambar said. ‘The community is still young
enough where we can prevent this. Schools are going to play
a critical role in the success of low-income South Asian
youth. Parents need support in learning how to navigate the
school system here.’
SAYA! has also recommended practical steps to support
the youth, including improving parental engagement in
schools by developing a new one-on-one parent advocacy
program and enhancing translation and interpretation sup-
port for parents.
It also suggests scaling up community organization
resources for parental education.
Making schools safe and welcoming for South Asian youth
is another crucial aspect. SAYA! recommends improving
school staff’s cultural competence, diversity and language
proficiency, enhancing curriculum focused on South Asian
youth, and creating bullying-free space.
The full report is available at Saya.org
Poor, young and desi in New York
SAYA! report on South Asian youth demolishes model minority myth
Udai Tambar, inset, director, SAYA, hopes the report’s revelations will keep South Asian
families from entering a cycle of poverty.
Dinesh and Kalpana Patel gift $1 million to
University of Michigan College of Pharmacy
;Page A33 Dr Dinesh and Kalpana Patel.
January 17, 2014