At CHI Luncheon, A Celebration of ‘Opportunity’ with Ritu Banga


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Babita Advani and Moneesha Sani of the CHI luncheon benefit committee

Tinku Jain presents the Woman of Distinction Award to Ritu Banga

Tinku Jain presents the Woman of Distinction Award to Ritu Banga

(All Photos: )

Opportunity. Success. Compassion. Giving. Sharing. 

CHI Woman of Distinction – Ritu Banga, co-founder  Zoomdojo

Over 250 women came together at the annual Children’s Hope India Spring luncheon to celebrate warm sunny weather and the future of  children with a fun fundraiser which connected friends and allowed them to shop for a great cause- the education of children in the slums of Indian cities and the homeless in shelters in New York City.

The afternoon featured a lively cocktail, luncheon, beautifully designed baskets of special gifts for raffle, and a lot of socializing and networking. The event was coordinated  by Jharna Jaisinghani of Artistic Affairs and an amazing marketplace brought several young entrepreneurs together to showcase their wares.

Ritu Banga, center, with the Children's Hope Luncheon Committee

Ritu Banga, center, with the Children’s Hope Luncheon Committee – Milan Devjani, Madhu Shroff, Babita Advani, Moneesha Sani and Aarti Kamat.

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Ritu Banga & Tinku Jain (C) with the CHI board – Nisha Bharwani, Dina Pahlajani, Kavita Gugnani, Nami Kaur, Kavita Lund, Sagorica Rudra, Lavina Melwani, Radha Vanjani & Maya Rajani


The luncheon  honored Ritu Banga,  who with Carol Rattray is a co-founder at Zoomdojo , a technology start-up which is an internship and job search engine with a database of 60,000 internships and jobs.  The Woman of Distinction Award honors the work, family and public service  balance and previous honorees have included mother and daughter Madhur Jaffrey and Sakina Jaffrey, and the performer and philanthropist  Ila Paliwal. This year Ritu Banga was honored for her exemplary role as career woman, wife and mother and for her pro bono work with non-profits,  including youth employment for inner city students.


Children's Hope lunch

Anjali Sharma, guest, Ritu Banga, Tinku Jain, Neelam Katara & Anita Gupta

Namrata Bajaj, Shagun Mahendru and guest

Namrata Bajaj, Shagun Mehandru and guest

Moneesha Sani with members of CH 3

Moneesha Sani with members of CH 3

Ritu Banga was introduced by Tinku Jain, CHI’s first Woman of Distinction and an advisory board member. Banga in fact turned around and thanked Children’s Hope for giving her the opportunity to support its work, and she thanked CHI supporters for creating opportunities for under-served children in India and the US.  She said, “India and the US are both home to fantastic schools and colleges – and both are renowned for the brain power and ingenuity they possess. Yet there is a great disparity in the quality of education and opportunity for children between schools, across cities, across colleges. across states, in both countries. These disparities are an injustice and also a threat to our future – and Children’s Hope is doing remarkable work in addressing these issues and creating opportunities.”

As she pointed out, “We cannot under-estimate the importance of opportunity – none of us would be here today if it was not for all the opportunities that we have received and opportunities that we have taken advantage of in our own lives, from our families, our teachers, our mentors and our communities.”

Guests at the CHI luncheon

Guests at the CHI luncheon

Shawls by Sonika Nanda at the CHI Spring Lunch

Shawls by Sonika Nanda at the CHI Spring Lunch

Shop till you drop - for children's education.

Shop till you drop – for children’s education.

Jewelry at the CHI Marketplace

Jewelry at the CHI Marketplace

Indeed, opportunity was the key word symbolized in this luncheon event, as Banga emphasized the importance  of “creating opportunities and seizing opportunities  – both to make a difference to the world around you and also to try and live one’s own life to the best of one’s abilities.”

The luncheon was also a story of opportunities offered and taken, as so many women came in ready to support these entrepreneurial women showcase their offerings in businesses started from scratch by them: exotic jewelry, outfits and accessories and home design items were all available for sale, with a percentage going to Children’s Hope India. The women-owned companies included ReMat Designs, Slideonz, Shawls by Sonika, Jyoti Kapoor Fine Jewelry, Kakhi, Divya Chawla, Opulence and the Chintz Giraffe.

So even while making opportunities for themselves, these entrepreneurs were creating opportunities for the under-served children of CHI as all funds raised go toward their future education. All the vendors did very well, and the bottom-line is that CHI did very well for its children.

‘Opportunity’ is certainly the new buzz word which can get us all moving forward!

Would love your comments! 

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Celebrating the Girl Child with Ranjana Khan


About Author

Lavina Melwani is a New York-based journalist who writes for several international publications. [email protected] & @lassiwithlavina Sign up for the free newsletter to get your dose of Lassi!

1 Comment

  1. kavita Lund on

    So beautifully written!
    It was truly a very lively and energized crowd. What a wonderful way to raise funds – having fun! It was a win win for all. The vendors got so much exposure and they also helped by giving 15% of their sales to CHI – helping create opportunities for the under-served children. And the women had so much fun – shopping!