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Opportunity. Success. Compassion. Giving. Sharing.
CHI Woman of Distinction – Ritu Banga, co-founder ZoomdojoOver 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.
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.
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.”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!
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