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Past and Future meet in an Evening in Hyderabad
CHI Gala Raises $800,000 for Education in India
At Hope in Hyderabad Gala, it was an evening which celebrated the past and the future. While rich rust and gold draping, minarets and images of the Char Minar and the art, crafts and cuisine of this fabled city emphasized the past glories of Hyderabad, the evening was really about the youth, its potential and the future. Children’s Hope India’s annual gala held at Pier Sixty in Manhattan on October 9, 2016 helped raise over $800,000 for the education of children in need.
This evening was emceed by Reena Ninan, Anchor, CBS Weekend News & CBSN. Resplendent in a yellow gold oufit by Divya Chawla, Ninan described the grassroots work of Children’s Hope and introduced the distinguished honorees of the evening.
Maya Rajani, president of CHI, pointed out the organization supports over 25000 children a year but that there needs to be much more done. She said, “To us, success will be when every child counts, gets a quality education, eats at least one square meal, has access to health care and earns a decent living. It will be when girls and boys are given an equal chance.”
The honorees of the evening were Lotus Awardees Mohit Assomull, Managing Director and Head of Global Capital Markets, Morgan Stanley and NV ‘Tiger’ Tyagarajan, President and CEO, Genpact. Mohit Assomull spoke about children such as Jeetu, an 8-year-old who had never been to school but under CHI’s nurturing, learned English, computer skill and graduated Grade 12, and is now doing his bachelor’s degree in Mumbai. He also mentioned Neha, whose family was reluctant to send her to school until CHI community mobilizers intervened. She is now attending college with a scholarship given by a CHI supporter.
“This award is really about the children we are helping… and the efforts of everyone at CHI who ensure that every dollar raised benefits the children,” said Assomull. “It is a reminder of how fortunate we all are, and a reminder that everyone who is here tonight is making a difference.”
“ Tiger” Tyagarajan in his acceptance remarks talked about the three reasons why he felt hugely excited about supporting the work of CHI: “The first is the incredible focus of the organization on a specific problem to positively impact children’s education . After all if we can educate girls, women and children in a country like India it will have longterm sustainable positive societal impact. The second is the passion of the founders and the leaders – amazing! And finally the actual work on the ground is so tangible, the impact so real that it forces you to get involved.”The Making a Difference honoree was Dr. G.K. Jayaram, Executive Director, ILID USA and First Chairman, Infosys. He has been the inspiration behind the rejuvenation of the Ekalavya School in the Nandavanam area of Hyderabad. As he noted, “The multiplier effect of educating one child is incredible – CHI is creating this miracle and we, a small worker in this space, are most grateful to them, and to you, for your conscience and conviction.
While 450 guests from the tristate area opened up their hearts and wallets to support the future of children they had never met, they also enjoyed a scintillating dance tribute to Hyderabad by the Aatma Performing Arts dancers and enjoyed Mirchi Ka Salan and Hyderabadi Biryani at dinner. One of the highlights of the evening was the silent auction of must-haves including a cricket bat signed by the entire Indian Cricket Team, Air India tickets and an Awadh dinner with Chef Gaurav Anand. There was also live pledging for CHI education projects by star auctioneer John Heffernan. Guests took home a keepsake of beautiful bangles from designer Amrita Singh, reminiscent of the famous lac bangles in Hyderabad’s Laad Bazaar.
A Peek into Hope in Hyderabad
Visiting the Char Minar
All proceeds from the gala go toward education projects in India. More information at Children’s Hope India