Kashmir in Manhattan with Kailash Kher
Life size peacocks, filigreed gold pillars and small pools of rose petals and lotuses – a little piece of Kashmir had been recreated in New York by Children’s Hope India with its Evening in Kashmir gala at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan. Guests even got a chance to saunter near the iconic Dal Lake – in spirit at least as they posed for family photographs before a large image of this famous body of water.
The evening began with the noted Sufi singer Kailash Kher being spotlighted on a darkened stage as he invoked the Almighty for blessings with a powerful rendering of ‘Kashmir’ and following it up with much loved ‘Allah Ke Bande’. The Pride of Kashmir Award was presented to Kailash Kher by Ambassador D. Mulay for his unifying music and his involvement with social causes.
About 500 guests had gathered for a colorful evening where guests celebrated the crafts and beauty of Kashmir by many dressing in embroideries and fabrics inspired by this beautiful region. The evening honored the noted nephrologist and philanthropist Dr. Nirmal K. Mattoo with the Lotus Award and he was introduced by Professor Sridhar of Stony Brook University. The evening had many distinguished guests including the great sarodist Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and his wife Subhalakshmi Khan.
The man who really tickled everyone’s funny bone was standup comic Anish Shah as he took on all the sacred cows from Indian mothers to Ivy League degrees to Gujarati vs. Punjabi food.
The evening also highlighted the work of the junior groups CH2 an CH3 who have raised awareness and dollars for the work Children’s Hope does, with their fun fundraising efforts. CH3 members are still in school but their creativity shows it’s never too early to tap people for the helping business.
Priyanka Mathew from Sotheby’s conducted the live auction not of luxury items but of health and education projects in India, with some very strong clips of the groups which were being helped in India. Vocational training at Children’s Hope Prayas in Delhi was one of the projects which many guests bid on after seeing the clips of work being done in the project.
Changing Lives at Children’s Hope Prayas
Here’s a photo gallery of the evening’s high points. More photos to come!