Karuna Charities

Karuna, which means compassion in Sanskrit, is the heart and soul of Karuna Charities. It is a grass-roots organization that makes a difference in the lives of the needy and disadvantaged in the United States, India, and other countries.

 Montgomery College Foundation's Scholarship Recognition Luncheon on March 2018

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Karuna Charities Cooked and Served Food at the Embry Rucker Shelter in Reston, Virginia on Tuesday, February 20, 2018  

Feb 20, 2018 Reston Shelter

Participants (left to right): Geeta Verma, Sangita Kalotra, Santosh Thakral, Sujata Avasthi, Jyoti Gujral, Amrit Kalotra, Gita Agrawal and Raj Gupta.  Other participants not in the picture: Rani Varma and Asha Dhingra.

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Amrit Kalotra, Karuna Charities President Receives Maryland General Assembly Citation, January 2018


Amrit Kalotra, President, Karuna Charities Inc. Awarded Lifetime Achievement Award by NCAIA (HQs in VA)

On Sunday, January 28, 2018, the National Council of Asian Indian Associations (HQs in VA) awarded Mrs. Amrit Kalotra, President, Karuna Charities, Washington, Inc. with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her Outstanding Contributions towards Empowering Women through various activities during the past twenty years.

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See the article in India Abroad dated February 9, 2018

Karuna Members attended the Universities at Shady Grove's 8th Annual Scholarships Donor Recognition Luncheon on November 17, 2017

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Highly Successful Karuna Charities, Washington Inc. 19th Diwali Gala 

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Meeting with UDC Vice President for Advancement, Mr. Rodney Trapp on August 18, 2017 at Bombay Tandoor Restaurant, Vienna, VA.

2017 UDC meeting at Bombay Tandoor

Board Members Kanti Singh, Savita Malhotra, Promila Banik, Jasbir Sethi, Amrit Kalotra, Sujata Avasthi, and Ambassador, Sangita Kalotra presenting a check for Karuna’s Endowed Scholarship at UDC to Mr. Rodney Trapp, Vice-President for Advancement.

Karuna Charities Community Service-August 25, 2017 at the Embry Rucker Shelter, VA

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On Friday, August 25th, 2017, a group of ladies from Karuna Charities and friends of Karuna served a hot homemade sumptuous meal to nearly 100 appreciative people at a shelter in Virginia. It was a joyful experience.

Montgomery College Scholarship Recognition Luncheon

In 2017, Karuna Charities added $5,000 to the existing Endowment Scholarship.

Karunites were invited to the Montgomery College Foundation's Scholarship Recognition Luncheon on March 30, 2017. From Left to Right, Gita Bhatia, Kanti Singh, Rohini Khera, and Savita Malhotra.

Karuna Charities' 18th Annual Diwali Gala a Runaway Success

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Karuna Charities Serves Indian Meal at Homeless Shelter in Reston, VA

Karuna Members and volunteers at the local shelter on April 26, 2016. From left to right (sitting) Rohini Shetty, Asha Dhingra, Amrit Kalotra, Minnie Jaisinghani; (standing) Rohini Dhingra, Jyoti Gujral, Raj Gupta, Sujata Avasthi, Gita Bhatia, Sangita Kalotra, and Sohina Malik.

 Amrit Kalotra, President and Sujata Avasthi, Vice President, serving a hot meal.

Karuna members and volunteers at the local shelter. From left to right: Rohini Khera, Asha Dhingra, Sangita Kalotra, Sujata Avasti, Jyoti Gujral, Raj Gupta, Rohini Shetty, and Amrit Kalotra.


Lekha Sreenivasan in Washington

On September 9, 2015 a High Tea  was organized at Bombay Tandoor in Vienna, Virginia, for Karuna Charities Founder and Honorary Chairperson, Lekha Sreenivasan. 


Karuna Charities 17th Grand Diwali Ball

See India Abroad's coverage of Karuna Charities 17th Grand Diwali Ball

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Karuna Charities Featured in UDC's Legacy Magazine (Winter 2015 Issue)

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June 2015, Nepal: Donated $10,001 to the Embassy of Nepal for the Earthquake Relief Fund

Starting 2015 with another honor for Karuna Charities!

The National Council of Asian Indian Associations, Inc. (NCAIA) in partnership with over thirty-six community organizations representing a cross-section of the Indian-American Community organized a Republic Day Celebration on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at the George C. Marshall High School, Falls Church, Virginia.  Amrit Kalotra, president of Karuna Charities, Washington, Inc., was presented with an award in recognition of her "dedicated leadership and praiseworthy work in the service of the community". 

2014 Gift Increase of $5,000 for Montgomery College, MD

The Karuna Charities Washington Inc. gift increases its endowed scholarship fund for female students. The Karuna Charities Endowed Scholarship is open to full-or part-time female students with financial need who are attending college after a break in their education.


2014 Donation of $11,000 to Universities of Shady Grove, MD

 Karuna Charities presented two checks totaling $11,000 to the Universities of Shady Grove June 30, 2014 for the purpose of supporting the education of needy students


2013 Donation of $10,001 to the Red Cross Towards Philippines Relief

 Suman Sharma, Sujata Avasthi, Jasbir Sethi, Linda Mathes, Amrit Kalotra, Promila Banik, Kanti Singh, Rajni Paul & Sangita Kalotra presenting a check of $10,001 to the Red Cross for relief efforts in the Philippines


2013 Contribution of $500 Towards the Odhisa Fund for Odhisa Cyclone Victims


Diwali 2013 Gala

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Amrit Kalotra Receives Award

The award recognizes that Karuna Charities has come a long way since it was founded by Lekha Srinivasan and flourished under the leadership of Amrit Kalotra. President of Karuna Charities, Amrit Kalotra was awarded a Certificate of Honor on June 19, 2013 by the Indian National Overseas Congress U.S.A., Washington D.C. at an awards ceremony. The award was presented by Dr. Karan Singh. Also present at the Awards Ceremony were Sujata Avasthi, Vice-President; Promila Banik, Secretary; and Rohini Khera, Ambassador at large.



 Donation to Universities at Shady Grove, MD July 2013


On July 25, 2013 Karuna Charities donated $2,500 to the Universities at Shady Grove.  The check was presented to Mr. Schlossenberg, Director of Development and Community Partnerships, The Universities at Shady Grove.  Karuna Charities was represented by Amrit Kalotra, President; Jasbir Sethi, Vice-Presidentand Treasurer; Sujata Avasthi, Vice-President; and Promila Banik, Secretary.

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Karuna Charities Washington Inc., is looking for volunteers to plan and conduct meal preparation community service.  To volunteer, please contact Bina Dhir (301) 229-8392.

Karuna's Goals:


      Help the battered women and children, without reference to age, color and ethnicity, with financial, emotional and moral support and thus enable them to become independent and live with dignity.  

      To help needy and meritorious students with vocational training or through educational scholarships.  

      To engage in community service in the metropolitan area.

             About Karuna Charities Washington, Inc.:

Karuna Charities, founded in May 1998, is a 501 (c)3 grass-root Organization. It was started by Lekha Srinivasan and a group of women from the Washington Metropolitan Area.   Karuna’s mission is to assist the needy and disadvantaged in the United States and India.

Karuna Charities has been fulfilling its mission by helping needy battered women and their families, by providing them with the first month’s rent, helping them to educate themselves further through educational scholarships or by providing them with financial help for important needs. 

b)  Karuna has set up four educational scholarships (Karuna Charities Scholarships) for the needy (Students can contact the educational facilities directly):


Northern Virginia Community College, Virginia (NVCC)


University of the District of Columbia, D.C. (UDC)


Montgomery College, Maryland


Universities at Shady Grove in Maryland

c)  Karuna Charities is actively involved in community service.  Members prepare meals, buy medical supplies for the sick (e.g., HIV/AIDS patients), provide school supplies for orphanages and give much needed financial support to the disabled, elderly and sick.

Karuna Charities has also helped in India, sent money for much needed grave illnesses and surgeries and also regularly helps two schools, one in West Bengal and the other in Delhi.  Karuna Charities has also raised money for natural disasters, e.g.:


Odhisa Cyclone


Phillipines Relief


Nepal Earthquake


The Gujarat Flood


Tsunami in India


Hurricane Katrina


The Firefighters, Widows, and Children's Fund after 9/11

Youth Group:

Karuna Charities’ Youth group ran a Winter Clothes Drive in 2008-2009. They are now collecting used eyeglasses for an organization in India.

Annual Fundraisers:

Karuna Charities raises funds through two annual events: the Golf Tournament and the Diwali Gala.

Webmaster:  gita_bhatia@hotmail.com