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.

For Regular News, please befriend Karuna Charities on Facebook.


2019 Newsletter


Read about Karuna Charities Washington Inc.'s 21st Diwali Gala and View the Pictures  

Karuna Charities looks after the needs of needy families as well as hurting and battered women, by providing them financial support. Karuna's aim is to better the lives of women by providing educational opportunities. At present we have four Scholarships at University of District of Columbia, NOVA, Universities at Shady Grove, and Montgomery College.

Karuna Charities is actively involved in various community activities such as preparing and serving meals, fulfilling the needs of the sick, homeless, and orphaned. Help Support Karuna Charities!


On Thursday, March 14, 2019, members of Karuna Charities, Savita Malhotra, Santosh Thakral, Kamlesh Gulati, Asha Dhingra, Benu Abrol, Shashi Anand, Sujata Avasthi, Sangita Kalotra and Amrit Kalotra, cooked and served a meal for 120 people at a shelter in Virginia with love, fervor and enthusiasm. It was very heartening when we were leaving the premises, to be greeted by two men sitting outside with a loud “thank you for the delicious food!” Karuna Charities appreciates the contributions made in kind by Rani Varma, Ritu Singh, Meena Singh, Mona Khanna, and Usha Saluja. See the Photogallery


Karuna Charities presented a check of $10,000 to Montgomery College on January 26, 2019 towards Karuna Endowed Scholarship. The check was presented to Mr. Stuart Tart, Corporate and Foundation Relations Director, Office of Advancement and Community Engagement and to Mrs. Sharon Fechter, Dean of Humanities, Montgomery College. See the Photogallery

Karuna received the following letter and the certificate next to it for commitment and professional support for crime victims in Montgomery County, MD:

Dear Amrit and the entire Karuna Board,
On behalf of the staff at APP, please accept our deepest appreciation for all that you do to assist our clients. 
Wishing you all a joyful and peaceful holiday season.

Sheri Laigle"

Karuna Charities 20th Diwali Gala November 4, 2018 a Big Success

Read about it...

See Event Pictures...

See India Abroad Article on the 2018 Diwali Gala


Karunites Served Delicious Homemade Indian Food August 3 at the Embry Rucker Shelter in Reston, VA.

See Event Pictures...

AICS Award for Karuna Charities' Amrit Kalotra


The Asian-American Inter Community Service, Inc., presented an award to Amrit Kalotra on June 9, 2018 in recognition and appreciation of excellence in visionary leadership in community and charitable services, which make a difference.

Montgomery College Foundation's Scholarship Recognition Lunch

on March 2018


Promila Banik with the President of Montgomery College, Dr. ReRionne Pollard.

See Additional Event Picture...

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.

See Event Pictures...

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.


Indira Ahluwalia, Amrit Kalotra, and Aruna Miller

See More Event Pictures...

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


Amrit Kalotra, Mara Puri, and Rohini Khera.

See More Event Pictures...

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


Read about it...

See More Event Pictures...


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

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.

See Event Pictures...

Montgomery College Scholarship Recognition Luncheon

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

See Event Picture...

Karuna Charities' 18th Annual Diwali Gala a Runaway Success

Read about it...

See Event Pictures...

Karuna Charities Serves Indian Meal at Homeless Shelter in Reston, VA on April 26, 2017

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

See More Event Pictures...

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

(CTRL+Click to open)


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

(CTRL+Click to open)



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

See Event Picture...

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".  See Event Picture...

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

See Event Picture...

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

See Event Picture...

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


Diwali 2013 Gala

Read About It...

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

See Event Picture...

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 Mission Statement

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 battered, needy, and disadvantaged women in the US, India and other countries.

The Concept and History of Karuna Charities

Karuna Charities Washington, Inc. was started in May 1998 by Ms. Lekha Srinivasan, the wife of the Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India, Washington D.C., Mr. T.P. Srinivasan, with a group of ladies including Ms. Amrit Kalotra and other members of the current Board. Ms. Lekha Srinivasan started chapters of Karuna Charities in New York, NY; Washington Metro; and Vienna, Austria. All Karuna chapters function independently. Karuna Charities Washington Inc. is a 501(c)3 grass roots organization with no overheads that helps the needy and disadvantaged mainly in metro Washington but also in India, and other countries.

Ms. Amrit Kalotra, one of the leading women in the Indian American community in metro Washington has been President of the Washington chapter since 2000. She has won several awards for her work with Karuna Charities:


2018 Maryland General Assembly Citation for her compassionate leadership and tireless work to empower women and the disadvantaged around the globe.


2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Council of Asian Indian Associations (HQs in VA) for her Outstanding Contributions towards Empowering Women through various activities during the past 20 years.


2015 National Council of Asian Indian Associations, Inc., NCAIA honored her for her dedicated leadership and praiseworthy work in the service of the community.2013 Certificate of honor by the Indian National Overseas Congress USA, Washington, DC for her work with Karuna Charities.


2013 Certificate of honor by the Indian National Overseas Congress USA, Washington, DC for her work with Karuna Charities.

Karuna’s activities are organized by Board Members, the Executive Committee, Ambassadors, and several sub-committees including Community Service for Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., Membership and Fundraising, Publicity, and a Youth Group.

Giving a Helping Hand

The focus of the Karuna Charities Washington chapter is on giving a helping hand to needy and disadvantaged women in four ways:

1.  Providing services and support for women and their families, e.g. help with rent, lawyers’ fees, providing training to become leading to employment and thus leading them towards independent living, and much more.

2.  Educational Scholarships. Karuna has established four educational endowments in the Washington area:

·     Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC)

·     University of District of Columbia (UDC)

·     Montgomery College (Maryland)

·     Universities of Shady Grove (Maryland)

3.  Community Service in metro Washington, e.g. making and serving meals, supplies for AIDS patients at Mother Teresa’s home, turkey meals for DC shelter, school supplies for disadvantaged children, and more.

4.  In addition, help is provided in crisis situations around the world, e.g.:

·     Firefighters, Widows, and Children’s Fund after 9/11

·     Haiti Earthquake

·     Hurricane Katrina

·     Indian Ocean Tsunami

·     Gujarat Flood

·     Nepal Earthquake

·     Philippines Relief

·    Odhisa Cyclone

The Way Forward

You can become a permanent member and/or donor and support us with money and service:

Karuna Charities Washington, Inc., P.O. Box 60241, Potomac, MD 20859 | Ms. Amrit Kalotra (703) 748-1718

Webmaster:  gita_bhatia@hotmail.com