Thirteenth Annual Karuna Diwali Ball
On Sunday, November 14, 2010 Washingtonians attended Karuna Charities Washington Inc.’s highly anticipated Diwali Gala. There were a record number of attendees and it was proven that Karuna Charities is indeed a Charity of the community, by the community and for the community.Karuna President, Mrs. Amrit Kalotra gave a welcome address and thanked the audience and sponsors for supporting Karuna Charities. She spoke about the evolution of Karuna Charities from a small grass-roots organization focused on helping needy women and children to a mature organization that has distributed nearly $250,000 since its inception 12 years ago. This year Karuna donated $10,001 towards relief work for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. She likened the coming together of the Karuna members, supporters, and sponsors to present the 13th Annual Diwali Gala to a grand orchestra where all the musicians play to various instruments in unison to create such a harmonious melody. The elegant Mistress of Ceremonies, Nilima Mehra (known in Washington metropolitan areas as the hostess of Salaam India, Chitramala, Facets of Hinduism, three local television shows) outlined the program that was about to unfold. The Guest of Honor was Dutta Padsalgikar, Minister Community Affairs, Embassy of India graced the occasion with kind words about the years of service provided by Karuna Charity. The Keynote Speaker was Maya Ajmera, Founder and President of the Global Fund for Children. Mrs. Ajmera spoke eloquently about her passion to educate disadvantaged children worldwide. Thereafter, a Special Guest, a recipient of Karuna Charities’ assistance, moved the audience with her heartwarming speech about how Karuna Charities has helped her.
Dancers from the Kalanjali School of Folk Dances performed a dance medley choreographed by Mrs. Priti Vasavada. The young performers were: Anjali Vyas, Rushvi Majumdar, Anjali Dalal, Sarina Dey, Sandhya Taneja, Nandini Kishore, Aashvi Vasavada. This group has been performing for Karuna Charities for several years and the dancers received great applause as they danced gracefully to a Devotional and Bollywood dance style, dressed in resplendent costumes.
The Talent Contest was the highlight of the evening where the audience was the judge. Mrs. Mansi Gupta and Mr. Vidya Sagar won the best female and male vocalist competitions. The Washington Metropolitan area definitely discovered great talent. The contestants brought the clapping and cheering audience to their feet. The other contestants were Mrs. Sabina Arora, Mrs. Asha Verdhan, Dr. R. Puri, and Mr. Vishal Khaparde.As a special performance, Ms. Bhavya Dhingra, the winner of the 2009 talent contest danced winsomely to great applause from the audience. The raffle draw was a success thanks to the generous prizes donated by Gold City Jewelers, Holiday Inn (Gaithersburg), the Law office of Raja Bhandari, Radiance – Anti-Aging Medical Center and Bombay Tandoor.Vice President Mrs. Kanti Singh concluded the evening with a warm vote of thanks.The night ended with a deliciously catered dinner by Mrs. Rani Varma’s ever popular Bombay Tandoor restaurant. DJ Hemant Kumar and party rocked the audience with live music and popular tunes. The Diwali Committee was composed of Mara Puri; Rohini Khera; Nilima Mehra; Amrit Kalotra; Kanti Singh; Jasbir Sethi, Sujata Avasthi, Bina Dhir, Promila Banik and Savita Malhotra. The color brochure with a new look was designed by Sangita Kalotra and Puneet Sharma and produced by Apple Printers.