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.
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:
- 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.
- 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)
- 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.
- 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