Bollywood legends, socialites and businessmen gathered at London's exclusive Vinopolis March 02nd for The Sparkle Ball, a charity fundraiser for the Akshaya Patra Foundation, a charity that provides school meals and education to underprivileged children in India.
Lyricist Javed Akhtar, actress Shabana Azmi and screen legend Waheeda Rehma were joined by billionaire Lakshmi Mittal and TV personality Konnie Huq for the event which raised more than £300,000 for the Foundation.
The highlight of the evening was a haute couture fashion show by Indian designer Anamika Khanna, one of the first designers from the sub-continent to have showcased wares at the Paris Fashion Week and whose creations are popular with stars including Sonam Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra.
Among the items auctioned on the night was an appeal to 'Adopt a School', with bidders given the chance to sponsor student meals at a given school for an entire year.
Speaking after the event, the president of the Foundation's UK chapter, Dipika Khaitan said: “We are thrilled at the success of this evening and were delighted by the VIP and celebrity turn out who pledged their support. It was a fantastic event in aid of such a very worthy cause and a good night was had by all."
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a leading charity pioneering a school lunch programme that addresses two of the most immediate challenges facing India: hunger/malnutrition and access to education.
It is the first Indian NGO to have been selected for a case study by the Harvard Business School of USA.
The organisation began in Bangalore with the remit of feeding 1500 children in five schools. For many children it is their only complete meal of the day providing an incentive of sorts for kids to attend school.
Today, The Akshaya Patra Foundation provides freshly prepared, nutritious meals daily to over 1.3 million underprivileged children in over 8000 schools in nine Indian states.
Among the international Trustees of the organization are Infosys founder M Narayana Murthy, American lifestyle guru Deepak Chopra and the Editor-at-Large of Time magazine, Fareed Zakaria.
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