| Ek Shaam Raksha Ke Naam
On November 12, 2011, over 300 community
members joined RAKSHA, a Georgiaa-based community non profit,
for thier 13th annual fundraiser Ek Shaam Raksha Ke Naam, An
Evening in the Name of Raksha: A Musical Celebration of Women.
The night was filled with live singing and dance
performances, a silent auction, dinner and dancing at Seasons
Event Center located at Patel Plaza in Decatur. The venue was
elegantly decorated with the beautiful backdrop and centerpieces
courtesy of Sterling Décor.
The Opening: Aruna Rao-McCann started the evening with a
sterling introduction. Kavita Patel added her personal insights
on the importance of Raksha’s work.
Manisha Lance, an advocate at Raksha, read her original poem
talking about her own journey in advocating for survivors of
domestic violence and how powerful and inspiring their
The Awards: Dr. H.N. and Indira Ramaswamy were presented with
the Ramesh and Vijaya Bakshi Community Change Award. The Ramaswamys were nominated by community members and were then
chosen among several other nominees by the previous winners of
Dr. Ramaswamy was modest as he discussed the importance of
A special guest presented Swapon and Niloofer Mondal with the
first annual Himmat Award for their courage and commitment in
helping a young woman in their own community. Swapon Mondal
encouraged the community to make a difference by taking action.
Dinner and Entertainment: Thali catered the appetizers, dinner
and dessert for the evening. The entertainment of the night
opened with great melodies from some of Atlanta’s best artists.
Raksha sincerely thanks all of the talented performers who
donated their time and talent in making this evening magical.
Pankaj Bhargava sang some of the most famous Kishore Kumar
numbers. Indrani Danave, the Sunidhi Chauhan of Atlanta, sang
several melodious numbers. Namrata Dewan’s sweet voice and
demeanor was appreciated by many. Mahesh Patel’s rendition of
Maa was one of the most touching songs of the evening. Vandana Upadhyaya
sang with such great presence.
Divya Srivastava and her dance group Geet-Rung, brought
excitement to the singing by performing original dances to many
of the foot-tapping numbers.
Darshan Kaur and Sunny Sachdeva brought laughter and delight as
the emcees for the musical part of the program. The final
singer of the evening was Tanweer Mian. Tanweer, professional
vocalist, is well-known for his concerts across North America.
Tanweer had the audience entranced and on the dance floor with
his parody of Hindi songs interspersed with Elvis Presley
The evening ended on a fantastic note with DJ Jaz entertaining
the audience with high energy from his rhythms and beats. The
silent auction was a huge success thanks to all the items
donated by many local businesses and artists.
Thanks and Appreciation: Avni Gandhi, Raksha Board President,
ended the evening by thanking everyone for their
support of Raksha. Raksha is extremely grateful for the
support from the community for this event and for the past 16
years. The Gold Sponsor for the Event was AT&T, Silver Sponsors
for the event were Kilpatrick Townsend and Kuck Immigration
Partners. Bronze Sponsors were Action Bartending, Action
Design, Air Tran, The Antonini Law Firm, The Chugh Firm, Delta
Airlines, First Medical Care, Georgia Cancer Specialists, Kumar,
Prabhu, Patel, and Banerjee, The Law Offices of Joe Rosen, Metro
Medical Associates, GE Capital, and The Sheth Family
Foundation. Media Sponsors include Atlanta Dunia, Khabar
Magazine, NRI Pulse, Namaste Bombay, and Wownow.com. The
photography was provided by Photography by Vinod. Raksha sends
a big thank you to all to all who made this evening a success.
As a Georgia-based nonprofit support and referral network,
Raksha promotes a stronger and healthier South Asian community.
Through offering counseling, legal advice, advocacy, and
referrals to mostly South Asian and immigrant women and
children, Raksha provides a safe space to individuals who have
few social networks to utilize when they are facing situations
of domestic abuse, family violence, divorce, sexual assault,
discrimination, and harassment.
Though Raksha began as a small volunteer organization 16-years
ago, it has grown into a community-based agency because of the
community’s rapid response to Raksha’s services; currently,
Raksha’s agency consists of 5 dedicated employees and countless
volunteers. Raksha plays a critical role in addressing violence
against immigrant women and children. Furthermore, Raksha’s
offers linguistically and culturally specific crisis
intervention and long-term therapeutic counseling to adult
domestic violence survivors and children who have witnessed or
experienced violence in their lives.