IAN- Home Page
TRF Home Page

Sewa International’s Gala 2018 for Human Upliftment!

From left: Guest of honor Mahindra USA CEO Mani Iyer, Sewa coordinator Nikhil Jain, Delores Jones Alief ISD, Kavita Tewary Executive Director, Deepika Agarwal, Keynote speaker Swapnil Agarwal, Gala Chair Anita Ravat, Gitesh Desai Chapter President and Achalesh Amar Chapter Coordinator at the HELP 2018, Sewa International Annual Gala on Sunday, September 30 at Stafford Convention Center. Photos: Dr. Nik Nikam & Navin Mediwala

From left: Guest of honor Mahindra USA CEO Mani Iyer, Sewa coordinator Nikhil Jain, Delores Jones Alief ISD, Kavita Tewary Executive Director, Deepika Agarwal, Keynote speaker Swapnil Agarwal, Gala Chair Anita Ravat, Gitesh Desai Chapter President and Achalesh Amar Chapter Coordinator at the HELP 2018, Sewa International Annual Gala on Sunday, September 30 at Stafford Convention Center. Photos: Dr. Nik Nikam & Navin Mediwala

By Vanshika Vipin Varma

STAFFORD: HELP 2018, an Annual Gala was organized by Sewa International on Sunday, September 30 at Stafford Convention Center. Sewa International is a nonprofit service organization that focuses on selfless upliftment of those in distress through their various development programs focusing on family services, child, tribal and refugee welfare, women empowerment, health and education; besides disaster relief and rehabilitation. Sewa believes in humanity above all and serves people irrespective of race, color, religion, gender or nationality, simultaneously respecting the cultural backgrounds of people they serve. Having considerable experience in the disaster management cycle, Sewa has served in 23 disasters within and outside the US.  

Sewa has been compassionate towards the sufferings of people and in this arena; they have been doing some stupendous work for mankind, which is commendable. As soon as a disaster strikes, Sewa stays in the vanguard to manage rescue operations and the relief and rehabilitation works. Destruction of property and lives as a result of Hurricane Harvey’s sweep across Southern Texas in August 2017 is a classic example, wherein they came to the aid of virtually 700 people and have been benevolent in rebuilding the lives of thousands of affected families by restoring their houses and providing case management to affected families since Hurricane Harvey struck Texas.

SEWA_IN02
Sewa raised $2.3 Million for Harvey recovery, including a $500,000 grant from American Red Cross, and $397,590 grant by the Greater Houston Community Foundation (GHCF). As a means of support and appreciation for the humanitarian cause that Sewa is dedicated to, many leading organizations and individuals have organized fundraising events for Sewa. For its astounding work, Sewa International was honored with the prestigious award, Global Seven (G7) given by the Houston International Trade Development Council (HITDC) in the category of “Outstanding Nonprofit Organization”, earlier this year.

The gala was a grand and a well organized one with an assortment of culture, recognition, fun and entertainment. The event opened with registration followed by social hour. Kavita Tewary, Executive Director Houston Chapter gracefully set about welcoming the attendees as she handed over to the host, Abiya Malhotra who beautifully managed the show and kept the audiences engaged at all times. A tiny little surprise followed as some volunteer kids lit the lamp as a mark of illumination. It was absolutely adorable and appealing to the eyes. Symbolizing the tradition of seeking blessings from Lord Ganesha at the start of any auspicious event, Ganesh Vandana was gracefully performed by the Odissi dancers from Kala Angan by Supradipta Datta. The performance was absolutely splendid and received applause.

Chief guest, Indian Consul General, Dr. Anupam Ray (left), Keynote speaker Swapnil Agarwal, and The Guest of honor Mani Iyer, President & CEO Mahindra USA.

Chief guest, Indian Consul General, Dr. Anupam Ray (left), Keynote speaker Swapnil Agarwal, and The Guest of honor Mani Iyer, President & CEO Mahindra USA.

Ganesh Vandana was followed by a welcome speech from Gitesh Desai, President of Sewa Houston Chapter, who expressed his gratitude towards organizations and volunteers for their tremendous support towards Sewa in the past year. He spoke about the most effected community, Rosharon in Brazoria County, which suffered major damage due to the disastrous Hurricane Harvey. He also appreciated the efforts of Achalesh Amar, Coordinator of Sewa Houston who has been pioneering the disaster recovery operations in Rosharon for close to a year. Later during the evening, a clipping on how the efforts were carried on at Rosharon was shown and Achalesh Amar was honored with a special award, Seva Sadhak Award for his noble and selfless community service. Awareness was created about Sewa’s accomplishments in 2017 – 2018 and also about various Sewa’s projects. Audiences were requested to have their support flowing in.

Achalesh Amar called upon the chief guest for the evening, Indian Consul General, Dr. Anupam Ray. Dr. Ray expressed his appreciation towards the applaudible efforts carried on by Sewa and acknowledged that Sewa is an organization that truly means what being Indian is about, helping everyone around and giving back to the community. It was time to confer upon individual awards for service to community. Awards were presented by Gitesh Desai – President of Sewa Houston Chapter, Saroj Gupta – Past President of Sewa Houston Chapter, and Ramesh Shah – Ekal Vidyalaya Board Member. Awardees included John Bhopo, Sachin Chitlangia, Amiralli Dodhiya, Sangeeta Dua, Siddheswar Gubba, Ravi Shanker Mallapuram, Haren Mathuria, Sunil & Rita Mehta, Umang Mehta, Ashok Nigam, Harish Rangwani, Richard Rodriguez, Hemang Thakkar, Madhulika Tewary, Shravanthi Thirunagari, Navin Mediwala and Subhash Sriram.

Achalesh Amar the recipient of the Seva Sadhak Award, with his wife Smita and daughters Ananya and Aagrima.

Achalesh Amar the recipient of the Seva Sadhak Award, with his wife Smita and daughters Ananya and Aagrima.

As the audiences put their hands together for the commendable service by the awardees, Ruchika Dias’ Bollywood Shake shook the stage with their stunning dance performances, last one being the traditional song Ghoomar. The show was outstanding and was followed by a video about Aspire Tutorials, one of the community service programs conducted by Sewa for underprivileged kids. Aspire Tutorials is one amongst the many other programs, informative workshops and events like Stop Diabetes Movement yoga camps, Youth internship program. Indeed, it was a very enriching and exhilarating gala.

It was time for the Keynote speaker of the evening, Swapnil Agarwal to come up to the stage. Swapnil Agarwal, Entrepreneur of the Year, Gulf Coast Region was welcomed by Vasudev Singh, Past Vice President. Swapnil Agarwal gave insights on what it took him to be professionally successful and also shared the significance of giving back to the society. He also placed emphasis on Karma and Dharma and how he attained success in his company on the same principles. The Guest of honor Mani Iyer, President & CEO Mahindra USA humbly stated, “Mahindra is pleased to support the work Sewa is doing”. He also requested the audiences to support an organization like Sewa who go above and beyond for the community around them.

Odissi dancers from Kala Angan group performing Ganesh Vandana.

What followed was a ravishing dance performance by the group Dance of Asian America. The audiences were seen enjoying the performances in the midst of the event.
There was a special award ceremony, awards were presented to various organizations for their extensive support to Sewa. Sewa received immense support from organizations like American Red Cross, Bharathi Kalai Manram, Builders without borders of Texas, Good360, Hanmi Bank, Houston International Trade Development Council Inc., Sathya Sai International Organization, Star Pipe Products, Unique Industries, VT Seva, YMCA, United Way of Brazoria County. The gala helped raised a whopping $250,000.

The event concluded with a vote of thanks by Nikhil Jain, Chapter Coordinator. He also thanked gala chair Anita Ravat and co-chair Jagruti Sarkar. The well-coordinated lights and sounds were provided by Darshak Thacker from Krishna Sounds. The attendees enjoyed the scrumptious dinner catered by Hiren Mathuria from Bhojan.

Photography was by Dr. Nik Nikam and Navin Mediwala. The gala was the largest gathering of Sewa donors, supporters and allies in the United States. Local and national leaders from across the entire gamut of business, government, non-profit organizations, and policymakers, came together to be a part of the grand gala.
Proceeds collected towards the event will be utilized for various Sewa’s projects.

For further details contact Kavita Tewary at educationhouston@sewausa.org, call 713-303-4253 or visit www.sewausa.org

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *