Muni Seva Ashram: An Evening of Fun, Fashion, and Elegance

Muni Seva

From left: Hemant Patel, Emcee Nina Desai, Chairman Dr. Vikram Patel, Yogendra Patel, Emcee Akshay Deshpande, Organizer Bina Patel, and Ankit Patel.

By Tanya Patel

HOUSTON: The stage was set. The makeup was done. The mics were tested. The volunteers, performers, and models eagerly waited for the hundreds of attendees to arrive. The second annual Muni Seva Charitable Foundation Gala was held on Sunday, May 1,  at the Holiday Inn in Houston.

Muni Seva Ashram was founded by the late Anuben Thakkar in 1978. What started out as a small hut to babysit children has now grown into a 300 acre social service project with the help of Chairman Dr. Vikram Patel who was in attendance.

Emcees Nina Desai and Akshay Deshpande kicked off the evening with a dance performance by the students of Vallabh Vidya Mandir, a Sunday school at a local temple, VPSS. These 8 young girls beautifully showcased their talents and served as representatives of the young children currently residing in the ashram.

Keynote speaker Dr. Yogendra Patel, a surgeon from New York, spoke about his life changing experiences while visiting the ashram several times over the last 15 years. Dr. Patel has had a front row seat to the selfless work of Dr. Vikram Patel and the entire Muni Seva Ashram team. Dr. Patel also announced that MSA was the 2016 recipient of the Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST) Technology Award. The organization is being recognized for the unique concepts developed for the ashram such as the first solar fridge and solar air conditioning systems.

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Models wearing clothes made by Muni Seva Ashram which were featured in the fashion show.

The work of Dr. Vikram Patel and Muni Seva Ashram has struck a chord amongst local businesses throughout Houston. Kohinoor Diamonds, Karat 22 Jewelers, Subhlaxmi Grocers, and other local businesses generously donated several items to be auctioned off to help raise money for the ashram.

The highlight of the evening was the fashion show choreographed by emcee Nina Desai. With a team of hair and makeup artists who kindly donated their time and skills to the cause and weeks of preparation, the volunteer models were able to beautifully showcase the outfits produced at Muni Seva Ashram for the behno clothing line along with kurtis produced for the MSA Ethos line. The stunning display of the outfits surprised even Dr. Vikram Patel who exclaimed, “Wow! These clothes are made at our ashram?”

Thanks to Anuben Thakkar’s vision, Dr. Vikram Patel’s self-sacrificing lifestyle, a dedicated team of volunteers and generous donors, in Houston and all around the world, the evening was a beautiful success.