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New Year’s Ball Raises Funds For Students’ Cause


Several hundred Atlantans rang in the New Year with champagne, live Bollywood music and great food at the Second Annual New Year’s Charity Ball organized by Dr. Narendra Gupta of Diabetes & Hypertension Center (DHC), Kiran Desai of US. 1 Discounts, Sandeep Savla of Nritya Natya Kala Bharti, Neel and others at the Ashiana Banquet Hall at Global Mall.

Bollywood Beats, a very talented band of six from Mumbai, and Atlanta native Priya Chellani provided live entertainment. The dance floor was full of revelers grooving to everything- from soft romantic numbers to fast paced Bollywood music. The tempo reached a crescendo close to midnight, as large HD screens displayed the countdown to the new year at New York’s Times Square and champagne was served. The dance floor was bursting with people who wanted dance with gay abandon into the New Year.

While there were several other events in town, some for a small entrance fee, the charity ball stood out for quality music, food and ambience. Dr. Gupta of DHC promises an even bigger event next year, where students will be more involved in putting together the show.

The annual charity ball raised funds for the ‘Adopt and Integrate a Student’ program. A labor of love for Dr. Gupta, the program is aimed towards integrating new students to Atlanta into the mainstream, by finding them host families. 

“A student from Gujarat is integrated with a Gujarati family, while a Bengali student is introduced to a Bengali family,” said Dr. Gupta. “Several students are introverted or are vegetarians or do not like broccoli, or beans or potatoes. They go through depression, and their grades begin to suffer. I have met several students who crave for rice, dal and sabzi.”
The program will work towards helping new students overcome their initial sense of isolation. The student will be part of the adoptive family, and also help teach family members how to use the computer or the cell phone.

“We are in the process of developing an intelligent database where students can not only find host families, but also participate in cultural events held by community associations. We can even help them find part time jobs,” said Dr. Gupta.

The program is meant for students arriving from the Indian sub-continent- India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

“The idea is to and make a new student’s life a little more comfortable and happier in Atlanta,” he said. “No student will be alone when he/she lands here.”  


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