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Ek Shaam: Raksha Celebrates 17th Anniversary, Old Bollywood Style

Raksha fundraiser

Photos by Photography by Vinod

Atlanta, Dec 2012: On November 3, 2012, close to 300 community members joined Atlanta based community organization Raksha as they held their 14th annual fundraiser, Ek Shaam Raksha Ke Naam,  An Evening in the Name of Raksha.     The night consisted of live singing and dance performances, dinner, silent auction, and dancing at Seasons Event Center located in Patel Plaza.  

Raksha fundraiser

Shayl Patel and Kishan Bhut, the emcees made a grand entrance and enthralled  the guests with their  fresh energy and comedic performances.    Raksha debuted a PSA that was directed by Aqsa Zareen Farooqui and produced by Darija Pichanak.  The show began  with the beautiful  voices of Lamhe, Georgia State's A Capella group followed by a lovely dance performance by Divya Srivastava of Geet-rung School of Dance.  

Raksha fundraiser

Aparna Bhattacharyya, Raksha Executive Director, started with an audio of a client reading one of her poems about her experience with the court systems.     Then she introduced Deputy Sheriff, Lt. Jeremy Brown, the winner of the 2nd annual Himmat award for his work with Raksha's clients as well as all survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Gwinnett County.   Aparna  and Vijaya Bakshi then introduced  of   the winner of the Ramesh and Vijaya Bakshi Community Change Award, Dr Sujatha Reddy for her tireless work to ensure access to health care and medical clinics in the South Asian community.    Dr. Reddy addressed the audience, reminding everyone that her passion is to serve the community.   Dr. Reddy went on to let the community know how important  and hard Raksha's work is  in the community. She talked about her own experience helping survivors of domestic violence and stated she would always be there to help Raksha. 
Dinner was catered by Thali and Decor was provided by Sterling Decor. 

Raksha fundraiser

The second half of the evening opened up with a dance performance by Geet-rung. Rekha Pallath, Sunny Sachdeva, Rafiq Batcha and Deepa Patel, took the audience on a trip down memory lane by performing and singing to some Bollywood classics.    The show ended with a fun and powerful finale with all four singers and Geet-rung performing to Om Shanti Om with audience members joining in the fun which led in to the dancing part of evening hosted by DJ Jaz.  The  talented emcees joined in with Rafiq for an impromptu performance of Gangnam style. 
DJ Jaz ended the evening with high energy with his rhythms and beats.  The silent auction was a huge success with items donated by many local businesses and  local artists.
“Raksha is extremely grateful for the support from the community for this event and for the past 17 years,” said a press release issued to this newspaper.
“If you were not able to attend, please consider making a donation to Raksha at P.O. Box 12337, Atlanta, Ga 30355.  The funds raised from Ek Shaam Raksha Ke Naam , help keep Raksha's services available to the community.”
Raksha's mission is to promote a stronger and healthier South Asian community through confidential support services, education, and advocacy. Raksha provides counseling, support groups, and advocacy to community members who have been impacted by family and sexual violence as well as other crimes.

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