Organizations Collaborate To Raise $45,000 For Chennai Flood Victims


Chennai Relief Chicago

For the first time ever, 20 organizations and community groups from across Chicagoland collaborated to hold the Chennai Flood Disaster relief fundraiser Dec. 20 at the Waterford banquet Hall in Elmhurst.
Christened “Ek Shaam Chennai Ke Naam”, the program, organized by Desi Junction, the Chicago for Chennai group, and Jeen Varghese, was attended by more than 800 people.
With support from over 50 volunteers, performers, sponsors and donors who contributed to the event, the organizations and donors raised $45,000 for relief of the victims.
The proceeds from the fundraiser will be sent through Association for India’s Development. The top ten donors included Senthil Kumar Soundarapandian, Shobashalini Chokkalingam, Nirup Krishnamurthy, Shyam Krishnamurthy, Balaji Padmanabhan, Durai Ramachandran, Sri Rajini Sabarathy, Anand Srinivasan, and Suganya Prathap.
Jassi Parmar, CEO of Desi Junction Radio said that “bringing all the communities of India together under one roof for a noble cause was not only a historical initiative but no one has ever done that before.” It also gave a great sense of achievement to the organizers,” he said.
“The damage has been enormous – 250 lives lost, two million people displaced, $3 billion impact on the economy, and $ 15 billion in infrastructure damages”, Jeen Varghese, Chicago community leader said, making a fervent appeal to people to contribute to the relief operations.
“What we did today was only a humble beginning; we are committed to engage in the long-term process of rebuilding of the communities once the relief agencies address their immediate priorities”, said Ravi Rawat from Bombay Chopsticks and Perl Banquet.
Guest of Honor, Indian actress Neetu Chandra, who has starred in films like Garam Masala, Godavari and Traffic Signal, received an award of recognition for her contribution to the Indian films.
Chandra, who was absolutely delighted to participate in the event, commented that Chennaites have “occupied a special place in her heart” and that the “acts of bravery demonstrated by Chennaites to rescue people caught in the floods by forming chains and multifarious instances of love, kindness, and resilience have become a source of inspiration to people across the globe.”
After the fundraising event, dance and musical recitals were given by artists from the Yeh Cheez Group, Desi Junction, and Comedy Junction, including Rinki Talati, Nisha Saraswat, Rashik, Megha Mathur, Maegha Saraf, Sawpna Balakrishnan, Sharanya Gururajan, Chandrakala Vijay, Ravi Shankar Subramanyan, Noman Khan, Nisima Patel, Suman Sharma, and Ruby Saraf.
Among the many sponsors for the event were Happiness Junction, India House, Waterford Banquets, The Art of Living, Sai Saffron Chat House, TV Asia, TANA, Arya Sounds, Wintrust Commercial Banking, GLO, Massage and Spa, Asian Media, Mysore Woodland, Deccan and Spice, India House, Indian Harvest, Vishnu Vilas, Cuisine of India, Sai Saffron, Curry Bowl/Mysore Woodland, Dakshin Hyderabad Biryani, Deccan and Spice, and Vishnu Villas.