SOMERSET, New Jersey – The Shri Krishna Nidhi Foundation (SKN) held their annual
gala on Friday, September 28 at The Marigold, with a focus on Diabetes.
The evening was hosted by Indian actress and fashion designer Mandira Bedi, who
shared her fitness regime with the audience.
“Fitness is a way of life. It is never too late to embark on a journey to fitness. It’s not
important to go to the gym, what is important is to stay active and eat mindfully. What is more important though, is living a healthy lifestyle and balancing your life. In the 24
hours of the day we luckily get seven hours of sleep, that leaves us 17 hours and within
those hours one should find at least 45 minutes for themselves to exercise and be
active,” Bedi advised the audience.
The evening also featured IndyCar series driver with type 1 diabetes Charlie Kimball
and Celebrity Chef Vikas Khanna.
Kimball is the first race car driver to have diabetes in the history of IndyCar and win.
When Kimball was diagnosed with diabetes in 2007 at the age of 22, his first thought
was “I am a professional race car driver, will I ever be able to get behind the wheel
again? I felt like someone had hit slow motion on my life and I didn’t know what the rest
of it was going to look like.”
But when his doctor told him that this would not affect his career, Kimball said that he
had to figure out what diabetes meant to him and how he would manage with it on the
“Six months after I was diagnosed, my first race with diabetes, I finished on the podium
and I remember standing on the podium and kissing the trophy thinking not only am I
the same driver I was before I was diagnosed, but I am a better one because of it,” he
So in 2011, at the age of 29, Kimball was the first licensed driver with diabetes to qualify
for an average speed of up to 225 miles per hour and in 2013, became the first driver
with diabetes to win an IndyCar race.
Khanna, on the other hand, only shared his experiences about coming to this country
and briefly touched upon the issue of diabetes.
Others who spoke at the event include Dr. Nayan Khotari and Assemblyman Raj
“The South Asian community has already prospered in the fields of medicine, business
and IT, and now we are excelling in politics, journalism and many other fields. Our genes are 50 million years old and our environment is 50. This combination has led to
many medical issues and diseases,” Khotari said.
“At St. Peter’s University Hospital we have established the South Asian Diabetes
Education and Resource Center focusing mainly on diabetes as well as other
disabilities. The center provides free diabetes education, screening and treatment. We
have South Asian physicians, diabetes specialists, dieticians and nurses, who have the
knowledge and understanding of South Asian diets, norms and customs,” he added.
Assemblyman Mukherji reminded everyone that “they call diabetes the silent killer
because the symptoms just creep up on you. Here in the U.S., we are the ethnic
minority that suffers the most from this diabetes as a quarter of the South Asian
population suffers with this disease.”
According to their website, the SKN Foundation is a not-for-profit organization with a
mission to promote total wellness of the person and community through education.