Atlanta chapter of non-profit Sewa International raises more than $500,000 at year-end gala

Guests at Sewa International annual gala. in Atlanta Dec. 16, 2023. PHOTO Sewa Atlanta

Sewa International’s Atlanta Chapter raised over half a million dollars at its annual gala dinner December 16, 2023. The Hindu faith-based charitable nonprofit that works in the areas of disaster recovery, education, and development, has 43 Chapters across the US and serves all communities.

More than 250 donors and volunteers attended the event at the Midtown Hotel 12 in Atlanta, a press release from the organization said.

Nita Sardana, Chairman of Innova Foundation, Paul Lopez, Chairman of TiE Atlanta Board, and Samir Bhatia, CEO of Smartcare, lit the lamp to start the event.

The gala featured a keynote speech by Ravi Venkatesan, CEO of Cantaloupe, Inc. Students from Saraswati Music Academy — Gowri, Shreeya, and Sravani Kari — offered prayer to Lord Ganesha following the Hindu tradition.

 Sewa presented awards to individuals and organizations. Samskrita Bharati Atlanta and Ved Vidyalaya received the Sewa Sanskritik Award for Art and Culture. The Adult Seva Care and the Heartfulness Institute received the Sewa Abhigyan (Recognition) Award.

The Young Entrepreneur Award went to Animesh Koratana, and the Karma Yogi Award for selfless service was given to Bhikhu Patel.

SEWA International volunteers at Annual Gala held in Atlanta Dec. 16, 2023. PHOTO: Sewa

Dr. Devesh Ranjan, Dr. Sanjeev Parikh, Dr. Amita Parikh, Krishnakumar Narayanan, La Chiquita Tortilleria, Celia Lopez Robles, and Arvind Chhiba received the Sewa Abhimulyan (Appreciation) awards for their “remarkable contributions” to the community.

Sardana, received the Sewa Entrepreneur of the Year and shared a compelling life story of passion, persistence, and grit, inspiring the audience to pursue their dreams regardless of age.

Subhash Patel, CEO of the Natson Hotel Group, endorsed Sewa International’s work in the community in his speech.

Sewa’s Vice President for Fund Development and the outgoing chapter president, Srikanth Gundavarapu, introduced Madhav Durbha as the incoming president of the Atlanta Chapter.

Highlighting the year’s achievements, Vivek Srivastav, Atlanta Chapter coordinator, said the Atlanta Sewa AmeriCorps Program received the prestigious “Georgia AmeriCorps Team of the Year 2023” award in its inaugural year. Testimonials from beneficiaries of the Sewa AmeriCorps ASPIRE tutoring program underscored the positive impact on underserved communities, with notable improvements in student grades and self-esteem.

Providing an overview of Sewa, Srivastav emphasized how Sewa’s vision of serving all living beings and nature is rooted in the Hindu principle of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” – the world is one family. He said over 100 high school students had enrolled in the LEAD internship program in 2023, and 33 received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award (PVSA)for dedicating more than 100 hours of service. He also noted that the Family Services initiative assisted 30 families, and food drives supported over 100 families with two weeks’ worth of groceries.

A performance by Saraswati Music Academy students and the 10-year-old tabla prodigy Varneya Sastry captivated the audience, the press release said. Vice President of the Chapter Raj Radhakrishnan, , and Vidushi Gupta, LEAD Program Assistant Coordinator, emceed the event. Madhav Durbha delivered the vote of thanks.



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