Life Global raises $500,000 in New Jersey for primary education, women’s empowerment in India

Cricket bats signed by India’s top players were auctioned off at the Sept. 18, 2022, Life Global and
Project ‘Life’ India fundraising anniversary gala held in New Jersey. Seen in photo is Panna Desai,
3rd from right, receiving the bat signed by Virat Kohli, from Bollywood actress Asha Parekh. The bid started at $3,000 base price, and Desai won it with the final offer of $10,000. All Photos: Hemant Pandya, Friday Films

Life Global, a nonprofit in India, and Life Global USA, raised half a million dollars at its 5th Anniversary Gala held in Edison, New Jersey Sept. 18, 2022.

Parikh Worldwide Media led by its founder and chairman Padma Shri recipient Dr. Sudhir Parikh, who is also chairman of Life Global USA, co-hosted the event with Amar Shah, founder and treasurer of Life Global. At the event, attendees got to know about the work of partner organization Project ‘Life’ India, over the last 25 years, in areas of primary education, women’s empowerment, and Thalassaemia awareness.

Bollywood legend Asha Parekh, right, with Dr. Purvi Parikh 2nd from right, and Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Life Global USA, left, at the Sept. 18, 2022, 5th anniversary gala of Life Global and Project ‘Life’ India, held in Edison, N.J. Photo: Hemant Pandya, Friday Files

Some 300 supporters gathered at Mirage Banquet in Edison, N.J., including board members of Life Global/Project ‘Life’ to hear about the organization, and opened up their hearts and wallets for programs in India that seek to improve education and empower women, and seek to end Thalassaemia through various projects conducted by partner organization Project ‘Life’ India. Bollywood actress Asha Parekh was the most feted guest at the event.

Speakers at the Life Global/Project ‘Life’ India 5th anniversary gala and fundraiser held in Edison, N.J. Sept. 18, 2022. Photos: Hemant Pandya, Friday Films

Extending a warm welcome to all those present, including Life Global board members, Dr. Parikh, said at the start of his address, that he was a fan of Asha Parekh since the 1970s.

“We are thrilled to have among us, a legend of Indian Cinema –  Asha Parekh   – Thank you so much for making the time for us Asha-ji,” said Dr. Parikh.

“As Chairman of Life Global it is my great pleasure and privilege to extend a warm welcome to all on the 5th Anniversary Gala of this extraordinary organization Life Global and its partner, Project ‘Life’,” Dr. Parikh said.

From left, Sharad Shah, Arun Palkhiwala, Amar Shah, singer Shweta, legendary actress Asha Parekh, Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Dr. Varun Jeph, singer Abhijit, pose for a photo at the Sept. 18, 2022, Life Global/Project ‘Life’ India, 5th anniversary gala and fundraiser. Photo: Hemant Pandya, Friday Films

“We also welcome Meetal Koticha Shah, Joint Executive Trustee of Project ‘Life’ –  whose family has carried out many decades of social service in Rajkot,” Dr. Parikh noted, and Rushikesh Pandya who has devoted 25 years to Project ‘Life’.

“Welcome to all of you for believing in us and supporting the humanitarian activities of Life Global & Project ‘Life’, India,” said Dr. Parikh, who later gave an interview to ITV Gold about the great success of the event.

He dwelt on the achievements and goals that the 5th anniversary gala was celebrating. As examples, he cited the upscaling 108 primary schools and setting new targets of rebuilding 121 Schools in rural Gujarat; women’s empowerment which started with just 28 women in 2008 and today had helped 10,000, with the target of training 15,000 by 2025. Dr. Parikh also mentioned the Thalassaemia-awareness campaign that plans to go national and make India free of this scourge.

“Friends, we are moving strategically to build a global presence,” Dr. Parikh said. Apart from a chapter in U.K., “In a short span of time, we have opened 3 chapters in the US – New Jersey, California, and Texas. We are poised to open up services in other countries – Canada, Australia and Dubai for starters,” he added.

Dr. Parikh urged everyone to generously donate and encouraged them to participate in the auction of cricket bats signed by famous Indian cricketers, to raise funds for India projects. “Today’s fundraiser is focused on the school that Mahatma Gandhi built 125 years ago in Khedbrahma! We want to transform that facility into a state-of-the-art residential school,” said Dr. Parikh.

The auction of autographed cricket bats was a big success. During the auction, Dr. Parikh engaged the audience in an enthusiastic exchange, announcing starting prices in the thousands of dollars, for 6 bats signed by 9 of India’s leading cricketers – individual bats by Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Dravid, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and one bat signed by three cricketers Rishabh Pant, Ajinkya Rahane and Axar Patel. Kohli’s bat went for a whopping $10,000 to Panna Desai, who told ITV Gold she got it for her nephew, a cricket enthusiast.

The highlight of the Sept. 18, 2022, evening was renowned Bollywood actress and philanthropist Asha Parekh. Parekh’s birthday was also celebrated at the event with a song and cake cutting ceremony.

Asha Parekh’s birthday being celebrated at the Sept. 18, 2022, Life Global/Project ‘Life’ India, 5th anniversary gala and fundraiser held in Edison, N.J. Also seen in Photo, from left, Amar Shah, Arun Palkhiwala, Dr. Sudhir Parikh, and Dr. Sudha Parikh. Photo: Hemant Pandya, Friday Films

Asha Parekh spoke of her long association with Project ‘Life’ saying, “My involvement with Project ‘Life’, India began almost two decades ago. Today, I stand here humbled and committed, because of it.  Thank you, Project ‘Life’, for this amazing journey and giving this huge honour,” Parekh said, adding, “On my numerous trips to villages across India, I spent quality time with youngsters, especially young women and experienced the need of empowering them and creating constructive opportunities. I am proud to stand with Life Global to build a world where women’s rights are respected and protected.” Parekh also encouraged Life Global to expand its work on Thalassaemia awareness.

Dr. Sudhir Parikh places a shawl in appreciation on Dr. Dipak Shah, who donated $100,000 to Life Global/Project ‘Life’ India projects, at the Sept. 18, 2022, anniversary gala of Life Global held in New Jersey. Photo: Hemant Pandya, Friday Films

The Chief Guest was India’s Deputy Consul General in New York, Dr. Varun Jeph. He thanked organizers for inviting him and spoke about India’s moral values, most of all ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakkam’- the world is one. He praised the work carried out by Life Global.

Amar Shah in his welcome speech expressed “deep” appreciation to supporters of the humanitarian activities being carried by Life Global through Project ‘Life’, its favorite partner NGO in India.

From left, Amar Shah, Meetal Koticha Shah, Ketki Shah, Dr. Bharati Palkhiwala, and special guest legendary actress Asha Parekh, at the Sept. 17, 2022, Life Global/Project ‘Life’ India, 5th anniversary gala and fundraiser. Parekh also celebrated her birthday at the event. Photo: Hemant Pandya, Friday Films

Joint Executive Trustee, Project ‘Life’ Meetal Koticha Shah, shared the journey of the organization and circumstances under which the charity was formed, starting with the modest contribution of Rupees 101 by Shashikant and Chandrakant Koticha, founders of the organizations, who faced many hardships at a young age. She also extended an invitation to those present to visit the offices and projects in Rajkot, Gujarat, and invited all to the Dance & Garba for Seniors & Youth with Dr. Dhiren Buch (Garba King) September 25, at Sanatan Dharma Temple, Norwalk, CA.

Chief Development & Operating Officer of Project ‘Life’ Rushikesh Pandya, briefed those present about the work done by Life Education Centre and Life Women Empowerment Programme.

Women’s Empowerment project of Life Global/Project ‘Life’ India involving training of women to become self sufficient.
A school that Mahatma Gandhi built 125 years ago is being upgraded by Life Global/Project ‘Life’ India. Inset before upgrade.

The Indian and American national anthems were sung at the  event. Master of ceremonies Rohit Vyas, along with Shah and Dr. Arun Palkhiwala, president of Life Global USA, presented the work of the organization, and in an ITV Gold interview, he described the fundraising event as a success.

A video of the organization was screened during the event.

The musical evening was kicked off by Abhijit & Shweta and their orchestra.

Also present were New York philanthropist John Velasco, and musical ambassador and motivational speaker SoHo Johnny who is known for bringing people together in support of charity.

Several philanthropists at the event pledged new commitments, among them Varsha & Harish Patel, Panna & Kirit Desai, Nayna & Dipak Shah whose donation of $100,000 was announced by Dr. Parikh, to upgrade and name a school of their choice; sister of Anju Pravin Ajmera, Mina Daftary from Atlanta, Harshad Lakhani & Deepak Parekh from Dallas through Life Global Texas.

An estimated 300 supporters and potential donors attended the Sept. 18, 2022, Life Global/Project ‘Life’ India 5th annual gala and fundraiser which raised $500,000 for education and women’s empowerment in India. Photo: Hemant Pandya, Friday Films

Dimple & Bina Doshi, Vinod Kachroo, Rajbir Singh, and others also contributed to the auction of cricket bats. During the auction Dr. Shah announced Anju & Pravin Ajmera who committed their contribution for school project. They were felicitated by Nimisha & Purvi Bhatt. Dr. Mahesh Varia, vice president, Life Global, announced an endowment fund for the Women Empowerment Program, named ‘Dr. Indu Varia Endowment Fund’.

In an interview with ITV Gold after the main event, Arun Palkiwala, head of the Life Global Foundation, spoke of the many goals of the organization. Meetal Koticha Shah also spoke to ITV Gold about the success and support from North Americans for the India projects. She emphasized the need for primary schools, women’s empowerment and ending Thalassaemia. Rushikesh Pandya described the many projects undertaken in India, and said the objective of the primary school projects was to connect India’s underprivileged children to the world.

Statement from Life Global:

Late Shri Jasvant Shah


At this point of time we can not forget Late Mr. Jasvant Shah who was founder of Life Global. Here on completion of 5 years of Life Global, Project ‘Life’ India and Life Global are acknowledging and upholding his unmatchable contribution in conceptualizing, formulating and crystallizing Life Global because he was the person who has registered for 501(C)3 & obtained Life Global USA approval as a charity registration with Federal Government. Because of his untiring efforts he was acknowledged by Life Global’s first award. So here at this juncture Life Global & Project ‘Life’ India expresses a sincere gratitude for Late Jasvantbhai for his untiring efforts and support for a cause.”




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