Philanthropic couple, and Houston community, raise $5.2 million to fund permanent campsite for Hindu youth

Volunteers at the Houston Gala October 1, 2023, for Texas Youth Campsite for Hindu youth. Seen in photo Sahib Chandnani, Rishi Chandnani, Shamal Shah, Kajal Amin, Shivangi Dixit, Hetali Trivedi, Srushti Gaikawari, Bharat Pallod. PHOTO: Bijay Dixit

Houston couple Subhash and Sarojini Gupta donated $1.75 million to start the construction of the first Hindu campsite in Texas, which will hold Hindu Heritage Youth Camps each summer. A fundraiser held October 1, 2023, brought in much more from the 725 attendees who opened their hearts and wallets to make it a successful venture.

Co chairs of the Texas youth campsite initiative. Four youth co-chairs Bharat Pallod, Rishi Bhutada, with Sarojini and Subhash Gupta (Event Chairs) Nikita Malani Shukla, Maneesh Mehra, pose for a photo at the Oct. 1, 2023 fundraiser in Texas. PHOTO: Bijay Dixit

Similar to schools and colleges providing academic education, the Hindu Heritage Youth camps provide a life-molding education, organizers said in a press release. Over the last two decades, the camps have been held at various sites, but now will have a dedicated venue for holding the Summer camps. (

The Texas Hindu Campsite Gala held Oct. 1, 2023, brought organizers closer to their goal of  $5.6 million, falling just $400,000 short.

The sold-out gala was chaired by Maneesh Mehra, Bharat Pallod, Rishi Bhutada and Nikita Malani Shukla, all past camp directors who have been involved with the camp since they were children. That former campers are now running the camp is evidence of the programs’ success, Subhash Gupta is quoted saying in the press release.

Event coordinator Manisha Gandhi, speaking at the October 1, 2023, fundraising gala in Houston for the Hindu Youth Campsite initiative. PHOTO: Bijay Dixit

The event, emceed and coordinated by Manisha Gandhi, included dance performances choreographed by Kusum Sharma, founder of Shri Natraj School of Dance, a comedic act by Los Angeles comedian Rajiv Satyal, and speeches from former campers. With the funds collected at the gala, the project is now just $400,000 short of its fundraising target.

The Texas Hindu campsite, located on a 37-acre property in Columbus, Texas, will be complete next summer — just in time to welcome campers for a six-night, five-day camp. The camp started in 1985 and has historically been held at a variety of campsites, such as Camp Lantern Creek in Montgomery. But organizers said it had become increasingly difficult to find a location that could accommodate the 1,200 plus youth who want to participate.



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