- Young fashionistas, influencers, actors and filmmakers, entrepreneurs, tech founders and venture capitalists celebrated, caught up, drank, danced and contributed to a good cause at New York City’s premier event.
Diwali came early to New York City, as Indian American movers and shakers gathered at HK Hall in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood to attend New York City’s premier event, Oct. 20. It was a night of celebrating, catching up, drinking, dancing and contributing to a good cause at the 7th annual Diwali on the Hudson hosted by the Desai Foundation.
This year’s star-studded event, held after a year-long gap due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saw young fashionistas, influencers, actors and filmmakers, entrepreneurs, tech founders and venture capitalists, including actress Ami Sheth, fashion designer Megha Rao, founder of Holi Chic, chef Palak Patel, attorney and activist Suraj Patel, and Grammy-nominated singer Falu Shah.
But it was not all fun and frolic. Guests at the event could contribute to several initiatives of the foundation and support their work in health, livelihood and, most recently, COVID relief in India.
Desai Foundation president Megha Desai spoke to American Kahani about the event and the work her organization has been doing in India for the past 20 years. She expressed her excitement in once again hosting the Glamorous Diwali event and welcoming friends and supporters. She reflected on the significance of Diwali, the festival of lights, and compared it to the work her foundation does on the ground to help elevate the women and children in India’s villages.
“The Desai Foundation’s main focus for over 20 years has been empowering women and girls through community programs to elevate health and livelihood in India & the U.S,” she said. In the last 18 months, the foundation has “shifted its focus to address the needs of the communities we serve, while also leveraging the programs that were already in place.” The foundation currently works in 1000 villages in seven states in India (Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), impacting almost 2 million lives. The foundation develops programs like several health camps, vocational training, entrepreneurial programs, creative learning, hygiene programs and the flagship, Asani Sanitary Napkin Program, which combats menstrual equity.
The evening included performances by Falu and The Resistance Revival Chorus. Guests enjoyed a premium bar and food by Desi Galli. , while swaying to the music by DJ Suhel.
Photo Credit: Andy Chang