BOSTON–The Desai Foundation, which empowers women and children in India and the United States, held its annual Lotus Festival virtually this year and celebrated the “Power of Perseverance.”
The foundation, through opportunities and resources to elevate health and livelihood, pivoted quickly in light of the pandemic this year to ensure women would have access to not just menstrual hygiene products, but also the financial means to meet basic health and nutritional needs for themselves and their families.
On Saturday, October 3rd, the Foundation held its annual Lotus Festival, in a first-of-its-kind virtual-live hybrid format “Celebrating the Power of Perseverance,” this year’s festival theme, to raise much-needed funds for ongoing COVID-19 relief efforts in India and the United States.
Watch parties all over the world tuned in for the fast-paced and star-studded event — featuring World Cup-winning soccer coach Jill Ellis, whose powerful appeal honored the organization’s work to safeguard the lives of women and their families at this critical time, and Bombay- and Boston-based artist Avanti Nagral, who sang a beautiful rendition of “O Lal Meri” with her father, Ajit Nagral, a well-known Boston-based entrepreneur.
Four stars from the hit Netflix series, Indian Matchmaking — Jay Wadhwani, Manisha Dass, Ravi Guru Singh, and Rashi Gupta — took questions from the audience and discussed their experiences on the show.
Other notable participants included:
Singer/Actress, Monica Dogra
Filmmaker, Shruti Ganguly
Musician, Charlotte Douglas
Artist/Activist, Ari Afsar
Actress/ Producer, Founder, Dhoom Entertainment, and Co- Owner S4, inc., Eshani Shah
Entrepreneur/ Investor, Vivek Sharma
Actor, Harsh Rajput
Megha Desai, the Desai Foundations’ President, kicked off the evening live from the beautiful South Asian Art Gallery in Chelmsford, MA, which set the tone for a beautifully-produced, lavish affair.
Prior to the main event, VIPs and donors were invited to an exclusive networking event, complete with food and drink home delivery service. Then, attendees were transported virtually to a community in India where the Foundation operates for an inspiring meet-and-greet with program beneficiaries. To close the evening, the one and only DJ Rekha hosted a national dance party for the Lotus Festival’s more than 200 live attendees.
The socially distanced nature of the event didn’t stop attendees from dressing up and joining together for a culmination of lively dance parties, livestreamed from their homes, with families and loved ones getting in on the fun.
All proceeds raised during the event on behalf of the Desai Foundation were matched 100% and will be used towards the organization’s COVID-19 response initiative and ongoing health, hygiene, menstrual health, and livelihood programs.