Fundraiser featuring Deepak Chopra raises $363k for children’s meals
On Saturday, March 30th world-renowned holistic living expert Deepak Chopra delivered a keynote address at the Akshaya Patra Foundation’s 'Body and Soul' benefit event at the W Hotel in Atlanta. The 320 attendees raised $363,000 for Akshaya Patra’s unique and innovative program for eradicating hunger and promoting education in India. The event was chaired by Rakesh Chauhan, Umaesh Khaitan, Dr. Anand Lalaji, Harish Mamtani, Hemant Naran, Palaniswamy “Raj” Rajan, Shashi Reddy, Dr. Pradeep Sinha, Malika Ghosh Garrett, and Satya Tiwari.
Malika Garrett’s painting, which Deepak Chopra also signed, raised $50k.
One of the items that raised money for the project was a painting created especially for the event by Malika Garrett of Atlanta. After Deepak Chopra invited Garrett to become involved, she painted her piece, which Chopra also signed and which then brought in $50k. "Because of our collective efforts 26,000 children will be fed a hot meal in India. How cool is that?" said Ms. Garrett.
Dr. Chopra was named by TIME magazine as one of the top heroes and icons of the century, being described by the publication as “the poet-prophet of alternative medicine.” Trained in internal medicine and endocrinology, he is the author of more than 70 books and founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, in Carlsbad, California. Dr. Chopra is on the Advisory Board of Akshaya Patra Foundation USA.
Deepak Chopra (center) stands with the head of Akshaya Patra USA, Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande (right), Mrs. Jaishree Deshpande (4th from left), artist Malika Garrett (3rd), Rakesh Chauhan, Umaesh Khaitan, Dr. Anand Lalaji, Harish Mamtani, Hemant Naran, Palaniswamy “Raj” Rajan, Shashi Reddy, Dr. Pradeep Sinha, and Satya Tiwari.
At the event, Dr. Chopra spoke eloquently on how personal choices affect an individual’s wellbeing. The choices that truly bring happiness are those that are done in the service of others, he explained. Working together, individuals can adopt creative solutions that can have a lasting impact on the world. He said, “There is not a single problem in the world today that is not solvable by a creative solution, and Akshaya Patra is good example of innovation and creativity.”
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one of the world’s largest NGO-run school meal programs, and it serves hot, nutritious meals to 1.3 million children in government schools every day. A public-private partnership, Akshaya Patra combines good management, innovative technology, and smart engineering to deliver school lunches at a fraction of the cost of similar programs in other parts of the world. The Akshaya Patra Foundation was recently ranked 23rd of the Top 100 NGOs in the World in The Global Journal’s 2013 annual ranking. The Global Journal also ranked Askhaya Patra 1st in world for NGOs working to improve the lives of children and youth.
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