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South Asian Bar Association’s inaugural banquet benefits Raksha

June 2014
South Asian Bar Association’s inaugural banquet benefits Raksha

US Magistrate Judge Justin S. Anand (N.D. Ga) with SABA-GA Founder and NASABA former President Sonjui L. Kumar.

The South Asian Bar Association – Georgia chapter has created an annual program to promote the professional development of the South Asian legal community through networking and education, while also serving the legal interests of the South Asian community and the metro Atlanta community at large.

SABA-GA’s vision in creating this program was to begin a tradition, presenting a flagship event highlighting the organization’s mission within the South Asian community. With this in mind, the SABA-GA Board of Directors initiated an annual spring banquet to benefit a local nonprofit organization or organizations serving the legal interests of the South Asian community.

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This year’s inaugural banquet, held on May 8, 2014 at Himalayan Spice restaurant, benefited Raksha, a local nonprofit providing critical referrals, counseling, and advocacy for those in the Indian community dealing with family violence and divorce, as well as issues concerning children, senior citizens, and new immigrants. Raksha works to ensure that immigrant survivors of family and sexual violence have access to safety, justice, and healing and that law enforcement, courts, and service providers are culturally competent to serve immigrant survivors.

SABA-GA and its members have long supported Raksha and its clients through pro-bono work, non-legal volunteer hours, and donations. Additionally, SABA-GA and many of its members have longstanding relationships with Raksha’s Executive Director, Aparna Bhattacharyya, who was recognized by the White House as a “champion of change,” given her significant contribution to the community.

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Fulton County Solicitor General Carmen D. Smith was honored for her work with victims of domestic violence. The evening at the Himalayan Spice restaurant recognized members' work for the community and raised $3,000 for Raksha.


With over 10 sponsors, the event sought to bring attention to the South Asian community and its needs in family services. Fulton County Solicitor General Carmen D. Smith was the keynote speaker. Smith's experience in handling domestic violence matters made her a fitting choice to affirm the value of Raksha’s services for victims in need. She, along with Bhattacharyya, provided valuable information and resources for attorneys to use when people contact them in need of assistance. Moreover, the program provided special recognition to SABA-GA member contributions to the South Asian community, including monthly pro-bono consultations, drafting an immigration section of a domestic violence benchbook, and serving as legal advisors.

In addition to keynote speaker Smith, attendees at the banquet included U.S. Magistrate Judge Justin S. Anand, NASABA Founder and former President Navneet S. Chugh, SABA-GA Founder and NASABA former President Sonjui L. Kumar, and several other founders of SABA-GA.

That evening, approximately $3,000 was raised, and 100 percent of the banquet’s proceeds will benefit Raksha and its programs.

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SABA-GA Board Members Meeta Dama, Ritu Verma, Alkesh Patel, Mili Shah, Anita Goklaney; Fulton County Solicitor General Carmen D. Smith; Raksha, Inc. Executive Director Aparna Bhattacharyya; SABA-GA Board Members Nisha Karnani, Shama Barday, Monica Scott, and Fareesh Sarangi.



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