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Three South Asian Women Win Rivaaj-Raksha Recognition Awards

June 2004
Three South Asian Women Win Rivaaj-Raksha Recognition Awards

Three South Asian Women Win Rivaaj-Raksha Recognition Awards

Rivaaj magazine and Raksha, the Atlanta-based non-profit organization dedicated to helping the South Asian community, held an evening in celebration of remarkable South Asian women on May 16 at the W Hotel in Atlanta.

The inaugural banquet recognized three women -- Farzana Kalvert, Sabiha Mujtaba, and Rita Patel -- for accomplishments in their respective fields. A total of 13 women were nominated by community members for the three Rivaaj-Raksha Recognition Awards.

"The banquet was a seminal event in the history of the South Asian community in Atlanta," said Raksha Board President Khurram Hassan. "It brought our community together in a grand manner to bring a focus to the immense contributions that South Asian Women are making in their respective fields."

Kalvert, the recipient of the award for excellence in entrepreneurship, presented by the Asian-American Hotel Owners Association, began her career by purchasing and running laundromats. Well into her small business endeavors, she decided to change her career to commercial real estate and joined the firm Keller Williams. Based on her performance and leadership skills, she was soon asked to become a partner at the firm.

Mujtaba, the recipient of the award for excellence in the arts, presented by the W Hotel, is a woodworker who makes original art pieces. She has participated in nearly every regional and national art show and has been recognized for her exceptional pieces of wood artwork. She also teaches seven to nine woodworking classes a year for other women.

Patel, the recipient of the award for excellence in health and human development, presented by Western Union, works as a case manger in areas ranging from HIV/AIDS to family violence. She has helped to make the South Asian community in Atlanta stronger through her work with women, children, and families.

The other women nominated for the awards included Lala Ahmed, Rosie Dhara, Sandra Ghai, Deepali Gokhale, Dr. Sunaina Jain, Shefali Mehta, Dr. Seshu Sarma, Madhavi Sethna, Dr. Padmini Sharma and Dina Sheth.

"We wanted an evening to present something positive for the community," said Sadaf Kherani, the publisher of Rivaaj magazine. "To us, the best way to truly celebrate our community was to recognize those individuals who had made a noticeable impact within the community and beyond.

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