Sold-Out Gala Brings Bollywood Fashion to Houston for India’s Children
On April 23, 2016, Pratham Houston held their annual fundraising gala—perhaps the most glamorous in Houston history—and raised an astounding $1,800,000 for Pratham’s programs, which educate India’s children and empower youth through vocational skills training.
The sold-out event was attended by more than 900 guests from local and distant cities who mingled in the Hilton Americas ballroom. Emcees Rekha Muddaraj, weekend anchor/reporter for KHOU 11 News, and Michael Pearce, blogger for The Houston Chronicle’s society section, hosted the evening, which included a graceful dance performance from Rice Rasikas Dance Troupe and US and India national anthems sung by Amiya and Apurva Ghosh.
The night’s speeches ranged from an eloquent keynote address by Pratham CEO Dr. Rukmini Banerji to an impassioned plea by 11-year-old Isha Patel, who reminded the audience that with $25 Pratham can educate one Indian child for a whole year. Guests donated generously during the pledge drive, conducted by former chapter president Dr. Marie Goradia, and the live auction led by Subodh Bhuchar and John Heffernan.
The highlight of the gala was a fashion show presented by India’s leading fashion designer, Manish Malhotra. The designer, who has dressed celebrities and created costumes for over 1,000 Bollywood movies, dazzled the audience with his Regal Threads collection while Houston-based Karat 22 Jewelers wowed with its stunning jewelry.