Saheli, the organization that has worked tirelessly to support the victims of domestic violence in the South Asian community in New England held a fundraiser to support its effort on Dec 8 , 2017 at the Hilton Hotel in Woburn, MA. The event had set a high goal for fundraising and raised $90,000.
The event opened with a Bharatanatyam Presentation by local dancer Jayshree Bala Rajamani who presented the Ardhanariashtakam that described the “Half Male Half Female” form of God. The powerful movements executed with precision made for a beautiful invocation for the evening.
Supriya Saurabh, the newly-elected President of Saheli and a member of its board spoke passionately about the cause. The event debuted a short film on domestic violence; written and directed by Priti Amin, an Indian television actress in collaboration with Burlington Cable Access TV, her husband Lionel Pereira and the Saheli team.
The guest speaker for the evening was actress Dipti Mehta, whose “Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan” has won awards. She presented her personal story and spoke passionately about the need to support women who suffer from domestic violence.
Savitha Rajiv and Tanvi Devimane served as Emcees for the evening. Savitha Rajiv and Nadia Madden are the newly appointed co-executive directors for Saheli. Domestic violence advocates were honored at the event. The event featured speeches by three survivors touched the audience deeply. Dr. Manju Sheth presented awards to Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Lahey Clinic and the Burlington Police Department for their support of Saheli.
Saheli advisory board members Ranjani Saigal and Anu Chitrapu held a fundraising pledge drive right before dinner. Several supporters including Rama Ramakrishna, Anupam Wali, Nalini Sharma, Megha Joshi and others spoke about why they felt it was important to support Saheli.
The pledge drive was followed by dinner and dancing to music by DJ Yogz and thus brought the evening to a joyful conclusion.