Sponsors for the evening. From L to R: Subhash Kapadia, Dr. Sherrell J. Aston, Dr. Supriya Dixit Hayer, Raj Gandhi
Sponsors for the evening. From L to R: Subhash Kapadia, Dr. Sherrell J. Aston, Dr. Supriya Dixit Hayer, Raj Gandhi

NEW YORK CITY (TIP): The evening of October 24th saw an inaugural fundraiser in benefit of The India Project, at 48 Lounge in Manhattan. The mission of The India Project is to serve as an agent of change and social inclusion, by supporting the underserved populations of India, Nepal and Bangladesh by providing access to life-changing facial surgeries, health screenings, schools, and sustainability initiatives.

The India Project was created in 1968 by Padmashri Dr. Sharad Kumar Dicksheet, an eight time Nobel Peace Prize nominated philanthropic plastic surgeon from NYC.Over his lifetime, Dr. Sharad Dicksheet performed nearly 100,000 cleft lip/palate surgeries and 100,000+ eye surgeries and dermatologic procedures for the children and youth of India; although he, himself, was dealing with life-threatening health issues. In 1978, the right side of Dr. Dicksheet’s body was paralyzed after a major car accident. In 1981, he was diagnosed with stage 4 laryngeal cancer which he survived, but his ability to speak was greatly impaired. In 1996, he suffered a major heart attack and was confined to a wheelchair. As he battled these life-altering challenges, he continued to spend 6 months a year in India, keeping a tireless operating schedule and performing facial surgeries until his death in 2011.

Dr. Supriya Dixit Hayer, the daughter of Dr. Dicksheet, has stepped in as the leader of the India Project and along with the India Project team, she is committed to building on the legacy of Dr. Dicksheet by incorporating several social initiatives, including health screenings in slum communities, rural education projects, craft revival, women’s health education, and much more.

An Evening for Smiles was a (re) introduction of the organization to the community as the project continues to expand and oversee new initiatives. The proceeds from the fundraiser will support nearly 1,000 surgeries in January 2017.

For further info, visit www.indiaprojectinc.org