LONG ISLAND, NY (TIP): The Indian Panorama hosted a well-attended fundraising dinner for the Eye Foundation of America on Tuesday, December 13 at Cotillion in Jericho, Long Island.
Dr. VK Raju, an internationally reputed ophthalmologist who is founder and president of the Eye Foundation of America, was the guest of honor and Mr HR Shah, CEO, TV Asia was the Chief Guest.
In his welcome speech, Prof Indrajit S Saluja, Publisher and Chief Editor of The Indian Panorama said, “I thank everyone present here for their support to a beautiful and noble cause. This is an evening with a purpose to recognize the tremendous humanitarian work done by Dr Raju.” Prof Saluja spoke about the charitable work the Eye Foundation of America was doing to prevent blindness among children in India. The Foundation is dedicated to the elimination of avoidable blindness in children worldwide, and, in India. This is Dr. Raju’s way of paying back to the country of his origin, Prof. said, amid thunderous applause from the gathering.
After the lamp lighting ceremony Dr Raju gave a brief presentation about his mission – ‘To eliminate avoidable childhood blindness.’
“For last 38 years, I am working on this issue which is so close to my heart. And I am so honored to see Prof. Saluja and through him my new friends here joining me in this regard”, said Dr Raju. He described through his presentation how visually impaired or blind children grow up without the same advantages as sighted children and become a burden on their families and communities. “We need three things to bring a change. First is education, second is education and third is education.”
A Q &A session followed and Dr. Raju answered a few questions from the gathering.
While introducing the Chief Guest of the event Mr HR Shah, Prof Saluja said, “He needs no introduction. He has created an empire in the field of media. His greatest virtue is that he did not forget the ladder and his past. He always took lesson from his past.”
Mr HR Shah in his speech stressed on the importance of ‘Vision.’ “Without eyes, you can’t see the world. It is dangerous than any other disease. The eye foundation is doing a great job for the society.” He requested people to donate generously as he feels that ‘Laxmi ka alankaar Daan hai.’
The Eye Foundation of America presented tokens of appreciation to Purnima Desai, Peter and Dorothy Bheddah, Anumolu Rao, Tina Shah and Zinda Singh, and Srinu Maddula for their support to the Foundation.
Maddula, who calls himself ‘Foster child of Dr Raju’ as he saved him from blindness by doing corneal transplant said, “Giving money is easy but doing the actual work is difficult.”
A plaque was presented to Dr Raju by The Indian Panorama in appreciation of the great humanitarian work being done by him and his Eye foundation. Dr. Raju was also presented a proclamation from the New York State Assembly. HS Toor from the office of Assemblyman David Weprin presented the proclamation which eulogized Dr. Raju for his humanitarian services.
Dr Raju presented, on behalf of the Eye Foundation, a token of appreciation to HR Shah.
Dr. Leela Raju, daughter of Dr. Raju was among the prominent guests which included Air India Regional Manager Vandana Sharma and District Manager Mohan Kothekar, Consul KD Nair from the Indian Consulate, HAB Vice President Rizwan Qureshi, Rajeev Bhambri, CEO of India Abroad, AAPI National President Dr Ajay Lodha, AAPI-QLI President Vaijnath Chakote and his team which included , among others, Dr. Sunil Mehra, Dr. Satish Anand and Dr. Rakesh Dua; Dr. BK Verma, Shikshayatan and Sriniketan Founder and President Purnima Desai, Philanthropists Peter and Dorothy Bheddah, business magnate Anumolu Rao, community activists Tina Shah and Zinda Singh, Dr. Seema Jain, President, Queens democratic Party, IAF Chairperson Indu Jaiswal, HS Toor from the office of Assemblyman David Weprin, Ms Anu Jain, community activist, INOC (USA) Chairman George Abraham and General Secretary Harbachan Singh, John Joseph, America Tamil Sangam General Secretary, Former Nassau County Director Mohinder Singh Taneja, INOC (I) Chairman Shudh Jasuja, NJ community activist Dave Makkar, Sikh community leaders Master Mohinder Singh, Himat Singh Sarpanch, Mohan Singh, Paramjit Singh Bedi, Omni Mortgage President Herman Singh, Jackson Heights business community leaders Shiv Dass and Mohinder Verma, and International Hindi Conference co-ordinator Ashok Ojha. The list by no means is exhaustive and some prominent persons may have been missed out.
The media community which graced the occasion included Sharanjit Singh Thind, Publisher of the South Asian Insider, Jay Jasbir Singh, Publisher of Hum Hindustani, and Parveen Chopra, Managing Editor of the South Asian Times, from the print media. The electronic media at the event included TVAsia represented by Mukesh Gangani and Gunjesh Desai; and PTC TV represented by Davinder Singh, Jaya Sharma, Balwant Hothi and Gurinder Hothi. Freelance journalist Hema Virani also graced the occasion.
There was a brief entertainment session presented by Jyoti Gupta and Dr Rakesh Dua who enthralled the audience with a duet song. The entertainment segment was organized by Shyam and Indu Gajhwani.
The Indian Panorama Assistant Editor Bidisha Roy, Karan Beri, Jaskiran Beri, Chitagam Saluja and Kabir Beri supervised all arrangements, including the vital department of hospitality which incidentally came in for a lot of praise for the pleasant ambience of the place and great food at Cotillion.