Last week I was invited to a charity fundraiser for Take Heart India. I was asked if I would donate and judge the Best Dressed Prize at the Ball which took place at the Kensington Roof Gardens. The theme – Rock N Raj. So I picked out my Starry Haze necklace which adds the perfect amount of rock to any outfit.
The charity Take Heart India, which raised over £40,000 on the night, is a youth focused charity supporting practical education projects in rural India. For example, they have built an IT and English language school that trains blind, deaf and dumb children in IT skills. This knowledge provides them a job for life and removes the need for begging. It costs just £37 to train a blind student to a standard that will make them employable for life.
I was invited to get involved by Futurologist Melissa Sterry, who is on the board of the charity. I was delighted to have the opportunity to support the charity and to wear the beautiful sari given to me by my cousin at her wedding in June, with the up-cycled couture headband by Michelle Lowe Holder. The thing about the sari, is that it was designed for a time when families lived together across many generations, and with close relationships to their neighbours. Being dresses in a sari is normally a family affair, with a group of women sharing the experience and their knowledge of how to do the perfect pleats. I had never put a sari on by myself, and with my flat mate away, I left to my own devices. I watched videos on you tube, of how to put on the perfect sari Gujarati style. It didn’t seem to work. As I racked my brain trying to work out how to solve this problem, I thought I could try asking in the local Gujarati newsagent. So I went into the newsagent on Roman Road, Bethnal Green, and asked for help. To my delight, the community spirit was strong, and they took pity on my modern urban situation. I was rushed upstairs, where Ranjan Auntie helped me with the sari whilst me and her grand-daughter played games. I walked out ten mins later with the perfect pleats. This experience reminded me of the need to work together on things, big or small.
The highlight of the night was the stunning performance by Tia Kansara. It was the first time that she had performed to an audience, having written the song “Ganbappe Iwaki” after being moved by the events in Japan in March this year. The song is written in four different languages, and raises money to help the earthquake victims in the reconstruction of their lives, having lost everything in the natural disaster. Tia who is a Ph.D. researcher in sustainable cities, a business woman, and a sustainability activist, is part of the Earth 2 Hub project.
Here is the song which you can buy through itunes to support the disaster relief.