Inspired by the world travels and spiritual explorations of founders/designers Satya and Beth, Satya Jewelry combines semi-precious stones with gold and sterling silver to create pieces with diverse elements and meanings. Satya is a Sanskrit word meaning “the inner Truth that permeates all.”
This weekend, 5/2–5/4, their jewelry is up to 80 percent off; the triple-charm necklaces were $128, but are now $35. 95. Christopher St., at Bleecker St. (212-243-7313); 5/2–5/4 (10–6). — NY
More: The Satya Foundation is a non-profit committed to bringing yoga and healthy living to kids. The foundation also donates 100% of the proceeds from one of its necklaces to the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation (EBMRF), aiming to find a cure for this rare childhood skin disease.
Look for more details on Satya in an upcoming issue of Nirali!
To commemorate the upcoming Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Gandhi’s birthday, non-profit Saheli organized a 5K Run/Walk to Stop Violence Against Women in Burlington, Massachusetts, for Saturday, September 29, with co-sponsor Burlington Police Department (The Boston Globe). Over 1500 Indian residents live in the town according to the Institute for Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.
In Hindi Saheli means “a female friend; a shoulder to lean on,” explained Rita Shah, director of Saheli, which was founded in the Boston area 11 years ago and dedicates itself to helping South Asian women. The Run/Walk was planned to raise money for its Women’s Assistance Fund, which helps women on an emergency basis without requiring committee approval. The program assisted 23 women this year.
For more details on the organization, Saturday’s Run/Walk and to register visit Saheli online.
“I was born with nothing; I was educated by the people of that village, and this is what I owe to them,” said neurosurgeon Dr. Kumar Bahuleyan, 81, about his donations to Chemmanakary, Kerala, the village where he was born. (“Buffalo neurosurgeon donates $20 million to his native Indian village,”The Buffalo News)
“As an ‘untouchable,’ Bahuleyan had to take a roundabout route to school because he wasn’t allowed to pass within a few hundred yards of the Hindu temple, even though he was born a Hindu.” In the 1930s he watched younger siblings die from waterborne disease and suffered from typhoid and smallpox himself.
After reaching the top level of a “lower-caste” school by age 12 or 13, a chance encounter between his father and a headmaster led to his education at an English-language school. After high school he attended medical college in Madras and neurosurgical training in Edinburgh, Scotland. Unable to land a job in his specialty at home, he went to North America and eventually ended up practicing in Buffalo, where he also earned a reputation as a shrewd investor.
His contributions to his birthplace began in a major way in 1989 when his charitable foundation built a small clinic, latrines, roads and a water supply for the villagers, and later on a hospital. In 2004 the foundation opened a spa health resort to help fund his charitable efforts. What’s next? The doctor told NPR that he plans to remedy the village’s landlocked state by building a bridge across the river.
Solo artist and founder of Carnatic jazz ensemble VidyA, Prasant Radhakrishnan invites you to a concert in Milpitas, California, on August 5, benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and marking the release of his third Carnatic saxophone album, “East Facing.” (Buy tickets here or here. To hear the album, visit his music page and launch player.) The album’s title references the “tradition that the student must face East when bowing to receive the guru’s blessings with the intention of growing and moving forward.” Radhakrishnan’s musical guru is Padmashri Kadri Gopalnath (“Saxophone Chakravarthy”), “the man who almost single-handedly made the Indian saxophone respectable.” (India Currents.)
“I wanted to do something that was relevant locally but still had a universal message beyond something as simple as ‘a CD has been released,’” says Radhakrishnan. “LLS is a nonprofit that is dealing with a very relevant issue today, especially with the Indian community (see helpvinay.org and helpvinayandsameer.org). I have done many benefit concerts for things like AID and Asha, but had not done something so close to the community and also related to health. Reading about these issues, I really wanted to do something to get involved, however small.” Read the rest of this entry »
It’s a café that runs on good intentions.
A place where you can expect to find selfless service on the menu every day.
Seva Café, Ahmedabad’s very buzzworthy eatery, doesn’t charge patrons anything and relies on the big-heartedness of volunteer cooks and wait-staff to get by. At Seva (the word itself means “service”), diners are asked to pay whatever they want. One hundred percent of profits go directly toward funding social service projects.
“Feeding the stomach is simple. But how do we feed our souls?” ask Seva’s owners, who prefer to stay out of the limelight. “We celebrate service: food for the spirit.” They find inspiration in the traditional Indian value of honoring guests (Atithi Devo Bhava).
A sign hanging on the door reads: “At Seva Café, we offer greater nourishment than food alone. Here, not only will you find yourself in a unique, service-inspired environment … you will find yourself at home,”
The café, located on Ahmedabad’s busy C.G. Road, has helped put disadvantaged children through school. It has settled the medical bills of the needy and has allowed young girls to become self-sufficient. Watch the promo video here:
Can’t make it to Gujarat? You’re in luck: Seva has recently opened a branch in Long Beach, California.
The University of Kentucky-grad spent the week in India, meeting some of Mumbai’s sex workers on Monday. “The empowerment of girls and women is an essential tool to preventing the HIV/AIDS emergency from exploding any further,” said the actress, adding “There is a common problem worldwide and there is also a common solution.”
Judd, a YouthAIDS Global Ambassador, was visiting the country as a Population Services International board member and representative.”What makes Ashley’s trip to India so special is not only the fact that she cares so deeply for the AIDS cause,” Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen told reporters. “It is also because she is coming all the way to our country to raise funds for this cause.”
Almost six million people in India are currently living with the HIV virus.
Population Services International: India
Ashley Judd’s travel journal from 2005 humanitarian trip to Africa
Richard Gere meets with Indian sex workers
Oxfam goes glam
Ralph Fiennes visits India to raise AIDS awareness
Four years ago scientists discovered SRD, a 32-year-old Ahmedabadi woman born into blindness.
Now her case, published recently in Psychological Science, is forcing scholars to reconsider their approach to the disability.
Neuroscience dogma says little can be done if a blind child isn’t operated on by age six.
But SRD’s case is turning that doctrine on its head–her sight was restored at age 12, and her brain, in strong defiance of theory, “learned to interpret visual information.” The findings provide hope that the brain can learn to see later on in life.
“There is a critical period for perfect acuity,” Pawan Sinha, the study’s primary investigator, and a neuroscientist at MIT tells Time Magazine. “But there is not a critical period of learning to do complex visual tasks.”
Sinha is the founder of Project Prakash, a humanitarian and research effort aimed at expanding access to proper eye care in India.
When the ultimate little black dress was put up for auction last year, estimates suggested it would bring in about $150,000.
The dress, famously worn by Audrey Hepburn in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, was designed by Hubert de Givenchy, and most recently modeled by Natalie Portman (“I was so nervous that I wasn’t going to fit. Everyone kept telling me how small it was”).
Last week, thousands gathered around the City of Joy author and philanthropist Dominique Lapierre as he inaugurated a new school in Kolkata–a school that was built with with the auction-proceeds.
“I hope to build 15 schools with the money for destitute children of West Bengal,” he said. “I am very happy that my efforts are fructifying. Things are changing with more and more children going to school.”
Before her death in 1993, Hepburn visited South Asia (Bangladesh) as an ambassador for UNICEF.
Tickets to the club event are $20 if you buy now ($25 at the door). All proceeds will be donated to YOUR DIL (Youth Outreach, Developments in Literacy) a nonprofit that works to support the disenfranchised, impoverished children of Pakistan–mostly by rebuilding the schools destroyed by the earthquake two years ago.
Can’t make it? Go here to contribute.
Now Scarlett Johansson, 23, is in India working to raise awareness around issues of global poverty. Says Ashvin Dayal, South Asian regional director for Oxfam, “”We are delighted that Scarlett is supporting Oxfam and our work to help end global poverty. High-profile support helps us to raise awareness of these issues and urge governments and leaders worldwide to act.”
Johansson has been in India since February 19th “touring schools and slums.”
Oxfam in India