INDIA ABROAD, JULY 23, 2004
If the cause is good, Meera Gandhi puts her hand up.
Thus, when the mother of filmmaker Mira Nair e-
mailed asking her to support Salaam Balak Trust, a
nonprofit that works for slum children in India, Gandhi
August 17, she will throw the doors of her heritage
home - it used to be Eleanor Roosevelt's home - for
cocktails after two screenings in Manhattan of Nair's
big-budget Hollywood offering Vanity Fair.
The two special screenings, at two screens in the city,
are ticketed at $175 per person, proceeds to go the
charity. In between the two screenings is a cocktail
session at the Gandhi home, with Nair on hand to
welcome the guests.
The major part of the proceeds will go to Salaam
Balak, while the rest will go to the Indo-American Arts
Council chaired by Aroon Shivdasani.
Gandhi, as co-chair of Asia Society's series of
fundraising private dinners titled Asia on My Mind,
also raised $275,000 recently. One dinner was at the
downtown Vivienne Tam gallery, while the other was
"The Asia Society has always been a very special
place for me to visit and I was delighted to be pulled
in by [now Asia Society President] Vishakha Desai to
chair this series and to raise so much successfully,"
Gandhi told India Abroad. "And this was fundraising
to enable Asian artists to display their works in the
The special guest was billed to be CNN anchor
Paula Zahn, but when she dropped out at the
eleventh hour owing to President Ronald Reagan's
death, close friend Ismail Merchant stepped in.