Waheeda Rahman, Dr. Madhav Chavan, Meera Gandhi, and Vikram Gandhi

Meera Gandhi hosted the Pratham Curtain Raiser party at her townhouse in Manhattan two Fridays ago for major donors and supporters of Pratham which educates 2 million slum dwelling children each day in 30 cities of India. The gala took place the following evening at the Broadway Ballroom, Marriot Marquis.

Asked why she took this cause on, Ghandi said," "This has stood the test of time, it was founded a decade ago in 1994 by UNICEF and Dr. Chavan and aims to have every child in India in school and learning by 2010."

Present in person was film actress Waheeda Rehman who is Pratham 's good will ambassador. Also, present was founder Dr. Madhav Chavan who flew in especially for the event at the Gandhi home.

Four Pratham USA heavy hitters who were present were Prof. Subash Midha, Mrs. Sheila Hooda, Dr. Chitra Raghavan, and Mr Sameer Mittal.

Mrs. Ghandi is another example of how the world resides in New York, and how New York affects the world. Among the other 150 guests were Linda Gras from Mayor Bloomberg's office, Tara and Victor Menezes from Citibank, Kathy and Jon Savitz, Gutam Patwa, Jaswant Lalwani, Gauta, Patwa, Rohit and Akanksha Aggarwal, Daman Chatwal, Sanjay Kapoor from Satya Paul, Sharmila Khanna, Vinod Khosla, and Misha Grewal- Soni. Mrs. Ghandi spoke compellingly about the need to support Pratham as it educates 2 million children and uses 94% of its money directly for the children that are being educated. Pratham is a key cause because it produces results. $600 educates 500 children for an entire year!!! This is possible because the organization uses 90% of its funds in the resources for the children. The rest work as volunteers.

Dr. Madhav Chavan spoke later and the evening was a glittering, dazzling success loud laughter echoed though the Gandhi residence which was the last private home of Eleanor Roosevelt, and all for a really great cause that Mrs. Roosevelt would have championed.

LEFT: Sara Mohan wearing a Satya Paul design.
ABOVE RIGHT: Seema Singh, Daman Chatwal, and Meera Gandhi .
BELOW RIGHT: Waheeda Rahman

LEFT: Rajat Gupta.
RIGHT: Jay Mohan and Sanjay Kapoor

Himmat Rana from Nepal and friends

LEFT: Meera Gandhi with Harry and Chosan Gyu.
RIGHT: Pratham board members who flew in from Washington D.C.

LEFT: Anne Marie Cummings (center) and friends
RIGHT: Daman Chatwal and Akanksha Aggarwal

Sharmilla Khanna, Sanjay Kapoor, Akansha Aggarwal, Mrs. Daman Chatwal, and Rohit Aggarwal

LEFT: Ramesh Acharya and Tara Menezes
RIGHT: Victor Menezes, Meera Gandhi, and Vikram Gandhi