AIF-YP LA Holds First Annual Gala
July 20, 2012 – India Journal
LOS ANGELES, CA – A group of successful young professionals from Southern California met at the Los Angeles Public Library on July 14 to celebrate “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” organized by the American India Foundation Young Professionals Los Angeles Chapter (AIFYPLA) to reiterate their dedication to its mission to take action for social development in India and Los Angeles. It was also an event to reflect on their achievements over the past year and to make merry after a job well done.
A business session reported on the progress of the Young Professionals Chapter by the two co-chairs Simran Ahuja and Adity Khanna followed by an inspiring keynote address by noted Indian American-filmmaker, writer and director Geeta Patel.
Opening the proceedings Simran Ahuja provided a brief history of AIF since its inception in 2001.
Following a short video on AIF and its Learning and Migration Program, Adity Khanna reported that since their first fundraising event a year ago, additional events had raised over $5000 for the LAMP program. In its commitment to give back to the local community, she covered its participation in fundraising for Project Angel Food which prides itself providing food for those who could no longer afford it and volunteering with Reading to Kids at local schools. Her announcement that they had been able to raise over $20,000 from small business owners on Pioneer Blvd and others even without taking into account the tickets sold for the evening was met with voluble approval.
Geeta Patel stepped up following a rousing introduction by Beejoli Shah and told a intriguing story of her fascinating career which took her from humble beginnings to the exciting world of film making. It was filled with interesting and amusing anecdotes of famous people she had come across in that memorable journey and to the challenges that she faced in the making of her first film “Project Kashmir”, funded by Sundance. She also touched on her experience in screening the film in areas of conflict and with the President Obama’s film delegation. She exhibited clips from production of the movie while shooting in dangerous locales in Kashmir as also some from her current project “One in a Billion.”
In closing she stated that all the talking she had done was not about her, but about all the people that supported her, her parents for the education they gave her, the screen writers and directors who had taught her the trade every step of the way, which has made her what she is today. Drawing a parallel she complimented the young professionals for their participation in the noble endeavor and added the people they were helping are all persons with limitless possibilities who could go on to accomplish whatever they are dreaming of with a little support from the likes of the generous people present at the event.