Amira Sponsors The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s Sparkle Ball
The evening of Thursday 18 September saw esteemed guests from across the globe come together at the Four Seasons Hotel in London to aid the work of the Akshaya Patra Foundation.
The Sparkle Ball was a huge success combining luxurious food, a thrilling auction and powerful words from guest speakers, Editor in Chief of the Financial Times, Lionel Barber, Javed Akhtar, India’s poet laureate and Suhel Seth social commentator and marketing guru.
More than 300 guests attended, including Jo Johnson, Yogesh Mehta and the Acting Pakistan High Commissioner Mohammad Imran Mirza. Sponsored by Amira rice, The Sparkle Ball saw the union of two organisations with the same goals; to come together and improve communities through the common language of food.
Speaking of the partnership, CEO and Chairman of The Amira Group Karan A Chanana said, “Amira is a global food brand and, as such, the Akshaya Patra Foundation is a relevant and worthwhile charity for our support. It is an honour to be able to support this important cause and we look forward to a fruitful relationship between Amira and Akshaya Patra in the future.”
Since its inception 14 years ago, the Akshaya Patra foundation has extended its reach from 1500 to 1.4 million nutritious meals a day for underprivileged children in India. It costs just £10 to feed a child for a whole year and £2500 will feed an entire school. When taking this into account, the success of the evening speaks for itself. Throughout the night guests expressed their support of this hard work and helped it continue through pledges led by auctioneer Richard Auterac, Chairman and Auctioneer at Acuitus. This managed to raise over £170, 000 with pledges still coming in after the event.
In his speech, Lionel Barber said of the Foundation, “It is an investment worthy of support, a cause worth fighting for. Education benefits our long term. The promise of a hot fresh meal is stronger than a parent asking a child to stay home and labour all day. Education and a hot meal is a way for young strong Indians to find a place in the urban economy.” This was followed by Seth leading a riveting debate with the Indian wordsmith Akhtar on whether Indian affluence brings cultural regression rather than progression.
For many, the highlight of the evening came with the sumptuous menu and in particular the presentation of the main course. Served in authentic three tier Indian tiffins with aromatic Amira rice filling the bottom tier, diners were treated to delights such as Artichoke and Aloo Tikka and a splendid Jeera Rice dish.