Legendary film stars Waheeda Rehman, Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi were at the 'Sparkle Ball' - to raise money for the world’s largest NGO-run school meal programme, which feeds and educates some of India’s poorest, underprivileged childen.
Other attendees included LN Mittal and family, the Chairman of The Akshaya Patra Foundation UK Harin Thaker,and the advisory board members, Yogesh Mehta, Prashant Jhawar and Nirmal Banthia.
The Victorian Arches of the Great Room at Vinopolis hosted 400 of the leading lights from the Indian community in London and India.
TV personality Konnie Huq hosted the night which began with a champagne reception followed by a gastronomic journey showcasing the best of Indian fusion cuisine.
A highlight of the prestigious event was the exclusive unveiling of celebrated Indian designer Anamika Khanna’s new Luxury 2013 collection.
The Kolkata based fashionista, who has designed for Bollywood royalty Sonam Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra, has the notable honour of being the first designer from India to launch an international label, and is one of the first Indian designers to show at Paris Fashion Week.
The centre piece of the auction was the 'Adopt a School' appeal, where for £2,500 donors could sponsor school lunches in a single school for an entire year.
Dipika Khaitan said: “We are thrilled at the success of this evening and were delighted by the VIP and celebrity turn out who pledged their support. It was a fantastic event in aid of such a very worthy cause and a good night was had by all.
"A highlight of the event was the magnificent fashion show by the talented Anamika Khanna, who amazed guests with her new Luxury 2013 collection of inspired and absolutely beautiful new creations. I’ve had very positive feedback about the fashion show, with guests loving the whole look, staging and theme of the show.
“The UK chapter of The Akshaya Patra Foundation has so far raised funds to provide meals in approximately 250 schools which is 75,000 children.
"The funds raised by peoples’ enormous generosity has been so beneficial in helping us to continue our vital work to feed and educate some of India’s poorest and deprived children. The Akshaya Patra Foundation often provides a lifeline for children to eat well, which in turn aids their educational development, which then can help them to achieve their full potential.
“My heartfelt gratitude to everyone who attended this event, and those who have and continue to support our vital work – it is very much appreciated.”
Today, The Akshaya Patra Foundation provides freshly prepared, nutritious meals daily to over 1.3 million underprivileged children in over 8000 schools in NINE states from 19 kitchens. International communications agency Sterling Media was proud to be the event’s official Event and PR partner.