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The Event ...

"Open Doors" was a happening event last Thursday, Apr 7th 2016 at DEC On Dragon in Dallas downtown. This was Mahila's inaugural fundraiser for Milaap USA, a micro-lending platform for underprivileged women entrepreneurs in India.  

The enterprising women behind the organization- attorney Bina Palnitkar Patel, architect Purva Jain, media guru Priya Bhola Rathod, cultural advocate Preeta Monga and social entrepreneur Ami Doshi (she's herself the founder of Milaap USA), formed Mahila with the believe that empowering one woman meant impacting her family, the society she lives in, and future generations. To them, Mahila (meaning woman in Hindi) at its core is an organization created by women for women. 

The $ 100 per person entry price for the event included open bar, heavy appetizers, red carpet, silent auction & entertainment with live DJ, open air deck dancing against the fabulous skyline of the Dallas Downtown along with the opportunity to mingle and pose with local celebrities like LeeAnne Locken (like ‘Real Housewives of Dallas’ star) and Satnam Singh (the first player from India to be drafted into the NBA by the Dallas Mavericks) who were in attendance also. 

The Beneficiary: 

All the proceeds raised will directly benefit struggling, low-income village women in India who have a dream of starting their own business through Milaap USA, the beneficiary of the fundraiser.  The non-profit strives to provide low-cost microloans to the working poor to empower them to live dignified, self-sufficient and healthy lives. Through micro-lending, women receive small business loans which are repaid over a period of time. Milaap USA advocates financial inclusion for individuals and families in the following sectors: enterprise development, clean energy, water and sanitation, education and vocational training and health care. Watch the Milaap video HERE!

The Outcome:

'Open Doors' raised $ 85,000 for Milaap and through them, for the underprivileged women in India. 

“This was our very first fundraiser, and I’m quite pleased at the turnout,” said founding member Monga (picture below)

“We are so humbled and honored that Mahila picked us as their charity of choice for their inaugural fundraiser,” said Paulomi "Polo" Patel (picture above, right), Executive Director of Milaap USA. “Our organization is driven to provide a ‘hand-up,’ versus a ‘hand-out,’  to the women we work with in India. We know if that if you mobilize ONE woman, you help mobilize her family, and, ultimately, her community; these rural women are leading the next generation out of poverty. It’s an investment worth making as global citizens.” 

 EVENT REVIEW by Sonal Kulshrestha, Founder, desideewar

First off, the venue, DEC On Dragons made an excellent choice as the two levels offered a cozy party hall on the lower level and an upper-level open-air dinner/ dance area against the breath-taking view of the Dallas downtime. The time of the event provided for both the daytime view of the colorful murals (picture below) as well as the lit-up night time view of the skyline (below, right). The ambience of the place was set up for a perfect feel of "party at the warehouse" experience. 


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The sight to behold were the five lovely women in red (picture above)- the five founders of Mahila.  

The young dynamic women were friendly and engaging throughout the evening, addressing the crowd briefly as they introduced themselves, their vision and the beneficiary- Milaap USA. 

They were clearly social and party people who had the vision to take "partying" to a new level. And to think that they were able to join hands and raise $ 85,000 on the very first fund raiser under their banner is absolutely credible.

I had the opportunity to speak to all of them and got to say- they sound as smart as they look.

 Preeta Monga 

Purva Jain 

Bina Palnitkar Patel 

Ami Doshi

Priya Bhola Rathod 

 The star attendee-Satnam Singh touched everyone with his humility and clearly awed them with his height (why wouldn't it). The 1995 born, 7'2" tall Mavericks player is a much sought after celebrity ever since he became the first India born basketball player to be drafted into NBA in 2015. And the Dallas crowd is obviously loving having him around to mingle and pose with him. I asked him that since we are at a Mahila event what does he feel about the way men treat women in India versus here in America. Seeing the shy expression he gace me, I instantly regretted putting him on the spot. Yes, here women seem to demand more respect, and men respect more- he said (or words to that affect) :)

With Sonal & Sanjay Kulshrestha, (desideewar)  

Lastyl, the event PR Partner, Jingo Media, did a fabulous job of keeping the event flowing ultra smoothly. 

It was a party all the way! 

(Photo Credits For All The Pictures On The Page- Sanjay Kulshrestha. Thanks to Radio Hot Pepper, our media partners, for making us a part of the event)


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