on Jan. 24, 2009
The Food for Life Vrindavan team that made the award ceremony a great success.
Despite tight economic times, guests and dignitaries at the prestigious 8th Annual Asian Achievers awards reached into their hearts and wallets to pledge help Food for Life Vrindavan (FFLV) build its third school for desperately poor children and their families in Vrindavan, India. Held on December 3 2008 in London, Chief Guest at the ceremony was the Rt Hon Ed Balls MP, Secretary of State for Children, Schools & Families, where FFLV Director Rupa Ragunatha was awarded the coveted 8th Annual Asian Achievers Award in the category of the Charity of the Year.
The Asian Achievers Awards are a unique event in that members of the public nominate candidates and an independent panel of judges select the winner after much deliberation. This year a record number of high calibre candidate nominations were received from across Asia, with FFLV selected as the most outstanding among them.
At the ceremony Rupa Ragunatha presented the work of FFLV to a packed house of members of parliament, business owners, senior professionals and other dignitaries. Famous UK actor Nitin Ganatra (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Bride and Prejudice, EastEnders) and C.B. Patel, editor of the two largest Asian focused newspapers in the UK, spoke to the audience of the dedication of FFLV in serving the poorest of the poor amongst Indian society through building schools, providing medical services, and social and environmental development projects which pull families out of the cycle of poverty and desperation. They appealed to everyone to donate generously towards the construction of a new school, and exceeding everyone's expectations, the business community donated a total of 130,00 pounds to FFLV.
Rupa Raghunath commented, "Before the event, we were apprehensive about how much we could raise in these difficult economic times. The Asian Achiever's Awards exceeded my hopes and expectations." He said, "I will be returning to India with a joyful heart, because now I can answer the six-hundred odd children who tug at my sleeve every day, asking when I will build them a school. Thanks to Gujarat Samachar, CB Patel and London's Asian community, construction of a new school can start in early 2009!"
With the funds from collected from the event, FFLV has recently completed the purchase of 4 acres of land and is set to commence construction of the new school. The school will immediately be filled with the 650 children currently on the admissions waiting list, bringing the total of children now attending FFLV schools in Vrindavan to over 1200.
If you would like to sponsor a child at the new school, please contact Nikunjavasini Devi Dasi, International Sponsorship Coordinator: nik AT fflvrindavan.org