Ek Shaam Raksha Ke Naam 2023

Our 25th Ek Shaam Raksha Ke Naam was a milestone event in the history of Raksha. Together, we raised over $100,000, which will directly contribute to our ongoing programs and services. The resounding success of the event and the funds raised could not have been possible without our AMAZING SPONSORS!!

Raaz to Awaaz: Honoring the Journey from Silence and Secrets to Finding Our Voice

On Friday, October 27, 2023 at the Rialto Center for the Arts in Atlanta, GA, Raksha celebrated 28 years of service, and 25 years of our signature fundraiser, “An evening in the name of Raksha” (Ek Shaam Raksha Ke Naam). This 25th year of our annual fundraiser featured community awards and celebrated survivor journeys along with a mesmerizing live performance by the renowned acapella group, Penn Masala. Penn Masala’s unique fusion of South Asian Bollywood and Western music captivated the audience and left them yearning for more!

The evening commenced with a warm welcome from Raksha Board President, Nisha Kapil, and Executive Director Aparna Bhattacharyya, who took the audience on a journey down memory lane, sharing the history of Ek Shaam, which began as a musical fundraiser at Spivey Hall. Nostalgia filled the air as a slideshow of previous Ek Shaam posters graced the screen, commemorating 25 years of this cherished event.

In her welcoming message, Aparna emphasized the significance of the 2023 theme: “Raaz to Awaaz: Honoring the Journey from Silence and Secrets to Finding Our Voice.” She paid tribute to the community members who have made significant contributions to Raksha’s mission and work and initiated a round of applause to all the Ek Shaam volunteers and supporters, in the audience, who have been part of past events.

Rajen Sheth, an Ek Shaam sponsor and committee member, added a touch of humor and energy with his introductions of event supporters and sponsors, acknowledging their invaluable role in making this year’s Ek Shaam a resounding success, with a record number of sponsorships. A heartfelt appreciation goes out to Rajen for his invaluable contribution in helping us surpass our fundraising goals, enabling us to break our previous record!

The awards ceremony was one of the main highlights of the program. This year, the Seeds of Change Award was presented to the Raksha Youth Group & Parents for their enthusiastic support and dedication to Raksha’s mission. Adya and Ruchika Srinivasan, Tara and Kavita Purushothaman, Krisha and Reshma Patel, Dhruv and Sheetal Patel, Vikram and Sonali Bora accepted the award on stage.

The Ramesh and Vijaya Bakshi Community Change Award was presented to Sophia Qureshi, a journalist, storyteller, and founder and publisher of 285 South, the first news publication dedicated solely to reporting on Metro Atlanta’s immigrant and refugee communities. The Himmat (Courage) Award went to Jennifer Hamamoto for her exemplary and long-standing work as an advocate and community leader. Jennifer serves as the managing director of Immigration Services and Victims of Violence (VOV) Lead Attorney at the Latin American Association (LAA) in Atlanta, Georgia.

This year, the 25th anniversary of Ek Shaam came with bonus milestones  –  The Raksha youth and parents presented Presidential Awards to our Executive Director Aparna Bhattacharyya and to our Board’s President Nisha Kapil, for their exemplary work with supporting the Raksha youth and their parents.  In 2023, Raksha Executive Director, Aparna Bhattacharyya, and Director of Programs, Manisha Lance completed 25 years and 15 years, respectively with Raksha and were honored for their long-standing commitment and service.

In the heartwarming tradition of Ek Shaam, an evening known for its vibrant music and strong sense of community, Raksha took a moment to recognize and honor the remarkable strength and courage displayed by the survivors it serves. Two Raksha clients courageously took the stage to share their stories of resilience, leaving the event attendees deeply moved and inspired. Their stories sent a powerful message to the community to rally behind Raksha’s mission of assisting survivors on their transformative journey from silence to survival and ultimately, to thriving.

Ek Shaam Raksha Ke Naam 2023 was a night of incredible performances, inspiring speeches, and heartwarming stories of resilience and hope. Thank you to all who attended, supported and cheered for Raksha throughout this remarkable evening!

25 Years of Ek Shaam Raksha Ke Naam
Thank you Ramesh Bakshi for your amazing support over the years!

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