RC Bombay and Rotary India host Chhoti si Asha for India’s children

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Chhoti si Asha, a star-packed fundraiser for the future of disadvantaged children, was launched as a joint initiative by Rotary India, RC ­Bombay and Wizcraft International Entertainment, and supported by Being Human – The Salman Khan Foundation. The three-hour programme was aired on the Colors channel on Jun 28. The event was presented by Salman Khan, who spent long periods of time entertaining the audience, along with his song and dance sequences.  Amitabh ­Bachchan recited a poem penned by lyricist Kausar Munir. Salman Khan said he was only too happy to give his time for this project and he was “delighted to participate in this endeavour for the future of our children. The good that we do in the present will decide a better future.”

RIPE Shekhar Mehta said, “As we celebrate 100 years of Rotary in India, Rotary will play a bigger role in our nation building, hand-in-hand with the government.” RI Director Kamal Sanghvi added, “We will work in the fields of education, nutrition, sanitation and together let us gift a bright future for our nation’s children.” Funds collected through this programme will be used for Covid-relief work and long-term projects related to children’s health, nutrition, education and skill development.

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While we are fortunate to have three square meals a day, there are children out there who do not get even a cup of milk. Let us unite to promote the health of such innocent children, because healthy children translates into a healthy nation,” said RI Director Bharat Pandya.

Union Ministers Prakash ­Javadekar, Nitin Gadkari, Harsh Vardhan, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Gajendra Singh Shekawat highlighted Rotary’s various initiatives including its role in polio eradication and ushering in a polio-free India.

Bollywood celebrities narrated stories of Rotary’s activities that have impacted communities over the years. The show brought to focus signature projects of RC Bombay such as the Bavishya Yaan, a skills enhancement programme for less privileged children initiated by the club a decade ago. “It is heartwarming to see it grow from 40 children in one school to 1,600 children in six municipal schools. Many of our children have become engineers, chartered accountants and have entered areas like hospitality and travel,” said Club President Preeti Mehta. The Jal Jeevan programme being implemented by the club equips schools with drinking water facilities.

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DGs Jose Chacko Madhavassery (RID 3201), Thomas ­Vavanikunnel (3211), PNB Murugadoss, S ­Muthupalaniappan (3232), Saumya Ranjan Mishra (3262), Subhasish Chatterjee (3240), Alok Gupta (3012), Sunnil Mehra (3141), Dr Sandeep Kadam (3142), PDGs Anish Shah (3060) and Ravee ­Dhotre (3131) and RC Bombay President Preeti Mehta pledged ₹50 lakh for the cause. Sonu Sood spoke about the migrant crisis and his initiatives in helping workers reach their homes amid the Covid-19 lockdown.

PDG N Subramaniam, RID 3011, was featured in an interview where he spoke about building immunity against coronavirus. “Eat healthy. Include vitamins such as Vitamin C and Zinc, exercise, keep yourself hydrated and get enough sleep. At the same time, do not neglect non-Covid medical conditions,” he said.

Apart from Salman Khan and Kamal Khan’s dances, some of the best past performances by Arijit Singh, Neha Kakkar, Amit Trivedi, Shankar Mahadevan, Salim Sulaiman, Jonita Gandhi, B Praak, Benny Dayal, to name a few provided the entertainment quotient. The programme came to a close with a fitting finale by A R Rahman singing Chhoti si Asha before bringing the curtains down with Jai Ho.

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