Shilpa Shetty honors Bay area women achievers

Kavi Agrawal, Bikramjeet Singh, Ashwini Kumar, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Assemblymen Ash Kalra, Cindy & Gagan SIngh
Kavi Agrawal, Bikramjeet Singh, Ashwini Kumar, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Assemblymen Ash Kalra, Cindy & Gagan SIngh

SAN JOSE, CA: International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 worldwide, commemorating the political, social and economic achievements of women. Over the decades, the objective of Women’s Day celebrations has evolved and embraced culture and ethnicity to emerge as a celebration of appreciation, respect and love towards women.

Bollywood Events and M Lounge presented a fun filled night to celebrate “Womanhood” and awarded 10 Bay area women achievers for their success and service on 26th Feb at M Lounge, San Jose. M Lounge is a unique eat and play lounge, offering a South East Asian Cuisine located at the upscale Downtown San Jose. Over 10 Bay area women, achievers in their own right were honored at the gala by Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra, who is not just a Bollywood actress but a business tycoon and success story herself.

Education is the key to women empowerment. If a girl is educated, she will have confidence. She will have employable skills. Employment will lead her to financial independence. Entrepreneurship will make her stronger and daring to take up new challenges, said Kavi Agrawal of Bollywood Everything who opened the event which was attended by over 300 community members.

Speaking on the occasion, Bollywood actress and fitness enthusiast Shilpa Shetty said, “If empowered, the hand that rocks the cradle can surely rule the world; complementing, contributing, creating a better tomorrow for everyone.” A fervent defender of gender equality and women’s empowerment, Shilpa has always been highlighting the pivotal role of women in the society as source of love, care and affection.

“I’m not a feminist but a responsible woman. I salute all the women who are homemakers and I think that’s the most difficult job. There is no day off. Women are not only going out and earning bread and butter but also looking after the family,” she said. Shilpa may be a celebrity to the outside world, but at heart, she says, she’s still the girl who comes from a middle class background and has seen her father helping her mother in household work.

Shilpa Shetty has recently launched her web channel `Shilpa Shetty Wellness Series`, which has over 4.2 million views, with the purpose to promote healthy living. She said, “My mission is to promote holistic health for those people who cannot afford a gym or nutritionist and not get enough time to take care of their fitness, especially working women. It will give them a chance to find quick and effective workout regime, balancing fitness with right food, interesting quick recipes and many informative things related to fitness. I would be more than happy to know if I can bring change in even one person`s life on fitness,” she added.

With over a dozen business houses managed by Shilpa and her husband Raj Kundra, she heads the Shilpa Shetty Foundation, a non-profit organization which thrives to transform lives of orphan children and contribute towards the development of society. The foundation helps to nurture orphan children by strengthening and reconstructing the existing structures which include education, medical help, accommodation and entertainment as well.

Dr Rewa Kumar, Kay Kaur, Rennu Dhillon, Jagruti Desai Shah, Ismeet Narula, Anu Natarajan, Dr Nilima Sabharwal, Harbir Bhatia, Julia Miller, Mani Kambhoj and Rashmee Sharma were the selected few who received the Women Empowerment award from Ms.Shetty this year.

The awardees wowed the audience with their powerful speech on women issues, their personal journey and message to the future generations.

“We want this program to continue for years to come and become a hallmark event of Bollywood events,” says Sharan Gill, Partner, Bollywood Events. Sharan is also the Founder of Care Must Home health and Hospice Care, which she started in memory of her late grandmother. “I started this venture with the aim of providing quality healthcare for the seniors at home during their last phase of life, which they would like to spend with their loved ones rather than away from all at the hospital”, says Ms.Gill.

She added “To empower each other, not only to empower yourself but to make sure that you lift each other up in all that you do”.

One of the award recipients Jagruti Desai Shah, who is HR Manager by profession, owner of Javanika Entertainment and a RJ, said she is humbled to have received this honor. “I am proud to be an Indian woman”. Women are an important element of our Society. Modern society has started recognizing the individual identity of women.

She is believed to have her aspiration, abilities and qualities as a man does have and it is also agreed that she should have the opportunities to develop her faculties and to express them according to her own choice.

The extent of woman’s participation in the corporate life is thus the measure of social change,” she added.

Rennu Dhillon, Founder of Genius kids, which is an independent Accelerated Learning Center & Franchise founded on the philosophy “Never 2 Little 2 Learn”; based on the simple belief that every child is a “genius” also received the honor.

She said “Daughters are angels in disguise. Believe in yourself, act with confidence, courage and this will lead you to conquer your dream. Greater gender equality is linked to a higher GDP per capita; women’s participation in the workforce and in income generation boosts economic growth and has an impact on society as a whole,” she added.

Genius kids started with just 2 kids some 15 years back and has now grown to 35 centers all over Bay area. Genius Kids has established itself as “Nominated Best Preschool KRON 4” (Best of the Bay 2009), Selected among “26 Best Schools in the World” by TV 5 Monde, and winning several awards locally, nationally & globally.

Kay Kaur, who is a Registered Nurse by profession and Hollywood actress, was also awarded by Ms.Shilpa for her outstanding contribution and service to the community. She is also the producer of Punjabi movie Dheeyan Marjania, the forgotten daughters, a movie targeting female feticide & gender inequality.

She is also the founding member of non-profit Kripa and Seva, which will help Women who are victim of domestic violence and acid attacks. The center will offer financial, psychological and medical guidance for the Women who are abused.

Kay says “Effective communication is the key to success, and all women should equip themselves with confidence and courage. When women are disrespected, humiliated or exploited, a major chunk of the world population is disrespected, humiliated or exploited. And the entire human race will lag behind, unable to realize its true potential.”

“They – I mean, the educated women – will become leaders with the right mindset, making the right decisions at the right time. When women are put at the helm of affairs, conflict has a natural way of decreasing.

As mothers, they care. They care about the future generations. They care about this earth. If a male leader takes you where you want to be, a female leader takes you where you ought to be,” said Julia Miller, Secretary/Treasurer El Camino Healthcare District.

Kavita Agrawal, Emcee of this memorable evening thanked the sponsors, media and national promoter Bindu Kohli for their support.

The scrumptious food for the evening was catered by “M – Event and Catering” a well-known name in the Bay Area, which offers the complete portfolio of services to support comprehensive ‘Catering Event Management’. M- Event and Catering, has been rated as the No. 1 management company with Asian delicacies in the San Francisco bay area.

Vidya Sethuraman
India Post News Service

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