Vidya Jyoti, a newly formed non-profit organization, held a glittering Inaugural Gala on Sunday, April 24, 2022, at Embassy Suites in Naperville, Illinois. The vision of Vidya Jyoti is that every child in India can realize her/his dreams and break the cycle of poverty by having easy access to quality education, The mission of Vidya Jyoti is to channel funds from generous and committed donors of North America to dedicated and bright students in India who are facing financial barriers in their educational journey.
Thanking the community for its love and support, Pratibha Jairath, Founding President of Vidya Jyoti, welcomed the 300 strong audience. The Gala attracted social and business leaders from around the Chicago area. The chief guest for the gala was the philanthropist Mr. Anil Loomba, CEO of Home Mortgage Solutions, inc.
“It is a dream come true,” said Pratibha in her welcome address. “It is gratifying to see so many others share this vision of raising funds to help underprivileged children in India.” Madhu Uppal, the Founding Vice-President, in her address reminded the audience of the Hindu belief of Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam, to look at the world as one family and think of world’s children as our children.
Dr. Santosh Kumar, CEO of Metropolitan Asian Family, in her Keynote address spoke about her own journey and credited education for helping her reach her present position. Mrs. Malti Loomba, retired Director of Schools in India, accompanied by her son Mr. Anil Loomba, performed the ribbon cutting ceremony and offered her blessings to this noble effort. She spoke about her own experiences as teacher, principal and, finally, director and noted the need for support for the many families with limited means. She also extended her willingness to help guide Vidya Jyoti’s work.
Among the dignitaries present were Dr. Gopal Lalmalani, Mayor, Village of Oak Brook, Judge Kavita Athanikar, Circuit Court Judge, Mrs. Shweta Baid, Alderwoman, City of Aurora, Mrs. Meghana Bansal, Trustee for Wheatland Township and Kevin Morrison, Cook County Commissioner. Each offered their congratulations and extended their best wishes for success to Vidya Jyoti.
Vidya Jyoti recognized the tremendous support of the many sponsors including Grand Sponsors Dr. Bhupinder Beri, Mr. Sanjiv Gulati, Mr. Vimal Jairath and Mr. Bill Lyon as well as Benefactors Mrs. Anita Beri, Dr. Inshu Belani, Mr. Ramesh Mehra, Mrs. Sarita Sood, Mr. Anil Sharma (of Toronto, Canada), Dr. Sarbjit Bhandal, Mrs. Pratibha Jairath and Mr. Brij Sharma. The evening also included introduction of all sponsors and the Board of Vidya Jyoti.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of plaques to 18 champions of education who have achieved great success in their profession and businesses. After receiving a bouquet of flowers from a family member, these awardees walked the red carpet to receive their plaques that recognized them for their Exceptional Leadership and Service for Education.
The evening also included a dance drama focusing on the theme of transformational power of education, thrilling Polish, Irish and Mexican dances in traditional costumes, and a mesmerizing Tabla Jugalbandi. The entertainment was topped off with a traditional Kathak dance. Another highlight was auction with MacDougall and other gowns, Aspen stay package and a lot more.
“The event exceeded every expectation that we had had,” remarked Pratibha. “Everything proceeded smoothly, for which I must thank our Board, all the volunteers as well as all the others whose work made it a very successful evening.”