Education transforms lives. It can lift individuals out of poverty and give them rewarding careers. It was with this sole intention in mind that Smile foundation and Virat Kohli Foundation synergized their energies to uplift thousands of less privileged children at Hyatt Regency Mumbai. These children are mostly either homeless, orphaned, abandoned, runaways, or belong to extremely poor families.

The Charity Gala Dinner took place on 3rd June at Hyatt Regency, Mumbai. While raising funds for a good cause, the event was also centred on the children of the foundation. There was dancing, singing and a fashion show all choreographed by industry stalwarts like Sandeep Soparkar and Neeti Mohan.

The theme for the décor was starry night; the ceiling was lined with rice lights to give it the effect of dining under the stars. The idea behind starry night was two-fold – 1. The evening was a star studded affair with cricketers and Bollywood stars in tow 2. These stars were also a metaphor as they represent limitless possibilities for the underprivileged children and how this fund raiser event was going to help them reach for the stars.

As the evening prolonged, well acclaimed sand artist  Nitish  Bharti mesmerised everyone with his enchanting story through sand art. Arman  Malik’s  captivated everyone with his harmonious singing and Nitisha  Nanda’s rhythmic dance performance had everyone clapping for more. The highlight of this high powered entertainment event was Virat  Kohli,  Yuvi  and  Dhoni  shaking a leg with the children on stage. They stole the hearts of every individual sitting in the room.

This event would not have been possible without the support of Hyatt Regency, Mumbai who wholeheartedly partnered for this good cause. Through their CSR initiative, Hyatt Thrive they have gone beyond the walls of hoteling to make a big difference to our community.

Also present at the event to support this cause were eminent cricketers, industry stalwarts, corporate honchos, bollywood personalities and achievers from diverse fields in attendance. On auction to raise funds for this cause were priceless, crème de la crème luxury items like autographed bats by Virats Kohli, Chris Gayles and AB De Villiers, a pair of Tissot Skeleton Watches, Montegrappa “Icons” Pelé Limited Edition Pen, paintings by Anjolie Ela Menon and Babu Xavier, caps autographed by Virat Kohli & Chris Gayle and a sculptural painting by Seema Kohli. Some innovative items on the offer were an exclusive Gym Session with Virat Kohli and a two all-inclusive Business Class Return Tickets to your favourite destination from Air-France KLM. The funds raised through this event which will support the education of the lesser privileged children.

If all the glamour and glitz was not enough, the experiential evening also had a five course Michelin starred dinner curated by Chef Vikas Khanna for 200 distinguished guests.

Every person sitting that room in Hyatt Regency, Mumbai had converged for only one cause and that was to uplift lesser privileged children through education and help them break the cycle of poverty. It’s true when the community comes together to support one cause- lives can indeed be transformed.

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Photography: The Orange Booth