From Bollywood to Bangkok… take three

by Laura Bagin

Bursts of color wound their way to Indus Restaurant on a Wednesday afternoon this past October. One hundred twentyfive women draped in bold and brilliant sarees gathered to support the American Women’s Club of Thailand Scholarship Programme. Members and friends of AWC enjoyed an energetic afternoon at the 3rd Bollywood in Bangkok partaking in sumptuous Indian delights from samosas to naan, daal to paneer.

They were treated to beautiful traditional Indian dancing as well as a contemporary style called Sircle, created by dancer Sejal Sood, who graciously gave our attendees a mini lesson showing that anyone can dance. Henna painting, vendors, and raffles provided additional fun as the ladies danced the afternoon away. The charity luncheon was organised by EVENTO, an event planning company founded by three local women. Meena Malik, Lakshmi Ramaswami, and Sonia Khanna came up with the idea to hold their first Indian themed luncheon back in 2016.

“We three friends were wanting to do something which was meaningful in this expat life where we are not able to prove ourselves. What better cause as women to support women. This cause is close to our hearts and we approached Sonali (a previous Scholarship Chair) to host a Bollywood fun event for women by the women and that helps women,” says Lakshmi. This year’s event raised 60,000B that will help keep ten girls in high school next year.

Since January 2016 EVENTO has raised 372,000B in donations and individual scholarships. For 22 years the AWC Scholarship Programme has served underprivileged females in rural Thailand, raising funds to help them finish their last three years of high school. The supplemental aid the scholarships provide allows these bright minds to afford the ancillary costs that go beyond general tuition.

It pays for school books and supplies, transportation to and from school, meals, school and PE uniforms. In addition to financial support, AWC also strives to encourage and develop the students’ English-language skills to further their educational and employment opportunities. Education is the key to knowledge. Knowledge can open doors to a more fulfilling life. If you are interested in learning more about the AWC Scholarship Programme, please visit their website: awcthailand.org/scholarship To sponsor a student visit: awcthailand.org/scholar_sponsor

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