The South Asian Times

18 February 2019 18:13 PM

UNICEF Project Lion launch raises over $850,000 for children in India

New York: On May 30, Purvi & Harsh Padia and UNICEF USA hosted the launch of Project Lion at The High Line Hotel, to kick off a new project to support children in residential institutions across India, empowering their futures. The event raised over $850,000 for UNICEF’s work to put children first. 

Emceed by Museum of Ice Cream co-founder Manish Vora, the program included remarks from UNICEF Next Generation founding member Jenna Bush Hager, actress Sienna Miller, CEO and President of UNICEF USA Caryl Stern, as well as performances by Arya Dance Academy. The host committee included Miller along with Sonia Kapadia, Samir Patel and Emily Stackman.

Inspired by the true story of Saroo Brierley captured in the film Lion, Project Lion started with a generous seed grant from Purvi and Harsh Padia to UNICEF. Project Lion is a UNICEF child protection program that will support more than 200,000 children without family care living in residential institutions across eight states of India. By enforcing standards of care, strengthening the child protection workforce, providing services for vulnerable families and modelling new alternatives, this critical program will ensure that children who have been left without family care can be given a second chance to grow in loving, stable, nurturing and protective environments.

“Project Lion is created to serve the orphaned or displaced children of India. Right now, there are 1.5 million displaced children in India and the first phase of Project Lion which will be three years long will serve the first 200 thousand of them. But in addition to that it will really put programs in place so going forward children who find themselves ins situations without families have proper rules, proper procedures so they can really thrive,” said Purvi Padia, an interior designer.

“Project Lion is all about making sure that these kids that are living in these institutions because they do not have families have proper care, that they are taken care of and they have the same future that all of our kids have,” said Jenna Bush Hager.

“I was so proud and excited to hear that Purvi was launching this initiative, and thinking about thousands, the hundreds of thousands, of children who are orphaned without anything and the fact she is working with UNICEF— who is obviously one of the most incredible organizations in the world— it’s something that is very easy to support,” said Sienna Miller. For more information about Project Lion, visit:

Update: 07 June, 2018