Houston: Sewa International had a gala celebration on December 12, 2021, highlighting the year-round work of its volunteers and their accomplishments in responding to and combating the COVID-19 pandemic as well as serving the local communities in other ways and making an impact beyond the city’s borders.
Houston Chapter President, Gitesh Desai, welcomed the Indian Consul General Aseem R Mahajan, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher, and Dr. Peter Hotez to the gala and thanked them for gracing the occasion. He said that ” local presence and global impact” was the theme of the Chapter’s twelfth annual fundraising event.
Participating in the virtual event, Consul General of India, Aseem Mahajan, commended Sewa for working with several community initiatives organizing food distribution, imparting education, and offering other services in a demanding and challenging year. “Sewa has played a vital role in promoting people-to-people contact between the two countries and deepening India’s partnership with the US,” he said.
Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, who was the chief guest, said that he valued working hand in hand with the Indian government’s extraordinary developers in Hyderabad, India, of the COVAXIN vaccine to combat COVID-19. He wished to scale up the vaccination production, as billions of doses are needed to vaccinate the world, including the African continent and many Southeast Asian countries. He thanked Sewa International for joining hands in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m with you in spirit celebrating the Sewa Houston chapter in its accomplishments,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher. She added, “Sewa International is working tirelessly in responding to COVID-19 affected families in our community in recent years, helping even through days of heavy rainfall and flooding events. Thank you for working for our community as your mobilizational efforts have resulted in transformational changes in our community. Thank you for all you do.”
Arun Kankani, President, Sewa International, USA, said the clarion call for service was heard by Sewa in 2021. He recounted the selfless service of thousands of Sewa volunteers who rose to the occasion with compassion in their hearts and the courage of a fighter. He made a special mention of Madan Luthra, a senior volunteer who, forgetting his age, served COVID- impacted families. He added, “We are humbled by the accolades, recognition, and awards given to us by the President of United States, elected officials, and various community organizations for recognizing the impact created by Sewa International during tough times: 2021 marked the tremendous collaboration with community organizations, corporations, media partners, elected officials, and more importantly, more than 150,000 donors who supported Sewa completely in serving the community. We continue to serve through vaccination drives, food distribution, and various initiatives across the globe to support families impacted by the pandemic.”
During the virtual gala Sewa Houston showcased and appreciated partner organizations (more than one hundred).