Metin with Vijay Amritraj, United Nations Messenger of Peace, international tennis legend, media mogul and charitable entrepreneur who is determined to wipe off AIDS from India. Metin contributed the auction proceeds of his MAHATMA GANDHI print (in the background) to the Vijay Amritraj Foundation
The great Sir Ben Kingsley needs no introduction. The phenomenal character actor who won the 1983 OSCAR for his portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in the epic1982 film and who was also nominated for 3 other oscars in 1992, 2002, and 2004 was at hand both to help the Amritraj Foundation and to congratulate Metin in person for his extraordinary portrait of GANDHI
Globally acclaimed best-selling author, successful businessman and spiritual guide Deepak Chopra expresses his appreciation of Metin's portrayal of GANDHI as well as the Healing Painter's consistent support of worthwhile charities
Beauty begets beauty. Metin with a lovely art lover in front of his GANDHI print that helped raise much needed funds for the Foundation
Action movie super star Steven Segal added his own good name to the wortwhile cause. Metin was happy to meet the generous star who redefined the action thriller genre
His beautiful fans never left Metin alone...
Metin with two more art lovers whose attendance was the key to the success of the high-powered event
Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel, Beverly Hills , CA, November 5, 2006
Vijay Amritraj Foundation Gala
Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel
Beverly Hills , CA
The American National Anthem - Susan Jeske
The Indian National Anthem - Khori Dastoor
Master and Mistress of Ceremonies - Alan Wilkins and Saira Mohan
HOST- Vijay Amritraj
Comments - Deepak Chopra
Comments - Ben Kingsley
Keynote - Honorable Shashi Tharoor ( Under-Secretary General United Nations
BIO OF VIJAY- AMRITRAJ
Vijay Amritraj launches AIDS foundation to help India
Related News Story 1
Vijay Amritraj launches AIDS foundation to help India
India Post News Service
LOS ANGELES: As Vijay Amritraj, United Nations Messenger of Peace, international tennis legend/media mogul/entrepreneur speaks intensely and with a terrifying clarity to a celebrity filled room at the Regent Beverly Hotel, you know this is not a sales pitch. Amritraj is fervently exhorting the listeners to support the launch of The Vijay Amritraj Foundation.
The money, he says is contributing to acutely needed pediatric care to HIV/AIDS victims and creating AIDS awareness in India. India has gone on record for being the country with the largest numbers of AIDS cases around the globe. More than 1 million children, under age 15 have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. Children are especially vulnerable as they suffer widespread abuse and discrimination by being turned away from schools, orphanages, and hospitals because they and their families are HIV positive. This is due to ignorance and fear by the authorities.
Many teachers, doctors, government officials and ordinary people in India still don't know the basic facts about HIV transmission and AIDS care and the children are blamed for their bad behavior and ignored.
Street children, children of sex workers, child sex workers, children from lower caste suffer even more. Children do not get information about HIV and the need to protect themselves. Even if the life saving information about HIV protection is being given in schools, the children have dropped out especially girls, who are caring for a sick family or take over domestic work. Many HIV-positive children are denied medical care because government facilities are either unavailable or lack basic medical supplies. Families caring for HIV/AIDS-affected children find it difficult to pay school fees thus further preventing some children from attending school.
The Naz Foundation, well known for its charitable work and excellent reputation in Delhi, has been chosen as one of the partners in the Vijay Amritraj Foundation project. Naz is already being supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNESCO and Ford Foundation. Association of American Physicians from India (AAPI), well known for their diverse projects, is collaborating in this venture. The Foundation will also extend support to charities in India who have a track record of working with HIV/AIDS projects.
Being a global Indian has become a way of life with 53 year old Vijay Amritraj. Poverty, disease, illiteracy in any part of the world is a challenge for him. He believes that children must fulfill their dreams and ambitions and be fully alive. Even though AIDS in India has wreaked havoc becoming the catalyst for disease and death, the children can still be saved, he says. A strong advocate and spokesperson for AIDs, Amritraj brings his extensive international experience to the table as he plans outreach programs through his Foundation and pledges "to make a real difference for those who are most in need of the helping hand of humanity."
Amritraj is looking for citizens who will raise funds, make contributions, generate publicity as India grapples with the HIV virus and is on the precipice of disaster. The Foundation will help innocent children to survive, provide them with nutrition, health care literacy and give them a beacon of hope. This dream can spin off into visions of community centers, jobs, technical skills, livestock, and address the stigma and discrimination attached to AIDS.
On November 4, the Vijay Amritraj Charity Golf Classic will be held at the Lost Canyons Golf Club in Simi Valley, Los Angeles followed by a Gala Banquet at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. Two hundred and eighty eight golfers are expected to participate in this event.
Overwhelming support has come from the richest minority in the United States, the Indian American community. Kingfisher Airlines is the Title Sponsor. Dr Vijay Mallya, CEO of the airlines has come on board along with major sponsors Rolex watches, Tata Consultancy Services, Royal Indian Raj Corporation. Local sponsors who have come on board include Northwestern Mutual, Robert Maron Inc and Sudden Inc.
As Amritraj says, we have to do something about it in our own way. We must end the crisis. This is a compelling and urgent challenge.
The famed, charismatic Amritraj has always believed that the Diaspora Indian will take up political reformation eventually. Right now he is excited that large numbers are participating in an energized manner whether it is in the political, social or cultural context. He firmly believes that we must share the goodness of ourselves with others and receive goodness from others.
Related News Story 2
Amritraj to serve for India’s HIV infected
From Shyam Bhatia DH News Service Washington:
A charity launched by tennis player Vijay Amritraj aims to raise money for HIV/AIDS awareness and Pediatric AIDS patients in India.
The launch of the Vijay Amritraj Foundation, which will host the inaugural Vijay Amritraj Golf Classic in Los Angeles this coming November, comes only days after statistics revealed India has the largest numbers of AIDS victims in the world.
Commenting on the launch, the 53-year-old Mr Amritraj said, “Since my appointment as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, I have seen first-hand the magnitude of plight and suffering that exists around us, and something had to be done to help millions who continue to succumb to disease, tragedy and circumstance.”
He described the Vijay Amritraj Foundation as a California-based tax-exempt public charity organisation with the mission to “bring hope, help and healing to the defenceless and innocent victims of disease, tragedy and circumstance in India”.
Amritraj fans note that he has supported charities for nearly 30 years through appearances, playing exhibition matches, attending galas and through his own Vijay Amritraj Trust & Charities in India.
They say he will now combine his personal and professional network with the strength of the 2.5-million Indian-Americans, the most affluent minority in the country.
The Foundation’s charter is to identify and support different charities in India based on their work and need. The first fundraising event the inaugural Vijay Amritraj Charity Golf Classic & Gala Banquet is a two-day event on November 4 and 5, 2006, in Los Angeles. About 288 golfers will play or be sponsored to play to raise the charity monies.
It will take place at the prestigious Lost Canyons Golf Club in Simi Valley, among the top 100 clubs in the country, on November 4 next. This will be followed by a celebrity studded, Hollywood style banquet gala at the landmark Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.
The proceeds of this event will be used for the purpose of providing acutely needed pediatric care to HIV/AIDS victims and creating AIDS awareness in India. One of the charities identified by the Foundation so far is the well-known Naz Foundation (India)Trust .
Naz is a New Delhi based NGO that has been working on the issue of HIV/AIDS since 1994. Naz started a Care Home in 2001, focusing on infected children. The counsellors assess the resources of the extended family and relatives to ascertain if they can look after the child. When this is not possible, and the community cannot provide these services, the child is placed in the Care Home. The Care Home is run with the help of a team of professionals such as a medical officers, nurses round the clock, coordinator/administrator, care workers and trained counsellors.
Volunteers are encouraged to contribute wherever they can. Naz has received support from The Ford Foundation, UNESCO and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Amritraj said he had received overwhelming support from sponsors and the Indian-American community. Most sponsors are known to Amritraj through his personal and corporate network as tremendous supporters of sports and charity.