COSTA MESA, CA – ‘Care for the Cause,’ held a Gala dinner, dance and fashion show ‘Couture For a Cause’ on Oct. 15 at the Anqi by Crustacean restaurant here. A small intimate gathering of about a 150 people came together for the fundraiser and to raise awareness for an important cause- victims of acid attacks.
Punita Patel, Vice President; Ritu Chowdhry, Secretary; Deepa Malkani, Treasurer; Bhanu Gadhe, Ritu Rajpara, Juhi Pithia, and Urvi Shah, Board Members, then came on stage and were lauded for their help.
Every year ‘Care for the Cause’ chooses a cause for which they raise awareness and funds. The aim is to make an encouraging difference to every level of suffering. It was decided that the cause for 2016 was victims of acid attacks. ‘Care for a Cause’ selected to work with Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI), a United Kingdom based organization, to bring light and obtain funds for this worthy cause. Emcee for the evening, Khatau, is an Indian- American actress known for her role as Sondra in ‘Baby Daddy.’ After Chopra spoke about how she and the other women started ‘Care for the Cause,’ in 2009 she continued to talk about how the issue of acid attack victims has recently become more known. This was highlighted at the recent New York Fashion Week in which an acid attack victim, Reshma Quereshi, from India, walked the runway for Indian designer Archana Kochhar.
Jaf Shah, Executive Director of ASTI, addressing the gathering spoke about how this is a form of violence predominantly against women and that the main target of the victim is usually the face in which there can be severe damage and loss of senses.
Additionally, Shah took this opportunity to clarify a common misconception about this form of violence.“Acid attacks originated in Britain and since have become a global problem which affects many countries,” he said going on to explain that this form of violence is not only a South Asia problem.
Khatau next introduced an incredible freelance photographer, Ann-Christine Woehrl came on stage to present ‘In/Visible’ her series of pictures which asked the viewers to recognize these women who have been excluded and made invisible as individuals.
Two fashion shows were presented by Kamal Beverly Hills, who had a pop up shop in the back of the venue as well. In between the fashion shows there was a entertaining performance by Anjali Ray, who sang a combination of Bollywood and English songs including a few original pieces. There was a raffle and the raffle tickets alone raised $1,400. The evening’s program came to a close with the dance floor opening up for all those who wanted to burn off those calories after the delicious five-course-meal .