The Foundation has embraced several new worthwhile causes and continued with national television and special projects to highlight the Foundation's efforts.
Safari in the City in London - Meera Gandhi was Co-chair and joined Londoners, including fashion designer Elizabeth Emanuel, fashion photographer Ram Shergill and former mayor of London Ken Livingstone, at the gala dinner "Safari in the City" held at ZSL London Zoo on Wednesday 21 May 21, 2014.
This first-ever fundraising gala held by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), launched the charity's new Lions400 fundraising campaign and raised over £135,000 towards helping to save the magnificent Asian lions. According to Meera, "There are only 400 Asian lions left in the entire wild and they are in the Gir Forest of Gujaral, India. The funds raised will be used to restore the Indian habitat for these lions in Gir and also to re-do the lion enclosure at the London Zoo, making it feel like the real 'wild' to enable longer survival of these majestic creatures. Being Indian, I threw myself wholeheartedly into this worthwhile fund-raising event."
The famous London landmark was transformed into an Asian-inspired wonderland for the night. Guests were immersed in an Indian themed adventure, arriving to the sound of drums before journeying through the Zoo on tuk tuks, and getting the privilege of visiting animal houses including Tiger Territory, Penguin Beach and the Lion Terraces after hours. Attending the Gala were philanthropists all eager to help ZSL raise £5.7m to protect and save the Asian lions. After dinner, Christie's auctioneer Georgina Wilsenach encouraged guests to dig deep for lions and bid on incredible lots including artworks by acclaimed artist and Royal Academician Phyllida Barlow, and South Africa's leading artist Keith Joubert. And even a once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit the last remaining Asian lions in the Gir Forest, India, accompanied by a ZSL conservationist all of which went down a storm with guests.
The evening was hosted by television presenter and big cat enthusiast Simon King and featured an acoustic performance by Dan Gillespie-Sells of The Feeling.Event photos: Josh Caudwell
Meera and Vikram Gandhi
Ruby the Asian Lioness
Mayor Ken Livingstone, Ram Shergill and Abbie Woodall
Rupert and Robin Hambro
Meera also appeared on ITV's Insight Tonight with Ashok Vyas television to discuss the plight of the lions in India. Here is the ITV link to view the interview:
Shades of Shakti TV Asia Special - The Giving Back Foundation was the sole topic on the half-hour longShades of Shakti program with Nisha Mathur on TV Asia in the United States. Please see the in-depth interview about the Foundation's mission and current projects to the wide audience of TV Asia viewers. Here is the link to the interview:
The Eleanor Roosevelt Center Girls' Leadership Program - Munazza Marium of Karachi, Pakistan, was chosen by her peers as the winner of The 2014 Meera Gandhi Giving Back Foundation Leadership Award, including an honorarium and special trophy, at the graduation ceremonies held at the Center in Hyde Park, New York on Sunday, July 20, 2014. The winner was selected on the basis of three of the precepts of the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership: Model the Way, or practice what you preach and see how your actions affect others; Enable Others to Act, which fosters cooperative rather than competitive relationships and actively listens to diverse points of view, and Challenge the Process, which searches for innovative ways to improve what is being done and asks what can we learn from this experience? Congratulations Munazza!
Young ladies from around the globe participate in the leadership sessions each summer.
Meera and Kabir Gandhi at The Eleanor Roosevelt Center
Lifeline NY – The Giving Back Foundation was pleased and extremely proud to support "Lifeline in Aid of Neonatal Intensive Care Units in Serbia" in New York City on June 5th, 2014. The dinner and fashion show for this very worthy cause were hosted by Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia.
Meera Gandhi and Susan Gutfreund at Lifeline Event
Mayfair Times London India Edition Launch – The Foundation attended the splendid launch of the new Indian Edition of the Mayfair Times in London in June. Shown here, some of the guests who attended the launch.
Left to right, SK Modi, Selma Day, editor of the Mayfair Times, Meera Gandhi, Peter Wetherall
Photo: Rahil Ahmad, Stolenoranges.com
Please mark the date on your calendars for the 2015 Giving Back Foundation Gala: