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COMMUNITY | News Briefs

Cupertino Hosts Human Value Awards
Shaan Performs in LA
Ghulam Ali Supports Partnership Walk

Cupertino Hosts Human Value Awards

(Above): HVA awardees with Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong (r).

The city of Cupertino hosted Human Value Awards (HVA) for the first time, June 27 at the Cupertino Community Hall.

The Human Values Awards are given to extraordinary individuals and organizations that uplift human values through their selfless service to society. The Human Value Awards have been presented to over 100 people and organizations in more than 30 cities across the United States and are sponsored by the Art of Living Foundation.

“The Greater Bay Area has some outstanding individuals and organizations that rarely get recognized for their commitment to helping others, we celebrated this occasion by highlighting exceptional achievements in the areas of environmental stewardship, non-profit governance, unsung heroes and youth leaders,” said Bonnie Rosen, the event chair. 

Three finalists were chosen from a list of fifteen nominees.

The first place went to Kyle Weiss, who co-founded FUNDaFIELD with his brother to enrich the lives of less fortunate kids in Africa through sports by providing soccer fields, equipment and tournaments to African youth. Over the course of three years the Weiss brothers were able to raise more than $100,000 to accomplish their goals.

The second place went to Anna Sidana, founder of One Million Lights for working to improve the daily lives of children and adults in India by providing clean and healthy lighting. Her selfless journey to provide solar operated lights to light up lives in remote areas of the world with no electricity certainly lit up faces in the audience.

The third finalist Rajni Madan, founder of Jeena Inc., was recognized for creating a friendly and safe environment for children with special needs to learn life skills necessary for self-care to help them build constructive relationships.

The finalists were chosen by four judges Linda T. Alepin, Alicia Gonzales, Kathleen Long and Ravi Pathak.

Along with the judges, Mayor Wong, Council Members Orrin Mahoney and Kris Wang and Rotary Club President Bev Lennihan along with members Jerra Rowland, Jagi Shahani and Mahesh Nihalani were present to support the nominees and the mission of HVA. Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong was the guest of honor. Alongwith the mayor, two councilmen, local Rotarians and other dignitaries of service clubs nominated for the awards attended the event.

Following the awards ceremony a brief networking session took place during which nominees mingled with others and were able to share ideas and vision for their respective organizations. Overall, HVA united individuals who take initiative to improve the lives of others through various service groups.

The Art of Living Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to educate the individual, and to create a violence-free and stress-free society. Founded in 1981, the Foundation works in a consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, and provides guidance on how to aid countries with education reform, disaster relief, economic development, peace initiatives, and conflict resolution.


Shaan Performs in Los Angeles

(Above): Shaan with kids at a live concert in Los Angeles

The show began with an appearance by Shadab Faridi and then by Aishwarya Majmudar (winner of 2008 musical reality show Amul STAR Voice of India). The emcee, Ilona introduced the star of the evening, Shaan. The crowd greeted him with applause and he did not disappoint them. As the evening unfolded Shaan sang his hit songs, some with kids on stage as well.

Shaan is one of the few Indian singers, who has been opted by international singers for collaboration. After working with Blue for the song “One Love” and singing theme song “Shuruat” for the movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Shaan collaborated with Michael Learns to rock for his album “Tishnagi.”

He composed six of the album’s nine tracks and penned most of the songs. The video of this number has been quite popular too.

Along with singing, Shaan has also acted in movies like Daman. He has made appearances in his songs in the movies, Zameen and Hungama. Shaan often performs for Pro Shows, conducted as part of the cultural festivals of various colleges.

Among the prominent cultural festivals where he has performed recently are Recstacy of NIT Durgapur, Spring Fest of IIT Kharagpur, Mood Indigo of IIT Bombay, Ragam of NIT Calicut, Alcheringa of IIT Guwahati and in Riviera'10 of VIT University.

Recently he performed in an IBM event Imprint 2008, Bangalore for IBM GBS exclusively.


Ghulam Ali Supports Partnership Walk

World-renowned singer and musician, Ustaad Ghulam Ali and his team of distinguished musicians performed in Northern and Southern California, July 16-17.  Known for his mesmerizing ghazals and melodic raags, his hits “Chupke Chupke Raat Din” and “Hangama Hai Kyun Barfa” are among fan favorites.

What sets Ghulam Ali apart from other singers is his compassion for helping those in the developing world. At both shows in California, he left crowds speechless with his astounding performances and by his motivating words to help support PartnershipsInAction.

PartnershipsInAction is an initiative of Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. (AKF USA) to raise awareness and funds that reduce poverty, hunger, illiteracy and poor health in Africa and Asia. One hundred percent of all donations go directly to projects supported by AKF USA, not a cent is spent on administration.

Before Ghulam Ali appeared on stage at Chabot College in Hayward, Calif., the audience viewed a short video reflecting the work of Aga Khan Foundation. It described how the Foundation helped a village in Gujarat reach the goal of 100 percent sanitation by providing each home access to safe water, a toilet facility, and underground sewage. The Foundation’s projects in Pakistan have focused on women’s empowerment, microfinance and building solutions to health and education challenges.

While speaking to the audience Ghulam Ali explained, “I whole heartedly support the work of the Aga Khan Foundation. I sincerely appreciate their work and I encourage everyone to support their work.”

The Bay Area Partnership Walk will be held at Lake Elizabeth Park in Fremont, Calif. on Sunday, Oct. 9 with registration beginning at 8 a.m. For more information and registration, please visit: www partnershipsinaction.org/walk.



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