Hindi singers, poets, dancers, musicians, and other artists gathered yesterday in the Adams Common room to raise money to help South Asian children.
About 65 people attended the benefit, sponsored by the Graduate South Asian Students Association, which included both South Asian and Western writings and performances.
The event was organized by Adams House Tutor Khursheed N. Khurody, president of the association. Khurody said the night was meant not only to raise funds but also to mark the reestablishment of the graduate association.
"When I got to Harvard I was amazed that there were active organizations for East Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, but nothing for the 900 million [people] on the Indian subcontinent," Khurody said.
"I felt it was now time to go beyond cultural awareness and try to help out some people," she added.
The group plans to start a trust fund with the money raised and use it to help educate children in the Indian sub-continent.
In order to avoid administrative costs, members who live in India will personally bring the money there and give it directly to places that can use it, Khurody said.
She also said the event was important because it showed how a university's largest resource--the talents of its students--could be used to help others.
"I think this shows you don't need money to raise money to help others," Khurody said.
The gala was a prelude to the Undergraduate South Asia Association's much larger benefit show, Ghungroo, said Co-President Pankaj Tiwari '95.
"We thought tonight's event was a great idea to get some publicity for South Asia and have a forum for a lot of great cultural talents," Tiwari said.
Pratima Gupta '96, a member of the South Asian Dance Organization which performed last night, said she was pleased to be asked to participate in the evening.
"Its a great opportunity to help people and a great way to spread cultural awareness," Gupta said.
The participants came primarily from Harvard and MIT, with others from the greater Boston area. The members at both the MIT and Harvard organizations said they hoped tonight's benefit would be a step towards greater cooperation and involvement between the groups.