On the 23rd of March, 2013, Wishful Smiles was launched in spectacular fashion at the West Wing Theatre in Slough.
The evening kicked off with an introduction by Tia Jounija, Deepa Sapra, Banti Singh and representatives from UNITED SIKHS, each one reiterating the direction, purpose and aims of Wishful Smiles. The evening raised awareness of the ‘Widowed Women Campaign’ led by UNITED SIKHS, highlighting the plight of widowed women who have lost their husbands through farmer suicides in the northern Indian state of Punjab.
This campaign will develop a literacy program that will educate widowed women who cannot read nor write and are living in severe poverty. Farmer suicides in Punjab are a significant problem and some 5,000 women, according to a recent study have been identified as being affected. UNITED SIKHS has in the past been providing pensions to some of these families. Wishful Smiles have laid the first foundations towards building a literacy program for these women in order to; help educate them, so that they can live a more sustainable and disciplined life, ensuring they can fend for themselves and possibly earn a living.
The launch raised £1,000 which will contribute towards the literacy program via the ‘Widowed Women Campaign’.
Anchored by well-known DJ Triple S – Sukh Sapra, the evening was replete with performances of all cultures and genres, fashion shows, an auction and a series of role plays which reiterated the purpose and key aims of the Charity.
AK Bollywood Dance Group opened the entertainment to the show with a colourful cultural performance fusing dance from different cities in India. This was hugely appreciated by the audience. Young performers Abi Sapra and Bhangra Punjabian da bought light, energy and enthusiasm to the stage.
The highlight of the evening was of course award winning singer Navin Kundra whose soulful performance had everyone rocking to his beat and eating out of his hand. Navin Kundra was announced as the official ambassador for Wishful Smiles, a big coup for a new charity.
Britain’s Got Talent Semi-finalist, Francis Cardoso with his team Dance Flavourz stunned the audience with their sizzling performance of a Latino-Bollywood-burlesque blend. Francis wowed audiences with his rendition of a Bollywood and Tamil song.
The performances were broken down by short monologues and videos by Selina Hotwani, Shivi Hotwani and Sunny Singh, reinforcing the message of women empowerment, poverty, social injustice and education – the four key points that Wishful Smiles are working towards combating. A soulful guitar piece by Mehsous and Jag Lall bought the message of poverty to life.
A prodigious fashion Show by Mahi- Pure Elegance showcasing Asian woman wear and the launch of Soul creations clothing line bought fashion and glamour to the event. The beautiful female and male models looked very classy and coordinated well on stage. Brilliant performance by Shivi Hotwani on Michael Buble’s ‘I’m feeling good’ bought zest and life to the show, whilst watching Selina Hotwani fly like a butterfly in her stunning wing act.
An auction was held where a beautiful cityscape painting of London and a guitar, both signed by Navin Kundra got people digging deep into their hearts and pockets. A few items were raffled off as well. Light snacks and nibbles were served during the interval, where the volunteers were able to interact with the audience and share their opinions about Wishful Smiles.
The evening ended on a high where Wishful Smiles volunteers and performers got together on stage to sing Jessy J’s hit Price Tag and The Black Eyed Peas’ Where Is The Love?
Wishful Smiles would like to thank our Sponsors for all their help and service towards our launch and the ‘Widowed Women Campaign’ -
Asda – Feltham, for providing funding towards the food,
Unia Productions for their amazing Videography and photography,
Poppin Pops for personalised Wishful Smiles delicious chocolate on a stick bites,
Aepography for video footage and highlights of the event,
Nusound and Punjab radio for promotion and interview coverage,
Rahul Sharma and Vishal Joshi for monitoring sound and lighting,
Param Dev Singh Lotay for security at the launch,
TS Designs for Wishful Smiles official Flyer Designs,
Visionthroughdesign Amit Padam for Wishful Smiles Launch event flyer designs,
Mahi – Pure Elegance and Soul creations for their clothing line
A very special thank you to the volunteers, performers and for all those that attended the launch to show their humble support.