When Sujatha Renganathan, a practising accountant in London, founded Harrow Desis in 2008, it was her way to keep up her passion for music and dance. Harrow Desis soon became a great platform to celebrate Diwali as a group through cultural events.
‘This is a lovely way to demonstrate that the tradition and culture would never be forgotten even though we Desis are miles away from our homeland’, says the Founder.
In 2013 Sujatha lost her friend Hina,then just 37, to cancer. “I realised that the best tribute to Hina would be to give back to the community in whatever way one could – and to bring a smile to the less fortunate, through collective contributions”, recollects Sujatha. Thus, 2014 not only saw the fifth anniversary of Harrow Desis but also its registration as a community interest company intent on helping the community to fully participate and integrate with the society.
Preeti Vanchinathan joined Sujatha in 2014 and has been extending strong support in administrative and IT affairs. The first charity event was a Ladies’ midnight walk and Harrow Desis raised £1058 in aid of St.Lukes’ hospice in June 2014.
Sevalaya was introduced to Sujatha by Annapoorni Panchanathan, a longstanding donor from UK. The annual Diwali event on Oct 11 was held in support of Sevalaya and an endowment was set up to support the educational expenses of 13 Sevalaya children.
Harrow Desis have commited their continued support to Sevalaya. After being briefed about the activities of Sevalaya, quite a few businessmen belonging to the local Indian community have promised to join hands with Harrow Desis next year.
Having only heard about Sevalaya, the members of Harrow Desis eagerly await their visit to Sevalaya Campus on their next trip to India.