By Ajay Ghosh
New York: An air of festive generosity pervaded the Rubin Museum of Art on May 25 as New York-based non-profit group Architecture for Tibet (AFT) held its first annual gala fundraiser. Nearly 250 attendees, including Consul General Prabhu Dayal and other prominent members of New York’s Indian community, pledged their support for AFT’s efforts to build a much-needed academic center at the Manjushree Orphanage in Tawang, India, which serves the needy children of the region.
It was also a coming out of sorts for AFT, which came into being only two years ago, but with no shortage of ambitions. Founded by Brooklyn architect John Ullman, the organization plans nothing less than to immediately improve the lives of the children of Tawang, and in the future will spread its good works to other underprivileged populations in the area. The evening’s program also included musical performances by the Milarepa Children’s Chorus and by Tibetan star Yungchen Lhamo, who wowed the crowd at the end of the evening with her riveting, ethereal voice. Speakers included Tibet House’s Dr. Kazuko Tatsu-mura Hillyer and renowned Buddhist scholar Dr. Robert Thurman.