Alia Bhatt hosts a special charity gala in London with Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

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LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 28: Alia Bhatt attends The Hope Gala hosted by Mandarin Oriental and Alia Bhatt in support of Salaam Bombay Foundation at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on March 28, 2024 in London, England.
Photo Credit: Dave Benett

Award-winning Indian actress Alia Bhatt, in partnership with Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, hosted a spectacular charity gala at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London. The evening of entertainment and culinary delight was in support of Alia’s chosen charity – Salaam Bombay Foundation – which provides education and job opportunities for disadvantaged adolescents in India to complete school and access better employment.

Guests included Alia Bhatt, actress and model Poppy Delevingne, CEO of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group Laurent Kleitman, CEO of Chanel Leena Nair, President and Chairman of the Royal Horticultural Society Keith Weed and Executive Vice President of Omnicom group Asit Mehra. Further prominent guests included Mrs. Natasha Poonawala, Tania Shroff, Anil Agarwal of Vedanta, Rahi Chadda, Richie Mehta, Gurinder Chaddha, Sanjay Newatia, and Girish Sanger.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 28: Harshdeep Kaur attends The Hope Gala hosted by Mandarin Oriental and Alia Bhatt in support of Salaam Bombay Foundation at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on March 28, 2024 in London, England.
Photo Credit: Dave Benett

The evening’s entertainment included captivating performances by Indian singer, Harshdeep Kaur, Usha Jey the innovator behind Hybrid Bharatham, and the Yehudi Menuhin School Quartet. Attendees were also treated to an engaging fireside conversation between Alia Bhatt and the charismatic MC, YouTube star and comedian, Rohan Joshi. Throughout the evening guests were encouraged to take part in a silent auction to raise funds for Salaam Bombay, featuring coveted exclusive items and experiences including suite nights at various Mandarin Oriental hotels, Alia’s jewellery worn at the Met Gala and a custom designed saree by ace Indian designer Manish Malhotra. Guests were treated to a culinary experience inspired by the best of Indian and British cuisines, created by Michelin-star chefs Vineet Bhatia and Jason Atherton, as well as dishes from Chef Francisco Hernandez, Executive Chef at the hotel.

The hotel’s iconic ballroom, which has welcomed many esteemed guests over its 135-year history, including Winston Churchill and HM Queen Elizabeth II, was transformed to reflect the warm, opulent and vibrant colours of India, with cultural references reflective of Mandarin Oriental’s Asian heritage.

Alia Bhatt – actor, producer, entrepreneur, was the first star of Indian cinema to feature in Mandarin Oriental’s globally renowned advertising “I’m a Fan” campaign, that has, for over 20 years, featured more than fifty celebrities who are exceptional in their craft and discerning in their choices – from film legends including Morgan Freeman and Michelle Yeoh to sports stars such as Andy Murray. In return for their love of Mandarin Oriental’s legendary service, Mandarin Oriental makes donations to the charities of their choice. Over the years, the Group has contributed over US $1 million to more than 25 charities around the world.

Commenting on the evening’s activities, Alia Bhatt said: “Hosting my inaugural charity gala in collaboration with the Salaam Bombay Foundation and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has been an incredible experience. I’ve long admired Padmini Sekhsaria’s unwavering dedication to uplifting at-risk youth in India’s slums, offering them hope and opportunity. I’m happy to have played a small part in helping these children reshape their narratives. Furthermore, holding the Hope Gala at such a prestigious venue is a genuine privilege, as I’ve always been a fan of Mandarin Oriental’s exceptional hospitality. Today marks just the beginning of our efforts, and with the support of our generous contributors, I’m confident we’ll make significant strides in empowering future generations.”

Ms Padmini Sekhsaria, Founder & Director – Salaam Bombay Foundation added: “We are grateful to Alia Bhatt and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group for partnering with us at the Hope Gala. Hope isn’t just about belief – it’s about creating real opportunities. Our programmes equip students with vocational and life skills, paving the way for meaningful careers after they complete their schooling. Alia’s advocacy amplifies our message of hope, reaching so many youths at risk of leaving school. The funds raised will help transform lives and improve the economic trajectory of their families, forever.”

Laurent Kleitman, Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental commented: “We are so proud that Alia Bhatt is a genuine fan of Mandarin Oriental, and we are delighted to partner with her this evening to raise funds for such a worthy cause. Alia is the first of the Mandarin Oriental Fans to have hosted a charity gala on this scale and we are thrilled to be part of this event. Of all the causes we are engaged with around the world, this one is certainly close to our hearts: at Mandarin Oriental we take great pride in supporting young people by creating growth, learning and ultimately career opportunities in hospitality. Every year we recruit, train and provide working experiences for up to 600 young people.”

Highlights from the event

And some more photos!

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 28: (L to R) Guest, Alia Bhatt, Padmini Sekhsaria and guest attend The Hope Gala hosted by Mandarin Oriental and Alia Bhatt in support of Salaam Bombay Foundation at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on March 28, 2024 in London, England.
Photo Credit: Dave Benett

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 28: (L to R) Abigail Tan, Alia Bhatt and Padmini Sekhsaria attend The Hope Gala hosted by Mandarin Oriental and Alia Bhatt in support of Salaam Bombay Foundation at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on March 28, 2024 in London, England.
Photo Credit: Dave Benett

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 28: Alia Bhatt and Asma Khan attend The Hope Gala hosted by Mandarin Oriental and Alia Bhatt in support of Salaam Bombay Foundation at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on March 28, 2024 in London, England.
Photo Credit: Dave Benett

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 28: Akash Mehta and Alia Bhatt attend The Hope Gala hosted by Mandarin Oriental and Alia Bhatt in support of Salaam Bombay Foundation at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on March 28, 2024 in London, England.
Photo Credit: Dave Benett

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 28: Alia Bhatt and Poppy Delevingne attend The Hope Gala hosted by Mandarin Oriental and Alia Bhatt in support of Salaam Bombay Foundation at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on March 28, 2024 in London, England.
Photo Credit: Dave Benett

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 28: Alia Bhatt and Tanya Saha Gupta attend The Hope Gala hosted by Mandarin Oriental and Alia Bhatt in support of Salaam Bombay Foundation at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on March 28, 2024 in London, England.
Photo Credit: Dave Benett

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 28: Alia Bhatt attends The Hope Gala hosted by Mandarin Oriental and Alia Bhatt in support of Salaam Bombay Foundation at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on March 28, 2024 in London, England.
Photo Credit: Dave Benett

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 28: (L to R) Guest, guest, Alia Bhatt and guest attend The Hope Gala hosted by Mandarin Oriental and Alia Bhatt in support of Salaam Bombay Foundation at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on March 28, 2024 in London, England.
Photo Credit: Dave Benett

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 28: Alia Bhatt attends The Hope Gala hosted by Mandarin Oriental and Alia Bhatt in support of Salaam Bombay Foundation at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on March 28, 2024 in London, England.
Photo Credit: Dave Benett

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 28: Alia Bhatt attends The Hope Gala hosted by Mandarin Oriental and Alia Bhatt in support of Salaam Bombay Foundation at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on March 28, 2024 in London, England.
Photo Credit: Dave Benett

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 28: Alia Bhatt and Harshdeep Kaur attend The Hope Gala hosted by Mandarin Oriental and Alia Bhatt in support of Salaam Bombay Foundation at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on March 28, 2024 in London, England.
Photo Credit: Dave Benett

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 28: Alia Bhatt attends The Hope Gala hosted by Mandarin Oriental and Alia Bhatt in support of Salaam Bombay Foundation at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on March 28, 2024 in London, England.
Photo Credit: Dave Benett

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 28: Alia Bhatt attends The Hope Gala hosted by Mandarin Oriental and Alia Bhatt in support of Salaam Bombay Foundation at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on March 28, 2024 in London, England.
Photo Credit: Dave Benett

About Salaam Bombay Foundation
In India, slum families survive on less than £200 per month. Sixty-four percent of school children drop out before Year 9 and enter the unregulated workforce, often being exploited. Salaam Bombay Foundation was established with the mission to support children aged 11-17 in India’s urban slums. The charity works to build purpose and economic opportunities to help slum children complete school and go on to better-paying jobs and vocations.

The Foundation takes a multi-disciplinary approach for development of 21st century skills among resource-challenged adolescents through its specially designed in-school programmes. The Sports, Arts and Media academies not only encourage students to express themselves and provide performance opportunities that build self-esteem but also lead to real jobs as fitness trainers, photographers, choreographers, video sfx editors to name but a few. The skills@school programme broadens career opportunities that allow for sustainable jobs in sectors like beauticians, make-up artists, hair stylists, mobile and home appliance repair technicians, bakers etc. Many go on to start their own businesses through SBF’s Entrepreneurship Incubator, which gives training in business skills, including marketing & promotion, product pricing and financial planning. Over the last two years we have witnessed nearly 150 entrepreneurs benefiting from these programs and are eager to keep expanding this impactful initiative. The skilling programme has impacted 56,439 students across 7 cities in India.

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