LIFE could have been very different for India-born Yash Varma.
The Canberra resident says if his father had not had an education, the family may have never had the opportunity to move to Australia.
“My family was lucky, but millions of children, in India and other developing countries, will never get an education or learn to read or write simply because they were born in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Yash says.
As president of the Canberra chapter of Room to Read, a global non-profit organisation focused on literacy and education for developing countries, Yash hopes to change the statistics.
Since launching in 2000, the charity has managed to build more than 15,000 libraries in developing countries and partners with local communities to build schools and create new local language children’s literature.
The Canberra chapter will hold a Bollywood-themed fundraiser this month, aiming to raise $10,000 to go towards girls’ education.
Yash says girls in particular have difficulties accessing education in developing countries.
“Studies show that the way to bring about change in these countries is through educating girls and women, but many of these young women trying to access education fall victim to ruthless acts of violence,” says Yash.
“Room to Read has already helped educate more than 22,000 girls through its programs, and $10,000 will fund about 40 years’ worth of education.
“We believe everyone, regardless of their gender or where they live, should be allowed the same level of education.”
Room to Read’s “Bollywood Black Tie Bonanza” for girls education will be held at Digress restaurant and Lounge on Friday, October 18, from 6.30pm. Tickets $90, include a three course dinner with drinks and performances by Bollywood Star finalist G-luV and Bollywood Dimensions. Available from bollywoodbonanza.eventbrite.com