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Corporate leaders shine in art auction for a cause

Corporate leaders take time off to pair up with artists?all for a noble cause, reports Prerna K Mishra.

india Updated: Nov 09, 2006 22:02 IST

What do Ratan Tata, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Naina Lal Kidwai, Malvinder Mohan
Singh, Naveen Jindal, VN Dalmia and YC Deveshwar have in common? They are
all business leaders most comfortable drawing up spreadsheets, but they have taken time off to pair up with artists—all for a noble cause.

The corporate initiative is a part of an endeavour to team up more than 100 eminent personalities from different walks of life to pair up with artists such as
Amtava Das, Krishen Khanna, Paresh Maity, Satish Gujaral, Shipra
Bhattacharaya and Jayasri Burman to raise funds for homeless and the elderly.

The effort is being co-ordinated by a non-governmental organization called Khushii chaired by cricket legend Kapil Dev.

“The cause of supporting old people and rag-pickers is one which is
significant and this is why I agreed to be a part of this project," Bharti Enterprises Founder Chairman and Group Managing Director Sunil Bharti Mittal told Hindustan Times.

While Hari Bhartia, Shobhana Bhartia, Gautam Thapar, AnaljitSingh and Peter Punj have participated in the project from the corporate sector the
initiative has also roped in patrons like Bollywood stars Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, minister PrafulPatel, Sharmila Tagore and deputy chairman of the planning commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, besides celebrity cardiologist Naresh Trehan for a stroke or two.

The 125-odd works of art created under the initiative will be auctioned in
the Capital on Friday at the British High Commissioner’s residence. The
auction will be conducted by Ian McGinlay of Christie’s.

P Chidambaram’s creation with Anjolie Ela Menon is priced at Rs 20,000 lakh
while Ratan Tata’s work with Laxman Shreshtha has an initial bid price of Rs
12 lakh. But Bachchan daughter Shweta Nanda’s piece and Tina Anil
Amban’s creation with Jogen Chowdhury take the cake with the price tags of
Rs 25 lakh.

“As each piece or art, co-signed by the patrons and the artist has been
given a base price, Khushii already has a neat Rs 3.5 crore in its kitty for
the poor even after paying the artist 25 per cent of the successful bid. We
feel humble to see how many eminent people have taken time from their busy
schedule to step forward and give a helping hand,” said Vandana Luthra,
Founder and Mentor of beauty and fitness firm VLCC, who is currently Khushii's president.

Though the final amount that Khushii gets to raise from this project will
depend on the actual bids, creators who have already offered primary bids
will take the art home in case higher bids elude the auction.


First Published: Nov 09, 2006 22:02 IST