The Puranik Foundation celebrates innovation, education, mindfulness at Lotus Innovation Awards Dinner

Sharayu Salunkhe and Paula Harris. Photos courtesy of Puranik Foundation (KPRC)

Nearly 400 attendees dined and dazzled at Post Oak Hotel Uptown for The Puranik Foundation’s Lotus Innovation Awards Dinner.

The Foundation’s mission is to provide educational opportunities that open minds, stimulate holistic perspectives, and inspire transformation, and three generations of women were present to share this vision.

Energy Project Students. Photos courtesy of Puranik Foundation (KPRC)

The gala, which was held on April 28, celebrated The Energy Project, a semester-long internship program launched by The Puranik Foundation in partnership with HISD’s Energy Institute High School (EIHS), Rice University Energy Association, CleanTech Clubs, Stanford University Professor Ariel Raz, Junior Achievement, and TXRX Labs.

The program offers high school students an opportunity to co-create alternative innovations that benefit Houston and solve local energy challenges. The five teams displayed and pitched their innovative design projects, competing for the People’s Choice Award and a $15,000 Grant to start up their businesses.

Casey Curry, Rani Puranik and Bhakti Salunkhe. Photos courtesy of Puranik Foundation (KPRC)

Guests were greeted by the beautiful décor provided by Mandap Creations, which was inspired by the Foundation’s beginnings under a tree in Pune, India.

The ballroom was transformed into a colorful and elegant visual showcase of the Puranik Foundation’s impact in India and Houston. The event also honored Bobby Tudor, CEO of Artemis Energy Partners, for Innovation; Paula Harris, executive director of the Astros Foundation, for Education; and Dr. Bradley Smith, University of Houston School of Psychology, for Mindfulness.

The Lotus Innovation Awards Gala was made possible with the support of sponsors and guests, including Worldwide Oilfield Machine, Artemis Energy Partners, Gas Tech, Castro and Co., AlliantGroup, LaPriam, Askara, Leela and Nat Krishnamurthy.

Event Chair and Global CFO and Executive Vice President of Worldwide Oilfield Machine, Rani Puranik, dazzled guests with her singing performance that included a fusion of “Colors of the Wind” and an Indian classical raga called “nahi punyachi mojani.” She ended the night by asking guests to light their candles during her closing remarks, demonstrating the power of unity.

Bobby Tudor and Otto Mallinson. Photos courtesy of Puranik Foundation (KPRC)

About the Puranik Foundation

The Puranik Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Houston and founded 20 years ago. The Foundation operates the Vision International Learning Center, a school in Pune, India, that provides private education to underserved children grades K-12 at no cost. It owns 27 acres of sustainable land, and the curriculum is enriched with nature exploration, mindfulness practices, critical thinking exercises, and leadership training.

During the summer, high school students, as well as teachers, professors, and mindfulness practitioners from around the world, are invited to participate in Impact India, a study abroad program hosted by the Foundation at the India campus.

Click here for more information about The Puranik Foundation.

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Mother of two. Award-winning lover of digital storytelling, sparked by my fascination of being a fashionable gossip like my favorite "Willona Woods" character from "Good Times." On the serious side, president of the Houston Association of Black Journalists and dedicated community servant. Happy to share the news with you each and every day!