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Jacqueline Fernandez attends fundraiser as ambassador for Pratham UK

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Jacqueline Fernandez attended a fundraising event as celebrity ambassador for Pratham UK yesterday (April 24).

The Race 2 star lent her support to Pratham, India's largest education NGO working to improve learning levels amongst underprivileged children.

Jacqueline Fernandez, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Poonam Dhillon

Jacqueline Fernandez, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Poonam Dhillion



Explaining why she supported Pratham UK, Fernandez told Digital Spy: "I actually have a friend who's involved with Pratham and the minute he mentioned the fundraiser that was happening, I just jumped on board. Pratham is very big in India and they mentioned the need for some celebrity support.

"And for me it's nothing compared to the work these people do who actually go out there and do the ground work. But just to be able to create a little awareness, showing that support and helping out in whichever way was possible, is something that I really take seriously. That's basically why I'm going to support the charity.

"No child should be deprived to the basic right of education as I honestly believe it is a pre-requisite to get anywhere in life. I am so happy to be a part of a charity so hands-on, making this happen for the large proportion of the under-privileged in our country."

Fernandez was also joined by ambassadors Sanjeev Bhaskar and actress Poonam Dhillon.

Speaking about his involvement, Bhaskar commented: "From the most basic level it is education that matters - and any project that focuses on education, particularly children, is very close to my heart.

"I think Pratham's approach to it, which is to get in and educate, is the right approach to get more children educated."

With entertainment provided by Sky's Got to Dance winners Pulse Collective, the evening featured a jewellery exhibition from Delhi-based designer Neety Singh and a fashion show by leading Indian designer Payal Jain, who showcased her collection entitled 'Butterflies In My Heart'.

Jacqueline Fernandez during the auction

Jacqueline Fernandez during the auction



Jain said: "I am really pleased to have supported Pratham for my London collection launch.

"The charity works tirelessly to improve learning levels amongst underprivileged children and as celebrities we have the responsibility of supporting causes that truly make a difference.

"The crowd was fabulous; probably the best-dressed on a Wednesday afternoon in London and I thoroughly enjoyed being here."

With 350 women attending, the event raised £42,000 for the charity. Speaking about the evening, Shalija Sharma, chair of Friends of Pratham, said: "I have been overwhelmed by the support that we have received for event.

"It is an inspiring cause to be a part of as I truly believe that knowledge is an asset that no-one should be deprived of and Pratham is doing a great job to provide this asset to many young children."

Pratham has reached almost 500,000 children in 43 cities and 33 million children in 305,000 villages through a wide range of programmes, from teaching children to read at nursery schools through to primary and secondary education and vocational skills.

Pratham mobilises huge networks of volunteers in rural and slum areas to improve reading and arithmetic standards for millions of young people and improves their employment prospects.

In 2012, two million children were taught to read with its Read India campaign, which is active in 17 states and 38,000 villages.

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