Courtesy of Cornell's South Asian Council

Bollywood Night: Dancing For a Cause is being put on this Friday to raise money for 123 South Asian immigrants being held as prisoners in Oregon.

November 15, 2018

South Asian Council Hosting Bollywood Dance Event to Raise Money for 123 South Asian Imprisoned Immigrants

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The South Asian Council will provide a platform for students to dance to Bollywood music and raise money at the same time on Nov. 16.

The Bollywood Night: Dancing for a Cause will run from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Loco Cantina. It is sponsored by Cornell Society for India and Cornell University Pakistani Students Association.

Originally Bollywood Night at the Nines, Cornell University South Asian Council has hosted Bollywood Night annually to raise money for charities for five years. This year, SAC will be donating the money they raise to the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon. APANO is a statewide organization that unites Asians and Pacific Islanders to achieve social justice through community organizing, political advocacy, leadership development and cultural work.

Shivani Parikh ’18, President of the Cornell South Asian Council, said that they chose APANO this year because they noticed their efforts to help the 123 South Asians kept in an Oregon prison. They were impressed by “the pro-bono legal services they provide for the South Asian asylum seekers detained by ICE in Sheridan, Oregon,” Parikh said.

“I saw that APANO was the organization most involved in supporting the South Asians because they were being held in a facility in Sheridan,” Parikh said. “While there hasn’t been any coverage on their story recently, APANO has remained in the forefront of my mind a charity that deserves to be recognized for their efforts.”

Parikh mentioned that the problems faced by South Asians become more serious nowadays with new reports and policies on immigration under the Trump administration, and she wants to “look into what I could do to help from New York.”

“Over the summer, a lot of policy and news coverage was about deporting undocumented folks and large influxes of migrants crossing the border,” Parikh said. “More than anything, there was the devastating news that Trump was keeping many [immigrants] detained in what were essentially internment camps for the children when families were separated.”

She said SAC hopes to raise $500. Parikh thinks that this event can “raise awareness about the issues pertaining to immigration” and also correct some false assumptions people have about the South Asian population “that immigration is only an issue that particularly affects Mexican and South Americans.

Parikh gave an example of social problems faced by South Asians. She said the rise of Hindu nationalism in India is “the premise for fleeing for some of these migrants” and she hopes “to humanize those who are undocumented, especially those who are South Asian.”

Parikh believes that they can “draw attention to the work of and empathy for the various organizations supporting marginalized and precarious South Asians, whether domestically or abroad” through Bollywood Night and their donation to APANO.