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December 2004 - January 2005


Vanishing Herd Foundation's Charity Ball

Virginia McKenna was the guest of honour at a ball in aid of animal welfare charity, the Vanishing Herds Foundation on Saturday 13th November 2004 at the Radisson Hotel, London. Virginia arrived with her son William and paid tribute to Diwali, the Hindu New Year, by lighting a special candle in front of the elephant-head God, Ganesh, ‘the remover of obstacles’. Jeffrey Archer, Rula Lenska and American author and animal clairvoyant Amelia Kinkade were among the stars and top dignitaries at the lavish ball that raised over £25,000 for charity.

A sensational catwalk show by Malaysia’s leading couturier Bernard Chandran, was one of the evening’s many highlights as he exclusively showcased his Spring/Summer collection inspired by Diwali and influenced by Indian classics, but with Western cuts. The stunningly choreographed show featured lots of embroidery, beads and thread work with vibrant colours, provocative cuts, fine fabrics and exceptional detailing.

The event was a roaring success for the charity and all proceeds will go towards its vital work. India is decades behind other countries in terms of conservation, there is little public or corporate awareness of conservation issues and there are few worthy educational courses in conservation.

This indicates an urgent need to start extensive ecological conservation and research. The Vanishing Herds Foundation has been created specifically to help address this issue and its main aim has been to spread an international campaign of education and awareness about the increasing and daunting threat to India’s wildlife.

One of the ways in which the foundation will achieve this is by establishing an education centre in Gir, India to educate and train students in wildlife protection and the environment. Throughout the twentieth century the world lost more than 50% of its wild tiger population. From about 10,000 tigers a century ago numbers have fallen to fewer than 5,000 alive in the wild worldwide, half of which can be found in India.

Harshad C. Patel, leading wildlife photographer and founder of the Vanishing Herds Foundation comments, “We are delighted that people enjoyed the event and that we were given an opportunity to address such a threatening issue in a fun and accessible way.”

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