As an outspoken advocate of women’s rights and a talented entrepreneur, Padma Lakshmi is already one of our favourite people on earth. The first generation US immigrant, whose family originally hails from Kerala, regularly uses her celebrity to champion underdog causes — from the right to birth control to children’s education. And on Diwali, she took to Instagram to talk about a very special kind of gifting initiative that she was launching.
Sharing a photo of a letter written to her by a former student of Shanti Bhavan, a residential school for the underprivileged in Bengaluru, Lakshmi writes, “Who could feel low after reading this! This beautiful love letter is from a graduate of @shanti_bhavan, a school I have been supporting for years. Divali is a festival for everyone but centered around children. This Divali holiday I ask you to consider the children less fortunate and donate whatever you can to this amazing school. Shilpa just published her first memoir “The Elephant Chasers Daughter”. I just read the first chapter and the writing is so good I was in tears. Shilpa is living proof that with an education, a child is capable of anything! They are raising funds to build another school. I can think of no better way to celebrate Divali than to give them a chance to expand their programs and help the neediest children. And create more Shilpas. Mention my name when you donate and I will match it.”