Desi Night at North Park

The event began as a DECA charity idea

Deeksha Rachupalli, Staff Writer

On Saturday, February 11th, students across the Pittsburgh area were invited to celebrate Desi culture in an event called Desi Night. This event was organized by two NASH seniors, Amsu Yallalacheruvu and Harshi Chinnam. 

Both seniors got the idea while pondering their involvement in DECA.

“At the time, we were looking for a charity event idea for our DECA project, and it immediately clicked. We were practically set on doing Desi Night whether or not it had anything to do with our project,” said Chinnam. 

What started out as an idea for an extracurricular activity blossomed into a charity event that helped Desi teens connect with their culture and community.

“We noticed that the teens in the Pittsburgh area never get to meet to celebrate culture, so we took it into our own hands to do just that,” Chinnam stated. “When we came up with the idea, we knew we also wanted to raise money and have this celebration go to a good cause.” 

Although the purpose of the event was to have fun, it also allocated significant charity to Care India, an NGO working for women’s empowerment, health, and child education in rural areas.

With some research, we saw that Care India was one of the largest NGOs in India and the impacts they have made in the last century have been extensive,” Chinnam said. “They have worked on getting more women education, implementing more education programs, and improving healthcare and overall livelihood. Their multifaceted approach and wide range of solutions is what drove us to raise money for them.”

However, the process wasn’t easy. Concerns were ever-present during the planning of the event.

“We were primarily concerned about turnout and raising money— considering the fact that this was a first time event and not many people bought tickets initially,” Chinnam explained.

People have been asking us when the next one is since the minute it ended. That’s a win in my books.

— Amsu Yallalacheruvu, NASH senior

In the days leading up to the event, which took place in the North Park Rose Barn, the girls’ concerns grew stronger.

“We had only sold about 60 tickets two nights before the event,” Yallalacheruvu said. 

Perceptions were also on the planners’ minds.

“We were worried that it would be considered a lame event,” Chinnam said. “We personally find it really fun to dance around with our friends to music, but we were worried others would not.”

In the end, however, the event went as planned and the organizers couldn’t have been more grateful.

“People have been asking us when the next one is since the minute it ended,” Yallacheruvu said. “That’s a win in my books.”

Attendees at the event also had positive feedback from the event.

“I thought it would be boring and awkward, but everyone was hype,” NASH senior Siddharth Jayakrishnan said. “I re-connected with a lot of old Desi friends.”

For Chinnam, the success of the event offered additional motivation.

“We thought that, after Saturday, we’d be done with Desi Night, but I don’t think we’re done just yet,” she said.