The Bollywood bash that gives back

The Bollywood bash that gives back

Rowan Thomas reports back from the Bollywood Dentist Jhumka Ball 2024, dentistry’s charity tribute to Bollywood cinema.

Saturday 3 February saw the UK’s Indian dental community gather for the Bollywood Dentist Jhumka Ball 2024. Hosted at the London Mariott Hotel in Mayfair, the event was an elegant evening of dining, dancing and mingling with a vibrant Bollywood theme.

The Bollywood Dentist Facebook group was created during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way for dental colleagues to share their love of Indian cinema. It was initially founded by Jas Gill, principal dentist at Moonlight Dental in Slough, but is now led by a committee of dedicated dental professionals. Over the years, the group has grown to a membership of 1,400 people and transitioned into in-person events such as their annual charity ball. 

A worthy cause

Ticket sales from the Jhumka ball raised money for Wells on Wheels, founded by dental marketeer Shaz Memon. 

The charity aims to improve water collection in rural India by providing water wheels to families, enabling them to carry water faster and in higher volumes. This efficiency allows young girls to spend their time in education instead of fetching water.

Shaz said: ‘For every seat here, one girl will get to go to school, and I’m so proud of that. These contributions have a ripple effect on the communities in India. That is the power of coming together – together we can do great things.’

This vital cause attracted sponsorship from many prominent companies with ties to UK dentistry, from implant manufacturers to finance brokers.

Bollywood glamour

This year’s ball was bigger than ever before – 320 guests from across the UK and beyond flocked to Mayfair for the event. A dazzling array of traditional Indian dress was on display from many, while others opted for Hollywood over Bollywood with more western styles.

A highlight of the evening was undoubtably the food on offer. Two courses of delicious Indian-inspired fayre will have left many guests’ lehengas tighter than when they arrived.

Entertainment was also provided in the form of two dance performances featuring choreography from Shiamak Davar, known by many as the guru of contemporary dance in India. He was director of choreography for two Commonwealth Games and has worked across stage and screen in his signature Bollywood style.

The Bollywood theme was also evident in the décor throughout the event. Guests had the opportunity to take photos in an archway formed of classic Bollywood film posters. They entered via a glamorous red carpet complete with paparazzi, allowing them to experience life as a Bollywood star first-hand.

As the night progressed, the crowd took to the dancefloor where the DJ supplied a steady stream of Bollywood hits. Those in the know stood out, with many guests not missing a single lyric or dance step. 

Pioneering wisdom

The ball also saw a lifetime achievement award in dentistry presented to Raj Rattan. Raj’s career has spanned everything from clinical dental practice to consultancy for organisations such as the NHS and Department of Health. In 2008, he was awarded an MBE for services to dentistry.

Jas said: ‘He has helped so many of us who have lost our way – he’s a pioneer.’

Raj shared some of his extensive wisdom with guests as he accepted the award, discussing the value of the professional connections which events such as the ball promote. He said: ‘The attribution of success is often misguided. It’s the people who we engage with who make us successful.’

The Bollywood Dentist Ball will be returning for 2025. If you share a passion for dentistry and Bollywood cinema, why not join the Facebook group and get involved yourself? 

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