The MurthyNAYAK Foundation The MurthyNAYAK Foundation The MurthyNAYAK Foundation The MurthyNAYAK Foundation The MurthyNAYAK Foundation

Past Support

MurthyNAYAK Foundation Sponsors South Asian Film Festival

640 427 Shay Taylor

The MurthyNAYAK Foundation, which supports documentary work on important social issues, served as a proud sponsor of the seventh annual Washington D.C. South Asian Film Festival (DCSAFF), held over the weekend in Rockville, Maryland. This festival provides a platform for outstanding alternative cinema from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka while supporting several local charities that serve the South Asian community.

Among this year’s featured DCSAFF films was the Indian drama 5 Rupya, which generated excitement in the entertainment industry. It also was a favorite of Ms. Murthy’s and Mr. Nayak’s, and they consider it a must-see for the theater-going public, when it is released. The film stars Shabana Azmi, lauded as the “Meryl Streep of India” by festival director Manoj Singh in a recent interview with Culture Spot. Singh went on the praise the film’s director, “… Piyush Panjwani has woven together a beautiful film that captures the essence of Munshi Premchand’s Idgah, a story that’s considered one of the classics in Indian literature.” [See D.C. South Asian Film Festival Returns to Montgomery College-Rockville, by Barbara Trainin Blank, Culture Spot, 04.Sep.2018.]

Those slogging through the rain for this year’s DCSAFF were rewarded with an opportunity to attend a black-tie gala at the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda, and to listen in on a variety of panel discussion featuring prominent South Asian actors, directors, writers, and producers. Murthy Law Firm founder and president, Sheela Murthy, had the honor of serving as moderator for a discussion on women and gender issues and the importance of diversity and representation in film. In the era of #MeToo, these topics are more important than ever, and Ms. Murthy was proud to be part of such a critical conversation.


Copyright © 2018, MurthyNAYAK Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Maryland Legal Aid

640 480 Vasant Nayak

Maryland Legal Aid is a private, nonprofit law firm providing free legal services to low-income people statewide. The organization serves Baltimore City and Maryland’s 23 counties from 12 offices and three District Court Self-Help Centers.

Maryland Legal Aid handles civil (not criminal) cases, involving a wide range of issues, including custody, housing, public benefits, and consumer law. Many of the group’s local offices represent children in CINA (Child in Need of Assistance) proceedings. Other vulnerable members of the population, such as senior citizens, migrant and seasonal farm workers, and nursing home and assisted living residents, also receive specialized representation. Legal protections under the law for the vulnerable in our society: this is where the MurthyNAYAK Foundation intersects with Maryland Legal Aid.

Maryland Legal Aid provides a variety of services including representation before federal and state trial and appellate courts, brief advice and counsel, and referrals to other sources of assistance. Maryland Legal Aid’s mission is to provide high quality legal services to the state’s low-income population poor through a mix of services, and to bring about the changes low-income poor people want and need in the systems that affect them.


A Gift to Franklin High School

640 427 Shay Taylor

The MurthyNAYAK Foundation made a $5000 donation to Franklin High School, in Reisterstown, Maryland, for their moot court competitions. Sheela Murthy and Aron Finkelstein of the Murthy Law Firm met with the principal of Franklin High School, several participants of the student moot court, and President of the Baltimore County Foundation Board, Deborah Phelps, mother of Olympic champion, Michael Phelps.

Close friends of Ms. Murthy, Patricia Lambert and her husband Chris Lambert, donate generously of their time and finances to these high school children, as well, training them for the moot courts and helping with travel expenses for competitions.

Murthy described the impact that her participation in moot court had on her own life. She expressed hope that these students will have similar opportunities to travel and participate in national moot courts with the gift from the MurthyNAYAK Foundation. Franklin High School students are winning at both the regional and national levels, and competing with top private schools, thanks to the team effort of all those who support these kids and believe in them.


Copyright © 2018, MurthyNAYAK Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

University of Maryland Immigration Clinic

640 480 Vasant Nayak

The Immigration Clinic represents individuals in immigration proceedings before the Immigration Court and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in Baltimore. Assistance for immigrants is very important to us at the MurthyNAYAK Foundation, and we believe that the Immigration Clinic is an organization worthy of our support. Law students work under the supervision of an experienced attorney, performing all aspects of case preparation, including client interviews, fact development, witness interviews, writing motions and legal briefs, court appearances, trial, and post-relief issues. The immigration clinic seeks to provide an environment for students that is conducive to learning these skills and applying them in real cases.

Student attorneys represent clients who are fleeing persecution in their homelands and seeking asylum in the U.S., individuals in danger of being deported due to criminal convictions, and individuals who have been the victims of domestic violence or other crimes. In addition, the clinic has a number of cases that have challenged abusive enforcement practices by the government.


Baltimore Speaker Series

640 480 Vasant Nayak

Each year, the Baltimore Speakers Series offers evenings of diverse opinions, profound insights, and fascinating discussion on a broad range of issues. Over the years, the distinguished guests who have served as speakers have included Pulitzer Prize winners, world leaders, statesmen, journalists, authors, and other celebrated personalities. The MurthyNAYAK Foundation is a supporter of this series, which brings leaders in politics and culture to our city to enlighten and inspire us.


South Asian Film Festival

640 480 Vasant Nayak

Hosted by DC South Asian Arts Council Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, the Washington D.C. South Asian Film Festival (DCSAFF) takes place annually in the heart of the nation’s capitol, showcasing the best in unconventional cinema from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. This festival focuses on documentaries that promote social change and increase awareness of important issues, and this aligns with the mission of the MurthyNAYAK Foundation, which is a supporter of the event.

Each year, alongside its tightly curated screening program of features, documentaries and shorts, DCSAFF hosts exclusive media presentations, retrospectives, and special tributes. The festival is dedicated to maintaining a dialogue between film enthusiasts and industry professionals by providing the opportunity for the exchange of ideas through discussions, panels, and networking events. DCSAFF provides a platform for filmmakers to expand their audience and reach out to a potential 600,000 South Asians living in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

Since its inception, DCSAFF has also been committed to giving back by championing local charities, including: Upakar Foundation, Ekal Vidhyala, Global India Fund, American India Fund, ASHA, Pratham and The Humsafar Trust.


Community College of Baltimore County

640 480 Vasant Nayak

The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) is ranked one of the top providers of undergraduate education, workplace skills, and technology training in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. Since 1957, CCBC has offered a unique approach to education that strives to empower students and transform the community for the better. CCBC services nearly 65,000 students each year, utilizing innovative learning strategies that encourage the students to develop a passion for life-long learning.

Murthy Law Firm founder and president, Sheela Murthy, is not just an advocate for international education; she has a deep philanthropic commitment to the cause as well. Murthy generously provided a $50,000 endowment to establish the Sheela Murthy / Donna Riehl Global Lecture Series at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), a program that will bring to campus a who’s who of global leaders in business, government, and education. Murthy shares the name of the series with Donna Riehl, her dear friend and a former dean of CCBC who succumbed to cancer in 2011. Murthy and Riehl met while serving on the Board of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland (GSCM), and found they shared a passion for public service.


Akshara Foundation of Art & Learning

640 480 Vasant Nayak

Akshara High School is a neighborhood school in the northern suburbs of Mumbai, India. It is a co-educational, English medium ICSE School. The Akshara Foundation of Art and Learning created the high school as a model system of learning that integrates the arts with standard teaching practices. Since its inception, the foundation has fostered a range of multi-disciplinary projects that embed the arts in educational practice, thereby enhancing teaching-learning methodologies.

Akshara High School’s philosophy is that the arts can play a crucial role in evolving classroom methodologies. The MurthyNAYAK Foundation supports Akshara’s efforts to enrich these children’s education with creativity and creative thinking through exposure to the arts. At Akshara, teachers are encouraged to integrate subjects like language, mathematics, science, art, sports, dance, and music using a variety of tools and techniques. Students must develop varied skills and interests in academics, arts, and sports in order to add value to their community. Through a series of multi-faceted engagements, the school tries to sensitize children to the arts and create opportunities for interaction with artists from different backgrounds. These include workshops, live performances, screenings, field visits, interactions and demonstrations by national and international artists.

Center for Arts

AFAL’s Center for the Arts is a space where children and adults can come together and share through the medium of art. The center functions as a reference library and performance space/exhibition center, and also serves as a communal hub for meetings and discussions. The Center also encourages and hosts programs with partners across Mumbai.

AFAL’s Center for the Arts works with national and international organizations to make the arts accessible across India. The organization believes that the arts and media have a vital social responsibility, especially in the areas of tolerance, social development, humanitarian concerns, and integration.


MNF Sponsors 26th Annual Lawyers’ Campaign Against Hunger

1024 768 mnf

Too often, it’s assumed that poverty and hunger aren’t really a problem in stable, industrialized democracies like the United States. The sad truth is: even here in Maryland – a wealthy state in a prosperous country – more than 781,000 people face crippling food insecurity.

That’s where the Maryland Lawyers’ Campaign Against Hunger comes in. Each year, the campaign raises thousands of dollars to benefit the Maryland Food Bank, which serves Baltimore County, Western Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, and the Capital Area Food Bank, which serves Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties. This campaign relies on the generosity of Maryland’s legal community to meet the needs of their fellow citizens, needs that have grown more acute during the economic downturn.

The MurthyNAYAK Foundation is proud to be among the major donors to this worthy and compelling cause. Our commitment extends beyond making a significant financial contribution; Murthy Law Firm founder and president, Sheela Murthy, is a member of the campaign’s 2013 Honorary Committee, joining the likes of Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski, as well as Governor Martin O’Malley, in supporting the Maryland Lawyers’ Campaign Against Hunger.

Help brighten up the New Year for a neighbor in need! You can donate online to the Lawyers’ Campaign Against Hunger.

Copyright © 2014, MurthyNAYAK Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

MNF Sponsors MLF Attorney in Feed Annapolis

600 400 mnf

Like so many of his colleagues, Murthy Law Firm attorney Kevin Andrews is an avid volunteer and a generous giver to worthy causes in the community. As an athlete and active outdoorsman, Kevin often combines his fundraising efforts with a good workout: overnight ruck marches to support wounded veterans, endurance races that challenge body, mind, and spirit, and even less-strenuous fun runs, like the Feed Annapolis 5-Miler that he did in August.

The race raised funds to provide food for needy children in Maryland’s Anne Arundel County schools – children who receive government-subsidized meals at school, but often have nothing to eat when they get home. It’s a bigger issue than most of us realize, in part because it’s under the radar: in a recent survey, more than 40 percent of elementary and middle school teachers said that children coming to school hungry – due to lack of sufficient food at home – is a serious problem in their classrooms!

The MurthyNAYAK Foundation was proud to sponsor Kevin and his team. More than 30 of Kevin’s Murthy Law Firm colleagues also made donations, in cash and in kind, to support the Feed Annapolis event. Kevin learned of the race through a friend, and contacted the race organizers to see how he could help. He was shocked to learn of the extent of childhood hunger in Annapolis, an affluent community with many hidden pockets of poverty.

According to Kevin, “One of the school counselors told me the kids also need hygiene products. He said a seven-year-old won a prize at school, and asked if he could get deodorant for his parents, instead of the candy! That just blew me away, so I eMailed all my colleagues at the firm and asked for donations, and offered to carry whatever they gave me. They contributed nearly 300 pounds of laundry soap, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, and soap, all in less than 48 hours – which, to me, speaks volumes about their generosity!”

Kevin and his friends built a wooden platform and carried all 300 pounds of the donated items for the entire length of the racecourse – and to make it more entertaining, he raced in his Spiderman costume! The event raised $14,000, and contributed 400 boxes of food to help keep Annapolis children from going hungry. With the help of the MurthyNAYAK Foundation, and his Murthy Law Firm colleagues, Kevin was able to do some serious good, but with a sense of fun, and obvious joy in giving!

Copyright © 2013, MurthyNAYAK Foundation. All Rights Reserved.