Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan made a stunning appearance at the United Nations' 2012 Every Woman Every Child dinner, held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The 38 year old mother of one had to face considerable criticism back home, after appearing to be unwilling to lose weight gained during pregnancy but has since fought back, with the help of family and friends, to silence her critics.
The actress and former Miss World was recently appointed an International Goodwill Ambassador for the joint United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS and was accompanied to the event by American supermodel Christy Turlington. The American is a US delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
The Bollywood star looked smashing in a loose-fitting bright red Anarkali (a traditional Indian floor-length gown) with a golden border. Turlington, meanwhile, opted for a casual black trench coat and blue shirt, with her hair tied up.
In addition to Turlington and Bachchan, the event also saw several other celebrities, like British model Lily Cole, actress Debra Messing, model Erin Heatherton and basketball star Shaquille O'Neal. Also in attendance was the UN's Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, who launched the foundation in September 2010.
"In just two years, Every Woman Every Child has achieved important results in accelerating progress for women and children," the Secretary-General explained, adding, "I am encouraged that so many global leaders have galvanized action around key issues like family planning, child survival and access to essential commodities. Even in these times of austerity, there is no better investment than the health of women and children."
Meanwhile, Bachchan's role for the HIV/AIDS programme will to be spread awareness of the Global Plan, which is focused on 21 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and her native India. The scheme aims at accelerating progress for women and children in key areas such as family planning, child survival and access to essential commodities.
"Spreading awareness on health issues, especially related to women and children, has always been a priority for me," she said in a statement, "And now, as a new mother, I can personally relate to this--the joys and concerns of every mother and the hopes that we have for our children. I strongly believe that every baby should be born free from HIV. And I wish that every woman living with HIV stays healthy and has access to treatment. I promise that with UNAIDS, I will do my utmost to make this happen."