Indian-Americans have raised nearly US $200,000 to reduce maternal and child mortality in impoverished rural areas of India.
The fund was raised at an annual gala organised by American India Foundation which was attended by influential guests from the US and Indian governments, corporate and entrepreneur leadership, media and philanthropy.
In his keynote address, renowned film writer, lyricist, and poet Javed Akhtar, who was honoured at the event, praised the involvement and contribution of the American-Indian community in strengthening villages and small towns in India.
“What is wonderful about you is that you have not forgotten your connect to India. You have not forgotten your roots. India is proud of you,” Akhtar said. He praised the community’s strong connection with India and said: “Somebody once said, you can take the boy out of the town but its a lot more difficult to take the town out of the boy.’ The town is alive in you.”
Indian Ambassador to the US Arun Kumar Singh talked about current development challenges in India and the solutions being implemented across the country, including initiatives to revitalise the economy through entrepreneurship and start-ups.
He also highlighted the crucial contribution of foundation’s initiatives in female literacy and empowerment to this national economic effort. “The effort of the government has to be supplemented by what civil society and people like you are able to do,” he said.