In 2020, AIF quickly pivoted to address the critical situation in India and the United States. In India, AIF leveraged its programs’ infrastructure on health, education, and livelihoods via its wide network to address the needs of the nation with ventilators, PPE, and other interventions in order to save the lives of vulnerable Indians from COVID-19. Read the report here.

In 2021, India recorded the world’s highest daily tally of 314,835 COVID-19 infections on April 22nd, as this second wave sent many more into a fragile health care system, critically short of hospital beds and oxygen. Working with our partners, hospitals, and governments, AIF has launched a three-pronged Phase 2 Emergency Response Strategy to address this crisis. Here is an overview.

The American India Foundation is committed to improving the lives of India’s underprivileged, with a special focus on women, children, and youth. AIF does this through high impact interventions in education, health, and livelihoods, because poverty is multidimensional. AIF’s unique value proposition is its broad engagement between communities, civil society, and expertise, thereby building a lasting bridge between the United States and India. With offices in New York and California, twelve chapters across the U.S., and India operations headquartered in Delhi NCR, AIF has impacted 6.7 million lives across 26 states of India.

A Closer Look

I’d planned to write more extensively about Delhi, about my feelings on living here now that it’s been two months and I don’t feel totally, utterly adrift. Those feelings are taking a bit longer to work through than I anticipated. However, I can share a bit of how I’ve been engaging with my time here. I look forward every weekend, especially on those weekends where I work Saturdays, to my time off. It’s a chance, especially now when the sun and heat and pollution are not all actively conspiring together to smother the life out of me, to explore my surroundings, to wander, and to get to know as much as I can about the incredibly rich history and life that is present here. It’s also a chance to take out my camera (version 2.0; RIP pick-pocketed point-and-shoot) and to record as much as I can of my surroundings. I don’t feel comfortable enough, in my own skill or in my own judgement, to take many pictures of people on the street, or in their day to day lives, a feeling that’s not reciprocated by the many, many, many people who are moved to stop and take their picture with me and my blond hair. Unsurprisingly in a city and a region filled with monuments from centuries of wealthy and powerful Hindu and Muslim empires, the monuments that survive are rich in beautiful details, some grand and some small, that bring art clearly into the built space. Here are some glimpses of some of my favorites details and places from around Delhi, and from a trip to Ahmedabad, thus far.

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Before receiving the Fellowship, Eliel worked for three years in the U.S. House of Representatives. His experiences in Congressional offices representing different districts in New York State gave him an opportunity to apply his academic background in political science and public policy to promoting jobs and economic development in his home state. At the same time, he learned about representing and furthering local priorities at the national level. In addition to his time in Congress, Eliel has worked with domestic and internationally focused non-profits advocating for human rights, social justice, and economic development, and received his Masters in Public Policy with a focus in international development from the University of Maryland.

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