AIF’s New England gala raises over $900,000 to empower India’s unemployed youth

India New England

The American India Foundation raised over $900,000 at the organization’s 7th Annual New England Gala, which took place at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel on November 23. Nearly 400 prominent professionals and philanthropists were in attendance, including Congressman Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, and several well-known personalities in the Boston area. One-hundred percent of the proceeds will go towards supporting the Market Aligned Skills Training program, an AIF initiative that has provided over 105,741 disadvantaged and unemployed young people with the skills necessary to succeed in India’s high growth industries.

“I am particularly gratified about this year’s gala because we assembled an incredible team of volunteers who were passionate about the cause and worked for several months to pull this event together,” said Raj Sharma, who is on the organization’s Board of Directors. “Our program chairs Andy and Deepa Gupta, Farida and Imtiaz Kathawalla provided exceptional leadership under the direction of our Chapter Manager Nirmala Garimella. Our Chairs for the Gala Vivek and Vandana Sharma inspired all of us with their hard work and generosity. We were also pleased to have Congressman Joseph Kennedy and Tulsi Gabbard join us for the evening. Every dollar raised will go to the programs, since all the overhead costs of the organization are underwritten by the board and trustees.”

The special honoree of the event was Scott Sperling, Co-President of Thomas H. Lee Partners. Through his family foundation and other channels, Mr. Sperling has actively invested in the social service sector, with an emphasis on education and development. Mr Sperling commended the work of AIF and the guests that assembled for their commitment to the cause.
The event was emceed by comedian Anish Shah who drew a lot of laughs and kept the guests entertained throughout the evening and featured fabulous music by one of Israel’s most distinguished singer-songwriters and recording stars, Shye Ben Sur and the Rajastani Gypsies. Delicious food was catered by Masala Art. This year, a silent auction of 20 emerging artists from India drew lot of interested art lovers to the gala. The live art auction also featured donated artworks of local and emerging artists.

Founded in 2001 at the initiative of President Bill Clinton, The American India Foundation is committed to catalyzing social and economic change in India and building a lasting bridge between the United States and India through high-impact interventions in education, livelihoods, public health, and leadership development. AIF has impacted the lives of more than 1.9 million of India’s poor and aims to reach 5 million by 2018. Learn more at www.AIF.org. President Bill Clinton serves as Honorary Chair and Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen Chairs the Advisory Council.

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