American India Foundation launches 10th branch in the United States, in Virginia

The American Bazaar Online

RICHMOND, VA: The American India Foundation launched its Richmond Chapter on Wednesday—the 10th branch of the nonprofit in the United States.

Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones lit the ceremonial lamp at the inaugural event held at the Virginia BioTechnology Center here.

Highlighting the potential of the chapter, Jones pointed out that “Virginia is … the home of the seventh largest population of Indian Americans in the country. And the growth rate has been phenomenal—over a hundred percent in the last decade.”

He added: “That’s what the promise of this enterprise is: the promise to bring together relationships that are transforming the lives of the young folks all throughout the country of India, one of the largest democracies in the world.”

AIF Vice Chair Dr. Venkat Srinivasan, who was a special guest at the event, talked about the ideals of the organization that attracted him to it.

“The first principle for us is secular ideals,” he said. “We don’t discriminate on the basis of any caste, creed, sex, religion etc.”

Srinivasan listed the “very, very high standards of integrity” of the people that were involved with AIF and its steadfast focus on impact as the two other things that resonated with him.

John Stokes, who worked in India as part of the AIF William J. Clinton Fellowship for Service in India, spoke about his experience in India.

The Richmond chapter Chairs Sanjay Mittal and Sunita Gupta, and AIF philanthropy consultant Venkatesh Raghavendra also spoke on the occasion.

The Virginia capital, with a population of more than 214,000, is the 99th largest city in the United States. The Richmond metropolitan area, which is home to 1.2 million people, is the 44th largest metropolitan area in the country.

The nine other cities and regions AIF has chapters are Atlanta, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New England, New York Tristate Area, Orange County  and Washington, DC.

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