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.

NBA partners with AIF to create a legacy with their first ever NBA India Games

An inspiring model of US-India bridge building through a holistic School Transformation Program

Sports enthusiasts from the India and the U.S. are abuzz with excitement ever since the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced its first-ever matches to be played in India on October 4 and 5, 2019. While this much awaited event is being closely watched by basketball aficionados and young sporting aspirants eager to witness legends in the game, there is much more happening on the sidelines in terms of the legacy that NBA will be creating in India. The American India Foundation, the largest Indian diasporic platform for philanthropy in the U.S., is the partner of choice for NBA, Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers’ to lead their legacy project in India. NBA will celebrate this landmark event with weeklong series of activities to impact youth, coaches, teachers and families in India.

The first ever matches to be played in India between the Kings and Pacers will be leaving behind a legacy for underprivileged children in India through a holistic School Transformation Program (STP) spearheaded by AIF in India.  This initiative, covering five under-resourced municipal schools in Mumbai, aims to demonstrate an inspiring model of US-India bridge building. Through the holistic School Transformation Program, AIF’s Digital Equalizer team will work on integrating technology with collaborative and project-based classroom learning experience, through sports-based life skills in the targeted schools over a period of one year starting from October 2019. STP includes a range of interventions including setting up of technology infrastructure, digital academic content, smart classrooms, STEM resource centers, robotics lab, basketball court, life skills through sports, digital literacy, refurbishment of water and hygiene facilities in school and capacity building of teachers towards a lasting, sustainable and replicable transformation of the physical and learning space in India’s under-resourced public schools.

One of the five schools will be developed as a ‘hub school’ with a robotics lab and basketball court, in addition to the interventions provided in other schools. In the robotics lab, students will be exposed to the software and coding to integrate Science, Engineering and Computational skills. A hub school will be accompanied with a basketball court which will be attended by students from all five schools and utilized to teach sports-based life skills around leadership, gender equity, character, teamwork, and communication, along with academic success. By using the sport of basketball as a vehicle for change, students will be able to learn on the court and in the classroom through experiential learning methodologies. Apart from this, inter-school competitions will identify young talent in basketball and encourage parents to participate in these events.

AIF’s Digital Equalizer Program utilizes technology to bridge the educational and digital divide in India by transforming under-resourced schools into dynamic places to teach and learn through collaborative, project-based learning. The Digital Equalizer program has empowered 4 million students, 150,000 teachers, and 13,000 schools in 15 states till now.

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. Working closely with local communities, AIF partners with NGOs to develop and test innovative solutions and with governments to create and scale sustainable impact. Founded in 2001 at the initiative of President Bill Clinton following a suggestion from Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee, AIF has impacted the lives of 5.6 million of India’s poor. AIF has the highest ratings by independent agencies such as GuideStar and Charity Navigator. Learn more at


As Director of Communications and Advocacy, Rowena Kay Mascarenhas holds the global responsibility for overseeing the development and implementation of AIF’s marketing, communications, and advocacy strategies across the Head Office, Country Office and Regional Offices.

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