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American India Foundation

The American India Foundation (AIF) which is a non-profit organization is dedicated to accelerating both economic and social change in India and it was established in the year 2001. Since this foundation was launched, it has raised about $50 million through the help of well wishers while this non-profit American organization has since invested in well above 100 India non-governmental organizations. This development has made the American India Foundation one of the non-partisan and largest American organizations behind improvement work in India.

With emphases on elementary education, HIV/AIDS, the American India Foundation awards grants to public health, livelihood and education projects respectively, in India. On the other hand, the Digital Equalizer program of AIF was introduced to bridge the digital divide through the provision of internet access, computers and training to the Indian schools that are under-resourced. The William J. Clinton Fellowship for Service to India formally known as Service Corps Fellowship that sends skilled young American to work with NGOs in India for duration of 10 months is also being funded by the American India Foundation. Furthermore, the fellowship assists in exchanging intellectual resources, technical skills as well as increasing the capacity of Indian NGOs to carry on their work in the course of giving American leaders a good understanding of India.

In response to the 2001 Gujarat earthquake, the American India Foundation was launched by a cluster of Indian-Americans. AIF had Bill Clinton, former President of the United States of America as its Honorary Chair, and has got involved in many AIF events. In the wake of the earthquake, he was asked by the Indian Prime Minister to get involved.

The Annual Washington DC Gala  – This is an event that holds yearly, and this year’s event is not an exemption. It will hold on Friday, November 16, 2012 with a cocktail reception at Hall of Flags, Chamber of Commerce in Washington DC from 6 pm to 7 pm.

The Chief Guest and Speaker at the event is Nirupama Menon Rao – The Ambassador of India to the United States.  Nirupama Menon Rao is the  second woman to hold the post of Indian Foreign Secretary, the head of India Foreign Service. Her experience include stints at Ministry of External Affairs as Joint Secretary (East Asia),  Minister of Press Affairs in Washington.

Furthermore, the Annual Washington DC Gala will be honoring Congressman Jim Moran and will give special recognition to Dr. Natwar Gandhi – The CFO District of Columbia. The Gala chairs include Victor Menezes – a Retired Senior Vice Chairman of Citigroup. Others are Ranvi & Adarsh Trehan of the Trehan Family Foundation.

The Annual Washington DC Gala Co-Chairs are; Sanjay & Vidja Govil, Sudhakar Shenoy, Geoff Stewart and Ron Somers. The benefits committee of the event includes; Mahinder & Sharad Tak (Chairs), Sonia & Raj Boveja, Kiran & Dr, Verinder Nirankari, Sushma Shenoy & Amit Saluja as well as Neena & Suresh Shenoy.

The Mistress of ceremonies of this year’s Annual Washington DC Gala is Natasha Barrett, who is a reporter with ABC 7 News while Vijai Nathan – a comedian will be entertaining at the event.


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