Pratham has just finished holding 11 galas across the US. It is a vote of confidence in our organization to have thousands turn out to show their support. I am truly grateful to each and every one of you, Deepak Raj, President, Pratham USA, said in a statement issued here.
“We had inspiring speakers in each location,” he said. On October 16th, more than 550 guests at the NYC Gala were all brought to their feet by a rousing speech from Cory Booker, the charismatic U.S. Senator from New Jersey, and member of the Senate India Caucus. Booker acknowledged the key strength of Pratham – action.
“Here is an organization that has shown us that we can do things that people think are impossible. At a cost and an expense that is shockingly low… An organization that says we can reach the people by going to them. That we can educate folks that other people marginalize, that don’t see their worth, their dignity. We can do it all,” Booker had said.
Cory Booker has been in the headlines before with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, and many others. He has even been the subject of more than one film about his work – the Academy-award nominated documentary Street Fight, and Brick City, which won a Peabody. But at the gala, Booker got personal, telling us stories about his parents and the lessons they taught him.
Recalling his inspiring speech, the Pratham leader said, “We must sacrifice like those who came before us. We must plant trees for others to sit under and to benefit from. That’s who we are. That’s what we are called to be. Above all, Booker reminded us to: Don’t just sit there. Stand up.”
Deepak Raj said, “If we believe this world can transform the educational outcomes for children in India, we cannot just talk about it or hope for it or pray for it. We must stand up and with audacity and determination and bold dreams, we must do something about it. This Thanksgiving season, let us remember those who planted trees of learning for us to reap the fruits–and do the same for the next generation. I urge you to join Pratham in fulfilling our mission: Every child in school and learning well.”