AIA-NY raises $50,000 for Projects in India

AIA-NY raises $50,000 for Projects in India

The Association of Indians in America, NY Chapter (AIA-NY), considered among the oldest Indian-American organizations in the country, during its annual fundraiser called, “Spread Hope,” raised over $50,000 towards projects in India. Held on June 9th at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, the event was organized by the philanthropic arm of AIA, which is committed to help meet the needs of the underserved in India.

The team behind Project India shared its evolution over the past 10 years with the 260 guests or so guests at the sold-out event: Project India was created in response to the rampant spread of HIV/AIDS in India. AIA has since partnered with Gujarat AIDS Awareness and Prevention, an NGO based in Ahmedabad and supported by a group of physicians from the Brooklyn Hospital. Their focus is rural areas, including tribal villages.

Programs evolved to eventually include comprehensive healthcare for women and children. More than 2,000 families are now served across 80 rural and tribal villages along the border of Gujarat and Rajasthan that have minimal access to medical care. Programs are monitored, evaluated and refined to align with the need and outcomes.

Gobind Munjal, president of the NY chapter, said key programs of Project India were highlighted in a visual presentation: annual medical camps, training for teachers, women’s health checkups, care for orphans living with HIV/AIDS and prevention of HIV from mother-to-child.

 Event was sold out and was a huge success, organizers said in a press release. It was attended by more than 250 movers and shakers from the Tri-state area, including prominent individuals such as Dr. Dattatreyudu Nori, Kalpana and Amit Doshi, Dr. Sudha and Sudhir Parikh, Asmita and Arun Bhatia. India’s Consul General in New York Sandeep Chakravorty was the Chief Guest.

At the event, the Project India team shared the experiences of the last 10 years when it was launched as a response to the rampant spread of HIV/AIDS in India. Those attending were reminded that much work needed to be done and that every dollar raised goes directly to the help of the needy.

“In the past decade, AIA’s partnerships with a renowned NGO called Gujarat AIDS Awareness and Prevention (GAP), located in Ahmedabad, and supported by a group of Physicians of the Brooklyn Hospital, have made immense strides in making a measurable difference in the lives of thousands in rural and tribal villages,” organizers said. Programs have evolved as the Team gained more experience and the attention today is on comprehensive healthcare for women and children.

According to AIA’s Project India, more than 2,000 families across 80 rural and tribal villages along the border of Gujarat and Rajasthan, have been beneficiaries of its program. These areas have minimal access to medical care. Programs are monitored, evaluated and refined to align with the need and outcomes, the audience at the event was informed.

The programs resonated deeply with the night’s keynote speaker, Ambassador Sandeep Chakravarty, who engaged the crowd with his personal story and admiration for the Association of Indians in America and its efforts with Project India.

The evening also included a musical theater with its North American Premiere, called Three Women, written and directed by Isheeta Ganguly. The play was based on Rabindranath Tagore, showcasing the dilemma of women in the past and the present. All actors Avantika Akerkar, Mahima Saigal, Zayn Marie Khan; narrator Samrat Chakrabarti and musician Abhishek Chauhan got a standing ovation. The artists traveled from India, sponsored by Cheapoair and Turkish

Gobind Munjal, president of the NY chapter, said key programs of Project India were highlighted in a visual presentation: annual medical camps, training for teachers, women’s health checkups, care for orphans living with HIV/AIDS and prevention of HIV from mother-to-child.

Project India team member Asmita Bhatia said that the results are encouraging due to the dedication of trained workers, trust of the villagers and local panchayats and school authorities. The guests were reminded that much work is still needed and that every dollar raised goes directly to the help of the needy.

“The net amount from the fundraiser after paying all the expenses would be only about $40,000,” Munjal told India Abroad. He said the programs resonated deeply with the evening’s keynote speaker, Ambassador Sandeep Chakravorty who engaged the audience with his personal story and admired the AIA’s efforts for Project India. Chakravorty, consul general of India in New York, was chief guest.

The Association of Indians in America (AIA) is the oldest not-for-profit organization of Indian-Americans, founded on Aug. 20, 1967. It has chapters and membership spread across the United States. Airways. The AIA’s New York Chapter President, Gobind Munjal, invited all to the 31st Deepavali Festival scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 7 at South Street Seaport. For more information on Project India, visit projectindiaaia.org

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