Keynote speaker Senator Cory Booker emphasizes the importance of giving back at annual fundraiser
LOS ANGELES, CA, October 22, 2018 – On September 29, 2018, more than 250 corporate and civic leaders attended the Los Angeles gala of Pratham, one of India’s largest and most successful education NGOs. Held at the scenic Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach, with its captivating ocean view, the event brought together local supporters to celebrate the achievements made possible through their generosity and generated $2.5 million in commitments for Pratham programs.
In his keynote speech, Senator Cory Booker, a longtime friend of Pratham, engaged the crowd with inspiring words about the importance of education and giving back. “We cannot ever forget that the best way to ensure a great future for humanity is to invest in the education of children,” Booker explained, adding, “Never forget that you owe a debt to others that came before you. You owe a debt that you can’t pay back but you’ve got to pay forward.”
Booker’s comments are exemplified by several longstanding LA-based supporters: the Sudesh and Chitra Arora Family Foundation and the Mody family have been instrumental in empowering indigent youth through their ongoing support of Pratham’s vocational training programs, while the Sarva Mangal Family Trust provided the seed capital to launch Pratham’s digital initiatives. The effectiveness of both programs were on display during the evening. First, in a series of live feeds conducted by Dr. Madhav Chavan, co-founder and president of Pratham, children delighted the room with demonstrations of their tablets from halfway around the world, and participants in vocational training centers across India thanked the chapter for its life-changing support.
Then, in person, Pratham graduate Pranali Kaurati, who has overcome great adversity in her young life and is now thriving as a result of Pratham, shared her experience of the bedside assistance training program. “My dream is to help people who can’t help themselves. I was one of them a few years ago, and now thanks to Pratham and my job, I get to look after patients and assist them with their needs, and this provides me with an incredible amount of satisfaction and happiness.”
Earlier in the evening, guests were treated to a mesmerizing mind reading performance by mentalist Oz Pearlman and enjoyed traditional Indian cuisine provided by Manohar Delhi Palace.
“Tonight is a testament to what we can accomplish when we come together to provide opportunities for young people,” said Pratham LA President Raj Dhami. Thrilled with the chapter’s momentum, he added, “This is our city’s 15th annual gala and another record-breaking year of impact for Pratham. The funds raised will give us the ability to make an even bigger impact on the lives of India’s children.”