American India Foundation Gala raises $200000 for healthcare in rural India

WASHINGTON: The Washington, DC, chapter of the American India Foundation ( – Twitter @AIFoundation) raised more than $200,000 for its Maternal and Newborn Survival Initiative (MANSI), at its annual gala held at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD, on Friday, Nov 06.

MANSI has been primarily designed to reduce maternal and child mortality in rural, impoverished areas of India.

Founded in 2001 at the initiative of then US President Bill Clinton, the community organisation engaged in catalysing social and economic change in India, raised the amount at its annual Washington DC gala Friday.

The gala featured Mamta Mahato, a 26-year old health worker from Jharkhand, India. She shared that skills training from AIF’s MANSI programme has enabled her to safely deliver over 90 healthy newborns in her village.

Indian Ambassador to the United States Arun K. Singh, prominent lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar and President of the Center for American Progress Neera Tanden along with over 250 influential guests were at the power-packed gala.

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The gala also saw Javed Akhtar being honored by Indian Ambassador to the US Arun Kumar Singh.

“The American India Foundation is steering relations between the world’s largest democracy and the world’s most powerful democracy,” he said thanking AIF for the great work it has done towards supporting important social causes in India.

Mr Singh addressed the current development challenges in India and the solutions being implemented across the country, including initiatives to revitalise the economy through entrepreneurship and start-ups.

He highlighted the crucial contribution of AIF’s initiatives in female literacy and empowerment to this national economic effort.

“The effort of the government has to be supplemented by what civil society and people like you are able to do,” he said.

Praising the involvement and contribution of the American Indian community in strengthening villages and small towns in India, Akhtar said, “What is wonderful about you is that you have not forgotten your connect to India.”

Teresa Carlson, Vice President of the Global Public Sector at Amazon. Teresa Carlson emphasized the entrepreneurial potential of India.

Venkatesh Raghavendra, AIF Senior Director thanked the young leaders of the greater Washington DC area for having taken ownership of the AIF’s cause.

The gala also recognized the leadership of Neera Tanden, President of The Centre for American Progress, Kumar Barve, member of the Maryland House of Delegates and Aziz Haniffa, managing editor at India Abroad.

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