Indian American-led Sehgal Foundation receives Citizen Diplomacy Award for Helping Rural Indian Communities

MISSOURI (TIP):Indian American led Sehgal Foundation has been named one of three recipients of the US State Department’s annual Citizen Diplomacy Award for its work to help the poor in rural Indian communities.

The foundation received the award recognizing individuals and organizations for their work to promote US foreign policy goals along with top recipient, Mohamed Amin Ahmed (Average Mohamed), and runner up, Tempe Sister Cities.

Sehgal Foundation partners with various organizations to create and sustain strong global connections to promote rural development in India.

“We received a record number of nominations, so picking just one winner is a huge challenge,” said State Department representative, Irina Karmanova as cited by a media release.

“Sehgal Foundation stood out to us for their great work in advancing human rights and promoting women’s peace and security.”

Iowa International Center, the state’s oldest organization supporting immigrants, refugees, and international visitors, nominated Sehgal Foundation for its work to help the poor in rural Indian communities, as well as its local support of international visitor exchanges and programs.

Sehgal Foundation emphasizes human rights, particularly gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, as central to eliminating poverty, the release said. Their efforts support US initiatives to promote Women, Peace, and Security.

“We are indeed very thankful for this prestigious recognition by the US State Department,” said Jay Sehgal, Executive Vice President of Sehgal Foundation.

Sehgal Foundation will be honored in a virtual ceremony on Sept. 30 hosted by the US Department of State.

Based in Des Moines, Iowa, Sehgal Foundation is a long-time supporter of Iowa International Center’s International Visitor programs, furthering meaningful connections prompted by global exchanges.

Sehgal Foundation members serve as event hosts and as professional resources for international visitors who come to Des Moines through the State Department and other programs.

“Iowa International Center is honored to have the support and partnership of Sehgal Foundation in creating meaningful connections across the globe,” said Patricia Grote, Executive Director, Iowa International Center.

Sehgal Foundation’s US chapters in Iowa, Illinois, Florida, and Minnesota, and individual and group partners across the US, support empowerment programs in India.

Areas covered include water management, agriculture development, good governance training, and for transforming the lives of schoolchildren, especially girls, by creating safer school environments and training in digital literacy and life skills.

Foundation programs have expanded to 980 communities in eight states of India.

To assure sustainability, all work is done in partnership with the communities being served so that individuals, especially women, and village-level institutions are empowered to take responsibility for their own development, the release said.

Internships and volunteer projects coordinated with the Rural Research team further positive results to potentially influence government policy on behalf of the vulnerable, it added.

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