American India Foundation raises more than $1.5 million at New York gala

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, Wipro CEO T.K. Kurien honored.

By The American Bazaar Staff

NEW YORK: The American India Foundation (AIF) raised over $1.5 million at its annual Spring Awards Gala for its social service efforts in India.

Wipro CEO T.K. Kurien at the AIF Annual Spring Awards Gala (courtesy of AIF)
Wipro CEO T.K. Kurien at the AIF Annual Spring Awards Gala (courtesy of AIF)

The May 2 event, which took place at the lavish Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, drew in a crowd of 600 guests. Attendees included MasterCard President and CEO Ajay Banga, Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University; and Radhika and Prannoy Roy, Executive Co-Chairpersons, NDTV, India.

Goldman Sachs Partner Ram Sundaram, New Silk Route and Vedanta Capital Founding Partner and CEO Parag Saxena, NASCAR Chairman Brian France, and new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver were listed as co-chairs of the event.

At the ceremony, AIF honored Dan Hesse, Chief Executive Officer of Sprint, and T.K. Kurien, Chief Executive Officer of Wipro Limited, for “showcasing their personal and corporate leadership and philanthropy, as well as investment in India.”

The organization’s MAST (Market Aligned Skills Training) program was also recognized for its work in India. The program “provides underprivileged and differently-abled youth with skills training and access to formal employment opportunities, allowing them to become empowered citizens and lead fulfilled lives.”

Also present was Wanda Grover, National Field Service Officer with the Blinded Veterans Association, who took the audience “through a ‘Moment in Darkness’, and experiential exercise where guests could empathize with the visually disabled by looking through a ‘vision card’ and briefly experiencing the world around them through a lens with a visual impairment.”

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse at the AIF Annual Spring Awards Gala (courtesy of AIF)
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse at the AIF Annual Spring Awards Gala (courtesy of AIF)

The evening’s entertainment was provided by comedian Anish Shah, who emceed the event, while a capella group Penn Masala got toes tapping with their renditions of several popular Hindi songs. Their entertainment closed out a rousingly successful evening for the AIF.

“I want to extend a special thanks to our Gala Chairs Dinesh and Ila, as well as our Honorees Dan Hesse and TK Kurien, for helping us create such a spectacular event, and of course to everyone who came out to support AIF’s cause,” said Anjali Sharma, AIF’s Philanthropy Chair, in a statement. “You all made a difference in the lives of India’s marginalized, and we deeply appreciate your support.”

Founded in 2001, AIF is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing social and economic change throughout India. The organization’s fall gala, held in Washington, DC last November, raised $280,000 for AIF’s causes and initiatives.

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