Group recognizes philanthropic luminaries from the United States and India.
By Jayshal Sood
The WHEELS Global Foundation hosted its first annual red carpet affair, the WHEELS Achievement Awards Gala, at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD, on June 2.
The event honored philanthropic luminaries for their efforts to raise funds in support of the organization’s projects throughout the United States, India, and various rural communities around the globe.
“Regarding the work that the foundation has been doing in the healthcare sector, I dare say that we value it very much,” said Arun Kumar Singh, the Indian Ambassador to the United States, while speaking at the event. “Healthcare in India is an area where we have the best of achievements and the greatest of challenges.”
The ambassador said even though citizens of western nations go for treatment in India, “at the same time in terms of access and in terms of delivery, we still have new challenges.”
Scott Case, the founding Chief Technology Officer of the online travel service Priceline.com, delivered the keynote address.
Case was joined by honorees Raj Gupta, the former CEO of Rohm and Haas; Dr. Mahinder Tak, a promoter of Indian heritage and arts and a mentor to young Indians aspiring to join public services and politics; and Pradman Kaul, President of Hughes Network Systems, among others. (See the complete list of honorees at the end of this post.)
“This is the time to follow a great American tradition, and that is the tradition of giving,” Gupta said, receiving the honor. “I don’t believe there is any country in the world that takes giving as seriously … and I think that as successful as we have been in the community, it is time for us to step up and give as well.”
The gala also saw Vanita Kumar showcase high end Indian fashion from her designs at Vanita Kollections.
Kumar designed 12 garments exclusively for the fundraiser gala for raising funds for Wheels.
The entertainment for the evening consisted of traditional dance performances from the Natananjali Dance School, which was previously commissioned by the Embassy of India to perform for EducationUSA, an endeavor launched by the U.S. Department of State that promotes higher education to millions of students around the world.
The master of ceremonies for the evening Bollywood actor Omi Vaidya, who is well known for his role as “The Silencer” or “Chatur” in the feature film “3 idiots.”
Here is the complete list of honorees:
- Raj Gupta
- R. Narayana Murthy
- Mahinder Tak
- Pradman Kaul
- Scott Case
- Madhav Chavan
- Thakor Patel
- Kannan Moudgalya
- Madhu Reddy
- Uma Koduri
- Ashank Desai
- Alok Agrawal