Pratham DC annual gala raises $320,000

USIBC President Mukesh Aghi headlines the event.

ARLINGTON, VA: The annual gala hosted by Pratham USA’s Washington, DC, chapter raised more than $320,000 toward supporting the organization’s philanthropic efforts in India. Nearly 380 people attended the event held at Ritz Carlton in Arlington, VA, on October 8, 2016.

US-India Business Council President Dr. Mukesh Aghi, who delivered the keynote address, praised the efforts of Pratham in primary education. “The promise of Pratham in trying to educate the girl child is very, very important,” he said.

Pointing out that the investments made by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in higher education institutions such as IITs and IIMs have made rich dividends, he said the country still lags behind in primary education.

No nation has succeeded unless it has educated population and organizations like Pratham have a crucial role to play in the area of primary education, Aghi said.

A short film on the girls education, Small, Small Dreams, by Ellie Walton, an award-winning documentary maker and educator was screened at the event.

The $320,000 raised was through pledges and donations. The supporters of the gala included prominent DC area companies such as Cvent, LanceSoft, Murthy Law Firm and Sodexo.

“[The money] will go a long way in helping the various programs of Pratham in India,” Rakesh Bhatia, president of Pratham DC, said.

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