US-based IIT alumni group WHEELS Foundation launching India offshoot

The new WIN Foundation gets $2 million donation from Chirag Patel’s Niswarth International Foundation.

WHEELS Global Foundation Chairman (left) and board member Ron Mehta (right), with former ADP CEO Josh Weston at a WHEELS fundraising event in New York on November 3, 2017.

The US-based WHEELS Global Foundation, a nonprofit founded the alumni of the Indian Institutes of Technology, will launch its India offshoot on Tuesday at IIT Gandhinagar.

The new WHEELS India Niswarth (WIN) Foundation, which received a $2 million seed donation from the Niswarth International Foundation, will fund research and innovation for water quality, sanitation and maternal and child health issues.

The Niswarth International Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle for Chirag Patel, co-CEO and chairman of Amneal Pharmaceuticals and his family.

“Our vision is that the WIN Foundation will serve as an India based incubator for technology-based ideas that can be tested and put into action to improve the daily lives of people living in underdeveloped areas around the world,” Patel said in a statement.

The WIN Foundation’s activities will focus on two areas: Water and sanitation, and maternal and child health, according a press statement from WHEELS.

The water and sanitation program will be housed at the IIT Gandhinagar campus, while the health care program will be based out of the Indian Institute of Public Health-Gandhinagar.

The water and sanitation program will focus on developing new, cost-effective ways to treat water, reduce water contamination in rivers, and work to improve policies related to drinking water, the foundation said.

It all also work toward finding cost-effective method to bring clean drinking water to rural communities and will work with international governing bodies to form public-private partnerships.

It will develop water purification devices for bringing clean drinking water to rural communities by using technologies.

The maternal and child health program will have a research lab will focus on prevention and diagnoses, using data analytics and the use of women’s self-help groups to deliver messages, the foundation said.

At the launch event, there will be a panel discussion on maternal and child health and water and sanitation issues at the Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar.

The main inaugural event will begin at the IIT Gandhinagar campus at 5.30 pm.

The event will feature a panel discussion moderated by WHEELS Global Foundation Chairman Rajat Gupta. The panelists will include Dr. Thakor Patel of The Sevak Foundation; Ruyintan (Ron) Mehta, the co-director for the “water” track of WHEELS; Dr. Kranti Vora, the newly appointed director for maternal and child health at the WIN Foundation; and Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar Director Dr. Dileep Mavalankar.


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