The October 12 event will raise money for integrated development of Indian villages.
USIBC President Nisha Desai Biswal will deliver the keynote address at the Ekal Vidyalaya’s Washington, DC, area gala, which will be held at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD, on October 12.
The event will consist of a dinner, auction, and fundraiser to support rural development in India.
Biswal, who served as an assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs from 2014 to 2017, is one of a number of prominent Indian Americans scheduled to attend the event. Others include Sonal Shah, executive director of the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Georgetown University, and Vinod Prakash, president & CEO of the India Development and Relief Fund Inc. USA (IDRF).
Prakash, an economist who worked for the World Bank for several years, will be honored at the event for his lifetime of service.
“The goal of the gala is to raise money for the integrated development of Indian villages,” said Dr. Sudhir Sekhsaria, convener and chair of the gala. “Ekal mainly focuses on four areas for the development of villages: primary education, preventive healthcare, economic empowerment of villagers through skills training, and spreading awareness among villagers about right to information.”
Sekhsaria, a prominent physician in the Washington area, said Ekal’s village adoption program costs $1,000 per village, and the goal of the gala is to facilitate the adoption of 300 villages.
A number of prominent Ekal leaders, including Ekal USA President Suresh Iyer, its former President Vinod Jhunjhunwala, Exective Director Ranjani Saigal, Ekal Abhiyan Trust Board secretary Bajrang Lal Bagra and gala co-chair Dr. Suresh C. Gupta, will speak at the event.
Popular Indian American actor Omi Vaidya will be the master of ceremonies.
Another feature of the gala will be a concert by Bollywood playback singer Sumitra Iyer.