The event celebrates AIF’s Maternal and Newborn Survival Initiative.
The Dallas Chapter of the American India Foundation hosted its second annual Fall Benefit on October 19, at Spice in the City in downtown Dallas. Organized by the Dallas Steering Committee, the event brought together leaders and prominent community members to support AIF’s poverty alleviation efforts in India.
Harit Talwar, head of Global Consumer Business at Goldman Sachs and Co-Chair of the AIF Board of Directors, was a special guest at the event. Rajesh Swaminathan, Partner and General Counsel at Jasper Ridge Partners and AIF Dallas Chapter Leader, and AIF CEO Nishant Pandey were among speakers.
One of the highlights of the evening was the launch of AIF’s Texas Board, which features leaders in business and philanthropy from across Texas, who are dedicated to India’s development and cross-cultural exchange between India and the United States.
The board launch represents a key milestone in AIF’s mission to engage, educate and mobilize the Indian diaspora, and those dedicated to India’s development nationwide, the organization said.
Sumitra Mahato, a community health worker with AIF’s Maternal and Newborn Survival Initiative (MANSI), traveled all the way from her rural village in Jharkhand, India, to join the event. After receiving MANSI training, and capacity-building support, Mahato has saved the lives of many babies and young children in her village, managing cases of pneumonia, hypothermia, asphyxia and other critical conditions. Remarkably, there have been no maternal or child deaths in Mahato’s village, Krishnapur, in the last five years, which is tragically rare in such rural and last-mile geographies. She has earned special recognition in her community and is a source of inspiration to the families she cares for.
“I couldn’t believe that someone like me, having passed 8th grade could save precious lives,” said Mahato. “I feel very proud to be associated with the MANSI program of AIF and to have the ability to save precious lives.”
MANSI is a public-private partnership that reduces maternal and child mortality, predominantly in remote rural and tribal areas of India. It provides preventative and curative care for mothers and newborns from individual households to government health facilities.