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AIF raises $2 million for projects in India

AIF has raised more than $2 mn at a gala dinner attended by over 1,000 people, mostly Indian-Americans.

india Updated: May 20, 2006 14:11 IST

A US-based development organisation which funds educational and public health projects in India has raised more than two million dollars at a gala dinner attended by over 1,000 people, mostly Indian-Americans.

The dinner was organised by the American India Foundation (AIF). Last year $1.1 million were raised at a similar event.

During the five years of its existence, the foundation has raised some $30 million from Indian-Americans and other donors in the United States and invested around $27 million in various projects.

Executive Director of AIF Pradeep Kashyap said the foundation works like a catalyst in development process and funds the project in a way that they become self-sustaining over a period of time and no longer require foreign funding.

At the dinner, it honoured Sunil Mittal, Chairman and Group Managing Director of Bharti Enterprises, a fast expanding telecom outfit, Anshu Jain, head of the global market at Deutsche Bank, and Charles R Key, co-president of Warburg Pincus, for their philanthropy and leadership qualities.

"In our work, we have purposefully targeted the most marginalised Indians who tend to be economically distressed," he told reporters.

Stating that the foundation has built a strong base, Kashyap said when it started five years ago, his only resource was his cell phone. "Now we have built ourselves up to 40 core staff in the US and India with offices in California, New York, Delhi and Bangalore."

Those attending the gala dinner paid a minimum of $500 per plate.

The foundation's programme, Kashyap said, have touched more than 100,000 and it sent 110 Americans to India to work in the field of their interest to understand the problems at first hand.

First Published: May 20, 2006 13:46 IST