New York, NY (PRWEB) April 16, 2008
The American India Foundation (http://www.aif.org) will host its Fifth Annual Spring Gala in New York City on Wednesday, April 30. AIF will honor two leaders for their corporate and philanthropic commitment to India -- Mr. Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman of GE and Mr. Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries, India's largest privately held company.
"Jeff and Mukesh lead two companies that have played an integral role in India's economic success story. They have made immense contributions to India's development, primarily through their corporate activities," said Mr. Paul Kazarian, Founder and Managing Director of Japonica Partners, who is chairing the gala.
The gala is the biggest India-focused philanthropic fundraiser in the United States. Funds raised at the gala will go towards AIF's main activity of funding innovative Indian non-profit organizations (NGOs) in the areas of education, livelihood and public health in India. Since 2001, AIF has invested in more than 100 Indian NGOs.
"Despite India's economic success in recent years, there are millions of people who are left out of this progress. AIF has been a leader in applying philanthropic resources to enable these excluded people to also benefit from economic growth," said Mr. Pradeep Kashyap, Vice Chair of AIF. "It is a privilege for us to count on the support of two of the world's foremost corporate leaders in our work."
AIF will announce a major expansion of its vocational training initiative targeting unemployed youth in urban India. Currently, 80 percent of youth entering the job market in India lack a marketable skill. To address this problem, AIF's NGO partners have already trained and placed approximately 30,000 young people in jobs in high-growth industries across the country. According to Ms. Chandrika Tandon, Chair of AIF's Livelihood Initiative, "One hears about skilled labor shortages across various industries in India; if we can prepare youth from disadvantaged backgrounds to meet these market needs they can participate in the Indian success story as well."
More details about the initiative will be announced at the Gala.
AIF's mission is to accelerate social and economic change in India. By mobilizing people and resources in the United States, AIF has invested in over 100 Indian non-governmental organizations since its inception in 2001. AIF awards grants to education, livelihood and public health projects in India - with emphases on elementary education, women's empowerment and HIV/AIDS respectively. AIF also administers two programs: (1) Digital Equalizer, which bridges the "digital divide" by providing computers, Internet access and training in under-resourced schools, and (2) Service Corps, which builds the capacity of Indian NGOs by placing qualified young American professionals for ten-month volunteer assignments. President Bill Clinton serves as Honorary Chair of AIF.