AIF Bay Area Gala Raises $2.1Mln for India’s Underprivileged
Jay Chaudhry CEO, Chairman and Founder, Zscaler and wife Jyothi Chaudhry accept AIF Corporate Leadership Award with AIF Global Board Co-Chair, Lata Krishnan.
India-West Staff Reporter
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — After a two-year hiatus, American India Foundation’s (AIF) Bay Area Chapter, on May7, hosted a sold-out annual gala that celebrated its accomplishments over the last 20 years. With over 70 percent new attendees, AIF attributes its success to the tireless efforts of co-founder Lata Krishnan, the California Board and its co-chairs Sumir Chadha and Riaz Taplin. Guests included some of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most influential corporations, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 CEOs, luminaries, and community leaders to raise funds in support of AIF’s programs across India.
AIF recognized Jay Chaudhry, CEO, Chairman, and Founder of Zscaler with the Corporate Leadership Award, for supporting AIF’s Covid relief efforts. He personally gave $3M towards the crisis and his employees supported the effort with another $250K. Global board co-chair, Lata Krishnan said, “It is AIF’s privilege to collaborate with a corporate leader who takes the time and effort to understand the plight of the underprivileged and invests in their future with thoughtfulness and empathy.”
After undertaking a monumental life-saving relief effort in India during the COVID-19 crisis, AIF said it is now focused on rebuilding the lives of those suffering from the more medium-term impact of the Covid crisis across all their programmatic verticals – education, health and livelihoods. Nishant Pandey, CEO of AIF said, “We have prioritized children who have suffered the loss of learning, nutrition and emotional well-being due to prolonged closure of schools and anganwadi centers where they used to get mid-day meals. Leveraging our unique, multi-pronged approach to health, education, and livelihoods we are helping children bounce back from the impacts of Covid.”
To help street vendors – India’s nano entrepreneurs – whose businesses were destroyed by COVID-induced lockdowns, AIF announced Project Entre-Prerana, that will use an AI-enabled platform that provides loans in real time and removes barriers to capital for street vendors. Reeling off numbers, AIF said the aim is to serve one million street vendors over the next two years by unlocking $100 million in working capital loans with an investment of just $4 per street vendor.
The event also highlighted a program that connects rural youth to urban jobs and heard from Shabana Khan, 28. Fully abled at birth, she lost her upper limbs at the age of 8 in an accident. Her story of courage and resilience through social and economic challenges as she went through high school, touched hearts. AIF’s new inclusive jobs initiative bridges the divide for differently abled people and connects rural youth to urban jobs.
For more information: https://aif.org/