Pratham USA raised $350,000 at their Chicago gala, held at the Venue SIX10 on Saturday, October 6, where approximately 350 prominent business leaders, dignitaries and members of the local Indian-American community gathered.
The evening included a live auction as well as a performance by singer/songwriter Subhi.
“I get asked to do roughly 100 events like this a year and this is the only one I accepted. When you see how incredibly ineffective I’ve been over and over and over, by comparison, you might begin to appreciate more what Pratham has been able to do in that amount of time,” Steven D. Levitt, William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and co-author of Freakonomics, said in his keynote speech.
“The three-month Pratham training period was one of the best experiences of my life. My dream is to help people who can’t help themselves. I was one of them a few years ago, and now thanks to Pratham and my job, I get to look after patients and assist them with their needs, and this provides me with an incredible amount of satisfaction and happiness,” said Pranali Kaurati, a graduate of Pratham’s bedside assistance training program.
Chicago teens Vinayaka Amin, Avanti Parkhe and Vikas Reddy, who had spent two weeks in India as part of Pratham USA’s youth leaders program, spoke about their visit and said that “the experience had such a profound impact on” them.
Chapter president Joher Akolawala was thrilled with the evening’s turnout.
“We have nearly tripled our volunteer membership and net contributions over the last five years at the Chicago chapter, and the credit goes to the committed and generous Chicago community,” he said.
Those who attended for the first time included Rattan Khosa, CEO and founder of AMSYSCO, Inc., and Mafat Patel, co-founder of Patel Brothers.
The evening was hosted by gala co-chairs Alwar Narayanan and Sandeep Rao.