The WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF), an Indian American non-profit, hosted a conference and gala at the Franklin Institute for Science & Technology in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Nov. 17, where a notable group of technology professional entrepreneurs and news-making venture capitalists, gave a glimpse into some concrete nation-building steps for the future of India, while the organization raised $100,000 for six ongoing projects.
The conference, entitled “Leveraging Technology for Enhancing Social Impact,” assembled a number of leaders and entrepreneurs to discuss drug discoveries for Rare Diseases.
Participants engaged one another on a range of topics and initiatives including adopting villages, setting up micro-energy grids to electrify local villages, address challenges in rural healthcare for women, installation of clean drinking water plants and encouraging the concept of `Sevaks’ (volunteers) in the villages for addressing local needs.
Social philanthropist Harsha Rajasimha of the Organization for Rare Diseases India (ORDI) and his venture Jeeva Informatics, are building a Virtual Clinical Trials Platform to take clinical trials to patients’ homes.
Also, Chirag Patel, the co-CEO and chairman of Amneal Pharmaceuticals, and his family, is working to find new ways to improve water quality and health outcomes for mothers and children and has already donated $2 million to the cause.
“Our vision is that the WIN Foundation will serve as an India-based incubator for technology-based ideas that can be tested and put into action to improve the daily lives of people living in underdeveloped areas around the world,” Patel said.
The Foundation’s activities are focused on two tracks: Water and Sanitation (WATSAN) and Maternal and Child Health (MCH) and are housed at the campuses of IIT Gandhinagar (IITGN) and the Indian Institute of Public Health – Gandhinagar (IIPHG) respectively.
Business leader, humanitarian and Grammy-nominated artist Chandrika Tandon was the keynote speaker at the WGF gala this year, where Priti Patel, the co-founder of the Niswarth Foundation, was also honored.
WGF is working on the following six projects:
- Adopt a village with 1,000 families for one year which includes clean water, hygienic sanitation facilities, primary healthcare, basic primary education, vocational training and alternative energy in communities without a power grid, in collaboration with IEEE SMART Village Group
- Sponsor a Clean Water Plant where one plant will provide clean water to 1,000 families for two years and for which WGF has partnered with IIT Gandhinagar to improve clean water technology
- Sponsor construction of Healthcare facility, which will provide follow up treatments with a nurse and doctor in attendance through tele-medicine, with a special focus on infant and female mortality
- Educate Village Children by upgrading the primary education system with WGF developed technology enabled programs like Spoken Tutorial, developing new digital learning solutions and initiating a joint project with EDU Girls Senior Grade Girls with Spoken Tutorials and IT vocational training
- Sevak Adoption Program, which provides basic door-to-door healthcare
- Adopt a KANYA Project, a Sanitary Napkin Manufacturing Business for manufacturing sanitary napkins from disposable materials, where each packet will contain five napkins, for Rs. 5 and creating jobs as well
By 2020, WGF plans to adopt 20 villages, build 25 Clean Water Plants, build 50 healthcare facilities, support 100 villages, support 250 Sevaks and support 25 Kanya Projects.