On India’s 74th Republic Day, two leading organizations announce multi-million dollar partnership

RIST and AIF representatives Shweta Rawat and Nishant Pandey, shake hands over the new and renewed multi-million dollar partnership for social change in India Jan. 26, 2023. Photo: courtesy American India Foundation

On the meaningful occasion of India’s 74th Republic Day Jan. 26, 2023, NY-based Rural India Supporting Trust (RIST) and American India Foundation (AIF) announced a landmark partnership and commitment to India’s nation-building by announcing a $7.6 million (INR 60 crores) investment. The funds will be directed to girls’ education, maternal and newborn health, and strengthening the bridge between the civil societies of the two largest democracies in the world, a press release from the organizations said.

Nishant Pandey, Shweta Rawat and Paul Glick at Jan. 26, 2023 event in New York announcing partnership between AIF and RIST. Photo: courtesy AIF

A major supporter of AIF for more than a decade, in 2022, RIST expanded their investment in AIF’s multi-award award winning Maternal and Newborn Survival Initiative (MANSI) with a $3M grant to reduce neonatal and infant mortality by 25% and 20% respectively, across 6 blocks in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand over 5 years.

Nishant Pandey, Kalpana Kanthan, Paul Glick, Jeanine Racioppo, Shweta Rawat, and Bjoern Technau at event on Jan. 26, 2023. Photo: courtesy American India Foundation

On this Republic Day, RIST announced a deepened and expanded commitment to AIF through a $1.6M investment in its Digital Equalizer (DE) program for school children and a $3M grant in support of the Banyan Impact Fellowship (BIF) program to nurture the next generation of social impact leaders.

This new grant for AIF’s award-winning DE program will help train 120 government school teachers on DE-designed techno-pedagogy and expose over 12,000 students–especially girls–to STEM-based learning. It will also provide technology and STEM infrastructure in 40 schools in Uttarakhand, amplifying the impact of their investments in the state.

Paul Click and Jeanine Racioppo discuss the multi-million dollar partnership between RIST and AIF, Jan. 26, 2023. Photo: courtesy American India Foundation

The grant for BIF ensures sustainability for the program in collaboration with the $5 million grant from the Krishnan Shah Family Foundation (KSFF). Together, these two investments will enable 300 young professionals the opportunity to contribute to sustainable development and civil society strengthening in India and the U.S., creating future social impact leaders in the US-India corridor.

Shweta Rawat, Managing Director of RIST is quoted saying about the partnership, “Since inception in 2007, RIST has been dedicated to supporting organizations like AIF that create solutions to social inequity and poverty by designing bold solutions to complex problems for communities that need it the most. Through this multi-pronged and expanded investment in AIF’s programs, RIST can generate sustainable positive impact for thousands and catalyze transformation at the systemic level to leverage this change, over time, at scale. We are excited to deepen this partnership and amplify our impact across the communities we serve.”

 Chief Executive Officer, American India Foundation Nishant Pandey, said, “There are no words for how grateful we are for RIST’s continued partnership. These generous, multi-year grants and project scale-ups are a testament to the trust and collaboration that comes with our partnership, the dedication of our implementing team on the ground, and the impact that the two organizations make together. Since our partnership began, RIST has pushed us to be better, think bigger, and has supported us all along the way. We are thrilled for this next phase of work and the lives we’ll be improving together.”

The AIF was founded in 2001 at the initiative of President Bill Clinton following a request from Prime Minister Vajpayee. Its mission is to catalyze social and economic change in India and build a lasting bridge between U.S. and India.

To date, AIF has impacted 13 million lives across 35 states and union territories in India, the press release said.

Rural India Supporting Trust (RIST) was established in 2007 by two families concerned about the well-being of communities in India. The organization awards grants to entities working on solutions to social inequities and poverty.

(For queries on the RIST-AIF partnership, contact Development Director, East Coast Jeanine Racioppo, at  jeanine.racioppo@aif.org, or Chief Development Officer Kalpana Kanthan, , at Kalpana.Kanthan@aif.org. For inquiries in India, contact Director of Communications Shreya Ralli, at shreya.ralli@aif.org)



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