Oct 28, 2015

A Record-Breaking 2015 Gala for NY Tri-State


On October 16, 2015, at the renowned Waldorf Astoria, the New York Tri-State chapter celebrated Pratham’s 20th anniversary at its annual gala, which raised an astounding $4 million for our programs that bring quality education to underprivileged children and youth in India.

After a cocktail hour featuring a spirited performance by singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins, emcee and Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri welcomed guests: “I am so proud to be a part of the evening and pleased to connect with Indian-American leaders to mobilize our community to effect change.”

Pratham CEO Dr. Rukmini Banerji shared her appreciation of supporters and reminded the audience why they were there: “Our organization has worked tirelessly for the last 20 years to ensure quality education for all children across India. Tonight we celebrate not only Pratham, our executives and supporters, but most importantly the children, for without them we would have no future.”

Keynote Speech Brings Guests to Their Feet

Guests gave a standing ovation in response to a rousing speech from keynote speaker, Cory Booker, the charismatic US Senator from New Jersey and member of the Senate India Caucus. Between life lessons from his parents and references to great leaders like Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr., Cory reminded the crowd that we are all connected and urged everyone to do their part in helping others around the world.

“…if we believe this world can transform the educational outcomes for children in India, we cannot just talk about it or hope for it or pray for it,” said Cory. “We must stand up and with audacity and determination and bold dreams, we must do something about it.”

Read more about Cory Booker’s speech.

As noted by NY Tri-State chapter president Deepak Raj, who was recently appointed president of Pratham USA, “The funds raised tonight will help continue our efforts in providing these important educational programs for the next 20 years and supporting the new generation of children, students and educators.”