Austin community comes together to support education at Pratham Austin 2021 Benefit
On December 4, 2021, more than 250 Austin community members and business leaders gathered outdoors at Kalahari Resorts Texas for the tenth annual Pratham Austin Benefit to celebrate and support learning initiatives for children in India.
The evening’s keynote speaker, Pratham CEO Dr. Rukmini Banerji, who joined the event virtually from India, spoke about the significance of Pratham’s work and commended the donors for their incredible support. Dr. Banerji gave the audience insight into Pratham’s work in India and highlighted how crucial it is for children in India to continue learning during the pandemic.
Across India, the impact of the pandemic on education will be felt for many years. The pandemic heightened disparities that already existed – particularly for girls and children in rural and under-served communities. When schools shut down in 2020, Pratham was uniquely positioned to step up and provide support to children with effective, daily remote learning opportunities on the ground.
Ashish Gupta, co-president of Pratham Austin, said “Pratham creates really effective models and solutions for teaching kids foundational skills. Pratham’s great content in multiple languages, and their ability to reach poor and detached communities in ways other organizations haven’t, has been a true silver lining during this pandemic. We are so grateful to everyone who attended our Austin Gala this year and for all the support you are providing to Pratham in these difficult times.”
Vandana Kumar, co-president of Pratham Austin, added, “This was one of the best events we have had in the Austin chapter. It was so heartwarming to see the community rally together for children’s education. We have not had a chance to connect with each other during the pandemic and it was magical to spend the evening with all our Pratham friends with our common goal of providing opportunities to learn for children in India.”
As the night progressed, attendees were treated to a magical and hilarious set from mentalist and comedian Felix Jones, who wowed the crowd with his various tricks. Following a gourmet meal, the exhilarating music of DJ Desi Junction kept guests dancing late into the night, the perfect end to another successful benefit from the Austin chapter after what has been a difficult couple of years.
Take a look at the photos from the event here.