Jan 15, 2019

Community gathers for ninth annual Pratham Austin Gala


On September 29, 2018, more than 350 community members and local business leaders gathered for the ninth annual Pratham Austin Gala. The event, held at the Westin Domain, raised over $250,000 for Pratham programs.

The evening’s keynote speaker, Kevin Ready, entrepreneur and business author for Forbes, spoke passionately about the importance of education in his own life, particularly how it enabled him to cultivate a sense of curiosity about the world. Thanks to unrestricted and unlimited access to resources, he was able to convert “I don’t know” to “I can find out and learn from it”. He urged everyone in the room to hold hands and ensure sure that, like himself and many others in attendance, every child would have access to grow, that no child would be forced to stop dreaming or asking questions simply because of their circumstances.

Azeez Gupta, a former program director of Pratham’s vocation training program also stressed the importance of coming together for the cause and took the opportunity to discuss Pratham’s increasing use of EdTech. Technology, Gupta explained, helps Pratham cultivate the wonder of learning in children and instills them with confidence as they no longer feel left behind. This confidence is also applicable to mastering the skills needed to navigate the tasks of everyday life.

Austin Readathon Team Mentor Bhavna Guglani then had the pleasure of honoring Ishaan Jha and Amiya Nakra, participants of last summer’s Pratham USA Readathon, who raised over $1000 each. Guglani presented the two elementary school students with Readathon superstar trophies in recognition of their efforts.

As the night progressed, attendees were treated to a hilarious set from standup comedian Anish Shah, who thrilled the crowd with his imitation of an Indian uncle dancing, and an exhilarating performance by Sufi Funk, a fusion group known for combining the best elements of Eastern and Western music. Following a gourmet Indian meal, the exhilarating music of DJ Nish kept guests dancing late into the night, the perfect end to another successful gala from the Austin chapter.

View more photos from the event.