Oct 12, 2017

DC Community Supports Pratham at Annual Gala


The Washington, DC chapter of Pratham hosted its annual gala on September 30 at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Arlington, VA. The event, which was attended by more than 360 guests, raised $275,000 to support Pratham programs. The gala marks a successful year for the DC chapter, which has raised over $500,000 so far.

Actor, writer and filmmaker R. Madhavan made an impassioned plea with his keynote address. He underscored the importance of tangible results when giving back and noted, “Pratham is doing an extraordinary job in making a huge difference in the lives of people, especially children and women, in India.”

The crowd was visibly moved by Nisha Sisodiya, a young woman from Rajasthan, who bravely told her story of how she overcame an abusive marriage to become a successful entrepreneur after discovering Pratham’s vocational program. Pratham provided her seed funding and mentorship to be able to launch her own beauty salon, where she provides a livelihood for other women in the community.

Rousing performances by South Asian a cappella group Penn Masala and songwriter Vasuda Sharma added to the energy in the room. “From the beginning to the end, the evening was electrifying,” said Chapter President Chethan Rao. “We welcomed so many guests and successfully highlighted Pratham’s achievements. This year marks an important moment for our growing chapter, and it’s a testament to our strong community in the DC metro area and our collective support for the great work Pratham is doing.”

The event’s success would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of the gala committee, chaired by Advisory Board member Alpa Bhungalia; the Pratham DC Board; and the generosity of event sponsors including Casepoint, Harmonia, NETE, Murthy Law Firm, Lancesoft, Gates Foundation, PWC, Newmark Knight Frank, VTECH Solutions, Octo Consulting, and Axar Hotels and OMM who collectively contributed over $200,000 for the benefit of Pratham.

View more photos from the event.