Jan 09, 2017

Pratham Seattle Gala Raises $300K to Fight Child Illiteracy in India


Pratham Seattle raised over $300,000 at its annual gala on September 10, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency, Bellevue, which featured locally sourced American fare as well as inspired Indian cuisine from Masala of India and timeless Bollywood tunes spun by DJ Kapil.

University of Washington Law School Professor and Co-President, Secretary and Director at RPX Research Inc Randi Hedin attended as a special guest. Having recently visited India and Pratham, Randi shared her impressions of a Pratham camp, vividly describing watching children enthusiastically learn their “L’s” – Like, Lollipop, Lata, Long, etc. She urged supporters in attendance to visit Pratham on their next trip to India to see firsthand what sets Pratham apart from other programs.

Pratham CEO Dr. Rukmini Banerji gave the night’s keynote address speaking about the organization’s long-term goal to address the child illiteracy crisis in India. She discussed how EDtech initiatives like “The Hole in the Wall” and other experiments are informing Pratham’s approach to leveraging technology and interactive learning tools to reach the approximately 100 million children who are being left behind.

The highlight of the night was an emotional speech by Nuzhat Malik, now State Head of Pratham programs in Uttar Pradesh, about the challenges she faced as a young woman in rural India and the impact Pratham’s unwavering support has had on her life, emphasizing that Pratham’s impact goes far beyond the children it serves, also reaching the teachers it trains and the volunteers it mobilizes.

The more than 200 local community members, businesses and VIPs in attendance affirmed their support for the foundation’s mission of enhancing the quality of education provided to underprivileged children and youth in India during a spirited pledge drive led by former Seattle board member Manisha Chainani. With 92 percent of funds raised in the US going directly to programs benefiting children, she urged everyone to “give every child an opportunity.”

View more photos from the gala on our Facebook page.