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First Annual Pratham Gala A Huge Success


The Boston Chapter of Pratham USA held its first Annual Gala on September 20, 2008 at the Sheraton Newton. More than 150 guests enjoyed the elegant evening celebrating the cause of children’s education with friends and family.  Pratham is the leading Indian NGO dedicated to the cause of children’s education.  Pratham’s Read India campaign strives to bring education to over 60 million children in India—in less than a year, Pratham has already impacted 21 million children.

The evening was kicked off by the head of the Boston chapter, Vikas Taneja, who introduced the audience to a beautiful scene of children experiencing the joy of education in a Pratham school in Mumbai. Harvard Business School professor Tarun Khanna, the author of Billions of Entrepreneur, inspired the audience with his keynote speech. He praised that “Pratham is an amazing organization” and highlighted the power of similar examples of “informed citizenry” in driving change in India.  

Nobel laureate Professor Amartya Sen was honored by the entire audience for his contributions to the field of economic development. In his livening speech, Professor Amartya Sen praised that he was a “great admirer of the work that Pratham does.” He highlighted the importance of Pratham’s work as “Education transforms people’s lives,” particularly the lives of young girls by promoting gender equity.

The Parijat Desai Dance Company of New York enthralled the audience with their unique dance style which infused traditional Bharat Natyam with elements of modern American dance. Particularly endearing was their performance capturing the strength and tribulations of the Indian woman.

The evening reached a crescendo with a speech by co- founder and Director of Programs for Pratham, Dr. Madhav Chavan highlighting the progress of Pratham. He commended that it was the Pratham volunteers who had built Pratham into the organization that had reached over 20 million of children. Pratham’s success was India’s success as it was an organization run by the people.

The evening ended with celebration and dancing to the rocking songs of singer Falu and her band, who performed hits including retro- classic “Dum Maro Dum” and popular songs from Lagaan and Taal.  It was truly a fitting way to end an evening celebrating children’s education and empowerment.

The gala was a true celebration of children’s education. Thanks to the support of the guests, the gala raised funds to support the Read India Program in 4 districts and impact 400,000 children.

To learn more about Pratham, please visit our website at www.boston.prathamusa.org.

About Pratham

Pratham is India’s largest non-profit organization working in the area of education. Our mission is “Every child in school and learning well”. Recognizing the importance of early interventions, we focus most of our programs on pre-school and primary education. We believe that by providing children with a good education, we create opportunities not only for them, but also for their families and communities. Seeded by UNICEF in 1994, Pratham began in the slums of Mumbai. Currently, we serve underprivileged children across 21 states in India.

About Pratham USA

Pratham USA, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was established in 1999 to support Pratham’s critical work in India. Our mission is to make significant contributions to Pratham’s goal of “Every Child in School and Learning Well” by raising awareness about the problem of illiteracy in India and by raising funds to support Pratham’s projects. We have a large and growing volunteer base, with active chapters in over nine cities across the US. Our supporters include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Google.

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The Parijat Dance Company performing an endearing composition about the strength of the Indian Woman.

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