Hundreds of Americans and Indian-origin people from various walks of life took part in the event organised by Hindu Charities for America (HC4A) on the theme “Education for Self-Reliance” on Sunday in Austin, Texas.
Celebrity speakers included veteran Bollywood actor Anupam Kher and Grammy nominated songwriter Savan Kotecha.
Other speakers included Professor Kasturi Rangan of Harvard Business School, Desh Deshpanda, Venture Capitalist & Serial entrepreneur and Gitanjali Swamy, Managing Partner at IoTask.
Anupam Kher appreciated the donors for serving the underserved in the richest country.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler called HC4A a great example of volunteerism through its absolute dedication to the community it serves, the transparency to supporters, and their ability to find effective and meaningful ways to serve.
Desh Deshpande, Chairman of Sparta Group, acknowledged the efforts of HC4A to solve the problems of the people at the bottom of the pyramid. He explained how innovation combined with relevance could be impactful in society.
HC4A Founder and President Harish Kotecha, who immigrated from Uganda in 1971, said, “there is poverty here, too. I thought it would be so great if the Indian community worked as one to serve those in need in the US.”
Since its inception in 2009, hundreds of Indian-Americans have been inspired to raise over a million dollars to fulfil the organisation’s mission to “bridge income disparities through education.”
For his relentless efforts to serve the underserved, Kotecha became the first Indian-American to receive the Sandra Neese Lifetime Achievement Award from NAEHCY (National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth) in October.
The organisation provides school supplies for elementary school children and vocational scholarships to nontraditional students. In response to the pandemic, HC4A also helped homeless students get internet connectivity for a year.