Literacy! That is my Reason! What’s Yours? – Pratham Young Professionals Inaugural Event
Society with Ruchi
About 200 young professionals and prominent Indian Americans gathered at the spacious chic Hudson Lounge on Thursday August 25th for the inauguration of Pratham Young Professionals in Houston, Texas.
The mixer started as a regular mix and mingle of professionals enjoying their first free drink, but then Pratham’s past President Yogi Patel’s tear jerking powerpoint presentation moved many hearts and gave them good reasons to be a part of Pratham. The word Pratham derives from the sanskrit word that means first. The main goal of this non-profit organization is to eradicate illiteracy from India. The root cause of all economical and sociological downfall is dependent on the literacy rate. It is a vicious cycle in India: Child Labor, Child Marriage, Over-population, and Exploitation which gives rise to poverty. In his powerpoint presentation Patel suggested that Pratham was dealing with illiteracy, “education can solve many problems,” adds Yogi.
Everyone has their own reason to support a cause. Yogi brought tears to many eyes when he shared his story that his reason to join Pratham was very simple, “my dad could not write or read, I have seen many hardships but I am grateful to my father who believed in education and the other man who bought my first pair of shoes, clothes and my ticket,” recalls Yogi. “We are looking for such noble hearts who can help us reach our goal of ‘Every Child In School and Learning Well’,” added Patel.
Darel D’Souza, Pratham Young Professional’s President had his own reason to be involved. “I went back to India recently after 15 years and was shocked to see so many children at the airport begging and doing odd jobs. The one thing that came to my mind was that weren’t they supposed to be in school? I readily joined Pratham and am very happy to lead the Pratham Young Professionals Program,” says Darel. “We wanted to do something make a difference. Madhular Prasad, Vibhu Sharma and Marie Goradia are our mentors and we have experienced so much from them. I feel very fortunate to be able to be a part of this and intend to make a difference,” he added.
Pratham Young Professionals was started to instill the passion of Pratham in the hearts of young professionals in Houston. “We believe that young professionals have the potential to assist in the cause through their skills, talents, networking and professions. It will be an opportunity for young minds to give back to those less fortunate in India, what was given so easily to them, to use the education they have received to make a difference,” says successful businessman Vibhu Sharma, mentor for the Young Professionals.
The event was a great success with a great turn out of goal oriented young professionals enthusiastic about the cause. “It is a great cause and very good exposure, as the young people will help spread the word,” says Divya Brown.
The Hudson Lounge happily hosted the event and was flabbergasted by the cause and motivation. “This is my first Indian American non-profit event at the lounge and and I am so happy to be able to host it and be a part of Pratham,” says Anthony Tafuro, Events Director at the Hudson Lounge. “I heard the presentation and was very moved by the cause,” added Anthony.
Hudson Lounge is an upscale urban oasis in the heart of Houston, Texas, conveniently located, offering sophisticated, swank beautiful open patios. My favorite is the inside bar area with black and white portraits.
Overall a very successful fun event with great opportunity to make new friends and most importantly be part of a great cause. Rubbing shoulders with the young professionals were Divya and Chris Brown, Sunita Biswas, Lynn Ghose Cabrera, Ash Shah, Vibhu Sharma, Mona Parihk, Jagdip Ahluwalia, Indy Chakrabarti, Asha Pai Dhume, Marie Goradia, Vibhu and Shreela Sharma and many others.
Photos by Bijay Dixit [UniquePhotoImages.com]
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