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Dance to the Tune of Literacy | 2012 Pratham Gala

Dance to the Tune of Literacy | 2012 Pratham Gala

We all talk about India’s corruption, poverty and other issues but the one thing that can resolve most of the problems is often ignored – literacy. It can be said that corruption, poverty, and violence all stem from the rise of illiteracy. It is a vicious cycle, as mentioned by the past Pratham President Yogi Patel.

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. Pratham is dealing with illiteracy, “education can solve many problems,” says Yogi Patel.

Some Houstonians who have been involved with Pratham’s work and seen the difference share their thoughts: Houston based entrepreneur and CEO of Ingenious Inc., Vibhu Sharma believes that Pratham drives education opportunities for the poorest of kids in India. “This is a fundamental right that every child should have. My wife and I have been fortunate to be educated in some of the best schools and given a platform to succeed,” says Vibhu. “Pratham allows us to contribute in some way to help these children live their dreams. There is no greater emotional satisfaction than being a part of that Pratham dream. For the cost of $25 per year to educate one child, everyone can get involved! Besides, it is reassuring that this organization is run by some of the most dedicated folks that are focused on delivering over 94% of all funds directly towards the Pratham programs,” informs Sharma.

Lack of education is the fuel that feeds the cycle of poverty. In India, political and social issues create this fuel. Pratham helps the underprivileged in India to break this cycle by providing free education. “It has received numerous prestigious global awards in recognition of its success and it has now partnered with the Indian government to influence various aspects of school education,” shares Asha Dhume.

“In addition, the added attraction for me was that 94% of the funds raised by Pratham reach it’s programs. This is possible because of the large and dedicated volunteer base of Pratham. My husband serves on the Pratham Board in Houston and I volunteer my time and energy for its fund raising events. We can’t think of a better way than this to give back to society,” says Ms Dhume. Asha Dhume co-chaired the Pratham Holiday Luncheon in December 2011 which turned out to be a huge success and was a very fulfilling experience for her. “The Pratham story is so compelling that we managed to collect record breaking contributions this year,” says Asha with a smile.

While the reasons are very compelling and highly motivating, I have to share that the Pratham Gala has been one of the finest galas in town as guests get to rub shoulders with the who’s who of H-town, supporting a great cause at the same time. Pratham Gala has most certainly come a long way with a very high reputation and a host of A-List guests decked in the most fashionable attire networking, building relationships and most importantly giving back to the community for the sake of education.

This year the 2012 Pratham Houston Gala will be held at the Hilton Americas Downtown, Houston on Saturday, April 21, 2012 with Keynote Speaker Ajay Banga, CEO MasterCard. Pratham President Swatantra Jain, Co-Chairs Marie Goradia and Medha Karve, Rukmini Banerji, Director of Pratham India and many others will welcome you to this glitterati gala event. So come dressed fashionably – saris, churriddars, evening gowns or cocktails dresses are all acceptable. Come make a difference. For more information visit

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