AIF Honors Cultural Icons Zakir Hussain and Anil Kapoor at Southern California Gala
Los Angeles, Nov. 15, 2009
Surendra Prakash/Azad Oommen/
At a star-studded Gala in downtown Los Angeles, the American India Foundation honored Ustad Zakir Hussain and Anil Kapoor for their role in building the cultural bridge between the United States and India. The Annual Southern California Gala raised over $450,000 to fund AIF's programs that accelerate social and economic change in India.
The Gala, which was hosted by Hollywood stars Sendhil Ramamurthy and Noureen DeWulf, featured remarks by Emmy-award winning actor Kiefer Sutherland. The Gala was attended by a number of entertainment industry notables, including Tanisha Mukherjee (Sarkar), Rick Yune (Fast and Furious, Die Another Day), Parminder Nagra (ER), Navi Ravat (Numbers), Kunal Nayyar (Big Bang Theory) etc.
Speaking at the Gala, AIF's CEO Dr. Sanjay Sinho said, "Both Ustad Zakir Hussain and Anil Kapoor stand apart for their unique artistic talent. They have both achieved international success and have used their celebrity to bring attention to the problems of marginalized people in India. AIF is delighted to honor them for the leadership they have shown culturally and philanthropically."
During the Gala, AIF highlighted its Digital Equalizer programs that introduces computer technology and the Internet into the education of 300,000 students annually across India. AIF has partnered with six state governments including Punjab,Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and has corporate partnerships with Adobe, AMD, and Dell among others. Due to these partnerships, AIF is able to reach students at the cost of less than $10 per student for a year.
Ms. Lata Krishnan, Vice Chair of AIF, announced the appointment of Vandana and Ravi Tilak to the organization's Council of Trustees, which is chaired by President Bill Clinton. Vandana Tilak is the CEO of Bombay Pictures, and Ravi Tilak is the CEO of Almex USA, and they served as Gala Co-Chairs along with Pushpa and B.U. Patel, the Founder of Tarsadia Hotels.
Over 400 people attended the event, which also featured comedy by Paul Varghese, recently voted Dallas' top comic, and the local musical group, Outta Control Punjabiz. The guests were treated to food from Beverly Hills restaurant, Chakra and wine from Malibu Family Wines.
AIF's mission is to accelerate social and economic change in India. By mobilizing people and resources in the United States, AIF has invested in over 100 Indian non-governmental organizations since its inception in 2001. AIF supports programs in the areas of education, livelihood and public health in India. President Bill Clinton serves as Honorary Chair.