Money raised from the gala will benefit AIF’s “Learning and Migration Program,” which educates and nurtures children in areas of high seasonal migration.
The gala honored Nisha Desai Biswal, Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, who serves as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman. Haresh Bhungalia, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Legal Discovery, LLC, and his wife, Alpa, served as event chairs. Comedian Anish Shah acted as host.
Biswal stressed the importance of people-to-people relations. “I would say that the U.S.-India relationship is not going to reach its full potential until the full potential of our ‘people-to-people’ ties is reached,” she said. “There is no partner that the United States has that deeply respects our values, our views, our perspectives than the nation of India.”
“This India-America moment is a wonderful one,” Kaine said. “The opportunities for cooperation are significant. And one of the reasons they are significant is because of the amazing power of the Indian American. And, that’s what this room represents.”
Other speakers included IMC Inc. Chairman and CEO Sudhakar Shenoy, the Bhungalia’s and event architect Venky Raghavendra.
Notable dignitaries who attended the gala included D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Sri Srinivasan, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of India Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Center for American Progress Neera Tanden, former CTO of the U.S. government Aneesh Chopra, philanthropists Ranvir Trehan, Shekar Narasimhan and Dr. MahinderTak, and AIF board members Victor Menezes and Pradeep Kashyap.
According to AIF, the sponsors were IMC, Jones Day, Legal Discovery LLC, Visitor Guard, Emirates, eHealthObjects Inc., SeeClearly Vision, Hughes and Cvent.
The entertainment part of the event consisted of classical tabla performance by Karsh Kale, who was accompanied by hammered dulcimer pioneer Max Zt. Local pianist and composer Raashi Kulkarni also performed.
The event was planned and coordinated by the DC AIF Young Professionals Board.