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Akshaya Patra Foundation receives $1M pledge from Vista Equity Partners; raises $500K at annual event

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Akshaya Patra Foundation
Akshaya Patra Foundation

Robert F. Smith (center), Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners alongside Hardeep Gulati (left), CEO of PowerSchool, and Shridhar Venkat (right), CEO of The Akshaya Patra Foundation.

 

SAN FRANCISO (Diya TV) — Vista Equity Partners, the world’s leading private equity firm pledged $1 million to Akshaya Patra over five years to aid in the Foundation’s mid-day meal plan. Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners announced the collaboration alongside Hardeep Gulati, CEO of PowerSchool, and Shridhar Venkat, CEO of The Akshaya Patra Foundation.

The pledge was announced during the opening of the new offices of the education-technology firm, PowerSchool.  PowerSchool provides software solutions to schools in over 70 countries, it will continue to hire talent, and expand its presence in Bengaluru, joining eight other Vista portfolio companies with operations in India.

The initial investment will be used to purchase trucks to transport meals to schools in various areas of the country. With $200,000 granted each year, contributions will aid the delivery of meals to 80,000 students per day, and over 18 million meals per year.

“Our culture at Vista emphasizes the importance of positively impacting and engaging with the communities in which we live and work,” said Smith. “At Vista, we invest in the future. And Akshaya Patra’s work does that.  By ensuring that students across India have the nourishment they need to be able to learn, the foundation plays an integral role in the education of Indian youth, and we are honored to help them execute on their mission.”

“We are honored to partner with Vista Equity Partners and companies to continue to ensure that our children are well-nourished, and able to learn,” said Venkat. “This commitment will immensely expand our ability to deliver meals to schools and students across India, and will help us in furthering the mission of serving five million children by 2020”

Akshaya Patra Bay Area Benefit Event Raises $500,000

Over 300 business philanthropic community leaders attended the Akshaya Patra Foundation’s 2017 Bay Area Benefit Galaraising $500,000 for the organization’s school meal program.

Dheeraj Pandey, Founder, CEO and Chairman of Nutanix  was the event’s keynote speaker. Nutanix India employees have volunteered in Akshaya Patra’s Bangalore kitchen and schools.

The event also featured Diane Greene, Google’s Senior Vice President of Google Cloud Business, who accepted an award on behalf of Google. The award recognizes Google as Akshaya Patra’s “Corporate Partner of the Year”.

The annual fundraiser event is organized by Akshaya Patra’s Bay Area Volunteer Chapter led by Advisory Board members.

Akshaya Patra Foundation is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Bengaluru, India.  The organization established its school meal program in 2000. Akshaya Patra Foundation serves wholesome food to over 1.6 million children from 13,839 schools across 12 states in India.

Vista Equity Partners is a U.S.-based investment firm with more than $30 billion in cumulative capital commitments.

PowerSchool is a K-12 education technology provider of solutions that improve the education experience for 100 million students, teachers, and parents in over 70 countries around the world.

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Indian American couple dead in apparent murder-suicide

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Indian American Couple Dead In Apparent Murder-suicide | Diya TV News

 North Arlington, NEW JERSEY (Diya TV) — Authorities in New Jersey are investigating a possible murder-suicide, saying Balaji Rudrawar stabbed his wife Aarti to death. Both were found dead in their home with multiple stab wounds. Their young daughter was found unharmed inside. The motive remains unclear. The man’s father told an India-based media outlet his daughter in law was 7 months pregnant.

In Indian waters, a US war ship sailed through India’s Exclusive Economic Zone without asking for permission, a violation of that country’s law. Both countries remain partners in the region. Sources with the Indian Navy say the move was more about sending a message to China.

As Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry wraps up his India trip,  he’s taking to social media and personally thanking some of the leaders of that region including Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and now Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen of Bangladesh, saying all the countries involved are committed to address global warming and climate change. Kerry is raising awareness about this issue heading into a climate conference with world leaders later this month. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Muslim advocates sue Facebook over not removing anti-Muslim hate speech

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Muslim Advocates Sue Facebook | Diya TV News

MENLO PARK, Calif. (Diya TV) — Frustrated with what it sees as a lack of progress, a group called Muslim advocates, along with law firm Gupta Wessler, is suing Facebook, claiming the social media giant does not consistently remove all hate speech, especially language that targets followers of Islam.  The group is calling out top executives like Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, demanding the social network start taking anti-Muslim activity more seriously. A Facebook spokesperson says it regularly uses artificial intelligence to remove posts that violate its policies.

“Hugs are back.” That’s what US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy is saying after seeing an increase in Covid-19 vaccinations all across the nation. Murthy says more and more Americans are becoming comfortable getting vaccinated. And by April 19th, all adults will be eligible for the vaccine. The Indian American doctor says this trend is encouraging, but also says there is still lots of work that needs to be done about battling disinformation.

And a big blow to Indian filmmakers.  The Federal government is cutting the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal, which allowed filmmakers to appeal decisions made by the censors, which has the power and authority to ban certain movies for inappropriate content.  Instead, they will now have to go to lawyer up and go straight to court and fight if they disagree.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Hate crime charges demanded against Oxford professor

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Hate Crime Demanded Against Oxford Professor | Diya TV News

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — More than 100 Hindu and Indian organizations are calling on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to crack down on hate speech at the University of Oxford. Professor Abhijit Sarkar is accused of targeting a female Indian student because of her Hindu beliefs and forcing her to leave the school. The coalition is demanding Sarkar’s firing and also wants him to be charged with a hate crime.

In Seattle Washington, tenants facing eviction will now have free access to lawyers if they cannot afford to pay for services on their own.  Controversial Indian American City council member Kshama Sawant is behind this new legislation.  She says without this law, tenants would face a tsunami of evictions once the rent moratorium expires.

And Amazon delivery drivers in India are going on a 24 hour nationwide strike. after the company slashed how much they can earn per package. Organizers say demonstrations will take place in a number of cities across the country, including Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Delhi, making it the first nationwide protest against the e-commerce giant in India.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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