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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 Americans jump into congressional races

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Indian Americans jump into congressional races | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The latest numbers show more Indian Americans than ever are running for Congress. In the last six years, nearly 80 candidates made it on the ballot, soaring far beyond numbers seen in past elections. Leading the wave are successful candidates from California, like Kamala Harris, who rose from a Senate seat to become vice president. Helping those numbers, Indians Americans are also one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the country.  

Nisha Ramachandran is the new Executive Director of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the first Indian American to serve in this role.  Ramachandran most recently managed her own consulting business focused on AAPI advocacy. She’ll be working closely with Congresswoman Judy Chu who chairs the group to further Asian American causes and initiatives. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the people of Telangana after the Kakatiya Rudreshwara Ramappa Temple was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The PM also urged citizens to visit the temple which was built during the rule of the Kakatiya dynasty.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Blinken begins India visit, Afghanistan top issue

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Blinken begins India visit, Afghanistan top issue | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — US secretary of state Antony Blinken begins his two-day India visit on Tuesday hoping to engage the nation on issues such as the Covid-19 response, human rights, and democracy. The American troop pullout in Afghanistan will also be a key issue. India is concerned about the implications of the withdrawal and the need for sustained pressure on Pakistan over issues like terror financing.

And India’s first medal at the Tokyo Olympics goes to Mirabai Chanu. She won silver in Women’s weight lifting. Chanu’s Olympic preparations were hindered by injuries and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic but she still beat the odds and is being praised back home.

Tesla may open a factory in India. But CEO Elon Musk says only if the cars receive a good response in that marketplace. The company has already been hiring talent in the country. But Musk also hinted at some downsides to opening overseas, citing India’s import duty tax is the highest in the world for a large country.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Shrina Kurani announces CA congressional campaign

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Shrina Kurani announces CA congressional campaign | Diya TV News

SACRAMENTO (Diya TV) — Indian American Democrat Shrina Kurani is running for Congress in California’s 42nd district and is preparing to take on 15-year Republican incumbent Ken Calvert. Kurani is a mechanical engineer and entrepreneur and says she’s running to create more sustainable jobs in her community and to take on the status quo in Washington DC.

More than 30 interfaith organizations in the U.S. are urging the State Department to sanction India and designate it as a country of “particular concern”. Their resolution claims that the Indian government is promoting policies that lead to the persecution of religious minorities, especially Muslims.
Despite growing concern over rising Covid-19 cases in Japan, the 2021 Tokyo Olympic opening ceremony got underway. India is sending its largest ever contingent to the Olympics with120 athletes competing across 85 events.  The country hopes to win medals for shooting, wrestling, boxing, archery and badminton.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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