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India Currents gave me a voice in days I was very lost. Having my articles selected for publishing was very validating – Shailaja Dixit, Executive Director, Narika, Fremont

Indians for Collective Action (ICA) will hold its annual gala  to honor two individuals, Kiran Bedi and Rajiv Shah, for their dedication and commitment to help underserved communities.


Bedi is a social activist who became the first woman to join  the Indian Police Service (IPS) in 1972. She  served for more than 35 years with tough, innovative, and welfare policing. She was the host and TV judge of the popular TV series “Aap Ki Kacheri” that featured Indian families explaining their problems for legal advice. She has founded two nonprofit organizations in India: Navjyoti for welfare and preventive policing, and the India Vision Foundation for prison reformation, drug abuse prevention, and child welfare. She worked with the United Nations as the police adviser to the secretary general, and has authored several books, among many other achievements. She has been voted as India’s most admired woman and fifth amongst all Indians.

The second honoree, Shah, is the administrator of USAID under the Obama administration, making him the highest-ranking Indian American in any presidential administration. Shah has worked in a range of leadership roles at the Bill & Melinda  Gates Foundation, including director of agricultural development and director of financial services. He had the idea for the International Finance Facility for Immunization to transform the global system of vaccine financing, and worked to secure donor commitments of more than $5 billion for this facility.

ICA was founded in 1968 with the mission to support sustainable development in India by partnering with dedicated activists and nongovernmental organizations. ICA has disbursed $4.5 million to over 300 innovative, community-based projects in 23 Indian states in the areas of health, education, microfinance, and integrated rural development.

Sunday, Oct. 17, 5-9:30 p.m. India Community Center, 525 Los Coches St., Milpitas. $50 advance; $60 at door. Register: (408) 446-2416, (650)

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Vandana Kumar

Vandana Kumar is a publishing executive with a 35-year track record in the industry. She leads the India Currents Foundation as President and CEO. As a new immigrant, she co-founded India Currents magazine...