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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, Narika, Fremont
May 19, 2018, Milpitas, CA: Overseas Volunteers for a Better India (OVBI), a 501 3(c) organization held its first annual fundraiser gala for India Water Project at the India Community Center (ICC) on May 19th. The over 400 people who attended the event were inspired to generously contribute towards the cause and helped OVBI achieve their goal of $250K for 2018.
Mohan Trikha, Chair of OVBI’s India Water Project, said, “Our initial goal for the fundraiser was $150K. However, due to the enthusiastic response of all the people we approached and their generous contributions, we surpassed this goal much before the event day itself. Hence, we revised our target and are really grateful to all our supporters for helping us achieve the target. He further explained that these funds will provide sufficient resources to actively pursue 50 additional villages for water sufficiency in multiple states in the coming year.
In addition to all the donations and matching contributions from different companies, CEO of Kespry, George Mathews donated an industrial grade drone worth $40,000 for this cause. This drone and software services will enable surveys of hundreds of acres of land in a matter of minutes instead of days.
“Water is a massive worldwide problem. According to a NASA report India’s global position for groundwater depletion is alarming! The World Resources Institute reports that 54% of India faces extremely high water-stress. By 2030, India will be able to meet only 50% of its water needs,” said BV Jagadeesh, Co-Chair, OVBI’s India Water Project, “330 million people in 250,000 villages are short of water. Since 85% of India’s water is utilized for agriculture, India’s farmers are the worst affected. Hundreds of farmers commit suicide in India every year, millions more live in deep distress. This makes it extremely critical that we do something right now when the situation can still be reversed.”
“The critical nature of the problem touched many hearts this evening”, said John Varela, Director, Santa Clara Valley Water District, who in his address said that he was almost embarrassed to say that they have water problems in the county for which they have millions of dollars budget. He extended his full support in terms of exchange of expertise in resolving problems in India.
“OVBI currently partners with Art of Living India for ground implementation for some of its projects. We have a short-term vision to bring water sufficiency to 500 villages in the most drought prone areas of Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu and others benefitting 1 million people by 2022,” said Satej Chaudhary, President, OVBI. “Work is currently underway in 25 of the selected villages. We leverage existing government schemes and corporate social responsibility grants and village self-help to amplify the impact of all contributions.”
California State Assemblymember Ash Kalra and City of Fremont Councilmember Raj Salwan were also present at the event to show their support for the cause. Assemblymember Kalra also gave a Certificate of Recognition to OVBI and Art of Living, India. A state delegation may visit India soon to work with Government of India and OVBI Water Project for the quest of water sufficiency in India.
For further information contact Satej Chaudhary 202.468.9474 or Sanjana Chopra 925.202.5346.