Dr. Suri Sehgal was asked to speak at the 40th anniversary celebration of SILC (School of India for Language & Culture) on June 1 in the Twin Cities. SILC was launched by a group of five mothers who wanted their kids to know something about their rich Indian culture as they became productive and effective citizens of the US. Dr. Sehgal was happy to help sponsor and be part of this major milestone attended by about 450 people whose lives were positively impacted by SILC programs. He offered a strong endorsement of these valuable types of informal education that create well-rounded human beings. These same goals are heavily embedded in Sehgal Foundation’s Life Skills Education and Digital Literacy centers that are part of the Transform Lives one school at a time initiative.
The following day, June 2, Dr. Sehgal joined with Minnesota donors and core advisors to Sehgal Foundation at a luncheon gathering at Gandhi Mahal restaurant in Minneapolis. Jay Sehgal provided an update about the Transform Lives one school at a time initiative. Two core advisors who had visited Sehgal Foundation in the past year spoke about their experiences. Anoop Mathur described the programs and projects to empower girls that he saw in Hyderabad. He stressed the strong difference between the many NGOs who enter villages promising wonderful improvements but soon abandon their unfinished projects in stark contrast to the comprehensive work and training provided to communities by Sehgal Foundation that inspire empowerment and ownership by villagers to ensure that any improvement projects are sustained after completion.
Ram Gada observed the difficulty for people of Indian heritage in the US who want to give back to their country of origin but are often unsure about which NGOs in India can be trusted. Vijay Dixit shared his appreciation for being able to fulfill his personal donor pledge to do something concrete to help schoolchildren in India in honor of his daughter Shreya.
Dr. Sehgal spoke about the power of empowering girls and women. After he described Sehgal Foundation’s commitment to including 50 percent women in all projects, an attendee lamented, “If only that was a norm here in the US!” Funds pledged by attendees at this luncheon, and matched by Suri and Edda Sehgal, will be used to transform two government schools in Haryana.