WHEELS Raises 2.4 Million at New York Gala

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WHEELS Global Foundation Raises $2.4 Million at Annual Fundraising Gala

Funds will go towards improving conditions in rural communities

 

New York, NY – Nov. 7, 2017 – The WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF), held its annual fundraising gala at The Pierre, Taj NY located in Manhattan on Friday, November 3, 2017. More than 300 entrepreneurs, business leaders, scholars and dignitaries were in attendance. $2 million of the total $2.4 million was generously donated by the Niswarth International Foundation, a charitable vehicle for Chirag Patel, Co-CEO and Chairman, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, and his family. This donation will go towards the WHEELS India Niswarth (WIN) Foundation, a new 501c3 non-profit to be formed in the U.S. The WIN Foundation will be located at the IIT Gandhinagar (IITGN) and Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar (IIPHGN) campuses with the main office, and Water & Sanitation -WATSAN group located at the IITGN campus and the Maternal & Child Health group located at the nearby IIPHGN campus.

Many of the funds raised came from individual donors, raffle donations and live auction. The gala also featured a unique opportunity for a one-on-one dinner with Rajat Gupta, Chairman, WHEELS Global Foundation and Chirag Patel. Additionally, a House of Nobel Experience in Paris was auctioned off. This prize included a not-yet released champagne, founded by late Philip Nobel, a descendant of the Nobel Prize family. Champagne Philip Nobel is developed by 2017 Champagne Maker of the Year, Alfred Gretien. The prize also included the chance to be at the exclusive white tie party (Students’ Nobel NightCap) held annually in Stockholm, Sweden to celebrate the Nobel laureates.

The event honored Mr. Josh Weston, the former CEO of ADP, for his years of service as a community leader.NYCGala_1.jpg He co-founded Safe Water Network, a non-profit that provides access to clean drinking water to thousands of people in India and Ghana. Mr. Hiten Ghosh, the President Emeritus of WGF was honored for his leadership as the first founding President and received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication and service. Mr. Suresh Shenoy, executive vice president at Alyx Technologies was announced as the new President of the Foundation.

At the inaugural gala in 2016, $200,000 was raised. The funds raised last year helped alleviate many pressing challenges in rural communities. “ The increase in donations this year demonstrates that donors see the urgency of the issues faced and that WGF is a dedicated partner in alleviating issues faced by rural areas. We are deeply gratified by the generous donations of attendees, sponsors and raffle and auction prize donors,” said Suresh Shenoy, President, WGF.

 

In this Photo: (left to right) Rajat Gupta (Chairman, WGF)
Mr. Josh Weston (Guest of Honor) and Ron Mehta (WGF Board Member)

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With a vision to use “technology to enable philanthropy,” WGF provides funds to develop Clean Drinking Water Plants (CDWP) in remote villages to alleviate health issues related to poor-quality drinking water. The Kanya project, headed by Youth Chair, Vriti Khurana, works to alleviate the stigma surrounding menses to keep girls in school. A production facility staffed by women produces 100% compostable feminine hygiene products that will be donated to the girls in surrounding communities. This provides jobs for women in the community and teaches them entrepreneurship skills.

Through its Sevak Program, to date, 60 Sevak villages have delivered preventative healthcare monitoring and care to over 60,000 households. The foundation also partners with Pratham, India’s largest education NGO to promote girls’ education for young dropouts in India under their Second Chance Program. 384 laptops have been donated to the program, and Spoken Tutorials have trained 2.5 million people in IT literacy.

Guests in the Grand Ballroom | The Pierre, Taj NY

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In addition to its programs, WGF funds research across the globe on health, sustainability and clean energy technologies. Neil Davey, WGF’s Youth Chair and grantee, developed the microfluidics technique in partnership with Harvard University and IIT Bombay Bioengineering and Bioscience department, that puts the medical community one step closer to being able to detect cancer and malaria cells from a drop of blood. Developments such as these must be nurtured, and we look forward to the advances that the coming year will bring resulting from the generous donations of our attendees. TV Asia was the media sponsor for this important event.

For more information, visit  www.WHEELSGlobalFoundation.org and www.NiswarthFoundation.org
Photo Credit: Generic Brand Human

ABOUT: WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF) is a non-profit organization that is a pioneer in applying technology to provide solutions to issues related with water, health, energy, education, livelihood, and sustainability. Founded as an independent 501c3, the organization partners with other national and international NGO’s and non-profit organizations, working in collaboration to aid a larger rural population globally.



Media Contact:  
Divya Gupta
DivyaGupta@GRIDSConsulting.com
11140 Rockville Pike, Suite 400
Rockville, MD 20852
Media Inquiries: 301.678.4888

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ron Mehta’s 1970 Pledge to Give Back to India Results in Nearly $1 Million
Over 25 Years in Total Philanthropic Contributions
 

Most recent donation from IIT Bombay alumnus comes in advance of
WHEELS Global Foundation’s Annual Fundraising Gala 

 

New York, NY – October 5, 2017 – Ruyintan (Ron) Mehta, a known name in the IIT alumni community, recently made a generous contribution to the WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF). After receiving his degree in Chemical Engineering from IIT Bombay for roughly 10,000 rupees, or about $152 U.S. dollars, Mr. Mehta moved to the United States to continue his graduate studies. “If a country as poor as that can do so much, I pledged that when I could, I would do my darnedest to give back to IIT and society at large,” said Mr. Mehta. And, with nearly $1 million in total contributions, Mr. Mehta has made good on his word.           

Although he himself is not religious, he has always followed the Golden Rule of Zoroastrianism: “Good thoughts, good words, good deeds.” His earliest personal giving inspiration was his mother. Many middle-class families in India had servants at the time, and he watched as she treated theirs as family, even paying for him to attend middle and high school at night, at St. Xavier’s Ahmedabad, a prestigious all boys school. She also volunteered at a school entirely composed of blind girls. Occasionally, she would bring a group of them home over the weekends, where he marveled at her capacity to give back.

Like Mr. Mehta, the mission of WHEELS Global Foundation is to give back to India, the USA and to global rural communities. With a vision to use “technology to enable philanthropy,” WGF is a non-profit organization that is a pioneer in applying technology to provide solutions to issues related to their six tracks: water, health, education, energy, livelihood and sustainability. WGF was founded by the alumni of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT); one of the premier engineering and technical schools in the world.Ron_Mehta.jpg

In his role as a Board Member for WGF, Mr. Mehta along with Co-Director Madhu Reddy oversee the ‘water’ track. The primary goal of which is to provide rural villages in India with a source of clean drinking water. Much of India’s rural water source lacks sanitation and has unhealthy levels of fluoride, iron, arsenic and other toxic components. WGF provides funds to develop Clean Drinking Water Plants (CDWP) in remote villages. To date, WGF has installed ten plants in three states in India, with three others in development. In total, the foundation has served approximately 75,000 people with each plant serving between 6,000 to 8,000 people per village. WGF plans to install thirty additional plants, commissioned in various Sevak villages that currently do not have water treatment plants. The Sevak Program is a state-wide pilot in Gujarat with 35 Sevak villages, one in each district in Gujarat.

In addition to his support of WGF, Mr. Mehta says, “I am a firm believer in sustainability within the area of scholarships, so I’ve been donating to an organization called Foundation for Excellence. It’s a foundation that provides scholarships to needy students at IIT Bombay.” He also serves as a certified mentor for the Central Jersey SCORE chapter, where he provides counseling and mentoring to entrepreneurs and small businesses. He was instrumental in developing a student exchange program between his alma mater IIT Bombay and The Cooper Union, a prestigious engineering school in New York City. “There is remarkable success in young students learning a culture that is different than theirs. So, to provide a jump start to the partnership, I provide a $2,000 USD travel grant to each student in the exchange program.” He also serves as the current President of IIT Bombay Heritage Foundation and is former President of IIT Bombay Alumni Association of New York. He financially contributes to and sits on the Advisory Board of the Dakshana Foundation, which prepares the most economically needy youth in India to take the IIT joint entrance exam (JEE). Today, Mr. Mehta keeps a deep admiration for the country he has called home for 47 years, residing in New Jersey with his wife, two children and three grandchildren.

His donation comes in advance of the WGF annual benefit gala, to be held on Friday, November 3 at The Pierre, A Taj Hotel in Manhattan, NY. Although Mr. Mehta has been giving back to the community since the early 1990’s, his story is largely untold. This year, WGF will focus on highlighting the giving stories of some of our community’s unsung heroes. Additionally, the gala will honor Mr. Josh Weston, the former CEO of ADP, for his years of service as a community leader. He co-founded Safe Water Network, a non-profit that provides access to clean drinking water to thousands of people in India and Ghana. The funds raised will go towards launching additional Clean Drinking Water Plants (CDWP), provide quality education, health care and sustainable livelihoods for rural communities in India.

 

ABOUT WGF: WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF) is a non-profit organization that is a pioneer in applying technology to provide solutions to issues related with water, health, education, energy, livelihood, and sustainability. Founded as an independent 501c3, the organization partners with other national and international NGO’s and non-profit organizations, working in collaboration to aid a larger rural population globally. For more information, visit:  www.WHEELSGlobalFoundation.org

Media Contact: 
Divya Gupta
DivyaGupta@GRIDSConsulting.com
11140 Rockville Pike, Suite 400
Rockville, MD 20852
Media Inquiries: 301.678.4888

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Deepak Chopra, Rajat Gupta on Leadership & Next Generation of PIO Potential at IIT Conf

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Deepak Chopra, Rajat Gupta on Leadership &
Next Generation of PIO Potential at the 2nd Annual IIT Bay Area Leadership Conference

 

Santa Clara, CA - June 16, 2017 – Deepak Chopra and Rajat Gupta will address the second annual IIT Bay Area Leadership Conference on June 17. The pioneers in the business community will discuss their paths to success, overcoming controversy and the leadership skills they needed to build careers in the United States. Rajat_Deepak.jpg

Internationally lauded author, entrepreneur and innovator in integrative medicine, Deepak Chopra has built a business empire that expands across the globe. His more than 80 books are considered required reading in the self-help genre and his passion introduced millions in the United States to alternative medicine.

Rajat Gupta, IIT Delhi alumnus, was the first foreign-born CEO to lead global powerhouse consultancy McKinsey & Co. Elected in 1994 and re-elected twice, Gupta brought a global perspective to a company who saw 60% of its revenues at the time coming from global markets. Gupta founded the Indian School of Business (ISB) and America India Foundation (AIF), and served as an advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Additionally, Mr. Gupta sits on the board of PanIIT USA and is the current Chairman of the WHEELS Global Foundation, which will host the WHEELS For Humanity Awards Gala recognizing the strides made in clean water accessibility, health, education, energy, livelihood and sustainability on Nov. 3, 2017.

Born and educated in India, both men moved to the United States to expand their careers. Although there are similarities, both have vastly differing perspectives on leadership. Dr. Chopra believes that success comes not from hard work, but through self-awareness and an understanding of the laws of nature. Mr. Gupta argues that success comes from constantly finding ways to make a difference to your employer. His approach is focused and intentional. This dichotomy will make for a probing and fascinating discussion.

 

ABOUT WGF: WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF) is a non-profit organization that is a pioneer in applying technology to provide solutions to issues related with water, health, education, energy, livelihood, and sustainability. Founded as an independent 501c3, the organization partners with other national and international NGO’s and non-profit organizations, working in collaboration to aid a larger rural population globally. For more information, visit:  www.WHEELSGlobalFoundation.org

More details about the conference host can be found at http://iit-bayarea.org

Media Contact: DivyaGupta@GRIDSConsulting.com | (w) 1.888.529.1118 | (c) 714.914.7437

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WHEELS Global Foundation Co-Sponsors VA Obesity Campaign event

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WHEELS Global Foundation Co-Sponsors the NObesity Revolutionary 2K Walk for VOAC Partnered with MOVE!, a national weight management program designed by Veteran Affairs

Bethesda, Maryland, May 18, 2017 – W.H.E.E.L.S. (Water, Health, Education, Energy, Livelihood, Sustainability) Global Foundation is an event sponsor for the Veteran Obesity Awareness Campaign’s (VOAC) NObesity Revolutionary 2K Walk. NObesity Revolution, a pilot program hosted by VOAC, is a campaign to raise obesity awareness and to promote healthy life choices for Veterans and the community. The event is scheduled from 8 AM- 1PM on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at VFW, Post 577, 1109 E 6th  St in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The NObesity Revolutionary 2K Walk’s proceeds will benefit Veterans Foreign Affairs Post 577 and the MOVE! Program at the Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System. For more information, visit: https://eventium.io/events/807294872768190/nobesity-revolution-2k-walk

 VOAC is a movement that highlights the issue of veteran obesity. As stated by ThinkProgress.org, the

U.S. veteran obesity rate peaked to 80 percent in 2015. MOVE! is a weight management health promotion program designed to improve the lives of veterans. Dr. Uma Koduri, Tulsa’s Ernest Children’s Outpatient Clinic’s MOVE! physician, is an advocate for weight management and healthy living. NObesity Revolution, a term coined by Dr. Koduri, encourages the walkers to wear yellow to demonstrate their coalition to the movement. Yellow represents energy, motivation, hope, optimism, joy and happiness. “I believe that there are many reasons why people choose unhealthy lifestyles. At times the circumstances do not allow them to take care of their health,” says Dr. Uma Koduri. She adds, “September should be considered as National Obesity Month, not just Childhood Obesity Month as both are epidemics.” As founder of Walk World Walkathon Organization, Dr. Koduri also collaborates with others to organize Obesity Walks.

 With the help of WHEELS Global Foundation and other event sponsors, VOAC is optimistic to educate the community about how a few simple changes in the routine can bring positive results in a lifestyle. “Everybody knows about eating right and being active, but it’s not making those choices: It’s living the lifestyle,” stated Dr. Bruce Dart, Tulsa Health Department Director. Supporters are encouraged to help raise awareness for the initiative by committing to a generous donation of $25 a month. Click HERE to donate.

ABOUT: WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF) is a non-profit organization that is a pioneer in applying technology to provide solutions to issues related with water, health, energy, education, livelihood, and sustainability. Founded as an independent 501c3, the organization partners with other national and international NGO’s and non-profit organizations, working in collaboration to aid a larger rural population globally. www.WHEELSGlobalFoundation.org

 Media Contact: DivyaGupta@GRIDSConsulting.com | (w) 1.888.529.1118 | (c) 714.914.7437

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Unleashing the Forgotten Billion of India

Unleashing the Forgotten Billion of India

 

A saying in Hindi goes, Pehle darshan dhari, phir gun vichari. We initially judge something by its appearance than by its quality. The boot space of our car, the rear of our house or the back of our teeth is usually accorded a second class status. I had accorded the same status to the “poor and poorly educated” billion people in India – the Forgotten Billion. It seems human nature to accord such status to anything that does not seem important or is out of sight or perceived as inferior – until some extraordinary experiences make us question some of our deep seated assumptions. They got rid of my blinkers. They made me “see” the world of Forgotten Billion.

 Fourteen months that I worked at National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in 2010-11 made a deep impact. It allowed me Bharat Darshan, to understand Bharat, the informal and traditional India. With hope in my heart I proceeded on a sabbatical in 2011 to explore the question - How can we unleash our Forgotten Billion? Answers have finally emerged. I am sharing my journey and the lessons it has taught.

NSSO 2011-12 data says that 89.2% of Indians did not receive vocational training, a desperate picture. But there is another piece of statistic which informs that 1.7% of Indians have learnt skills themselves. They are Ustads, individuals with extraordinary motivation to self-express, to seek their calling in life. They may be poorly educated and born in families with little resources but they looked beyond those hurdles. Actively sought teachers, if there were none around they learnt seeking any resource they could lay their hands on. They learnt less formally, more intuitively. In Mahabharat, Eklavya hoped Dronacharya would become his teacher but when it did not happen efforts grew manifold and he learnt by himself. Ustads belong to the clan of Ekalavyas. NSSO suggests that 1.7 in 100 people are Ustads, of the 400mn workforce in India there are more than 6 mn of them. I met a few hundred across India. 

 Niranjan, a 34 yr old ustad mechanic in Goa, remembers, “School was boring so after Class X I decided to pursue a diploma at a polytechnic. Though I learnt little there, I realised I wanted to become a mechanic. My father understood and gave me his old scooter. I took it apart and put it back and soon I taught myself to be a mechanic”, says Niranjan with a grin, echoing Einstein’s sentiment, play is the highest form of research.

 This conversation I was having alongside Niranjan’s teacher at school, Baby didi, in Kavale village of Goa. She recalls, “Niranjan had little interest in studies. I thought he was a dull student. But while pursuing the diploma he approached, asking me to teach him some Class IX and X Physics, later also asking if I could help him get some books. His sudden interest puzzled me!”

 In Class XI Niranjan failed in all subjects in the first term. Not only had he failed but also reached his point of gnawing dissatisfaction. Enough is enough, and he set about to self-express and discover himself. Once he realised his passion floodgates opened and was soon seeking lessons from teachers, books and any learning source – also going back to didi for lessons which did not interest him earlier.

 “A significant fraction of children who drop out may be those who refuse to compromise with non-comprehension - they are potentially superior to those who just memorise and do well in examination, without comprehending very much!” says, Prof Yash Pal, a leading educationist.

 Could Niranjan teach interested youth to become a car mechanic? He had already trained many informally and on-the-job over the years. But could he do it “formally” turning his mechanic shed into a clean and safe training school? After some thought he replied, “Two batches a day with five students each I can train 10 students in three months - 40 in a year. They will not be mechanic after that but I guarantee they will make good helpers to mechanics earning more than Rs 8,000 per month right away.  In two years they will be good mechanics earning more than Rs 25,000.” But how educated should the youth be, I asked. “If the youth is interested and can put in hard work it is enough. If he does not pickup electrical work I will teach mechanical. If that too does not interest I will train to tinker and paint. They are all in high demand.”

 Such conversations I have regularly had with Ustads of different trades in my travels across the country. Ansari, the barber of Katwaria Sarai in Delhi, Sukant, the mobile technician in the small town of Pattamundai, Odisha, Chintu, the welder in Chilamakur village, Andhra Pradesh or Ramesh, the fitter in Bharuch, Gujarat. None were much educated but the finest in their trade and keen to teach others. Pitamber, a retired ustad plumber, did not study after class VII, asked if I would fund him to setup a plumbing school in his remote Nodhabasant village in Kendrapara Dist, Odisha. After more than 25 years in the trade he had retired and returned back to the village to tend to his small farm.

 “Yes, if you could mobilise 20 interested students”, I promised. Fifteen minutes later he had assembled 10 students, mostly poorly educated but also included a graduate. “It is mid-day and many have gone to work in the fields else I would have assembled twenty easily”, said Pitamber.  To the youth I asked, “Why would you be interested to learn in a village plumbing school run by Pitamber?” “If I learn plumbing from Pitamber my friends and relatives working as plumbers in the big cities will immediately call me for work”, was the unanimous response.

 After two months of running his boot-strapped school in a village room I brought a plumbing supervisor with a leading builder from Bhubaneshwar to assess the 14 students – 12 assessed at B and 1 each at A and C grades. “They are all ready to work as helpers to plumbers”, assured the assessor. After three weeks I had arranged them to be placed with a top construction company, but by then they had left for their new jobs.

 Reminds you of Ustad-Chela system? The big merit of Ustad-Chela system is its very low cost. The finest learning theory suggests that imparting of skills in an informal setting and right at the place of work is critical for good learning outcomes. These two robust ingredients are already present in the model. Its big disadvantage is the ad-hoc processes and inconsistent outcomes. The model also suffers a poor perception in the eyes of the industry as it is seen as chaotic and its presentation does not help.

 Pitamber’s school was a refurbished and its modern manifestation. I brought him an industry certified standard syllabus. He knocked off 50% of it as unnecessary and wanted me to get a lot of product catalogues of sanitary ware. “The pictures and diagrams in the catalogues help in easy understanding”, he said. He would not compromise on the tools and kits and got a complete set, only of the best brands. One day a plumber was visiting his village and dropped by the school. “I got my diploma at the State Institute of Plumbing Technology but the tools and materials you have here are very good. Students get to freely use them”. Another visiting plumber asked Pitamber, if he too could teach a few classes in his school – there is abundant visiting faculty.

 The trade estimates that 50%-75% of plumbers in India are “Odiya plumbers”. Little do they know that these plumbers mostly come from a small region in Kendrapara Dist, less than half the size of a district. I visited homes which had even five plumbers in their household and they said it was common in the region. Kendrapara region is crying for many such plumbing schools, atleast a fifty are needed. Many retired Pitambers are available in the villages across the region. Kendrapara, the Plumbing Capital of India in two years is not far-fetched.

 The adjoining district of Jagatsinghpur is known to send out a large number of cooks. Masons of Malda in West Bengal are considered the best, same with welders and fitters from Gorakhpur and North Bihar or riggers from Rajasthan or bar benders from the border districts of Jharkhand-Odisha. And the list goes on. While Tamil Nadu is not a big supplier of construction workers but the district of Thiruvannamalai seems to be catering to 25% of Tamil Nadu’s construction activity. There are no published figures or any research done on this beautiful phenomenon. But talking to many workers and supervisors in my travels this was pieced together. A Skills Map of India is waiting to be uncovered.

 Talk to plumbing experts and they will say 6 months full-time is the minimum duration to learn and the student better be high school pass. Plumbing is almost like an engineering profession, they argue.  Probe them and you realise they have little hands-on experience, their experience is mostly in managing the tradesmen, sometimes supervising. The narrative is similar across trades. “Welding takes a minimum of 6 months”, told me a highly respected industry expert. Yet such a “village skills school” in a Jajpur village run by Diganta in Odisha trained youth part-time in welding for a month and Thermax, the reputed engineering company, assessed them to be ready to work at their site. Their supervisor said, “On day 1, all these kids will be better than the bottom 25% of my team of 110 welders. Such is the desperation and shortage of skills.” I spoke to Steve Bleile and he endorsed the Ustad-view – “a motivated youth needs just one month to learn the fundamentals of welding”. Steve’s video tutorials on welding are most popular in the world.

 Atanu Dey, an economist from University of California, Berkeley has thought deeply about learning. He says, “Education is all about loading the bootstrap program in the brain of a child. And after you have done that, the child himself is capable of loading the other bits of software required to do everything else, or what we call learning. The important point is that the bootstrap program has to be loaded first and it has to be very small and very efficient”, he says. Ustads know this intuitively. Observing Pitamber and Diganta teach over extended period I saw this theory in action. Their focus is never on completing the syllabus, always the individual learner. Ustads have much to teach, I tell my teacher-wife.

 If Skill Development were a 10-step ladder we have a ladder with only the top few steps available in India, the bottom steps are either missing or broke. Hence most of the Forgotten Billion have poor access and are never formally trained – wasting away valuable potential. Construction trade is estimated to employ about 20% of India’s workforce and mostly attracts villagers. If Skill Development for Construction were a car, we see very few Mercedes, mostly in urban centres, many times poorly utilized and are mostly show pieces. But what people are demanding is an Alto right in their village panchayat.

 And such an Alto was encouraged to be setup across Tamil Nadu in a grand experiment by a free-spirited bureaucrat under a World Bank funded poverty alleviation program. They called it Community Skills School (CSS) - setup “by the community, for the community and of the community” - to solve their own livelihood problems. Majority of them voted for masonry and setup Community Skills Schools for Masonry right in their village panchayat. There were also others in trades like four wheeler and two wheeler repair, welding, home appliance repair and traditional ones like silk saree weaving, pottery, bamboo basket making, rose nursery, etc. An agency came to assess and found 85% were work ready. The agency operates across the country but had never seen such a school. What got them charmed was to see a good number of women enrolled. In a few districts these were all-woman masonry schools too. Go across the country and you will not find a woman-mason, they work only as helpers to masons.

 The star attraction amongst these schools was one operated by Kannan to train handicapped person including a few who are mentally challenged. Over a year 285 people with disability from across Tamil Nadu were trained to repair home appliances, laptops and TVs, all in 30 days at his CSS in Sivaganga. More than 80% of them earn between Rs 3,000 to Rs 12,000/month today. What were seen as “liabilities” by their families were now converted into “assets” by Kannan, a 2.5ft polio infected wonder.

 50% of India’s workforce still gets sustenance from agriculture, also dominated by women. There is little training available to enhance their livelihoods anywhere in the country. The initiative was extended into farming as well, calling it Community Farm School (CFS). The poorest of the poor have little assets and they depend mostly on rearing goats, which requires low cost to maintain. Across three districts of Tuticorin, Virudhunagar and Sivaganga thirty CFSs for goat rearing were launched, each run by a carefully selected Spark. A Spark is a woman of the community who has an unusually keen interest to learn and teach the trade.

 An expert veterinarian, Dr Mohan Balasubramanian, understood their problems and challenges in rearing goats, devised a syllabus accordingly and taught the Sparks to overcome them every weekend for 12 weeks. The Sparks went back to their villages and ran the CFS for those interested in their community. The mortality of the goats which had historically been between 20 to 45% had been brought down under 5% across the four districts within a year. The animals showed appreciable weight gain too. Doubling of farm incomes of the very poor does not seem impossible in a year.

 The expertise of Dr Mohan Balasubramanian has been magnified manifold by 60 Sparks, they are now capable of scaling it up across the entire three districts with only a little support from him.

 The garments hub of Tiruppur faces a shortage of 20,000 people. From my travels across Tamil Nadu I estimate that these number and more are scattered across villages. Women after working for 3-4 years in large garment exporters of Tiruppur are sitting at home. After marriage their familial responsibilities forced them to leave their jobs and go back to their villages. On such a fertile bed another pilot was initiated in Virudhunagar District. In six months, after careful selection of Sparks amongst the village community, 20 Community Enterprise garment subcontract units have emerged across the District, mostly run by such village women. The project helped them with funding, introduction to large garment companies in the region and mentored them for first three months. These units together employ more than 200 women most of whom were earlier working either in the farm or as unskilled labour.

 In all a few thousand households moved to better livelihoods in a short time. It has now been planned to scale-up 5,000 Community Skills School and Community Farm School across Tamil Nadu to skill and employ or self-employ about 3 lac people. The Virudhunagar model of tapping into dominant value chains of the state to catalyse large number of small enterprises is also being taken up.

 I argue that catalyzing and unleashing Ustads and Sparks (tomorrows’ Ustads) India can be a transformed country in five years. How to locate them? Ask the community and they will revert in no time. The investment I foresee should not exceed Rs 10,000 cr. The challenge is akin to setting a gigantic and very heavy flywheel in motion. Getting it started is very hard work but once it has it will pick up its own momentum and go ahead full speed.

 He should know.

 Steve Jobs travelled to Indian villages in his days of youth and made an observation. He says,

 “The people in the Indian countryside don’t use their intellect like we do, they use their intuition instead, and the intuition is far more developed than in the rest of the world… Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion.”

 My lessons have been similar.

 What I have shared in this long essay a Chinese poem puts it tersely and well,

 

Go to the people,
Live among them,
Learn from them,
Love them.
Start with what they know.
Build on what they have.

Raise a Gallon Raise a Nation

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WHEELS Global Foundation Launches Their First Crowdfunding Campaign on World Water Day
Raising $10,000 to Provide Access to Clean Drinking Water

 

Bethesda, MD., March 22, 2017– WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF), a non-profit that is a pioneer in applying technology to uplift rural communities launches their first crowdfunding campaign; “Raise a Gallon | Raise a Nation” today, on World Water Day to raise awareness and funds for the global water crisis.

Crowdfunding Campaign: https://www.generosity.com/fundraising/raise-a-gallon-l-raise-a-nation--2/x/15537152

According to UNICEF USA, Every day nearly 1,000 children die from diseases linked to unsafe water and poor sanitation. That’s one death every 90 seconds. “Raise a Gallon | Raise a Nation” campaign hopes to raise $10,000 to provide quality drinking water to the rural communities in India. The foundation plans to install six additional Clean Drinking Water Plants (CDWP) in 2017; 3 in Utter Pradesh  (U.P.), 1 in Rajasthan, 1 in Gujarat, and an additional plant in Telangana which will be launched in collaboration with Global Pragathi


In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated March 22 as World Water Day. World Water Day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and partners. “Today seemed like the most appropriate day for us to launch the campaign since the world is tuned in to bring awareness to a global need and crisis, said Ron Mehta (Director, Water – WHEELS Global Foundation). He added, “I see unsanitized living conditions and children suffering from water borne diseases each time I visit our project sites in India. It is heartbreaking and we need to do something about it.”

The nonprofit foundation has successfully built 8 Clean drinking Water Plants (CDWP) in remote and impoverished villages with population of around 4,000 to 8,000, providing clean drinking water to over 50,000 rural villagers in India. “We plan to raise additional awareness and funds at our annual benefits gala this year to provide clean water to the rural communities in India, says Hiten Ghosh – President, WHEELS Global Foundation. He adds, “Most rural villages in India have no clean water. We must come together to change that.”

 

About WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF): WHEELS Global Foundation is a 501(c)(3) that provides technological solutions to global challenges in six areas; water, health, education, energy, lifestyles, and sustainability.  The non-profit organization’s recent successes include striking water at 675’ after months of drilling for clean water in Tamliyar village in Barmer district of Rajasthan, India.  They have provided clean drinking water to over 50,000 rural villagers in India thus far, transforming 14 acres of barren land into a productive land of abundance and delivering healthcare monitoring to 60,000 households working with their collaborator Sevak Foundation. They have also been able to provide sanitary toilets to villagers with the help of their partner; Habitat for Humanity – India Builds. For more information and videos on the tremendous work of WGF and to make a tax-deductible contribution, visit: www.WHEELSGlobalFoundation.org  

 

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WGF Save The Date

Mark your calendar for our 2nd Annual WHEELS Achievement Awards Gala.

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Giving Tuesday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WHEELS Global Foundation Launches Their #GivingTuesday Campaign; “Change a Life”

Global Day of Giving Takes Place this Year on November 29

 

Bethesda, MD., November 28, 2016 – WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF), a non-profit that is a pioneer in applying technology to uplift rural communities will launch their first #GivingTuesday campaign; “Change a Life” on November 29, 2016. Giving Tuesday is a global giving movement that has been driven by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities in all 50 states and in countries around the globe. Since its founding in 2012, millions of people have come together to support and champion the causes they believe in and the communities in which they live. After two days of getting deals – Black Friday and Cyber Monday – #GivingTuesday is a day for giving back.

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This Giving Tuesday donate to eradicate the lack of clean water, prevent avoidable sickness and disease, and increase educational opportunities for the millions of young adults that are eager to learn new skills to find better jobs. “Every action begins with one brilliant idea that intertwines innovation and technology to empower others,” said Hiten Ghosh, President WHEELS Global Foundation. He adds, “It takes one meaningful action to enhance healthy living in the rural communities.”

Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. 

Funds raised from “Change a Life” campaign will help the foundation build additional Clean Drinking Water Plants (CDWP) and work in collaboration with non-profit partners like Pratham to provide quality education to underprivileged children in India. One of the foundation’s Education track Director runs an IT training project called, “Spoken Tutorials.” This self-learning digital tool is dubbed into 22 languages of India and can also be used offline. About 2.5 million students have been successfully trained on various IT topics using this methodology. The "Spoken Tutorials" team recently received the prestigious “National ICT Award” from the Hon'ble President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee.

 

About WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF): WHEELS Global Foundation is a 501(c)(3) that provides technological solutions to global challenges in six areas; water, health, education, energy, lifestyles, and sustainability.  The non-profit organization’s recent successes include striking water at 675’ after months of drilling for clean water in Tamliyar village in Barmer district of Rajasthan, India.  They have provided clean drinking water to over 50,000 rural villagers in India thus far, transforming 14 acres of barren land into a productive land of abundance and delivering healthcare monitoring to 60,000 households working with their collaborator Sevak Foundation. They have also been able to provide sanitary toilets to villagers with the help of their partner; Habitat for Humanity – India Builds. For more information and videos on the tremendous work of WGF and to make a tax-deductible contribution, visit: www.WHEELSGlobalFoundation.org  

About #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is a movement, built by people around the world, to celebrate giving of all kinds.  It is celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.), Black Friday and Cyber Monday; this year it falls on November 29, 2016. This movement is the result of the collective power of a unique blend of partners—nonprofits large and small; businesses and corporations; schools and universities; civic campaigns in cities, states and regions; and families and individuals—to inspire people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities and contribute in countless ways to the causes they believe in. Everyone has something to give. 
                                                                                       
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WHEELS Global Foundation Launches Borewell Project in the Villages of Rajasthan

On Sept 24th 2016, In the village Jalat (Rajasthan), After drilling about 675' deep, down to a body of high quality aquifer, our team in India struck water at a good pressure and flow rate. Please check below pictures from the site and video of water gushing out of Borewell. It is possible only because of the generosity of our donors and supporters, an additional 6,000 people will now have access to clean drinking water. 

 

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Dr. Thakor Patel(WHEELS Director and Track Leader for HealthCare) inaugurated the new Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant in Jalat village this year. The village Sarpanch (leader) and our team lead by Dr. Patel gave education on diseases related with poor quality of water.

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Below is the video of Water Gushing Out of Borewell. 

 

Wheels Global Foundation and Pratham Partner To Promote Girls Education In India

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 WHEELS GLOBAL FOUNDATION (WGF) AND PRATHAM PARTNER

TO PROMOTE GIRLS EDUCATION IN INDIA

Pratham’s Second Chance Program Assists Female School Dropouts through the Provision of Digital Learning

WASHINGTON, DC — October 17, 2016, WHEELS Global Foundation, a nonprofit organization that is a pioneer in applying technology to uplift rural communities, and Pratham, one of India’s largest educational nonprofits, which provides quality education to underprivileged children, announced a partnership to promote girls' education in underserved communities in five states in India.

An alarming 80% of girls in India leave school before completing eighth grade, due to persisting socioeconomic and cultural norms.  The WGF grant will help enhance Pratham’s Second Chance program, which assists female school dropouts over the age of 14 in completing their secondary school education and earning their 10th Standard diploma, through the provision of digital learning resources.

Presently, Pratham operates 33 centers connected to 200 learning sites in nine Indian states: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana, aimed at supporting female dropouts. The partnership will introduce digital learning solutions in five of these states, reaching 1,700 students.  Laptops and tablets with pre-loaded Pratham content in the areas of Science, Math and English as well as “Spoken Tutorials,” a digital educational tool which will be made accessible to students at Pratham learning sites, which typically caters to 25-30 students, and loaned to groups of students so they can access class lessons on their own time and at their own pace, while also becoming familiar with digital technology in general.

“We are honored to have the support of the WHEELS Global Foundation. By augmenting the girls’ education program with access to interactive and engaging digital content, we hope to provide them with a more robust learning experience and improve outcomes,” said Head of Pratham’s Second Chance program Renu Seth, who is in the US to promote girls’ education. Seth added that the technology will also help develop Pratham’s infrastructure: “We spend an inordinate amount of time and resources building capacity. There is a high demand for teachers in rural areas who can teach secondary school content but attrition is also high. Having the technology in place to support teaching training is an added benefit and will greatly improve Pratham’s ability to support these young women.”

The Second Chance program offers females an alternative education model that engages them in a safe, supportive environment and helps them obtain their diploma, improving their prospects for higher education and employment. Since its inception in 2011, the program has impacted the lives of more than 18,000 girls and women, with pass percentages for enrollees reaching 88% in the 2015-16 school years. "We are thrilled to partner with Pratham on their Second Chance initiative to assist the young dropout girls,” says Hiten Ghosh, President of WGF. “Using digital teaching tools allows the young adults to learn at their own pace, which is important,” he adds.

Learn more about the Second Chance program at www.prathamusa.org/program/girls-education/.

About WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF): WHEELS Global Foundation is a 501(c)(3) that provides technological solutions to global challenges in six areas; water, health, education, energy, lifestyles, and sustainability.  The non-profit organization’s recent successes include striking water at 675’ after months of drilling for clean water in Tamliyar village in Barmer district of Rajasthan, India.  They have provided clean drinking water to over 50,000 rural villagers in India thus far, transforming 14 acres of barren land into a productive land of abundance and delivering healthcare monitoring to 60,000 households working with their collaborator Sevak Foundation. They have also been able to provide sanitary toilets to villagers with the help of their partner; Habitat for Humanity – India Builds. For information on how to make a tax-deductible contribution, visit: www.WHEELSGlobalFoundation.org  

About Pratham

Established in the slums of Mumbai in 1995, Pratham is now one of India’s largest non-governmental education organizations, having affected the lives of more than 45 million underprivileged children in the past two decades. To achieve its mission of “every child in school and learning well,” Pratham develops practical solutions to address gaps in the education system and works in collaboration with India’s governments, communities, educators and industry to increase learning outcomes and influence education policy.

Pratham USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a consistent four-star rating from Charity Navigator that seeks to raise awareness and mobilize financial resources for its work in India. For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution, visit prathamusa.org.

 

Media Contacts:

For more information, please contact:

Anuja Butala, Senior Manager
Marketing and Communications
Pratham USA
646-593-1404
abutala@prathamusa.org
prathamusa.org
Divya Gupta, President
Brand Marketing and PR
G.R.I.D.S. Consulting, Inc.
714.914.7437
DivyaGupta@GRIDSConsulting.com
www.GRIDSConsulting.com

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WHEELS Foundation Honors Trailblazers, Partners With Global Association Of Physicians

Bethesda, MD - On June 2, 2016, The WHEELS Global Foundation, a non-profit started by alumni of India’s Indian Institutes of Technology, held its first fundraising gala June 2 in Maryland, recognizing several “Trailblazers” and signing a landmark agreement with the Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPIO).

The WGF whose mission is to provide technological solutions to global challenges, recognized 12 individuals with “Trailblazer” awards. It also signed an agreement with GAPIO to implement projects focusing on obesity prevention among veterans in 100 VA hospitals in the U.S.

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“This is the beginning of a partnership that will expand in the future,” said Dr. Sudhir Parikh, treasurer of GAPIO, publisher of News India Times and recipient of India’s Padma Shri award. “With GAPIO’S membership from 34 countries and our diversified skills, we can channel resources toward healthcare and into education for preventive health in India and elsewhere,” he added. Dr. Parikh along with Dr. Sanku Rao, president of GAPIO, signed the agreement with WGF President Hiten Ghosh, at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD, where the gala was held.

Some 250 guests paid top dollars and pledged donations to WGF to the amount of $225,000, organizers told News India Times.

In his speech at the gala, Ghosh said clean drinking water is a challenge in many rural parts of the world, and WGF has been involved in providing clean water to seven villages, and plans to continue to use new technology to find efficient solutions to difficult development challenges.

The 12 philanthropic trailblazers recognized were — Raj Gupta, former CEO of Rohm and Haas; Mahinder Tak, a promoter of Indian Heritage and Arts and a mentor to young Indians aspiring to join public services and politics; Narayana Murthy, co-founder of Infosys; Pradman Kaul, president of Hughes Network System; Madhav Chavan, the co-founder and the CEO of the educational non-profit, Pratham; Scott Case, the founding CTO for Priceline, the “Name Your Own Price” company, who was also the keynote speaker.

Other awardees include Dr. Thakor Patel, a U.S. Navy veteran; Kannan Moudgalya, professor of Chemical Engineering, Systems and Control, and Educational Technology at IIT Bombay; Madhu Reddy, Dr. Uma Koduri of the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center in Muskogee, Oklahoma, known for founding the Walk World Walkathon Organization in 2011 among other initiatives; Ashank Desai, founder and former chairman of MASTEK Limited, a publicly-held IT solutions player with global operations, and advisor to Mastek Foundation, whose mission is to enable “Informed Giving and Responsible Receiving”; and Dr. Alok Agrawal, founder and president of NGOs in the US and India called Global Pragathi and Pragathi Welfare Society, involved in preventive health in India and the U.S. He is a practicing nephrologist in Ohio.

India’s Ambassador to the U.S. Arun Singh also spoke at the gala and presented some of the Trailblazer  awards.

This news article was published on 'News India Times' : http://www.newsindiatimes.com/foundation-honors-trailblazers-partners-with-global-association-of-physicians/20309

WHEELS Global Foundation’s First Annual Achievement Awards Gala, “A Huge Success”

The charity event was attended by Radio and TV personalities; international dignitaries; and DC metropolitan area socialites.

Bethesda, MD - 
The WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF) hosted their first annual Achievement Awards Gala on June 2, 2016 at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD. The evening was a huge success, highlighting global philanthropic superstars. Throughout the night, honorees were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in giving back to the community.

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Notable honorees included Raj Gupta, former CEO of Rohm and Haas; Prof. Kannan Moudgalya, founder of “Spoken Tutorial,” a program helped to improve the employment potential of under privileged students by teaching them IT skills; Dr. Uma Koduri, an advocate for Childhood Obesity Awareness Campaign; and Dr. Thakor Patel, founder of SEVAK Foundation. The event was sold out with 250 guests present. Ambassador of India Hon. Arun Singh and Ambassador of Mauritius Hon. Sorooj Phokeer were amongst the distinguished guests.

One of the most powerful moments in the evening was when host and Bollywood star Omi Vaidya opened the floor for donation pledges, with the goal to garner generous donations from the evening’s guests. This pledge campaign, with the support of numerous benefactors raised over $200,000 by the night’s end. A memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was also signed between the Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPIO) and WGF pledging to support the Veteran Obesity Awareness Campaign in one hundred veteran facilities throughout the continental U.S.The night did not solely focus on the honorees; the event was also a fundraiser to raise money for charity.

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There were several auctions in the evening, including high-end Indian fashions by designer Vanita Kumar, custom designs donated by the Dream's in Motion group, dinner trips, and weekend getaways to Goa, India. The event also featured an insightful keynote address by Scott Case, founding CTO of Priceline.com, and a stunning performance by the Natananjali Dance School.

“On behalf of the foundation, I would like to thank our guests for supporting our mission to bring a change in the rural communities and making the fundraiser a success. We appreciate your generous donations and support.” Says Hiten Ghosh, President WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF). He adds, “Funds raised the night of the gala will go towards active and future projects in the six focus areas of the foundation.”

About WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF): WHEELS Global Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides technological solutions to global challenges in their six tracks; water, health, education, energy, lifestyles, and sustainability. WHEELS successes include providing clean drinking water to more than 10,000 villagers, health care monitoring on diseases like diabetes and hypertension to more than 60,000 villagers and improving sanitary health by building toilets for individual families. To spread awareness and support the cause, use the hashtag #PledgeToChangeLives on social media. For photographs from the event, please visit:

https://www.facebook.com/WheelsGlobalFoundation/posts/1096698370413081

Media Contact: DivyaGupta@GRIDSConsulting.com | (w) 1.888.529.1118 | (c) 714.914.7437

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WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF) to Host Their First Annual Achievement Awards Gala

The Foundation is focused on Providing Technology Driven Philanthropy to Uplift Global Communities.

Bethesda, MD -
On June 2, 2016, WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF) will host their first annual red carpet event, “WHEELS Achievement Awards Gala” at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD. This year’s event will recognize philanthropic trailblazers for their accomplishments and achievements and raise funds to support WGF’s current and future projects in the U.S., India, and other rural communities globally. Red carpet and cocktail reception is scheduled to start at 6 PM.WheelsGalaSlider.jpg

WHEELS Achievement Awards Gala will be hosted by Bollywood’s very own Omi Vaidya, known for his role as “The Silencer” or “Chatur” in the feature film “3 idiots.” Scott Case, the founding Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Priceline the "Name Your Own Price" company will be attending the gala as the featured speaker. He will be joined by honorees Raj Gupta, the former CEO of Rohm and Haas; Mahinder Tak, a promoter of Indian Heritage and Arts and a mentor to young Indians aspiring to join public services and politics; Narayana Murthy, an IT industrialist and the co-founder of Infosys; Pradman Kaul, President of Hughes Network System; and Madhav Chavan, the co-founder and the CEO of the educational non-profit; Pratham. The honorees of the night are powerhouses in philanthropy, supporting the goals of WGF.

The event is supported by United States India Business Council (USIBC), ACEI-NCC, Pratham (USA), Sevak, and Habitat for Humanity – India Builds. WGF partners with national and international NGO’s and non-profit organizations, working in collaboration to provide techonological solutions to issues related with their six tracks globally. “Clean drinking water is a challenge in many rural parts of the world; our foundation has provided clean drinking water plants in seven villages and continues to use new technology to find efficient solutions, says Hiten Ghosh, President of WHEELS Global Foundation. He adds, “We recently heard from a 95 year old woman from the Karunda village, a hamlet of Agiya village in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat, who was thrilled to use a toilet with a door for the first time. Its stories like these that motivate us to keep moving forward with the work WGF does.”

Fashion designer, Vanita Kumar will be showcasing high end Indian fashion from her designs at Vanita Kollections. A total of twelve garments have been exclusively designed for the fundraiser gala and will be auctioned to raise funds for WGF’s cause. The evening’s entertainment will include traditional dance performances from Natananjali Dance School. The school was sponsored by the Embassy of India to perform at EducationUSA. 

The evening will provide networking opportunities with numerous C+ executives and celebrities of local, national, and international renown. A few of the sponsors for the event include; The Umbrella Syndicate, Natananjali Dance School, Vithi Tours and Travels, Monster Products, Dream in Motion, Bombay Tandoor, OneHope Winery, Merrill Lynch, Scicom Infrastructure Services, Cross Creek Foundation, Ener-G Solar, and Ayco.

About WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF): WHEELS Global Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides technological solutions to global challenges in their six tracks; water, health, education, energy, lifestyles, and sustainability. WHEELS successes include providing clean drinking water to rural villages in India and transforming 14 acres of barren land into a productive land of abundance and delivering healthcare monitoring to 60,000 households working with their collaborator Sevak foundation. They have been able to provide sanitary toilets to villagers with the help of their partner; Habitat for Humanity – India Builds. Join WHEELS Global Foundation’s campaign to spread awareness about their cause and pledge to change lives. #PledgeToChangeLives

TICKETS & SPONSORSHIP: http://www.wheelsglobalfoundation.org/wheelsgalaevent

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Clean Drinking Water Plant (CDWP) donated by WGF

Ron Mehta drinking pure water in Agiya Village, Gujarat from the Clean drinking Water Plant donated and installed by WHEELS.

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CDWP Plants Completed In 2013 Through 2015 by WHEELS

Haveli Ghanpur, Telangana 

Nandikandi, Telangana 

Burgula, Telangana 

Dupally, Telangana 

Eradindi, Telangana 

Agiya, Gujarat

To know more about CDWP under construction projects and planned in 2016, please visit CDWP page.
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We are looking forward to seeing you at WHEELS Achievement Awards Gala on June 2nd.

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SEVAK (helper) Jayeshbhai doing a Blood Pressure Screening in Indiranagar, Ahmedabad

SEVAK (helper) Jayeshbhai doing a Blood Pressure Screening in Indiranagar, Ahmedabad . SEVAK is Health care project under WHEELS. SEVAK project is implemented and running in 26 villages of India, To know more about it please visit this page.

SEVAK (helper) Jayeshbhai doing a Blood Pressure Screening in Indiranagar, Ahmedabad

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Toilets built in Karunda - a hamlet that is part of Agiya

"Prashanbaa, a widow from Agiya village of Gujarat, like other women in her village was compelled to defecate in the open daily, as she did not have a toilet at home. Raising her voice against the traditional veil system, she says "elders are not feeling shame, while the women of the village defecates in the open". But now things have changed and she thanked Habitat for Humanity - India and Wheels Global Foundation for the toilet unit. Today she is “Happy”. She has a toilet in her home. Her safety and privacy are secured."

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Accompanied by Habitat for Humanity’s field coordinator

Accompanied by Habitat for Humanity’s field coordinator Ms. Vaibhavi Thaker, the women received new toilets in Karunda, a hamlet of Agiya.

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Dr Kothari's visit to WHEELS' sites in the villages of Gujrat

Dr. Ajay Kothari (President ASEI and WHEELS collaborator) visited villages of North Gujarat to see the work done by WHEELS and its healthcare partner SEVAK. Below is the feedback and pictures he shared from his visit.

"I visited 2 villages in North Gujarat yesterday. I am very pleased to see the work done by WHEELS and Sevak. People are very happy with what you all have done. We need to continue along the same lines. Prakash (in charge of North Guj) from Gandhinagar drove over from my location, It was about 100 kms from where I was. North Gujarat is comparatively more backward and in need of such things more. The Adiwasi people here are the ones benefiting. People were very happy to meet me. About 20-30 people came over impromptu and I visited many homes to see the toilets (in Mankan Champa) and also the parents of the blind 10 year old that Thakorebhai and SEVAK have helped them.

I got a letter from the Sarpanch on their letterhead for additional toilets to take to the Banas Kantha District Collector which I am trying to do now if he is available over next two days that I am here. The cost of toilet is 18K Rs of which Gov funds 12K. As you all know ! Agiya, village in Gujrat where WHEELS built some toilets for villagers, similar quality toilets are needed in Mankan Champa also and other places too."

WHEELS and our collaborator team, deeply appreciate Dr. Kothari's personal interest and willing to lead in WHEELS social project in few villages of North Gujarat—starting with the village Disha. WHEELS with the collaboration of SEVAK have already done similar project in the villages one per district of Gujarat for a total of 33. 

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Visually Impaired Students Learning on their Own

WHEELS team is happy to share with you that our collaborator have implemented a platform “SunKids” for Visually impaired at Poona School for Blind at Koregaon park. Where in Blind students can learn and sharpen their knowledge of Brail on their own without the help of Brail teacher. They need a sighted person to operate the system.

Initial response has been extremely encouraging, specially the smile on the faces of those young kids when they were using the platform. It is worth a lot.

Present technology which we observed in Blind center operated by United Ways in Atlanta also currently uses Tennis balls to teach Brail as can be seen in the picture. When it was demonstrated to the Brail teacher in Atlanta she was also very excited about it. So we feel very proud to bring new technology to fore to improve the quality of life of Special children. 

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Spoken Tutorial project bagged a first prize in the Reimagine Education Competition

Spoken Tutorial project by Professor Kannan (IITB) bagged a first prize in the Reimagine Education Competition, jointly sponsored by the Wharton School. This is in the "Nurturing Employability" category. 

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The global competition received submissions from 520 universities and enterprises from 50 countries with 22 awards judged by a panel of 40 international experts - a "who's who" of higher education. Please see below links for more details.

http://www.reimagine-education.com/the-winners/2015

http://www.reimagine-education.com/the-winners-individual/2015/132/2193b0ae3841f24da1464d4b6b70ee0f/Indian+Institute+of+Technology+Bombay

Prof. Kannan is also WHEELS Collaborator and Track leader for the projects in Education field. WHEELS Global Foundation congratulates Prof Kannan on this great achievement and doing unprecedented job in training more than 4 Lakh Students using the Spoken Tutorials Methodology.

HRD Minister's surprise visit to IIT Gandhinagar Student Mess

Great work by IIT Gandhinagar Director Dr. Sudhir Jain in managing IIT Gandhinagar so well and setting an example for other institutions. IIT Gandhinagar is also a WHEELS Collaborator in Social projects in Education field.

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In the words of Mr. Sudhir Jain: Another first for the Institute, the Minister dropping in for food in the student mess! Not sure if any IIT has ever had the Minister (and ex-officio Chairperson of the IIT Council) come in for a meal unannounced!

Fortunately, the hygiene, the food preparation, the atmosphere in our mess has always been very decent and there were no awkward moments... the students had a nice time with her ...chatting and getting their pics taken...

When I was told that the Minister has gone to the mess, naturally I along with a few faculty and Director of IIT Kharagpur Prof Partha Chakrabarti too joined her.

Hope to have many more important persons have their meals in the student mess in the years ahead..... we must not just retain the quality of our dining halls but with time further enhance the dining experience for every one.

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SEVAK doing health care work in the Village of Gujarat

These pictures are from Tuvad Village, Patan District of Gujarat, showing how SEVAK Priank is using the Netbook in recording data on blood pressure and sugar of patients . When PM Modi talks about Digital India - it is going to be these kind of small "one-on-one" uses of netbooks, computers, laptops, smartphones when combined hundreds of millions of times, will have a significant impact on the country's progress doing the screening and entering the data.

This collaborative effort between Wheels Global Foundation, SEVAK and IIT Bombay based team is a prime example of how good collaboration at grassroots level can work effectively.  Many Sevaks never used a computer and Thanks to WHEELS  collaborator group from IIT-Mumbai  translated the Health monitoring Instruction  into Gujarati , sent an instructor to Vedodara University to train the SEVAKs on use of the Software program. 

We invite you to join our movement and help the millions of people who deserve a better chance at living with hope and dignity.Donate online at :www.wheelsglobalfoundation.org



WHEELS Promoting Technology Enabled - Philanthropy

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President APJ Kalam and WHEELS

Rest in Peace President. Kalam – You are an inspiration for WHEELS and exhorted us to find “Common Solutions to Common Problems” in 2006! We found these pictures in our vast archives… WHEELS President and Chairman shaking hands with the great man himself ! One of the few REAL Inspirations for the common man of India.

We are all born with a divine fire. Our efforts should be to give Wings to this Fire & fill the world with the glow of Goodness ~ Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Sir, you will always remain immortal on this planet by your teachings.

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WHEELS Partners participate in AAPI Convention

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33rd Annual AAPI Convention was held in Orlando, Florida from June 17 - 21, 2015. 
Physicians and healthcare professionals from across the country convened and participated in the scholarly exchange of medical advances, to develop health policy agendas, and to encourage legislative priorities in the coming year. WHEELS' Partners - SEVAK Foundation , Habitat for Humanity India also had a booth in the convention. Dr Thakor Patel (AAPI) who is the Track Leader and Field Director of WHEELS Health Care projects and founder of SEVAK foundation represented WHEELS and its partners in the convention.

How IIT Kharagpur researchers are leading a 'green revolution'

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Jagannath Das, a farmer in his late 40s is surveying a farmland at Khentia village in Kharagpur. The summer sun is merciless.With the mercury at cruel 42 degrees, Das is sweating profusely but is smiling a happy smile.“Five years ago, we could not imagine producing even a handful of paddy in this barren land of Khentia.

“But thanks to IIT Kharagpur professors, we can now grow paddy for our own consumption and can also farm soyabean, sweet corn, sesame, peanut etc,” Das tells.. A group of researchers at the IIT-K,

Read more at : http://www.rediff.com/business/special/special-how-iit-kharagpur-researchers-are-leading-a-green-revolution/20150527.htm

Wheels Collaborator : Ekal Participates in International Yoga Day

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 June 21 was declared as the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 2014.  The declaration of this day came after the call for the adoption of 21 June as International Day of Yoga by PM Narendra Modi during his address to UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014 wherein he stated:-

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A new, ‘circular’ perspective on water management

Three billion people will join the global consumer class over the next two decades, accelerating the degradation of natural resources and escalating competition for them. Nowhere is this growing imbalance playing out more acutely than the water sector. Already, scarcity is so pronounced that we cannot reach many of our desired economic, social, and environmental goals. If we continue business as usual, global demand for water will exceed viable resources by 40 percent by 2030.

If we consider water to be a product—something that is processed, enriched, and delivered—we must follow the same strict design rules applied to any other product in a circular economy. Innovators, responsible operators, and committed system developers are spearheading the creation of new technological solutions, pilot cases, and initiatives to improve water management. 

To know more about Next-generation moves for water-system management, please check below article. http://www.mckinsey.com/Insights/Sustainability/Rethinking_the_water_cycle?cid=other-eml-alt-mip-mck-oth-1505

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