Houston Charity Guide
pratham goes virtual

International celebrities star in Pratham Houston's virtual gala

International celebrities star in Pratham Houston's virtual gala

Fareed Zakaria
CNN's Fareed Zakaria will appear at the Pratham Gala.  Photo by James Kegley

Each year, the elegant Pratham Gala celebrates the best and brightest in the Indian and South Asian communities, while also shedding light on how to help underprivileged and under-educated children in India.

But like so many other events, the Houston gala has been affected by the pandemic, and so organizers are pivoting to a virtual gala. The virtual fundraiser will feature CNN Host and Washington Post columnist, Fareed Zakaria; actor and producer, Anil Kapoor; and singer, lyricist, and composer, Shaan. The event will take place on Saturday, July 18 at 7:30 pm local time. 

The virtual soiree, dubbed  “Making Learning Limitless,” will continue the 20-year tradition of bringing the Houston community together to support Pratham’s work, according to a release. “Especially during these times, it is imperative that we do not lose sight of the importance of education and its role in lifting generations out of poverty,” said Dhiren Shethia, president of Pratham Houston, in a statement.

“Unlike here in the US, these families do not have any safety net and they rely on Pratham for support. These interventions are very cost-effective and as little as $500 can fund learning for 100 children.”

Pratham’s gala features a virtual evening of entertainment, including celebrity appearances, who will support the group’s mission of “every child in school and learning well.” For those interested in contributing: A donation of $5,000 will fund the establishment of a digital library in 10 communities in India, enabling 1,000 children to access digital learning. Meanwhile, $10,000 will provide 25 female dropouts a second chance to earn their high school diplomas.

To assist during the COVID-19 crisis, Pratham has been offering daily lessons and homeschooling support for parents through a variety of low-tech mediums⁠ — Zoom, WhatsApp, text messages, radio, even phone calls ⁠— to ensure that children in 12,000 Indian communities remained focused on learning.

For more information on the Pratham Gala, visit the official website.