Launching of Indian Development Foundation (IDF) USA

Chicago IL: IDF Project Goodness 2012 and Launching of IDF USA was arranged by IDF India at 6.30pm, on 19th October 2012, at India House Banquet, 1521 West Schaumburg Road. Schaumburg, IL. The Trustees of IDF USA cordially invited elite group of Chicago with family to grace IDF Project Goodness 2012, in spite of short notice and lots of engagements due to Navratri and other reasons, many graced the event. There were number of Photographs Exhibited near the stage depicting various achievements and meetings of IDF with Prominent Personalities of India including Past President APJ Abdul Kalam, Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Mother Terrasa, Sam Pitroda and many Sports and Bollywood Personalities and their various Projects.

Up to 6-30 pm Fellowship and Introduction with individuals prevailed with munching. Mrs. Sunita Latamba- MC of the evening invited all to take their seats and invited Dr. ARK Pillai, Dr. Narayan B. Iyer, Congrssman Joe Walsh, Bhailalbhai Patel on the stage to perform traditional Lamp Lighting. Which was made pious by reciting Mantras by Rohit Joshi and prayer by Mr. Glenn Josepph.

Before proceeding starts, National Anthems by USA and India were recited. Welcome and Introduction about IDF was given in short by MC and Work of IDF in India and its success Stories were presented on Screen through Video.

On this occasion, Congressman Joe Walsh appraising the activities of IDF India and welcoming IDF USA said, “I wish IDF USA to bring Peace, Harmony and Relief to millions globally”, as he lit the traditional lamp to inaugurate the “Project Goodness” event. “Social service to reach every segment of needy people is the need of the hour and enlightened society of Chicago can certainly meet the challenge Mr. Walsh added. Commending the untiring efforts of Dr. Pillai and Dr. Narayan of IDF India, Mr. Walsh promised every support to continue goodness efforts in Chicago and elsewhere in the USA.”

Inspired by Swami Vivekananda, Dr. Narayan Iyer, CEO- IDF India, speaking on Vision and Mission of IDF Boundary-Less Journey of Goodness, started with `Sisters and Brothers of Humanity’ which touched everyone present in the gathering. Dr Narayan Iyer, CEO, IDF-India gave an excellent account of the humanitarian work done by IDF for nearly 3 decades in India and exhorted citizens of US to come forward in large numbers to support social work both in India and US to serve those in distress. Dr Narayan was lustily cheered as he recounted the success stories of IDF India including its major role in Leprosy Elimination Program.

Speaking on Testimony and Role of IDF USA, Mr. Cecil O. Joseph gave instances of excellent support for education for the poor in India and narrated his personal experience in Chindran School near Panvel (close to Mumbai) during his visit to India. He also expressed fullest support to IDF’s humanitarian projects, particularly the upcoming Centre of Excellence in Bangalore, India. In support he presented a Video Clippings of “ Spreading Smiles in IDF Bal Gurukul. IDF USA was launched amidst deafening applause from the audience by the Octogenarian Social worker Dr ARK Pillai (85 yrs.) in the presence of the elite of Chicago who thronged India House, Schaumburg on Friday, Oct 19, 2012.

“A large number of people below the poverty line in India deserve to be looked after and it is the responsibility of Samaritans in India and USA to come forward to take this challenge. Health care in critical zones, education for the poor children and development work including environment are focus areas that need attention”, Dr Pillai founder President of IDF India and mentor of IDF USA said. The journey of goodness which started serving a few leprosy patients in Mumbai (India), went ahead in designing the communication strategy for India’s leprosy elimination program and later becoming a national NGO and getting the UN Special Consultative Status for Economic Social Council from 2012, Dr. Pillai expressed with a great sense satisfaction as he shared his 4-decade goodness reminiscences.” Dr Pillai announced the names of Trustees of IDF USA with Mr John Trivedi (President), Mr Thomas Abraham (Vice-President), Mr Mukesh K. Shah (Treasurer), Mr Cecil Joseph (Secretary and CEO) and Mrs Queenie Mendonca (Trustee) and they were welcomed by the cheering audience.

“Mr Chandresh Brahmbhatt (Chicago), Mr Kanti S. Patel (Chicago), Mr. Keerthi Kumar (Chicago), Mr Vinod Patel (Chicago), Dr. Suman Patel (Detroit), Mr Ramesh Gandhi (Detroit MI), Mr Vijay Nurani (Detroit MI), Mr Billy Singh (New York) Mr Vijay Oruganti (Albany NY) and Mr. S Jayaraman (San Jose) will be the Advisors of IDF USA. They were greeted with a round of applause as the names were announced. More advisors will be inducted as the journey of goodness gain momentum in other states and cities of the USA,” Dr. Pillai said.

IDF USA will support IDF India’s social projects involving health, education for the poor children and empowerment of women. In addition to cleft correction projects, IDF India has 120 health projects, 100 Empowerment Schools and 5 Women Empowerment Projects spread across the nation. IDF USA will also support humanitarian projects in the USA, expressed Mr. John Trivedi, President of IDF-USA.
Karen Joseph entertained the audience with a melodious song while Glenn Joseph invoked Divine blessings through prayers at the start. Children entertained the audience with dance as the members from the audience joined them as it picked up momentum.

Ms Sunita Latamba compered the event with great style while Mr Thomas Abraham proposed a vote of thanks. All were invited to Dinner and Dr. ARK Pillai and Dr. Narayan personally greeted all to the possible extent.
Mr Bhupendra Singh rendered hit melodies to make the audience filled with joy.

About IDF:
India had an estimated 4 million leprosy cases in 1982 with a prevalence rate of 57 per 10,000 populations. Several districts were high endemic and endemic for leprosy. With the active work of the Union Health Ministry, State Health Ministries, Municipalities and National and International NGOs, some states have already eliminated leprosy by now and the total cases have come down to less than one lakh by March 2006. India has achieved the leprosy elimination status (Elimination status means achieving the prevalence rate of less than 1 patient per 10,000 populations)Consequent to the drastic reduction of leprosy cases in India and leprosy elimination in several states, it was felt expedient by the Board of Trustees to diversify and rechristen Indian Leprosy Foundation as Indian Development Foundation (IDF). Proposals were made to Govt. and the Charity Commissioner, Mumbai has approved the change of name and the diversified roles. Thus, IDF came into existence on 1st April 2005. Indian Development Foundation (IDF) has taken its enlarged and new responsibilities spanning health, education and development areas. These are priority health areas of the Govt. and IDF is focusing its efforts in these areas. Education to the handicapped, the poor and the marginalized children in rural areas, tribal villages and urban slums is a priority concern for IDF. Education gives empowerment in employment areas, commercial activities, health care and in fact Total Quality of Life.

Photographs and Press release by: Asian Media USA

Suresh Bodiwala
Asian Media USA
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