Indian American ASHRAYA, HACSI at World Bank’s NGO event

Hindu American Community Services

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Washington DC – The World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC came alive last week with 27 Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), including two of Indian American origin, under the banner, “Showcasing Your NGO.”

ASHRAYA (a Hindi word that means support or a helping hand), under the able leadership of Inder Sud and the Hindu American Community Services (HACSI), led by soft-spoken K G Ramani Venkatraman, were two of the flagship organizations of the Indian American community at the event.

Ashraya’s focus is on women and girls because women play a critical role in the welfare of the entire family, but unfortunately have not received the same opportunities as men and boys, said Sud, hoping “to give a helping hand to adolescent girls and women through education and training to improve their income earning opportunities.”

Sud presented detailed data showing the distribution of funds to students and schools in India, and noted that for a few hundred dollars a student can complete their education, allowing the organization to reach out to a large number of applicants.

HASCI’s “Food for the Needy” project has 500 volunteers who each work in the DC Central Kitchen (DCCK) 20 times annually to prepare 100,000 meals. 

“DC Central Kitchen feeds those in need in homeless shelters, shelters for battered women, seniors, and school children. As per the Hindu scriptures, feeding the poor and needy is the best form of service,” wrote Ramani in the DCCK’s annual 2011 report, which prominently featured the HASCI contribution.

HASCI is also focusing on the rehabilitation of Bhutanese refugees, who have been resettled in the Washington-Baltimore region through the International Relief Council. In addition, they support interfaith educational outreach activities.

The World Bank traditionally supports government organizations involved in sustainable development, but it also provides direct funding to NGOs. It then works closely with the governments of different countries to ensure that the NGOs are involved in the fundamental stages of the programs’ implementation. (IATNS)

For more information, NGOs can contact the World Bank directly at:…

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