Honorees

Naginchandra Jagada

Arpan Foundation

Naginchandra Jagada his humble beginnings in Rajkot, Gujarat. He retired after working in Kuwait for 35 years, and now lives in Plano, TX. On retirement in the early 2000, he began to give back to his motherland. What began with a small act of kindness covering the homeless in Rajkot with blankets has now become an annual project that covers various small towns and villages around Rajkot.

He visits India every winter and dedicates his trip to donations of food, clothing, footwear, school supplies, groceries, sewing machines, wheelchairs and vehicles for the disabled. Additionally, he organizes a “Divyang camp” where prosthetic limbs are donated and fitted under the guidance of medical professionals. His mission is to help the poorest of the poor and benefit their lives.

Ajay Shah

Shah Capital Partners

Ajay Shah is the founder and Managing Partner of Shah Capital Partners. A technology executive with over 20 years of experience, he founded and managed the Technology Solutions Business of Solectron, a $2 Billion business. He was the CEO of Smart Modular Technologies, a company he co-founded in 1989, led through its public offering in 1995, and acquisition by Solectron Corp. in 1999. He has a B.S. in Engineering from University of Baroda and an M.S. in Engineering Management from Stanford University.

Mr. Shah was elected “Entrepreneur of the Year” for Silicon Valley in 1997. He is a senior fellow of the American Leadership Forum and also serves on the boards of KQED Broadcasting, San Francisco, The Indian School of Business, India, a director of National Audubon Society, and is a Trustee of the American India Foundation.

Lata Krishnan

American India Foundation

Lata Krishnan is the Co-Chair of the American India Foundation (AIF) since serving as its Founding President in 2001. AIF is a premier foundation with a long-term commitment to accelerating social and economic development in India and strengthening the bonds between the US and India and its Honorary Chair is President Clinton.

Lata is a technology entrepreneur, a startup investor and an engaged philanthropist who has extensive experience both in finance and business management, as well as in helping both young companies and non-profits scale innovative ideas to deliver impact. She was also the co-founder of Smart Modular Technologies and lead as its Chief Financial Officer through a public offering. She has also served on the Silicon Valley Bank Board for ten years. She is a member of the Board of Stanford Health Care (SHC), the governing body for Stanford Hospital. She is also a Senior Advisory Board Member of the London School of Economics, South Asia Centre. Lata’s areas of focus include education, at-risk children and families, cacer research and economic empowerment of women.

Dr. Girish Kulkarni

Snehalaya

Girish is a trained journalist and professor with S.P Pune University. He is a pioneer for social change, a visionary and an inspirational leader. Girish holds a doctorate in Political Science and Public Management, as well as two masters in Politics and Sociology. He was bestowed the President of India Award 2012 for his service to his country in the field of Social Work.

The flagship project of Snehalaya is to rescue women from domestic and societal violence & exploitation, and to rehabilitate them. One of the projects at Snehalaya is Snehankhur Adoption Centre, that rescues abandoned infants and seeks safe adoptive families for them. Snehalaya operates a compassionate center for unwed mothers and consistently fights for the rights of the women and children under their care.

Snehalaya team has reduced the spread of sexually transmitted disease amongst sex workers from 60% to virtually non-existent and eradicated the prostitution of minors. They run a Clinic for HIV patients, especially children.

Dr. Bharat Vatwani

Shraddha Rehabilitation Foundation

Dr. Vatwani is a psychiatrist who also won 2018 Ramon Magsaysay Award for his tremendous courage and healing compassion in embracing India’s mentally-afflicted destitute. He was recognized for his steadfast and magnanimous dedication to the work of restoring the human dignity of even the most ostracized.

Dr. Vatwani along with his wife Dr. Smitha, conceptualized and founded Shraddha Rehabilitation Foundation in 1988. This NGO is dedicated to rescue, treat, rehabilitate and reunify wandering mentally-ill destitute from the streets of India with their families. In the last 30 years, Shraddha, under the pioneering leadership of Dr. Vatwani has reunited more than 7000 mentally-ill destitute with their families.

Inspired by the legendary social worker Baba Amte, Shraddha set up a huge Rehabilitation Center in 2006 on a 6.5-acre plot of land in Karjat, on the outskirts of Mumbai. At any given time, 120 plus mentally-ill destitute are treated and cared for, before being reunited with their families.