Message from our President

As we go through 2023, I am immensely optimistic about the future in general and more particularly of India. India is fastest growing economy per IMF and making strides in eliminating poverty. While that is very promising and encouraging, there are still 100s of millions left behind and struggling for the basic necessities. The human trafficking is still very rampant and denying basic rights to the impacted people.

ICA is actively working with 70+ NGOs in India. These NGOs are our crown jewels. They are trust worthy, working very hard and diligently on livelihoods, health, agriculture, environment, human trafficking and on many other issues. They are making the difference one person, one community, one village and one area at a time. We are indeed very fortunate to support them for these causes with your support and donations.

I am usually in India few times a year and get the opportunity to meet some of the NGOs ICA supports. Here are some of the highlights of my last trip Q4-2022.

  1. International Justice Mission (head quarter in Washington DC), involved with bonded labor and sex trafficking. Going forward they will be ICA's one of the main partner by providing funds to our NGOs dealing with human trafficking.
  2. PATH (head quarter in Seattle), involved with Global Health Care. They are highly respected in India with offices all over India. They are helping State and Center Governments, and manufacturers of drugs and devices with health polices and roll out plan. They know all health initiatives currently going on in India and around the world.
  3. The Child Fund of India - an International NGO with huge presence in India. ICA is in discussion with them to promote and distribute sanitary pads.
  4. Attended a Chaupal meeting of working women in Greater Kailash area in Delhi. This was organized by a 16 year old Anayia Norola in cooperation with Delhi Police. 500 ICA sanitary pads were distributed to about 200 women and young girls. Anaiya is a Grade 11 student at the Modern School Vasant Vihar, New Delhi where she studies English, Business Studies, Mathematics, Biology, and Chemistry. She is working at the grassroot level promoting menstrual hygiene.

ICA's sanitary pad project is gaining momentum. These pads are reusable and cotton based. They can be washed at least 50 times and used again. These pads are extremely cost effective due the reusability factor. Its cost over time turn out to be less than Rs. 1 compared to a typical disposable pad cost of Rs. 4-6. The disposable pads have a huge toll on the environment as they are based on plastic and chemicals. ICA's pads offer tremendous health advantage as they are made of natural fabrics and air breathes much better. To date approx. 20 of our supported NGOs in India have distributed 35,000 of these pads (replacing at least 1.5 million disposable pads). Their feedback is very positive. Now we are ramping our production with BNGVN (our NGO partner based in Maharashtra). This journey is a long one and will take time and funding to create awareness why women especially young girls must use these kind of pads.

Meeting people like Dr. Ravi Chopra (based in Dehradun), Sonam Wangchuk (based in Laddakh) and young girl like Anayia inspire and motivate me to keep doing what ICA does best. I invite each of you to come and join ICA's journey and make the difference by giving your time and/or donations.

Prakash Agarwal
President at ICA

Forum: Learn About Milaan Foundation

ICA's quarterly FORUM is back! Every quarter, we feature an interview with an organization or social entrepreneur who has had significant impact on the community. Prakash Agarwal, ICA President has engaged with the Milaan Foundation which works with adolescent girls from vulnerable communities in India with a mission to create an inclusive and equal world where every girl is educated, healthy and safe.

In the last 15 years, the organization has worked with over 60,000 girls and its work on gender, equity, and inclusion is recognized and supported by sector leaders such as the Obama Foundation, Girl Rising, Girl Up, and Ford Foundation, among others. Join us in a conversation to learn more about Milaan Foundation and ICA's role in supporting their work in our upcoming FORUM, details to be announced soon.

Spotlight: ICA supported Organization

MUKTI is a humanitarian not-for-profit organization that has been working with ICA for the last two years. ICA, in collaboration with Bhagini Nivedita Gramin Vigyan Niketan (BNGVN) provided reusable sanitary pads to MUKTI. Reusable sanitary pads are cost effective and environmentally friendly compared to the more readily available disposable variety. After a trial run, MUKTI ordered 1,000 pads from BNGVN for women living in the Sundarbans. The region has been heavily impacted by climate change, with increasing salinity in the water and soil severely damaging their crops, thus making them the perfect site for the eco-friendly pads. Although women in the Sundarbans were hesitant at first to purchase a new type of sanitary pad, MUKTI's team is working to educate them about its benefits. Currently, Sundarbans citizens are interested in being part of the manufacturing process for these pads.

Youth News

ICA is ready for the second year of LEAD, the youth program for 16 to 22-year-olds to do an immersive program in an NGO in India. We had a very successful debut program in 2022, and are excited to grow and build on it with a partnership with ICC. Please be on the lookout for information on our ICA website.

ICA is keen to have younger volunteers join the team as volunteers and leaders and is making a significant effort to encourage the younger generation to join forces with ICA veterans to giveback to the community. One youngster is Angie Lal, a Silicon Valley professional who has been spending her time helping ICA executives with new ideas and offerings.

"As one of the youngest board members, I see a crucial need for us to diversify our membership as we step into ICA's next evolution. One aspect that drew me in, which might appeal to other young professionals, is that ICA is working towards creating better economic, health, and environmental outcomes for the underserved at scale. It's able to do this by leveraging its extensive network of NGOs and launching its own initiatives like the Reusable Sanitary Pad project. Joining ICA has also given me access to a community of kind and like-minded individuals - something I realized that had been missing outside of my work life."

Angie Lal
Member at Large

Previous Issues

Previous Issues


2021-22 Executive Committee
  • President: Prakash Agarwal
  • Vice President: Reshma Nigam
  • Secretary: Abhay Bhushan
  • Treasurer: Jayashree Desale
  • ICA Supported Organizations Chair: Govind Desale
  • Youth & Initiatives Chair: Padma Chari
  • Marketing Chair: Namita Maunder
  • Content Chair: Mayuranki Almaula
  • Member at Large: Sharmila Kumar
  • Member at Large: Smita Patel
  • Member at Large: Anjana Lal

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