SOURCE: HCL Technologies Ltd.

HCL Technologies Ltd.

November 13, 2009 08:00 ET

Asha for Education NYC/NJ Raises $80,000 at Benefit Dinner

Honoree, Vineet Nayar, Asks Attendees to Help Ignite One Billion Young Minds

NOIDA, INDIA and SUNNYVALE, CA--(Marketwire - November 13, 2009) - Asha for Education, New York City/New Jersey chapter (Asha) celebrated its 15th anniversary at the "Evening of Hope" benefit dinner on Wednesday, November 4th, 2009, at Manhattan Penthouse in New York City. Attended by over 200 guests, the evening honored Vineet Nayar, CEO of HCL Technologies, with the Beacon of Hope award, in recognition of his philanthropic contributions and outspoken advocacy for reforms in the Indian educational system. Thanks to the generous contributions from guests and supporters, the event was a resounding success and raised over $80,000 in net proceeds. Despite the tough economy and decline in charitable contributions, the event helped set a new fundraising record for the chapter and the funds raised will directly support Asha's education projects in India.

The highlights of the evening included a cocktail hour with silent auction, an inspirational speech by Vineet Nayar, dinner service catered by the upscale Indian restaurant -- Mint, eclectic live music by Tiger Lilies, a congratulatory note by special guest Kansas State Representative Raj Goyle, and a generous response from the audience during the live auction which raised funds for the showcased projects supported by Asha. The chapter currently supports over 21 projects and five among them were showcased -- Mukti, IHRE, Navjagriti, KEDI, and Seva Chakra Samajam.

Accepting the Beacon of Hope award, Vineet spoke to the audience on the paradigm shift that must occur in order to affect real change in the educational system of India. Summoning experiences from his own childhood in India, Vineet gave an account of his school days, when a young child from the streets approached him and asked him not for food or clothing, but to see for the first time what a book looked like. He explained how that incident changed his outlook on addressing obstacles to education and fulfilling aspirations of young minds -- creating a desire to attempt to ignite all of India's young minds. Vineet congratulated members of Asha for Education on the tremendous accomplishments and encouraged attendees to contribute to the cause.

The attendees were invited to bid in a silent auction on a collection of merchandise donated by Dell, Amrita Singh Jewelers, NY Philharmonic, custom jewelry by Aravist, Rubin Museum and an original hand sculpted art doll donated by Asha member, Sheila Maithel. In addition, there was an array of exquisite jewelry supplied by Jewels of Ocean at the auction table. The live auction, presided by auctioneer, Cecilia Greene, raised much needed funds for items such as solar lamps and books for a library in rural West Bengal and tailoring lessons for young women in the tribal villages of Gujarat.

Asha, NYC/NJ chapter extends special thanks to the generous Benefactor Sponsorships from Bloomberg; Cisco Systems, Inc.; Dell Inc.; Fortify Infrastructure Services Inc.; HCL Technologies Ltd.; Hewlett Packard Company; IBM USA; KBR Fund; LP; Larsen & Toubro Infotech Ltd.; Microsoft; RSG Media Systems, LLC; The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc; Diamond Sponsor, IREO World; Platinum Sponsor, Aicon Gallery; and Silver Sponsor, Sai Seva Business Solutions. Members of the NYC/NJ chapter are grateful to the various donors and supporters of Asha who contributed to the event through ticket purchases, and in-kind and cash donations.

About Asha for Education

Established in 1991, Asha for Education (Asha) is a secular, volunteer run non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with 73 chapters globally and 45 in the US, with the mission to catalyze socio-economic change in India through education of underprivileged children. With over 1500 active volunteers today, Asha has raised nearly $15 million as of 2008 and supported more than 400 different projects spanning 24 states in India, while maintaining minimum overhead. In terms of project funding, almost $3,000,000 has been disbursed to these projects in the past year alone.

By pioneering bold new initiatives in the field of education, Asha is making a difference in the lives of underprivileged children of India. Asha has been a top-rated nonprofit on many Charity Navigator lists, including "10 Slam Dunk Charities." For more information about Asha for Education, please visit the NYC/NJ chapter website at

For further details on the event and to find out ways to contribute, please contact Remya Thomas, Event Coordinator at or 972-369-5900.

Beacon of Hope Award and Awardee Bio

The 'Beacon of Hope' award recognizes individuals dedicated to catalyzing socio-economic change in the most underserved communities in India. Award nominees are drawn from visionaries and risk-takers who are motivated by a passion for human rights, further the cause of education, and thereby help address society's most pressing concerns. Mr. Vineet Nayar has served as an exemplar, speaking out about the reforms needed in the educational system, and the future viability of education in students in a competitive global landscape.

Vineet is the chief executive officer of HCL Technologies, Ltd., (HCLT), one of India's largest and fastest-growing global information technology services company with 55,000 employees spread across 20 countries and one that has become recognized around the world for its management practices.

In 2008, HCLT was named the Number One Best Employer in India by Hewitt Associates and BusinessWeek listed it as one of the twenty most influential companies in the world. Fortune Magazine has articulated his leadership style as "The World's Most Modern Management" and the London Business School calls him "the leader of organizational Innovation." Vineet has not restricted his value driven leadership to the corporate world. He established a non-profit organization called SAMPARK in 2004, which has a vision of "creating a million smiles" and is working with ill equipped schools in India to improve the quality of education.

Please note: High-resolution photos from the benefit dinner or from our projects are available on request.

Contact Information

  • Asha NYC/NJ Chapter Press Inquiries:
    Bhinish Shah
    Alok Bathija
    Tel: 732-429-2119

    HCL Technologies Ltd. Press Inquiries:
    Kirsten Paragona
    Tel: 857-350-5393