The Association for India’s Development (AID) Donor Lunch took place at the Royal India restaurant in Carmel Valley on June 1. The annual AID lunch, which acts as both a fundraising and a patron appreciation event, was kicked off by a welcome reception by a San Diego chapter AID volunteer, Adarsh. This was accompanied by a brief slideshow/overview of the San Diego AID chapter’s projects and the overall impact of AID on the lives of many Indians living in rural areas. Following this, there was a sing-along of “Hum Honge Kamiyab (We shall succeed)”.
Ravi Kuchimanchi, the keynote speaker of the lunch who helped found AID during his years as a graduate student at the University of Maryland in 1991, then came up to deliver a speech on the origins of AID, and its journey so far. He focused on the achievements of AID and how it has made a difference in many people’s lives. One of the projects he highlighted was about a village in Andra Pradesh. In 1997, on his first visit, only half the villagers had electricity, when the technology became available for rural India in the 1970s. Through negotiations, AID was able to secure electricity for thousands of families in that village. Kuchimanchi went on to explain the different projects AID has undertaken over the years and the people who have helped make AID a success globally, and concluded his speech with a call for questions, which allowed the lunch attendees to delve into topics that resonated the most with them. After lunch, Aravinda Pillalamarri, another AID founder, explained the philosophy behind AID, focusing on women’s rights. She then requested donations to AID using the forms that had been placed at each table, for convenience. By the end of the lunch, the San Diego AID chapter had far surpassed its $10,000 goal.
Written by Mala Rao.
Photography by Atul Prasad