On June 18, 2022, Smart Village Movement in Alliance with UC Berkeley Haas School of Business hosted its first benefit luncheon in Southern California. This was SVM’s first fundraising event and we raised a total of $680,000 that goes towards piloting innovative technologies and sustainable rural development projects in India.
This event brought together donors, guests, and volunteers from Southern California to learn firsthand from the Smart Village Movement Team about our model of socio-economic development and the impact of their successful pilot projects in Northeast India.
The event began with lunch and a networking session at the Cerritos Performing Arts Center where SVM Chairman Dr. Anil Shah, MD was honored with a plaque of appreciation for his work in philanthropy and social innovation by Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva. Leading Indian American community member Rajendra Vora, Founder & President of Jain Social Group Beverly Hills also presented an award to Anil Shah MD on behalf of the 50th Assembly District of the State of California Richard Bloom and from the City of Beverly Hills, in recognition of exemplary dedication to philanthropy and a commitment to build a better tomorrow through various partnerships to ensure the founding and success of The Smart Village Movement. This was followed by musical entertainment by Nauzad Sadry and Raahul Jatin . Featured speakers at the event were Executive Chairman Dr. Anil Shah, MD who presented the entire Smart Village Movement Model and the impact of successful pilot projects. He introduced upcoming projects like STEM Innovation Hubs with Curiosity Gym in rural schools, Rural Healthcare centers, Software Programming Training with NavGurukul for underprivileged students, and Farmer Development Centers to support farmers with agri-inputs and market linkages. Anna Fitter, Director of Communications for SVM explained their collaborative model of development and the importance of ‘Smart Philanthropy’ with sustainable projects that empower rural communities instead of making them dependent; Vandana Tilak, Founder, and CEO of Jupiter 360 expressed the importance of sustainable giving and how SVM successfully integrates various government, corporate and academic resources to solve rural challenges. As a very special guest speaker, Dr. Satpal Singh Kohli Ambassador for Sikh religion in USA, extended his support to SVM and delivered an inspiring talk on the importance of providing education to underserved children as the most important way to enhance the community and bring progress to the country.
Dr. Anil Shah and Vandana Tilak then led a successful live pledge session where a matching donation was announced by our generous supporters Mr. Manu and Mrs. Rika Shah of MSI Surfaces resulting in a total of $680,000 in pledges that will go towards redefining rural development in India.
The guests were then treated to an engaging talk “Unleash the Power of your Subconscious Mind” by Master Mind Guru Dr. Jitendra Adhia from Ahmedabad,Gujarat.
Rural underdevelopment is one of the main drivers of global poverty and forced migration to crowded urban areas. In many parts of the world, rural areas are lagging behind urban areas in terms of economic development, access to essential services, and quality of life. Bridging the rural-urban gap is at the core of SVM’s mission in socio-economic development in India. “Our mission is to empower rural people through digital technologies and open innovation platforms to access global markets,” says Dr. Anil Shah, SVM Executive Chairman. SVM has launched pilot projects in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, and now actively in Meghalaya. Other states in India like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and Nagaland have also expressed an interest in the SVM model for their unique rural challenges and efforts are now scaling throughout India.