Vibha - A Social Venture Capital Organization
Reproduced from Atlanta Dunia News
Vibha, the organization always on the forefront of innovation has reaffirmed the notion that it is an organization with a difference in making a difference! As the year comes to a successful conclusion for Vibha, exceeding its goals both in Atlanta and nationally, the volunteers of Vibha thanked all its sponsors, donors and supporters at an event on Dec 8th, at the Forsyth Conference Center.
"There are two primary reasons for organizing this ‘Thank-A-Thon’ event. We wanted to sincerely appreciate the sponsors and the donors for believing and supporting us for so many years in making a difference in the lives of underprivileged children. We also wanted to appraise them of how their donations are put to good use, and the future direction of Vibha", said Srinivas Vemulapalli, the National Executive for Volunteer Relations and the coordinator of the event.
The evening got off to a purposeful start with Kannan Udayarajan, the National Executive for Fundraising Events, highlighting the fact in the past 20 years, Vibha has raised and disbursed more than 10 million dollars for the cause, through more than 250 grassroots organizations reaching more than 250,000 children. "In the past few years, Vibha is increasingly taking on the role of being a Social Venture Capital Organization. We identify scalable, and replicable models that solve systemic problems and invest increasingly in spreading the models in other parts of India" said Mr. Udayarajan.
He further explained that Vibha identified Sikshana – a model that intervenes in the public schools system and significantly improved their performance through a number of motivational parameters of the students and the teachers – as a scalable model and replicated it in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Vibha also promoted it among like-minded organizations to implement it and sought funding from other foundations, like UNICEF. This helped Sikshana to scale from 15 schools when Vibha first started funding in 2006 to 1115 schools in 2012, and Vibha itself is funding 200 of these schools. Similarly, Vibha is replicating Door Step school (DSS) in Pune, that takes the school to the door steps of the children of migrant construction workers, in other parts of India. A number of donors commented that Vibha’s approach is different from many organizations and appreciated its efficiency.
The Chief Guest for the evening, Prof. Jagdish Sheth, a renowned scholar and world authority in the field of marketing, delivered the key-note speech on the "US economy and its global competitiveness". In a speech that is filled with historical perspective, anecdotes and future predictions, he reaffirmed the resiliency of the US economy. In an engaging session that followed, the best moment of the evening, came in an exchange between Prof Sheth and Satya Jella, a 12 year old student.
In response to his question on " what should the next generation do to live the American Dream", Prof. Sheth impressed the young man to work hard. He further highlighted the need to nurture the human potential and said that the value add in the case of polishing that potential is infinite (in comparison to the 20-fold value-add for polishing a diamond). "You have an obligation to the community. As you succeed, you must find other people and bring up their potential" said Prof. Sheth. That, in one sentence, brought home the perspective for the evening.
Vibha is known in the community to promote the concept of volunteering, in all age groups starting from middle school students to retired professionals. "Similarly, Vibha also promotes the concept of ‘giving’ in the Indian community", said Anoop Sinha, the Atlanta action center Coordinator as he welcomed Mr. Robert Smulian, Vice President of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. Mr. Smulian gave a brief overview of how community foundations are structured and how community Foundation is serving in the 23 counties in the area.
A brief cultural program that followed was coordinated by Madhavi Korrapati, with representation from the best dance schools in Atlanta – Geet Rung School of Dance & Music, Academy of Kuchipudi Dance school, Smt. Indrani Kar and Planet U Performing Arts Bollywood Dance school.
The task of recognizing the sponsors and long term supporters was ably done by Srinivas Vemulapalli, as he thanked several people that supported the efforts of volunteers over a number of years. Special recognition with a plaque was given to Srinivas Nimmagadda of Vensai Technologies, Murali Gadde of Allied Informatics, Aaron Bailey from Future Tech, and Gowtam Goli of Rapid IT.