Tushar Khadloya wrote -
I'm doing the Alcatraz swim to fulfill a personal goal as well as to raise funds for the American India Foundation (AIF), a highly effective nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing educational and job opportunities for India's growing population. I have been a strong financial supporter of AIF over the last two years, and am excited to continue this philanthropic effort by supporting AIF's Market Aligned Skills Training (MAST) program.
My interest in social service and India began at an early age, due to the good fortune of having a grandfather who was a freedom fighter in India. The value of service was crystallized in my mind through the additional blessing of having attended Bellarmine College Preparatory, an all-boys, Jesuit high school in San Jose, California. My experience there instilled in me a desire to become, in the words of the school motto, a "man for others." This concept entails young men harnessing their intellectual, physical, and other human capabilities to engage in the service of others, whether it be their family, the poor, or the sick.
Over the next two decades, India will benefit from a demographic dividend, which will augment its labor force and thus create a major opportunity for sustained economic growth. By 2025, India will account for 25% of the global workforce. The median age of India is 24, and by 2020, India's median age will be 29, while those of China and Europe will be 37 and 49, respectively. This means that the working population in India will grow at a blistering pace, enough to support the labor demands of a growing economy at a rate unparalleled in the rest of the world. However, of the seven million Indian students who pass 12th grade every year, only 2.5 million go to college. Many who go to college finish school unprepared for the workforce. Only 40% of graduates are employable, meaning that only 40% of graduates are capable of being trained to do a given job. At this rate, the demographic dividend India is enjoying will not be used to the fullest.
AIF's MAST program aims to make a dent in this problem by identifying the highest growth markets / sectors, developing curriculum to train youth, implementing the curriculum via training programs, and working with employers (ranging from small and medium sized businesses to global franchises) to create job placements for the trainees. The program operates in 20 states in India via ~150 learning centers. It has trained over 105,000 youth and enjoys a 74% job placement rate. MAST is one of the flagship initiatives of AIF, which is the largest India focused philanthropic organization based in the United States, having invested $84+ million in India since inception in 2001. President Bill Clinton is the Chairman of the organization.
Via this fundraiser, I'm hoping to help more global youth experience the joy of a quality education and the income / fulfillment associated with gainful employment.
Please note that this site (crowdrise.com) has a processing fee, which you can waive by clicking on the orange text (hyperlink) that says "optional processing fee." Feel totally free to waive this fee, but please let me know, and I'll pay it.