New Yorkers Celebrate The Possibilities For Education At the 2013 Pratham Gala

Pratham 2013 Gala in Seattle
Pratham hosted a Gala in Seattle at the Museum of History & Industry
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Earlier this month, nearly 600 of New York City’s leaders in finance, technology, and entertainment gathered at the 2013 Pratham Tristate Gala. It was a night of generous fundraising, a celebration of the world’s children and critical volunteer work, and to learn more about Pratham’s commitment to improving education.

Pratham’s mission is to ensure that every child in India is in school and learning well. The organization was founded ”on the firm belief that education is the fundamental right of every child and no child should be deprived of this basic right simply because they don’t have access to school or resources that would enable them to realize their dreams.” Since 1994, Pratham has raised funds to fund urban learning programs that include improving libraries, establishing preschool education, and remedial classes, among other things. Pratham also seeks to shape school policy in many districts, provide books and tools, and help with computer literacy and English learning. These are a handful of the many ways that Pratham is improving the lives of children in India through education.

Pratham is a past recipient of the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership, as well as the prestigious Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, among other honors. It is one of the most renowned nonprofit organizations with a focus on providing and improving education for under-served children. During nearly twenty years of commitment to advancing education opportunities in India, Pratham has garnered immense support from all around the world, and is a true leader in creating social change.

During the 2013 Pratham Tristate Gala in New York City, keynote speaker Chelsea Clinton said,

“One of the things we most respect about Pratham is not only its tireless focus on education, but that it very much tries to fill the gap between what the public sector can produce and the aspirations of families in India.”

This very sentiment was proven that evening, as the generosity of Gala attendees helped to raise close to $2 million for ongoing advancement of schools and school programs in India. One guest said that Pratham is “a global celebration of what people do for education.” Indeed, the organization inspires action in those who believe that education really is the most powerful tool to better the lives of underserved children around the world.

For more information about Pratham’s remarkable work, visit

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Non-Bank Financial Companies

Non Banking Financial Companies
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Most of the time when people think about borrowing or saving money or making investments, they think about banks. But banks are not always the only option for individuals dealing with capital. Non-bank financial companies (NBFCs) are financial institutions that are not legally banks, yet can provide many banking services to the public.

Though NBFCs cannot usually accept deposits from the public, they can still provide an array of services, such as giving out loans, funding educational costs, lending credit lines, providing retirement planning, and other investment services dealing with money markets and stocks. They also commonly provide real estate investments for companies.

In the past few years, the number of NBFCs has grown greatly, and they continue to pop into existence here and there. For example, Henry Kravis’ and George Roberts’ private equity company, KKR, recently partnered with Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund to set up an NBFC that will primarily lend money for property developers in India.

This is particularly good news for developers, as loans have been harder and harder to come by during these hard economic times. Banks are becoming more hesitant to lend money for fear that it will not be paid back because of the economic slump; however, this only serves to exacerbate the problem by discouraging growth. NBFCs can help remedy the issue.

“The NBFC will offer structured debt to real estate companies and it is a good way to bring permanent, long-term debt and equity capital into the sector,” said one source close to the KKR and Singapore partnership.

Since public deposits cannot usually be accepted by NBFCs, they must find some other way to stay afloat. This is where companies like KKR come into play, since they lend the money needed to fund operations. When loans are repaid with interest, the investing companies earn back the money spent and then some, all the while helping to spur economic growth.