(Left): Prakash Baba Amte and Mandakini Amte. (Right): Prof. Thomas Kailath. (Srinivas Amte)
Indians for Collective Action honored the 2008 Ramon Magsaysay Award-winning Dr. Prakash Amte and his wife Dr. Mandakini Amte of ‘Lok Biradari Prakalp’ and 2014 U.S. National Medal of Science Award-winning Dr. Thomas Kailath, Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, at the Indian Community Center (ICC) Milpitas, Oct. 11, writes Rajeshwari Nayak. (@Siliconeer, #Siliconeer, People, #DrPrakashAmte, #DrThomasKailath, #MandakiniAmte, #LokBiradariPrakalp, #IndiansforCollectiveAction, #ICA, #ICC)
ICA president Pushpa Subbarao commended the positive impact the Amtes made through their social work in providing health care, education and training for means of livelihood to the ‘Madia Gond tribals’ of ‘Hemalkasa,’ Maharashtra.
She introduced the other guest Dr. Thomas Kailath, well known in the Silicon Valley not only for his science and technology contributions, but also actively nurturing social entrepreneurs and supporting numerous community initiatives.
Abhay Bhushan who has had started several start ups was on stage to provide information on the 47-year-old history of ICA. Dr. Shailesh Rao, developer of the Gigabit Ethernet on copper and a student of Dr. Thomas Kailath, introduced Dr. T.K.
Dr. T.K. with his humorous anecdotes and humbles narrated his journey in technology and philanthropy. He dwelt in detail, his wife Sarah’s social work and how it made an everlasting impact on the less fortunate.
After a sumptuous dinner and vibrant cosmic energy Dance performed by ‘Taala,’ the Project Champions were assembled on stage to talk about their involvement in ICA and the cause they were involved in.
Finally, came the much-anticipated event. Dr. Gupta, an ICA volunteer to ‘Hemalkasa’ welcomed the ‘Amtes’ and applauded their work. A brief trailer of the Hindi movie that was screened a week earlier ‘Hemalkasa,’ was followed by inviting the real heroes on stage with a standing ovation.
Prakash Amte spoke in detail about his life growing up at ‘Anandwan,’ decades at ‘Hemalkasa’ and the three dimensions of his hard work: the Hospital, the School, and the ‘Animal Ark.’
Soon after his final exams ‘Baba’ took him and his brother on a picnic to the remote tribal area. With no second thoughts, he assured his father “If you start I will continue your work.” Then came in Mandakini Amte and the six volunteers who were inspired by his father Baba Amte.
Today, the tribal area hospital treats 40,000 patients a year free of charge. Also, the popular animal orphanage at ‘Hemalkasa,’ promotes the survival of animals as a part of nature’s balance.
Mandakini Amte spoke emphasizing the need to follow the ‘Good Qualities’ of the ‘tribals’ like community life, gender equality, and zero sexual violence against their women.
The 21st year of ICA Banquet, ended on a note to join hands in their quest for an India with hope, opportunity and dignity for all.
More Information: icaonline.org.