|Consul General Katherine Dhanani distributing loans to beneficiaries of a local bank|
During my visit to Vijayawada I got an up-close look at two undertakings where Indian-Americans are investing with a philanthropic side, supporting the communities from which they came—and which may end up proving to be good investments as well. One involved a shareholder’s insistence that the local bank he chaired should make microfinance loans at low interest rates. I blogged about the results of that for the borrowers last week; it has also turned out to be a good, though modest, business for the bank. The second is the NRI Medical College and Hospital. Some thirty Indian-American doctors from the Vijayawada area each contributed a million U.S. dollars to establish this new institution. It is now providing top notch medical education for students and low cost state-of-the-art medical care for villages outside Guntur.
I’m proud that my fellow Americans are remembering their roots and changing the lives of so many Indians. I’d like to think their actions reflect what they learned in the United States but I know that their Indian roots have influenced them just as much. Whatever has influenced these philanthropic individuals, both India and the United States have benefitted.