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Thursday, 29 September 2011

ICA Banquet to Honor Anna Hazare, Prashant Bhushan, Paul Polak

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Indians for Collective Action will honor anti-corruption activists Anna Hazare and Prashant Bhushan as well as social innovator Paul Polak at its 2011 Annual Banquet Oct. 15 at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

“Imagine a world free of hunger, corruption and hatred. When others think it’s a dream, we believe in it and we get to work. Chanakya, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela all realized their dreams. They all did it because common people like you and me heard their voices, understood their wisdom and followed their visions. Now more than ever, 1.2 billion people have begun to hear the voice of Anna Hazare,” stated an ICA press release.

Leaders like Hazare, Bhushan and Polak inspire people across the globe to join in the improvement of people’s livelihood and to stand against injustice to humans, said the release. Hazare has dedicated his life for social service and for humanity. A social activist, he is the leader of the anti-corruption movement in India.

Although Hazare was initially expected to attend the banquet in person, Unmesh Sheth, an organizer of the event, told India-West that the septuagenarian has had to cancel his plans to travel to the U.S.

“We had a meeting with Kiran Bedi (Delhi’s former police chief who has been a very active participant in the anti-corruption movement) and determined that there were clearly some roadblocks for passage of the Jan Lokpal bill,” said Sheth, adding that the activist has decided to stay home and pressure politicians running for election to pass his strong anti-corruption measure.

“We are of course disappointed that Annaji will not be attended but very excited that Prashant Bhushan will be here to share his vision,” said Sheth.

Bhushan is a social activist and senior advocate who helps society through higher judicial system and public interest litigations. He is the prime member of the Anna Hazare led anti-corruption movement.

Polak is the founder of the International Development Enterprise, which develops practical solutions to combat poverty. He is also the founder of D-Rev. Design Revolution.

“Paul is my hero,” stated Sheth. “I left my corporate work to focus precisely on the type of work that he does.”

“We want to demonstrate to the innovative Bay Area community the power of one person’s innovative thinking,” said Sheth.

ICA is a San Francisco Bay Area non-profit group. Since its inception in 1968, it has nurtured social activists, spawned numerous initiatives, including the Asha for Education and Foundation for Excellence, and supported innovative community-led development projects in over 20 states of India and disbursing over $5 million.


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