Chicago: India Development Coalition of America (IDCA) organized its first one-day National Conference, Working Together to Accelerate Sustainable Development in India on October 16, 2004, at the Illinois Institute of Technology-Rice Campus in Wheaton, Illinois. Almost 80 people participated in a 12-hour long meeting. They came from all parts of the US, and from India. The Mission of IDCA is to foster collaboration, cooperation, and networking between non-profit organizations (NPOs) in the US engaged in development activities in India; and to promote giving and volunteering in the community-at-large for sustainable development in India. Based upon the favorable comments by the participants, IDCA plans to expand its National Conference to two days in 2005.
The conference began with a welcome address by IDCA president Dr. Mohan Jain. He thanked Dr. Suri Sehgal and the Sehgal Foundation for offering a two-year grant to IDCA to give it a head start. He then introduced the IDCA organizing team, consisting of: Dr. V. Rajaram, Vice president, Mr. Vivek Singhal, Treasurer, and Mr. Anil Bhatt, Secretary. Dr. Rajaram, Mr. Vivek Singhal, and Mr. Ram Krishnan, founder of the NRI-Home-Coming yahoogroup, helped in putting together the program. Dr. Rajaram, Ram Krishnan, Anil Bhatt, and Prashant Gupta of GOPIO assisted in organizing posters and exhibits. Other volunteers who helped us with other aspects of the conference include: Dr. Mahendra Bapna, Ms. Gauri N. Pal, Mr. Jawahar Seker, Mr. Arjun Nagar all from the Chicago area, and Mr. G. Prasad from India. Dr. Jain thanked all of them for their support. He said that the vision of a developed India is indeed a difficult one to achieve, but by effective networking in such conferences between member organizations, and promoting giving and volunteering in the community-at-large, both here and in India, we can accelerate its pace. IDCA intends to play the role of a Catalyst both here and in India for accelerating sustainable development.