WRITTEN BY: PARINITA GUPTA
(June 17, 2023) It was 1973 when Harish Kotecha landed a tech job at IBM, USA. After a successful stint of 6 years, he decided to retire early for a bigger cause. Driven by a desire to contribute to the nation that enabled him to achieve and experience the American Dream, he established Hindu Charities for America, aimed to support the education of underprivileged children in the United States.
“I was lucky to have a job at IBM and I worked hard and climbed the ladder. I loved development and had the opportunity to develop technologies to systems. But that is when I founded Hindu Charities for America, now doing business as Education and Careers for America (EC4A), which has been rewarding and now I am phasing out for a new team to helm the firm,” said Harish.
At a very early stage, Harish realised that there were about 40 million individuals were living in poverty and 2.5 million children were facing homelessness in the USA. He figured that the most effective way to help them would be by providing them with education. In collaboration with the Greater Austin Area Jewish Federation, he initiated a joint project through EC4A to donate school supplies to numerous school districts in the Austin area. This endeavour aimed to provide much-needed educational support to those in need.
“Since I have been involved in the area of homelessness, I see that if we added all the Government funding that is allocated for solving the homelessness problem, I believe that the work done is like a band-aid to specific needs but not a comprehensive approach,” explained Harish.
Harish’s remarkable efforts in addressing the needs of homeless children and youth in the US were acknowledged and celebrated when he received the esteemed Sandra Neese Lifetime Achievement Award. This prestigious award is presented annually to honour individuals who have demonstrated unwavering dedication in ensuring that every child has access to essential provisions, safety, shelter, and education, thereby paving the way for a promising future.
The Global Indian understands the on-going need for further action and believes in the potential of organizations like EC4A by addressing these challenges. Their aim is to expand their presence in Austin and other cities, enabling them to amplify their global impact and contribute towards making a significant difference worldwide.