David Raj Launches iEducate USA to Mentor School Kids


By Jawahar Malhotra
HOUSTON: It is a measure of a man that he can stand ready to help others despite the difficulties that he himself faces. David Raj is a man in that situation who, despite a grave terminal cancer that is steadily sapping away at his strength, has decided to move forward with a project that has been close to his heart for the past two years and one that will undoubtedly provide him with a lasting legacy. Raj has not let the disease slow him down; instead he has sown the seeds for his education project for young school kids.

Raj stood at the podium this past Monday, August 5 to announce the formal launch of a new non-profit organization – iEducate USA – which will start by mentoring young elementary school students in their classrooms in math and science. Raj has had positive feedback on the feasibility of this support from a pilot program that he was involved with over the past 18 months. At the end of the semester, grades of the students in these two subjects jumped by two letters and a couple of students even received academic recognition for their performances.

David 2

David Raj

Raj made the announcement at the Crockett Elementary School near downtown in front of a small group of people which included two other founding directors and eight Board members of the new organization. These are Sanjay Rao, Witty Bindra, Dr. Rupa Iyer (Education Chair), Subba Viswanathan (Governance Director), Ranjana Narasimhan (Co-Chair Education), Jose Villarreal (Secretary), Imtiaz Munshi (Treasurer), Dharma Rajah (Vice President Marketing), Paras Choudhary (Vice-President Communications), Dr. Roopa Gir (Advisor) and Ramesh Anand (Advisor).
Others who attended the event were several volunteers from the Indian Institute of Technology Alumni of Greater Houston which will partner with iEducate USA and well wishers including Assistant Superintendent of HISD Sowmya Kumar, local community activist Ashok Garg and Asha Dhume. The next two days were spent in workshops with teachers and the school officials to get the program off to a start with the new semester which begins in two weeks.
Some children and their parents were also present in the mutlitpurpose room of the inner-city school and they were mesmerized by the exhibits and video presentations made by Schlumberger and Lalita Sundaresan from NASA. Dr. Gir and a representative of the oil-services company Schlumberger gave away donated gifts and prizes, including a Kindle donated by Gir, to the kids and their parents.