Indian-American pledges $100 million for development of Amritsar

A group of prominent Indian Americans announced the ‘Vikshit Amritsar Initiative’, which aims to support the social and economic development of Amritsar. The group has pledged $100 million to fund startups in the Punjab city, home to Sikhism’s holiest temple, the Golden Temple.

According to news agency PTI, this is the first initiative by the diaspora in an Indian city.

The idea is the brainchild of Taranjit Singh Sandhu, former Indian special envoy to the United States. He is the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate from Amritsar for the 2024 Indian Parliament elections.

The Vikshit Amritsar Initiative is a collaborative effort of prominent Indian Americans, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), and the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).

The initiative, led by Sanjiv Lakhanpal, provides mentorship and funding to entrepreneurs focused on socially and environmentally responsible ventures.

Sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, skills development, information technology and tourism are all potential beneficiaries.

Taranjit Singh Sandhu After returning to his hometown of Amritsar after a diplomatic stint that included the past four years in Washington, DC, he is working to transform Amritsar into a major economic and tourism hub.

According to a PTI report, Sandhu returned to India after his retirement and immediately became the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) parliamentary candidate from Amritsar.

USISPF Chairman Mukesh Agi flew to Amritsar from the US to attend the meeting.

“We have pooled around $100 million to invest in startups in Amritsar. We want more startups to create more jobs in Amritsar, create more technology and support the entire ecosystem. We hope to build this,” said Mukesh Agi, USISPF Chairman.

The initiative has already received over 250 applications from entrepreneurs from various fields. With a focus on women empowerment and youth-led ventures, applications are still being accepted.

“We see this as a true give back. We are thrilled to have a trusted partner like Ambassador Taranjit in Amritsar as we dedicate our resources and efforts to Amritsar,” Lakhanpal said.


girish kumar anshul

date of issue:

May 3, 2024

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