President Barack Obama
Dear President Obama:
I’m an American citizen, a native Los Angeleno and life-long Lakers fan, living and working in New Delhi, India since March 2009. I’m hoping that when you make your visit to India in November I have the opportunity to meet you and your family and also would like to invite you to play basketball at the American Embassy School.
My name is Mike Rosenkrantz and I am a Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) volunteer working for the National Trust, which is part of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment-Government of India. We work specifically in the field of disability and have over 900 partner citizen’s organizations (NGOs) throughout the country. We provide funding for a number of programs and schemes designed to help those with disability to be empowered and live a full life.
This assignment has been perfect for me as I’ve worked my entire 25+ year career in local government, with citizen’s organizations and in farmers’ markets, which I know that you and your wife are very interested in, and which I thoroughly love. My job is that of capacity builder for our partners, providing workshops throughout India on subjects such as fundraising, strategic planning, grant writing, sustainability, communications and human resources. I’ve also been involved in developing and coordinating a disability awareness raising campaign throughout India called Badhte Kadam, or stepping forward. Mid-November 2010 will be the start of Badhte Kadam II. I am also a fundraising advisor to National Trust and have been successful in obtaining funds for Badhte Kadam, as well as working on a number of other proposals.
While in India my love for the game of basketball, which I’ve played for over 40 years has grown. I coach (volunteer) every Saturday night at the Delhi YMCA for young Indians between the ages of 8-30. I also play with an international group of people every Wednesday and Saturday at the American Embassy School. Since being in India I’ve made contact with the NBA and have met Troy Justice, who became the NBA Operations Manager for India this past March. As you might know the NBA is really going all out in promoting basketball in India and I’m doing my little part by teaching the game of basketball to about 30 people every week.
I live with an Indian family in West Delhi and have become integrated into Indian life, although I haven’t really been able to learn Hindi. While in India I’ve also, again as a volunteer, helped student community service programs at the American Embassy School, with planning. I do love India and would enjoy providing you with my perspectives, and of course, running a bit on the court with you.
I know that you will be incredibly busy while in India, but I would welcome the opportunity to meet you. I also want to let you know that you are doing an incredibly great job with the United States and I was so overjoyed when you were elected President!
Michael J. Rosenkrantz,
Organizational Capacity Builder/Fundraising Advisor
National Trust-Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
Government of India