Residents Awarded Grant
from United Nations

Current residents Aman Bhandari (left) and Jaspal Sandhu combined their academic strengths to win a United Nations grant. "This project simply wouldn't have happened without I-House," says Jaspal.

A multi-cultural team of three I-House doctoral students has been awarded a competitive United Nations grant for $20,000.  The grant will support their travels to Madurai, India, in the summer of 2004 to analyze the remarkable success of an organization that has cured preventable blindness in more than 1.7 million people and to provide recommendations for replicating this success to serve India's hearing impaired. 
Cal Ph.D. students Aman Bhandari from the School of Public Health; Mahad Ibrahim, from the School of Information Management and Systems; and Jaspal Sandhu, from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, conceived the project proposal after meeting as fellow I-House residents.   "This project simply wouldn't have happened without I-House.  Not only do you get to meet people from different cultures here, but you gain access to their different academic interests and strengths.  While we're living under the same roof we can dream about combining our skills to make a difference in the world.  We're just tremendously excited to see this particular dream becoming a reality," says Jaspal. Consistent with the ideals of International House, the team-members reflect diversity both in cultural heritage and ethnic background.  Both Jaspal and Aman are first-generation Indian-Americans who were born in the U.K., while Mahad was born locally in Oakland and is of Somali descent.
The team will spend one month analyzing the sustainable financial, organizational, and technological solutions that have contributed to the dramatic success of India's Aravind Eye Care System and complete a proposal that will creatively re-envision this approach to treat citizens who are deaf or hard of hearing.   For more information, contact Jaspal Sandhu at

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© 2004 International House