A Man on a Mission

The story of Mr. Seth, Honorary Chair of AI’s Board of Directors

Asia Initiative’s (AI) objective is clear to all those that stumble upon the organization, “to support grassroots organizations in micro-level sustainable development in Asia in the areas of micro credit, bridging the digital divide, education, and capacity building.”

A genuine passion for change and sustainable improvements among the strong team of leaders has helped AI to carry on with its mandate.  Mr. Aftab Seth is one such individual who has supported the goals of Asia Initiatives from its inception.  In this post, I hope to share with you the strength Mr. Seth brings to AI.

Mr. Seth’s desire to help others really took off in 1968 when he joined the Foreign Service of India after the completion of a Masters degree in History and Politics from Oxford University.  In 1970, he joined the Embassy of India, serving as Third Secretary.  Slowly, Mr. Seth moved up the ranks of the embassy, traveling around the globe in service of his country.  In 1992, he became Ambassador to Greece, followed by a four-year stint in Vietnam as Ambassador.

In addition to his diplomatic work, Mr. Seth took on the role of chairman for several non-profit organizations throughout Asia.  Whether acting as Chairman of the International Advisory Board for the PRC’s “World Peace & Development Association” to serving as Honorary President of the “English Speaking Union of Japan”, Mr. Seth has been actively involved in organizations pursuing a better Asia.  He has also taken pen to paper and written several research essays focusing on Asia, as well as two books of his original poetry.

Asia Initiatives resonated with Mr. Seth because of its goals and the way in which it addressed core issues facing population in South Asia. Mr. Seth is an admirer of Prof. M.S. Swaminathan’s philosophy of empowering people through skills, education and micro credit to get out of poverty.  Particularly, he says, “If you do not create food security [and] adequate healthcare, it is very difficult for young people to devote the time needed to learn new things and improve their lives,” Mr. Seth said in a recent interview.  “In this sense, AI is doing a great job, but should consider scaling up to serve more people.”

Mr. Seth has served as honorary chair of the Board of Directors since 2003.  He encourages all that are interested in the organization to get involved. Mr. Seth believes the more people involved, the better.  With the support of young and old, Asia Initiatives can continue to positively impact areas in need of help.

“If you find an organization that is improving the lot of people who have less than you have, join it and help,” said Mr. Seth.  “Give resources, human or financial.”  So join Mr. Seth and us in our cause by getting involved with Asia Initiatives today.

– Charlotte Evans, Intern.


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