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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Businesswoman, philanthropist, and Christel House International Founder and CEO, Christel DeHaan, was honored with the inaugural “Indiana Ratna” (Jewel of Indiana) award at the 1st annual “Indiana India Celebrating Our Impact Gala.” Hundreds of guests including current and past Mayors of Indianapolis, business leaders and friends and family attended the event Wednesday, August 15, 2018, at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis.

“Christel DeHaan has been a trailblazer in creating a bridge between Indiana and India,” says Raju Chinthala, Founder & President of the Indiana India Business Council. “She has shown leadership through her business career, her support of the arts, and her philanthropic vision of helping impoverished children through Christel House, transforming their lives and breaking the cycle of poverty. She is the perfect recipient for the very first Indiana Ratna award.”

“The children of India have a very special place in my heart,” says DeHaan. “The country and its people hold extraordinary promise and both Christel House and the IIBC contribute to unleashing their potential. Our two organizations work to foster mutual understanding. I am honored to be recognized with the Indiana Ratna award, and proud that Christel House has been part of nurturing this relationship between India and Indiana.”

About Christel House International

Christel House was established in 1998 with a mission to transform the lives of impoverished children, breaking the cycle of poverty to build self-sufficient, contributing members of society. The organization was founded by Christel DeHaan, a local businesswoman, philanthropist and supporter of the arts. Christel House has learning centers around the world with two schools in India – Bangalore and Naya Raipur; one school in Mexico City; one in Cape Town, South Africa; and four schools in Indianapolis, Indiana. A ninth school will open in Jamaica in 2019. The Christel House model focuses on the “whole child,” providing rigorous K -12 education, strong character development, health care and nutrition, family assistance, and guidance through College & Careers. The Christel House model WORKS. 98% of Christel House students pass graduation exams and 94% of graduates continue studying or are gainfully employed. Christel House graduates have the skills and competencies necessary to compete successfully in complex 21st Century society. Christel House graduates are sought-after employees, successfully employed by local and international companies.

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About Indiana India Business Council

The Indiana India Business Council (IIBC) is a leading Indiana business organization promoting trade and investments between Indiana and India. For more information, please visit