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Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation’s Atlanta chapter celebrated its fund raising event with a musical evening entertainment on Friday Dec 2nd at the Impact Conference Hall in Global Mall. Various groups like KA Dance Academy, Sham-e-Sargam, and Nritya Natya Kala Bharat, along with young talents like Ajay Upadhyaya, Sneha Chaturvedula, and Vidushi Gupta performed and made the evening magical. Over 200 well-wishers, sponsors, friends and supporters attended the event.
Ekal has been involved in eradicating illiteracy from rural and remote India since 1986. It operates and supports innovative, single teacher informal schools in tribal and rural communities, which lack access to primary education through functional government operated schools. The Ekal movement has helped unite the villages, sparked passion among tribal children for education, curbed social evils such as alcohol consumption, superstitions and empowered villages to become self-reliant through knowledge. Currently there are 36263 Ekal schools in operation in all the states of India with over 897,178 children in rural India.
The program started with dinner catered by Ashiana Restaurant. VHPA was generous to provide hot tea after the dinner and Global Mall owner, Shiv Aggarwal provided the hall, and manpower to arrange the event and a lot more. Films showing current Ekal schools and activities were screened during the dinner hour. The program started with the lighting of the diya by Gayatri Subramanian co-founder of KA Academy of Indian Music & Dance, then the emcee Radhikha Suda introduced Sherin Peter, a senior disciple of Gayatri Subramanian, who performed "Pushpanjali", a traditional invocation in Bharata Natyam followed by Ganesh Sthuthi and Lord Shiva.
There was a new concept of Kinder choir - a kids' choir performed to original music pieces built on the building blocks of Indian Classical Music. This innovative choral music workshop designed to kindle the musical artist in every child, was orchestrated by C.V.Subramanian, the music director at the KA Academy.
Kumud Savla then showcased the talent of her students from Nritya Natya Kala Academy, the dance school she runs and they ranged from 9-year-old kids to teenagers. The stage was a panorama of color as her disciples danced to “Rang De Mujhe Rang De”. Other students danced the Bhangra set to “Rang De Basanti”. The audience later commented that the dances really added to the show.
Shaam-E-Sargam group of music, just as the name suggests, organized a splendid evening of music. Over 50 songs, solos and duets, were presented by its members, especially Shyam Gupta and Rekha Pallath. Their songs made audiences dance on the stage. Shaam-Sargam is group of music, founded and organized by Navin Tyagi.
It was heartening to note that other Associations like the SEWA International, KA Academy of Indian Music and Dance, Nritya Natya Kala Academy, Sargam (music group) have come forward to join this people's movement.
Ekal volunteer, Radhika Suda charmingly emceed the show and solicited school sponsorships. Ekal schools can be sponsored with a payment or pledge of $365 i.e. a dollar-a- day to establish and run a One-Teacher school for an entire year. Ekal was ably assisted by SEWA volunteers who efficiently completed the secure online transactions for donors who wanted to sponsor schools by credit card. It was a very successful fundraising night raising $ 22,000 supporting 60 Ekal schools.
Ekal also conducted a raffle by selling $1 tickets and collected cash equivalent to sponsor 1 school from the raffle. The winners of the 32” TV & $50 Gift card, very generously donated 3 schools on the spot.
Southeast Regional President, Chander Aggarwal and Atlanta Chapter President Shiv Aggarwal gave certificates of appreciation to the artists and SEWA volunteers & vote of thanks to all the sponsors, sound system provider (Sandeep Savla), Ashiana Restaurant, Ekal volunteers and audience.
For sponsoring an Ekal school or for further information about this noble cause that eradicates illiteracy in India, please visit www.ekal.org or mail a check directly to Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA, 3908 Westhollow Parkway, Houston, TX 77082