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Third Eye Dancers (www.thirdeyedancers.org), an Atlanta based not for profit organization and Bharathakala Natya Academy (www.bharathakala.com) presented 'An evening with a true hero', to felicitate Narayan Krishnan and raise funds for Krishnan's Akshaya Trust on December 3rd, 2010 at the Forsyth Conference Center. Krishnan has been recently recognized by CNN as one of the top ten CNN Heroes of 2010.
Akshaya Trust, non-profit organization based in Madurai, India set up by Krishnan is committed to care for the helpless, forsaken, mentally ill, old, sick roadside destitute on the streets of Madurai by providing healthy food and an opportunity to rehabilitate themselves. Currently in the ninth year of it's operation, the trust feeds more than 400 people, three meals a day gaining recognition from wide section of society from India and International community. The trust has also made substantial progress in the construction of the Akshaya Home for the destitute.
Students of Bharathakala Natya Academy presented various pieces starting with 'Shuklam Baradharam', a prayer to Lord Ganesh, followed by a prayer to Lord Vishnu. 'Kathana Kuthuhualam', set in the same raga had Lord Krishna dancing blissfully with Radha and the gopikas. A composition of Shankaracharya, 'Ganesha Pancharatnam' depicted Lord Ganesha, with the face of an elephant providing salvation to all his devotees. Gayatri Indrakrishnan, Treasurer of Third Eye Dancers, extended a warm welcome to Krishnan, his father and Parthasarathy, a friend, philosopher and guide as Krishnan describes him, who are currently accompanying him on this trip. Speaking about Third Eye Dancers, Gayatri said that the idea was to extend people's vision beyond what is seen with two eyes. Everyone has a third eye that must keep the heart and mind open to problems around us, she said, adding that the aim of the organization was to bring about compassion and love through dance. Apart from Akshaya Trust, she mentioned that Third Eye Dancers had fundraiser events for causes such as Leprosy and Cystic Fibrosis.
'Adharam Madhuram', describing the sweet bliss of all aspects of Krishna was next. Students also danced to A.R. Rahman's composition, 'Nila Kaigiradhu/Khila Chandni' from the movie Indra. The last piece, 'Krishna Nee begane baaro', popular number from Colonial cousins, had the dancers pleading Krishna, Allah, Jesus and all other divine powers to come back and help kids deliver from misery and suffering. The last piece was specially choreographed for this event and it very well received by the audience. All the dance pieces for the evening were choreographed by Subathra Sudarshan, Artistic Director of Bharahtakala Natya Academy.
It was then time for the time to have Narayan Krishnan on stage for felicitation. Krishnan was thankful to Third eye dancers, especially Subathra Sudarsan who he said had recognized his work earlier on, when he was selected by CNN as one of the top 24 contenders for 2010. Third Eye Dancers and Bharathakala Natya Academy he said organized a fundraiser for Akshaya Trust to support his commitment to 'helping the helpless'. The event was conducted on May 29th 2010 at the New Dawn Theatre. He said the kids that performed for a cause moved him immensely. Krishnan went on to explain his organization and its milestones of nine years. He was happy to announce that the Rotary Club of Emory-Druid Hills, Atlanta had pledged $60,000 to his trust. He also announced that he was due to get married in January of 2011 to Harini in Madurai and invited the gathered over 600 crowd to his wedding. He invited his father and Parthasarathy on stage to thank them for their support, also thanking his mother back in Madurai. He also commended Sudarsan Srinivasan, President of Third Eye Dancers in his efforts of putting the program together.
President Jimmy Carter's message to Krishnan was printed in the program brochure. It read: “Rosalynn joins me in congratulating you for your recognition as one of the top ten CNN Heroes of 2010. It is only fitting that your compassion and work to feed the needy are being recognized in this way', adding more recognition to Krishnan and his cause.”
Subathra Sudarsan explained her mission of giving through dance. She said the goal of the organization was to increase awareness about social issues affecting children, education, environmental, abuse and those related to health. The organization believes that communicating social issues through dance not only enhances reception but also entices children and young adults to get involved in the remediation of such issues. Third eye dancers with Bharatakala Natya Academy she said had organized fundraising events for causes including Dayaa Nidhi in 2007 for Rising Star Outreach, Prana in 2009 for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation raising more than $21,000 dollars in the process. She added that her dance pieces were meant to be entertaining, educating and enlightening, a goal of Bharathakala.
Various Atlanta Indian associations including Greater Atlanta Tamil Sangam (GATS), Telugu Association of Metro Atlanta (TAMA), IACA, Naya India and Rotary Club - Emory Druid Hills Chapter and Sonia Tucker from CNN were also invited to the event to honor Krishnan. The event raised approximately
$80,000 including the Rotary pledge amount.
Sudarsan Srinivasan thanked everyone for their support. The performers of the evening received certifications from the man of the hour, Narayan Krishnan. The evening ended on a happy note with dinner from Royal Cuisine.