NRI Pulse Staff Report
Photos by Venkat Kuttua Photography
Atlanta, GA: March 21, 2015 was a day to celebrate the musical talent of Atlanta, who came together at the grand stage of Southern Polytechnic’s Joe Mack Wilson Theater, with one mission: To support the launch of SEWA International’s unique initiative for the community – “Family services”. The mission of the “Family Services” project of SEWA, a nonprofit charity organization, promoting selfless service through its chapters in cities and towns across the United States, is to create awareness about its various humanitarian efforts to help families in critical situation by connecting them with right information and resources and providing a helping hand through a network of volunteers who are certified professionals in various fields.
On the launch of this much needed program, SEWA International organized first of its kind, Bollywood Musical concert – Voice of Atlanta, where the eight top performers from various local competitions like Atlanta Idol enthralled the audience with their versatile singing and kept them spell bound for three hours. The program began in traditional manner with Ganesh Vandana and lighting of Diya by Kusum Khurana, the president of VHPA, SE region. The beautiful dazzling stage with intelligent lighting designed by Sensation Entertainment and Event Productions looked stunning with SEWA and VOA Logos in the middle of the stage. Two large screens on each side of the stage projected live view of the stage with multiple cameras.
The musical night kicked off with the melodious song “Tu is tarah se meri zindagi me shaamil hai” wonderfully performed by Anand Mehta who set the standard for the rest of the performances very high which all the singers maintained till the very last song of the evening. Songs by the younger singers like Anu Romesh’s Aage bhi jaane na tu, , Akshaya Vijay Kumar’s Mere Dholna and Rahul Nana’s Teri Deewani and Galliyan medley amazed the audience of more than 350, with their vocal quality and confident performance. Rahul Nana, the Junior Idol of 2014 came all the way fromFloridato perform in the program and was a real treat for the audience. Classically trained singer and winner of Idol 2014 in senior category, Raka Das regaled the audience with the classical number of the legend Manna Dey “ Laga chunri me daag” and Lata ji’s favourite song Lag ja gale. John McDonal, the versatile singer beautifully rendered the newest masterpieces “Samjhawaan “and Muskurane ki wajah.
Shyam Gupta took the stage with his signature song Bachna Aye haseeno followed by another Kishore Kumar retro number “Saara Zamana” to which the audience responded with a demand for an encore. Special guest singer of the evening, the most melodious and senior female singer of Atlanta Dr. Lakshmi Rao captivated the audience with her velvety voice singing Kuch na kaho and Piya tu ab to aaja. She said it gives her immense happiness to see so much talent in the younger generation inAtlantaand appreciated SEWA for organizing such large scale event to showcase this talent to the community.
Two wonderfully choreographed dances were presented by the energetic dance teams- Champa and Chameli of UGA, and students of Planet-U performing arts and received huge applause by the audience.
The wonderful hosts of the evening were the duo Renu Thapliyal and Vijay Gaur, who kept the audience engaged with their wit, comedy and lively conversation and pulled the show through flawlessly.
Amid the program, volunteers gave presentations on the activities and projects of SEWA. Ajay Rana talked about “Get Inspired” a well-structured Internship program of SEWA for students of age 16 and up, while Rakesh Pathak highlighted another two projects- Doctors for SEWA and Mangal Nidhi.
Sumit Srivastava, the coordinator for the new initiative “Family Services” explained the structure of the program. Through the course of serving the community, Sewa volunteers have noticed an upward trend in families seeking external help to manage an emergency situation. Many members of the community inUSAare immigrants and may not possess the required knowledge or are not surrounded by experienced people to navigate the American system in a crisis. Emergencies leave families emotionally exhausted especially when people are away from their extended families, and a lack of culturally compatible support system leads families to disastrous consequences. Sewa’s Family Services strives to fill this critical gap for the community inAtlantaby creating a support system. Family Services is already active inHoustonand inBoston, where a network of 200 volunteers has already helped more than 300 families. In addition toAtlantathis year, Sewa plans to launch this service in several other cities.
Yashwant Belsare, a retired educator and a veteran volunteer of HSS and SEWA, who moved to Atlanta recently and will be responsible for SEWA community outreach, spoke about SEWA’s work to make this world a better place for all and how we all can help and support its activities.
The program concluded with vote of thanks by Voice of Atlanta’s program director, Shyam Gupta, who thanked all the SEWA volunteers for their hard work and enthusiasm to put together the program so successfully within a short period of time. He thanked the singers and dance teams for their time and joining hands with SEWA in its noble efforts. All the participants were awarded plaques and token of appreciation, by well-known community leader Amitabh Sharma. Shyam Gupta also acknowledged the support of Venkat Kuttua for the photography, Vakiti Creations for Videography and Anjali Chhabria of TV Asia for the coverage of the event. He said that Voice of Atlanta was conceived to provide a grand platform to the talented singers ofAtlantawho win at various competitions every year and showcase their talent to a wide and diverse audience. As the slogan of VOA says-“Stars are born, we make them super stars”, SEWA –VOA will be back next year with the Super Stars of 2015.”
To know more about SEWA International please visit www.sewausa.org or find us on face book at Sewa International USA- Atlanta and join us in the good work.