Ekal Villagers Dazzle Boston
Ekal New England Team
On the evening of June 11th at Norwood High School, the Boston community got to witness a one of a kind event - a mesmerizing dance and music performance by ten tribal artists from Ekal villages in India. Coming from humble backgrounds, the ‘fab 10’ put together a Broadway-like show, with authenticity, simplicity, and heart.
This is how guests described the Ekal Annual Fundraising event, ‘Ekal Sur Ekal Taal’. Ekal Vidyalaya is a non-profit organization that brings education to rural and remote parts of India. This year, Ekal trained a group of ten artists from nine different Indian states and prepared them for the event. It was a testimony of the change Ekal is bringing to the lives of villagers. With this opportunity and training, these artists achieved an extraordinary feat! They performed melodious Bollywood songs, patriotic songs, and folk dances from various states, where the audience experienced the rich heritage and culture of India. Many times during the show, the audience could not stop themselves and were seen dancing. The final segment of the program was a Ramayana skit, followed by a mind blowing finale, Jai Ho. The artists amazed everyone by the number of costume changes and synchronization of the entire show.
The youth of Ekal performed the song ‘Apna Ekal Hoga Na’. They got a much deserved standing ovation, as they sang the song with purity of heart and embraced the Ekal mission. The song is a production by Smt. Anuradha Palakurthi, written by Boston poetess and author, Sunayana Kachroo. Anuradha ji trained these children for the event.
Ekal New England volunteers and youth leaders put their heart and soul in preparing for the event. There was a beautiful village scene setup, resonating with Ekal theme ‘gaon se global’. This was artistically designed and put together by Raksha Soni, Aneesha Karody, and EYLs Manasi Danke, Ganesh, Neeharika Munjal. The setup turned out to be very popular as guests posed for their pictures! Graceful Manpreet Nehra was the EMCEE for the event. The Ekal Youth Leaders, Janani, Nikita, Manasi, Ronit, Nishi, Shanmukha complemented her with their witty skits and Ekal experiences. Jawed Wahid did a fantastic job with the audio-video support. EYLs Ayush, Akhil, Varnica, Meghna managed the videos on laptop and lighting. Naga Gandham and Paresh Motiwala covered the event pictures and videos. Dinner was well managed by Sanjay Gowda and team, food catered by Madurai restaurant, Tyngsboro. Meena Mehta and Pallavi Nagesha created beautiful brochure and banner. Several youth leaders and volunteers helped with registration, decoration, setup, cleanup and other activities. Guests enjoyed fun-raffle with Ekal-themed Terrariums and Saree by Sai Vogue. Norwood High School Vice Principal Purnima Vadhera and her team provided superb support throughout.
Ekal Vidyalaya continues to grow its outreach, with presence in 55,000 remote villages in rural India. The one room, one teacher style schools run on $365 per year. This model allows millions of children to receive basic education, from which they can transform their lives. Ranjani Saigal, Executive Director of Ekal USA, requested the audience to make a pledge and support PM Modi’s call for reaching 100,000 villages by 2020. Ramesh Shah, Founder of Ekal USA, urged people to visit Ekal villages during their India trip and experience the impact of Ekal movement, first hand.
It was a great honor for the Boston community to meet all ten artists, listen to their stories and fall in love with their laughs and simplicity. Not only did they travel all the way from their remote villages, they covered over 22,000 miles within the US since February and performed at more than sixty venues! They received overwhelming response from across the country, but they gave more love than they received! They were thrilled with thank-you cards and pictures made by Sathvik and Avni.
This event goes down in the history of Boston. Ekal New England is thankful to all sponsors, donors, supporters, well-wishers, and volunteers for their continued support to this cause. Special shout out to all Ekal Youth Leaders, the future torch bearers, who are so ready to lead. With such warm support, we can fulfill the dream of a better tomorrow. Yes, ‘apna ek-kal hoga na’!!!
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