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Sahana Srinivasan Hosts A Fundraiser For Ekal Vidyalaya


On February 28th, Lexington High School hosted its first annual fundraiser for Ekal Vidyalaya, entitled Rangeela. The event was organized by Sahana Srinivasan, a junior at Lexington High School, in conjunction with the National Honors Society and members of the Ekal Vidyalaya team.
As students, their families, and supporters of Ekal from various other towns entered the school, the award-winning LHS jazz combo played a series of soothing jazz pieces that helped to nurture a relaxed ambience. Lines were quickly formed in front of the food tables by guests who were anxious to pick from an assortment of snacks and dinner boxes provided by Masala Art, Royal Indian Bistro, and other volunteers. When the event began, Sahana Srinivasan took to the colorfully decorated stage and spoke passionately and eloquently about the purpose of the fundraiser and the mission of Ekal Vidyalaya. Then, the audience was treated to a variety of high caliber performances from LHS’s leading a capella groups, Berklee fusion artist Nalini Krishnan, Miss India New England Krithi Nathan, Boston University Suno, MIT Bhangra and others. The audience clapped and cheered as the performers gave them a glimpse into the diverse culture and talents of the youth in the Greater Boston community. When the short but lively program came to an end, DJ Tej Singh and his son Gurbar Singh opened up the dance floor with a bright mélange of Bollywood and American hits. Neha Kumar and Krithi Nathan gave a live “Bollywood Dance lesson” to the eager guests, who then had the opportunity to try out the new moves to DJ Gurbar’s tasteful music selections. Adults and students alike praised the creative efforts and flawless execution of the fundraiser as they left the venue.
Ekal Vidyalaya is a non-profit organization founded in 1999 whose mission is to build educational systems in rural, inaccessible areas in India. Ekal’s goal is to go beyond eradicating illiteracy in India by empowering communities to further their self-development. Supporting 56,026 schools and 1,584,076 students, Ekal Vidyalaya has become one of the leading education movements in India.
Besides raising thousands of dollars, the event stood out in its ability to spread awareness about the important work that Ekal Vidyalaya is doing with youth by engaging them in such a meaningful cause. While Ekal has chapters all over the US and has hosted many successful fundraisers in the Boston area and beyond, Rangeela was the first time the organization has engaged a younger audience. In the months leading up to the event, the students and faculty of Lexington High School became increasingly excited about supporting the development of schools in rural India. In her speech, Sahana spoke of her initial trepidation in asking for donations and how she had been humbled by the overwhelmingly positive reception she had gotten and the number of people who wanted to contribute or give back in any way they could. Asked later, she said, “I was amazed by how excited people were to get involved in this cause. As soon as Rangeela was over, I was already getting questions from my classmates about how they could get involved in planning next year’s event.”  
In the end, Rangeela surpassed its fundraising goal by more than 50%. The team is planning on using the money to sponsor close to 10 schools in underserved areas in India. Ekal Vidyalaya hopes that Rangeela was the first of many such events that engages a younger audience. Any one who wishes to get involved should contact Amrit Soni at amrit.soni@gmail.com for more information.

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