NEW JERSEY (TIP): For past 25 years, “Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation” has been dispensing Literacy, Health care, and Integral development in rural & tribal areas of India uplifting the lives of countless neglected isolated masses.
Recently, ‘Ekal’ hosted three fund-raising concerts in New Jersey by renowned Kathak dancer Aditi Bhagwat and her equally talented musical group, for the same cause. The events, headlined as “Avartan”, took place at various locations in New Jersey where it was spearheaded by respective Chapter Presidents – Mohanji Khanna in Glen Rock, Harshadbhai Mehta in Blackwood and Satishji Karnik in Edison.
The events raised over $225,000. Aditi Bhagwat, having performed at numerous international events with globally wellknown musicians, had already pulled record crowd everywhere even before coming to New Jersey (NJ) and Edison concert was no exception. It was completely ‘sold-out’ two weeks in advance to the disappointment of scores of people, just like the year before.
The concert evening proved to be mesmerizing composition of ‘Taal, Saaz Aur Awaaz through Kathak fusion Dances & Bollywood melodies’. “Avartan” was an uniquely produced audio-video music spectacle of five different disciplines such as Dance, Tabla, Vocal, Drums & Sarangi. Aditi Bhagwat, in these efforts was accompanied by Pt. Kalinath Mishra on Tabla, Gautam Sharma on Drums & Percussion, Sangeet Mishra on Sarangi and Vaibhav Mankad on Keyboard who also lent his vocal talent when required.
The entire program was a journey of classical Hindustani music accompanying Kathak through cyclical Eras – from temple to Indian Cinema to today’s collaborative musical fusion. Aditi kept the audience spell-bound, starting with Ganesh Vandan and proceeding to Jugalbandi with instrumental music, followed by classic Bollywood Mujra dances, Folk music and Shiv-Tandav Nrutya.
The group presented ‘Sufi’ music at the end to the delight of the gathering. Aditi’s enthralling graceful renditions of Mujra dances from ‘UmaraoJaan’ & ‘Pakeeza’ and topping them with Marathi folk ‘Lavani’ brought the house down with thunderous applause. Ekal on its part, gave power-point and DVD presentations on Ekal’s activities, its ecliptic progress, and various innovative projects which could empower the village masses. At each place, it was followed by motivational appeals for donations and concluding it with a short briefing on new undertakings. At Glen Rock, NJ the power-point presentation was made by Chetanji Chopra.
At Blackwood, NJ appeals for Donations were made by Harshadbhai Mehta &Jyotindrabhai Patel which followed DrVeenaben Gandhi’s informative briefing on ‘ArogyaVikasYojana’ as a part of Healthcare project. In Edison, DrUmeshjiShukla elaborated on an inspirational story of personal ‘walkathon’, undertaken by Stephen Hnilica to collect $100,000 to support ‘Ekal Vidyalaya’. This ‘Walk- Across-USA’ episode reflects how Ekal has caught people’s imagination to eradicate illiteracy from the face of our developing nation.
This year on behalf of NJ Chapters, a beautiful informative Souvenir about Ekal was published, for the benefit of all well-wishers. This Souvenir was conceived and artistically put together by SanjayjiPhanse and his Team. Commenting on tightly executed four hour program, NeerajiTulshian, a first time volunteer at Edison event, euphorically said, “I attribute the success of this evening to meticulous planning, sincere hardwork and team-spirit”.
Ekal has yet to host one more fund-raising concert at ‘Mahatma Gandhi Center’, Wayne, N.J. This unique concert is going to be by Gujarat’s Nightingale “VibhavariYadav” & her group which will be completely devoted to old nostalgic Bollywood melodies which has captivated our memories for ever. For more details of this concert, pl contact Jayeshbhai Patel @ (732-688-2658) or Kaushikbhai Patel @ (973-341-6916).With this last concert for N.J. region, the total fundraising amount for NJ is likely to reach to a quarter of Million Dollars, this year.
As of this month, there are over 58,000 ‘Ekal Schools’ operating throughout rural India including Jammu-Kashmir, nurturing more than 1.6 Million children. Please donate generously by visiting www.ekal.org. … To volunteer for this divine worthy cause, please call Jyotindrabhai @ (732-672-8071).