The annual musical fundraiser held by the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA New England Chapter featured a great musical group that entertained the audience beautifully while helping raise funds to support the holistic development of villages in remote rural India.
The event was held at the Ashland High School in Ashland, MA on Sunday May 12. Women volunteers draped in special uniform sarees (bought at Sree Sai Vogue) and male volunteers wearing uniform jackets welcomed the audience. The lobby was beautifully decorated by Aneesha Karody and featured some beautiful paintings from the Ekal Artist Raksha Soni. Following the lighting of lamps by some of the early and strong supporters of Ekal, the event opened with a welcome by Dr. Subra Dravida , the president of the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA, New England chapter.
Dr. Dravida highlighted the work that Ekal does in over 86000 rural remote villages. Using education, health and skill training as the three focused areas of intervention, Ekal is working to bring about integrated village development. The concerted efforts to make a difference resulted in Ekal Vidyalaya winning the Gandhi Peace Prize, which is the highest honor given to an Non-Profit organization by the government of India.
In keeping with the Mother’s day theme, the EMCEEs for the evening were the mother-daughter team of Sudha Subbaraman and her daughter Vamsi who did a stellar job mceeing the event. The heartbeats group presented several Bollywood numbers. The music was stellar and the audience was rocking through the performance.
A pledge drive was conducted to raise funds for schools. Motivating speeches presented by Manorama Chaudhury and Sachin Goel inspired the members of the audience to give. Ram Nehra, one of the founding members of Ekal New England was given the Ekal Ratna award for his service to Ekal by Dr. Subra Dravida and Puran Dang, Chairman Emeritus for Ekal New England. Ekal Youth Leader, Sanjana Krishna was honored for her tremendous commitment to the cause by Ekal Youth Program director Anuradha Upneja and former Ekal New England President Parveen Minocha. Latha Krishnan, the VP for Ekal New England presented the vote of thanks.
The event was followed by dinner. The attendees overwhelmingly applauded the event as one of the finest musical evenings in New England.
For more information on Ekal, please check out their website at http://ekal.org.