2008 Fundraising Event - A musical evening with the Pandya Group

Sunday, August 24, 2008

F. Scott Fitzgerald Theater, Rockville, MD

Attendees: 350

Total Funds raised: $17,520 for sponsoring 48 schools, and received pledges worth $4,745 for 13 schools.

So far in 2008: 414 schools

Our Target: 1,000 schools

The presence of Lord Krishna, the drive for knowledge and music – came together to bring a great success to the August 24 musical evening organized by the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation, Washington DC Chapter as their annual fundraising event. The program was successful, with the combination of devotion through music, enjoyment through rhythms, joy through laughter, and dreams coming true through the pledges for donations.

"It was as if Lord Krishna has come to the earth on this occasion to pour his blessings and sanctify the souls gathered to support this great movement of Ekal Vidyalaya", one of the Masters of the Ceremony described during the evening.

The evening started with the offering of flowers to the Lord by Mrs. Ayona Dutta, wife of Dr. Dutta, the honorable guest of the night. Dr. Shashi Shrivastava, regional vice president of Ekal Vidyalaya Washington DC, welcomed the audience and, she specifically thanked the Pandya family; Raj, Smruti, Amit, and Eshna for coming all the way from Lexington, KY to present the musical evening and support Ekal Vidyalaya.

Ekal Awareness Presentation

The Masters of Ceremony, Jiban Khuntia and Shruthi Rereddy presented the activities of Ekal along with a brief video showing Ekal Vidyalaya schools, teachers, and kids, and their day to day activities. Shruthi went on to elaborate on the inspiration behind the Ekal Vidyalaya movement, progress, and DC Chapter activities. Both shared their own experiences and interactions and the voluntary motive of the DC chapter members to support the schools.

Dr. Debpriya Dutta, Counselor of Science and Technology, Embassy of India, briefly spoke about the role of partnership in governors, how we can play important role in health education in India. He mentioned that the days of reliance on the government is perhaps over, and if only the society has to prosper, it can happen thorough a collaborative attitude towards development programs. He invited all the donors to support the cause and stand at the right time for the societal development that is happening in modern India through all the challenges and issues that exist today.

Musical Evening

Artists from the Pandya Group started the musical evening with "Saraswati Vandana", and devotional prayers and bhajans. The melodious tunes and voices went on to the Bollywood Hindi film music, both from the yesteryear and the modern times. The ultimate musical evening not only dampened the slightly warm atmosphere outside, but also led the audience to move their bodies to the tunes and rhythms of the music. Enthusiastic music lovers from all over the city had converged here to witness this wonderful musical evening. The concert was a three-hour long musical fantasy, which unfolded in parts - classical music, bhajans, and modern songs and not to mention the remixes.

The family really brought it alive with their performance by taking the stage completely and stealing the hearts of the audience.

Later in the evening, Dr. Suresh Gupta announced the total funds collected during the evening, and reminded everybody about the target of 1,000 schools by Ekal Vidyalaya DC Chapter.


The program ended with standing ovation from the audience for the marvelous artists. Dr. Shashi Shrivastav thanked the entire Pandya family by offering flowers and certificates. Further, as a token of appreciation, the India Development Relief Fund (IDRF) was also felicitated with a certificate for their support to the Ekal Vidayalaya Foundation's work.

Dr. Satish Mishra thanked all the donors for the noble cause, and requested for more help. He also thanked all the volunteers who worked behind the curtain to make this program more success.

The curtains for the evening were drawn to close, with the song "Ye mere Watan ke logon" by Smruti Pandya, and the spirit of patriotism was in the air with the feeling for the motherland, India.