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Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation Charity Concert

August 2004
Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation Charity Concert

The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA, Southeast region, organized Ekal Charity Musical Concert on July 7, at the Palace Restaurant in Atlanta. Singer Sushil Baweja and tabla maestro Ashok Pandey took center stage for a noble cause.

Recently appointed vice-president of the Southeast region, Girija Vijay welcomed guests and applauded volunteers including Dinesh Chanchalani and Ashu Sikri. A slide show by Chanchalani highlighted the accomplishments of the Foundation.

The entertainment program at the fundraiser had Atlanta music aficionados enthralled. The well-traveled Pandey who has accompanied prominent vocalists like Anup Jalota and Anuradha Paudwal was in perfect sync with Baweja, a mature, inventive, versatile classical and semi-classical singer of repute. Baweja sang the spiritually uplifting dhun Shri Krishna, hare murari along with many other soul-stirring bhajans, ghazals and popular songs. Pandey accompanied him on the tabla delighting the audience with his deft wrist-work. He mesmerized the spectators with his artistry as he played complicated rhythms and created sounds of galloping horses and echoing conches. His performance earned him a standing ovation.

Both musicians performed pro bono to raise funds and awareness for the Foundation. Ekal Vidyalaya is a major movement in India that addresses the needs of primary education in remote, tribal villages. Established in 2000 as an independent tax-exempt charitable foundation, it has sponsored schools in almost every state in India. The Foundation has twelve regional vice-presidents in the US and numerous volunteers ? both individuals and organizations. In all, five concerts were held: July 5, Columbia, SC; July 6, Augusta, GA; July 9, Shree Umiya Mataji Temple, Macon, GA and July 11, the Hindu Temple of Atlanta. Approximately 45 schools were pledged during these concerts. For more information, visit www.ekalvidya.org.

-Mahadev Desai

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