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Ekal event enchants with vintage melodies, inspires community to sponsor 177 schools

BY ACHALA KANUNGO AND MAHADEV DESAI

Photo credit Rajesh Khanna Photography

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” – Plato

Once again, the enchanting melodies of the Ekal event filled the halls of Srinath Ji Haveli, the cherished Gokuldham venue in Suwanee, GA. The event saw an attendance of three hundred people who enjoyed a delicious dinner provided by Gokuldham. Special thanks were given to Ashok Patel and Parimal Mathukia of Gokuldham for arranging the sound system and auditorium.

The artists.

The evening featured performances by Swati Girglani, Pranav Pandya, and Kalpesh Patel.

The event commenced with the lighting of the auspicious lamp, with Hon. Deputy Council General Madan Ghildiyal, State Representative Candidate Narendra Reddy, Forsyth County Council Candidate Sudhir Aggarwal, Atlanta Chapter President Shiv Aggarwal, and Pandit Upadhyaya participating in the ceremony. This was followed by a soulful Ganesh Vandana, setting the tone for the evening’s musical journey. Students from KalashramUSA performed Thumri – Aavat Shyam, a special composition by the legendary Pandit Birju Maharaj, choreographed by Anurag Sharma.

The audience was captivated by a series of mesmerizing performances by talented Ekal singers. From classics like “Mere Hivde Mein” to evergreen hits like “O Mere Dil Ke Chain” and “Jaaiye Aap Kahan Jayenge,” the audience was transported by the nostalgia of old melodies. The pace picked up with energetic numbers from Daler Mehndi, culminating in joyous Garba on “Pankhida.”

Special recognition was given to Ekal Atlanta Chapter President and Global Mall owner Shiv Aggarwal for meticulously organizing the event. Ekal Atlanta Chapter Vice President Ajay Upadhyaya provided updates on Ekal’s latest initiatives, highlighting the organization’s commitment to rural education and empowerment. He detailed Ekal’s work in schools, women’s empowerment through tailoring centers, and healthcare via telemedicine, emphasizing progress and inclusion. The Shiv Aggarwal family and the Singla family, proud Atlanta donors, sponsored three tailoring centers.

Rama and Rakesh Popli, ardent believers in GandhiJi’s ideology, emphasized the pivotal role of rural development in national progress.

The dancers with their guru.

Impressed by Ekal’s extensive efforts, audience members quickly chose to sponsor Ekal schools. These schools require only a one-time payment of $365 and operate under the sponsorship’s name for an entire year. Within five years, they become self-sustaining. Ekal’s vision aims to empower villagers to manage their own development without relying on permanent handouts. This vision resonated deeply with the audience, leading to the sponsorship of 177 schools. Ekal stands as a remarkable nation-building project for future generations.

A moment of pride ensued as a message from Prime Minister Modi acknowledged Ekal’s tireless efforts. With over 400,000 volunteers worldwide, the impact of collective action became evident, with milestones such as: • 10 million girls and boys gaining literacy • Sponsorship of three tailoring centers by esteemed Ekal donors • Integrated village development programs fostering nutrition care, maternal health, handicrafts, and computer skills • Over 100,000 villages benefiting from literacy, healthcare, and economic empowerment • 80,000 Ekal Vidyalays educating 2 million children across India

Ekal embodies a transformative movement, urging individuals to become changemakers and touch lives.

The event concluded with thanks to media partners: Atlanta Dunia, Khabar, NRI Pulse, TV Asia, and Rashtra Darpan.

As the melodies faded and the night drew to a close, the spirit of unity and generosity remained. Through initiatives like Ekal, the seeds of knowledge and empowerment continue to be sown, lighting the path for generations to come.

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