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Vibrant colors and youthful zeal at IFA Spring Mela 2018

Photo courtesy: Suresh Volam.

Atlanta, GA: Indian Friends of Atlanta (IFA) hosted its first ever Spring Mela 2018 organized by IFA Youth Volunteers along with Seva Life and First Aid For All (FAFA).

IFA specially recognizes the youth volunteers Sagarika Manoj Kumar, Niha Savili, Aryan Verma, Abhat Chilakamarri, Akhil Pidaparthi, Akash Pothu and Abhi Yamani for their initiative and leadership towards the successful Spring Mela 2018.

The S. Convention Center in Cumming, GA came to life in bright colors and youthful energy on 15th April for the fabulously organized Spring Mela 2018. It was a well executed celebration of arts, culture and creativity, all directed to draw attention to a serious social cause.  We must appreciate the youngsters who have dedicated their time and energy for getting involved in community service like this.

All three organizations involved felt the social need and responsibility to do something about the burning issue of Human Trafficking. While researching the issue, they came across Tapestri, an organization with a mission to spread awareness about human trafficking and alleviate the suffering of those affected by it. They didn’t waste much time and unanimously decided to conduct a special event to raise funds to help Tapestri in their noble mission. Thus the idea of Spring Mela 2018 was born.

The community of Atlanta had great expectations for IFA’s Spring Mela this year and IFA has delivered spring Mela 2018 to everybody’s expectations and beyond. Based on the level of preparedness and meticulous planning of various fun activities, the youth volunteers rose up to the occasion and delivered with flying colors. It was gratifying to see the youth of our community take responsibilities and deliver like experienced professionals!

The venue was decorated with very special bows, flowers and lighting. Over 300 chairs and 15 booths were set up to accommodate the audience and the sponsors.  Apart from the scheduled stage performances and presentations, the environment was made livelier still with a dosa station, rolled ice cream station, jewelry and saree station to engage the attendees. The volunteers could be seen running around to help the performances move along on schedule.

The festivities were inaugurated with renditions of the Indian and American national anthems. In all, over 400 diversified youth and adults from around Atlanta participated in the event. It was a festive atmosphere displayed the culture, the uniqueness, and the spirit of our youngsters in a very positive manner.

IFA Youth volunteers participated in a colorful parade to kick off the celebrations. The MCs for the event, Abhi Yamani, Sagarika Manoj Kumar, & Akhil Pidaparthi engaged the audience with amazing performances, comedy and Q & A session with one of the Guests of honor, Professor Dave Chatterjee from University of Georgia who gave a wonderful talk on college and careers. The day was also packed with over 15 cultural performances from various dance academies, singers and community organizations.  Topping it all was the grand fashion show conducted by all the youth members and volunteers.

The youngsters in attendance had plenty to do at Spring Mela 2018. They were all busy performing, networking and volunteering while enjoying Cotton Candy and Popcorn on the side. Overall it was a cultural spectacular with over 100 participants lasting over 4 hours presented by various groups, dance schools and organizations.

Spring Mela 2018 had more than 15 vendors with ethnic clothes, jewelry, Mehndi Artists, education services, business services and delectable Indian cuisines.  Lakshmi Thesam (IFA Executive Committee) and Sunil Savili (IFA Board) were instrumental in guiding the Youth team of volunteers in executing the various aspects of Spring Mela 2018.

Support from an array of sponsors was a huge strength for this event’s success. Madras Chettinad, Peppers, Deccan Spice, C2 Education, Suvidha, and Sri Dutt Raga Fine Arts showed their support with sponsorship.  Additionally, the organizers are very thankful to S Convention Center for providing the venue to host this spectacular event with such ease despite many challenges faced.

The IFA team fondly recognizes the performers and their supportive parents, as well as the tireless efforts of all the dedicated volunteers and the generosity of the S Convention Center management. The Spring Mela 2018 organizers Were overwhelmed by the support and participation from the community and are looking forward to making every effort to stage future events bigger and better.

IFA’s Youth volunteer team that made it all happen deserves a pat on the back. IFA’s main objective of hosting such melas is to bring the Indian community into the mainstream by

hosting the event in an open arena and we have the tradition by hosting biggest attended Indian events in Atlanta and the tradition continues in Spring Mela as we had over 400 people grace this wonderful event. The event was successful and was loved by everyone who attended because it had the educational and entertaining elements that catered to everyone’s interests.

The Spring Mela 2018 event stands as an example of IFA’s commitment to bringing the whole community together and encouraging the youth to step up into leadership roles. Thanks to IFA, we can certainly look forward to more such happenings around Atlanta that motivate our next generation to lead and serve the community!

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