Ekal Fundraiser Draws Record Crowd & Pledges over $450,000 at multiple events across Rana Chatterjee & Sangeeta Melekar enthrall the audience
Los Angeles, CA, May 02, 2015
Southern California music lovers in Bakersfield, Calabasas, Orange County and San Diego, were in for yet another musical treat when versatile playback singer Rana Chatterjee, Sangeeta Melekar and Group performed at different locations in these cities from April 19th through April 26th, 2015 as part of the annual fund raiser program of Ekal Vidyalaya. The group started its U.S. tour from Jacksonville, Florida on February 28 and will be performing in over 40 cities across US as part of Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of America’s 2015 Annual Fundraiser. Ekal Vidyalaya operates ‘one teacher’ schools in rural and remote tribal villages of India and Nepal to help eradicate illiteracy of the underprivileged children living in these rural areas.
The programs in Calabasas on April 19, Bakersfield on April 24, Orange county on April 25 and San Diego on April 26 saw a record attendance of over 1500 across these events rising over $450,000 in sponsorship to support over 1200 Ekal schools. The concert was graced by several luminaries including Jatin Pandit, award winning music director for films such as Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham, Mohabatein, Dilwala dulhania le jaayenge etc., who was at the Calabasas event.
Calabasas-041915-Youthvolunteers/ packed theater
After the guests were treated to a sumptuous dinner at all these events, the audience were presented with a short video and power point explaining the mission of Ekal Vidyalaya in eradicating illiteracy from the rural and tribal villages of India with clear emphasis on its approach to make village self-sufficient in five years by introducing primary education, health & vocational education along with social empowerment education to villagers. To-date, Ekal operates over 53,000 such one teacher schools in as many villages providing education to over 1.5 million children with an almost equal split between boys and girls. It only costs ‘Dollar a day’ or $365 per year to run an Ekal School for an entire year, educating up to 30-35 children in a rural village.
At each event, Rana Chatterjee and Sangeeta Melekar took the audience down memory lane with vintage songs of iconic playback singers Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh, Manna Day, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. From their huge repertoire, they captivated the audience with their solos and duets. Rana Chatterjee showed his true finesse when he rendered the fast-paced song, “Ek chatur naar karke singaar” (Padosan), in three distinct voices of Manna Dey, Kishore Kumar and Mehmood. The musicians showed their dexterity in the spellbinding song ‘Madhuban mein Radhika’ (Kohinoor). They were ably accompanied by Piyush Bhatt on the Melody Synthesizer, Daxesh Patel on Tabla & percussion instruments and Jaykumar Natu, the rhythmist on the Octopad.
Ekal is marching towards its goal of establishing 100,000 Ekal schools in as many villages. Sponsors are able to track the progress of their school and get additional information at ekal.org. With one of the lowest administrative expense under 9% year after year, the donors are assured of maximum return on their dollar investment to this noble cause of providing education to the underprivileged sections of the society.