Boston, Massachusetts (Jan 9, 2021): Sewa International’s Boston Chapter organized its annual fundraiser and the Nrityameva Jayate dance competition on January 9, 2021 via Facebook Live and YouTube. With more than 100 performances by over 200 participants from 25 dance schools, the 2020 program was able to raise over $20,000 to benefit communities via Sewa’s “Feeding the Hungry” and COVID relief programs.
The dance program was organized to promote volunteerism and create awareness about Hindu culture highlighting the principles “The Whole World is One Family,” and “May Everyone be Happy”. Nrityameva Jayate means “victory to the art of dance”. While maintaining social distancing, this dance competition brought participants together to unite for the common goal of serving the community.
Inaugurating the event, the chief guest Ms. Vandana Sharma, well-known art designer, winner of the prestigious A-Design Award, and a philanthropist supporting organizations serving the underprivileged, lit the diya or lamp. The show began with a melodious rendition of the invocation mantra by students of Bala Sewa Satsang, a program led by Sewa International volunteers to inculcate Sewa Sanskars (duties) and social responsibility among children. Students from leading dance schools in New England in the age groups of 6-9, 10-12, 13-17 and adults participated in the competition. The emcees included long time Sewa volunteer Geetanjali Virmani along with Neha Kaushal and Manjari Kaulgud.
Various Sewa projects like “Feeding the Hungry” and “COVID Relief” were showcased throughout the program. Appreciating Sewa’s work, acclaimed Bollywood playback singer Shaan made an appeal to the entire Indian diaspora to help the underprivileged by donating towards Sewa’s projects. Special guest Dr. Mona Khaitan, a professor of accounting in Mass Bay Community College and a long time Sewa supporter, spoke about the need to serve the community, and encouraged the audience to donate generously towards Sewa initiatives. On this day, Sewa International was also recognized by Consul General of India in New York on the occasion of Pravasi Bhartatiya Divas for exemplary support and contribution towards the Indian American community. The Deputy Consul General of India, Satrughna Sinha, offered words of encouragement to participants and Sewa volunteers.
The judges panel comprised the best of New England, North Carolina, India, and Germany and included dance experts and teachers Jasmine Shah, Seema Tewari, Ranjani Saigal, Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Shweta Bhaskar, Pallavi Pundir, Jayashree Mohapatra, Jayashree Bala Rajmani, and Meera Mani. Two other dance masters -- Ekta Jain and Hema Iyengar -- helped shepherd the judicial process.
While the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to live participation, the resurgence of community spirit offered hope that things will soon get better.
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