JUNE 2022
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EKAL'S FLORIDA CHAPTERS ONCE AGAIN GALVANIZE EFFORTS FOR CHILDREN

Musical Fundraisers Raise about 1,800 schools

Story provided by Ekal Vidyalaya

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The Tampa Bay, Lakeland, Ocala, Tallahassee and South Florida chapters of Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA organized a Virtual Mega Concert on April 30. The 50-member Hemantkumar Mahale Musical Group curated and produced the show.

Keeping Covid concerns in mind, most Ekal Florida chapters opted for the “Hybrid Virtual Show” beamed via YouTube. The show can be enjoyed at https://youtu.be/ubbJoyJIla4 and donations made at https://www.ekal.org/geetmala

The effort of several Ekal chapters was marked by pre-event activity, donor outreach and social media campaigning that raised about $450,000 ahead of the event. Volunteers hosted friends at their homes, most notably, Nilesh Patel, who provided catered food for gatherings in Lakeland. In addition to the virtual show, Jacksonville and Orlando chapters opted for a live show format. Both the concerts were immensely successful.

The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is dedicated to educating children in functional literacy in tribal/rural India through one-teacher schools. Each school serving about 30-35 students teaches reading, writing, arithmetic at $365 a year — “A Dollar A Day.” It has added complimentary programs such as Arogya Yojana for health and hygiene, Gramothaan for skills development and Empowerment Education for civic awareness, that ultimately help to give villages the opportunity to grow. The 2022 fundraising campaign is extremely significant for Ekal as “the pandemic had affected the delivery of services in remote villages,” said Dr. Umesh Choudhry, Ekal Florida region president.

Dr. Jawahar Taunk, longtime Ekal volunteer and former Tampa and Florida region president, announced a $1 million donation over a period of 10 years. A second hugely notable contribution came from Satish Ankalikar, a retired Tampa dentist and his wife, who pledged $100,000 for a Village Development Center in Maharashtra. The entire Tampa team is indebted to the Ankalikar family, said Jaimin Amin, incoming chapter president. Gyan and Sudha Joshi of Jacksonville donated $55,000. Several other Grand Sponsor level $5,000 contributions have come from across the state, including one from Uday Lele, a business leader. Outgoing president Malti Pandya donated $11,000.


TAMPA SANATAN MANDIR TO HOLD RATH YATRA JULY 2

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Sanatan Mandir Tampa will celebrate Jagannath Rath Yatra (Festival of Chariots) on July 2.  Rath Yatra symbolizes the humanization of Lord Jagannath (Lord of the Universe), and an attempt to bring the Lord down from His pedestal of glory to a more human level, i.e., into the hearts of people. It marks the annual procession of Lord Jagannath, who along with his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra make a visit to the garden house, Gundecha Ghar, for five days, also visiting their aunt on the way. Participating in Rath Yatra is considered one way to get ‘moksha (liberation from birth and death)’. From Puri (Odisha), the home of Lords, Ratha Yatra has spread worldwide.

The Rath Yatra has been celebrated in Tampa annually since 2006. With the installation of Lord Jagannath in Sanatan Mandir, the temple plans to make Rath Yatra a signature annual event and plans to build a new state-of-the-art Rath.

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Sanatan Mandir, 311 E. Palm Ave., invites all devotees to participate in the auspicious event. Several sponsor opportunities are available, including construction of chariot and idols, prasad, deity clothes/wearables, flowers/garlands, archana, aarti, etc. (https://www.explara.com/e/indian-festival-of-chariots-ratha-yatra)

Email Info@sanatanmanditampa.org for information.

 


TAMPA BAY AREA TO HOLD INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA ON JUNE 12

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Recognizing the universal appeal of yoga, in 2014, the United Nations proclaimed June 21 as International Day of Yoga. The resolution was proposed by India and endorsed by over 175 member states. The International Day of Yoga aims to raise awareness, worldwide, of the many benefits of practicing yoga.

The Tampa Bay area has been celebrating the event since 2015, year after year, thanks to its main sponsor India Cultural Center (ICC) and many other yoga organizations, studios and Hindu temples.

After conducting virtually for the last two years, International Day of Yoga will take place in-person from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 12 at ICC, 5511 Lynn Road. An array of presenters, experts in their field, will present chair-based yoga, Hatha yoga, Pranayama, Dhyana, chanting, deep relaxation, Nritya yoga, etc. A light lunch will be served.

Register at https://www.idytampa.org/ For information, call Dipa Shah (Chair) at (732) 648-1096.

 

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