An Indian-American non-profit created 3 years ago to help distressed Indian farmers in the face of rising suicides in India, held its annual fundraiser June 20, in the Linwood Middle School auditorium in North Brunswick, N.J.
Save Indian Farmers showcases several local song and dance performers at the event including Bharat Kala Manch, 14 performing art schools in greater New Jersey and their 200 odd students, Mahesh Wani, spokesperson for the organization said.
More than 500 patrons and supporters attended as did local leaders and public officials including former state Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, currently the commissioner of the New Jersey Board of Utilities. Others present were Sridhar Chillara, CEO or TV5, Dr. Madhav Kamat, CEO, Kamat Pharma, Rajendra Dichapally, Col (Retd.) Virendra Tavathia and various other community leaders.
“We were able to raise $8,000,” after paying for renting the auditorium and other expenses, Wani told News India Times. The event was inaugurated by Dr. Madhav Kamat, one of the biggest patrons and Mrs. India International 2015 Yugandhara Lad-More. The show lasted for about 4 hours and included popular Hindustani classical ragas, Mallakhamb, a mix of yoga, martial arts and acrobatics on a wooden pole, Carnatic music on violin, classical dance forms like, Bharat Natyam, Kathak, Mohiniattam, traditional drums – Dhol and Tasha, and several more art forms.
Local caterers supported the event by donating all proceeds from sales to Save Indian Farmers. To date, the non-profit says it has completed a $22,000 project to repair a canal and give access to water to 1,300 farmers of Pathari village in Maharashtra. This year, its goal is to expand such initiatives in the Telangana region, the state second worst hit by farmer suicides after Maharashtra. It also hopes to support an additional 50 widows to start small business.