‘Ekal Dakshin Dhamaka’: Ekal Houston Outreach to Dakshin Bharat

Ekal Dakshin Dhamaka volunteers. Article credit: Naren Chavda and Rajeev Aluru — Ekal. Picture credit: Jayaram — Collage Arts Photography

HOUSTON: Ekal Houston chapter brought an exclusive live fund-raising event – Dakshin Dhamaka –  for our Telugu, Tamil, and Bollywood music lovers in the Houston Metro area. The Dakshin theme was requested by Ekal South Indian well-wishers and patrons. The audience were entertained by the magnificent artists, a live band, and a delicious dinner on Saturday, November 19, 2022. The Houston team shared Ekal inspired successes in southern India comprising women empowerment, organic farming, digital literacy, health education/delivery in addition to child education.  The event enabled Ekal to raise funds for about 225 schools in South India which can empower about 3,500 girl students and about 3,500 students.

The event was held at the St. Joseph’s Hall in the Missouri City suburb. The overwhelming number of Ekal donors, patrons and well-wishers socialized over a sumptuous dinner catered by Biryani Pot. The enthusiastic audience was entertained by four magnificent artists – two sought after singers from South India and two local artists. The artists from India were Geetha Madhuri and Sri Krishna. Geetha Madhuri is a playback singer and voice artist with over 1800 songs to her credit in several languages: Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam. She is a recipient of numerous Nandi and Filmfare awards. Sri Krishna  is a Telugu playback singer, born in Hyderabad. He was the winner of the singing competition Paadaalani Vundi hosted by S. P. Balasubrahmanyam on Maa TV. He has also shared the stage in many live music shows with Late S.P. Balasubrahmanyam. The local artists were Dr.Sruthi Nanduri and Srikanth Sandugu. Sruthi is a medical student with exceptional singing talent. Srikanth Sandugu is an accomplished singer, RJ and DJ. Both of them have performed in many shows across the USA for multiple cultural events hosted by prestigious organizations. The singers were well supported by a live band “ M6 ”. The band was led by Meher Chanti from Dallas.

The ambitious post pandemic outreach effort of Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation (EVF) was very well received by our South Indian communities. The EVF USA, co-founded by Mr Ramesh Shah in 2000 is headquartered in Houston with numerous regional chapters across the USA.

After the dinner, the program was kicked off by Uma Dama- Ekal Houston New Product lead, followed by Rajeev Aluru- Ekal Houston chapter President and handed off to the MC, Sahitya Vinjamuri, who welcomed the guests and dignitaries. Sahitya learnt of the Ekal organization a few months back and was favorably inspired by its educational and community uplifting mission in India. Her inspiration turned into a passion to help Ekal grow its outreach, accepting to be the MC for tonight’s show and thus begin her volunteering journey with Ekal. Several of her contemporaries approached her later to inquire about how to join the Ekal movement.

The stage was then taken over by the energy of the musicians and the singers, presenting a bouquet of new and old songs from multiple languages. The evening continued with short clips of Ekal activities in India –  young girls from Telangana narrating their experiences of how Ekal school fulfilled their dreams, women enthusiastically acquiring life skills and earning power through tailor training centers, youth excited to learn computer skills through mobile computer labs (Ekal on Wheels). Each clip was preceded by short messages from Ekal volunteers; chapter president-Rajeev Aluru, Ekal USA President- Subra Dravida.

Rajeev Aluru talked about his life’s journey and invited all attendees to support holistic village development through three verticals:

  1. Primary education through village schools and E-Shiksha
  2. Health delivery using tele-medicine and Arogya Sevika training
  3. Skills development like tailor training, vocational training and organic farming


The evening continued with more music with the singers joining the dancing audience on the floor with on-the-spot medleys to further energize them.

Finally, the event team want to convey special “Thank You” to chief guest of the evening – Sandeep Chaudhary (Consul with the Consulate General of India Houston, Commerce and Culture portfolio), Carmen Turner- tax assessor and collector Fort Bend County, Eric Fagan – Fort Bend County Sheriff, Subra Dravida- Ekal USA President,  Subhash Gupta- Ekal Advisor, Yogi Patel- Ekal Southwest Regional President, army of volunteers, Middle School and High School youth, Ekal Houston Chapter leadership-current and past in planning the event.

Your donation will educate children, empower women with tailoring skills, nurture poshanvatika’s (organic farming) for a healthy village life, will help bring the tribal youth closer to city dwellers by taking digital education to them, and much more. We encourage you to support Ekal’s mission. You are just a click away from making that important contribution, go to https://www.ekal.org/us/donate and click the DONATE button on the top right of the page.