Tamil Nadu Foundation’s Children’s Day Fund Raising Virtual Event

By Bala J Balachandran

Houston: The Tamil Nadu Foundation – Houston Chapter’s (TNF) Children’s Day Event was held virtually on November 15, 2020 to raising funds for adopted school children in Tiruvarur District. 

More than fifty people have participated including the coordinators, donors and special guests.  The celebration started virtually at 2pm and went on until 6:15pm instead of initially scheduled 5pm.

The President of the Houston Chapter, Mrs. Mala Gopal welcomed the participants, presented a brief presentation of the National TNF’s origin’s goals, TNF – Chapter activities & expectations, and introduced the Chapter’s Officers namely Secretary Dr. Nalini Balachandran and Treasurer Mrs. Punitha Thangaraj.

Tamil Nadu Foundation is a nonprofit foundation created in 1974 by a group of Americans of Tamil origin who wanted to help people from their native province of Tamil Nadu in India. The purpose of the foundation is to: establish education scholarships, help provide technical journals, textbooks and equipment to institutions of learning/institutions of health care, provide assistance at times of emergency and act on any worthy cause affecting Tamil Nadu, India.

TNF National President Mrs. Usha Chandra thank complimented the Houston Chapter’s contributions and mentioned that we could be role model for others.

Secretary Dr. Nalini Balachandran mentioned the importance of Houston Chapter’s initiatives and activities and encouraged everyone’s help in accomplishing the tasks.

Treasurer Punitha Thangaraj presented about target fund raising expectations and the major donors that have contributed so far. The goal is to raise $20,000 to supporting students for this year. All donors/sponsors were recognized and appreciated for their contribution, especially the major donors: Dr Padmini Nathan, Mala Gopal, Punitha Thangaraj, Nalini Bala, Kumar Bhashyam and Nalini Kannan.

The agenda for the program were ‘Mazhalai’ Varnajalam, Aadal Arangam and Isai Aruvi, Kudumbam oru Kdambam and Kolmavil Kolangal.

TNF Houston Chapter had conducted several competitions for the children prior to today’s celebration. Super Singer – Isai Aruvi was conducted by Jothi Venkatesan for ages 8 to 13 and 14 to 18 separately. Each participant worked very hard to do their best for this program and thoroughly enjoyed making their final videos. Everyone was a winner based on their super performance but only three were selected as winners.

The video sent by Mr. Mookuthi Murugan video appreciated TNF – Houston Chapter’s efforts towards this noble cause. The children sang well known popular Tamil songs so well that it would have been extremely hard for the Judge Mookuthi Murugan to chose the ultimate winner. He announced the three winners also made special mention and commended the efforts of our various young talented singers who participated in the competition. The winners were Shikhar Harish, Vrishan Raghawan and Navya Madhu for the 1st and 2nd and 3rd for the younger age category and Anvika Kumaran, Iniya Nandhakumar for the 1st and 2nd for the other age category.

Abinav, a specially challenged participant sang so eloquently and with almost perfect modulation and did an awesome job. He got a great applause from the audience.

‘Aadal Aarangam’ segment was conducted by Meera Srikanth and Luckmi Pawa and the winners were Aakruthi Srikanth, Ramitha Vnekat, Rita and Varsha for the first place, Nitesh Sathesh and Aruth Arcot for the 2nd place and Harsha Magesh, Akash for the 3rd place respectively.

Kolapotti was coordinated by Thangaraj and Kumaran. The winners were Kala Selvamanikam, Swarnalatha Sankar ad Padmini Narayan for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.

Dr. Vaduganathan of the guest speakers and an advisor for the TNF Houston Chapter, provided an overview of the COVID-19 situation, current Houston area statistics and the possible future course of action. 

President Mala Gopal thanked the officers, advisory board members and other participants of the event for their sincere commitment and making the celebration enjoyable and fully entertainable for all age groups. A lot of coordination existed between different committee members/officers and sincere volunteers made the function a grand success. This event is one of the many events that were conducted by the TNF – Houston Chapter and is making all out efforts in promoting the importance of this charity organization.

‘Karutharangam’ segment was ably conducted by Parthiban and Devi Prabhaharan.

Mr. Govindan Samaskanthan, the previous TNF – Houston Chapter President presented a very hilarious self-acted skit related the inconveniences of working from home, humorous way.

President Mala Gopal offered special thanks and acknowledgment to Mr. Thangaraj Petchiappan and Mr Srikanth Venugopal (also National TNF Treasurer) for their contributions related to disseminating emails, presentations materials and IT technical related tasks.

Secretary Dr. Nalini Balachandran thanked all the participants and the donors again and offered vote of thanks recognizing everyone. It was indeed a lot of hard work and it was extremely great of them to invest time and energy in pulling this together for the grand success.