Ahmedabad Slum Children to Spread Gandhi's Message in US

Washington, Apr 27 (IANS): Sixteen children from the slums of Ahmedabad in Gujarat, will tour the United States from May 6 to June 16 to spread Mahatma Gandhi's message of "Oneness" through a 90 minute dance-drama.

Called "Ekatva" (Oneness), the show sharing a "message of love, inspiration, and a call to action: to push the world closer to oneness and peace" will be staged in Chicago, Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Austin, Atlanta and Montclair and New Jersey.

"Ekatva" was inspired by a similar project called "Ekta" (Unity), which was created in 2000 by Manav Sadhna, a nonprofit based at the Mahatma Gandhi Ashram, and teachers from the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, the organisers said.

In keeping with the mission of Manav Sadhna, the children "will not only perform in the US, but also work with other nonprofits, serve the underprivileged in the area, help clean parts of the city, work to connect different religions, and uplift the spirit of humanity."

"It sounds like a large task for small people - but I have learned every day in working with these children, that they are not 'small' in any way -they are capable of so much," said "Ekatva" director Nimesh Patel, a Wharton Business School graduate and former hip-hop artist.
Patel has become a full-time volunteer for the past two and half years to lead these children and the vision of the "Ekatva" experiment.

The performance is directed and choreographed by Mallika Sarabhai and the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts.
A wide range of international organizations including Project Ahimsa have contributed to supporting the "Ekatva" tour and performance.


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