Every human being comes to this world with a purpose.
They are interconnected with the society for various purposes and at some point of their lives they pay it forward in some form or another to their motherland, family and friends. This “pay it forward” is taking a new meaning under the present circumstances.
The pandemic around us needs no introduction, but the problems arising because of it needs special attention, humility, solidarity and the most important of all: consciousness. People all over the world are reacting to this new unknown miniscule of an organism in different ways and will have tales to be told for centuries to come. Everyone is complaining of issues like depression, stress, job and school concerns and many such things. However, on the other side, the artiste and craftsmen’s lives have taken an extreme downturn because how much their success depends on performance and selling of their good for livelihood. They have lost their source of income, not only due to cancellation of their shows but also due to non-availability for a market to sell their goods.
Hence, I am pleasured to mention a special group of individuals who have made their aims in life to not just think about their loved ones, but also for the local musicians back from their homeland in Assam, India.
Assam, one of the seven sisters in the North Eastern part of India, bears a historical significance when it comes to our famous Kamakshya Temple, our forever green tea plantations and for our River Brahmaputra. Assam is also known for its sericulture, the rich Assamese tradition of age old folk music, its ethnic pottery made of brass, and one of the recognized classical dance forms in India “Xatriya”. These traditions and cultures have been kept alive for generations by local folk artistes and craftsmen.
Assamese people are also known for their hospitality, grace and big hearts worldwide. Even during the time of this pandemic, the few yearning hearts of our Assamese people in the United States have not lost their ethnicity, love and gratitude that they feel towards their homeland. They have come together, to form a solidarity group called “Shilpi Sewa”, to address a problem far beyond their personal lives, agenda and imaginations. This togetherness has molded into a fantastic, first time ever, virtual musical show to fundraise for folk artistes of Assam. These artistes are sole earners in their families, impacted due to COVID-19 and the relentless flood situations in Assam.
Shilpi Sewa is spearheading a fundraising drive, uniting Assamese diaspora from all over the globe, to stand by our brothers and sisters in our homeland Assam. This fundraising campaign is being coordinated with Star Artistes of Assam, News Media, entrepreneurs and Music entities from Assam along with Assamese community members of North America. Shilpi Sewa will not keep any of the community contribution from this fundraiser and plans to donate the entire amount to folk artistes, the beneficiaries of this fundraiser event, all the expenses, which are minimal, are covered by volunteers of Shilpi Sewa. All members of Shilpi Sewa are volunteers as well as the star performers of this event will not receive any remuneration.
On August 15th 2020, India’s Independence Day, lets provide a little independence to these struggling co-inhibitors of our pandemic ridden world. Let’s join hands in praying for the lost lives during this situation, help lessen the pain and sufferings of our friends who provide entertainment and put a smile in our faces during normal times. It’s our responsibility to lessen their burden during these unforeseen circumstances and make some humanitarian efforts to bring peace and harmony to this world.
A few words from our celebrity artistes for this program:
Zubeen Garg: It’s time to stand together to help our fellow artistes from Assam in need. I am standing with Shilpi Sewa team to raise funds for this noble cause. Please join us and help.
Kalpana Patowary: As a folk artistes myself, I am immensely glad to support other folk artistes of Assam. I am happy that North America based our Assamese brothers and sisters have come forward with a fund raising initiative Shilpi Sewa to financially help our folk artistes in Assam during COVID-19 crisis. Let’s join hands together to support this noble cause.
Joi Barua: In the times of this pandemic, I feel honored to have been invited by the Assamese community in the US & Canada for this noble initiative. Life gets to be more beautiful once we start giving back. My regards to everyone connected with Shilpi Sewa.
*Please register with your donations at www.Shilpisewa.com
Rachna Nath is an internationally and nationally recognized innovator who is also an entrepreneur, grant writer, STEM enthusiast and a passionate educator. She has two masters, first one in Entomology (Insect Science) from Cotton College, India and the second one in Biology (Developmental Genetics) from Arizona State University working with honey bee Exocrine gland ontology. She has won the Global Innovation Award from TURNITIN 2019, received the Honorable Mention for the Presidential Innovation Award for Environment Educators in the United States and also two Excite Awards from Lemelson-MIT foundation to mention a few. She has also been invited to join the “Imaginary College” as an Honorary member (Center for Science and Imagination) at ASU along with world renowned elite Philosophers like Margaret Atwood, Paolo Bacigalupi, Vandana Singh and many more. She has been featured in the “Chandler Lifestyle 2020 Women of Chandler” recognized at the “Women in Leadership Conference” by the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, Phoenix Arizona. Her story about her journey from 2003 to 2020 in the US was also published by Phoenix Voyage magazine. Rachna is also a Honey bee scientist and has two master’s degree. She works with young entrepreneurs to make their dreams come true by working with the community partners and helping patent their ideas. Rachna has a network of trusted IT professionals, lawyers, community helpers who helps bring dreams to reality for 9th to 12th grade students who are invested in critical thinking, problem solving and giving back to the community by solving real world problems. She has 3 patent pending’s from such students in various prototypes from Anti-VOC scent bags to Heat stress monitoring devices. Rachna also does a lot of volunteering work taking about honey bees at various festivals, has contributed her time in mask making during the COVID19 pandemic and also runs a dance school “Sangeeta Nritya Academy” in US which she has dedicated to her Guru Sangita Hazarika in Assam, India.