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On 17th December 2012, Janaki Mehta shortly visited Food for Life Vrindavan for the first time. She walked in with an idea of wanting to do something to help our girls when she goes back to UK. Janaki is an expert Kathak Dancer and so she took a small workshop giving basic training in the dance form to our schoolgirls. After that her idea turned into a conviction.
After months of hard work and practice, Janaki organized a charity event where she performed beautifully and raised just over 6000 pounds. This money she donated towards the construction of science labs at the school.
Janaki was trained at the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan in London by renowned Maestro Abhay Shankar Mishra, She also graduated as a lawyer – so not only has she succeeded in Art, she has also succeeded in her academic studies.
The message here is very profound. Here is a girl born and raised in Britain and yet at a very young age, she developed such a love for this traditional dance form, and mastered it with such finesse and is now using her talents to help other girls to reach their full potential.
Janaki is truly a role model for our girls and for the society.
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
― Maya Angelou
A few days ago something really heart stirring was done by some of our donors. Kurt Mausert, our US charity president and a lawyer by profession, got together with two of his old high school friends to form a musical band. Peter Butryn played on Banjo, Pete Derkowski played the guitar, and Kurt Mausert played on Bass. They played beautifully for a few hours on a street in Saragota Springs as a lot of tourists are coming there this season. They distributed brochures and also accepted donations. They raised $94.75 which they donated towards Food for Life Vrindavan.
We used this money to organize a Lali feast. About 170 little girls enjoyed a delicious feast and were presented a doll, hairband, an earring set and a small pack of biscuit. The little girls were overjoyed to receive the feast and gifts.
We couldn’t help but share with you all how much we appreciate this unique act of kindness.
Mandali Mendrilla, head designer and founder of MANDALI MENDRILLA, a sustainable conscious American luxury clothing label, decided to support the Sandipani Muni School with part of the proceeds of her pret a porter collections: LALALALI – Radha Pada and MENDRILLA LIMITEDITION – Silk and Colors 14/15. Interestingly, the Silk and Colors 14/15 collection is partly produced in Vrindavan itself and hand finished in Europe.
“Our team is deeply touched and inspired by the work Food For Life Vrindavan and the Sandipani Muni School have done for its community. I have been visiting Vrindavan for many years, inspired by the sanctity of the atmosphere and its residents. Vrindavan, Radha and Krishna and the Vrajavasis have changed my heart forever and I am most grateful that our company can attempt to offer our contribution in supporting such a wonderful, honest organisation.” – Mandali Mendrilla
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I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the tremendous support you are giving us, both financially and motivationally! Your support means the world to the girls here. This project has generated a marked change within our girls. They have become even more courageous, confident and enthusiastic about their futures. Not only this but the older girls are showing leadership qualities amongst their peers.
For the past month the students from grades 8-12 have been working on a play, which they presented on July 14th, 2014, to the parents, staff and students. The premise of the play was the prevention of child marriage. Through the play we showed the contrast between the lives of two girls. One that gets married at 15 years old and is pulled out of school early and the other that finishes school and attends University. The target audience of the play was the parents of the students. The intention behind performing this play was to encourage parents to allow their daughters to study longer and create for themselves the best future possible. The students and staff wanted to relay the impact that early marriage has on a young girl’s life. Many of the parents were moved to the point of tears while watching the performance. The girls performed extremely well and we are very proud of them!
The July 14th function also included performances from other student groups. The self-defense/karate students showed us some of their stellar moves! The young yoga dance performers wowed the audience with their flexibility, skills and grace. And the traditional dancers were beautiful and talented! (Photos of event are attached and video coming soon)
The staff compiled a legal affidavit, which was circulated at the function and signed by parents whereby they swore not to marry their daughters before the age 18. Attendance from the parents was surprisingly high, 80% of parents were in attendance!!
This entire function would not have come into fruition had it not been for our project and your support, we thank you whole-heartedly!