By Sweta Mehta
Sewa Co-ordinator, NHSF (UK)
What is Ekatva?
Ekatva means the spirit of Oneness. It is a dance and drama production based on Mahatma Gandhi’s principles, performed by sixteen underprivileged children coming from some of the largest slums in Ahmedabad, India. These sixteen children have been trained and developed by mentors from Manav Sadhna, who have partnered with the internationally renowned dance academy, Darpana Dance Academy.
What is the Ekatva show about?
· Providing an experience of deep transformation for the sixteen children’s lives to unlock their true potential and give the opportunity to lift them out of their challenging living environment and offer a brighter future
· Breaking the walls, stereotypes and assumptions around living in slum areas
· Providing a vehicle for global inspiration and connectivity in the spirit of Oneness through creative arts
· Sharing the rich culture of India with the western world through song, dance and drama
· Inspiring each of us
Who is the Ekatva Show for?
Oneness means everyone; with no boundaries to people’s background, age, race or status. Ekatva is aimed at everyone who can be inspired and uplifted by the spirit and purpose of the show.
The production is also targeted at social, educational and political leaders from UK charities, communities, and schools, with the hope that the Ekatva show and the sixteen children will give further inspiration for positive impact.
The 16 Ekatva Children
The value of the entire Ekatva journey has been about the internal transformation of these children, as they have developed into confident, loving citizens, students, family members, and artists.
The Ekatva project is about helping uproot the children beyond the glass ceiling they have been placed under, and that the Ekatva show and tour will inspire their own community and the larger world to realise the strength and potential that exists in every child of their plight.
What has NHSF (UK) done to support Ekatva?
We supported the Ekatva team in their search for venues for the show. Recently, we provided a letter of support for Ekatva in order to boost their Visa application process, which was successful. Currently, we are supporting them in providing accommodation for the 16 children while they are in the UK, across the three cities. We have also compiled a list of volunteers who are willing to help out during the 2 week period that the children are in the UK with simple tasks such as transport for the children, activities when they are not performing and other logistics. We have continually promoted and supported Ekatva since September 2011. We have distributed leaflets at national events such as North, Central and South Zone Spiritual events and we also showed the promotional video at the AGM. In addition, we have been spreading the word via facebook, emails and in person. We enjoy working with the Ekatva team and cannot wait for the children to arrive!
The Ekatva tour in the UK
After nearly two years of training and development, the children have successfully performed Ekatva shows across villages and cities in India and will be touring internationally in the U.S.A and UK in April and June 2012.
The Ekatva shows in the UK will be hosted in London, Leicester and Birmingham on the following dates:
· 21st June 2012 at Leicester Peepal Centre
· 22nd June 2012 at Birmingham The Drum
· 24th June 2012 at London Watersmeet Theatre
· 1st July 2012 at London The Bhavan