The Vedanta International Cultural Center presented “A Child’s Gift to Sister Nivedita - An Afternoon of Music and Dance” at the Redondo Beach Center of Spiritual Living in Redondo Beach, Calif., Aug. 30.

The event was organized by Titash Biswas, a 15-year-old student and VICC youth, to raise funds for the restoration of Sister Nivedita’s historic residence in Kolkata. The house of Nivedita, who was a disciple of Swami Vivekananda and a strong supporter of women’s education, was previously under the ownership of the State Government of West Bengal but is now owned by Sarada Math. Massive restoration work is going on to set up a museum and archive there before Sister Nivedita’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations in 2016.

Pravrajika Sevaprana from the Vedanta Society of Southern California, Hollywood, opened the event with the lighting of lamps. Her talk on Sister Nivedita and her personal visit to the Sister Nivedita Girls' School was enjoyed by everyone in the audience. 

Throughout the evening, attendees enjoyed various dance and music performances by VICC youth. The first feature was performed by five- to 10-year-olds Arjun, Ayushi, Ishan, Noirit and Ronjini, who thrilled the audience with a musical ensemble directed by Smt. Soma Howladar.

The next item, directed by Smt. Nandita Behera, was performed by dancers of the Odissi Dance Circle. The participants for “Odissi” were Ananya, Ankita, Pourobee, Roopsha and Titash.

“Folk from Orissa” was performed by Priyanka, Astha, Hea, Ria, Monalisa, Aryaki, Tandra and Oishee, while “Folk from Bengal” was performed by Arushi, Allie, Anika, Pushpita, Anaise and Simran.

Next, a wonderful sitar recital was performed by 16-year-old Surya Laha, who was accompanied by college student Harnadar Singh. The duo was thoroughly appreciated by all the attendees.

The final feature was a dance drama based on Tagore’s Pujarini. The participants were Aishik, Monolina, Noel, Pourobee, Roopsha and Titash. The concept for the drama was developed by Smt. Durga Roy.

Lastly, an ethnic Indian dinner, prepared by VICC volunteer chefs, was served. 

Dr. Rini Ghosh, president of the Vedanta International Cultural Center, commented on the zeal and leadership qualities shown by the VICC children and young adults: “It’s indeed so fulfilling to see our future leaders and future citizens engaged in these philanthropic works.”

By the end of the night, over $6,000 was raised from the audience for the noble cause of restoring Sister Nivedita’s historic residence.

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