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Internationally acclaimed Odissi performers, who were raised in Adruta Children’s Home in Bhubhaneshwar, Odisha, put up a spectacular show at the Cubberley Theatre in Palo Alto, Calif. July 2. Event organizer Dr. Jogesh Pati, an Indian American scientist at the SLAC National Laboratory in Menlo Park, Calif., noted that “Adruta is a successful experiment in humanitarism.” (Swagato Basumallick photo)

Seven girls who were raised in Adruta Children’s Home, an orphanage in Bhubhaneshwar, Odisha, performed to a packed audience at the Cubberley Theater in Palo Alto, Calif. July 2.

The internationally acclaimed Odissi performers, Amrita, Anjali, Jyotsnarani, Priyanka, Purnima, Spandita and Pranita, who were raised in this transformative orphanage since they were infants, received not only shelter, food, and health care, but a loving home that instills the importance of education and the arts.

Many of the girls also have excellent academic records and are attending top-rated schools and universities in India.

Their performances, choreographed by guru Bharat Charan Giri, have received awards at the world-renowed Agra and Konark dance festivals.

“I don’t think we have ever enjoyed a performance more than the Odissi dance performance, which was held to support the marvelous work of the Adruta Children’s Home,” said Prof. Leonard Susskin, director of the Stanford Institute for theoretical physics, who attended the performance with his wife.

Event organizer Dr. Jogesh Pati, Padma Bhushan awardee and world-renowned scientist at the SLAC National Laboratory in Menlo Park, Calif., who visited Adruta last year, noted that “Adruta is a successful experiment in humanitarism. I was touched to see how the abandoned children, including some newborn babies, are being brought up in an environment of love and care, that clearly shows in the smiles and the cheerful spirits of all the children.”

The Indian American scientist also credited the efforts of founder Prof. Aditya Kumar Mohanty, who started the institution with his own savings 18 years ago. Mohanty was joined by Gayatri Tripathy, Dr. Sagarika Mishra and others to accomplish an expansion to 11 other centers across the state housing some 440 children.

Among others who attended and lauded the performance included Rishi Kumar, Saratoga city council member, and Cupertino Rotary Club members. The Rotary team visited the children’s home during a trip to India as part of their international projects tour due to the sister city relations between Cupertino and Bhubaneshwar. The Cupertino Bhubaneswar Sister City Initiative, a community-based non-profit organization that conducts art, culture and student exchange programs supported by both cities, was established in 2012.

Orrin Mahoney, former mayor of Cupertino, was part of the visiting group and commented on how “impressed he was with the artistic progress the girls he met have made.”

Mahesh Pakala, event organizer and board member at CBSCI, said he “hopes that cultural and education exchange between Odisha and the Bay Area continues to grow.”

Gilbert Wong, city council member and former mayor of Cupertino presented the Adruta Dance Troupe with a commendation.

For more information on how to support Project Adruta, please contact Reena Rao: reenaprao@gmail.com.

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