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Canadian artists join global online concert to seek support for rural India covid relief

Gandhian non-profits in Canada, U.S.A. and India are collaborating to host an online music and dance fundraising event on July 10th, attended by Shashi Tharoor and Ujjal Dev Dosanjh

By Joyeeta Ray

As large parts of rural India continue to face massive crises following the unparalleled surge of covid-19 infections, Gandhian non-profit organizations in Canada and the United States have collaborated with Ekta Parishad in India to raise awareness and seek support for frontline women responders in rural India through an online solidarity event on Saturday, July 10th, from 5:00 to 7:30 pm EST.

The event that includes a silent art auction will be hosted by popular Bollywood singer and radio personality, Geet Sagar.

Speakers include Indian politician and author Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Canadian politician and lawyer, Ujjal Dev Dosanjh, and American educator Maya Soetoro-Ng.

Renowned musician Jim Cuddy will be donating his time to the cause with his sons, Devin Cuddy and Sam Polley.

Other artists in the lineup are Indian folk music legend Megha Dalton, modern musician Siddarth Singh, American dancer Rosanna Tavarez, the Nad Roop troupe of Kathak dancers from Pune, India, and Niyathi Biju from Bangalore.

The musical program is a collaboration between INGP Canada, The International Gandhian Institute for Nonviolence and Peace Canada, Jai Jagat International, Ekta Parishad in India and Dharma in Motion, USA.

India’s second lockdown in 2021 has led to mass job losses that has spiked up poverty, especially in rural regions.

“Women and children are most affected,” says Jill Carr-Harris, founder of the women’s division of Ekta Parishad who is currently in her hometown Toronto to round-up support through community drives. It is difficult for families in remote villages to access health care, oxygen and vaccines, she says.

A large number of people are struggling with basic needs: food, ambulance, transportation and medicines. The long-term goal is to help grassroots frontline workers gain greater self-reliance and covid resilience.

Funds will provide immediate interventions such as:  home-care, village-based isolation units (including food and water as starvation mounts), emergency and medical aid.

The international solidarity event is free and open to all. It will be streamed live on Facebook. To access zoom link, password and event details, please click here.

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