Rajasthan's Nidhi Ladda and Gujarat's Krupa Patel delivered a captivating performance of Indian classical dance forms as the first arangetram was held at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in NY's Times Square. Jaipur Foot USA chairman and Rajasthan Association of North America (RANA) president Prem Bhandari was the chief guest at the historic event.
Gracing the event virtually, Juna Peethadheeshwar Acharya Mahamandaleshwar Swami Avdheshanand Giri Maharaj said in a video message that Indian culture, music and literature have attracted people from all over the world. He further said that such events are important in making the world aware of the rich Indian culture. Avdheshanand Giri lauded Bhandari's efforts on these lines.
"Prem Bhandari is doing great work in the society through Jaipur Foot. He is organising such cultural events in America which is inspirational," the noted Indian seer said.
Prem Bhandari is also the chairman of REDIO — Rescuing every Distressed Indian Overseas. He has been at the forefront of the cause of OCI cardholders for several years and came forward to the aid of many Indians by easing their travel during the challenging times of COVID-19 pandemic. Most recently, he has also been working through REDIO to help Indians stranded in the Ukraine return to their country.
As the chairman of Jaipur Foot USA, whose parent organisation is Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), Bhandari has been associated with several international camps under the leadership of Padma Bhushan D.R. Mehta over the years. Since its inception in 1975, BMVSS has helped over 2 million differently-abled people globally through 85 international camps in 35 countries across Asia, Latin America and Africa. The artificial limbs, popularly referred to as Jaipur Foot cost the organisation $70, but the beneficiaries are not charged a single penny.
Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan also attended the arangetram ceremony virtually. He congratulated Bhandari for his cooperation in organising such a grand event.
"I congratulate Prem Bhandariji for his constant support to the event. It is indeed a proud moment for all of us, especially the parents of these promising artists. To see such an amazing event happen at the prestigious Carnegie Hall," Muraleedharan said.
"I extend my best wishes and greetings to Nidhi Ladda and Krupa Patel and special appreciation for their parents for encouraging them to pursue Indian dance form and continue India's culture abroad. On this occasion, I congratulate and appreciate Guru Bina Menon for nurturing and promoting Indian dance forms that represent India's rich cultural heritage and its traditions rooted in its value systems," he added.
Arangetram at Carnegie Hall
There were more than 600 people from the American and Indian communities in the audience, who witnessed the enthralling dance performances by Nidhi Ladda and Krupa Patel. The young artists, who are the disciples of dance guru Bina Menon, made a connection with the audience through their flawless expressions as they performed Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Mohiniyattam.
Nidhi and Krupa were presented with citations by community leaders Albert Jasani and Rajiv Bhambri on behalf of New York Mayor Eric Adams for their captivating performance.
Bhandari presented a certificate of recognition to Nritya Guru Menon, who is a recipient of "Kerala Ratna - Gem of Kerala" for her contribution and promoting Indian Art and Culture in America. The talented dance guru has choreographed a Broadway show Ramayana Ballet while her students have performed for former US President Bill Clinton, Prime Mister of India Narendra Modi and alongside AR Rahman at the 2009 Oscars.