Presentation at Insight India reunion 2011
Friday 16th September 2011, London
Follow the journey of Ekatva at www.ekatva.blogspot.com
Despite my firm grasp of Gujarati and Hindi, upon coming across this word I had no clue as to what it meant and I’m sure it is the same for all of you.
So what is Ekatva? Ekatva means oneness, wholeness, togetherness.
It is an experiment designed to touch the lives and spirits of 16 underprivileged children through dance and art, while inspiring the souls of thousands across the world.
These children came from some of the largest slums of Ahmedabad, Gujarat and were selected through a nine month audition process, exemplifying the talent that these young individuals must possess. They are currently being trained and developed, by two mentors from Manav Sadhna and teachers from Darpana Academy, to perform a 90-minute dance-drama production sharing Gandhiji’s message of ‘Oneness’.
After one year of training and development, the children will be ready to tour the show across India, the US, and the UK. By completing this journey they hope to spread seeds of goodness and compassion throughout the world.
16 children evenly split 8 boys 8 girls- age from 10-14
Fortunately, the numbers were roughly even and each participant (so one of us) was paired up with one of the Ekatva children. You would have thought that as the majority of us could only cough out basic Gujarati, that language barrier would be a problem but it wasn’t like that at all. Instantly, a connection.. a bond was made between the participant and child.
They were so open, innocent, happy and care-free and this made it easier to interact. Even though it was the first time we had met each other, neither participant nor Ekatva child felt out of their comfort zone.
Communicating with my partner was very interesting. Others may have done things differently, but my icebreaker was to show my partner my family. Straight away, I brought up some pictures on my phone – a baby picture of myself with my mum, and then a more recent family photo. The reaction was immediate – at once, he was excited and was bursting with different questions about my family members. I personally enjoyed this interaction.