The torrential rain in Chennai has resulted in terrible flooding during November-December last year, resulting in the death of hundreds of people and thousands of families have been displaced. Twenty organizations representing the Indian community in the US came together to organize a concert to raise funds for rehabilitation work in flood-hit Chennai, they have held the fund raiser concert titled 'Ek Shaam Chennai Ke Naam’ at the Waterford Banquet Hall in Chicago for Chennai flood relief. To the pleasant surprise for the organizers, within no time, a whopping $45,000 was raised at the event, which will be donated to Association for India's Development in order to enable it to take up relief-oriented initiatives.
Among the organizations that threw their weight behind the fundraising concert were Desi Junction Radio, FIA, Jeen Varghese and Chicago-for-Chennai-Group.
According to CEO of Desi Junction Radio,Ms. Jassi Parmar bringing together all the Indian communities under one roof for a noble cause provided a great sense of achievement to the organizers. "The entire credit goes to fifty-plus volunteers, performers, sponsors, donors, and vendors," she said.
Raja Krishnamoorthi who was part of the core team behind Barack Obama's successful White House run in 2008 was also among those who attended the concert. He said the floods in Chennai have touched a chord among the Indian Diaspora in the US. "The Indian-Americans, even though thousands of miles away from India, are comrades-in-arms, and are ever ready to reach out to their fellow-Indians, whenever required", he said. He also underlined the need for achieving the long-term solution to the problem of recurring floods in India. "Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Smart Cities Mission is an opportunity to revisit the potential impact of haphazard development that is happening in the urban centers in India," he said.
Actress Neetu Chandra said natural calamities such as floods are the litmus test for communities to show to the world that they come together during such times of community crises and should provide assistance to each other. "The acts of bravery, love, kindness, and resilience, demonstrated by Chennaites have become a source of inspiration to people, across the globe, in grappling with the natural calamities," she said. Chandra's instantaneous offer to dance with those who donate $500 was grabbed by several in the audience as an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This was followed by a near dance riot by Neetu Chandra and her hardcore fans, dollars pouring in from all directions, and, naturally, a big smile on faces of the organizers.
A high-voltage entertainment program was also presented by the artists belonging to the Yeh Cheez Group, Desi Junction, Comedy Junction, etc. The singers presented a large numbers of hit tracks from Bollywood and uplifted the mood of the audience.
All donations to this fund will exclusively support local relief and recovery efforts in Chennai, providing relief to victims by helping purchase emergency supplies such as food, water, and medicine in addition to longer-term recovery assistance to the Chennai citizens