Every human being comes to this world with a purpose. They are interconnected with the society for various purposes and at some point of their lives they pay it forward in some form or another to their motherland, family and friends. This “pay it forward” is taking a new meaning under the present circumstances.

The pandemic around us needs no introduction, but the problems arising because of it needs special attention, humility, solidarity and the most important of all: consciousness. People all over the world are reacting to this new unknown miniscule of an organism in different ways and will have tales to be told for centuries to come. Everyone is complaining of issues like depression, stress, job and school concerns and many such things. However, on the other side, the artiste and craftsmen’s lives have taken an extreme downturn because how much their success depends on performance and selling of their good for livelihood. They have lost their source of income, not only due to cancellation of their shows but also due to non-availability for a market to sell their goods.

Hence, I am pleasured to mention a special group of individuals who have made their aims in life to not just think about their loved ones, but also for the local musicians back from their homeland in Assam, India.

Assam, one of the seven sisters in the North Eastern part of India, bears a historical significance when it comes to our famous Kamakshya Temple, our forever green tea plantations and for our River Brahmaputra. Assam is also known for its sericulture, the rich Assamese tradition of age old folk music, its ethnic pottery made of brass, and one of the recognized classical dance forms in India “Xatriya”. These traditions and cultures have been kept alive for generations by local folk artistes and craftsmen.

Assamese people are also known for their hospitality, grace and big hearts worldwide. Even during the time of this pandemic, the few yearning hearts of our Assamese people in the United States have not lost their ethnicity, love and gratitude that they feel towards their homeland. They have come together, to form a solidarity group called “Shilpi Sewa”, to address a problem far beyond their personal lives, agenda and imaginations. This togetherness has molded into a fantastic, first time ever, virtual musical show to fundraise for folk artistes of Assam. These artistes are sole earners in their families, impacted due to COVID-19 and the relentless flood situations in Assam.

Shilpi Sewa is spearheading a fundraising drive, uniting Assamese diaspora from all over the globe, to stand by our brothers and sisters in our homeland Assam. This fundraising campaign is being coordinated with Star Artistes of Assam, News Media, entrepreneurs and Music entities from Assam along with Assamese community members of North America. Shilpi Sewa will not keep any of the community contribution from this fundraiser and plans to donate the entire amount to folk artistes, the beneficiaries of this fundraiser event, all the expenses, which are minimal, are covered by volunteers of Shilpi Sewa. All members of Shilpi Sewa are volunteers as well as the star performers of this event will not receive any remuneration.

On August 15th 2020, India’s Independence Day, lets provide a little independence to these struggling co-inhibitors of our pandemic ridden world. Let’s join hands in praying for the lost lives during this situation, help lessen the pain and sufferings of our friends who provide entertainment and put a smile in our faces during normal times. It’s our responsibility to lessen their burden during these unforeseen circumstances and make some humanitarian efforts to bring peace and harmony to this world.

A few words from our celebrity artistes for this program:

Zubeen Garg: It’s time to stand together to help our fellow artistes from Assam in need. I am standing with Shilpi Sewa team to raise funds for this noble cause. Please join us and help.

Kalpana Patowari: As a folk artistes myself, I am immensely glad to support other folk artistes of Assam. I am happy that North America based our Assamese brothers and sisters have come forward with a fund raising initiative Shilpi Sewa to financially help our folk artistes in Assam during COVID-19 crisis. Let’s join hands together to support this noble cause.

Joi Barua: In the times of this pandemic, I feel honored to have been invited by the Assamese community in the US & Canada for this noble initiative. Life gets to be more beautiful once we start giving back. My regards to everyone connected with Shilpi Sewa.

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