Event raises $10,000 for Professorial Chair at Harvard University
For the first time in at least a decade, members of the Tamil-speaking community ignored their petty differences and got together to support a group of young men and women to celebrate the international status of the Language.
The Programme, organised by ‘The New Zealand Tamil Youth Group,’ was held on Sunday, February 11, 2018 at Mt Eden War Memorial Hall in Auckland to raise funds for the establishment of a Tamil Professorial Chair at Harvard University (USA).
More than 600 men, women and children attended the event with Raj Mohan Arumugam of ‘Put Chutney’ fame as the Chief Guest, Members of Parliament Michael Wood and Priyanca Radhakrishnan (both from Labour Party) and former Muthamil Sangam President Ray Annamalai were among the Guests of Honour.
They helped to raise about $10,000 for the Harvard Chair. It may be a far cry from the estimated cost of US$ 1 million but considering the size of the community and modest income of most Tamilians, it was a creditable feat.
It is likely that similar programmes will be held in Wellington and perhaps Hamilton and/or Christchurch to lift the level of contribution from New Zealand.
Apart from speeches, the Programme comprised classical and folk dances, performances by children depicting Tamil scholars and poets and song and dance sequences from recent Tamil films and release of a special audio track commemorating the occasion.
Mr Wood and Ms Radhakrishnan spoke about their affinity towards the Tamil-speaking people in New Zealand and hoped that closer engagement could promote better understanding of Tamil culture and heritage.
Teenager Ambika Krishnamoorthy drew repeated accolades for her superb rendition of two Bharatanatyam items, both composed by Madurai R Muralidharan. The dance numbers demonstrated the growing prowess of the youngster. There was dedication and concentration, especially in the segment that portrayed the valor and anger of ‘Shakthi,’ the all-embracing power of Mother and Motherhood.
A folk-dance number presented by the students of Melanie Jeyakumar, Director and Principal of the Hamilton based Sutra Academy showed the budding talents in the community.
The ‘Chennai City Gangzta’ rocked as they presented a few song and dance sequences from popular Tamil films.
Indian Newslink acknowledges with pride the services of a group of young volunteers who worked hard for more than two months to put together the event.
Among them were Mahesh Babu, Raja, Vinoth, Hari, Guhan, Sowndra Rajan, Pradeep, Vijay, Anthony Ajit, Milto and Pradeep Raj.
Other credits are due to Nivetha (Posters), Gayathiri, Sathya, Raja (Masters of Ceremonies),
Dinesh, Prabhu, Guhan, Muni Babu, Aaron, Monish, Suren (Catering Coordinators), Raisa, Lakshmi, Praneema, Sudhagar, Meena (Volunteers).
Sowndra said that the Programme received the patronage of Prem Kumar, Veera Raj, Senthil Nathan and Ilango Krishnamoorthy.
The New Zealand Tamil Youth Group is seeking Sponsorship for the Event in the following categories: Event Sponsor: $2000; Platinum Sponsor: $750; Gold Sponsor: $500; Silver Sponsor: $250. Donations can also be deposited into the bank account of ‘NZ Tamil Youth Group’ at Kiwi Bank (Account Number 38-9019-0330051-00).
Further details can be obtained from Sowndra Rajan on 021-180-4908; Pradeep on 021-442147; Bala Murugan in Hamilton on 021-08190564; Veera Raj in Wellington on 021-1667209. Facebook (HarvardTamilChair).