As part of my gratitude practice, I repeatedly give thanks for my life during the 2020-2021 pandemic. While those closest to me stayed safe, I have numerous friends who lost a loved one to the Coronavirus. Living in the United States, I deposited stimulus and unemployment checks and lined up in April for my vaccines. Additionally, since March 2020, I have been chanting with my favorite kirtan artists around the globe. Now, they are uniting to Chant for India.
I began international travel two weeks after my second dose. Originally, India was on my wish list for 2021. However, now I rather doubt I'll visit in 2022.
According to one tracker, as of today, there are 2.85 million cases of Covid in India. The situation is so dire that there is now a new generation of orphans arising from the pandemic.
Although India produces a number of antiviral Coronavirus vaccines, only three percent of the population is fully vaccinated. Yesterday, Vice President Kamala Harris committed U.S. vaccine surplus to Prime Minister Modi. The quantity and timing are not clear. Nevertheless, it’s safe to say that given the size of India, whatever donations are sent will not be nearly enough.
Ashoka Nalamalapu is not a politician. He doesn’t own a pharmaceutical company nor did he invent a new cure. But he is unstoppable with his desire to help his homeland get through the crisis. He is hosting Chant for India, a five-hour online musical benefit for India this Sunday.
Nalamalapu arrived in the U.S. in 1987 with just $100. He managed to complete his master’s degree. Then, he built an IT company. More recently, he created a kirtan (call and response devotional music) band. So, Chant for India may be a simple but very admirable undertaking for him.
He united some of my favorite Kirtan stars for the June 6 benefit concert. The lineup includes Grammy nominees Krishna Das, Deva Premal & Mitten, Jai Uttal, Snatam Kaur and Sopurkh Singh, and Manose. Chant for India starts at 12:15 pm EST.
Register and support this worthwhile cause as you join the artists and Chant for India. Funds will go directly to Sri Ramakrishna Mission for equipment and other immediate needs of 12 government-owned hospitals. These facilities offer free healthcare, allowing for under-resourced communities to receive care.
“We chose the Andhra Medical College Hospitals as they serve people who are poor financially, where the need is the greatest,” Nalamalapu said. “We are doing the donation through the Ramakrishna Mission, as it is the purest Ashram that I know of. It is a great blessing that we can be of service with this event.”
Nalamalapu added, “I am so touched that the Kirtan and yoga community are stepping up for Mother India. I have never seen such devastation and suffering in the land of my birth and it’s truly imperative that anyone who has been touched by the Indian spirituality of Kirtan, yoga, dharma, and meditation offer what they can to help the country and people who brought these beautiful and meaningful spiritual practices to the world.”
For more on the artists, visit their websites, check out their music, and read my prior posts. (Click on the "kirtan and bhakti" button in my search engine.)