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Archive for September, 2014

This year is very special for Janyaa for multiple reasons. We had a very successful fundraising Gala in April, we are initiating new programs, adding numerous new experiments and more.. We are also doing it solo, so one less thing to focus on. But phew, have never seen so many Dandias in Bay area. It’s difficult, but hey, when you have a fabulous team, why worry? We continue to get fabulous volunteers to support us.

When the team asked me to lead this year’s fund raising Dandia, I immediately jumped at the opportunity as dance has been a passion since childhood. With absolutely no prior experience in hosting an event of such huge scale, I immediately worked on forming a core team who I know will deliver for sure. Things like Finances, Contracts, Logistics, Band, Sponsorships were immediately taken care of. Then the whole team focused on Marketing. Special thanks to Venu for showing us the right direction and supporting us. Whatever we did sure seemed to work as we got tremendous response from the entire community.

Two months of hard work by the team made this event possible and highly successful. In the middle of such an electrifying evening, I took a moment to stand in a corner and took it all in. Looking at beautiful smiles, happy kids, colorful attires and non stop dancing made it all worth it. More than anything I am super happy that we could raise funds for the kids who need the most.
I’m so proud of being part of a great team who worked day and night selflessly and would respond within few minutes when asked for something. Thank you Bhagavathi Kumar, Prasanna Adusumilli, Kaushik Macherla, Neha Sharma, Sreedhar Racharla for all your hard work, dedication and unimaginable passion to make this a successful event so that we can empower many under privileged children in India with hands of learning.
Special shout out to Namitha Sripathi, Rajesh Shastry, Ramadasu Puli, Abhishikta Chava, Anu Narang, Chaitali Gohel, Aarti Gupta, Karthi Gopalan, Shikha Mittal, Niraj Patel, Mansi Mavani, Sucharita Paruchuri, Subha Gupta, Alima Kanumilli, Jyoti Patel, Ruma Sanyal, Abhilasha Upadhyay, Smita Biswas for helping us along the way.

Feedback from community (posted on our Facebook page):

” Excellent event – Mind blowing. Not a single person complained and everyone is enjoying the event.Great job”
“Absolutely fantastic event ! We loved it and looking forward to the next”

“Amazing event.. we had so much fun”
“Amazing garba night.. hands down the best dandia event I have been part of”

“Excellent event! True festive experience where everyone had fun”
“Enjoyed so much! Thanks for organizing this; and count me in, next year!
Well Organized, where everyone actively participated and enjoyed by having lots of memorable moments”
Loved the POSITIVE VIBE and the kids looked super cute in desi outfits”

Team says..

“I had an awesome experience working on Dandia nite. It was very well planned and I learnt a lot”

“It was such an amazing event. Events like this motivates me to do more. Hats off!”
“This year’s dandia event was very special as it was solely organized by Janyaa. The event was planned in detail, well organized and all the aspects were taken care of. It felt nice seeing capacity crowds and the way volunteers handled the entire process in a planned way”
“I’m glad that I got an opportunity to work on this special fund raising event for Janyaa. It was a fabulous experience”

“All the hard work was well worth it for such a great event and a greater cause”

“All my tiredness and fatigue disappeared as soon as I saw it all come together. Excellent example of team work and collaboration. Go Janyaa”

More updates and pics on Facebook

— Usha

2013 memoirs

2012 memoirs

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This year we were planning Janyaa Masterminds event in October and we didn’t want to do Dandia as Masterminds was more important for us. But then Apeksha approached us on behalf of her friends and we decided to be a silent partner by not getting involved with any logistics and helping with marketing and ticket sales. So we partnered with Jhankaar Beats and helped where we can. As always our volunteers were there to help on the event day and they did a great job.

Alima was another person who helped us a lot with the event details from Janyaa’s side. She handled quite a few discussions for us. Good to have someone like her who is calm and composed all the time. 

We were helping at registration and Sreedhar Racharla took the responsibility. He is just amazing. He was meticulous. He coordinated with volunteers and took care of entire registration process with our partners overlooking the process. Thanks to him, I could go late and enjoy the time with friends. That’s when I realized, I can have more such days with fabulous people coming into the team one after the other. Enjoyed the night with friends, thanks to wonderful volunteers and a great effort from Sreedhar.

We settled the accounts with Apeksha and Alima and that’s how that journey ended for 2013.

 2012 Memoirs

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Back in May 2012, Namita Sripathi wanted to volunteer for Janyaa and while talking to her she said why don’t we do Dandia. We told her that we thought about it but we didn’t get to it as we had other things to work on. She said she will help and we should do it. We spoke to Apeksha Anand from Jhankaar Beats about it and she said she will help us too. We discussed within our team and we decided to go ahead with it. That’s how Janyaa’s Dandia journey was born.

We started working on venue and we asked Raju Chidambaram in July if his band can play for our Dandia. He is the one who came up with the Disco Dandia concept. Do you remember that Raju? We decided the day as Oct 6th. He was kind enough to adjust the schedule of his other band members. On July 24th we finalized the band. We almost finalized the venue too.

The 3 musketeers who helped kick off Janyaa’s Dandia series 🙂

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The same night Venu received an email from Ena on working together for Utsav which they were planning for the same day. We emailed her back saying we are planning Dandia on same day indicating we cannot be part of it. She said why don’t you do it here and let’s talk about it. And that’s how we started off. Everything remained the same except for the venue – the passion to do Dandia, the team, the band, the hard work etc. continued.

Since then Janyaa team worked very hard for the event. VP was personally spending a lot of time on Utsav too. It was fun working with the girls. Ranjani Santosh: do you remember the long nights you worked on this? Venu would get emails from Karthi asking her to sleep :). Janyaa team was working on Dandia and V could afford to spend the time on Utsav. That was a great experience.

We didn’t have the budget to play our ad on radio. So we did not have any publicity on any audio/visual media. Venu gave Amitabh Bhargava both Utsav and Dandia posters and he was kind enough to help us put them up all over. We also started posting the event details online. We had 3 people do this for us. Shiva and one more girl posted on online sites. Amit Chopra (Priyanka Chopra) posted on meetups. We emailed them asking to post both Utsav/Dandia events. Amit suggested putting ads in local newspapers for Dandia. We replied back saying it will cost us and we cannot afford :).

We had a huge turnout. We don’t know how much the above marketing helped us. But we know for sure it was mainly because of few individuals we could sell majority of our tickets. Apeksha was the star selling few hundreds, Namitha sold couple of hundreds. Apeksha was very generous – she would sell to people saying the sales benefit Janyaa. She did not even use her own Jhankaar Beats. Same with all other friends. No wonder most people at the event were talking more about Janyaa. Usha rallied our SAP colleagues/friends and got couple of hundreds. They covered almost 3/4ths of the sales. Venu, Anwesa Chatterjee, Gayatri Palepu and few other friends covered almost the rest. Girls, you are just awesome. We filled up because of you.

Janyaa volunteers played a huge role as always. We couldn’t have done Dandia without them.

In the end we had an awesome event. We settled the accounts at SAP Cafe in the presence of the CEOs of Janyaa, Jhankaar Beats and WN, Sonam and treasurer for the event (Shobana). Janyaa shared the profits equally from ticket sales alone with WomenNow for providing us with the venue and for partnering with us. 

That was all the money we got from entire event – as that was what we were entitled to, as agreed. Boy, aren’t we glad to see it helped so many kids in India. And that’s how that fabulous journey ended for 2012.

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