On Monday, 1 October, members from different Indian communities came together to support the folks of Kerala and Coorg and the farmers of NSW, ‘Rise’ from the depths of despair that had befallen them and ‘Restore’ normalcy into their lives, by helping them rebuild a fraction of what they had lost. ‘Rise & Restore’ was the fund raising initiative by Sydney Malayalee Association and Bowman Hall in Blacktown was witness to this very unique and novel cultural extravaganza where 20 different dance groups with over 140 talented artists of all ages participated. In addition, there was an hour long of pure musical pleasure presented by the Indian-Sri Lankan band who amongst other songs, belted out peppy A R Rahman numbers in Tamil and Hindi that elicited a euphoric response from the audience. The audience also saw a rare display of talent from the painter sisters Mili Dakshin and Khushi Dakshin whose paintings raised a substantial amount for the cause.
The political dignitaries who attended the function and showed their support included Dr Geoff Lee, member for Parramatta, who also represented Gladys Berejiklian, the Premier of NSW, Jodi McKay, member for Strathfield, who also represented Luke Foley MP, Leader of Opposition, Lord Mayor Andrew Wilson of Parramatta, Mr Kevin Connolly, member for Riverstone, who also represented Ray Williams, Minister for Multiculturism, Julia Finn, member for Granville, Durga Owen, who represented Michelle Rowland, Federal Member for Greenway, Susai Benjamin and Moninder Singh, Councillors of Blacktown City Council, Charishma Kaliyanda, Councillor Liverpool City Council, Sameer Pandey, Councillor of Parramatta City Council, Dr. G K Harinath, Chair of Multicultural NSW, and Lord Mayor Stephen Bali of Blacktown who had very generously offered the venue for free.
The event was a real show strength and proved beyond doubt what can be achieved when many hands come together—it makes the work lighter for sure. The new executive committee of Sydney Malayalee Association under the able guidance of K P Jose did an amazing job in garnering a huge support. While a series of adversities may have brought everyone together, let us hope the camaraderie and good will it generated continues to flourish for ever.