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Celebrate India Day on Aug. 17

Friday, August 15, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS Indian culture is alive in Indy.  And you can experience it this weekend! This Sunday, Aug. 17, the fourth annual India Day Celebration will take place on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. The event, hosted by the India Association of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Hyderabad Sister City Committee, and the Mayor's Office, is an annual celebration of India’s Independence Day. It features a parade, vendors, cultural performances, cricket, and a fashion show.

This year, Anita Lerche, a Danish Punjabi singer, will appear at the event. Lerche, who recently relocated to Indianapolis, is the only Western woman to record a solo album in Punjabi. She has performed in more than 16 languages for crowds of up to 50,000 people.

“My passion is to spread happiness, unite different cultures and bring the East and West together through my singing,” Lerche said.

On Sept. 20, Lerche will perform at a free concert to benefit Christel House India. “An Evening Celebrating Christel House India” will take place at the Athenaeum on Sept. 20, 2014. There’s no cost for the event. However, guests must reserve their seats by Sept. 12 at www.christelhouse.org/events.

Want to learn more?

The Christel House office would be happy to connect media with Anita Lerche for an interview and provide high-resolution photos of Lerche as well as the students of Christel House India.

About India Day

When:                  Sunday, Aug. 17, 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Where:                 Monument Circle, Downtown Indianapolis

Why:                     To celebrate India’s Independence Day

In India, Independence Day is a national holiday held each year on Aug. 15. The event celebrates India’s independence from Great Britain on Aug. 15, 1947, after years of violent and nonviolent struggle, and the displacement of millions of people due to sectarian violence. In India, the prime minister raises a flag and gives a speech, and Indians celebrate with parades, kite-flying, cultural events, and their own flag-hoisting ceremonies.

The Indianapolis event kicks off with a parade beginning south of Monument Circle and heading north from South Meridian and Washington Street. Indian food and merchandise vendors span the Circle, and singers and dance groups perform on the main stage throughout the celebration. Allow plenty of time for parking, as metered parking is free on Sundays.

About “An Evening Celebrating Christel House India” on Sept. 20, 2014

When:                  Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, 6:30 p.m.

Where:                 The Athenaeum, 407 E. Michigan St.

Why:                     To celebrate—and benefit—Christel House India

There is no cost for the event, but seating must be reserved by Sept. 12.

Register at www.christelhouse.org/events.

The evening’s performance—a fusion of music and dance from the East and West—will showcase the art and culture of India. This is the first time Anita Lerche will perform with the Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, which specializes in social engagement and cultural fusion.

During the show’s intermission, audience members will preview a new video featuring a Christel House student from India, which is home to two Christel House learning centers. The student, Archana, who studies at Christel House Bangalore, has also created a piece of original artwork that will be sold at auction. All proceeds from the auction, as well as voluntary donations, will benefit Christel House India and its 1,300 students.

“Without Christel House, I would not be getting a proper education,” Archana said. “I would never imagine my future.”

About Christel House India

Christel House India serves more than 1,300 children, helping them overcome poverty to succeed in school, gain university admission, and secure formal sector employment. Eighty-five percent of Christel House graduates in India pursue higher education. Only 10 percent of students graduate from high school in the state where Bangalore is located.

www.christelhouse.org (Click on “our schools” to see details on the two Indian schools.)

“The obstacles facing Christel House students are daunting—daily exposure to gang warfare, drugs, alcoholism, hunger, abuse, negative role models, violence, suffering, and discrimination—but every day our students come to school, learn, and set their sights on a better tomorrow. They have dreams, and while at Christel House their aspiration is to make those dreams become reality. We celebrate their determination and courage. They are breaking through the barriers of poverty to build a new and better life for themselves and a future for their families. They are our heroes, and role models for others to follow.”—Christel DeHaan, Christel House Founder and CEO

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About Christel House International
Christel House solves the problem of poverty. It doesn’t just treat the symptoms. Once that cycle of poverty is broken, all future generations benefit.  Much more than a school, CHI was established in 1998 by its Founder, Christel DeHaan, and currently provides more than 4,000 impoverished children around the world with high quality education, nutritious meals, regular health care, character and life skills development, and career counseling.   Students graduate to become productive citizens.  They are confident, hardworking, responsible and ethical, with a passion for giving back to their communities and caring for their families.  CHI operates seven learning centers in India, Mexico, South Africa, and the U.S.A., as well as a career development program in Venezuela. For more information, please visit www.christelhouse.org.