Charity Projects

Co-ordinator : Manju Sreekumar

  1. 1. Water and Sanitation Project at Azania & Jamhuri Secondary Schools, Ilala district.

Azania Secondary School has over 3000 students and Jamhuri Secondary School has more than a 1000 students.

With the twin aims of encouraging more girl students to attend school regularly and to make a positive difference to the quality of their school life, a project to provide safe drinking water as well as sanitation and hygiene facilities in a sustainable manner and with clear management systems was undertaken in the above two schools. Both these schools, although situated in the heart of Dar es Salaam, lacked these basic facilities that are essential in any regular school.

Kalamandalam did the following at these schools:

Azania Secondary School:

  1. a. Plumbing Work
  • 2 Water Tanks, each with 5000 litre capacity, were supplied & installed along with new pipes and fittings. They were installed in the premises on the ground with cement-based flooring and were used to supply water to the school premises, laboratories and washroom
  • A water pump of 1 horse power with a pressure switch was installed along with the water tanks.
  • A 3000 litre capacity water tank was replaced underground near the campus area for water supply to the campus building.
  1. b. Water Filtration Unit
  • A complete water filtration unit (AQUA) was installed with a sink basin  for the end user
  • A separate 2000 litre capacity water tank was installed for pure drinking water along  with a cement-based stand

  1. c. Drainage System
  • Damaged drainage chambers were demolished and new ones were constructed with man hole covers. All necessary fittings used to reconstruct the system were provided.
  • Old drainage chambers were cleaned  and the required plumbing work was carried out.

  1. d. Kisima (Well) Pump
  • The manual hand pump that was in use was removed and an automatic well pump (Kisima) was installed along with all the necessary electrical power points for domestic use

Jamhuri Secondary School

  1. a. Plumbing Work
  • 2 Water Tanks, each with 5000 litre capacity, were installed along with new pipes and fittings. They were installed in the premises on the ground with cement-based flooring and were used to supply water to the school premises and the washrooms. 1 tank of 5000 litre capacity was installed above school building to work simultaneously.
  • A water pump of 1 horse power with a pressure switch was installed along with water tanks.
  1. b. Water Filtration Unit
  • A complete water filtration unit (AQUA) was installed with a sink basin  for the end user
  • A separate 2000 litre capacity water tank was installed for pure drinking water with a cement-based stand.
  • A security grill with a lock was installed for the filtration unit.

  1. c. Toilets
  • 3 complete Western toilets were installed along with pipe fittings.
  • A hand washing basin and a kitchen mixer for domestic use were fitted near the washroom.

  1. 2. Building a school building for the Tondoroni School in Kiluvya Ward, Kisarawe district.

Tondoroni is a nondescript village in Kisarawe district blessed with scenic surroundings. Lack of proper roads, transport facilities and water makes life miserable for the few thousands of villagers living in the area.

The Tondoroni Primary School premises were taken over by the Jeshi and the school was asked to move out because of the pathetic condition of the structure. Land for a new school building was allocated a few kilometers away but the children in the area were forced to temporarily join a school 7 km away, until a new school was built. To bring an end to their hardship, Kalamandalam with guidance from the village council has built a complete school with class rooms, teacher’s room, headmaster’s room and toilets.

As this goes to print, the survey for the digging of bore wells is complete and work is scheduled to start soon.

  1. 3. Building of class rooms for the Kiluvya A Primary School in Kiluvya Ward, Kisarawe district.

In the village of Kiluvya is the Kiluvya A Primary School with around 300 students. The school was in dire need of a class room for class 6 and doesn’t have access to water.

Kalamandalam has built a class room, repaired their toilets and is in the process of digging a bore well for this school. Survey for the digging of the bore well is complete and the work is set to start soon.

  1. 4. Ambulance to Ananda Marg Charitable Mission hospital at Pugu Kinyamwezi .

Kalamandalam had organized a Medical Camp at Kisarawe in April within the Anandmarg Charitable Dispensary compound. This place is located near Chanika, exactly opposite to the Dar es Salaam Central Waste Dumpsite. This area was specifically chosen because of its unhealthy surroundings and due to the lack of proper specialized medical services there. As it was noted that a well equipped ambulance would have a significant positive impact on the lives of the underprivileged people living there, Kalamandalam undertook its procurement.

  1. 5. Paediatric Oncology Ward – Our dream project

Tanzania, a country of 41 million people, has pledged to make cancer treatment free for all patients and currently treatment for children with cancer is the responsibility of the pediatric oncology unit housed in temporary accommodation within the Children’s Hospital at Muhimbili National Hospital.  The ward sees over 300 new cases every year making it one of the world’s busiest children’s cancer wards and this figure is increasing annually. The ward is currently overwhelmed and unable to cope with and treat patients desirably.

Despite chronic overcrowding, the team has succeeded in improving one-year disease free survival rates from 12% in 2005 to 60% in 2009. The ward recently moved from the Ocean Road Hospital to Muhimbili National Hospital. It now has much improved access to many support facilities such as laboratory and blood transfusion services and emergency facilities, and is integrated with other paediatric services, as well as paediatric surgeons and paediatricians.

However, unless additional capacity (both in terms of space and technical facilities) is provided urgently, survival rates are expected to start falling. There is therefore a need for urgent action to maintain current success rates, as well as a plan to continue to improve the care given to children with cancer in Tanzania.

The proposed project entails constructing two linked roof top units of 400 m2 each on the front wings of the new Paediatric complex at Muhimbili National Hospital.  They will also be functionally ideal in their clinical adjacencies, plugging straight into the heart of the best paediatric medical team in the country.

The construction will be in two phases. Phase 1 will create an in-patient ward of 25 beds, crucially including 6 isolation rooms for immuno-suppressed children; and Phase 2 an integrated day treatment and outpatient assessment unit.

This project was initiated by the Rotary and Kalamandalam is proudly joining hands with them to build this Oncology ward, by being a major sponsor for the project.

This ward and its facilities will have an impact on the lives and health of generations of children to come. It is a matter of pride to all of us that Kalamandalam is able to make a lasting contribution to this country we have chosen as our home.

Our efforts culminated in the laying of the foundation stone for the ward at Muhimbili Hospital on Uhuru Day, 9th December at 9 a.m.  The project is expected to be complete in August 2012.

  1. 6. “Read to Feed” project run by Heifer International.

“Read to Feed” is a reading incentive, educational fundraising program from Heifer International. Heifer International is a non-profit organization that has been working in Tanzania for over 30 years. It selects qualified needy families and seeks to raise their standard of living by providing them with livestock such as goats, chickens or a cow.

How did it work?

Children were encouraged to read a book with an adult every day for the period March – April 2011 which coincided with their school holidays. Children would ask their relatives and friends to sponsor them to do this so that they could raise money for “Reed to feed”. Log Sheets were given to the children and each time the child read a book to an adult, the reading log was updated with the money sponsored by the adult. This money would be utilized by Heifer International to donate farm animals to hungry, impoverished families in Tanzania.

One of the most unique features of “Read to feed” is “Passing on the Gift”. Families who receive an animal under this program “repay” the loan by giving one or more of the animal’s offspring to another family in need. That family, in turn passes on the gift to another family. And thus, one gift multiplies throughout the community.


A report on the charity projects undertaken by Kalamandalam this year would be truly incomplete without special mention of Mr. B. S. Sreekumar’s contribution. Had it not been for his involvement in conceiving these projects, raising funds for them, and executing them, they would not have happened. He was intent on helping Kalamandalam reach out to the community in a meaningful way and ensuring that Kalamandalam became a significant contributing member of the community. Our sincere thanks to those KALAMANDALAM members who were with us in the implementation of these projects.

Christmas and New Year Celebrations’ 2011

Co-ordinator: Anil Kumar V

Date: 25th December, 2011  Venue : Agakhan Diamond Jubilee Hall

As in previous years, this year too, the Kalamandalam committee was eager to organize a mega grand finale to cap its tenure. With this in mind, the committee embarked on a screening spree to identify a team that they could bring from India to entertain community members. After much deliberation and discussion, Nadir Shah and his team were chosen for the event. For the convenience of members, many of whom were travelling towards the end of the year, this mega event was held on 25th December 2011 at the Diamond Jubilee Hall.

The team from India comprised of Nadir Shah, the uncrowned king of parody songs for over two decades, Ramesh Pisharadi, an upcoming comedian and movie star, Dharmajan known for his extempore wit, Baiju, the rocking rock star, Sheika, a playback singer who shot to fame with her sweet melodies and Santhosh who has innovated a unique style of dancing.

The program started with the customary welcome and Christmas message by the coordinator, Anil Kumar V.  The Christmas cake was cut by Sam Idicula and Padma Nair who celebrated their birthdays on the same day.

This was followed by the presentation of a report on the Charity Projects taken up by Kalamandalam this year. The presentation of the ambulance to the Anand Marg Charitable Dispensary was done by Mr. Sanjeev Kumar, CEO, Bank M. The ambulance was received by Swami Acharya Subratananda Avadhuta, of Ananda Marg Charitable Mission. This handover marked the end of the charitable activities of Kalamandalam for 2011.

The Kalamandalam calendar for the year 2012 was released by Anil Kumar and presented to Anita Reji.

Following this, Nadir Shah and team took centre stage and what a show it turned out to be! With an enjoyable and energetic combination of songs, dances and skits, they entertained the audience for well over three hours. The dance numbers by Avvai Santhosh who enacted Kamal Hasan on stage, the skits by Ramesh Pisharadi and Dharmajan, the trendy songs by Baiju and the hit songs by Nadir Shah and Sheika, will surely linger for a long time in the hearts and minds of all who watched the show. Special mention must be made about the community members who joined the artistes to dance on stage, adding to the liveliness and fun of the show.

Following the show, mementoes were handed over to all the artistes. The vote of thanks was proposed by Thomas Mathew. A sumptuous dinner was served at the end of the program.

The convener of this memorable program was Anil Kumar V, who spared no effort to ensure that the event was entertaining and enjoyable. Special thanks to him for all his effort.

Christmas Carol ‘ 2011

Co-ordinator – Thomas Mathew

Date: 22nd December 2011

“Jingle bells, jingle bells, Jingle all the way

Oh, what fun it is to ride, in a one horse open sleigh”

A few days before Christmas, Kalamandalam’s Christmas papa and carol singers set out to visit community member’s homes and spread some Christmas cheer.

Being aware of several constraints like the Year end school exams, the winding up of charity activities and the planned Mega Christmas & New Year Program, the choice was given to community members to invite the carol singers to their homes. The carol singers and Christmas papa visited those homes from where an invitation was extended.

It was a joyful group, a mixed bunch of men and women, young and old, who set out from Don Bosco School. Their infectious enthusiasm and delightful rendering of Christmas songs warmed every house they visited and brought home the joy of Christmas. The singing of old, favourite Malayalam carols evoked nostalgic memories of past Christmases celebrated with family back home. Every year, as we open our homes to our community and sing the songs of Christmas together, we experience the special spirit of this season.

Thanks are due to the Kalamandalam members who welcomed the Christmas Papa and the carol singers to their homes. And so also to our Christmas papa, Robin and the carol singers who with their beautiful selection of Christmas Songs and enthusiastic singing brought good cheer and happiness to many homes. Special thanks to the coordinator of the Christmas Carols,  Thomas Mathew.

Kelikottu – Kerala Piravi Celebrations

Co-ordinator : VINCY JOSEPH

Kalamandalam celebrated the 55th anniversary of  the formation of our beloved Kerala State – truly “God’s Own Country” – in a befitting manner with wide ranging cultural programs on 5th November 2011 at Don Bosco Hall.

The Master of Ceremonies for the day was Nithya Sathish. The program started with a warm and enthusiastic welcome address by the Convenor Vincy Joseph. Padma Nair formally inaugurated the events by lighting the ceremonial lamp.

Prior to the commencement of the cultural evening, one minute’s silence was observed in memory of Sri Rajeev (Brother of Rajitha Murali, Vice Chairperson) who passed away in Dar es Salaam and Mrs. Ponnamma S. Pillai mother of Mr. Aadarsh Pillai, Secretary, Kalamandalam.

A report on the status of the on-going community service programs was presented by the Chair person,  Manju Sreekumar.

The cultural evening began with the dance item “Nateshakausthubham” presented by the very talented trio of Sakshi Pillai, Greeshma Nair and Nishma Nair in classical bharatanatyam style  and was greatly appreciated by all.

Following this, the cultural programs that had been planned for the Onam celebrations were staged. The Onam celebrations were earlier postponed as a mark of respect to the deceased in the Zanzibar Boat Tragedy.

The traditional Poovili of Onam, the depiction of the ever inspiring Vallam Kali, the traditional folk dances and the olavalan kili were among the many items presented.  The audience was taken on a nostalgia laden virtual journey into the heart of Kerala.

With Akhila Vijay and Delfy portraying the roles of Oppol and her little sister respectively, the dance depiction of the legend of Mahabali was rendered in a most absorbing manner and got enthusiastic appreciation from the audience. This item highlighting ‘keralathanima’ and the communal harmony in our state was choreographed by Vincy Joseph.

The poem “Agastya Hridayam” recited by Rajesh K. Nair traced the origin and evolution of Kerala through the ages. He recited and analysed the poem in an innovative and engaging style.

The energetic dance of the little ones set to fishermen’s folk songs, the traditional Thiruvathirakkali by the ladies, and the dance presentation “Mohanam” added verve and rhythm to the evening. The choreographers were Chandini Jayaraj, Sripriya Kishore and Anita Reji respectively.

Drama is an art form which has captured the imagination of Malayalees through the ages. Kalamandalam theatres presented a hilarious and satirical drama “Pishukkante Kalyanam” by C. J. Thomas. The drama was directed by Anil Vasudev and on stage captivating everybody through their acting and theatrical prowess were Lijo N. Job, V. S. Satheesh Kumar, Aji Balakrishnan, Sajeev Kumar, Pratheesh Pillai, Girish Kumar, Dineesh, Anita Reji, Rajitha Murali and Vincy Joseph. The team was ably supported by Sojan, Jagdeesh, Rajeev V, Rajeev K L, Muralidharan and Sreeraj.

A special movie screening for kids was organized in the adjacent hall to enable smooth staging of the drama and to allow parents to watch the program without interruption.

After the program a grand dinner was provided to all courtesy C G Muralidharan, Rajitha Murali and family. The caterers were Bimbis.

Punnoose Varkey proposed the Vote of Thanks.


Onam ‘ 2011

Co-ordinator – Thomas Mathew

Without doubt, Onam evokes a very nostalgic feeling among we Pravasi Malayalees.  Being away from home and not bound by religion caste or creed, every Malayalee looks forward to celebrating this festival with great enthusiasm!

Kalamandalam celebrated Onam on the 11 of Sept at Shree Lohana Mahajan Hall. With the overwhelming cooperation and support from all its members, Onam was celebrated in its true spirit. Athapookalam and the traditional attire worn by the members gave the celebrations a festive look.

Undoubtedly, the central feature of Onam is the Onasadhya!  Preparations for the Sadhya  started the night before, with members getting together in cutting and chopping the vegetables for the multitude of dishes like parippu, sambar, avial, thoran, pickles, kootu curry, kichadi, pachadi etc.  Not to forget the grating of the coconut, extracting coconut milk for the mouth watering payasams, all made possible due to the tireless effort by its members who worked all night. Kudos to every member involved!

Unfortunately the cloud to the silver lining was the Zanzibar Boat Tragedy. As a result of which all the cultural activities had to be cancelled. The members marked their respect to the departed souls and the bereaved families by pinning in black bows.  A special prayer was given by The Vatican ambassador to Tanzania H.E Archbishop Joseph Chennoth.

After which it was time for the much awaited Onasadhya, enjoyed by all in the presence of The Indian High Commissioner  H.E. Sri Bhagirath and the Vatican Ambassador H.E  Archbishop Joseph Chennoth.

The highlight of this year’s Onam program was the presence of 2 professional chefs flown in all the way from Kerala for the preparation of the Onasadhya.  Kalamandalam owes its gratitude to Chef Harish and Chef Sudheer from Kerala for making this Sadhya so special and unique. A special “thank you” to Mr Bhasi Mavath  for assisting Kalamandalam in identifying  the two chefs and Mr Sathish Kumar K of Petrofuel (T) Ltd in making it possible for them to come to Dar es Salaam.

The festive celebrations definitely brought back memories of the joy and happiness we share with our loved ones back home! Beyond doubt, Onam is celebrated with utmost passion in the hearts of we malayalees and most certainly is the pride of India!

Indian Independence Day Celebrations ‘ 2011

Co-ordinator : Manju Sreekumar

A moment of pride and glory! Among the Indian expatriate community in Dar es Salaam, no event is more eagerly awaited than the Indian Independence Day Celebration, attracting maximum participation and bringing in the most diverse audience. The 65th Indian Independence day Celebration was proudly hosted by the Kalamandalam community.

This grand event was held on 15th August 2011 at the Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Hall. Master of Ceremonies for the evening, Mrs. Remya Mathews led the audience through the program. The Chief Guest for the function was His Excellency Kocheril Bhagirath, the High Commissioner of India to Tanzania.

During her inaugural address, the chairperson of Kalamandalam, Manju Sreekumar emphasized the importance of strong Indo-Tanzanian cultural ties and the efforts taken by Kalamandalam to promote our cultural ethos amongst the community.  Most importantly, she highlighted the various charity initiatives undertaken by Kalamandalam to impact and improve the lives of many ordinary and needy Tanzanians. The audience was informed about several specific initiatives.

In his speech, His Excellency Mr. Kocheril Bhagirath admired the cordial relations that India and Tanzania enjoy and the efforts initiated by both their governments to further improve relations by way of trade and cultural exchanges. The year 2011 marked the 150th birth anniversary of the celebrated poet Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. A special tribute to the great poet laureate was paid by His Excellency the High Commissioner.

As is customary during these celebrations, the toppers of the Indian school, Dar es Salaam were honored for their excellence in academics and this year the recipients of this award were Ridhima Solanki and Megha Sarbadhikari.

Like most Indian cultural events do, this gala event also began with the lighting of the traditional lamp Meena Shapriya. Various Indian expatriate communities as well as the Indian-origin associations in Tanzania presented their performances. A splendid and rich blend of dance and music by these groups marked the celebrations. Most of the 180 participants were children, which only added to the joy and zest of the show. The energetic and vibrant performance of these children stirred up patriotic feelings in the audience. A tabla performance by Pandit XXXXX from the Indian Cultural centre captivated the audience as well.  The 150th birth anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore was marked by the Bengali group with the recital of a sloka and an elegant dance performance set to a lively composition of a Tagore patriotic song. The cultural program culminated with a much awaited show performed by the group from Tanzania House of Talents. Their high voltage dance performance to the tune of “Jai ho”   was indeed a spectacle!

The program came to an end, with the Secretary of Kalamandalam, Mr. Aadarsh Pillai proposing the Vote of Thanks.

Aakanksha – Our Desires…Our Aspirations

Co-ordinator – Aadarsh Pillai

Kalamandalam’s major fundraiser for the year was appropriately named “Aakanksha…Our dreams…Our aspirations” and was intended to raise money for various charitable activities and causes. To this end, Kalamandalam was successful in bringing to Dar es Salaam, the highly acclaimed actress/dancer and two time National Award winner, Padmashree Ms.Shobana along with students from her Kalarpana School of Dance.

Held on 24th June, 2011 at Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee Hall, this event was a cultural milestone for the organizers, Kalamandalam as well as for the Indian community of Dar es Salaam. Intensive planning and a lot of hard work by Kalamandalam members went into staging this program.

Remya Mathews as the Master of Ceremonies ably led the audience through the evening. The Chairperson of Kalamandalam, Manju Sreekumar welcomed everyone and described the various worthy causes that Kalamandalam had espoused for the year 2011. She expressed her gratitude to all the sponsors for their generous contributions. Bank M and Estim Constructions were the major sponsors of the evening.

The cultural part of the evening commenced with the ceremonial lighting of the lamp by Meera Sanjeev Kumar, Premilabhen Pindolia and Manjith Chaudhary. This was followed by the eagerly awaited dance performance by Ms.Shobana and her troupe of 6 talented students from her dance school, Kalarpana. Their performance was embellished by the beautifully designed stage set to depict a South Indian temple as well as the expertly planned lighting and sound effects.

Ms.Shobana and her troupe enthralled the audience with a performance that wove together classical Bharatnatyam, folk dance and contemporary dance. They used Bharatnatyam, a classical and timeless art form in new and creative ways so as to connect with a diverse contemporary audience. So while the audience was treated to the classicism of Bharatnatyam’s rhythmic footwork, beautiful postures, eloquent expressions and narrative storytelling, they were also spellbound by the use of the same art form to explore the music and lyrics of A.R Rahman’s Vande Mataram, a Tamil folk song and a piece of contemporary music! Ms.Shobana also showcased a small selection from her latest production ‘Krishna’, a dialogue drama in which classical, folk and film dance have been used to explore the life and times of Sri Krishna.

During a break in the program, a short documentary tracing Ms.Shobana’s evolution as an actress and dancer was presented. Prepared and presented by Sreekumar B. S., Vinod Chandran and Govind Sreekumar, this presentation highlighted Ms.Shobana’s versatility and her many accomplishments in the fields of dance, music and movies.

Finally,the vote of thanks was proposed by the secretary of Kalamandalam, Mr.Aadarsh Pillai and Mrs. Remya Mathews.

In presenting a program that blended classical and contemporary dance in a manner that had popular appeal and topping it with a vibrant stage performance, Ms.Shobana and her troupe gave the audience an experience to cherish and remember. Needless to say, this program was an unqualified success for Kalamandalam.

Vinoda Yatra

Co-ordinators : Manju Sreekumar & Aadarsh Pillai

Organized on 19th June,2011 at Beach Comber Resort, this year’s Vinodayatra was a fun-filled outing to the beach.

The Beach Comber Resort had the perfect ambience – tranquil and relaxing with a private beach and a wonderful pool. While some enjoyed the waves and the sand, others frolicked or basked lazily in the pool.

In the spirit of the day, the kids and the young at heart threw themselves into games on the beach including Cricket and a very competitive Vadamvali Matsaram. The high spirits, enthusiasm and friendly rivalry made the games enjoyable and great fun for the players. For the less energetic there was the option of Dumb Charades and Housey.

Many used the picnic as a time to catch up with friends and enjoy their company away from hectic daily routines. For others the joy of being on the beach was to sit quietly, soak in the sun, take in the fresh air and watch the endless coming and going of the waves and they were left undisturbed to do just that.

What is a picnic without great food? The Indian-style buffet lunch was appreciated by everybody. The hot bhajias and tea/coffee at tea time rounded off a very enjoyable day.

The day had something for everyone and it was a tired but happy and rejuvenated group that headed home in the evening.

Tanza’ Nite

Co-ordinator : Manju Sreekumar

Tanza’Nite organized on 29th May 2010, was a thoughtfully planned entertainment program dedicated to Tanzania, inviting our members to imbibe a little of the art, culture and cuisine of the country.

It was a beautiful evening at the Oysterbay Police Officer’s Mess, a venue that was chosen for its great view of the sunset. The open court at the entrance was spacious and members enjoyed the evening breeze over traditional kahawa and peanut chikkis.

In keeping with the spirit of the program, everyone dressed in traditional Tanzanian clothes. It was a wonderful display of the colourful Kangas and traditional African costumes worn in different styles by Babas, Mamas and Totos.

A fair was organized for people to appreciate and buy local handicrafts and seven artisan groups participated in it.

Once the sun set, everybody moved to a covered area to sit and enjoy performances by our Kalamandalam members. Vincy Joseph and Girish Pillai steered the evening in their inimitable style, narrating stories, singing and conversing in Kiswahili. They involved the audience and made the event interactive and interesting. Kiswahili songs and dances, African drumming presented by our members captivated the audience. The highlight of the show was the traditional Ngoma performed by Sojan Joseph, Dinesh Kurudath, Robin , Rohit krishnan, & Sooraj. Adarsh Pillai conducted a quiz on Tanzania and the teams participated actively.

Swahili cuisine was on the menu for dinner and local dishes were on sale . The delicious spread on offer included Zanzibar Mix, Pilau Rice,  Kuku choma and chips, Matoke and Rice, Kachumbari, Visheti,  Chikki,  Maharage with Mandazi. Many of these items were prepared on site.

The fun filled evening ended with zawadis galore!  Attractive prizes were given to the participants of the quiz. Prizes were also handed out to the Best dressed Family, Couple, Male , Female and Child, all selected through an audience poll and judged by the panel of local artisans present during the function.

It was an evening rich in the sights, sounds and smells of Tanzania and a memorable experience for all.

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