- Get Involved
Supporter Divya Walia Dedicates Her Arangetram to Pratham
Featured in the India Herald
Photos by Uday K Photography.
Divya Walia is proud to be one of the very first students of the DAV Montessori School of Arya Samaj in Houston when it opened in August 2000. At the age of fi ve, Divya was introduced to Bharatha Natyam by Guru Yamuna Srinidhi at DAVM. After her family moved to Dallas in 2004, Divya continued her dance instruction with Guru Smt. Revathi Satyu, founder of the Arathi School of Dance, which recently celebrated its 32nd year in Dallas.
Divya has also trained with Shalini Varghese (Dallas) and Jayalaksmi Eshwar (Delhi). Over the years, Divya’s dedication to this art form has grown steadily, thanks to all her gurus, whose patience, perseverance, warmth and wisdom prepared her well for her Arangetram on July 21 at the Dallas Children’s Theater. What made Divya’s Arangetram special was her decision to dedicate it to Pratham because, as she put it, “It seems fitting that, as I celebrate my achievement in dance, I also help less fortunate children in India achieve their own dreams through education.”
Divya’s appeal on behalf of Pratham raised more than $8,500 for child education in India as everyone responded generously to her request for donations to Pratham, in lieu of gifts. This amount will enable Pratham to help educate 340 less fortunate children in India for one whole year.
Divya’s target is to raise $10,000 for Pratham in 2012 and with continued effort and follow-up, she hopes to achieve this by Thanksgiving. Over the past 10 years, Divya has been able to raise almost $55,000 for Pratham from participating in Readathons, donating birthday money and doing special fundraisers. Divya is currently in 11th grade at the Hockaday School in Dallas and enjoys writing, public speaking, running cross country and long-distance track as extra-curricular activities.
Training in Bharata Nãtyam dance has allowed Divya to extensively explore her love of theater and music. At The Hockaday School, she is a member of the auditioned show choir and has participated in various school musicals since middle school. Divya has been a member of the Greater Dallas Children’s Chorus since 2009. She has also been an active volunteer and ambassador for Pratham since the age of six years, and has advocated the Pratham Readathon in Houston and the Pratham Teens and Kids Club in Dallas.
Divya can read, write, and speak in Hindi - thanks to an early introduction to the language at DAV Montessori School, and the continued loving tutelage of Mrs. Madhu Bangia via Skype from Houston. She cherishes the values and experiences she has gained from an upbringing in two cultures, and owes much to all her teachers, who have inspired her in various aspects of her life.
Her parents, Amit Walia and Vineeta Salvi, are especially grateful to DAV Montessori School, which they fi rmly believe was instrumental in inculcating signifi cant spiritual values of loving, giving, caring and sharing in its young students, as well as a strong pride in India’s culture and heritage. Divya’s successful Arangetram and its dedication to Pratham only serves to reflect the success of DAV Montessori School’s influence.
As Vineeta mentioned in her vote of thanks at the conclusion of Divya’s Arangetram, “If it takes a village to raise a child, Amit and I have been blessed to have the support and backing of two large metropolises, Houston and Dallas, to help us in the upbringing of our daughter. We are greatly and genuinely grateful!”
The Arangetram was immensely successful due to the support, enthusiasm and encouragement of over 250 friends, family and well wishers who were in attendance. Her parents were especially gratified to see a large contingent of dear friends from Houston in the audience, including Guru Yamuna Srinidhi, Dev and Sushma Mahajan, Aruna and Brij Kathuria, Madhu and Mohinder Bangia, Mani and Perry Surkari, Kavita and Raj Thapar, Shailaja Menon and family. Divya danced beautifully, earning the praise of experts and novices alike through her expressive and emotive rendition of each dance.
Share Your Story
So many of our volunteers and donors have wonderful stories to tell about helping kids with their education, fundraising for us, and sharing their experiences visiting a Pratham site in India. We want to hear from you. Submit your story.