“Hum honge kamyaab ek din…” the hall resounded with these words as well healed adults clapped and sang along with bright eyed children as part of the curtain call.. The venue : Gopal Sharma Memorial School Auditorium, The day: the evening of 20th February, 2011, The occasion : the Annual Day of the children of Udaan India Foundation (UIF), a Powai based non profit organisation working towards educating less privileged children.

The evening of dance and drama put together by the Udaan children and team centred around the theme of “One Earth , Save it” .The concert began with a welcome speech by Mrs.Padma Vaswani, a renowned educationist, which beautifully captured the essence of the evening  – an acknowledgement of our responsibility towards the environment and making small efforts to save our planet as there is only “ One Earth “. While seeking the support of the residents of Powai, she had a message from the children of Udaan: “ Do not walk in front of me, I may not follow, Do not walk behind me, I may not lead, Walk beside me and be my friend.”

This was followed by the auspicious lighting of the lamp by dignitaries from the corporate world-  the CEO of Transocean, the MD of Nomura, the Head of Barclays Offshore business and the trustees of Udaan .

The programme began with a Ganesh Vandana and a relook at Vande Mataram as a song celebrating  bountiful Mother Nature. It looked like Lord Ganesh was benignly smiling at the people assembled there that evening because the programme that followed was a ‘thing of beauty’ enjoyed by both, the audience and the performers if one were to go by the smiles on either side of the curtain!

Popular Bollywood numbers like “All is well” and “Aashayein” were danced to with as much gusto as numbers like Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song”, and nursery rhymes like “Roly Poly”  making it a delightful ‘bhel puri’ for the senses. The children of grade 4,5,7 and 8 in their musical “Izz all well?“ expressed how human greed is instrumental in destroying  our natural resources and the need to act responsibly towards the environment.

Ms Anuradha Murthi took the audience through the evening with some very touching compering.

“The Annual Day is an opportunity for the children of UIF to showcase their talent and reinforce Udaan’s commitment in providing the children holistic learning with focus on extracurricular activities like dance, art and drama to help them grow up into confident individuals,” says Mamta Rangan, the chairperson of Udaan; and if one were to go by the evening of the 20th of February, one would say the little fledglings of Udaan have really come into their own – bringing the audience to their feet for a standing ovation at the end of the programme.

The outstanding students for the academic year 2010-11 were felicitated by guests for the evening. “It was a fantastic show , so well coordinated and more importantly each child had a smile. I was very moved by the entire program” said an impressed Deepa Ramani while the awestruck mother of Manisha Rathod, DOR [Drop Out Remedial] student of Udaan mused, “I never dreamt of my child going to school , leave alone performing on stage .  I was so proud to see my daughter dancing on stage today. I will now support whatever she wants to do now.”

The strains of the national anthem were a perfect closure to a wonderful evening.

To know more about Udaan India Foundation, please visit their website www.udaanindiafoundation.org or call 022-4000392.