I am both humbled and thrilled to have been awarded a 9 month Fulbright Senior Research Scholarship to India. My project, entitled “Music & Arts Integration: Empowering Youth in Kolkata and Ahmedabad” is designed to reflect on and build upon my 7 years of work at Project Ahimsa. During that span of time, Project Ahimsa has supported over 35 different music education programs for underserved children worldwide, in countries including Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the United States, and India. In 2010, Project Ahimsa released Global Lingo, an album featuring the talents of children served by all of the organization’s programs. Through the Fulbright Award, I aim to spend extended time with 5 specific programs based in Kolkata and Ahmedabad including the following:

Blind School for Children (Gandhinagar, Gujarat)

Manav Sadhna / Mahatma Gandhi Ashram (Ahmedabad, Gujarat)

Mentaid (Kolkata, Bengal)

Disha Foundation (Kolkata, Bengal)

Prabartak Orphanage for Mentally Handicapped (Kolkata, Bengal)

Rehabilitation Clinic for Children Orthopedic Hospital (Kolkata, Bengal)

My project is really simple. I aim to learn from the children at each of these programs, spending extended time with them, capturing their talents, learning about their lives, and seeing up close how music empowers them. I hope to record elements of Global Lingo 2 during my grant period, and document extensively each music program. I’ll be updating this blog and my Facebook page/Twitter extensively, so you can track my progress. I plan to travel widely through south Asia, implementing new programs in Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Daily, I will be practicing tabla and digesting the past 10 years of my own practice of the instrument.

Special Thanks: There are a number of key people that played major roles in making the Fulbright possible for me. I’d like to thank my incredible parents Saroj and Rajen Sukhadia, my supremely supportive partner Neelanjana Banerjee, my beloved tabla Guru Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Rosalie Giffoniello of Empower the Children, and Mark Allen of the Machine Project.

How you can help: While the Fulbright does offer support for living expenses and travel, there are a number of key equipment pieces that I am seeking support for purchasing: updated music recording software for my mac book pro, microphones, HD video cameras, and a digital projector. If you are interested in supporting my journey, please contact me at robin@astralaudio.com.