Volunteer Profile Series: Amrit Mann

Posted on December 29, 2011 by


This holiday season, Chhandam would like to honor the outstanding contributions of some of our most energetic and committed volunteers!

Amrit has committed many volunteer hours to Chhandam in the past decades. She has been a part of Chhandam since 1978, when she started studying Kathak with Pandit Chitresh Das in San Francisco. She was one of the first Indian students to study with Pandit Das in the U.S.  Today, Amrit continues to take classes at Chhandam, which has grown exponentially to include a large Indian diaspora.

In the early years, when the organization was a small group, Amrit was involved with various aspects of the productions including making costumes, marketing the shows, selling tickets, to everything else required to put the show together. In addition, she also brought her word processing skills, in the days when computers were not ubiquitous, to help with grant proposals. She has made significant contributions to the publication, ‘Chitresh’, in the year 1986.

After being away for ten years, Amrit came back to find that Chhandam had exploded into a large institution with hundreds of students. But even as an organization of this size, dedicated volunteers continued to be its strength during various productions, events and in different aspects of the school.  Amrit dove right in and has been a force – bringing her energy, congeniality and commitment to doing a good job at whatever she takes on.

Recently at ‘Traditions Engaged’ – Chhandam’s major International Festival of Classical Indian Dance and Music – Amrit was in charge of artists’ hospitality (over 60 artists were brought from India and around the world). She and her team of volunteers arranged for food and refreshments for the entire duration of the festival at the venues in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. She executed this demanding task with deep commitment and professionalism.

As a fulltime nurse, Amrit performs a balancing act between her job and her volunteer activities .  In addition to her work at Chhandam, she also volunteers her time every month along with her hospital colleagues to provide free healthcare services to under-privileged communities.

As a dedicated volunteer, Amrit feels compelled to contribute to the best of her capacity to Chhandam, and to make people aware of the work the organization is doing to promote classical arts, Kathak dance, and all that Pandit Chitresh Das has worked hard to build in the U.S. and India.

Amrit’s dedicated involvement with Chhandam for so many years has played a major part in advancing the mission of Chhandam and the Chitresh Das Dance Company. Thank you Amrit!