Purnima Desai , through her cultural centers-Shikshayatan and Sriniketan, been providing education in Indian culture and Sanskrit and Hindi languages for about 4 decades in New York. In fact, Shikshayatan’s 34th anniversary is being celebrated on October 29. The Indian Panorama editor Prof. Indrajit S Saluja caught up with Purnima Ji to know about her current and future projects. 
TIP: You have been organizing music festivals  for the  last 4 decades. How do you look at your journey?
Sikhshayatan Cultural Academy was established on Vijaya Dasami day in 1988. It’s a long journey – 34 years we are celebrating on October 29. The purpose of that organization was to promote Indian culture. It was already a very well-known organization in India. We  are just trying to promote that culture among younger generation here so that they can keep connections with their roots and get the best from both the East and the West. That was my purpose and many children were benefitted as they learnt Sanskrit slokas, Hindi language, vocal and instrumental music, and dances. I was quite successful but there is no end to work. The greater purpose was to make good human beings. That was my goal. Now I am planning to build  educational/cultural centers and couple of temples throughout the United States. Temples will be the part of educational/cultural centers where students can pray. Hopefully by 2024 it will be done. 
TIP: How are you going to achieve that?
I don’t want to ask money for Sriniketan or Sikhshayatan. They should earn on their own merit. I have some real estate properties which I will sell when the time comes.  I want to work selflessly for the community. If I get some funds from some genuine people without asking for it, which happened in the past too, then I am blessed. I have organized free musical programs for senior citizens in different senior centers. Your intention has to be pure without any expectations. I silently do my job without expecting any name or fame.
Moreover, my spiritual master, the Enlightened Yogiraj Gurunath Siddhanth ji is there to make my task easier.  
TIP: You have recently had a large number of  international artists at the international music festival you organized. How do you manage to get these artists from across the world?
International music festival was a unique one. I wanted to bring the awareness in the community that what classical music is all about.  I was born in Kolkata, West Bengal where art is very popular. From my childhood I was crazy about classical music. Classical music does not only give you immense joy and happiness, but it also heals your soul too. It also reduces your physical pain and stress. It was   a therapy for the listeners who came for the festival. The artists were also very happy to perform. So, both were benefitted. 
TIP. You have planned a cultural festival to celebrate 34 years of Shikshayatan  on October 29. What are the highlights?
It’s going to be very interesting because lot of little kids will perform – singing Bhajans, reciting Dohas of Kabir Ji. There will be dance performances by kids. One group from New Jersey is coming with 19 artists to perform geet, ghazal. There will be garba-raas as well to celebrate Diwali. A top classical artist from Kolkata – Biplab Mukherjee is coming. I hope the audience will enjoy the event.
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