Chhandayan Virginia Chapter

Chhandayan Virginia Chapter Chhandayan Virginia chapter Chhandayan was born in 1984 in Calcutta, India; our main activity was to promote young talent, giving opportunities to perform on public platforms together with outstanding veterans.

This mission was fulfilled through quarterly sessions of small concerts culminating in an annual festival at a bigger venue with the audience members ranging from 1,000 to 3,000. In 1998 Chhandayan got re-established in the USA as a not-for-profit organization, first operating in the state of New York as a small organization limited to offering classes and occasional small-scale concerts. Soon after that, we started spreading our wings out to neighboring states which included New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia Pennsylvania and even down to Florida. The gradual popularity of Chhandayan classes materialized not only through the increasing number of students, but also through adding more locations and faculty. Today Chhandayan has a running number of students ranging from 250-300 in our regular classes, and many advanced students now around the world. The annual workshops and seminars draw in at least another 100 students from all over North America. Our concert series started drawing in more audience which led us to bigger venues. The popularity demanded that we present more often and in more locations and the reason behind the popularity is primarily the quality that we have maintained. By presenting some of the best from this country and overseas in the most ideal settings for such kind of inspirational music to manifest, the quality is assured. The rapid growth of the organization led us to the culmination of presenting an All Night concert in Manhattan, in the traditional manner, every year for the last ten years on the second Saturday of May. This event has in its own course grown to be a global event, drawing people in not only from North America but South America and Europe as well. Thousands of people have been enthralled and elevated by the sublime quality of music that have naturally outpoured from the heart and soul of the greatest maestros from the world of Indian classical music. The musicians, while onstage, have always wondered about the miracle of getting the type of audience that they find with us. The audience clearly has acknowledged these concerts to be a very special experience which they don’t get anywhere else. It is the purity, the unassuming grandeur, and the incomparable level of competence that singles out Chhandayan events from everything else happening today in North America. And most importantly, it didn’t happen only once, it happens all the time. That is because of our hard work and sincerity and also at the same time justifies our presence as the most significant organization of Indian music in North America.

Mission: Chhandayan, a true canvas for painting Ragas and Talas.

Operating as usual

It is with great satisfaction that we inform you about the opening of the Duttapukur Arts Center (Duttapukur Silpo Charc...

It is with great satisfaction that we inform you about the opening of the Duttapukur Arts Center (Duttapukur Silpo Charcha Kendra) empowered by Chhandayan. Amidst these difficult times for the artists, Duttapukur in North 24 Parganas of West Bengal, India is moving forward with the establishment of the Duttapukur Arts Center (Duttapukur Silpo Charcha Kendra) with its inauguration set on the 11th October, 2020, 5 pm at the Bulbul Community Hall in Duttapukur. The inaugural function will include a cultural program featuring local artists. All safety protocols will be properly observed in this small gathering of invited guests only.

Duttapukur Arts Center (Duttapukur Silpo Charcha Kendra) is a collaborative effort of Chhandayan under the leadership of veteran musician Pt. Samir Chatterjee, his teammates in the Virtual Office and the artists and arts connoisseurs from Duttapukur, Bira, Barasat, Bamungachhi and their vicinity. The Arts Center aims to bring the local artist community under one roof, by creating a self-sustaining ecosystem right from grooming new talents, showcasing their arts to generating financial stability for the coterie of artists, so that they can withstand future calamities without external help.

Team Chhandayan appreciates the help and cooperation of the local community to bring this aim into fruition and hopes to create multiple self-sustaining Art Centers across the artistic and cultural state of West Bengal.

With earnest request for your prayer, blessing, help and support towards the accomplishment of our mission.

Chhandayan Center for Indian Music

An article shared by Unmesh Banerjee on his experience with Chhandayan so far.'It is necessary to step out of the ordina...
Donate — Chhandayan Center for Indian Music

An article shared by Unmesh Banerjee on his experience with Chhandayan so far.

'It is necessary to step out of the ordinary, to experience the extraordinary.'
This was the signoff quote from the first email that I received from the founding member and President of Chhandayan, Pt. Samir Chatterjee. Little did I know that very soon I would be part of his team looking for 'extraordinary' solutions for 'ordinary' problems of financially struggling artists facing the wrath of ongoing pandemic.

Pt.Samir Chatterjee, as I knew him at that point, was a senior and respectable musician, about whom my father always spoke highly of as an ace tabla player and as his close friend. Very soon that changed to him being a mentor, guide and dear Kaku to not just me but the whole team, uniting us to help fellow artists.
"There will always be multiple solutions to a single problem." This quote from Samir Kaku is the only (probably the most important) thing I remember from our first meeting on 29th April 2020. Since then we have been reaching out to needy artists with personal phone calls, asking them about the problems they have been facing and helping them out with the donations received by Chhandayan.

The process of calling them has been serving many purposes. The primary reason, of course, is to validate their condition. Quite a few times the artists have acknowledged that a positive conversation and concern from a fellow member of the creative community has given them hope in these difficult times. We also faced struggling artists who refused to accept help, assuring us that they can pull through with their meager savings and instead we should help other applicants in desperate conditions. After we collect the minimal information, the whole team votes on whether the candidate truly survives on their art, professionally, and is in need for financial help. This has helped us remain impartial and often brought up varied solutions to help the candidates apart from the obvious monetary help.

Though quite a few efforts have been put in by the Kolkata music community to help the needy musicians, most have reached out to the 'classical' community. We as the Chhandayan team have welcomed the artist community as a whole (folk musicians, 'commercial' musicians, theatre artists etc.) and have focused on towns and villages. The Amphan storm added to the existing woes especially in the Sundarbans and surrounding areas. Recent calls with artists from Nazat were unnerving. It makes one think about how these artists happily survive with such small incomes. It makes one question on what happiness means in life. These artists are facing life in its worst forms (solely relying on ration allotted food from the Govt) and yet remain true to their art and after the pandemic hope to immerse into their skill, get on stage and entertain audiences, as if they have had a comfortable 'Netflix and chill' life during lockdown. I remember a couple of times the artists didn't have sufficient phone balance to receive a call and we had to recharge in order to enquire about their condition.
Our hands are tied to a small collection that we have with which we can help the artists. Therefore, we are trying to come up with long term solutions for needy artists so that they can sustain on their own. Our recent endeavors have included efforts to get deserving artists scholarships from EZCC and other organizations offering help on the basis of merit. Most of the artists do not have access to good audio, video and internet to edit and send their performances. As a team we have tried to gather the required performances and documents, enhance the audio/video quality of the performances, submit applications on their behalf and fasten the whole process of approval in the respective organizations.

Even though monetary help for the artist community is without doubt need of the hour especially while the pandemic is creating havoc, as artists ourselves, we understand the importance of prestige and dignity for a thriving creative mind. We realized that helping artists with donations is just a temporary relief. On the long run, we need the whole society to be conscious about ways to sustain itself with a comfortable and positive environment that enhances their creativity without having to worry about the next meal or medical bill. We need to have a thriving, self-sustaining ecosystem where all art forms prosper and thereby our rich culture not only survives but evolves with time. There in came the need for site visits to find solutions among the problems in the small towns and villages. Samir Kaku, Sandip da, Sutapa di and Kuntala di have physically visited areas densely populated by these artists and have collected vital information about the local scenario. With these data we are trying to come up with localized solutions that can catapult the whole artist community into a mode of sustainable development. 'One problem many solutions' motto that Samir Kaku shared in the first meeting stands true.

To conclude my rant, we at Chhandayan are working as a non-profit organization and as stated solely relying on donations for our plans to help the artists.
We request you to donate anything starting from INR 1000 (ONE THOUSAND rupees only, $15) onwards.
Interested people can call /text /WhatsApp /email directly to the preceptor to know about the activities and policies. All contact details are mentioned along with the bank details where you can directly send your help.

Yours sincerely,
Unmesh Banerjee

Chhandayan Virtual Office
82405 79173 / [email protected]

To donate:
Name of Bank: United Bank of India
Name on the account: Chhandayan
Account no. 0397010067946
IFSC code: UTBI0BTR176 (it's a zero between I and B)

Chhandayan regularly carries out diverse types of activities through all of its chapters with the USA, Canada, India and Afghanistan. For all of these operations, geared towards the benefit of the global community, we are solely reliant on public support, support from people and institutions like yo...


Chhandayan deeply sympathizes with the families and friends of the victims of racial discrimination in the most recent and past incidents in the USA. We also condemn the pathetic failure of the administration in controlling and rectifying the incessant and increasing acts of discrimination and violence by its officers against certain sections of our population. Such a primitive attitude from the administration itself propagates an extremely unsafe environment in the entire country. It is not only a failure, it is against the constitution of our country. Chhandayan stands together with all groups, who support justice and equality for all in our country, which we uphold in all of our activities.

Chhandayan Center for Indian Music

Chhandayan Kolkata

Chhandayan Kolkata

Chhandayan has been a trustworthy companion to the artist community in the eastern region of India, more so during COVID-19 Pandemic. Our efforts towards their well being is extended beyond help with money and other means of daily sustenance. We are standing by them towards their overall well being. To that effect, we are encouraging them to record their music. Most of these musicians got used to being ignored, and haven't performed in several decades. The process of preparing for these recordings generated a new swell of energy into their creativity. This series is a tribute to these wonderful artists, who have kept the spirit of Art alive.

Chhandayan Kolkata

Chhandayan Kolkata

Team Chhandayan under the guidance of Pandit Samir Chatterjee is extending their support towards the distressed people in the field of Art & Culture, affected by the outbreak of Corona Pandemic in India.
Sympathizing for the same we appeal to you to donate freely.

To Donate :
Name of Account: Chhandayan
A/C No: 0397010067946
IFSC Code : UTBI0BTR176 (it's a Zero between I and B)
Or Visit

Chhandayan Virtual Office
+91 8240579173/[email protected]

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18 Devenshire Ct
Sterling, VA


(703) 795-3019



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