Maitri presents as its annual fundraising event, Salaam India, a play directed by Lushin Dubey and inspired by Pavan K. Varma’s book, Being Indian. Founded in 1991, Maitri is a nonprofit organization providing a range of services and support to South Asian women in the Bay Area who are dealing with situations of domestic abuse, cultural displacement, or unresolved conflict. Maitri’s community outreach programs, toll-free helpline, and transitional home for women and their children who have left abusive relationships all form an essential network to support women in their aim to become self-sufficient.

“It is fitting that Maitri will present Salaam India, a ‘feel-good’ play that celebrates our roots and our pasts while remaining attentive to the things that need to be done,” explains Mukta Sharangpani, Maitri president.

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In her director’s note to the play, Dubey reflects, “We have come through it all. Be it our culture, our history or the structure of our society. We have been subjugated but never defeated. We have steadfastly hung on to our resilience and hope …”

Dubey’s observation of the Indian identity could as easily describe the journey of many of the women who turn to Maitri in desperate need of help, each individual trapped in their own world of conflict and showing fierce determination to rebuild their lives. Each character in Salaam India is driven by humor and hope, elements that resonate throughout the play. Lushin Dubey herself plays four different women in the play, along with Shena Gamad, Ashish Paliwal, and Andrew Hoffland who each also play multiple roles. Set in Delhi, the play explores themes of national identity, progress, and Indian phenomena such as the dowry system through the individual experiences of the 16 characters.
Sharangpani is excited to present Salaam India in its first U.S. tour. “The proceeds raised from this wonderful concert will go towards operating Maitri’s unique programs, such as its toll-free hotline and its transition house,” she says.

Maitri relies on volunteers and donations, often assisting up to 75 clients  navigate through the maze of immigration, legal, employment, housing, and emotional issues to be dealt with in progressing to self-sufficiency.
“We invite everyone to come, join us, become a stakeholder in the commitment to a violence free community,” says Sharangpani.

Saturday, Sept. 18. Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara. $30, $50, $100. Not suitable for children under 10. Tickets: tickets@maitri.org. (408) 910-1510, (650) 464-7202, (510) 825-2234. www.maitri.org.

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