SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Sankara Eye Foundation presented a musical extravaganza to a packed house featuring Shreya Ghoshal Aug. 23 at the San Jose State University Event Center here.
Before commencing the musical portion of the concert, Ghoshal appreciated the work of SEF over the years and her personal commitment to the cause.
Then, Ghoshal, accompanied by an orchestra, began with the beautiful rendition of “Apne Karam Ki Tarah Gayen”and took the audience on a mesmerizing musical sojourn covering old and new melodies. She sang “Bairi Piya,” her debut Bollywood song from “Devdas,” and some of her latest songs, including “Slow Motion” from the movie, “Bharat.”
Besides her own songs, she also rendered songs of some great singers like Rafi, Kishore, Lata and Asha from yesteryears. Some age-old melodies like “Dum Maro Dum” got the audience humming and dancing along.
Ghoshal kept the audience, many of them Indian Americans, enthralled and totally mesmerized until 11 p.m. when her last song, “Ami Je Tomar,” from “Bhool Bhulaiya” ended, with the audience left asking for more.
Established in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1998, SEF is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization working towards the cause of eradicating curable blindness in India. SEF currently runs nine community hospitals in different states of India and is embarking on four new hospital projects in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Indore and Bihar.
SEF provides free eye care for the needy at its hospitals. The rural poor make up 80 percent – approximately 200,000 patients receiving eye surgeries at the SEF hospitals. SEF has maintained the top four-star rating from Charity Navigator for sound fiscal management for seven consecutive years.
“SEF is going to the land of Buddha and Mahaveer by collaborating with Akhand Jyoti Eye Hospital in Mastichak near Patna to build a 350-bed eye hospital where 50,000 free eye surgeries will be performed annually,” said Murali Krishnamurthy, executive chairman of SEF USA, while speaking about the upcoming project in Bihar. SEF has a lofty goal of raising $2 million for the construction of the Bihar hospital to start in 2020.
He then spoke about SEF’s other projects. “The inauguration of the Indore facility is scheduled for January 2020 for which the U.S. arm of SEF is tasked to raise one million dollars by this year’s end. The other hospital scheduled to open next year is the Jhunjhunwala Sankara Eye Hospital in Mumbai in June 2020. Similarly, the non-profit has secured a land lease for its hospital in Hyderabad from the government of Telangana and the hospital construction is scheduled to begin soon.”
He also thanked the volunteers for their work and commitment and reiterated that the support of the donors and the work of the volunteers has made the herculean task of 1.93 million eye surgeries in nine Sankara hospitals across seven states in India a reality.
The non-profit received another feather in its cap in March this year when Dr. RV Ramani, founder and managing trustee of SEF India, received the Padma Shree from the president of India for his work towards eradicating curable blindness in India since 1977.
SEF was also recently showcased at the IIT-IIT (Influencing India’s Transformation) NGO event in Mumbai in its effort to scale social impact projects in India. SEF was identified by the IIT non-profit as one of the ‘Grow to National Scale Initiatives’ ready projects.
For more information, visit www.giftofvision.org.