Sankara Nethralaya Ophthalmic Mission Trust member Shri SN. Prabhu more popularly known as Singer Prabhu on a visit to India with family dropped in at Sankara Nethralaya where he would be giving a music performance with daughters Shruthi and Sahana on Mahaperiyava Jayanthi on 19th July 2013. The Corporate Communications department engaged him in a quick Q&A session, which we take pleasure in sharing with our readers.
1. Please give a brief introduction about yourself, how you were drawn to singing and how you came to be known as ‘Singer’ Prabhu?
I am a singer by passion; I did not undergo any formal initiation or training in singing under any guru. My father was a sangeetha vidwan and bhagavathar giving kutcheris at Trichy and Tanjore, I use to accompany him as a toddler and sit on his lap while he performed, I guess this must have been an early influence and inspiration on me. Even in those days he would sing for charitable causes which sowed the seeds that I should use my talent for noble causes. I started singing from the time I was in grade 6 and honed my skills as I moved on to college, as an employee of the external affairs ministry I won the inter ministry competition held in New Delhi. After moving to the USA I would as a singer well versed in singing in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada accompany legendary singers like Dr.KJ Jesudoss, Smt Susheela and veteran music directors like Shri M.S.Viswanathan and Shri Deva etc when they tour the country, which earned me the nickname ‘Singer’ Prabhu.
2. How were you drawn towards Sankara Nethralaya and the OM Trust?
I had, in keeping with my belief of leveraging the power of music as a vehicle to create awareness and raise funds for noble causes been giving charity performances and mobilizing funds for the Cancer Institute and relief organizations like Asha, CRY and the Sankara Eye Foundation. I would say that my daughter Shruti was largely responsible for my association with Sankara Nethralaya. The eye ailments and resultant suffering of my mother and sister had left a deep impact in her and she began to make a quest in right earnest as to how we could serve the visually impaired, especially those who could not afford quality eye care. It was after a lot of research and speaking to people that she decided that Sankara Nethralaya was the right institution through which we could fulfill our promise to the visually impaired and thus began my family and my association with Sankara Nethralaya and the SN OM Trust.
3. Do you have any particular reason to choose to perform at the Mahaperiyava Aradhana?
Well I can only say one thing as an answer to this question, we owe our existence and all that we have to his benevolence, can there be a better reason than that, it is my great privilege, pride and punya that I have been given this opportunity to perform with my daughters in such an auspicious occasion and receive the blessing of the God who lived among us and I express my deep gratitude to Dr SS.Badrinath for this rare opportunity of being a part of this great function.