Some dreams take moments to come true and some take years, as Shanti Raghavan realized. It took her 15 years to fulfill her desire of conducting a charity event to raise funds for a humanitarian cause. But like she says, “it was worth the wait.”
A chanced meeting with a Sankara Nethralaya representative at the Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival in April 2010 was how Ms. Shanti Raghavan came to know of the “selfless service rendered by Sankara Nethralaya and its efforts in bridging the gap between rural and urban India.”
“I was moved to learn how Sankara Nethralaya’s outreach programs help in restoring vision to thousands of needy and under-privileged people in India. On that day, at the festival, I made up my mind that Sankara Nethralaya would be the recipient of our charity program, ” says Ms. Shanti Raghavan.
And so on October 30, 2010, the Ragapriya School of Carnatic Music, Cleveland, a non-profit organization, which she and her daughter Ms. Shruti Aring founded in 1998, held a musical extravaganza to raise funds for Sankara Nethralaya.
Months of planning and long rehearsals went in to making the fundraiser a grand success. Students trained in vocal, veena and violin enthralled the audience with their musical talent. The program was based on the different forms of Parashakthi or Devi and a slideshow, explaining the meaning of the songs, accompanied each performance.
“There were so many people who believed in us and supported us in this effort. We were able to raise $15,000 for Sankara Nethralaya’s community services. I trust we have made a difference to Sankara Nethralaya in our humble way.”
The performance of the young artists was followed by a concert by Shri. Madurai Sundar, a professional artist from Detroit. He was accompanied by Shri. Jayshankar Balan (violin), Shri. Rajasekhar Atmakuri (mridangam) and Balu (kanjira).