When Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam takes the stage for Aikya India 2010, she will not only be regaling music lovers with 12 songs from various Indian languages, but she will also be doing her bit to help ageing, retired and needy accompanying artists from the realm of classical music.
For, the concert hopes to raise funds for Smrutha Dhvani, an initiative of Global Adjustment and The Interface, an NGO.
What is Smrutha Dhvani all about? Usha Sridhar, the moving force behind The Interface, explains, “It is an effort to repay ageing accompanying artists who have contributed immensely to classical music. It is some sort of a pension fund for those who are in their twilight years and need financial assistance. As Ranjani Manian (CEO Global Adjustments) and I got talking about music, we realised that there are many artists who play instruments that are slowing losing their sheen… ghatam, thavil and morsing to name a few. So we decided to set up this fund to help such people. We hope more individuals and corporates join in and contribute to the cause.”
The committee for this initiative comprises dancer Sudharani Raghupathy, Ranjani, and Usha with vocalist Unnikrishnan as brand ambassador.
Says Ranjani, “We have always ridden on the shoulders of Indian culture and through this endeavour, we hope to be able to give back to our culture at large and to the artist fraternity, in particular.”
There are several criteria for choosing a beneficiary – number of active years, age, financial status and so on. Taking into account these aspects, Interface has chosen three people who will benefit from the funds raised through the Aikya concert.
The first is Ganesan, a tambura artist, who has been playing since the age of eight. He has accompanied many greats such as M.S. Subbulakshmi and Tiger Varadachariar. Says Usha, “We chose him when we discovered that he makes just about Rs. 250 for a show! And that too if the main artist is generous! Besides, the tambura is almost extinct now with electronic sruti boxes taking its place.”
Ghatam vidwan E.M. Subramanian and composer Thanjavur Sankara Iyer are the other two beneficiaries. “We zeroed in on Sankara Iyer as he is dire straits. Also composing for classical music seems to be on the wane.”
The Interface, which was started in 2006, aims to bring together people who need support and people who want to support. Usha says, “Our core competencies are to identify meaningful social causes that need a client’s support, profile them, help build a portfolio, and offer end-to-end tracking of the investment that is made by an individual or a corporate.” It works in several areas such as education, geriatrics, sanitation, women, arts and crafts, and healthcare. Contact The Interface at 98402-28008 or email email@example.com or log on to www.theinterface.in
[The Aikya India 2010 show, co-sponsored by The Standard Chartered Private Bank, will be presented on March 27, 7 p.m., at MVSR Hall, Lady Andal School, Harrington Road, Chetpet. Donor passes (Rs. 2,500, Rs. 1,000, Rs. 500 and Rs. 250) are available at Global Adjustments, No.5, 3rd Main Road, R.A. Puram; Landmark (all outlets); Odyssey (Adyar and R. A. Puram) and Amethyst (Gopalapuram).]