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Updated: August 5, 2012 10:54 IST

Titanic violinist to play for a noble cause

Madhur Tankha
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Noted New Yorkbased violinist Paul Peabody
Noted New Yorkbased violinist Paul Peabody

Noted New York-based violinist Paul Peabody, synonymous with epoch-making American film Titanic, is all set to regale music lovers with a live concert for a noble cause at FICCI Auditorium in New Delhi this Sunday.

HelpAge India and Help Me See have joined hands to embark on the mission of collecting funds from music connoisseurs. This will enable a number of visually impaired persons get their vision restored.

Paul, whose rendition of the score for Titanic was recognised by the Academy of Recording Arts and Science, has confirmed that he will play the theme song of James Cameron’s film in the fund-raising event.

“It will to be a thrilling experience to be performing in Delhi for the second time. The first time was before the Commonwealth Games at Deepalaya. This concert is my way of helping the visually impaired see. The cause is close to my heart and I want to pass on the message that even a small contribution from Delhiites can make a huge difference in the life of poor people who cannot afford its cure. Restoring sight is like giving someone a whole new world of colour, life and most of all hope.”

For nearly three years now, Paul has been travelling intermittently to various Indian cities and observing how visually impaired persons are being looked after.

“It is good to monitor the work being done for the visually impaired. It is great to observe that buildings housing the visually impaired persons have improved. There is progress everywhere. I have performed at Agra, Varanasi and will soon be travelling to Chitrakoot where I will play devotional music. A school has been set up for 1,400 visually impaired children there.”

As a violinist, Paul has played for the late pop sensation Michael Jackson, Madonna and given music for over 90 movies including the soundtrack album for Disney flicks and Coen Brothers’ Fargo. He is however best known for being a part of the Grammy winning orchestra that played for the movie Titanic.

Doing jugalbandi with Paul will be Indian instrumentalists Sunil Kant Saxena on sitar, Raghuraman on flute, Nawab Ali at the tabla and Kannan with ghatam. Paul will also perform with young students of Ryan International School, Rohini.

A short pantomime act will be performed by Jagran to create awareness about those who need cataract surgeries.

According to HelpAge India joint director-communications Sonali Sharma, the entry is free but the organisers will beseech the public to show large-heartedness and chip in funds for poor cataract patients. Pointing out that there are 12 million visually impaired persons in the country, HelpAge India chief executive Mathew Cherian said 62.6 per cent of them are visually impaired due to cataract. Through this concert HelpAge India and Help Me See hope to raise awareness and, in turn, funds to help the blind see.

“It takes one just Rs. 1,000 to help a cataract patient. Each year we conduct thousands of cataract surgeries restoring vision of needy senior citizens free of cost. In some case we restore livelihoods.”

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