Whether he’s singing or not Malayalis across the world do listen to K.J. Yesudas.
That perhaps explains the success of Hridayathalam, a charity initiative launched by the legendary singer for giving financial assistance to heart patients, especially for heart surgery in children.
Initially launched with the target of assisting 70 heart surgeries, the project had already benefited 51 patients and was set to exceed the target.
Addressing a press conference held here on Tuesday soon after the 51st cheque under the scheme was handed over, Mr. Yesudas, as always, attributed the success of the programme to the benevolence of god. It was with visible pride that he said that not a penny was being spent out of the fund for meeting any expense other than the surgeries.
He expressed his wish to launch another initiative as a follow-up to Hridayathalam. “I don’t know whether I am getting over ambitious. But we would like to set up a rehabilitation centre where those who had undergone surgery could recuperate for the next three to four months in a hygienic and healthy environment,” Mr. Yesudas said.
The fact that many of the beneficiaries of the project had to live in highly contaminated surroundings after the surgery negating the benefits of the surgery was what fuelled his idea. Buying ambulances to bring patients from hospital to the proposed rehabilitation centre was also high on his wish list.
Mr. Yesudas said that people who had genuine love and care for him had warned him of the stress from working for the project affecting his singing. “But I don’t feel any stress. In fact I enjoy it,” said the singer. He sought the help of media persons in finding genuine beneficiaries while thanking those who lent their support for the cause.
Benny Joseph, the convener of Hridayathalam, said that 200-odd surgeries would be conducted under the project instead of the initial target of 70. If all the promised contributions were to materialise, the number could even go up to 700, he said. He said that 400-odd applications seeking help under the project were already pending.
The details of the contributors, their contributions and that of the beneficiaries would be made available in the website www.hridayathalam.com within a couple of weeks as part of ensuring maximum transparency, Mr. Joseph said. Lions District Governor Roy Varghese was also present.
Contributions may be sent into the account no:0572053000000555 with the Panampilly Nagar branch of the South Indian Bank.
Applicants for assistance may write to Hridayathalam, Veejay Towers first floor, Salim Rajan Road, Gandhi Nagar, Kochi -17 or contact 09497188299, 09446464893.
Keywords: Charitable endowment