Celebrities like cricketer M.S. Dhoni have tapped their feet to the music of this band.
At the Indian Disabled League (IDL) Blind Band's recent performance — at the closing ceremony of the Mother Express exhibition at Cantonment Station — band members say that the bustle on the platform quietened as people paused to listen to their performance.
All the band's singers practise hard by listening to music and singing for two or three hours every day.
Band member Rajeswari, whose favourite food is chicken (this has been discovered after much confusion and plenty of giggles on her part), blushes as she says that one of the highlights of her singing career has been to perform for Kannada film star Ganesh. Sridhar, never at a loss for words, puts in quickly that chicken is also his favourite food, “especially KFC chicken”. Friendly and talkative, he says his most memorable performance was singing for M.S. Dhoni at Hotel Ashok, where he tied a friendship band on the cricketer's wrist. Sonu Nigam is another celebrity that the singers say they particularly enjoyed performing for.
The Indian Disabled League (IDL) Blind Band, supported by the IDL Foundation, has performed for a variety of audiences. The foundation, which started up in Malleswaram seven years ago, has moved from its original location to nearby Mathikere, having taken up a 10-room building for rent. The building houses several of the foundation's activities, also serving as a hostel for the blind. “We invite people to come and celebrate their birthdays with us at the foundation. They can enjoy musical performances by the band with their families and friends, and help us by donating to the foundation and providing the residents with a meal,” says P.K. Paul, founder and executive trustee. “We want people to join and support us. We don't want pity.” P.K. Paul can be contacted on 9342530290.