Concert marks beginning of Cancare Foundation's initiatives

The ‘jugalbandhi' featuring Malladi Brothers and Gundecha Brothers here on Thursday marked the beginning of a host of initiatives that Cancare Foundation will take up in the area of palliative care.

The Foundation, a non-governmental organisation established by senior oncologists and social workers, will work towards “enshrining palliative care as a basic right of every Indian citizen”, as anchor for the evening, dancer Anita Ratnam, put it.

The concert, a fundraiser event featuring the noted Carnatic vocal duo Malladi Sreeramaprasad and Malladi Ravikumar and leading Dagarvani Dhrupad singers, Umakant Gundecha and Ramkant Gundecha, was not just a confluence of two different styles, but also that of four robust voices with distinctly different tones.

The concert began with the duos presenting one piece each in their respective styles.

The highlight of the evening, however, was the presentation of raaga Abheri and its Hindustani counterpart Bhimplas.

With each of the artists interpreting the scale in his own style, an interesting juxtaposition of the raaga emerged – highlighting the artists' ability to treat the notes with delightful oscillations and glides, or simply hit a straight note with admirable precision.

This was followed by a Raagam, Thanam, Pallavi in raaga Shankarabharanam with the lyrics “Sangeethamae Madhuram, Swara Raga Laya Bharateeya-” in praise of Indian music. The exchanges among the artists made for an interesting musical evening. Accompanying the singers were Embar Kannan on the violin, Mahadevu Lakshmi Narayana Raju on the Mridangam and Akhilesh Gundecha on the Pakhawaj.

Speaking on the occasion S.G. Ramanan, trustee of the Cancare Foundation, said for a patient battling a serious ailment, life could be challenging. Commuting to a hospital or waiting for a doctor could be exhausting for a patient, already suffering with tubes and catheters in the body. “The Foundation seeks to ease this pressure,” he said.

Providing palliative care at patients' homes, setting up a palliative care centre in the city and offering financial assistance to patients who cannot afford treatment are some of the initiatives the Foundation would be taking up. The Foundation also aims at contributing to education in palliative care, a field that even the medical fraternity was woefully lacking in, Dr. Ramanan observed. Kerala had some good work being done in the area, which was worth emulation, he added.

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Meera SrinivasanJune 28, 2012