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Download a ringtone to support a special child

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RINGING IN SUPPORT: RASA founder Ambika Kameshwar with a group of special children in Chennai.
RINGING IN SUPPORT: RASA founder Ambika Kameshwar with a group of special children in Chennai.

M. Dinesh Varma

The tones are abridged versions of compositions by RASA founder-director

CHENNAI: Now, support a special child when you download a ringtone for your mobile.

A Chennai-based not-for-profit organisation Ramana Sunritya Aalaya (RASA) Centre for Theatre Arts and Special Needs has tied up with a Kolkata-based start-up company Tunespray to host a database of 50 ringtones in MP3 format on its website ( www.rasaindia.org).

The tones are abridged versions of compositions by RASA founder director Ambika Kameshwar who is a classical singer, Bharathanatyam exponent and choreographer.

“Thankfully, my work on musicology all these years is vast enough to launch several hundred ring tones,” Ms. Ambika told The Hindu.

Tunespray founder-CEO Rahul Nandi said the idea was to keep the venture mobile operator independent as revenue sharing agreements were mostly skewed (almost 70 per cent) in their favour in such value-added schemes.

They hope that a good offtake would help raise a corpus to sustain the three RASA centres in the city.

The inspiration for setting up RASA was when Ms. Ambika trained a blind student of the Ramana Maharshi Academy for the Blind in Bangalore to stage a solo.

She set up RASA in 1989 after moving to Chennai and even developed a structured curriculum at her centre which grants a Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Movement Education.

As the intake of special children increased at the three RASA branches, the annual expenditure kept mounting.

Since the holistic self-development support at these centres is offered free of cost, the enormity of the challenge of making ends meet too kept growing. The tie-up with Tunespray came about after it became obvious that RASA required a structured method of fund-raising rather than the odd charity show.

In a way, the venture is a reaffirmation of Ms. Ambika’s unshakeable conviction that noble work will somehow find its philanthropist supporter.

RASA has grown on the basis of little contributions from a diverse range of donors, including the underprivileged.

Perhaps, the most prized donor was the tramp who, on seeing a group of special children playing in a Chennai park, walked up to a RASA supervisor and handed over a soiled five rupee note.

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