LIFE

A magical touch

Juggle to make them giggle.

Juggle to make them giggle.  

Bringing cheer to the faces of the underprivileged is always a commendable job. David VanDerveer, a juggler, an entertainer, a comedian - call him whatever you want, has gone one step further to prove how you can make that smile stay there for ever. His project `Mission Tsunami' is an example. He has collected a sum of US $30,000 through his personal efforts in the US for rehabilitation of tsunami victims.

"We relied on the generosity of the people," David says with a smile. His friends in the restaurant business chipped in their contribution by preparing free food for the fundraiser. "Some in the music industry performed live for free. We invited the public to enjoy the party and donate whatever is possible. The response was tremendous," he adds.

David drew his inspiration from Swami Satchidananda's teachings. "I am a regular visitor to his centre in Virginia and that in turn paved way for my connection with India," says David, who is married to Kumud, a Coimbatorean.

What about the magician in him?

"Basically, I'm a juggler and the job demands immense concentration. We learn yoga and meditation but the practice slips away when you are caught up with work. So, I wanted to make a living doing yoga and meditation." What inspired him to start the fundraiser for tsunami victims?

"My popularity in the US as an entertainer. And, I had strong connections in India and also in Thailand."

David was involved with tsunami relief work at Thailand from February. As part of his efforts in India, he has visited tsunami-affected areas in Nagapattinam, Cuddalore and Pondicherry.

He says, "Pondicherry is very well taken care of by agencies from France, Germany and America. Better houses and schools are required in the other two places for rehabilitation." The basic objective of the fundraiser is to help the schools in the tsunami-affected areas.

`Mission Tsunami' donated a sum of US $5,000 to Coimbatore City Round Table 31 (CCRT) on Wednesday. CCRT 31 will, in turn, build schools for those affected in the coastal belt of Tamil Nadu through Round Table India's (RTI) `Freedom Through Education' national project.

The magician in David came alive as he juggled with balls and clubs effortlessly for the deaf and dumb children of Corporation School (deaf and dumb), RS Puram.

He also performed the disappearing act of a lighted cigarette.

By K. Jeshi in Coimbatore

Photo: K.Ananthan

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