LEXINGTON, MA–The elegant setting of Cary Hall in Lexington Center was electrified on Sunday (April 23rd), reverberating to a rocking “fun-raiser” by Vision-Aid, a Lexington, MA based non-profit. (Photos: Fotu Duniya)
With over 475 attendees, dancing, singing and cheering on a stream of lively music, it was truly a feast for the senses, captivating the audiences, while helping to raise funds for children with visual impairment and multiple disabilities in programs supported by Vision-Aid and the Perkins School for the Blind. These programs have been doing a phenomenal job in identifying such children even in remote rural areas, so that appropriate interventions can be offered to these vulnerable children at an early age.
The event began with a short but inspiring opening ceremony featuring video presentations about the impactful work of Vision-Aid and Perkins. Vision-Aid’s Chairman Emeritus Mr. Puran Dang and Vice Chair Veena Handa, extended a special welcome to special guests – Perkins School for the Blind – Katie Holland, Rebecca Fater, Natalie Anderson and Paige Holtzman; from the Aravind Eye Hospital in India – Dr. Sahithya Bhaskaran and Dr. Tej Prasad and Dr. Beula Christy, Head of Vision Rehabilitation, from the L.V.Prasad Eye Institute in India. Perkins, Aravind and LVPEI are important strategic allies and partners of Vision-Aid.
Vision-Aid Volunteer President Lalit Sudan, Director & Past President Syed Ali Rizvi, Director Sonal Bakre and Founders Ramakrishna Raju and Revathy Ramakrishna introduced programs of Vision-Aid, Perkins and thanked the several key sponsors for their gracious support.
The Din Check Band on stage featured Jolly Bhatia, Meenakshi Kulshreshta and Guru Anandh (vocals), Anandini Sekhar (Keyboard and vocals), Samir Bhambhani (guitarist) and Mike Grover (guitarist) and Kamal Dasu (drums). The band outdid themselves and raised the bar to a whole new level in a simply rocking performance – perhaps the best ever concert put on by this lively team of artists. The vibrant medley of songs, and months of practice shone through, and had audiences cheering and dancing in the aisles and theater. The music moved from fast and lively Bollywood numbers to lilting and melodious tunes creating a rich and melodious tapestry celebrating Bollywood music of all ages. The highlight was the legendary Oscar and Golden Globe winning “Naatu Naatu”.
The show was lit up by fabulous lighting provided by the legendary DJ Yogz Rana (Boston Sound and Light Company) and transformed the hall, providing an electrifying rock concert ambience.
Sanjay Kudrimoti of Fotu Duniya – The Picture World, along with his talented wife Vasudha Kudrimoti, managed many aspects of the show from Photography to Visuals for Din Check and finally even dancing to Naatu Naatu on stage.
From the lobby to backstage, a virtual army of dedicated volunteers seamlessly ran the complex behind the scenes logistics and operations from ticketing, ushering, aisle management, food distribution and stage management. The volunteer team included Sonal Bakre, Syed Ali Rizvi, Sanjay and Vasudha Kudrimoti, Shreyas Kudrimoti, Shashank Bakre, Atul Nimbalkar, Vamsi Kolakani, Ujwala Phene, Veena Handa, Pramod Handa, Hiral Desai Wakhlu, Anurag Wakhlu, Manisha Jain, Mayuri Shah, Revathi Pillai, Dr. Dipti Maniar Kamani, Reena and Swaroop Vattam, Jeyanthi Ghataraju, Monika Manocha Wadhwa, Dr. Loubaina Buxamusa, Rekha Palriwala, Swasti Bhargava, Sangeet Srikanth, Neeta Agarwal, Rohan Rastogi, Vijaya Nelavelli, Revathy Ramakrishna, Ramakrishna Raju and over a dozen high school youth volunteers led by Vision-Aid Youth President Ronak Wakhlu. A special mention needs to be made about Sanjay Kudrimoti who serves on the Board of Vision-Aid and led all of the A/V and multi-media needs of the show while also serving as a photographer with the able support of his wife Vasudha and son Shreyas.
Clay Oven Restaurant of Lexington offered delicious welcome snacks and tea. Rekha Jain of Mayin Arts LLC displayed beautiful jewelry sets while Raffle prizes were offered by Ruchir (Manasi Kulkarni), RiMi all things desi U.S.A. (Mayuri Shah), Western Bharat (by Purti Gupta), Shree Sai Vogue (by Srilakshmi Srinivasan).
Audiences were raving about the show immediately after the show and later, in an outpouring on social media. One of the key sponsors of the show said “This is the best show I have ever seen!”.
Jolly Bhatia on behalf of Din Check said “Our heart is full from all the appreciation that’s pouring in from the hall full of audience and how all of this contributes through Vision-Aid to put smiles on faces of the visually impaired – we are humbled”
Sonal Bakre, Board Member of Vision-Aid and key organizer for Naatu Naatu who conceived the idea in late December, said “OMG. I could not have even dreamed of such an amazing outcome in my wildest dreams. Not only did Din Check and Vision-Aid create an amazing and fun event for the whole community, we also helped to raise funds for one of our most important programs in partnership with the Perkins School for the Blind to help children with visual impairment and multiple disabilities. It is a truly humbling and happy moment for all of us on the Vision-Aid Team and I sincerely thank the entire community, all volunteers and the Din Check Band for making this dream become a reality”
More information about Vision-Aid can be found at www.VisionAid.org and the team is already starting to look forward to its next mega event on July 23rd in Littleton in the form of its signature annual event – a Broadway style dance show “Son of the Wind – The saga of Hanuman”, choreographed by Madurai R. Muralidaran and Artistic Directors Jeyanthi Ghatraju and Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy. Early Bird ticketing for this will open on May 1, and it is set to be another , sold-out event.