BOSTON–Over 1,400 viewers tuned in to watch Vision-Aid’s Broadway-style dance show fundraiser this year, culminating in a $100,000 matching grant by a philanthropist from Kansas.
“We are completely overwhelmed with the grand success of our mega-event this year. We sincerely thank the many generous volunteers and donors who came forward to support Vision-Aid’s annual event and initiatives this year,” said Vision-Aid Chairman Puran Dang.
The virtual event was held earlier this month.
“Our heartfelt thanks to each and every one for joining us to make the event a resounding success. What a mesmerizing and enchanting performance,” said Lalit Sudan, President of Vision-Aid.
Revathy Ramakrishna, Co-Founder and Vice President of Vision-Aid, who was one of the driving forces behind the annual event logistics, said “Wow! Our producer, artistic directors, performers and volunteers just keep raising the bar by putting on enthralling events with each year surpassing the previous one.”
Vision-Aid 2021 Leadership Team
One of the highlights of the event this year was a major announcement of a $100,000 matching grant by a philanthropist from Kansas who generously provided matching offer for Smartphones for the visually impaired from under-privileged backgrounds in India.
Smart phones and Mobile Technology are a lifeline and personal assistant for the education, mobility, personal safety and almost every function in the daily lives for many needy and deserving individuals and significant funds were raised for this program during the event.
Funds for over 400 smartphones were raised just during the event, and the campaign to raise 2,000 smart phones for the under-privileged continues on the Vision-Aid web site. Vision-Aid invites anyone interested in taking advantage of this match to go www.VisionAid.org and donate. Every donation of $100 will be doubled in impact with the match and provide a life-changing assistive device to the visually impaired enabling them to do many things from safely navigating themselves with the help of AI-based applications, to accessing a range of valuable information via text-to-speech mobile applications to pursuing higher education from MOOCs like Khan Academy, Coursera, edX.
Major sponsors for the event – Vision-Aid’s “grand sponsors” are large donors who came forward generously and helped establish Vision-Aid National Resource Centers in L.V. Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, Sankara Nethralaaya and Voluntary Health Services in Chennai, Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, Shroff Charity Eye Hospital in Delhi, Community Eye Care Foundation in Pune and many other locations. The Vision-Aid said its leadership team is deeply indebted to them and all Catalyst, Platinum, Diamond, Emerald, Gold, Silver, Corporate Sponsors and Advertisers and to each and every donor.
Vision-Aid Advisory Board member Veena Handa said: “For the coming year, Vision-Aid will use all the funds that they have generated from the event for maximum impact in targeted high priority programs to strengthen and support the work of Vision-Aid in existing locations. We will selectively expand assistive programs in collaboration with our eminent partners. Our goal is to be recognized for excellence in Enabling, Educating and Empowering the visually impaired to lead productive and independent lives.”
The Chief Guest Partha Ghosh delivered an inspiring keynote speech with many valuable insights – one of them being a suggestion to consider changing the perceptions about the visually impaired by using alternate phrases like “Optically Impaired, but Visually Gifted”
The dream team behind the Seven Selfless Sovereigns
Shri Ramachandran Muralidaran of Chennai outdid himself once again this year. The choreography, music, animation, and selection of scenes evoking euphoretic emotions in this production were just outstanding. The Vision-Aid leadership team had great appreciation for his 2021 production.
Artistic Directors Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy, Suja Meyyappan, Thenu Raajan, Sheethal Dwaraka, Dhanashree Karmarkar, Aishwarya Balasubramanian and Kalaimangai Anbalagan worked tirelessly for months to bring Muralidaran Sir’s choreography to life.
Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy added English sub-titles that made the show accessible to all the audiences. English translation were also provided by Uma Devarajan, Indira Natarajan, Meena Ramamurti, Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Sankariah Ramamoorthy, Thenu Raajan, Kalaimangai Anbalagan
Senior mentors for the 2021 show who ably assisted the Artistic Directors include Adhithi Venkatesan, Ananya Venkatesan, Chitanya Gopu, Priyanka Joshi, Chetna Ayyagari, Roshini Uthayakumar.
The show had 7 episodes with the following key contributors in each one:
Vision-Aid’s The Seven Selfless Sovereigns – Scene from Episode 1
Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy, Chitanya Gopu, Priyanka Joshi, Ananya Kumar, Bhargavi Rao, Lara Scaria, Rasika Scarff, Vaidehi Moorthy
Vision-Aid’s The Seven Selfless Sovereigns – Scene from Episode 2
Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Kalaimangai Anbalgan, Adhithi Venkatesan, Ananya Venkatesan, Chetna Ayyagari, Roshini Uthayakumar, Abie Uthayakumar, Meghna Kanthan, Niranjana Anandkumar, Oviya Inian, Sunthriiwi Venkat.
Vision-Aid’s The Seven Selfless Sovereigns – Scene from Episode 3
Episode 3 and 4 –
Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Dhanashree Karmarkar, Aarya Atale, Abhilasha Banka, Amal Balachundhar, Andrea Mariadoss, Eepsitha Muppasani, Janya Utkarsh, Prisha Mishra, Rushika Susarla, Saiesha Bollapragada, Sarayu Gadam, Sonia Lakshmanan, Viritha Reddy
Supporting artists: Kaveesh Mishra, Padma Reddy, Pallavi Atale, Sudhir Ranjan, Sushma Yadala, Swapna Putta.
Vision-Aid’s The Seven Selfless Sovereigns – Scene from Episode 4
Vision-Aid’s The Seven Selfless Sovereigns – Scene from Episode 5
Thenu Raajan, Anushka Diddee, Anvita Kalpande, Ashmita Boopathy, Nidhi Ramesh, Nishi Manikandan, Praksitha Rajasekaran, Siddhi Talekar, Sumedha Konduri
Vision-Aid’s The Seven Selfless Sovereigns – Scene from Episode 7
Episode 6 and 7
Sheethal Dwaraka, Hannah Jacob, Hannah Thomas, Hrishikesh Dwaraka, Liya Liju, Mathew Alex, Madhav Girish, Meenakshi Dwaraka, Narayan Sajeev, Richa Rajesh, Shreeya Menon, Swetha Prabhala
A team of talented volunteer videographers Kanth Ghatraju, Maneesh Srivastava, Saravanan Meyyappan, Krish Velmurugan, Anand Kavalapara, Vijay Moorthy, Deepa Jacob, Liya Liju and Jayashree Menon worked tirelessly to capture all the recordings in June with Green Screens so that the videos could then be transformed to add the magical special effects which made it so magical.
Boston’s Meyyappan Meyyappan of Kolam Media Creations designed a classy brochure which showcased the production, dancers, sponsors and Vision-Aid projects.
Vision-Aid 2021 Ambassadors with Vision-Aid President Lalit Sudan and his wife Suzanne Sudan & Co-Founder Revathy Ramakrishna
2021 Vision-Aid Ambassador medal winners
Vision-Aid announced the 2021 Vision-Aid Ambassador medal winners – Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Vaidehi Moorthy, Ananya Kumar, Shefali Bakre, Ashmitha Boopathy, Saiesha Bollapragada, and Ronak Wakhlu for their outstanding contributions to Vision-Aid.
Many volunteers came together behind the scenes to pull together this mega event – Sanjay Jain, Sudhir Varma, Ujwala Phene, Syed Ali Rizvi, Paramesh Garimella, Rita Vachani, Ravi Rastogi, Sonal Bakre, Monika Manocha Wadhwa, Dr. Ramkumar Ramamirtham, Dr. Bharti Nihalani, Dr. Arun Krishnan, Veena Handa, Lovely Singh, Sonal Patel, Dr. Suraja Menon Roychoudury, Dr. Aparna Raghuram for flawlessly everything from pre-event outreach to actual streaming the ZOOM show, managing ticketing logistics, online help, social media, creating wonderful brochures and much more. Anshuman Agarwal, Isaac Williams, Vijay Francis and many others from the India team also provided significant support. Said Revathy Ramakrishna “The list of dedicated volunteers is so long that we are almost sure to miss someone inadvertently and our apologies if we inadvertently left someone out, but you know you have our sincere thanks.”
For those who missed the exciting offers of Art and BMW bike and restaurant coupons at the event, these are still open through August 15th. Vision-Aid Board member and former President, Syed Ali Rizvi said, “Thanks to our many local generous artists who have donated their wonderful artwork to Vision-Aid. Please visit our auction site biddingowl.com/visionaidinc to place your bid for a fabulous piece of art and BMW bicycle with all proceeds going to Vision-Aid and become the proud owner of a BMW bike worth $1,000 by placing a competitive bid. Thanks to BMW of Sudbury, all proceeds come to Vision-Aid. Finally, please consider ordering restaurant coupons from our event page https://visionaid.org/event. There is absolutely no extra cost to you. Coupons never expire, and part of the proceeds will be donated by the many generous participating restaurants.”
Founder & Executive Director Ramakrishna (Ram) Raju said “With so much help and good will flowing in from all directions, we will diligently and compassionately continue to expand our support and bring light in the lives of the visually disadvantaged.
More information about Vision-Aid can be found at www.VisionAid.org