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Atlanta fundraiser for the “Temple of the Eye”

September 2007
Atlanta fundraiser for the “Temple of the Eye”

Temple1.jpg: Violinist Padmabhushan T. N. Krishnan accompanied by Nirmal Narayan on the mridangam and Sriram Krishnan on violin.

On Saturday, August 18, over 300 community members came together at the Hindu Temple of Atlanta in Riverdale for a concert representing a unique partnership between music and philanthropy.

The event was one of a series of concerts by internationally acclaimed violinist Padmabhushan T. N. Krishnan as part of a U.S. tour to raise funds for a remarkable cause: Sankara Netralaya, a Chennai-based eye hospital that makes ophthalmic care of the highest quality available to the poor. The tour is organized by the Sankara Netralaya Ophthalmic Mission (OM) Trust, a non-profit organization registered in the United States that supports the charitable activities of Sankara Netralaya. By donating to SN-OM Trust, U.S. residents can make tax-deductible contributions to help Sankara Netralaya continue to provide an international standard of ophthalmic care to all Indians, irrespective of their financial circumstances.

The opening presentation by Dr. Ananth Badrinath, son of Sankara Netralaya founder Dr S.S. Badrinath, provided the context for the afternoon, detailing the history, mission, goals, and aspirations of this ‘Temple of the Eye,' as it is often called. A video segment on Sankara Netralaya offered a glimpse into SN operations and outreach activities, as well as stories of lives changed through the institution's work.

The concert itself was an opportunity to enjoy the music of one of India's greats. During one of his prefatory addresses, Prof. Krishnan remarked with a smile that he always chooses compositions readily recognizable to his audiences. Indeed, the afternoon featured many favorites and classics of Carnatic music. Supporting violin was played by Prof. Krishnan's son Sriram Krishnan, himself an accomplished musician; on the mridangam was Nirmal Narayan, a second-generation Indian-American who is now a full-time musician in Chennai. The spirit of philanthropy that imbued the afternoon, the evident musical rapport between a legendary father and his talented son, and the unusual sight of an artist born and raised in the US ably supporting a world-renown concert maestro all combined to make the event a distinct and memorable one.

Funds raised in conjunction with the concert totaled over $15,000, a direct contribution from the Atlanta community which included $1,500 from the members of the Georgia Tamil Sangam. Fundraising efforts and concert logistics were coordinated by Seshu Sarma, who led a team of volunteers including Kalpana Rengarajan, Madhu Iyer, Raj Rengarajan, Ashok Kumar, Siva Nathan, Indira Sarma, H. Venkateswaran, Yamuna Kusuma, Karthik Nathan, Niranjana Rangarajan, and Anjali Kumar.

For more information on Sankara Netralaya and SN-OM Trust, please visit www.sankaranethralaya

~ Indira Sarma

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