Rocking on for Sankara Eye Foundation
Over 3500 fans flocked to San Jose to watch Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, the Bollywood trio, performing with actor, producer, and musician Farhan Akhtar at the San Jose State University on August 24, hosted by Sankara Eye Foundation, a non-profit that works to eradicate preventable blindness in India.
The music concert raised $30,000 and the fund raised would be used for the eye surgeries as well as the constructions of hospitals in Hyderabad, Mumbai and Indore.
Sankara Eye Foundation gives free eye surgeries to children and adults in India who are visually handicapped. Sankara has a chain of 13 eye hospitals comprising a team of 200 doctors, 600 paramedical professionals, 275 support staff and total bed strength of 1,800.
It has treated and performed more than 1.2 million Free Eye Care surgeries and every day about 500 eye care surgeries are performed in Sankara Hospitals. The movement was founded by Dr. R.V. Ramani and Dr. Radha Ramani in 1977.
Currently, there are 13 hospitals all over India, from the South to the North. More recently, In Hyderabad, land has been acquired for building a hospital; In Indore, construction has begun but is being stalled by the recent monsoon weather; and in Bombay a hospital is being constructed, the Jhunjhunwala Sankara Eye Hospital eye hospital, with the donor contributing more than 55 percent of the costs to build the eye hospital.
The musicians played a variety of new and old songs, which was not surprising since the team has been performing for 20 years.
The concert started with the trio joining Akhtar for a song after which the latter sang songs from his Rock On and Rock On 2 movies. The supporting band included Shannon Donald (vocals), Sarosh Izedyar (lead guitar), Darshan Doshi (drums), Umang Doshi (keyboards), and Dibyajoti Nath (bass).
The show ended with a small set of the full band with Akhtar, with the particularly strong response for Koyi Kahe from Dil Chahta Hai.
In a press meet the day before, the three main musicians had discussed their background and what drives them.
“I studied to be an engineer but fate had other plans for me. If not, I would have been with my friends in the bay area working for a technology company,” Shakar said.
Loy said he finds his area of work therapeutic. “There is a power in music,” he said. “When I am off-mood, I naturally gravitate to certain types of music that restored my balance. The healing touch of music is clear to me.”
Ehsaan, described where he draws his work from said, “My guitar music composition is inspired by many genres of music. We can work with any type of music – Japanese, and Punjabi, Kashmiri.”
But Shankar said their credo was beyond music.
“People will remember you for being a good person or human being,” he said. “Music is not only for entertainment. Music can also change lives.”