Tag Archives: Sankara Eye Foundation

Falguni Pathak Sings for Local Bay Area Charity

This season of Navaratri brings with it garba, dandiya, music, masti, and hordes of Indian Americans ready to celebrate! Traditionally, garba/dandiya is associated with the region of Gujarat, however, all over America, this practice has been adopted by all. Uttar Pradesh Mandal of America (UPMA) is one such local Bay Area organization that has used the love of garba and dandiya for a good cause. On Friday, October 18th, at the San Jose Convention Center, UPMA held a benefit garba, Festival of Life “Dandiya Dhoom”, with world renowned singer, Falguni Pathak. UPMA has used the money they have raised over the past year from such events to build 10 daycare centers in Chitrakoot and helped 15,000 underprivileged women become empowered and get married. I was lucky to attend such an event on Friday October 18th; it was a night of synchronization, music, energy made unforgettable by Falguni Pathak’s infectious energy. 

“Every penny earned [by UPMA] is sent back to India.”

From left to right, Ashish Rastogi, Kiran Pandey, Manju Mishra, Nilu Gupta.

UPMA’s light and energy is sourced from founder, former President, and current Chairperson, Nilu Gupta. Nilu Gupta and Prakash Agrawal co-founded the organization in 2006 when they saw a gap in knowledge and retention of UP culture in the Bay Area.

As a Hindi professor at De Anza Community College, Nilu Ji also runs one of the few college credit Hindi courses in California; she is trying to inspire the next generation of Indian Americans to grasp their native language and keep it alive.

UPMA is not without a team of volunteers and the current president, Ritesh Tandon, is working tirelessly to keep the organization vibrant. Attending events like Festival of Life shows support for Indian culture in the Bay Area and allows us to be civically engaged transcontinentally. To learn more about UPMA, to volunteer, or to find out about upcoming events check out their website http://upmaglobal.org/.

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Dancing Feet Ready for Dandia with Sankara?

Sankara Eye Foundation has a message for you: SEF Dandia is here! SEF’s mission to eradicate curable blindness is funded by various fundraisers organized throughout the year. One of those, the flagship SEF Dandia event, is a multicultural extravaganza celebrating the start of the Indian festive season every fall, and one of the most successful fundraisers for the organization. A sold-out super successful event for the last fifteen years, we have been able to strike a balance between fun and frolic and working for a cause. Thousands fill the Santa Clara convention center to dance the night away. Patrons show their best Garba moves followed by Dandia. Then there is the synchronized performance breaking in the heat of it all. The excitement at these Dandia events speaks to the enormous support that SEF has garnered from the community.

Our next events are coming up, on Sep 28th, Oct 5th and Oct 12th at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Do not miss out on the fun. Your support will help someone see a miracle they hoped for. Join the movement.

Visit http://www.giftofvision.org to buy tickets to this event and lend your support.

Established in the Bay Area, SEF is a non-profit organization that has been working for the past twenty years for the cause of eradicating curable blindness in India. Driven by the truly inspirational cause, SEF has currently established 9 community hospitals and soon embarking on three new hospital projects. By far the most unique and remarkable characteristic of SEF is that they provide free eye care for those unable to afford it, those members of the rural poor, and this accounts for 80 percent—which is approximately 200,000 people per year—of the surgeries performed at their hospitals. The tireless efforts by the SEF team since inception, has enabled more than 1.94 million eyes (as of July 2019) to receive the gift of vision, utterly free of cost. Also, it has maintained the top rating from Charity Navigator for sound fiscal management for seven years SEF will focus its fundraising activities for 3 new projects, Focus Mumbai, Focus Hyderabad and Focus Indore. Become a Founding Donor and leave a legacy – get your name on the Wall of Founders. Double the impact of your gift with company matching. Join our cause, volunteer and share in the joy of bringing light to someone’s eyes. Please visit our website at www.giftofvision.org for more details.

Cover photo credit: Ravi Shekhar

San Jose Shows Up for Shreya Ghoshal

It was another crowd-pleasing musical extravaganza by Sankara Eye Foundation (SEF). Singing queen Shreya Ghoshal performed at the San Jose State University Event Center on Friday, August 23. All of this was for a magical cause of brightening the world. 

Shreya Ghoshal has reigned supreme in Bollywood for many years. As the audience experienced throughout the concert, Shreya is best known for her angelic vocal cords. Her sweet and melodious voice captured the ears from afar. 

Winning ZeeTv’s music contest “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa” gave Shreya the kick start she needed to launch her singing career in Bollywood. Shreya’s first Bollywood break came with the song Bairi Piya from Devdas, which won her the National Film and the Filmfare Award for Best Playback Singer (Female). 

Photo credit: Siva Dhanasekaran for SEF

The concert was stunning – Shreya Ghoshal and her orchestra brought the house down with her songs. She sang Bairi Piya, her debut Bollywood song from Devdas, and some of her latest songs, including Slow Motion from the movie Bharat. The concert started on time at 7:30 PM – all Sankara concerts start on time.  Shreya kept the audience enthralled and totally mesmerized until 11:05 PM – when her last song Ami Je Tomar from Bhool Bhulaiya ended – with the audience wanting a lot more. Shreya also took the audience in a nostalgic journey with songs from yesteryears. She performed a medley of old songs from great singers, including Rafi, Kishore, Lata and Asha, ending with Dum Maro Dum with the audience singing along.  

Shreya also acknowledged and appreciated the great work done by SEF over the years and the dedication of its volunteers. SEF donors and audience members appreciated how well the concert was organized and managed. Established in the Bay Area, SEF is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that has been working for the past 21 years for the cause of eradicating curable blindness in India.

Cover photo credit: Siva Dhanasekaran for SEF

Shreya Goshal Live in Concert for SEF!

A message from Sankara Eye Foundation, a well-loved charity that is bringing singing queen Shreya Ghoshal to San Jose State University on August 23:

Your entertainment will help someone’s dreams come true as they get their eyesight restored. Widely admired for her angelic vocal cords, Shreya Ghoshal has reigned supreme in Bollywood for many years. Winning ZeeTV’s music contest Sa Re Ga Ma Pa gave Shreya the kickstart she needed to start her singing career in Bollywood. Shreya’s first Bollywood break came with the song Bairi Piya, from Devdas, which won her the National Film and the Filmfare award for best playback singer (Female). 

Having won over 130 prestigious awards with four National Film Awards, fifteen Filmfare Awards, nine IIFA Awards, and many others, she is ready to rock and set the stage ablaze at the beautiful San Jose Event Center. Brought to you by Sankara Eye Foundation, Shreya Ghoshal live, a concert for a cause that will help bring the precious gift of sight to the poor visually impaired in India. Do not miss the opportunity to experience this musical extravaganza.

Established in the Bay Area, SEF is a non-profit organization that has been working for the past twenty years for the cause of eradicating curable blindness in India. Driven by the truly inspirational cause, SEF has currently established nine community hospitals and soon embarking on four new hospital projects. By far the most unique and remarkable characteristic of SEF is that they provide free eye care for those unable to afford it, those members of the rural poor, and this accounts for 80 percent — which is approximately 200,000 people per year — of the surgeries performed at their hospitals. The tireless efforts by the SEF team since inception, has enabled more than 2 million eyes to receive the gift of vision, utterly free of cost. Also, it has maintained the top rating from Charity Navigator for sound fiscal management for seven years.

SEF will focus its fundraising activities for three new projects, Focus Mumbai, Focus Hyderabad and Focus Indore. Become a Founding Donor and leave a legacy –- get your name on the Wall of Founders. Double the impact of your gift with company matching. Join our cause, volunteer and share in the joy of bringing light to someone’s eyes. Please visit our website at www.giftofvision.org for more details, or contact Murali Krishnamurthy, Executive Chairman, SEF at muralik@giftofvision.org

Shreya Ghoshal – LIVE IN CONCERT

Friday, August 23, 2019 at 7.00PM

San Jose Event Center,

San Jose, CA

Tickets available at www.giftofvision.org/events

For more information, visit www.giftofvision.org or call 1 (866) Sankara.

Sankara Eye Foundation presents “Klose To My Life”

A  fundraiser concert to eradicate curable blindness in India

Sankara Eye Foundation is bringing the Magnificent Musical Extravaganza of the year.  Legendary singers Sonu Nigam & Neha Kakkar with Live Symphony Orchestra of 45 Musicians at the beautiful Oracle Arena on June 15th. All this is for a magical cause of brightening this world. Your entertainment will help someone’s dreams come true as they get their eyesight restored.

Sonu Nigam & Neha Kakkar Concert

June 15, 2019 

7:30 pm

Oracle Arena, Oakland

Tickets starting at $39

Tickets available at www.giftofvision.org/events

For more information, visit www.giftofvision.org or call 1 (866) Sankara.

Established in the Bay Area, SEF is a non-profit organization that has been working for the past twenty years for the cause of eradicating curable blindness in India. Driven by the truly inspirational cause, SEF has currently established 9 community hospitals and soon embarking on three new hospital projects. By far the most unique and remarkable characteristic of SEF is that they provide free eye care for those unable to afford it, those members of the rural poor, and this accounts for 80 percent—which is approximately 200,000 people per year—of the surgeries performed at their hospitals. The tireless efforts by the SEF team since inception, has enabled 1.95 million eyes to receive the gift of vision, utterly free of cost.  Also, it has maintained the top rating from Charity Navigator for sound fiscal management for seven years

SEF will focus its fundraising activities for 3 new projects, Focus Mumbai, Focus Hyderabad and Focus Indore.  Become a Founding Donor and leave a legacy – get your name on the Wall of Founders. Double the impact of your gift with company matching. Join our cause, volunteer and share in the joy of bringing light to someone’s eyes. Please visit our website at www.giftofvision.org for more details.

 

This article was provided to India Currents by Sankara Eye Foundation

Sankara Taps AI in Blindness Campaign

Long lines in front of eye doctors’ clinics do not include children who have never complained that they can’t see.

They are blind, and they don’t know it. Their world has always been hazy. They have never seen it any other way. Thousands of others are silently turning blind with diabetes, and don’t even know it. The challenge to help these people increases manifold when they are in remote areas, where no specialized treatment can reach them.

It is in cases like these, when a mere selfie can alert the doctors of impending visual problems, that Dr. Kaushik Murali, an  ophthalmologist/ eye surgeon at Sankara Eye Hospital Bangalore, is hoping artificial intelligence can be the answer. The problem, if nipped in the bud, can save the vision of the child or a diabetic individual.

Murali and his team have annotated 8,000 retinal scan pictures, including a range of people with vision problems resulting from diabetes. This will help identify the beginnings of this specific cause of blindness, a disease called diabetic retinopathy. ROP is caused by type-two diabetes. They are training the algorithm to identify key markers of diabetic retinopathy, such as nerve tissue damage, swelling, and hemorrhaging. The disease creates lesions in the back of the retina that can lead to total blindness. “Today the algorithm has 98 percent capability of identifying any patient who has a ROP change,” said Murali.

Seventy million people have diabetes in India and 18 percent of diabetic Indians already have the ailment, according to the International Diabetes Federation. By 2045, India is projected to have 134 million cases, making India the country with the most number of diabetics,

Many diabetic patients assume that early signs of the disease are simply minor vision problems. Some don’t even know they are diabetic. In these cases, where blindness often is preventable if diabetic retinopathy is caught early, loss of vision is unnecessary. Medications, therapies, exercise, and a healthy diet are highly effective treatments for preventing further damage if the disease is diagnosed early enough,

The system is trained by deep learning. The program’s diagnosis for each image is compared with that of the ophthalmological panel and the parameters of the function are adjusted to reduce the error margin for each image. This process is repeated for each image until the program can make an accurate diagnosis based on the intensity of pixels in the retinal image. The results are extremely encouraging. The algorithm showed similar — in fact slightly better — levels of sensitivity and specificity as a panel of ophthalmologists.

A similar campaign is spearheading the cause of preventing blindness in children. A lazy eye will be quickly caught by the machine and preemptive action planned.

Ritu Marwah is an award winning author, chef, debate coach, and mother of two boys. She lives in the bay area and  has deep experience in Silicon Valley start-ups as well as large corporations as a senior executive.

Sankara Raises Over $500K

The gentleness of the Sankara family and their quiet demeanor reached out and enveloped attendees as they entered the India Community Center in Milpitas on December 8. Sankara Eye Foundation’s annual banquet was held to raise funds for surgeries and to support construction of hospitals in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana.

Student volunteers guided patrons toward steaming delicious food served by Mantra. Amritsari fish and almond tikkis along with melt-in-the-mouth tandoori paneer welcomed the guests. The aroma of hot sweet chai tea flavored the air mixing with the sounds of music sung by Smriti Jayaraman. Two dancers in bright Indian attire gracefully twirled on stage to familiar Bollywood tunes.

Picture: Founder and Executive Chairman of SEF, Murali Krishnamurthy , Mr. and Mrs. Ram Reddy (President TIE SV), Mr. and Mrs Jay Vishwanathan (ED TIE SV), Dr. Ramani(Founder and Chairman Sankara India).

Sankara’s target that evening was to raise half a million dollars. Ram Reddy urged the gathering to participate in the cause that changed people’s lives for as little as $30.

Dr. R. V. Ramani, the chief guest and founder Sankara Eye Foundation-India, explained that donations in part go toward setting up hospitals and building new operation rooms within existing locations. These new facilities work to become self-sustaining units. They operate utilizing the principle of an 80-20 split, meaning that for every one operation done for a client that pays, four free operations are performed for those in need at one of the hospitals run by Sankara in India.

India has the largest population of the world’s blind with over 55 million visually impaired individuals with 8 million of them totally blind. The Sankara team reported that each location completes 50 surgeries every day.

For a $1,000 donation, the donor can get their name imprinted on a wall reserved for founders, while for a donation of just $30 a donor can fund a single surgery.

Timely retinal scans prevent blindness in children. Dr. Kaushik Murali, a pediatric ophthalmologist who works at Sankara Eye Hospital in Bangalore said, “The two large public health problems that we have looked at are diabetic retinal disease and childhood blindness, especially amblyopia, where a child does not use both eyes equally. One eye is more dominant and the brain suppresses the other eye because of which development gets impacted. We can capture an image of the retina and have a machine learning (ML) algorithm identify the areas that have been impacted and help grade it. This procedure democratizes screenings and makes it available to a  larger number of people. In theory, we can take a picture of your retina with your Android phone and with some modifications run it through an app, and that app will tell you whether you need to see a doctor.”

Any improvements in the ability to identify amblyopia in children is crucial, especially when such improvements can help to broaden access to screening procedures for the majority of children. This is because children often simply adapt to changes in vision or visual impairment. Rather than identify the presence of an issue, they will rely more on one eye, moving further away or closer to the object they are viewing. Amblyopia results in reduced visual acuity, binocularity, depth perception, and contrast sensitivity.

This not only impacts the weaker eye, which is deteriorating, but also increases the strain on the other eye which is stronger. Strain caused by amblyopia can affect the child’s energy levels, fine motor skills, ability to concentrate, and can eventually cause social problems. These problems can lead to children losing confidence, failing in school, and being mislabeled as inept or aggressive.

Sankara’s work to combat amblyopia is happening across their multiple hospitals as well as through their work at partner hospitals.

Manjula and Viggy Mokkarala, who had seen Viggy’s father perform surgeries that altered peoples’ lives, chose Sankara as their nonprofit of choice. At the Sankara Foundation gala at ICC, they gave $100,000 toward this cause.

Similarly, Ameeta and Dilmohan Chadha donated a large sum to the cause. Chadha said he felt the tenets of his religion, Sikhism, sarbad da galah (welfare of all) and Vandh Chako, (share what one has with others), taught him to share what he had. Sankara, Chadha said, is the conduit through which we can practice our religion’s teachings.

As the evening progressed, the happiness of this shared experience of making a difference in people’s lives lightened the mood. The founder and executive chairman of SEF, Murali Krishnamurthy, broke into a song, “Jot se jot jalate chalo,” light one candle with another.

Ritu Marwah is an award winning author, chef, debate coach, and mother of two boys. She lives in the bay area and  has deep experience in Silicon Valley start-ups as well as large corporations as a senior executive.

SEF Dandia 2018 Enthralls the Bay Area like Never Before

The 2018 Sankara Eye Foundation (SEF) Dandia season began with a resounding opening featuring the legendary Dandia Queen Falguni Pathak on October 5 and 6 and ended with a successful show featuring acclaimed singers Preetysha and Sameer on October 20. These events enthralled the attendees and lighted up not just the Bay Area, but also the world of those needlessly blind. Falguni Pathak in performance with the Ta Thaiya band was a sight to behold. Twenty-five years and counting, they showed why they make such a great team. Though folk music is the core of her performances, she is known for surprising audiences with a peppy mix of Bollywood music and folk songs, and she recreated that magic again. One after another, she sang melodious as well as high-energy songs, and the crowd grooved as if there was no tomorrow. There wasn’t a person that left without a smile and a happy heart, feeling satisfied with the non-stop dancing. After showering the organization with accolades, rave reviews, and appreciation for the flawless Dandia event with the legendary Dandia Queen Falguni Pathak, attendees turned up in huge numbers to show their support and end the festive season with the talented duo of Preetysha and Sameer.

They have performed for SEF for more than a decade, each time entertaining a sold-out crowd. Their camaraderie, connection with the audience, unmeasurable talent is a beautiful confluence with SEF’S vision, passion, and zeal to eradicate curable blindness in India. Preetysha and Sameer understand the pulse of the attendees and they made them dance to one popular number after another. Their trademark, ‘Sanedo’ usually performed at the end, left the crowd wanting more, and was a befitting end to an enthralling evening. Though the three events were in the spotlight, Bay Area was spoiled with choices, with SEF organizing five Dandia events, and ten overall across the country. The Laser Dandia at Pleasanton by DJ Precaution on October 13th and by Sangeeta and Troupe on October 20th were both sold out, and the patrons gave an overwhelming thumbs-up to the organization, entertainment factor, and the beautiful experience they had. The patrons really savored the flawless execution, minute attention to detail, and entertainment par excellence at all these events. But the SEF exclusive tradition of the Diya Aarti, really made the whole experience divine and complete, keeping the festivities in mind. At half time, at each of these events, patrons joined in the devotional aarti with the little tea light Diya in their palms and created a magically mesmerizing sight #SEFDiyaAarti is an annual ritual that has been created at SEF Dandia where a beautiful amalgamation of the devotion and the organization’s worthy cause reverberates magically throughout the venue, as everyone sings aarti in unison with lighted Diya on their palms. Thousands of people reveled in these events, appreciated the SEF exclusive perks like the free Garba/Dandia lessons, free Dandia sticks check-in, among many others, and appreciated the tradition of keeping patrons first, another trademark feature of every event organized by the organization.

Established in the Bay Area, SEF is a nonprofit organization that has been working for the SANKARA EYE FOUNDATION, USA • 1900 McCarthy BLVD #302 • MILPITAS, CA 95035 • 1-866-SANKARA • INFO@GIFTOFVISION.ORG past 20 years for the cause of eradicating curable blindness in India. Driven by the truly inspirational vision of eradicating curable blindness in India, SEF currently has 9 super specialty hospitals and is working on three new hospitals- in Hyderabad, Indore, and Mumbai. By far a unique and remarkable characteristic of SEF is that they provide free eye care for those unable to afford it, the rural poor. These account for 80 percent—which is approximately 150,000 people per year—of the surgeries performed at their hospitals. The tireless efforts by the SEF team since inception has enabled over 1.79 million people to receive the gift of vision, absolutely free of cost. The organization has maintained the top rating from Charity Navigator for sound fiscal health and commitment to accountability and transparency. Become a Founding Donor and leave a legacy –-  get your or your loved ones’ name on the Wall of Founders. Double the impact of your gift with company matching. Join the cause, volunteer, and share in the joy of bringing light to someone’s eyes.

Eye-opening Concert by SEL+F

Who knew that it would be the memory of Sankara Eye Foundation (SEF) Founder Murali Krishnamurthy singing that would stay in my heart after the Shankar Ehsaan Loy and Farhan Akhtar 2018 concert?

“Jyot se jyot jagate chalo, prem ki ganga bahaatay chalo.” (Light another’s lamp with your own, let the river of love flow.)

During the event, Murali Krishnamurthy presented the progress of the organization to the event attendees. He thanked them for their support and announced that three hospitals in India have now become self-sufficient and two more are close to becoming self-sufficient. He also talked about extending capacity in India by partnering with highly qualified organizations to reach the remotest places in India. Together, SEF will be performing more than 200,000 free surgeries this year.

“It is always a pleasure to associate with SEF. Every time we meet people working for the cause, we feel so insignificant. They give us so much inspiration. Along with music, if we can be a part of this cause, we are looking at a bigger picture of what music can do.” Shankar Mahadevan spoke passionately about the association of Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy with SEF.

Credit: Rupali Gupta Photography for SEF

The SEL trio promised that the show will be a high-energy show and they did not disappoint. Their excitement to perform together for a noble cause was evident on their faces. Everything was bigger, grander, filled with energy, and a sight to behold as the crowds danced their hearts out. The concert was an eclectic mix of soul-stirring romantic songs and foot-tapping dance numbers. Songs from the movie Dil Chahta Hai were the clear favorites, but the poetry recital by Farhan Akhtar set the mood. His occasional narration of anecdotes from his life had the audience in splits. With every song, the atmosphere got better, brighter, and happier.

“San Jose! My engineering friends!” Shankar Mahadevan called out after commenting on the inverse relationship between the volume of the cheers and the distance from the stage. He was hinting at his own education as an engineer, before his love for music claimed him. The crowd roared as the call and response proceeded. Shankar Mahadevan was his effervescent self and brought his humorous side to the stage. The crowd was putty in his hands, as his musical virtuosity blazed through.

Loy played a beautiful rendition of the song ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’. Ehsaan mesmerized with the guitar. A packed house came alive when Shankar sang the song ‘It’s the Time to Disco’ and ‘Galla Goodiyan’. Farhan Akhtar’s singing was not bad, but clearly he was sharing the limelight with musical giants of a much higher caliber. Curtains came down on the show with the trio performing with Farhan Akhtar and the audience came alive, even at the tail end of the concert. The atmosphere became celebratory when Shankar Mahadevan mentioned that the day marked the trio’s 22-year anniversary and thanked fans worldwide for supporting them and being instrumental in their success.

A few patrons shared their amazing experience at the SEF organized event. Madhvi Pratt, Nigel Pratt and Jay Visvanathan from Los Altos were there “for the wonderful music and to support Sankara Eye Foundation.”

Madhvi Pratt, Nigel Pratt and Jay Visvanathan at the concert.

Shamik Mehta was there to see Farhan Akhtar, whose films, he felt, were superb at depicting deep friendships. Raj Vakil from Santa Clara was hoping to hear ‘Gallan Gudia.’ Farhan Akhtar fan Neha Desai had eyes only for her ‘Farru,’ official eye candy of the show.

Volunteers Lata Malviya, Hema Rambia and Matha Tallam were handing out brochures with information about SEF.

SEF Volunteers

The last strain as I walked away from the San Jose State University event center was ‘Ay vatan,’ a nostalgic number from Raazi. Swaying concert attendees mouthed the words, singing along with their friends as the concert wound down and the performers took a bow.

ABOUT SEF:

Established in the Bay Area, SEF is a nonprofit organization that has been working for the past 20 years for the cause of eradicating curable blindness in India. Driven by this truly inspirational vision, SEF currently has 9 super specialty hospitals and is working on three new hospitals – in Hyderabad, Indore, and Mumbai. The tireless efforts by the SEF team since inception has enabled over 1.75 million people to receive the gift of vision, absolutely free of cost. The organization has maintained the top rating from Charity Navigator for sound fiscal health and commitment to accountability and transparency. SEF will host a Dandia extravaganza this year featuring Falguni Pathak.

Article cover photo credit: Rupali Gupta Photography for SEF

Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy & Farhan Akhtar Live!

Join Sankara Eye Foundation (SEF) and spend an evening with the world-class trio Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy, along with the multi-talented Farhan Akhtar. Mark your calendars for this mesmerizing musical concert on August 24 in San Jose, CA and August 25 in Pasadena, CA. 

Shankar Mahadevan is a singer and music composer and made an impressive start with his first album Breathless. He has won the National award multiple times for best playback singer and best music director. Ehsaan Noorani is a music composer,  guitarist and has lent his vocals to many Bollywood songs such as “Ek Junoon” from Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and “Don The Theme” from Don. Loy Mendonsa played the guitar and piano for A.R Rehman before he became a music composer. Farhan Akhtar, the son of noted screenwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar, is an Indian film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, playback singer and television host. After beginning his career in Bollywood as an assistant director for Lamhe (1991), Farhan made his directorial debut with Dil Chahta Hai (2001), which won a National award. Farhan Akhtar made his Hollywood debut through the soundtrack of Bride and Prejudice (2004), for which he wrote the lyrics. His official acting debut was with Rock On!! (2008), for which he won a second National Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi as producer. He wrote the dialogues, produced and acted for the critical and commercial success Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011), which won him two Filmfare Awards, including Best Supporting Actor. His portrayal of Milkha Singh in the 2013 film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag earned him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor.

The trio of Shankar/Ehsaan/Loy has created magic together and won many national awards for best Music Direction with such hits as Kal Ho Na Ho, Dil Chahta Hai, Bunty aur Babli, Rock On, Dil Dhadakane Do, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, and so on. They also won awards for Two States (Best Music) and Mission Kashmir (Best Background Music).

When Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy did a 5 city tour for SEF two years ago, they rocked the jam-packed auditoriums and the audience left wanting for more! Here is a chance to experience this for yourself, along with the talented Farhan Akhtar.

You can help prevent needless blindness by enjoying this fun-filled musical event with family and friends- does it get any better than that? Buy your tickets online at www.giftofvision.org today and treat yourself to an amazing experience, while brightening someone’s world.

Driven by the truly inspirational vision of eradicating curable blindness, Sankara Eye Foundation (SEF)  currently has 9 hospitals and is working on three new hospitals- in Hyderabad, Indore and Mumbai. SEF provides free eye care for those unable to afford it, the rural poor, accounting for 80 percent (approx. 150,000 people per year) of surgeries performed at SECI hospitals. The tireless efforts by the SEF team since inception has enabled over 1.75 million people to receive the gift of vision, absolutely free of cost. www.giftofvision.org