Unique Indo-US Musical Collaboration to Raise Awareness
HelpMeSee Promotes Training of Cataract Surgeons to Achieve Cataract Surgical Backlog Free Districts in Indiaby 2020
Mumbai, October 18th, 2016: The unique Music for Vision concerts being held at Mumbai and Delhi in October marks the start of a new phase in the Global Campaign to eradicate Preventable Cataract Blindness with a target to promote training of cataract surgeons and achieve surgical backlog free districts in some of the poorest and most backward parts of India by 2020. India has the largest cataract-affected population in the world – nearly 15 million.
The concerts, being held at the prestigious NCPA, Mumbai and Siri Fort Auditorium, Delhi are a unique Indo-US musical collaboration that brings together leading international musicians. They are presented by HelpMeSee and Music for Life International (MFLI), two well-known international organisations. The dates of the concerts are October 20th at Tata Theatre, NCPA, Mumbai and October 23rd at Siri Fort auditorium, Delhi.
They will feature legendary Sarod Maestro Amjad Ali Khan; distinguished US based conductor and MFLI Artistic Director, George Mathew; renowned American violinist; Elmira Darvarova (the first woman ever to serve as Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York); and the Bombay Chamber Orchestra which has brought orchestral music to Indian audiences for more than half a century. The concerts will feature iconic works by Indian and American composers, Amjad Ali Khan who will be soloist in his Samaagam Concerto for Sarod and Orchestra, and Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring respectively.
MFLI Artistic Director George Mathew observed, “Music has the capacity not only to bring people together for a cause, it has frequently and can become the vehicle to illuminate the cause. Aaron Copland’s iconic ballet music is a powerful metaphor for the gift of vision that HelpMeSee seeks to bring to millions of people affected by cataract in India and beyond.”
India Vision: A Five Year Perspective
HelpMeSee, which has successfully trained and supported 242 partner surgeons in nine countries who performed over 248,000 surgeries, created India’s first ‘Cataract-surgical backlog free’ district in Chitrakoot, Uttar Pradesh in 2014 and subsequently replicated this in another four districts (two each in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh).
Through advanced training of at least 20 surgeons each in every district, HelpMeSee partner organizations and surgeons expect to carry out millionsof surgeries across India by 2020 with the aim of creating cataract surgical backlog free districts in some of the most remote and backward regions in the country.
HelpMeSee has opened the world’s first virtual reality based simulation learning development centre in Mumbai. The learning development centre uses hi-fidelity simulator training systems that are based on aviation pilot training simulator technology.
The HelpMeSee India Foundation campaign is supported by an India Advisory Board with eminent business leaders,eMr Ranjit Shahani, VC &MD, Novartis, MrPradip Shah, Founder, Chairman of IndAsia Fund Advisors, Mr. Sunil Mehta, Chairman and MD, SPM Advisers and distinguished personalities, Ms HemaMalini and Mr Kapil Dev, Mrs. Subhalakshmi Khan amongst others.
Jacob Mohan Thazhathu, President and CEO, HelpMeSee said, “Affordable, high quality cataract surgery, is the underlying cause of cataract blindness, which constitutes more than half of all blindness in the world. By promoting training of 20 skilled cataract surgeons in every district and cost of surgery at Rs.7,000, cataract blindness elimination can achieve significant economic impact. Effective public-private partnerships will leave no blind person behind and we can eliminate cataract blindness in India.”