Tue, Dec 6, 2016 | updated 11:29 PM IST

HelpMeSee organises musical global campaign to eradicate Cataract blindness

Updated: Oct 26, 2016 18:10 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 26 (ANI): Two unique Music for Vision concerts being held in Mumbai and Delhi in October marks the start of a new phase in HelpMeSee's global campaign to end cataract blindness, with the proceeds going to support training for cataract specialists and achieve cataract backlog free communities in some of the poorest districts in India by 2020. India has one of the largest cataract-affected population in the world.

The concerts, being held at the prestigious NCPA, Mumbai, and Siri Fort Auditorium, Delhi, are a unique Indo-US musical collaboration bringing together leading international musicians.

They are presented by HelpMeSee and Music for Life International (MFLI), two well-known international organizations. 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, UtsadAmjad Ali Khan who will be soloist in his Samaagam Concert 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."

Since 2012, HelpMeSee has worked with 292 cataract specialists in ten countries who have performed nearly 250,000 surgeries, and have created India's first 'Cataract 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).

Recently HelpMeSee opened its Learning Development Centre in Mumbai, where high-fidelity simulation and courseware training systems are being developed to train cataract specialists, based on the success of simulation-based aviation training technology.

The HelpMeSee India Foundation is supported by an India Advisory Board with eminent business leaders, MrRanjitShahani, VC & MD, Novartis, MrPradip Shah, Founder, Chairman of IndAsia Fund Advisors, Mr. Sunil Mehta, Chairman & Managing Director, SPM Capital Advisers and distinguished personalities, Ms. HemaMalini, Mr. Kapil Dev and Mrs. Subhalakshmi Khan amongst others.

Jacob Mohan Thazhathu, President and CEO, HelpMeSee said, "Access to affordable, high quality cataract surgery is the solution to eradicate cataract blindness, which is by far the leading cause of all treatable blindness in India and the rest of world. Cataract blindness elimination can achieve massive economic impactand end the human suffering of victims and their families. Effective public-private partnerships assure that no cataract blind person is left behind. In India or anywhere else. "

HelpMeSee is the global campaign to end cataract blindness, the leading cause of blindness worldwide. HelpMeSee intends to make sight-restoring surgery available to millions of poor through training tens of thousands of cataract specialists recruited from within their communities. (ANI)