Music comes as a balm for the Challenged
Tejinder Singh Bedi
Live singing performances from as many as 44 singers from NCR of Delhi dominated the 22nd musical event organized by Navratan Foundations of Noida (NFN) with the dual objective of continuing its charitable services for the marginalized and physically challenged persons while bringing out many of NCR’s newly emerging as well as unseen and unheard singers in all categories including senior citizens from age sixteen to over seventies, and even others unstoppable.
The bouquet of scintillating performances from one and all came as a perfect balm not only for each and every member present in the jam packed NEA (Noida Entrepreneurs Association) auditorium but also for the physically challenged persons queued up to be presented with with free tricycles & wheel chairs, sponsored by the foundation’s various partners.
Besides the 44 registered participants coming from all corners of the country as far as from Pune, Madhya Pradesh & the NCR of Delhi, Noida based singer and social servant Tejinder Bedi made a special appearance singing K L Saigal’s, “Gham Diye Mustaqil, Kitna Nazuk Hai Dil, Ye Na Jaana, Hai, Hai, Ye Zalim Zamana…which got him a thunderous applause from the entire house. Speaking briefly on the occasion, Bedi recalled that Saigal Sahib infact was the first super star of Bollywood, who was and is revered as a Guru by all the following all time great next gen singers right from Lata Mangeshkar, Manna Dey, Raffi, Kishore to Jagjit Singh besides many others and in the words of NFN’s president Ashok Srivastava was the first ever such tribute to the legend from among the nearly 600 singers showcased by the foundation in these programs during the last 22 episodes that commenced almost two years ago.
Among the fresh voices making their first dates ever with live singing performances with an orchestra, Prerna Sethi and Jyoti Dubey from Noida pitched their notes for an impressive start.
Sharing her view on the mission of the foundation, executive trustee Preeti Srivastava said that at NFN they promote charity looking at the real needs and not the causes that might compel them to serve and further that in the last over 15 years of its glorious service it has already touched the lives of 12007 families, 8034 women, 5500 kids reaching out in 130 villages in the NCR. The event also took opportunity to commemorate the centenary celebrations of the legendary classical singer Manna Dey, who was born a hundred years ago this year.(in May 1919).
The memorable event was graced by a large number of philanthropists and selfless citizens dedicated to various social causes, not only from from the NCR but from around the entire country. In specific the support and participation of Vaidya Achyut, Kumar Tripathi, R K Saxena, S P Chauhan, Secretary(FONRWA), Sushila Srivastava, Rameshwar Lavaniya, Murari Prasad Shrivastava, Shaweta Gupta, Shalini Aggarwal, Arvind Srivastava, Deepak Naidu, Dr. Babita Sharma, Sukhdev Sharma and Saurabh Asthana, the panel of jury members and the performing musicians was specifically applauded by the event anchors and the organizing team.
All costs for the same were borne by the NFN & NEA and their sponsors as usual and no fee was charged from any of the participating singers. The navratan foundation has been working from Noida since 2003 with the sole objective of providing a platform for social development in areas of women empowerment, skill development & life mentoring, unearthing and promoting unseen and unheard talent, education of the underprivileged and marginalized kids from slums, environment awareness, grassroots connectivity with the local communities for a sustainable growth with equal focus on increasing awareness for hygiene and sanitation.
The rules in this event are very tough. First, it is mandatory not to leave the hall before the last registered singer has performed. The program starts after 4 PM and goes on till 9 PM. A token security deposit is taken from all participants and audience members(new feature), which is refunded only at the end of the program. The program as such becomes unique by itself in the sense that each singer gets a packed house till the end irrespective of when his/her call comes for performance by draw of a lottery with every one given a chance, the jury of six panelists is very strict and stops any singer going astray on Taal, Reading the lyrics especially by the young and the budding singers is forbidden, and the Scale an artiste shares with the musical band leader upon taking up the stage is not allowed to be changed, Only the first accepted registrations reporting right upto the closing time announced for the same before the hall gates are opened irrespective of the status or seniority of any singer are allowed to perform, Seating is free for all on a first cum first served except for the organizers in the first row, No special seats are reserved for any VIPs and if any have to join they have to make themselves comfortable managing in the last seats in the last rows if still available and no speeches are allowed except for live performances by the accepted artistes. No wonder, only the most serious performers participate in this series and the event witnesses a gate crash each time it is opened almost once every two months. There is a methodology not to disappoint the late entrants too by giving them also a chance but only after all those registered in advance and having reported on time have been concluded with their scheduled performances and again through a draw of lots from amongst the late arrivals till the show lights are switched off around 9 pm.
(*Pictures Courtesy Navratan Foundation/Volunteers Supporting the Cause)