Their Prescription for the Needy Patients: Puls(e)Ating Music
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01 July 2010
By Renu Dhole
In an age where rising healthcare expenses are pushing vital medical treatment out of the reach of the poor, Let’s Act, a band of doctors in the city that sings for a cause, comes as music to the ears of the needy.
What started as a bunch of BJ Medical College alumni coming together to tune into their creative side has grown to a charitable trust that makes donations to the tune of Rs 60,000– Rs 1 lakh every year for economically–disadvantaged patients. Not only has the range of their music widened, with the latest Bollywood songs being added to their repertoire, the reach of their charity has increased too– on July 10,
Let’s Act will be performing to raise funds for Yashwant Hospital, Chiplun. With 125 shows behind them, the doctors, in spite of their hectic professional lives, are still raring to go. “What keeps us going is the music. Whenever there’s a programme coming up, we all meet around 10 pm twice a week, after our duty hours, and have rehearsals late into the night. Music gives us that energy, it’s a great stress–buster. That’s the reason we’ve continued for so long– our first performance was in 2001!” says Dr Rakesh Jamkhindikar, radiologist and chairman of the band. Along it’s nine–year journey, Let’s Act has benefitted scores of patients.
“We don’t discriminate between patients. Proceeds from our shows have gone to patients seeking all kinds of medical treatment. Our only criteria is that the patient should be needy,” adds Dr Jamkhindikar. While the end objective of Let’s Talk is charity, the doctors haven’t compromised on their means– the music. “We tell our audiences not to excuse us in our musical performances because we are doctors. We work very hard to get our music right, to present different kinds of songs and we have been praised a lot for the same. In the future, we want to compose our own songs too,” says Dr Shekhar Kulkarni, breast cancer surgeon and vocalist of the band.
Our music has helped us associate with some wonderful people. Well–known music composer Anand Modak has been our guide and we have also collaborated with veterans like Amol Palekar and Nana Patekar for a show on N D Mahanor’s poems in the past. The outcome Hirvi Boli was a thumping success,” says Dr Kamlesh Bokil, oncosurgeon and guitarist of the band. Given where the fruits of this success go, it deserves many an encore.