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By Ram Sriram

From Left: Yesudas with Dr. Ravi Sharma

Atlanta, GA: Atlanta doctor couple, Drs. Ravi and Seshu Sarma handed over a check of $160,000 which is equivalent to Rupees one crore to Sankar Nethralaya (SN) OM Trust-Chennai based Sankar Nethralaya. Dr. Ravi Sarma handed over the check from his family foundation named in honor of his mother, Pudipeddi Ramalakshmi. Mr. S. V. Acharya, the treasurer of SN OM Trust, USA received the check on behalf of Sankar Nethralaya through Padma Vibhushan Sri Yesudas in a recent Carnatic Music Concert held by Dr. KJ Yesudas.

Dr. Ravi Sarma addressing the gathering informed about his mother and the experience of her loss of eyesight in both eyes despite having two doctors in the family. He told that this experience drawn their family to Sankar Nethralaya which was resulted in Dr. Seshu Sarma becoming very active in Sankar Nethralaya since many years. Drs. Ravi and Seshu Sarma have played a sterling role in the activities of Indian American community of Atlanta. The drive, the fire to serve the community is exemplary and the Doctor couple are genuine role model for younger generation.


If we must express the core principle of Hindu philosophy in two words, it would be selfless service. This principle was in abundant display during a recent event held in Atlanta.
The occasion was the annual fund-raising event organized by OM Trust, USA on behalf of Sankara Nethralaya, a philanthropic non-profit ophthalmic hospital established in 1988 in Chennai. Sankara Nethralaya provides free vision and eye-care to millions of under-privileged people living in India. Interested readers may learn more about this institution by visiting their website .

As in prior years, the Atlanta fund-raising event was spearheaded by Dr. Seshu Sarma, a dedicated philanthropist. Dr. Seshu Sarma had worked relentlessly for the last several months to organize the OM Trust-Sankara Nethralaya fund-raising event, bringing together a core of dedicated volunteers to help make the event a success. The Carnatic Music Concert by Sri Yesudas was held recently at the Lassiter High School auditorium, Marietta, GA. After Mr. Bala Indurti welcomed the audience, Mr. S. V. Acharya, the treasurer of OM Trust, USA, spoke about the trust and the yeomen service it renders.

After Mr. Acharya concluded his speech, the main event of the day, a Carnatic music concert by the world-renowned musician, Padma Vibhushan Sri K. J. Yesudas, followed. The audience of over 1,000 people sat mesmerized by the melodious voice and performance of Sri Yesudas. The audience expressed their appreciation of his performance by applause after the conclusion of each song. Sri Yesudas was accompanied on the concert by Sri Srikanth on the violin, Sri T. S. Nandakumar on the Mridangam, Sri Santosh Chandru on the Ghatam, and Sree Varshney on the Thampura.

Co-sponsored by CAMAGA, the sold out annual fundraiser with a purpose of providing free eye care in India for Sankara Nethralaya raised 150K at the concert.   In addition, Dr. Ravi Sarma and Dr. Seshu Sarma donated $160,000 from their family foundation. After the conclusion of the concert, Dr. Ravi Sarma invited Dr. Ram Sriram, Founder-President of the Carnatic Music Association of Georgia. Sriram started with the remark that the concert was an expression of bhakti and spirituality. He quoted Saint Thyagaraja, the Great composer of Carnatic music, who described Carnatic music as ‘Nadopasana’ or pursuit of devotion and spirituality through the medium of music. Sriram, however, pointed out that not every musician can convey such emotions; only a musician who believes and adheres to such principles in his personal life can create such an experience. He said that Sri Yesudas - notwithstanding his world-renowned reputation and name-recognition – lives a life of modesty, simplicity and dedication. Therefore, Sriram said that it is no surprise that Sri Yesudas evoked such feelings in the hearts of the listeners to his music.

Then, the artists were honored. Volunteers were recognized. This was followed by Sri Subash Razdan, Sri Antony Thaliath, Sri Ravi Ponangi and Sri Viren Mayani of the Gandhi Foundation of USA, presented the Gandhi foundation’s “Ambassador of Music & Peace Award” to Sri Yesudas for his outstanding service and contribution for humanity “to bring the change we want to see in the world” through his music. in the spirit of Gandhi-King teachings of peace and Ahimsa.

Yesudas receiving Gandhi Peace Award.
L to R: Antony Thaliath, Subash Razdan, Yesudas, Ravi Ponangi and Viren Mayani

 Earlier Buddhist Monk Dalai Lama and Nonsectarian spiritual leader Dada J.P. Vaswani received peace Awards from Gandhi foundation of USA.
Yesudas visited King center in down town, Atlanta and paid rich tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He garlanded the Gandhi Statue, sang Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite prayer Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram, addressed the gathering, ‘walked in peace’ to the King Crypts and laid wreaths at the King crypts. He also visited Freedom Hall and viewed various items in Gandhi room.