Renowned Bollywood playback singer Sukhwinder Singh’s concert at the Ritz Theater & Performing Arts Center in Elizabeth, N.J., May 18, hosted by the American Association of Physicians of Indian origin (AAPI) and its local chapters, drew a record crowd and raised funds for tackling health issues in India and the United States.
Singh was joined by Maharashtra’s First Lady Amruta Fadnavis, a classical singer and Goodwill Ambassador of AAPI. The two are on a 10-city tour, ‘Jai Ho Musical Dhamaka’ organized by AAPI under the leadership of President Naresh Parikh.
Proceeds from the tour will support AAPI initiatives focused on the rapidly growing problem of cardiovascular diseases in South Asians and minorities living in the United States, as well as lymphoma and leukemia in India.
The tour is also meant to bring local chapters and national AAPI closer together. The Tri-state local organizations – AAPI-Queens/Long Island (NY), and Monmouth County AAPI (MOCAAPI) of New Jersey worked jointly with the national AAPI, to organize the event.
Starting May 10 from Columbus, Ohio, the tour continued to several cities including Atlanta, Georgia; Washington D.C., and Charlotte, North Carolina, before reaching New Jersey May 18. Performances will be held in several other cities – Dallas, Texas, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; San Jose and Los Angeles, California, among others.
Both Sukhwinder Singh and Amruta Fadnavis regaled the audience with popular songs. Fadnavis, in an dark pink gown with exquisite silver embroidery, sang the golden oldie “Jo Bhi Chahe Kahiye.” Singh took the stage in a purple and gold suit, singing popular numbers and even calling up members of the audience to join him on stage at one point.
By combining the musical program with educational and networking opportunities for its members, AAPI served multiple goals of outreach to members and supporters. Education and awareness sessions were held before the musical program.
“The purpose of doing the Jai Ho concert 10-city mega event is to establish communication between local chapters and national AAPI,” said Dr. Naresh Parikh in an interview with ITV Global. “We felt this would be a way to establish a stronger bond.” He spoke about the TB Free India initiative undertaken during his year at AAPI’s helm.
“We were able to procure $9 million from USAID and India,” for the 10-city pilot project for a TB-Free India, he said. To date, 2 cities, Indore and Bhopal, have become TB-free, Rajkot in Gujarat is in line to achieve that goal by January, Dr. Naresh Parikh said.
Dr. Vinod Sancheti, president of MOCAAPI, told ITV Gold that medical and non-medical seminars were held prior to the concert.. Dr. Sancheti also thanked Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, founder and chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media and chairman of ITV Gold, for his support in advertizing the event. Approximately100 to 150 people attended the seminars.
Dr. Himanshu Pandya, president of AAPI-QLI, spoke to ITV Gold about how events like the concert will help tackle the challenge of diseases like lymphoma and leukemia in India.