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Palak sings her heart out

To ensure that underprivileged children and those with heart defects can get a new lease of life



LENDING THEIR VOICE For a good cause PHOTO: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

Relaxation is what one seeks after a long week at work.

What better way to relieve stress than listen to melodious music? And, even better when it is for a noble cause.

Realising this, music lovers in Coimbatore loosened up their purse strings liberally at Sur Sangeet, a charity musical performance by child singer Palak Muchhal and troupe at the Rajasthani Sangh.

A fundraiser

Organised by Annakshetram, an organisation that has been providing food for neglected and handicapped children in and around Coimbatore on a daily basis for the past two years, the event drew a thunderous response.

"Food is one of the basic necessities and there are many children in orphanages who are deprived of it. Our aim is to provide at least one full meal to these children," says Deepak Davda, one of the founders of Annakshetram. Helping their cause was Palak, known for having funded the heart surgeries of 234 children with funds raised from charity concerts.

Making an impact

Full of composure, grace and poise, 14-year-old Palak told the audience, "I have dedicated my musical talent for the uplift of the needy. But I cannot do this alone. I need the help and support of everyone around me."

In the concert, Palak sang songs that have been immortalised by Alka Yagnik, Lata Mangeshkar and other well-known names in the world of music. Songs like Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham and Aye Mere Watan took the audience through a wide range of emotions from devotion to happiness to patriotism.

Language is no barrier to music. This was proved when Palak, who does not know Tamil, sung the National-award winning Ovvoru pookalume from Autograph. The audience requested for an encore for many songs and Palak obliged them.

Later, she was joined by her 11-year-old brother Palash Muchhal and 9-year old Anushka. Like his sister, Palash donates every rupee earned to treat children with kidney ailments.

The song Yeh Jawani... yeh deewani sung by Palash had many on their feet jiving to the peppy number.

Full of surprises

The audience had another surprise when Palash played Daler Mehendi's hit, Bolo Tararara on the organ using his forehead, chin and knee.

Popular shers and bhajans kept everyone's interest up through the event.

At the end of the evening, enough money had been collected to fund the surgeries of nine polio-affected children and three kids with heart problems. Annakshetram has a waiting list of 38 children who need to be operated for various ailments.

Also, a donation of Rs. 51,000, enough to fund the surgery of one child, was made to the Palak Heart Foundation. Ashok Mehta of Mehta Jewellers, Managing Trustee of Annakshetram, said: "Palak is not just a name. It is a vision".

KEERTHI MOHAN

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