Vision-Aid scaled new heights in their 2021 annual event this year on August 1st. All prior records were broken. With over 1400 viewers tuning in from all over the US and other countries , a spectacular “Better than Broadway” production staged by an amazing team of talented Producer, Artistic directors and Volunteers Dancers, and generous support from donors, seamless efforts from a large team of volunteers – it all came together beautifully. Vision-Aid is grateful to each and every person who helped to make their annual event be such an amazing, grand success. The support ensures many valuable programs for the visually impaired in the coming year.
Announcement of the $100,000 smartphone matching grant
One of the highlights of the event this year was a major, exciting announcement of a $100,000 matching grant by a philanthropist from Kansas who generously provided matching grant for Smartphones for the visually impaired from under-privileged backgrounds in India. Smart phones and Mobile Technology are a lifeline and personal assistant for the education, mobility, personal safety and almost every function in the daily lives for many needy and deserving individuals and significant funds were raised for this program during the event. Funds for over 400 smartphones were raised just during the event, and the campaign to raise 2,000 smart phones for the under-privileged continues on the Vision-Aid web site. Vision-Aid invites anyone interested in taking advantage of this match to just to go www.VisionAid.org and donate today. Every donation of $100 will be doubled in impact with the match and provide a life-changing assistive device to the visually impaired enabling them to do many things from safely navigating themselves with the help of AI-based applications, to accessing a range of valuable information via text-to-speech mobile applications to pursuing higher education from MOOCs like Khan Academy, Coursera, edX.
The Chief Guest Dr. Partha Ghosh delivered an inspiring keynote speech with many valuable insights – one of them being a suggestion to consider changing the perceptions about the visually impaired. He said “Instead of using the word Visually Challenged, we might say Optically Challenged but Visually Gifted” because they have amazing inner vision.
To see a recording of the Opening Ceremony including Dr. Partha’s inspiring key note, please click here
Vision-Aid 2021 film
A new film about Vision-Aid was released at the event. The short film provides a 360-degree view of how the Vision-Aid family is working together every day towards our mission of Enabling, Educating and Empowering the Visually Impaired to live with independence and dignity. Click here to view the new film.
The dream team behind the Seven Selfless Sovereigns
Shri Ramachandran Muralidaran of Chennai outdid himself once again this year. The choreography, music, animation, and selection of scenes evoking euphoretic emotions in this production were just outstanding. The Vision-Aid leadership team had great appreciation for his 2021 production.
The Artistic Directors
The Artistic Directors Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy, Suja Meyyappan, Thenu Rajan, Sheetal Dwaraka, Dhanashree Karmakar, Aishwarya Balasubramanian. & Kalaimangai Anbalgan worked tirelessly for months to bring Muralidaran Sir’s choreography to life.
Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy added English sub-titles that made the show accessible to all the audiences. English translation were also provided by Uma Devarajan, Indira Natarajan, Meena Ramamurti, Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Sankariah Ramamoorthy, Thenu Raajan, Kalaimangai Anbalagan.
Senior mentors for the 2021 show who ably assisted the Artistic Directors include Adhithi Venkatesan, Ananya Venkatesan, Chitanya Gopu, Priyanka Joshi, Chetna Ayyagari, Roshini Uthayakumar.
Vision-Aid’s The Seven Selfless Sovereigns
The show had 7 episodes with the following key contributors in each one
Sripriya Natarajan Moorthy, Chitanya Gopu, Priyanka Joshi, Ananya Kumar, Bhargavi Rao, Lara Scaria, Rasika Scarff, Vaidehi Moorthy
Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Kalaimangai Anbalgan, Adhithi Venkatesan, Ananya Venkatesan, Chetna Ayyagari, Roshini Uthayakumar, Abie Uthayakumar, Meghna Kanthan, Niranjana Anandkumar, Oviya Inian, Sunthriiwi Venkat.
Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Dhanashree Karmarkar, Aarya Atale, Abhilasha Banka, Amal Balachundhar, Andrea Mariadoss, Eepsitha Muppasani, Janya Utkarsh, Prisha Mishra, Rushika Susarla, Saiesha Bollapragada, Sarayu Gadam, Sonia Lakshmanan, Viritha Reddy.
Supporting artists: Kaveesh Mishra, Padma Reddy, Pallavi Atale, Sudhir Ranjan, Sushma Yadala, Swapna Putta
Thenu Raajan, Anushka Diddee, Anvita Kalpande, Ashmita Boopathy, Nidhi Ramesh, Nishi Manikandan, Praksitha Rajasekaran, Siddhi Talekar, Sumedha Konduri
Sheethal Dwaraka, Hannah Jacob, Hannah Thomas, Hrishikesh Dwaraka, Liya Liju, Mathew Alex, Madhav Girish, Meenakshi Dwaraka, Narayan Sajeev, Richa Rajesh, Shreeya Menon, Swetha Prabhala.
Volunteer Videographers & Brochure Designer
A team of talented volunteer videographers Kanth Ghatraju, Maneesh Srivastava, Saravanan Meyyappan, Krish Velmurugan, Anand Kavalapara, Vijay Moorthy, Deepa Jacob, Liya Liju and Jayashree Menon worked tirelessly to capture all the recordings in June in Chroma (with Green Screens) so that the videos could then be transformed to add the magical special effects which made it so magical.
Boston’s Meyyappan Meyyappan of Kolam Media Creations designed a classy brochure which showcased the production, dancers, sponsors and Vision-Aid projects.
2021 Vision-Aid Ambassador medal winners
Vision-Aid is thankful to the selfless Volunteers and all Sponsors
Many volunteers came together behind the scenes to pull together this mega event – Sanjay Jain, Sudhir Varma, Ujwala Phene, Syed Ali Rizvi, Paramesh Garimella, Rita Vachani, Ravi Rastogi, Sonal Bakre, Monika Manocha Wadhwa, Dr. Ramkumar Ramamirtham, Dr. Bharti Nihalani, Dr. Arun Krishnan, Veena Handa, Lovely Singh, Sonal Patel, Dr. Suraja Menon Roychoudury, Dr. Aparna Raghuram for flawlessly everything from pre-event outreach to actual streaming the ZOOM show, managing ticketing logistics, online help, social media, creating wonderful brochures and much more. Anshuman Agarwal, Isaac Williams, Vijay Francis and many others from the India team also provided significant support.
Vision-Aid thanks all sponsors for the event. Vision-Aid’s “grand sponsors” came forward generously and helped establish Vision-Aid National Resource Centers in Hyderabad, Chennai, Madurai, Delhi, Pune and many other locations. The Vision-Aid leadership team is deeply indebted to them all and also to our Catalyst, Platinum, Diamond, Emerald, Gold, Silver, Corporate Sponsors and Advertisers and to each and every donor. No contribution is too small.