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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Musical Concert

August 28, 2008 : Light Musical concert for 150 Cancer Patients at Subhalaxmi Auditorium, Sion

Music Heals ... Many Wounds ...

Umang Foundation, a Mumbai based social activity group in association with R S Swaminathan, has organized a Musical Concert for approx 150 Cancer Patients of TATA Memorial Hospital and Research Center, Mumbai. A Musical Evening was leaded by Mohan Pendse a founder of Pendse Music Academy, Thane

A nascent NGO "Umang Foundation" has been a very active group since its inception in July '08, formed by IT / Finance / Management professionals working in many multinational companies in the city. The NGO is committed to conduct a broad range of activities for different social causes.

We had been planning to arrange this kind of musical evening from Day 1 of Umang, said Ashish Goyal (24 years) – Founder, Umang Foundation. A Smile on many innocent faces over here, gives a very satisfying feeling in bottom of your heart, you can realize that this evening should be organized on a regular interval for these patients, added Ashish Goyal.

I am blessed to have young founders of Umang Foundation with me said R S Swaminathan (48 years), being a Umang Champion for this activity I was little worried earlier but I am very happy to see smile on the face of every patients from Tata Memorial Hospital said Swaminathan. We have almost 150 patients with us in the evening which have came from different hostels of Tata Memorial Hospital to attend this Musical Evening and today we will make sure that it will be memorable for every patients for many years from now. We will be organizing such events on a regular basis from now onwards added Swaminathan.

We believe in bigger objective in life and hence we believe in changing the way we live said Akshay Shah (24 years), co-founder – Umang Foundation. If we can make one such evening joyful for these patients, then that will be memorable for both sides, these people are in challenging phase of their life and we are just trying to bring them out from that pain added Akshay Shah.

I feel myself fortunate that I am associated with Umang Foundation, and getting involved in noble cause said Pankaj Shah (53 years).

We are always there to support and perform for the noble cause, wherever society is going to get benefitted, said Mohan Pendse, Pendse Music Academy, Thane.

At Umang Foundation, we believe in bringing changes to life of many people in our society where we live in, no matter it is to promote education among under privilege school children in out skirts of Mumbai or cheering them when they dance on the stage today in front of us, we believe in spreading happiness and smile among every section of our society, said Deena Sawlani, co-founder Umang Foundation.

Mr. Ashok Deshmukh, (62 years), a social worker and a representative of Tata Memorial Hospital and Research Center said that we have been organizing many such events in all these years and in fact we arrange at least 4 events every month, but I have never seen such arrangements for our patients in my 20 years of service for these patients. Our patients have enjoyed a lot and I can assure you that the take away today for our patients is really amazing and above our expectation. I thank you R S Swaminathan and Umang Foundation to arrange such events. Also I request you to please arrange such events on a regular interval, added Deshmukh.

Description about the evening

During refreshments children were discussing about their favorite songs and actor – actress and then proceed directly to the Auditorium. Evening was started with a Ganesh Aradhana by Anagha Pendse (A female singer of the group)

Sachin Muley, (A male singer of the group) have started with a very soothing song as per the situation ‘Ho naa jaayieee’ – ‘Taare Zameen Par’, everybody was already charged to enjoy the evening but still everybody listening the song very quietly.

‘Dil hai Chhota sa’ – ‘Roja’ was sung by Anagha Pendse and audience start singing together and clapping along with the song.

‘Ankho mein teri’ – ‘Om Shanti Om’ was sung by Sachin Muley and this time, children rock the floor and it was all surprised when they start approaching towards the stage to dance.

Now this is the time for Anagha Pendse, and she presented ‘Gunji see hai yeh’ – ‘Kuch Na Kaho’

Now the big surprise of the evening was waiting for the audience ‘Mimicry’ by Mr. Raju Chaudhary, a well known Mimicry artist in Mumbai.

Now, Mohan Pendse called up their students on stage to perform in the evening and they played couple of instrumental tunes on guitars and Mandolin.

Again, Anagha Pendse took the charge and performs ‘Babuji dheere chalna’ and everybody start shouting with once more - once more.

Once again Mohan Pendse called up their student on stage and this time students of class 6th and 7th perform on keyboard, they were 6 in group.

At last on the ending note, with many children dancing on the stage Sachin Muley sung the song ‘Jab se tere naina’ – ‘Om Shanti Om’

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Sight today, gone tomorrow…

Courtsey : The Hindu - NGX

by Ankit Rawal

Sight today, gone tomorrow…

INTITIATIVE Four youngsters are doing their bit in creating awareness on child blindness through Umang. ANKIT RAWAL


‘The sky is the limit’ they say. Manav Makhija espoused this adage right from his school days not just figuratively. He wanted to become a pilot. Having cleared the Combined Defence Services Exam, he was all set to fly high. Alas, life isn’t always fair. He was diagnosed with colour blindness and he couldn’t fly.

Staggering stats

Imagine the trauma of those who cannot distinguish between colours. Think of those who have only one colour in their palette of life. Black! India is home to the world’s largest number of visually challenged people. Of the 37 million people across the globe who are blind, over 15 million are from India, two million of which are children.What’s worth noting is that 80 per cent of these cases are curable or preventable through proper care and timely medical administration. Ironically, most of us tend to ‘turn a blind eye’ to this situation. All that we offer is a bit of sympathy.

However, it took four young enthusiastic people to be proactive in this regard and do their bit for society. They founded ‘Umang’ a Mumbai based Social Activity Group to promote awareness on child blindness.Ashish, founding member of Umang, who works at a leading investment bank in Mumbai says, “Our eyes are responsible for more than 78 per cent of the inputs received by our body. Eyes are very sensitive organs and are as important as our heart or brain. But we take our eyes for granted. We hardly get them checked up primarily because of neglect, difficulty in approachability, false perception of high costs involved and most importantly lack of awareness. Children are the worst affected because of long hours of TV, video games, lack of sleep and stress. There’s nothing like a one-to-one eye examination by a trained ophthalmologist. The limited number of ophthalmologists for a country as vast as ours makes it impossible to administer each and everyone.”

Hence, the first step to fill this gap is to create awareness among parents, teachers and society at large about child blindness and how it can be cured with timely treatment. This is what prompted Umang to run their campaign ‘Care4Vission’ ( It is a questionnaire administered by trained volunteers that is aimed at giving parents and teachers a feedback on visual health of a child. The test has been pilot tested on children in the age group of five to 16 years. It suggests further course of action in case of a possibility of visual impairment.

Ashish and his team have currently surveyed more than 22,000 students across various schools in Mumbai and have confirmed that the results have been staggering. It has not only accurately judged the visual health of the children but has also made parents and children more health conscious with regard to their eyes. Going forward Ashish says they want to move towards the slum areas especially Dharavi where the need is much more for such campaigns. Another initiative on similar lines is ‘e-strain’ (electronic strain) on the eye due to over exposure to the TV and the computer. This assumes a lot of significance in today’s world and for the new generation.

By giving tips for the eyes, Do’s and Don’ts, Eye Yoga, Ergonomics and other such initiatives, Umang Foundation is trying to spread awareness about the proper care one should take for the eye.In its short period of existence, Umang has been involved in many activities like promotion and support of the education of the underprivileged, support of orphanages, old-age homes, blood donation camps etc. Deena, another founding member of Umang, said that simple activities like singing, dancing, mono-acting etc. at an old-age home can bring smiles on the faces of the residents. She believes that a smile is never old.

Spreading out

Akshay, member of Umang mentioned that although they started the foundation with just four members and limited resources, their network is now spreading far and wide. Umang is now supported by a diverse network of working professionals, college students, doctors, journalists and a few elite citizens. Lot of people display a willingness to do something for the society, but are oblivious to the means of doing the same. It envisages providing the right platform to these people by helping them partner with NGOs and the appropriate set of people. For each activity there is an Umang champion who plans and implements it. Akshay adds that Umang aims to create a difference in the society by bringing the change we want to see in the society we live in. Truly, the initiatives by Umang seem to justify its name. Umang Foundation can be contacted at: umangfoundation@

Ankit is a II Year MBA student from S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai.

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