By Ramesh K Dhiman, KASAULI/CHANDIGARH, March 26 – Kasauli, a proverbial Mecca for tourists from home and abroad, is host to a surfeit of activity, ranging from literary, liturgical and life-saving, et al, from time to time. Time now was for the 5th edition of the Rhythm and Blues Fest, which kicked off at Baikunth Resorts here, on March 25. What the annual Khushwant Singh Literature Festival is to incurable literary hunters, the Rhythm and Blues Festival is to the teeming millions of children of the lesser god, fighting a formidable battle with cancer and thalassaemia, offering medical care to them.
In an animated chit-chat with Jyoti Sagar, organizer of the festival and a founder trustee of Genesis Foundation, said the trust provided medical treatment to the destitute, orphans and the children belonging to the economically weaker strata of society. The dispassionate fund-raising initiative on the part of organizers is to provide succor to the suffering humanity by offering wherewithal to those afflicted at their doorsteps.
Elaborating on the format, Jyoti said the Foundation got cases from various orphanages and that it had a tie-up with some prominent health providers, like Max Super-specialty Hospital, Fortis, The Indian Institute of Spinal injuries, AIIMS, and Escorts, et al. He was prompted to add “As many as 146 children afflicted with terminal ailments were treated last year, as against 290 treated this year.”
The event, which registered a sale of 500 tickets by the time, went off to a breezy start with the Mizoram-based band – Frisky Pints – lending a musical colour to the otherwise a somber event, attended by enthusiasts from Chandigarh, Delhi and some from the foreign shores. The event will see, among others, Bollywood’s singing sensation, Shilpa Rao, Mihir Joshi, offering a fare of their musical hits, besides a classical fusion by Fazal Qurashi, Ravi Chari and Ravi Iyer.