Raising One's Voice for Charity

Hana with musicians Sandhiprakash (left) and Anjali Bhide at their home in Beaverton, Oregon

Soor Aur Saptak™, which means “Notes and Octaves” in Hindi, is a musical group with a special purpose. Recently, the group held a benefit performance at the Sonrise Church in Hillsboro, Oregon. The concert raised money for the Seva Foundation, a global nonprofit that provides life-changing eye surgery and care for visually-impaired people in developing countries.

Soor Aur Saptak focuses on funding eye care for children in India. Its annual benefit performance in the Portland area is organized by local residents Sandhiprakash and Anjali Bhide.

The couple founded Soor Aur Saptak in 2012. To date, their group has raised more than $172,000. The money has allowed Seva professionals to visit rural communities in India, provide eye exams for schoolchildren, and administer medical treatment for those who need it.


Sandhiprakash Bhide (center) started a musical group to raise money for eye care for children in India. The group, Soor Aur Saptak, performs Bollywood-style music.


After the concert, I had a chance to talk with Sandhiprakash Bhide. His family’s involvement with Seva began several years ago, he said, when he traveled overseas to Beijing for business. After the long flight, he realized that he wasn’t able to see out of the bottom half of his left eye. He immediately flew back home to Portland and had surgery to fix the problem.

After talking with his surgeon, Bhide realized that many people, “especially in developing countries, do not have basic access to eye care, let alone surgeries such as these.”

The doctor told Bhide about the Seva Foundation, which addresses issues that he had began to think about after his surgery. Bhide and his wife started to organize events in the area to raise money for Seva.

Because Bhide and his wife are musicians, they got the idea to create a musical group that could perform benefit concerts.

“Singing is a gift that I have,” Bhide said. “Why not put it to good use?” Soor Aur Saptak raises money exclusively for the Seva Foundation.


Sandhiprakash Bhide performs at a benefit concert with his musical group, Soor Aur Saptak.


When asked how kids could help with Seva’s efforts, Bhide had three suggestions:

• “Be aware of the issue,” he said. Around the world, there are an estimated 36 million people who are blind and 217 million who are visually-impaired. With medical care, many of these individuals could regain their sight.

• “Have empathy. It’s extremely difficult to live without seeing.”

• Donate to the Seva Foundation, if possible. “A big heart,” Bhide said, “is more important than the size of the donation.”


Top photo courtesy of the author; bottom photos: Murali Veeramoney