Techie band plays at clinic, to ease hours of wait

Swathi Nair

BENGALURU: Over 1,500 patients who had come to the city from different parts of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala to avail free medical care were in for a melodious surprise on Sunday. The patients and their families who were waiting in line for their appointment with the doctors at the free clinic witnessed a live performance of Bengaluru-based band Svaramitra.

“We have played in hospitals before, but performing for patients and relatives who are waiting in line is a different kind of experience,” says Vishwesh Bhat, who leads the 12-member techie band.
Thousands come from various parts of the country every Sunday to “The Sunday Clinic” for the underprivileged, hosted by  Vatsalya Oral Health Foundation and run by Dr Ramana Rao.

“Considering the number of people that show up at the free clinic, it takes hours of waiting, until they get to see the doctor. That’s when I thought we could have a live band playing to ease their wait,” says Dr Srivats Bharadwaj, founder, Vatsalya Dental and Vatsalya Oral Health Foundation. Both dental and medical issues are resolved at the clinic.

The band played Kannada folk, classics from Dr Rajkumar movies and a few patriotic songs on veena, tabla, keyboard and the rhythm band at the clinic. “Even for a few hours, if we can take their pain away, then that’s what we will aim to do,” says Vishwesh, who is trained in Carnatic and Hindustani classical.
The band comprises techies and have performed previously in the US, Singapore, Qatar and Iran, informs Vishwesh.

His wife Ashwini Bhat plays the veena and is joined by Sushruth on keyboard with Sarvotham Kamath, Krishnananda Prabhu and Sathyaprakash. Dr Srivats believes that music heals. “In all our clinic, we have music playing,” he says. But with the Sunday Clinic, “I wanted to energise the people standing in line. Svaramitra doesn’t just perform, it ensures the audience jolts with them,” he adds.