Founder & Managing Trustee
Samudhaaya Foundation was launched in 1999 by its Founder & Managing Trustee Padmabhushan awardee, Sangita Kalanidhi, Kalaimamani Smt. Sudha Ragunathan. Sudha’s urge to give a part of her through her music back to society resulted in the launch of Samudhaaya Foundation.
It was a time when there was so much news about the Kargil war – about families who had lost their sons, some newlyweds having lost their spouses and many who lost their fathers. Sudha was deeply moved and wanted to do something for the families who had lost their loved ones. She wanted to somewhere get connected and tried to contact a few organizations who were mobilizing funds to support these families. She wanted to do it through her music. Even prior to 1999 Sudha was involved in social activities and sang for music concerts to raise funds for charities outside her organization. But she was singing for others and for the cause they chose. She then felt the need to have an individuality and the independence to do what she wanted and when she wanted, with nobody questioning it. Thus she launched her own foundation.
The Foundation, now in its 18th year of operation, has disbursed funds to the tune of close to Rs. 4 crores so far, for varied causes focusing primarily on children – pediatric cancer care, pediatric heart surgeries, mentally challenged destitute children, abused children, the deaf blind children and towards palliative care.
For Sudha it is Mother Theresa who is her role model. She believes that there is no match for her compassion, sacrifice and selflessness. When one goes out and meets people there are many social workers working with a lot of passion and compassion. One realizes that what one does is just a drop in the ocean. All the different social workers who have lived or are living are also her source of inspiration. Sudha makes it a point to personally visit corporates to raise funds. For every cause, she makes a checklist and personally makes calls to fix appointments to make presentations. She has been able to establish her credibility and people know that their donation reaches the right destination. When she finds a cause that she wishes to support, she conceptualizes a concert and raises funds for that particular cause. After the event, the cheque is laminated and the beneficiaries are invited to come and collect the funds.
Sudha’s Guru MLV was a generous and giving person. During her 20th death anniversary, it struck upon Sudha that as she gave so much of herself and her music and continues to live in so many hearts today, that on this day why not she spread the word of organ donation – the gift of life. There was a small event to promote this and Sudha took up the pledge and has a registry in her website as well. The very first day saw over 20 donors – her family and friends. Today over 75 people have registered in her website.
Sudha has taken Carnatic music to the Corporation Schools and old age homes in Chennai, India. Along with her students and members of the music fraternity, Sudha had lecture demonstrations and performances at select schools in the city of Chennai. This has been commended by India’s former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. On 6 October, 2012 she had given an exclusive concert for the male inmates of the Puzhal Prison and on 3 October, 2013 she had sung for the women inmates in the Puzhal prison and this has left an indelible mark both on her career and in the hearts of her unique audience.
In 2011, Sudha had launched an official calendar featuring her portraits – twelve different ones, for each month, that were aesthetically photographed exclusively for Samudhaaya Foundation. The proceeds from the sale of the calendars went to aid Samudhaaya Foundation’s funding for underprivileged children.
Support is continuously required for the various ailments that plague the under privileged and Sudha Ragunathan has been regularly working on identifying those Institutions that do commendable service. Those that work with focus to bring in a change and a smile to the lives of these unfortunate but deserving souls have all seen a beneficial and befitting partnership with Samudhaaya Foundation.
Log on to www.samudhaayafoundation.org
‘Vasantham’, 18/3 Cenotaph First Street
Alwarpet, Chennai 600 018,
Tamil Nadu, India.
Sudha Ragunathan thanks all her donors, well-wishers, rasikas and friends who have played pivotal roles in supporting Samudhaaya Foundation to offer assistance to a host of beneficiaries as listed below.
Orissa Cyclone Relief Fund
Gujarat Earthquake Relief Fund
The Banyan, Chennai – an organisation rehabilitating destitute street women
Kaakum Karangal , Chennai – for the inmates of the old age home
The Cancer Institute, Adyar, Chennai – for paediatric cancer.