|Muddha is the founder of Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, an
organization that helps the disabled in India by teaching them self-reliance, promoting
their musical talents and enabling them to pursue higher education.
"I had no
parents, but I was brought up by Christian adoptive parents who kept me as one of their
own children," he said. "They said I should help other blind people, and that
was the momentum that instigated me to start the organization."
His organization has formed a music troupe that travels around the country performing.
The members of the troupe, blind or deaf artists from India, will perform at 5 p.m. Sunday
in the University Center Rosebud Theatre.
They will play popular songs from Hindi films while they sing and dance.
"We have beautiful dancers who cannot hear, and blind people who sing and
play," he said.
The group is performing here to raise money for a hostel in Bangalore, India, that
houses disabled women so they can go to college. The hostel, which is run by the
organization, provides the women with tuition, books, food and helps them get
"We have a lot of brilliant people who do not have the opportunity to go to
college," he said.
There is not enough space in the hostel for all the women who want to live there, so
Muddha is devoting his time off working to raise money to expand the hostel.
The Indian Student Association is sponsoring the troupe during its stay in Arlington by
providing them with accommodations and food.
Sukumar Bhasker, an alumnus who continues to take part in the association, said the
group wanted the troupe to come here because it is a good cause.
"There are a lot of Indian students here," he said. "The performance is
for Indian students to get exposure and to do something for the country."
Namratha Gurubasappa, 19, is a dancer with the troupe. Although she is deaf, she can
feel the vibrations in the floor and follow the music. She also lives in the hostel and is
studying computer science in college.
Muddha said that although the Indian government helps children with disabilities, older
people, such as Gurubasappa, don't have the opportunity or the support from the government
to attend college.
"In our society, people don't come forward to help the disabled," he said.
Muddha explained that one of the chief differences between India and America is that
here, the Americans with Disabilities Act allows students with disabilities to attend
college and get accommodations to be successful. He said that is not the case in India.
"In India, we have (disability) laws too, but they're not so strictly followed and
are not practiced," he said.
Muddha said the troupe hopes that about 500 people attend the show. He expects to make
about $7,000 or $8,000, but it alone is not enough to expand the hostel.
"All together, we need about $30,000 or $40,000 to expand the hostel," he
After the troupe performs here, they will go to New Jersey and Washington D.C. to
perform and raise more money.
Tickets for the performance can be purchased at the Rosebud Theater at show time and
are $7, $10, and $15. University students can get the $7 seats for $4.
For more information or to purchase tickets early, please contact Prakash Bhasker at
461-5200 or Amudha Venkataswamy at 275-3833.