Unique charity uses music and poetry to help disabled

Wimbledon Guardian: Unique charity uses music and poetry to help disabled Unique charity uses music and poetry to help disabled

A unique charity that combines Indian music and poetry to help the disabled and vulnerable is celebrating a year of collaboration.

Chandra Chakraborty, 39, manager at Wimbledon library, has been singing since she was three and performing since she was six.

The Indian-born professional singer has twice performed for the Queen and sang at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, as well as venues all over the world.

Mrs Chakraborty, who moved to the UK in 2002, founded Saudha, the society of poetry and Indian music, last year with T M Ahmed Kaysher – a friend and Leeds-based poet.

A year on the pair hope their performances, which blend poetry and music together “like a flowing river” to create a “celestial surreal ambience”, will help people with learning difficulties to express themselves.

Mrs Chakraborty said: “Whenever I have performed I felt the audience who came are the people who like classical music, but not people from socially excluded backgrounds such as people with learning difficulties.

“We were discussing one day and we thought it could be a way of bringing people together.

“If we could combine poetry and classical music we could reach a whole new audience.”

While performing for all, the duo also run sessions specifically for those with learning difficulties at community centres, including Wimbledon Library, where the audience is asked to write a poem based on their impressions of Mrs Chakraborty’s performance.

She said: “For people with learning difficulties music and poetry is something that could be a better way for them to express their feelings and a way to communicate.”

Saudha will perform at the Morden Assembly Hall on Sunday December 16 in Tudor Drive, Morden.

For information and tickets call 07718 662890.

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