Street singer Priya sings for cancer patients
Priya Sumesh is no more a stranger to the city dwellers of Kochi, at least for the daily commuters. For the past one year, she has been singing on the busy corners of the city to raise funds for children affected by cancer.
A cancer-patient herself, Priya finds solace in music and by bringing smiles to the face of cancer-affected children and their families. She has the full support of her husband, who is a driver by profession.
The couple, who lives at Elamakkara in Kochi, takes out their vehicle to the city streets very morning. They park the vehicle at any of the junctions like Kaloor, Kadavanthra, Palarivatom, High Court Junction and Tripunithura, where thousands of people throng every day.
The vehicle carries flex boards that have the details of the child for whom they are holding the fund-raising event.
“My sister died fighting cancer. I was affected by brain tumour five and a half years back. I know the difficulties faced to find money for treatment. I wanted to help children who are affected by cancer. Street singers inspired me to take up this initiative to support the children,” Priya said.
“If I can do something, that is only through music. I am not a trained singer, it’s god’s gift and I am using it for others,” Priya said as she cherished the support provided by her husband Sumesh and mother-in-law.
Normally, the programme is scheduled between 12 noon and 2.30 pm and between 4 pm and 7 pm. The flex board will have the name and account details of the child. Most of the people deposit Rs 10 notes. “The average collection a day is between Rs 3000 and Rs 4000. On one occasion, we got Rs 10,000. There are also occasions when we did not even get money to fill petrol,” she says.
In the past one year, Priya raised fund for the treatment, including surgery for 5 kids and 2 adults.
Priya visits the house of the children to ensure that the money has reached them. Once she deposits the cash in the accounts, she hands over the slip. She also talks to the doctors who treat the kids.
Priya first sang for a girl named ‘Prarthana’ who was just below 1 year old when affected by cancer. “I sang for the child for two and a half months and collected Rs 2 lakh. We deposit the money only just before the treatment or surgery date,” Priya said. Once she did a Facebook live for a child which garnered Rs 27 lakh.
Priya is grateful to have been able to help others. Her wish is to continue the work as long as she can.