Doctors who dance: AIMGA fundraiser

The Indian community’s medical specialists turn into dance specialists as they fundraise for Humpty Dumpty Foundation

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It was dance that was one of the major highlights at the recent annual dinner of the Australian Indian Medical Graduates Association (AIMGA).

It was not professional dancers though that were doing the dancing, but the doctors themselves.

Yes, you read that right. Cardiologists, radiologists, psychiatrists, ophthalmologists, gyneacologists, every other kind of medical specialist, GPs, decorated medical researchers and allied health specialists, all got up to shake a leg in the name of charity.

All the dancing was in aid of Humpty Dumpty Foundation, a national independent children’s healthcare charity that raises funds for medical equipment in hospitals across Australia. Its chair Mr Paul Francis was special guest, alongside Mr S. Janakiraman, Consul General of India (Sydney).

AIMGA Fundraiser
Drs Darshan and Naresh Sachdev welcome guests Paul Francis and S Janakiraman (Source: Supplied)

AIMGA’s annual dinner has become a fundraiser for the second year in a row since Dr Darshan Sachdev, well-known ophthalmologist, took over as President.

“Please give our doctors some love,” Dr Sachdev said more than once on the night. “They work hard during the day and then get together after hours to practice their routines.”

Guiding the program through the night were two past presidents – Dr Palu Malaowalla with her impish charm and medico jokes, and Dr Sunil Vyas with his matinee-idol looks and an entry that would put Bollywood’s hottest star Ranbir Kapoor to shame.

MCs Dr Palu Malaowalla and Dr Sunil Vyas (Source: Supplied)

Dermatologist Dr Shalu Sethi and anaesthetist Dr Kiran Kaur, both young doctors, were entrusted with the entertainment of the night, but it was the President himself who had the say on the ‘item number’ of the event – a qawwali.

“I’ve loved qawwalis since I was at uni – used to sing them too,” Dr Sachdev laughed later, reminiscing.

And so the number Purdah Hai Purdah was prepared by him and a dozen-strong team.

AIMGA Fundraiser qawwali
Purdah Hai Purdah

Clearly the night’s qawwali became a youthful dream fulfilled for Dr Darshan Sachdev – despite not one or two or three false starts, but four! Still, his qawwali had all the essential elements: goofy costumes, weird headgear (the weirder the better, apparently), ungainly props, perfectly practiced twisty hand-claps, and comic relief from the side (looking at you, Dr Satyaveer Singh psychiatrist, Dr Amrit Hingorani GP, and Dr Deepa Vishwanathan ophthalmologist).

AIMGA Fundraiser
(Source: Supplied)

Please note, the most vital statistic in this musical artform – audience participation – was also present in full measure. The crowd knew all the lines and moves of this delightful Bollywood number, so they joined in heartily by clapping and singing along, in as amateur a way as possible, because apparently, the more amateur the audience participation, the better it is for the spirits.

(Kudos here to the main lead, cardiologist Dr Vishwanathan, a trained classical and Hindustani vocalist and poet who is making a comeback to performing after recent vocal cord damage in which he lost his voice completely).

With the spirits suitably lifted, attention moved to the infectious energy of grooving physicians Drs Kiran Kaur and Shalu Sethi, their dance routines incorporating some fifty of their colleagues. With their selection of foot-tapping tunes and engaging sequences, and the smoothest of segues in between numbers, they brought the house down, leaving the audience cheering and applauding wildly.

Foot-tapping numbers (Source: Supplied)

Some truly wonderful choreography here – the dancing doctors can certainly give the dancing divas out in the community a run for their money.

Earlier in the evening, GP Dr Bharti Reddy kicked off the AIMGA fundraiser with her classical kathak, passing on to physiotherapist Niharika to contemporize the mood with her semiclassical Bollywood.

AIMGA Fundraiser
Niharika; Dr Bharati Reddy (Source: Supplied)

About Humpty Dumpty

The Humpty Dumpty Foundation is the leading charitable provider of children’s medical equipment and health initiatives in Australia. Its mission is to raise funds to provide essential equipment to hospitals in the care of babies and children in need.  Launched over 30 years ago, it has today raised over $100 million, and has donated over 6500 pieces of medical equipment.

Its work has touched over 500 hospitals across the nation, in paediatric wards, neonatal units, and maternity and emergency departments. Two-thirds of the equipment goes to hospitals in rural and remote parts of Australia, where it is needed most.

Paul Francis, head of Humpty Dumpty Foundation, outlines his organisation’s activities (Source: Supplied)

Its founder Mr. Paul Francis spoke of humble beginnings. “It all started as a small fundraiser for Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital. At its successful conclusion, I thought, why don’t we do more?”

Today, Humpty is doing incredible work nationwide, helping save thousands of little lives, and supporting their families. As such, the choice of Humpty Dumpty as the benefitting charity at this year’s AIMGA fundraiser was perfect – given it is directly helping the medical fraternity do their job better.

Check out its wish list here to see which piece of medical equipment you can donate towards, or fundraise for.

AIMGA Fundraiser
Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Jaykar Dave helps at auction (Source: Supplied)

AIMGA was established in 1984, and although social, professional and educational support and collegiality amongst its members have been the informal cornerstone of its activities, its agenda has in recent years moved to charitable endeavours and greater community service.

The AIMGA fundraiser’s collection to date for Humpty Dumpty is just under $22,000, with monies still coming in.

READ ALSO: Julian Leeser’s fundraiser is an Indian meal with ScoMo

Rajni Anand Luthra
Rajni Anand Luthra
Rajni is the Editor of Indian Link.

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