Hemang Thakkar, Senior Territory Manager at AbbVie, a highly focused research-driven pharmaceutical company, is more than a sales professional. He is a singer, musician, and concert performer and has his own band called Rhythm of Dreams. More than his titles and positions, he loves to serve humanity through his music.
One evening last month, Hemang invited a female vocalist Lakshmi Peter to join him for “Singing for Sewa” at Nirmanz Food Boutique, a local restaurant in Houston. Hemang and Lakshmi repeated it the next day, encouraged by the the experience of the previous night. They both performed for six hours in two days to raise funds for assisting Sewa International’s ‘Help India Defeat COVID-19’ campaign. The event was a spontaneous gesture by the singers in which the owner of the establishment, Nirman Shah, matched 100 percent of funds collected from the patrons.
At the end of the two days' efforts, Hemang offered a twenty dollars tip to the restaurant’s employee Carlos for helping load his musical instruments into the truck.
Carlos, a poor immigrant from El Salvador, refused to accept the tip. Carlos wanted to be a part of Hemang’s endeavor of serving COVID-19 afflicted people in India. Hemang insisted Carlos accept the tip, however, Carlos was adamant in not taking the tip money as he felt for contributing to a noble cause. They both were wedged to their positions about the tip, nonetheless, at the end both agreed to split the tip money in half so
Carlos could donate $10 for the charity as well as Hemang could give Carlos $10 tip for helping him.
Although Carlos is extremely poor and struggling to support his own family for more than a year due to the financial crisis created by the pandemic in the United States, his heart was beating for helping fellow human beings suffering on the other side of the world in India who he does not even know. His contribution is invaluable and inspiring.
On June 11, Hemang organized a formal fundraising musical concert - Ye Jeevan Hai (This is Life) – in Houston to support Sewa International’s efforts to help India defeat COVID-19. More than 100 people were in attendance and donated for the cause. Anis Chandani, a flute maestro and past music director of Sa, Re, Ga, Ma show, singers Maha Krishnan, Lakshmi Peter, Raj Vishwakarma, table player Bobby Jutley along with Hemang’s daughter Rheana and son Shyre performed in the concert.
The main sponsor of the event was Amir Dodhiya of New York Life. The Alings Chinese Bistro, Nirmanz Food Boutique and Bombay Brasserie served delicious food free of charge and the beautiful banquet room of the Hampton Inn in Missouri City was on the house.
Hemang raised over $25,000 with his musical talent from his spontaneous singing at Nirmanz and a formal fundraising musical concert “Ye Jeevan Hai”. His employer AbbVie fully supported Hemang in his endeavors of fundraising for Sewa and matched 100% funds raised by his efforts.
Hemang supports Sewa International’s humanitarian work for a long time. In the aftermath of hurricane Harvey in 2017, he raised funds by holding two musical concertsand donated a few thousand dollars for relief and rehabilitation efforts.
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