A team of 17 Pune doctors has been giving musical performances for humanitarian causes. With 200-plus music programmes under its belt, the 17-member band will give its next performance on May 8 to raise funds for thalassemia patients.
The team of doctors includes a consulting radiologist as the lead playback singer, an oral cancer surgeon as the bass guitarist and a paediatric surgeon as the rhythmist.
The Doctors’ Orchestra for Charity and Social Service (DOCS) conducted their first concert, Nostalgia, in 2001. Their next performance is on May 8, World Thalassemia Day, to raise funds for thalassemia patients. It is their second performance with Indian Thalassemia Society’s Pune chapter.
DOCS members not only see music as a stress buster, but also as a platform to showcase their talents and raise funds for charity. Their orchestra has performed in more than 15 cities for several causes such as suicide prevention, environment protection and Tsunami relief. The trust also uses the funds raised for treating economically challenged patients.
While performing, the doctors also deliver talks on social and medical issues. “The general plan for every programme is an audiovisual presentation and songs, intermingled with health messages and tips for the audience,” said Dr Kamlesh Bokil, the bass guitarist, who is a cancer surgeon and a surgeon in the liver transplant team of Ruby Hall Clinic.
The trust of DOCS has donated medical equipment and drugs, funded operations and green-environmental projects and donated to SOFOSH (Society of Friends of Sassoon Hospital) and other organisations. The funds raised from programmes has helped them to set up new premises for a Pune-based rehabilitation centre for adults with multiple neurological disorders called Himmat, says an Indian Express report.
The team has been going strong for 21 years, and even during the Covid-19 pandemic, when they practised solo. The doctors have balanced the time to the band with their active work and other interests. Many of its members are into mountaineering and cycling, some teach at management institutes and few others are well-known artists.