Charity Bollywood concert raises thousands

Rema Iyer performing at the concert. Black and white image showing Rema on stage with a microphone
Dr Rema Iyer performing at the concert

Published 2 September 2022

Bollywood music fans helped raise more than £5,600 for a hospital charity.

Hundreds packed the Malthouse Theatre in Canterbury for a fundraising concert featuring Dr Rema Iyer, a consultant gynaecological oncologist for East Kent Hospitals.

They were treated to a celebration of old and contemporary Indian music, performed by her band Muzic India Ltd.

Proceeds from ticket sales, a raffle, and collection buckets raised a total of £5,601.40 for East Kent Hospitals Charity, which will go towards projects benefiting people with gynaecological cancer across east Kent.

Rema, who works at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, said: “I love to perform and share my passion for music, and it is even more special when we can raise money for such an important cause at the same time.

“I am very grateful to everyone who bought tickets and came to support us at the event, and delighted we were able to raise such a significant amount.”

As well as her medical education, Rema is trained in South Indian classical music. She performs an eclectic blend of pop, rock and Indian tunes with her friend Ganesh Kumble, a percussionist. For the concert, they were joined by Ayoub Khan on the violin, Mukesh Kannon and Sijo Chacko on keyboards, Cariappa on lead guitar, Ricki Singh on dholak, Muhammad Roshin on bass and rhythm guitar and Kaushik Shukla on vocals.

Rema’s GP husband Dr Murali Dharan also joined the band on bass guitar and drums.

As well as the music, audience members also heard from one woman who has undergone cancer treatment with the Trust about her experiences.

Dee Neligan, senior projects officer for East Kent Hospitals Charity, said: “The concert was absolutely fantastic and I am very grateful to Rema and her band, and to Celia who bravely shared her story.

“It was a very human reminder about why we were all there and I know the money raised will make a real difference to other people who are diagnosed with gynaecological cancers.”

This was not Rema’s first fundraiser, as she has previously released a charity single featuring hospital staff, celebrating the Indian festival of Onam.

The song, Oru London Sadya, raised £2,000 for a voluntary organisation delivering palliative and end-of-life care to terminally ill people in Kerala, India.

Another song, a cover of Yeh Jo Des, raised £1,400 for East Kent Hospitals Charity.

You can support her appeal for East Kent Hospitals Charity at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/rema-iyer-3?utm_term=yAwGze83d