The Bollywood musician will perform in Chicago, New Jersey, Toronto, Dallas, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and San Jose in April.
The American Pain Association is partnering with noted Bollywood music director Pritam Chakraborty to host a North American tour by the musician for raising awareness about opioid epidemic.
Chakraborty, along with eight singers, will do live shows in seven cities across North America, said Dr. Sanjay Gupta, President of the American Pain Association, at a press conference held at the at the consulate general of India in New York on Sunday.
“We are extremely pleased that the legendary Pritam Chakraborty is dedicating this historic tour to the awareness of opioid epidemic awareness, which, as we all know is America’s number one crisis and a national emergency, as declared by President [Trump],” he said.
“With more than 500,000 American deaths, the message needs to reach all youth to abstain from drugs,” Dr. Gupta said. “Indian kids are especially susceptible given the high pressure to succeed and we are glad that Pritam da is so involved in this cause.”
The Pritam National Tour in North America will kick off in Chicago on April 6 and conclude in San Jose on April 21. Other places the musicians will perform are New Jersey (April 7), Toronto (April 8), Dallas (April 13), Los Angeles (April 14) and Washington, D.C. (April 20).
The singers who will perform are Harshdeep Kaur, Nakash Aziz, Shilpa Rao, Sreerama Chandra, Antara Mitra, Shalmali Kholgade, Amit Mishra and Amanat Ali.
Chakraborty said the singers will be singing many of his top Bollywood hits.
He has composed more than 600 songs in 120 movies, among them Dhoom, Dhoom 2, Goal Mal 3, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Phantom and Dilwale, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Jagga Jasoos, Badtameez Dil, Tigers, Raabta, Tubelight, Jab Harry Met Sejal and Dangal.
“I am extremely happy to be associated with this extremely important cause and will help in whatever way I can with this tour and even otherwise in fighting this epidemic,” Chakraborty said.
The composer said wrong messages are being given to young minds about drugs, and, as a result, drug use is becoming a part of popular and hip culture. “A large part of this epidemic is due to ignorance of harmful effects of drugs,” he said.
Dr. Gupta noted that wrong messages from Hollywood and Bollywood are partly responsible for creating this epidemic and now they can play a major role in reversing it.
Consul General of India in New York Sandeep Chakravorty and AAPI East Coast President Dr. Kavita Gupta also addressed the press conference.
Consul General Chakravorty said the opioid issue was unfortunately not discussed and kept under a rug and has become a silent epidemic. “We need more and more awareness and this tour will be a great platform to reach Indian Diaspora,” he said.
The diplomat lauded Dr. Sanjay and Kavita Gupta for launching the anti-opioid campaign.
Dr Sanjay Gupta thanked Chakravorty for backing the campaign from the very beginning last year, when the American Pain Association presented the initiative to the now-New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and the consul general.
Dr. Kavita Gupta said with the help of more than 100,000 physicians of Indian origin in this country the deadly epidemic that is affecting kids and youth can be eradicated.
“We all need to take it seriously and put whatever effort we can, as safety and future of our next generation is at stake,” she said. “We have one 9/11 happening every 3 weeks and it is time to stop this before more youth is killed.”
Dr. Sanjay Gupta thanked Cinema on Stage founders Anand and Sona Dawda, who were present at the press conference, for conceptualizing and producing show, and Karl Karla of the entertainment company Live2U and his team for bringing the tour across North America.
Karla thanked the entire national team of promoters for working hard to make the tour a reality. They include Jaweria Khan, Raj Uppal, Gaurang Patel, Jagmohan Nanda, Bobby Bajaj, Ajay Mittal, Padma Mishra, Dr. Bharat Patel, Manish K Sood, Bikram Jeet Singh, Ray Sharma and Gaurav Sharma.
Dowda said that production of the Pritam show was a long time dream and it is an amazing feeling to finally see it as a mega show.
The press conference was compered by Mamta Narula of the Ultimate Media and Dr Kavita Gupta. Besides media representatives, a number of physicians and community leaders were also present.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta noted that the opioid epidemic is spreading in India as well but nobody wants to talk about it. He said: “It is sad to see the country of strong characters like Swami Vivekananda and Narendra Modi is falling prey to wrong messages. We are happy to see the support of Hollywood, Bollywood artists and athletes in this initiative, and, hopefully together we will be able to turn this deadly tide.”