Cleaner kumar server aanaru
Modha moonu table in-chargu
Appavum solvaaru ammavum solvaanga
Naan romba nalla pullainnu
Palli koodam pogannumnu attha ittha vaanganumnu
Thondharavu seiya mattaennu
Nethiku cleaneru inaakku serveru
Pannendu vayasula chinoondu sayizula
Cleaner Kumar has become a server (waiter)
He is in-charge of the first three tables
Both my father and mother
Say that I am very good child
I don't bother them asking to be put in school or to buy me this and that
Cleaner yesterday, server (waiter) today
At 12 years of age, when he is small in size]
Taken from the song Cleaner Kumar (album: Shout it out)
I had the opportunity to attend an event on 14th Nov. An event celebrating the children of our country. A reminder that all is not well for the next generation. A voice demanding that the world pay attention to what they have to say. A ray of hope that all is not lost yet.
Organized by NalandaWay, the event was the celebration of the release of 'Shout it Out,' a music album researched, conceptualized and rendered by children. The event told stories of children. Stories of abuse, child labour, courage, dreams and hopes. It was one of the evening where you go out and participate in a celebration or where you enjoy some artsy performances. However, it was more than that. Stories were told through mimes, dances, songs and short films.
Being involved in development work one tends to be aware of these issues. It wasn't like I did not know that child sexual abuse did happen, or that domestic violence existed, or that child labour was prevalent. However, it hit me hard to hear it from children. It was reminder. It was a spark. I cannot exactly call it a wake up call, but it was something like the snooze going off again. I don't know what shape or form this is going to take. But I do hope that it remains with me, egging me on to persist in my quest for that elusive thing I am seeking to know and possess.
You can download the songs from here. There are many short films you can watch in their East Side Story project website. You can also support by becoming a part of their mentoring program for children who are from underprivileged communities.
Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ANJU!!