Friday, November 16, 2007

Shout it out

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.



Sandy Carlson said...

Thanks for this post and the links. I'm glad to know more about this. You're a blessing, Bungi!

Compassion Unlimitted said...

Very important message on child labour..brought out so lucidly..awareness is an important thing in this issue and your message makes it loud and clear
God Bless

Ryan said...

I met someone from NalandaWay yesterday, very cool thing they are doing to encourage children who rarely are encouraged. Countless times I have heard comments that it is best to reach children early... 'train a child when they are young and when they are old then will not derail.'

Sandy Carlson said...

I have been to this site and am blown away. It's so important to nurture hope in children. It's horrible to see them crushed so young by others' greed and thoughtlessness.

I wanted to thank you again, Bungi, for calling attention to this.

PurpleHeart said...

Good effort by the kids ! We need more number of ears to lend to such darker stories !

sirpy said...

Very nice to know that you ve been able to understand these poor children. I, in fact, have worked with them for a stint, when I was in college as a part of an organisation. Keep doing it.. :)

Anju said...

Thanks! And this was a nice post...will check out the music. There's another music album you might like..I give it to you sometime. Has something to do with violence/abuse against women.

Bungi said...

Sandy - Yeah. These people are doing an amazing job with the children and in bringing to light the issues faced by these children. I might be getting more involved in their work...

CU - God bless you too.

Ryan - Indeed.

Sandhya - True. In fact we can do things to make it heard by talking about it and spreading the word.

Sirpy - Oh. That's amazing. I think you should consider working with them again. :P

Anju - If you feeling lazy to download, i have already downloaded it. We can swap music sometime.