“Be brave, follow your dreams and fight for what you believe” is the motto followed by this 22-year-old daughter of a bar dancer — born and brought up at Kamathipura — Mumbai’s red light area. “How else will I survive? There are choices in life and I decided to remain positive,” Sheetal Jain who has battled poverty and sexual abuse to learn drumming.
In Pune ,working with Flow — a social sciences research organisation for health and wellbeing — Sheetal wants to use her drumming skills to reach out to under-privileged groups. Kranti, an NGO dedicated to children of sex workers, helped Sheetal in letting go of her anger and past. She has also won a part-scholarship to learn drumming in Washington in 2014.
She is now a drum circle facilitator with Pune-based Taal organisation.
In drum circle, a group — led by a facilitator — creates music together using a wide range of percussion instruments. It can be used in any situation where an objective needs to be communicated, explains founder-director of Taal Inc Varun Venkit, who is also a clinical psychologist.
Drum circles use rhythm to break the ice, bring people together and build a strong team, percussionist and drummer Venkit said, adding that Sheetal now wants to reach out to underprivileged groups.
“Using drumming as the medium, I want to share my experiences and help or guide underprivileged children,” Sheetal said. We have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise at least Rs 3 lakh. A total of Rs 11,502 have been collected so far, said Venkit, adding that group drumming can be used in various ways — as a form of communication, to build teamwork or just as a stress buster. And can cater to several groups from corporate training sessions to special needs and geriatric groups.
“Sheetal has had a tough life but is a passionate learner and is always looking to push her limits,” Venkit said. “My aim is to spread awareness on the importance of education, never giving up and always following one’s heart,” reiterates Sheetal.