November 9, 2013 5:03:45 am
When 13-year-old Stanley Adagale sings We sing to change the future,he may not quite know what the words mean,but his pronounciation is flawless,as is his command over every note that he renders. Stanley is one of the 30 children from various slums in the city who are part of the Banana Childrens Choir that is all set to put up a concert on Saturday,performing songs in Korean and English,apart from Hindi and Marathi. The programme will mark 40 years of friendship between India and South Korea.
The children,who are are from the slums in Mohammadwadi,Krishnanagar,Upper Kondhwa,Marketyard and Azadnagar,have been rehearsing for the Banana Concert for the last three months. The event will be held at Bhimsen Joshi Kala Mandir at 7 pm.
Banana Children Choir was founded by South Korea-based Kim Jae-chang in 2010. I had formed a similar choir in Nairobi with the slum children there. In 2010,when I visited Pune and saw several slums and slum dwellers,the idea of establishing a choir here struck me, says Jae-chang,who visits India twice a year. He is also the president of Worldsharp,a non-profit organisation under which Banana Childrens Choir was formed.
Implementing the idea was,however,a different ballgame altogether. Convincing the parents of the children was a tough task. Besides,getting all these children under one roof was difficult too, says Sumitra Kate,the manager. While only 12 children agreed to be a part of the choir initially,its strength has now swelled to 50. When the children shared stories about what all they were learning here with their friends,the number started growing, adds Kate.
Jae-chang says the children have settled now and are enjoying the process of learning. A free pick-up and drop facility to and from the rehearsal venue has been arranged for the children. The children have even visited South Korea four times for a performance, says Kate.
Kate claims that apart from honing their singing skills,being a part of the choir has had various other positive outcomes. The parents say that the children have learnt to behave themselves and there is an immense change in the way they behave now, she says.
Among the songs to be presented by the choir are I have a dream (Abba),Give me some sunshine (3 Idiots),Meri maa (Taare Zameen Par) and For the beauty of earth (a John Rutter composition).
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