Music to help the underprivileged
In 2008, 23- year-old Faith Gonsalves came up with an innovative concept to outreach children-at-risk. She brought ‘Music Basti’ into existence, an organisation that uses music as a tool to engage with children who are survivors of abuse or abandoned by families.
It was Faith’s inclination towards music that she used to build self-confidence in orphans and runaways.
The struggling kids were introduced into the world of music, made to participate in fests like NH7 Weekender and given an opportunity to learn music from local, national and international artists including the Grammy award-winner Carrie Newcomer. Today ‘Music Basti’ includes participation of 500 children and 300 volunteers who are getting assistance from both national and international organisations.
“Music is an innovative way to connect with people and that is how the concept of ‘Music Basti’ struck me,” says Faith, who decided to channelise her passion during last year in college. A graduate of History from Lady Sri Ram College, Faith was already working with The YP foundation, an NGO when she decided to provide musical education to deprived kids who have limited access to formal education and no chances of learning music.
“The kids we work with, have low self-esteem which makes them vulnerable to social inequalities.
We try to actively involve them in music. However, sometimes it is bit difficult because they are not keen to participate. We have to pursue them constantly to make them realise the beautiful future that lies ahead,” says Faith, who tries to bring people from the music community to motivate these children.
“We are trying to motivate, mobilise, train and sensitise the music community to understand child rights and utilise music to protect these rights.”
Presently, ‘Music-Basti’ has been working with NGOs working on the rehabilitation of deprived children. It includes three Aman Ghars (non-custodian centres) started by Dil Se campaign that works for children who live and work in streets, Vidya Centre, in Dwarka for remedial and other education for the local community.
Talking about her passion, the young activist-entrepreneur says, “Last year we came up Dhanak Dhin: Monsoon with Music Basti, an original album project created by street-children and artists. Meanwhile, we are trying to link more artists with the project and introduce other creative activities to bring some enjoyment in their lives and trying to ensure that they enjoy their childhood.”